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immiiiii 

800072281Q 



I 



AUTHOR'S DAUGHTER. 



CATHERINE ELLEN SPENCE, 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. LL 




LONDON: 
RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 



[Ait righU rucnid^ 



HS-o^ a. /^. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. II. 



OBAPTBB PAQB 

I. amy's determination . .1 

II. PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE 26 

III. THE VOYAGE AND LANDING .51 

rV. HOME AT STANMORE ... 75 

V. A VISIT TO MILLMOUNT . .91 

VI. ANTHONY'S REMONSTRANCE . . 102 

VII. COMING OUT . . . .111- 

VIII. amy's new FRIEND . . .125 

IX. GREAT prospects . . .138 

X. A RECOGNITION . . . 151 

XI. BELTON RECTORY . .166 

XII. AN OLD maid's TREASURE . . 176 

XIII. LOUIS HAMMOND HAS ANOTHER CHANCE . 187 

XrV. AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL . . 202 



lEMATURE SYMPATHY . . .286 



THE AUTHOR'S DAUGHTER. 



CHAPTER I. 
amy's deteemination. 

It was a splendid day for the reaping-machine, 
but a rather hot one for any other employment, 
and Allan and Hughie and Harry Weir were 
hard at work in the wheat-field taking the eighth 
crop which had been grown successively off the 
first land that Hugh Lindsay had bought and 
enclosed for agricultural purposes. The season 
had been favourable, and the innovation which 
Mr. McCallum had despised of letting sheep feed 
off the stubble had benefited the land as well as 
the stock, so that there was no falling off in the 
3Hleld. The three good horses that gave the 
motive power to the machine moved steadily 
along, and the ears of com were snipped off and 
thrashed on the ground, only needing to be put 
through the winnowing-machine to be fit for the 
VOL. II. 1 



2 THE AUTHOB'S DAUGHTEIL 

miller. Kidley's reaping-machine is the glory 
of South Australia; it was the first important 
invention which our colonial necessities gave 
birth to, and in none of the other colonies does 
this particular machine do its work so well or so 
profitably ; for in New South Wales and in Vic- 
toria they rarely have that peculiarly dry harvest 
weather that makes the heads of com stand up 
crisp and erect ready to be decapitated. Where 
labour is dear and straw considered of little value, 
the machine that saves the first even at the sacri- 
fice of straw is preferable to any other. Hugh 
Lindsay let Allan have his own way with regard 
to agricultural operations ; it was only about 
sheep that the old man considered himself to be 
an oracle. Allan's reaping-machine was the thing 
he was most proud of on the farm ; he had not 
made it himself, but he had thrown out sugges- 
tions to the maker, and it was the best that had 
ever been turned out of his yard. Allan could 
go over more land and leave it more thoroughly 
clean than any man in the district. 

But reaping, whether by hand or by the ma- 
chine, is hot work for a long December day, when 
the thermometer stands at 130° or thereabouts 
for hours together, and the inner man needs 
frequent strengthening. The horses were taken 
out and changed after half a day's work ; but by 



amy's determination. 3 

help of a substantial breakfast, luncheon, dinner, 
afternoon luncheon and supper, the human la- 
bourers are kept up from sunrise to sunset. Cook- 
ing in harvest time keeps the womenfolks of the 
household pretty busy indoors, especially if there 
is much extra labour engaged. It did not make 
so much difference at Branxholm as at many 
other places, but still it made some, and at such 
times Mrs. Lindsay would give a sigh to the 
memory of Jessie, who had been such a treasure 
when they were "throng." Some changes had 
taken place in the district since Amy's first 
arrival ; there was a little township — that is to 
say, a post-office and store, a public-house, a 
blacksmith's shop — within four miles of Branx- 
holm now, and Mrs. Lindsay was not sure that 
it was an advantage, for folk were less thoughtful 
now, and the errands seemed to be a greater off- 
put of time than when the distance was greater. 
Isabel had to be despatched to the township this 
afternoon for one or two things that might as 
well have been got last Saturday, and Amy put 
on her large hat and took out the afternoon 
luncheon for the reapers in the basket kept for 
the purpose. Bread and cheese, home-made cake, 
and a bottle of Branxholm wine, with cold water 
fresh drawn from the well, were the refresh- 
ments provided. In a secondary way, Allan was 

1—2 



4 THE author's daughter. 

proud of his wine, next to his reaping-machine. 
He had read a good deal on the subject of wine- 
making, and he had himself made the crushing- 
machine and watched the fermentation. All the 
family had turned out, Amy included, to cut the 
grapes, and Allan had gone round the vineyard 
with the cart to exchange the full baskets for 
empty ones, and to take the ripe rich grapes to 
the crushing-cellar. Truly an Australian farmer 
has many of the luxuries of life as well as its 
necessaries ; and the Lindsays did not grudge 
taking trouble to increase their comforts. They 
had a sort of conscientious feeling that they 
should try to make tlie most of everything. Mrs. 
Lindsay had as great a dislike to what she called 
" waistrie " now that lier husband was a man of 
substance, as in the daj^s when they had nothing ; 
and the manner in which everything on the farm, 
the station, and the garden was utilized kept 
every one in the household busy. Now and then, 
in the midst of her pickling and preserving and 
drying and bottling, she would quote Allan Ram- 
say's couplet — 

" They that have just eneuch may sonndly sleep ; 
The o'eroome only fashes folk to keep-—" 

in a different sense from what was probably in- 
tended by the author of the " Gentle Shepherd/' 



amy's determination. 5 

for the overcome or the surplus really gave her a 
great deal of trouble. 

The only fruit that she made no attempt to 
utilize was the olive ; for though the Scripture 
classes wine and oil together, her Scottish tastes 
led her to value the one and to despise and dis- 
like the other. 

The hot reapers had just wiped their faces and 
sat down to enjoy the " snack " which Amy had 
brought to them when Isabel came in sight with 
several letters in her hand, 

" Two for you, Amy, and one for my father — 
the English mail is in, you see. Oh ! give me 
something to drink, for I can scarcely speak for 
thirst ; water, Allan, no wine in it, if you please. 
And here's your rope that has cost me such a 
journey, and the paper with the English news 
that George sends us." 

" Don't tempt me with English news till I get 
my day's work done, Isabel." 

" Are not you sitting down to rest now ? you 
might as well be reading at the same time." 

" If I begin to read I may not know when to 
stop ; but, dear me ! what is the matter with 
Amy ?" and Allan left his luncheon, and started 
up to see what caused the little scream which she 
had uttered. " Is it a letter from her English 
brother ? Is it a man's handwriting, Isabel ?" 




600072281 Q 



8 THE author's daughter. 

insufficient, you may draw on me for an additional 
sum, as my desire is that no time should be lost. 
You must telegraph to me as soon as you arrive, 
and I will hasten to meet you and to fetch you 
home. 

" As I have your likeness to study I enclose 
you mine that you also may grow familiar with 
my appearance before we meet. I send you one 
of Edith, who is younger than I am. My pho- 
t(jgi*«ipli is not a good one, but it is the best I 
could get taken after ten sittings ; Edith takes 
better than I do. 

" You are quite aware that I have an excellent 
position in the world. If George Copeland ever 
spoke of me, he would satisfy you of that, so 
that whatever I promise I am able to fulfil ; so I 
trust that you will act at once on my suggestions, 
and hasten to England, relying on the affection of 
youi" unknown but affectionate brother, 

"Anthony Derrick." 

" What does it mean, Allan ?" asked Amy. 

" Bad news for us, bad news for me," said 
Allan, sadly. " Let out the horses, Harry, for I 
am going to do no more work to-day. Isabel, 
take my father's letter to him directly. I won- 
der you keep it when you know how anxious he 
alwayts is to hear from Jessie." 



amy's determination. 9 

Isabel, though dying with curiosity, could not 
disobey orders from Allan. The horses were 
taken out, and Harry and Hughie had no objec- 
tion to a quarter-day's holiday ; it was seldom 
that Allan took a lazy fit to give them a chance 
of it. 

" Oh Amy," said Allan, " you will not leave us 
— ^you must not leave me." 

" But he is my brother, and I rmist go, I sup- 
pose ; but it is so sudden. It is very kind of 
him to write so." 

'* Very kind of him to steal you away from us 
— ^from me. Oh ! Amy, a thousand brothers could 
not love you as I do," said Allan, imconsciously 
echoing the words of Shakespeare, " and as he 
has never seen you — ^never known you — what 
will the loss of you be to him ? But to me, to 
lose you now, is worse than death. I never 
knew before how dear you were to me. It's 
near four years now since you came to Branx- 
holm, and these years seem all of my life that is 
worth anything. I scarce can recollect anything 
now before that bitter yet blessed day when Pro- 
vidence led me to you in your distress and deso- 
lation. Amy, you cannot leave me desolate ! I 
am not your equal, but then nobody can be that, 
and nobody can ever love you as dearly as I do." 

Amy trembled at the earnest words. Allan 



10 THE author's daughter. 

had waked up to feel the strength of his attach- 
ment by this sudden threatened parting. 

" Wliat will it be to this brother, this Mr. Der- 
rick," resumed Allan, impetuously, " whom you 
have never seen, or to this sister, who does not 
even send a message to say she will be glad to see 
you, if you write, saying that you are very much 
obliged, but that you will stay where you are, 
the light of my eyes, the pride of my heart ? 
What they have never known they can never 
miss. Write to them now and then, that should 
satisfy them. But to go — to go from me — ^for 
ever — ^to take all the sweetness out of my life 
for the present, and all the object out of my 
future hopes ! Oh ! Amy, that will be a poor re- 
turn for so much love as I bear to you." 

" I don't know what to do," said Amy, weep- 
ing. "I am very very sorry to leave Branx- 
holm and to make you unhappy, but I think I 
ought to do as my brother wishes." 

" Just look at the place," said Allan, as they 
stood under the tree, shaded from the rays of the 
westering sun, facing the house and garden which 
lay with a background of wooded hills, as in a 
haven of shelter ; " look at the yellow com, the 
bonnie garden, and the home where I think you 
have never heard an unkind word all the years 
you have been here. Think of the happy days 



amy's determination. 11 

we have passed together before you make up 
your mind to leave us for your grand friends. 
Would you be happier there than I could make 
you here ? let well alone, Amy, my dearest, stay 
where you are, you never can have the heart to 
leave me." The large, strong hand grasped in 
earnest entreaty the little slender hand that had 
done him such good service ; the blue eyes that 
Amy had never shrunk from before gazed at her 
as if they would drink in her very soul ; all the 
strength of affection which had lain so long dor- 
mant in the large heart of the young man leaped 
forth into full day. 

" Don't you love me in return, Amy ? don't you 
love me a little in exchange for all the love I 
bear to you ?" 

" Oh ! Allan," said Amy, " I do like you very 
much, but not so much as you deserve, not so 
much as would ^tisfy you." 

" I am not exacting, Amy ; I should be easily 
satisfied." 

" Not so much as ought to satisfy you," said 
Amy. " If I did I would do as you wish, and 
write to my brother that I have cast in my lot 
with yours, and never regret it or repent of it 
afterwards." 

" I hope I should give you no cause to repent 



12 THE author's daughter. 

it. Have you known me so long and yet cannot 
you trust me. Amy T 

" Oh ! Allan, I could trust you, but I could not 
trust myself — and I think I should be sorry 
afterwards if I did not accept of my brother's 
love and care." 

" Not if you were happy with me, Amy ? Why 
should you be so doubtful T 

" Because I do not love you enough. Is it a 
little love that would satisfy you who have given 
your whole heart to me ? Could I be mean 
enough to take so much and give so little ? The 
only advice mamma gave me (and I was too 
yoimg to understand it at the time, though I 
know its meaning now) was that I was not to 
marry too young, and that I should know my 
own mind before I promised to marry any one. 
I was not to be persuaded into so momentous a 
step by any appeal from a lover, or even from my 
own father, for if I married a man without loving 
him and trusting in him I should sin against 
God, against my husband, and against my own 
souL" 

" Then you do not love or trust me. Amy ? 
The idea of going to England and mixing with 
your equals in rank and education has always 
been a dream of yours. I wish I could lay my 
selfish wishes a^ide, and say go and God go with 



amy's determination. 1.^ 

you. I suppose such magnanimity is only for 
knights and nobles, and not for an Australian 
down like me." 

** Allan/' said Amy, kissing the hand that lifld 
hers and letting her tears fall on it, " you an* no 
clown. I don't know that I ever shall meet with 
a truer gentleman than you are. You are the 
best and dearest friend I have in the world. I 
can scarcely imagine how I am to get on without 
you to help and advise me. But I wish, I really 
wish and long to know my brother and sister ; 
perhaps when I am gone you will think very 
differently about me." 

" I am not given to change," said Allan ; " al)- 
sence will make no difference to mo." 

" It may to me," said Amy, thoughtfully. 

" That's what I fear," said Allan ; " that's why 
I say, let well alone." 

" That is not what I mean," said Amy ; " I 
don't like to say what is in my mind for fear you 
take it up for more than it is worth ; but I may 
miss you and feel the need of you when you are 
not near." 

"And then you can come back," said Allan, 
exultingly, " and if this brother is not kind to 
you, or if you are not happy, you have only to 
let me know." 

" I don't want you to build on it, AUan. I 



14 THE author's daughter. 

think I shall be very fond of my brother. 
Mamma told me that if there ever was any re- 
conciliation, I was to be doubly fond of Anthony 
and Edith, for she blamed herself for leaving 
them. I am so glad Anthony thinks it was 
wrong to take no notice of papa's letter after 
mamma's death.'* 

" You think that a kind letter from your bro- 
ther ; I do not," said Allan. " Setting aside his 
insulting offer to pay us for our services to you 
(for on that matter I perhaps feel too keenly to 
be a fair judge), he makes a great deal too much 
of his claims on you and of his intentions to- 
wards you." 

" You are unjust to him, Allan." 

" And he appears to think that he will love 
you, unseen and unknown, better than the sister 
with whom he has spent all his life, and he exr 
pects more sympathy from you." 

" I daresay Jessie and George have praised me 
absurdly, and he is young, too, just about your 
age, Allan, and you are not at all reasonable with 
him. Don't try to set me against my only bro- 
ther, dear mamma's eldest child. It is very un- 
kind of you to do that." 

" I don't mean to be unkind, but I am carried 
out of myself. Amy. Your sister ought to have 
sent you some message to let you know she 



AMY*S DETERMINATION. 15 

would be glad to see you ; but perhaps tliis is 
one of the points in which there is not complete 
sympathy between them/' said Allan, with the 
slightest touch possible of a sneer. " I beg 
your pardon, Amy, I don't think I ever said so 
unkind a thing to you before, and now I want 
you to love me. Only if your brother and sister 
disagree about you it will not be comfortable for 

you." 

" I am not afraid of it ; you see how suddenly 
Anthony writes on the information. My sister 
had no time to prepare herself or to write." 

" He wishes you to be as sudden. I suppose 
you will be off by this month's mail steamer. 
It is possible ; and if possible, you ought to do 
it, I suppose." 

" No, I am not going this month," said Amy. 
" I will wait till I receive another letter ; and I 
want to accustom you all and myself, too, to the 
idea of parting." 

"Yes," said Allan, catching at the hope that 
something might occur; "your brother's next 
letter may make it clearer that you should stay. 
Oh ! if I had only known my own heart sooner — 
if I had said the words I have said three months 
ago, might I not have had another answer ?" 

" I think I should have told you to wait." 

" Waiting at Branxholm together is not like 



16 THE author's daughter. 

waiting with you on one side of the world and 
me on the other— with you surrounded with rich 
and noble suitors perhaps. You will have luxury, 
and refinement, and elegance, and art, and poetry, 
and music, and all the things that you have longed 
for that you love more than me. When I think 
of all the people that you will meet that you will 
compare with me and find me wanting I cannot 
bear that you should go away." 

" I must go — I ought to go— but if you keep 
of the same mind in three years' time — and I see 
no one whom I like better, and I feel that I miss 
you — I will come back," said Amy, slowly and 
-hesitatingly. 

" Oh ! you will see some one whom you will 
b'ke better." 

" Well, would it not be better to find out that 
when we are not bound to each other irrevocably? 
You are a dear good fellow, and deserve some one 
far better than I am ; but I don't think you per- 
fect, as mamma thought papa was. If, after see- 
ing people as they are in the great world of Eng- 
land, I feel that I can love you loyally and well 
all my life I shall feel sure that I am right in / 
marrying you." 

" Then you will engage yourself to me for three 
years. I would wait six if I thought you would 



s 



amy's determination. 17 

be mine at the end of them, ay, seven years, and 
seven more, like Jacob for Rachel" 

" No, I will not engage myself; I will not pro- 
mise to feel boimd by what I say now, because I 
may change, and you may change. Mamma said 
if she had had the courage to break off an engage- 
ment into which she had been persuaded, even at 
the very altar, she would have saved herself much 
sin and much sorrow. But I will write to you 
regularly, and you will write to me ; if I feel that 
I can do without you I will tell you so^ so that 
you should not waste your life for a shadow ; if 
you change let me know ; but let us always be 
open and sincere with each other. Whatever hap- 
pens let us always be friends." 

" Always friends, Amy. It is I who should have 
said you should go home free, and I should be 
bound, for that would have been honourable and 
generous; but this matter is so momentous, it 
seems to change my nature ; to make me jealous 
and suspicious; to make me wish to extort a 
promise from you that might better my chances. 
Will you try to bear with me, and forgive me, 
Amy?" 

If Allan h€td never been so exacting before, on 
the other hand he had never been so penitent or 
so softened. Amy could not help feeling over- 
powered with his grief and emotion. " I should 

VOL. II. 2 



IS THE author's DAUGHTER. 

read Jessie's letter and bear what she says about 
it/' said she ; but the perusal did not at all clear 
uj) her ideas, for Jessie was somewhat incoherent. 
Still there was an impression conveyed that Amy 
must go. Anthony's settled determination had 
carried her so far with him ; but there was an 
implied fear that the change might not be for the 
better that Allan grasped at. 

" Let us hear what my father and mother say 
about this ; let us hear what Jessie has written 
to them. Of course she was bound to say the 
kindest things she could about your brother to 
you ; but let us consult with all your old friends 
before you leave them for those that are as yet 
strangers to you." 

With sad grave faces they rose and walked to- . 
gether to the house. Mrs. Lindsay rose from her 
chair as they entered the room and went forward 
to meet Amy. There were tears in her eyes when 
she took Amy's hand with more fondness than 
she had ever shown. 

" Oh ! my bairn, my dear bairn, are you really 
thinking o' leaving us ? I never thought o' 
Jessie doing us sic an ill turn. It was bad 
enough when she took up wi* George Copeland, 
and behoved to follow him to his kin in England, 
but to be wiling you away next is hard on us a'," 
and the mother's eye fell on her favourite son, and 



amy's determination. 19 

saw the grief written in his face. " Keep up your 
heart, Allan, Amy can never think to leave 
Branxholm like this." 

" This is a different sort of letter from the one 
you got from your aunt," said Hugh Lindsay. 
" If the lady's was somewhat cold, this is in hot 
haste and hurry. Nothiii£r less than taking: 
ship ^d j;^ to E^d tti, r^rZ 
satisfy your brother, and the money sent out for 
your charges. By Jessie's account, this young 
laird, Mr. Derrick, has great possessions, and he is 
keen to do a brother's part by you. It is a great 
opportunity for you. Amy, my lass, only if you 
have no mind for it, it will be the same to 
us." 

" Weigh it weel ere you change a home with 
us for one among grit folk." said the more im- 
petuous Mrs. Lindsay, who had not the same 
regret for lost opportunities of worldly advan- 
tages as her husband. " Ye ken weel that it is 
not the abundance that a man has that should be 
counted for everything ; no but what the Almighty 
has blessed us with abimdance, and we behove to 
acknowledge^His hand in it ; but as I was saying, 
this letter frae your brother that you've never 
seen, and that never cared whether you or your 
mother, that was his mother too, was dead or 
living before this particidar time, is not to carry 

2—2 



20 THE author's daughter. 

the day over tried friendship and goodwill, and 
maybe more than thai Bide wi' us if you 
like it best. You brought a blessing to the 
house, and I doot that if you leave us, Branxholm 
will never be the same place to Allan or to me," 
and the good woman cried outright. 

Every one likes to hear expressions of personal 
attachment. This was not a demonstrative fiEb- 
mily, but the idea of Amy's leaving Branxholm 
called out more words of affection fit>m yoimg 
and old than she had ever heard. Isabel and 
Phemie cried heartily ; even Hughie got into a 
comer and blubbered a little, as he thought un- 
observed. Hugh Lindsay himself astonished the 
family circle by the unprecedented act of kissing 
Amy's tearful cheek, and saying that it was nigh 
hand as bad as Jessie's going to England. But 
Hugh Lindsay was not so earnest in his entrea- 
ties that Amy should decline her brother^s offer 
as the others were. He saw no such great social 
gulf between the position of the sister of an En- 
glish laird, though she was an earl's granddaughter, 
and Allan Lindsay. They were two bairns as yet ; 
he did not care for such an early marriage. Why 
not let Amy go home for two or three years, and 
ingratiate herself with her wealthy brother, and 
then bring to Allan a suitable fortune ? Li the 
meantime let Allan push his own fortune well ; 



amy's determination. 21 

he would give him every possible advantage, and 
the hope of making himself equal to Amy in 
worldly position would spur Allan to greater 
exertion. There was no doubt that Amy would 
soon be the favourite sister. On reading Anthony's 
letter, which Amy requested him to do, he took a 
very favourable view of her prospects and of the 
squire's character. Amy had a knack of finding 
her way to every heart that would give her a 
chance, and Mr. Derrick would find it as hard to 
refuse her anything in the course of a year or 
two, as Allan himself did. By the most provi- 
dential arrangement, Jessie was at hand, and she 
would never let Allan be forgotten. And Hugh 
Lindsay thought that even in the most brilliant 
circles of English society. Amy might look far be- 
fore she saw Allan's match, and if it was necessary 
Allan should go home for her and fetch her 
out. 

Mrs. Lindsay was surprised at the good man's 
acquiescence, and even more than acquiescence — 
his recommendation that Mr. Derrick's offer should 
be accepted ; and AUan, who had hoped for an 
ally in his father, was disappointed at the view 
he took. Hugh Lindsay's opinion had weight 
with Amy, for she felt that the old man liked her, 
and would miss her, and therefore it was disinte- 
rested advice given to her on the grounds of An- 



22 THE author's daughter. 

thony's letter, of which he took an unprejudiced 
view. And ahe wished to go ; she felt her bro- 
ther's claims strong and his letter kind; she 
could not take Allan's uncharitable view of his 
hope of finding perfect sjnnpathy fix)m her. The 
delicate and tender apprehension of another's 
thoughts and feelings which she had missed 
among the Lindsays, but which she well recol- 
lected as existing between her father and mother, 
and which in some degree she ha>d shared with 
them, was likely to be met with fix>m those of her 
own near kindred, and especially fix>m her brother. 
Hopes of seeing Darlington Castle, which her 
mother had often described to her, of revisiting 
with her brother the London home where she 
had spent her childhood, Mr. Hubbard's studio, 
the Royal Academy pictures, the theatres, the 
concerts to which her father used to take her long 
ago; all the circumstances about mamma that 
Anthony and Edith would be eager to hear, and 
she too happy to tell ; and how she would try to 
make them feel some liking for her papa too — a 
confused medley of hopes, wishes, and expecta- 
tions chased each other through Amy's mind. 
She was sure she had done right about Allan> 
because if she really had loved him she could not 
be planning a life full of pleasure and employ- 
ment in which he had no share. She was very 



amy's determination. 23 

Sony for him, because she saw he felt differently ; 
and when his father was talking of taking ano- 
ther station, and counting the expense of stocking 
and the probable profits, Allan listened without 
interest and without ambition. Allan had no 
such high opinion of his qualifications as his 
father had, and he felt that if Amy went away 
his chance afterwards was small. 

Although Hugh Lindsay was a man who made 
the most of opportunities, and though, at this 
particular time, when he wished to take a great 
start for Allan's behoof, he was in want of ready 
money, he never thought of such a thing as 
accepting any equivalent from Anthony Derrick 
for his kindness to Amy. Not though it might 
have been a convenience to himself to receive, 
and a satisfaction to Anthony to pay, a handsome 
sum to discharge a burdensome obligation. The 
old man knew that the obligation lay tlie other 
way, and as a sort of relief to his feelings lie pre- 
sented Amy with a handsome watch and chain, 
and made on the occasion the longest speech he 
ever was known to give utterance to. 

" I wanted to give you something to mind me 
by, that is not altogether useless. Amy, dear ; and 
it's a bonnie watch too, and though it will point 
to different time in England from what my old 
turnip does here, they're both warranted to be 



24 THE author's daughter. 

tnie time, and to be depended on," said he. "And 
when you are living with different sort of folk, 
who they tell me are as hard worked in what 
they call killing time as we are in making use of 
it, and you're like to forget us in the midst of 
your amusements and your visitings, you'll have 
to look at this whiles, and it will, maybe, bring 
back to your mind an old man, and a young man, 
too, that will think long till they see your fiBtee 
again. For it is borne strongly on my mind that 
you will come back to Branxholm before I'm 
laid beside our Patrick and your poor father. 
You see that bonnie dye* of a locket hanging 
to the chain. I got that wee bit of your father's 
hair from you to have set in it, that you may keep 
mind that you've left your dead in our care. And 
you'll take the neighbour of the bit locket, with 
her mother's hair and mine in it, ^io our Jessie, 
and give it with your own hands, and write us 
word how she looks, and if she's really comfortable 
with her good mother. It's a comfort that you 
are to be so near Jessie, if you behove to go 
from us." 

Amy accepted the gifts with tears and thanks, 
and was oiily too happy to be the bearer of the 
family presents to Jessie and Jessie's little boy. 

* Scotch for trinket, or anything hright and showy. 



amy's determination. r^.'i 

It was the culmination of the course of Hpoiliiig 
which she had gone through at Branxhohn, that 
every one should be kinder and more demon- 
strative than ever in their grief at her de- 
parture. 



CHAPTER II. 

PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 

Mrs. Troubriixi?: and Mr. Lufton were not long 
in liearin^ tlie great piece of news that was 
agitating the family at Branxholm, and they lost 
little time K^fore they came to find out all par- 
ticulars. Mr. Lufton was pleased to think that 
Amy could not be engaged or attached to Allan 
or she would not think of leaving him; and 
l^esides the expression on Allan's face showed 
that he had met with some severe disappoint- 
ment. Isabel and Phemie and Mrs. Lindsay 
were voluble in their expressions of sorrow at 
the loss of Amy, but Allan said not a word. Mr. 
Luflon determined to throw himself into the 
breach, and try to preserve the Rose of Branx- 
holm for South Australia; and he made an 
opportunity for speaking to her — somewhat 
clumsily, as was his wont — by affecting a strong 
curiosity about a particular flower in the garden 



PEEPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 27 

that he never cared for before or after, and 
poured forth a few incoherent sentences to give 
Amy to understand that she need not leave 
Australia, that she would break his heart if she 
went, that happiness with new-found relations 
was doubtful, but with him it would be certain. 
He worshipped her, adored her, he had loved her 
from the first day he had seen her, he would love 
her for ever. He was in good circumstances, and 
perfectly independent; even if her brother, Mr. 
Derrick, was a man of consideration in England, 
he never could object to his sister marrying a 
prosperous Australian gentleman, who would soon 
be able to return to England and take a good 
position there. 

Amy should have stopped Mr. LufboD as soon 
as she began to apprehend his meaning when she 
had no intention of accepting him. Poor little 
Amy ! your head is a little turned with so much 
adulation, and the sound of your own praises is 
sweet in your ears. Allan had said that no one could 
love her as he did, that at Branxholm she was 
more prized than she could be at Stanmore, and 
she had sometimes felt that he was in the right. 
But Mrs. Troubridge petted and Mr. Lufton 
complimented her more than any one of the 
Lindsays did, and she felt sure that wherever 
she went she should make friends. Amy's 



28 THE author's daughter. 

strongest wish was a wish to please; her 
greatest dread was to give pain to any one. 
She was flattered by Mr. Luflon's preference, but 
yet it did not give her lialf so much pain to tell 
him that her mind was made up to go to Kngland, 
and that he must not think to dissuade her from 
it, as it cost her to say the same to Allan. 
Her manner, however, was so gentle, her voice so 
sympathising, that Mr. Luflon did not think that 
she really meant " no." He proposed waiting for a 
while, and then going to England to hear what 
she had to sav there. 

" No, no, you had better not think of such a 
thing," said Amy, " you know very well that it 
could never be. You are so much older than 
I am that I never could feel to you as you wish, 
and I am quite sure my brother would not 
approve of it." 

Mr. Lufton had never been told so plainly the 
great objection which the youthful objects of his 
affections entertained to his addresses. He never 
fancied that he had grown any older since he 
had made his first offer to Mra. Troubridge's 
sister, who was now the mother of several 
children. Compared with Mr. Troubridge and 
Mr. Hammond he was quite a youth, and he 
knew that his appearance and manner were 
remarkably sprightly and juvenile. 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 29 

This rebuff he confided immediately to Mrs. 
Troubridge, to whom all his previous ones had 
been disclosed in the same way, and her sym- 
pathy was as ready as it had ever been. Now 
that Mr. Lufbon was so useful to her in a himdred 
ways, for he was the active executor imder Mr. 
Troubridge's will, and had come out admirably 
in his management of the Richlands station, the 
least Mrs. Troubridge could do for him was to 
listen to his recitals and to sympathize with his 
hopes and fears. She promised to aid his suit, 
and to remonstrate a little with Amy, so she 
hastened to Branxholm to see how the land 
lay. 

She thought Mr. Lufbon had some chance until 
she was shown Anthony Derrick's letter and 
heard the accoimts which Jessie and George had 
given of the wealth and importance of the 
family. The aristocratic birth which Amy had 
kept so long concealed impressed Mrs. Troubridge 
more than any of her other friends, and she felt 
convinced that Miss Staunton's removal to the 
world of rank andfashion would take her altogether 
out of Lufbon's reach, and still more out of Allan 
Lindsay's. The only consolation she could see 
for Lufbon was that the yoimg Scotchman looked 
more miserable than himself, and as this was his 
first love, and one the growth of years, it would 



30 THB ATTTHOB'S DAUGHTER. 

lie harder for him to get over it than for his 
niiddle-agcd and impressible neighbour. 

If Hugli Lindsay had been dazzled by the 
o])]x)rtunitie.s wliich lay before Amy so as to 
offer no objection to her leaving his home, Mrs. 
Troubridge wa.s still more dazzled with them. 
It wa8 like an incident in her favourite novels, 
when a lovely heroine was rescued from an 
ol^cure position by wealthy and generous rela- 
tives. She aided Amy in idealizing her brother's 
likeness and her brother's character. She was 
sure tliat Amy had oidy to be seen to be loved, 
and, in order that her outfit should be worthy of 
her brother's generosity, she ofiered to go to 
Adelaide with her young friend, and help her 
with everything ; and also to introduce her to 
several ladies of her acquaintance who had taken 
the overland journey, and who could advise her 
as to what was needed. 

Mrs. Troubridge seemed to shake off the 
apathetic listlessness which she had fallen into 
after her husband's death, now that there was so 
much advice and management required. She 
wrote to her mother and sister to make some 
purchases, and she insisted that nothing less 
than a fortnight was necessary for Amy to spend 
in Adelaide before she sailed. Allan had pro- 
posed that Isabel and himself should accompany 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 81 

Amy to town, and that they should stay with 
Uncle Robert and make their purchases, and he 
would be always at their service; but Mrs. 
Tro.ubridge said that was quite unnecessary. 
She could do all that was needed, and it would 
be better that Amy should part with all her 
friends at Branxholm at once. 

" No," said Allan, " I cannot consent to that. 
I must see the last of her as long as she is in 
Australia. I want to be at hand to serve her if 
she needs me ; and it may be she will change her 
mind yet. If your next letter is not so cordial, 
you may think better about going, and I think 
you should wait at Branxholm till it comes. 
Amy," continued Allan, addressing his little 
teacher in a low earnest voice. 

"There is no fear of that," said Mrs. Troubridge. 
" I am sure that Mr. Derrick's next letter will be 
more kind than the last. I can read character 
very well by a man's style of writing, and I am 
sure that Mr. Derrick is not changeable." 

" Still I will accompany Amy to Adelaide," 
said Allan. 

" And I too," said Isabel. 

" Oh ! if you wish it, certainly," said Mrs. 
Troubridge, "and you will be anxious to see 
what things we buy for Amy. After the hand- 
some sum which Mr. Derrick has remitted he 



32 THE author's daughter 

will expect and he should expect that you 
Ahould make a good appearance, and Julia and 
I will do our best to rig you out properly. They 
have engaged a dressmaker to make your things, 
as I told them. Well, after all, the thing that 
amuses me most in the whole affidr is Mrs. 
Hammond's blunder. I hear that she is trjring 
hard to get into society at home, not Australian- 
English, but real English society, county people 
and that sort of thing ; and that she is fond of 
talking of the time when she was abroad, instead 
of the time when she was at Aralewin, and here 
she has lost the very best chance she ever had of 
a good introduction. If she had done what she 
ought to have done by you, your fSemiily might 
have taken her by the hand and given her a lift 
Did you not say that Lady Qower, of Qower's 
Court, is your aunt V 

" I wonder if she is alive now. She must be 
an old lady, though she was nearly twenty years 
younger than my grandpapa." 

" And your grandpapa was the Earl of Dar- 
Ungton," said Mrs. Troubridge, who pronounced 
the aristocratic names with a relish. "The 
present earl then is your cousin." 

"No a distant relation. Mamma knew him 
well when she was a girl, but there waa a quarrel 



PBEPARATIONS FOR DEPARTUBE. 33 

when he married. I do not know much about 
my mamma's relations/' 

" Of course the aristocracy intermarry so much 
that you must be connected with many noble 
families. I should not be surprised to hear of 
your marryinff some ereat man, and having a 

" I wish you would not put nonsense into the 
lassie's head/' said Mrs. Lindsay, who did not 
like this turn given to the conversation. "That's 
aJl your novel-reading and romancing." 

" Of course it would be romancing if I said 
that any of my daughters or yours were to many 
titles, but peers are Amy Staimton's equals/' 

" I'm sure it wouldna' become me to think 
light o' good blood/' said Mrs. Lindsay, " and me 
so proud of the goodman being so far off a cousin 
of the Yerl Lindsay of Balcarres ; but when I 
think on the bit lassie that grat here all night, 
and that had na' a friend in the world but the 
goodman and Allan and me, I can scarce think, 
for a' her brother has come into possession 
through spinning-jennies, that she'll just even 
herself to lords and ladies. I just wish she may 
ha'e nae cause to look back to Branxholm and 
weary to see it again when she is among grand 
folk. K she does, there is a place here that will 
be keepit for her." 

VOL. II. 3 



3i THE author's daughter. 

" I wish I know anybody in the neighbourhood 
of SUnmore to introduce you to; but I have 
lNH»n so long in AuMtmlia that I have forgotten 
rvon my own county and my own relatives, and 
|Kq)a has kept up little or no correspondence with 
his friends." 

" If ye ever go to Scotland, Amy," said Mrs. 

Lindsay, doubtfully 

" Of course you will visit Scotland, everybody 
does now-a-days," said Mrs. Troubridge. 

''Yell go to Teviotdale and see the Scottish 
Branxholm, and ye*ll look in on our folk and tell 
them how we've prospered and all the news that 
ye can mind about us, and let us ken what ye 
think o' the country and of them," continued 
Mrs. Lindsay. 

"Oh! there's no need of that," said Hugh 
Lindsay. "Jessie promises to go there. Amy 
will l>ehove to go where her brother wishes, and 
luj'U care nought about her folk." 

'* I thought Amy would like it," said Mrs. 
Lindsay, meekly. 

" So I should, Mrs. Lindsay, and if I can pos- 
sibly manage it, I'll do it," said Amy. « Tm not 
going to be spoiled by prosperity." 

" I hope not, I trust not," said Mrs. Lindsay 
Tliore were tears in the eyes of the kind old 

her health and happiness, and hoped that 



ere 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 36 

long she would find her way back again. Mrs. 
Lindsay was the least sanguine ; she had some 
idea of the formidable obstacles that fashion and 
relatives and perhaps new lovers might oppose to 
Allan's earnest and passionate affection; and 
what was a monthly letter compared to daily 
intercourse ? Her husband's suggestion that the 
match might be more advantageous if it was 
delayed she listened to respectfully enough, but 
she did not believe in it. The goodman had 
knowledge about sheep, and lands, and invest- 
ments ; but a wayward thing like a young lassie's 
heart was beyond his comprehending. But 
though Allan might be doomed to disappoint- 
ment in this momentous affair, the mother's 
heart was full of pride to see how bravely and 
manfully he behaved. Allan might lose his 
heart, but nothing would make him lose his 
head, and when his father had hinted to him his 
ideas, and that it would be necessary for him to 
take even more interest in the new station than 
he had done, in order to make himself more 
worthy of Amy, if she accepted him in three 
years, it was astonishing how clear and how con- 
triving he was, and how he always could give 
Amy the best advice and was serviceable to 
everybody, though he was in such trouble. 

He had only once broken down when he was 

3—2 



36 THE author's daughter. 

packing for Amy those books of her fiither's, for 
which he had years ago made the shelves, and 
for which he had now made a lined packing case. 
Recollections of the happy hours which he and 
his little teacher had spent over the books came 
over him, and his eyes filled with tears. Amy 
was surprised to find him thus busied. ''I 
did not think of taking them with me," said 
she. 

"They are yours, and you must prize them 
more than any one else can," said Allan, with a 
voice somewhat broken. 

^ There maybe no comer in such a great house 
as Stanmore where I can put a lot of old books. 
I shall only take a few particular favourites with 
me, and you will take care of the rest for me." 

" Till you come back." 

" I don't want you to be so confident, Allan." 

"God knows I am not confident," said the 
young man impetuously. " Well, till you write 
that you want them, will that do V 

" No, Allan, I should like to give them to you 
altogether— will you take them from me ? There 
seems to be nothing that I can give you ; nothing 
that I can do for you all who have been so good 
to me." 

" Nothing," said Allan. 

" I mean nothing— that is, not too much ; so. 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 87 

AUan^ taJce that little presept from me and put 
away that packing-case. I thought you meant 
it for my wonderful outfit that Mrs. Troubridge 
talks so much of, and I thought it was so good of 
you to make it. Now let me help you to put up 
the books in their places — Macaulay, Sydney 
Smith, Herschell, Hugh Miller — why it would 
break your heart to part with them." 

^'That's not the thing to break my heart; I 
can buy books." 

'' Yes, but not these books, not with papa's notes, 
and with your own associations. I wonder if 
Anthony will care about papa's very own books ; 
of course he*s had every advantage at the imiver- 
sity and abroad ; but if people have not got it in 
them to admire such writing as papa's I don't 
think they can learn at any university. I want 
you to tell me what books you would like to 
have, and when I go to London I'll go to the 
Palladm/m Office, and I am sure Mr, Loder will 
put me on the way to get them for you, and then 
we will have them packed and sent out ; and I 
must look out for a good telescope and a good 
microscope for you; these things can be got so 
well in England. You must write to me about 
what you are reading and I will do the same. 
What a world of books I am going home to I" 

Allan had trusted a little to the chapter of 



38 THE author's daughter. 

accidents, and when he arrived with Amy and 
Isabel at his uncle Robert's house and heard that 
the English mail had arrived, he hastened to 
intercept the letters before they were sent off to 
Branxholm. Anthony's letter was more urgent 
tliau his first. In case Amy had not left he 
pressed on her to delay no further, but to take 
out her passage at once ; he lamented even more 
strongly than before Amy's mistake in not writing 
to him years ago ; he assured her that he hoped 
for the greatest happiness in her society, and 
apologized for the short letter enclosed from 
Edith, because she was not so impulsive or affec- 
tionate as himself, but still he had no doubt that 
the sisters would get on very well together ; at 
all events it was to him that Amy was to look in 
the first place. He enclosed a fresh carte of him- 
self, which he thought a little better than any 
that had been taken before. There was no men- 
tion made of Mrs. Copeland or of the Lindsays. 
The letter was dated from London. Jessie's 
letter said she had only once seen Mr. Derrick 
for a short call to return the photographs he had 
copied, Qnd that the squire was all impatience 
till his sister could be brought home. He had 
said that his aunt and Miss Edith meant to call 
at Millmoimt, but they had not appeared there at 
the date of Jessie's writing. 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 39 

Mrs. Troubridge was very much interested in 
these letters, and was delighted to find that Mr. 
Derrick had borne out her idea of constancy. 
She made as much out of Edith's short note as 
could be made. It was sufficiently kind, though 
not long enough to satisfy her enthusiastic 
brother, and it was quite certain that Amy was 
to be the favourite; — so much the better for her 
young friend. 

Under the generalship of Mrs. Troubridge and 
her sister, Mrs. Banim, Amy entered on lier 
fortnight's campaign of shopping. She was sur- 
prised to hear how many things were absolutely 
necessary to do justice to her brother's liberality, 
and was dismayed to find that, instead of having 
a handsome surplus out of which she might make 
a few small presents, her friends considered that 
every farthing of her remittance, except the 
necessary passage-money and a trifle in hand in 
case of accidents, should be expended on herself 
Of course they were likely to know better than 
she did, and she did not like to object to their 
arrangements. The rapidity with which they 
disposed of her money and chose her dresses, 
bonnets, and other things, was greater than if the 
purchases had been for themselves ; but time was 
short, Mr. Derrick's remittance was handsome, 
and Miss Staunton's face and figure were for the 



40 THE author's DAUGHTER. 

iii*st time to have justice done to them. She was 
introduced at (Jovemment House and to a select 
circle of Adelaide fashionables as a young lady of 
noble family and great expectations, and for the 
fortnight of her stay in Adelaide had not a dis- 
engaged evening. It was so indispensable that 
Amy should mix a little in good society before 
she saw her brother, to rub off a little the 
gaucherie and timidity which she had naturally 
acquired among the rough bush people with whom 
she had lived ; and though Mrs. Troubridge did 
not go out, Mrs. Banim was only too happy to 
introduce her charming yoimg friend. 

Of all arrangements these well-meaning ladies 
made, this was the most distasteful to Allan 
Lindsay. Hia heart sank when he saw how easily 
Amy was taken in hand, and taken out of his 
reach. All the mornings were devoted to shop- 
ping, and the evenings to gaiety; uncle Robert's 
was out of the way, and Amy was dependent on 
Mrs. Banim's carriage, and had to suit herself to 
that lady's arrangements. But her heart smote 
her when she thought in the second week of her 
stay that she had been three days without seeing 
Isabel and Allan. Her relations with Allan were 
so peculiar that she had some hesitation in speak- 
ing of her natural wish to see him, and Mrs. 
Banim had not half the amount of respect for the 



PBEPARATI0K8 FOB DEPABTUBE. 41 

Lindsays which her sister, who knew the family, 
entertained. Amy was the rage in Adelaide for 
the fortnight she spent there, and in which she 
first entered what appeared to her to be the great 
world. Her histoiy, improved and embellished, 
was in everybody's mouth, for if a piece of news 
is once set agoing in a little colonial capital like 
Adelaide it flies fast and gathers as it flies. Her 
titled mother, her talented father, her millionaire 
brother, the fabulous sum he had promised as her 
marriage fortime, her own beauty, and Mrs. Ham- 
mond's behaviour to her, were talked of, both on 
the flags and in other places. 

Although the whirl was rather bewildering to 
a girl of seventeen she did not really forget the 
Lindsays, and there were many times in the day 
when she missed Allan. 

So with an entreaty that her friends would 
decide without her as to the trimming of her last 
two dresses and her travelling hat, she burst from 
them on the Saturday before she was to sail, and 
said she must spend the day at Mr. Robert 
Lindsay's. 

Isabel was oflended and a little petulant, and 
Allan looked sad and depressed. He uttered no 
reproach, but his quiet sorrow touched her heart. 

" Oh, Allan 1 I could not get away, ind^d, I 
could not. I wish, I really wish Mrs. Troubridge 



42 THE author's daughter 

and Mrs. Banim would have let us manage matters 
as we jjleased at first, and Isabel and I would 
have chosen things with a little advice from you. 
I don't think I am so pleased with anything as 
those beautiful overland trunks you got for ine, 
Allan. And though my outfit might not have 
been so good or so fashionable or so well made, 
and though they might have laughed at me in 
those P. and O. steamers that I am so much afraid 
of, Fd rather be laughed at for six weeks than 
have you look so at me for six minutes. It seems 
as if I were cold and ungrateful when I do not 
feel really so. Don't look so grave, Allan ; do be 
friends with me, as your mother calls it." 

It was very easy for Amy to make it up with 
poor Allan ; he took the little hand, fitted with 
the miraculous kid glove recommended by Mrs. 
Banim, and forgave the offender. 

"And how do you think I look, Allan and 
Isabel ? After all the trouble that they have taken 
with me, I scarcely think I look so well in this 
fashionable silk and this new bonnet as 1 did in 
your riding habit and hat, Allan. That dear old 
habit, I am going to wear it whenever I get a 
chance of riding. When it begins to look shabby 
I must have it dyed." 

" You cannot make it last for three years, can 
you ?" said Allan. 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 43 

" That depends on how much or how little I 
ride. Of course my brother has plenty of horses ; 
but Jessie says my sister does not ride so well as 
I do. I dare say she had not such good teaching. 
You must let me know how Brownie and Prince 
Charlie get on." 

" I will write you everything that happens if 
you wish to hear it ; all about the crops and the 
clips and the vintage and the horses and the gar- 
den. How the trellis will have grown in three 
years ; and the orange-trees will be bearing then 
too," said Allan, lowering his voice. 

"Oh Allan! don*t speak like that — I mean 
about the time. Everything is so uncertain ; but 
I want to know everything that happens at 
Branxholm, and if you make any alterations you 
must draw me a plan of them. Though all the 
new friends I have made in Adelaide are very kind 
to me, perhaps it is because I do not now need 
kindness — no, that is not what I mean ; they are 
aU very good, a great deal better than I deserve ; 
but you and your good father and mother were 
kind to me when I had not a friend in the world, 
because I did not know I had a brother who loved 
me, and 1 shall never forget Branxholm, never." 

Amy was a little incoherent, but Allan under- 
stood her hieaning. She then related how she 
had spent the three days in which they had not 



44 THE author's daughter. 

seen her, describing the parties she had been taken 
to and the people she had seen, answered Isabel's 
questions about the dresses, and Allan's about the 
amusements, and contrived, unconsciously per- 
haps, to convince them of her own popularity and 
importanca Amy saw Allan look sometimes 
amused and sometimes grave during her narra- 
tions. 

" You have come to spend the whole day and 
to stay all night, so we can have a talk together, 
Amy. I want one quiet walk with you before 
you sail" 

'' Mrs. Banim said she would call for me at 
four." 

" Well, leave a message or write a note to say 
that you are stajdng here, and let us have one 
evening with you all to ourselves, and let us go 
to church together for once." 

Amy assented, and walked out with Allan. In 
spite of the improvement in her apparel she was 
not and she needed not to be ashamed of walking 
through Adelaide with her bush Mend. There 
was no handsomer man to be seen there than the 
tall, powerful, fSsdr-haired yoimg Scotchman, whose 
dress was easy and becoming, and his gait no 
more rustic than that of other bushmen who rode 
much on horseback. But Amy did blush slightly 
when she met full in face Mrs. D , a particular 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 45 

friend of Mrs. Troubridge's, at whose party she had 
been present the previous evening, and intro- 
duced him as Mr. Allan Lindsay. The lady 
looked him over coldly enough. 

" Will you see Mrs. Banim f * asked Amy. 

'' I am just looking for her. I suppose she is 
at Mra Orme's ; I want to consult her about some 
llama for children's dresses. I have seen such a 
lovely blue, but I don't think it will stand the 
sun." 

" If you see Mrs. Banim will you tell her she 

need not call round by street this afternoon, 

for I am gping to stay at Mrs. Lindsay's all 
night." 

" Mrs Banim has asked me and a few friends 
to meet you this evening; she will be disap- 
pointed." 

'' But if Miss Staunton leaves us we shall be 
disappointed," said Allan, gravely, " so that she 
must choose between two evils." 

" Then good-by. Miss Staunton, you will meet 

Mrs. Banim at church, I suppose," said Mrs. D , 

as she took leave. 

'' I am sorry Mrs. Banim has asked people to 
meet me, but that has been done eveiy evening 
when we had no engagement to go out," said 
Amy. 

" Then you do not like this racket, Amy ? " 



46 THE author's daughter. 

" Oh, yes, I like it well enough, but then 
it appears as if I was neglecting you and Isabel." 

" Nobody cares about appearances, Amy. Did 
you feel as if you liked us less ?" 

" No, Allan; and yet, yes. I wish so much to 
tell you the whole truth, but, my dear Allan, I do 
not know it myself I know I like you very 
much, and I am sure I miss you when I am away 
from you ; but yet I feel as if I could live without 
you, too. I do so much want to please you, but 
then I want to please everybody. I am quite 
sure I am too young to be asked to make up my 
mind. Just now, when I am with you, I feel 
comfortable ; that is to say, I should feel com- 
fortable if you were satisfied with the present, 
and not so eager about the future. I know that 
you are to be relied on, and that if any danger 
threatened me or trouble came upon me, you 
could protect and comfort me ; but that is just as 
I felt to papa when he was alive, and as I shall 
feel to my brother when I go to him. And you 
know, Allan, that is a great deal to feel," said 
Amy, looking with her puzzled wise face in her 
lover's eyes. " I am sure people marry each other 
who do not feel as much as that. And to make 
you happy I am inclined to say, ' Allan, I will be 
your wife in three years,' and then your face looks 
so bright and so exulting that I am frightened. 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 47 

and I know that I should not pledge myself even 
if mamma had not warned me against it. But 
I will write to you, and if I find out that — that 
I really do not like you well enough, and that it 
would not be a good thing for you or for me, 
I will tell you so, and you must not be angry. 
Keep always friends with me, as I would if you 
changed your mind about me." 

" I want to go to church with you to-morrow, 
Amy, because as you say we are both young 
and perhaps we do not know what is best for us ; 
but let us pray to Him who knows all hearts and 
all desires that if He sees fit that we should travel 
together for our allotted time on earth. He would 
so guide and overrule all things that we may meet 
again, dearer if possible to each other than you 
are to me now ; and if not, that He may send His 
blessing on our separate ways, and keep our 
hearts always friendly with each other. I will 
go to whatever church you wish. Amy ; but that 
is to be the spirit of our prayers." 

" Oh, Allan ! you are right, you are quite right, 
you are really far better and wiser than I am, but 
every one is trying to spoil me," 

" In case that matters should tuni out as I 
wish, is there anything I can do, anything I can 
learn, that would make me more acceptable 
to your great relations and more worthy of you?" 



48 THE author's daughter. 

" I don't know, I don't think so. I think you 
are clever enough ; I see nobody so intelligent or 
so well informed at the Adelaide parties; but 
then," said Amy, saucily, " I had the forming of 
your mind myself and of course it is perfectly 
done." 

" We hear so much about the progress of educa- 
tion in England. Poor Louis Hammond has got 
plucked as they call it, and he is not a dunce 
either, though Mr. Prince says he hated languages 
and mathematics, and that's all these dons care 
for. Mr. Prince said I could learn anything if I 
tried — might perhaps have been senior wrangler 
if I had the chance. Would that have made me 
more on a level with your brother ? " 

" With my father it might, but I do not know 
about Anthony; but of what use would your 
being senior wrangler make you at Branxholm, 
or the new station of Billabong, that your father 
is so hopeful of? I think you had better go on 
as you are doing. If I were to tell a university 
man of your accomplishments he might admire 
you as much as you admire a senior wrangler." 

Allan was pleased and yet doubtful Amy 
might think so now, but when she was in another 
country where all things which he took a pride 
in doing and in doing well were considered to be 
menial and mechanical, only fit for uneducated. 



PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE. 49 

unthinking people, she might change her respect 
for them into contempt. She saw how much of 
the comfort of the family at Branxholm depended 
on Allan's skill and Allan's forethought, but in 
England these things are done no one knows how, 
or when, or by whom. 

Still, it was somewhat like old times to spend 
that Saturday evening at uncle Robert's. The 
Adelaide family of the Lindsays were inferior in 
many ways to that at Branxholm, but they were 
good-natured and good-tempered, and two of the 
girls were decidedly pretty. Nobody had been 
asked to meet Amy there ; of all the evenings 
spent in Adelaide this was the one to which Amy's 
thoughts ofbenest reverted. 

Amy chose to go to the English church to hear 
the familiar service, which rather confused and 
embarrassed her companion. But still he kept 
his purpose and prayed his own mental prayer, 
and felt that he was bound to Amy by a sort of 
sacrament which God would surely bless. 

Though it was not necessary that any one 
should go with Amy but Mr. Orme and Mr. 
Banim, who would introduce her and commend 
her to the especial care of the captain of the 
branch mail steamer, Allan was not to be cheated 
of the last look at her. He took his place with 
Isabel in the boat which took ofl* the mails from 

VOL. II. 4 



50 THE author's daughter. 

the Glenelg Jetty. How much love and how 
much loyalty was in that large heart and brain ! 
Was it all to be thrown back on himself? Would 
the impression, such as it was, which he had made 
on Amy Staimton's heart be altogether erased in 
a few years spent in other scenes and with other 
companions ? 



CHAPTER III. 

THE VOYAGE AND LANDING. 

Unfortunately there were no passengers from 
Adelaide to King George's Sound except Amy, so 
that she had only the society of the captain, the 
mail agent, and stewardess for the five days of 
the first part of the long voyage. They were all 
as polite and attentive to the young lady as pos- 
sible, but she was very sick and felt very solitary 
in spite of their attentions; and she was not 
quite sure that she had done right in leaving 
Branxholm and poor dear Allan, whose sad and 
affectionate " Good-bye, dearest Amy, may God 
bless you," rang in her ears long after all the 
little compliments she had received at Adelaide 
had subsided to nothing. 

Miss Staunton's history and Miss Staunton's 
beauty had won upon the commander of the 
branch steamer, and he recommended her very 
particularly to the care of the captain of the 

4—2 



52 THE author's daughter. 

ocean steamer, which was met at King Gteorge's 
Sound, and wished her a pleasant voyage and a 
happy meeting with her relatives. So the last 
tie with South Australia was snapped and she 
was now fairly amongst strangers. She had 
recollections far from pleasant of her outward 
voyage, in an indifferent ship with a discourteous 
captain and disagreeable fellow passengers; and 
was a little dismayed to find that she must share 
the cabin of an absolute stranger as far as Galle, 
and probably for the whole voyage. But the 
companion turned out to be a young girl, rather 
younger than herself, Sydney-bom, whose mother 
had been dead for some years, and who was going 
to England with her papa, partly for pleasure and 
partly for educational advantages. Mr. Porter 
was a pleasant-mannered, good-natured old gen- 
tleman, who had been successful as a Sydney 
merchant, and who thought his health would be 
the better for a holiday. 

Amy grew rather fond of Leonora Porter, and 
found the voyage more agreeable as it went on, 
and she became acquainted with her fellow pas- 
sengers. Although Leonora was young she had 
had some experience in love affairs, and perhaps 
that was one reason why her father had taken 
her home, to delay her marrying and settling. 
There had been nothing serious, but there might 



THE VOTAQE AND LANDINQ. 53 

have been if not checked in the bud. Leonora's 
confidence was fully given to Amy, and she 
thought Amy was close to tell her nothing in 
return; but Allan's attachment was too serious 
to be talked of lightly. 

At Oalle the passengers had one day to see the 
wonderful tropical vegetation and cultivation, so 
different from that of Australia — ^where coolie 
labour works for European capital ; and then the 
Australian passengers were transhipped into a 
still larger steamer, where all those from various 
parts of India and from CShina were to be their 
companions for the rest of the way. Leonora 
Porter was surprised and annoyed to see that the 
Lidians keep rather aloof from the Australians, 
as if they considered themselves to be of a diffe- 
rent grade. She and her father had held the 
first rank in New South Wales, and she expected 
to meet with consideration everywhere, and 
especially in a steamer. The old Sydney settlers, 
when they have kept dear of any intermixture 
with convicts, are the most aristocratic in feeling 
of all the Australian colonists, for, wherever there 
is a class essentially and irretrievably lower than 
another in a community, the caste feeling of the 
superior class will be strong. Whether the in- 
ferior class consists of slaves, as in America, or of 
an inferior race, as in India, or of convicts, as in 



54 THE AUTHOB'S DAUGHTEE. 

New South Wales and Tasmania, there is a degree 
of exclusiveness and self-assertion among the 

tocracy of India feel suspicious of the aristocracy 
of New South Wales, and indeed look down on 
Australians generally, and the Anglo-Indians on 
board the P. and O. steamers like to show off a 
little, so that though Mr. Porter from Sydney, 
Mr. Harding from Melbourne, and Mr. Warren 
f5rom Hobart Town were more intelligent, 
wealthier, and much better mannered, to inferiors 
at least, than the officers and civilians from the 
Indian Presidencies, they did not receive either 
from captains or officers or stewards the attention 
and consideration which was freely given to the 
Anglo-Indians. 

Leonora Porter and Amy Staunton were, how- 
ever, the only ladies on board, although there 
were many young married women going home to 
England to recruit their health after a few years 
of married life. They looked elegant, though 
worn and thin and sallow; whereas the Aus- 
tralian girls were in the bloom of youth, and had 
a degree of animation and readiness in conversa- 
tion which their invalid fellow passengers might 
despise but could not rival, and even the heat 
never seemed to make them languid or out of 
humour. 



THE VOYAGE AND LANDING. 55 

Leonora Porter fought many a hard battle for 
her country with the Anglo-Indians. Amy was 
not Australian-bom, like her, and could not be 
expected to be so enthusiastic; but Leonora 
would not allow that there was any imperfection 
to be seen in New South Wales. The glorious 
harbour, the beautiful Gk)vemment Domain, the 
lovely Botanic Gardens, the princely city of 
Sydney, the delightful society, the boating parties, 
the picnics, the excursions, the parties, and balls 
were all extolled with the enthusiasm of a girl 
who spoke of her home. Whether Sydney was 
so much preferable to the Indian cities in which 
the other ladies had spent some years. Amy was 
not quite sure, but there was not the same at- 
tachment on their side. They never had had any 
idea of living their lives there ; and, though their 
marriages might have been happy, they had not 
been domesticated in their foreign home as Amy 
had been at Branxholm. 

It was a new life to Amy, and she hoped it 
was a good preparation for what was before her. 
Idleness was the rule .for all; nobody seemed to 
need to make the least exertion, and they appeai'ed 
to have forgotten how to do it. The duties of 
the toilet were the most sacred, and the elaborate 
dressing every day for dinner was a business that 
killed some time and. improved Amy's taste in 



56 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

setting herself off. The Indian ladies had maids 
to assist in this important work, but they had no 
objection to criticise the Australian girls who 
helped each other. There was no needlework to 
be seen in a lady's hand, no, not the slightest 
description of fancy work even ; cards and chess 
and a very light kind of reading, with conversa- 
tion to match, filled up the time that was not 
spent over the numerous meals in a well ap- 
pointed steamer. It seemed an objectless existence 
after the busy active helpful life she had led at 
the Lindsays'. She was too young to regret it 
much, but she missed something. On going to 
bed at night she coidd not think of anything she 
had done for any one, or any one had done for 
her except what had been done by the stewards 
and stewardesses, the people who were paid or ex- 
pected to be paid for it. The many kind offices 
that the membera of an affectionate family can 
do for each other, or for people outside of their 
family, are unknown in such places as first-class 
passenger ships and in the hotel-life in America ; 
and it is one of the greatest drawbacks to their 
pleasantness and their usefulness. Even the 
children on board, who were sent to England for 
health and education, were so assiduously waited 
on and indulged by the native servants in charge 
of them, that there was little room for any ser- 



THE VOYAGE AND LANDING. 57 

vices from their fellow passengers, and the poor 
little things had been so much spoiled and pam- 
pered by indulgent parents and numerous ob- 
sequious attendants that they were not nearly so 
charming as children of their age ought to be. 

" Well," said Miss Porter one day to Captain 
Halcombe, with whom she had her most frequent 
skirmishes, combined with a little flirtation, 
" you may look down on Australia as you please, 
but we can live in it, which you cannot do in 
India. Our heat does not kill us, and Sydney 
people are not obliged to send their children away 
from them to save their lives." 

" Are not they ?" said Captain Halcombe, with 
the intense ignorance on general subjects common 
among second or third rate military men, whose 
lives have been spent in India, " I thought they 
were ; at least I have heard it is a beastly cli- 
mate — ^hot enough for anything — ^that you had in 
Australia." 

" Miss Staimton comes from the hottest settled 
part of Australia, and you see there is no child 
sent fix)m it, or from any of the Australian ports," 
said Leonora. 

" Miss Staimton is English and not colonial," 
said Captain Halcombe. 

" But you see there is nobody going home ill 
fi-om our colonies," said Leonora triumphantly. 



i 



58 THE author's daughter. 

" Oh ! you will send your sick people round the 
long voyage. The poor wretches cannot aflFord 
taking the P. and 0. steamers, so they get lots of 
sailing for their money." 

" Indeed !" said Leonora, who was just a little 
purse-proud, for her father was reputed wealthy 
and she was an only child. "You may pique 
yourselves on your gentility as much as you 
please; but as to fortune-making, the day for 
that is over in India. It is to Australia that 
people come to make money." 

"With shovels and pickaxes, that is how all 
you Australians make money; not our way," 
said Captain Halcombe. 

"How often have I told you that there is 
comparatively little gold-digging in my colony 
now-a-days, and in Miss Staimton's I don't think 
there ever was any. And besides, whoever heard 
of gold diggers realizing fortunes. Mr. Harding 
comes from the gold-fields colony, but I really 
don't think you know the difference between one 
Australian province and another." 

" Indeed I do not. I don't like to burden my 
memory with such unimportant details as these. 
We know that there are several Australian 
colonies, and that there are convicts and sheep 
and gold-diggings in them, but we leave you 



THE VOYAGE AND LANDING. 59 

to settle the division of these things for your- 
selves." 

"Don't you say that you have influence in 
Downing-street, and that you think you may 
receive a colonial appointment when you reach 
England V said Mr. Harding. 

" Yes ; my uncle, Sir William, is in office, and 
I was always a prime favourite of his. I don't 
say that I object to Australia, provided the ap- 
pointment is a good one." 

" I see you are qualifying for a good thing in 
the colonies," said Mr. Harding drily ; " but 
perhaps among other unimportant details you 
may have overlooked the fact that the colonies 
make their own appointments." 

" All of them 1" said Captain Halcombe. 

" All except those of Gk)vemors." 

"Oh! I knew there was something to be 
had." 

"Perhaps our little place might suit you?" 
said Mr. Harding. 

" Is it a good thing T 

" Pretty tidy, and we are very fond of military 
men," said Mr. Harding. 

"There is nothing like a military man for 
such a post," said Captain Halcombe, drawing 
up his tall thin figure. "A man ought to 
have been accustomed to command in order 



60 THE author's daughter, 

to take the place of Her Majesty in those 
colonies." 

" Pardon me," said Mr. Harding, " the govern- 
ments of all the Australian colonies are now- 
constitutional, and the less the Governor com- 
mands the better." 

''But there is an air, a prestige, about a 
military or naval officer which no civilian can 
possess. All points of precedence, all matters of 
etiquette, such men can settle by intuition, par- 
ticularly if they have been in the Indian service. 
I flatter myself that not even in the British 
Court is there a more thorough understanding of 
such subjects than we have in Calcutta." 

"Your thorough understandings seem, however, 
to result in frequent misunderstandings. Captain 
Halcombe," said Mr. Harding. "AU the im- 
pleasant differences and quarrels we have had 
on board have been on these points of precedence, 
questions which personally I hold very cheap. 
We are all here on a footing of equality ; age or 
convenience ought to settle who should have a 
place of especial honour or comfort The P. and 
O. Company charge a handsome sum for each of 
us ; in a business point of view the passengers 
who take the longest and most expensive voyage 
should have the preference, but I should set that 
aside and only require to have equal justice, 



THE VOYAGE AND LAKDIKO. 61 

which I think Australians scarcely obtain in 
these steamers. Why military men should take 
the precedence of civilians, and civilians over 
merchants and landowners ; why my friend Mr. 
Warren, from Tasmaoia, with his white head 
and his sixty-five honourable years, should be 
made to defer to any ignorant young captain 
in the Indian army, is a question which 
you may be able to answer, but I cannot. 
Judging the matter ratiomdly and dispassion- 
ately '' 

"My good Sir," said Halcombe, condescend- 
ingly, " that is where it is ; you civilian mer- 
cantile colonists want to judge these things 
rationally and dispassionately. We never think 
of reasoning on them at all. We have a certain 
routine and certain rules for precedence, and we 
stick by them, for if we did not there would be 
no end of a row in every Government-House in 
India. And for your Australian little places 
I say there is an enormous advantage in having 
a man who is up to these things. He never 
blimders and nobocly can take anything amiss 
that he does." 

"Indeed," said Harding; "I am delighted to 
hear of such satisfisw5tory infallibility. It must 
be so very comfortable for all parties." 

" Indeed it is," said the captain, not perceiv- 



62 THE author's daughter. 

ing that the other was making fun of him; 
"and military men are liked, you say. I am 
glad to hear you fellows have such good judg- 
ment." 

" I'd be very glad to give you my good word 
in case a colonist's was of any avail to back up 
your Downing-street interest. I am very well 
known in my little place — ^have been in the 
House for some years." 

"Indeed," said Captain Halcombe, "what 
House?' 

" The House of Assembly, our Parliament." 

" Oh ! yes, of course, yes ; I could see you were 
that sort of fellow — ^I suppose you can speak and 
all that sort of thing 1" 

"A little in that way; but in case anything 
should turn up in Downing-street don't forget 
the address. Melbourne is the name of the 
chief town of our little place. 

" Oh yes ; Melbourne in South Australia, is it 
not ?" 

"Very near it; a very good guess for an 
embryo governor," said Mr. Harding. "Mel- 
bourne is the capital of the colony of Victoria, 
so called in honour of our most gracious sovereign. 
It was foimded when Lord Melbourne was Prime 
Minister, so we honoured him by naming the 
future capital of Australasia " 



THE VOYAGE AND LANDING. 63 

" Oh no ! Sydney will always be the capital," 
interrupted Miss Porter. 

" But there are a lot of Victorias surely," said 
Halcombe, doubtfully. "I have heard of one 
that I don't think was in Australia." 

" Oh ! you will know this from the others on 
account of the gold that is in it, and by the chief 
town being Melbourne. I should advise you to 
write down the names together in your note- 
book, if you keep such a thing," said Mr. 
Harding, taking out his own, and gravely 
making a memorandum. " I find this a valuable 
assistance to a memory that is singularly te- 
nacious of some things, but treacherous with 
regard to others." 

" It is just the same with me," said Captain 
Halcombe; "I really ought to keep a note- 
book." 

" Will you allow me to present you with one 1 
I have a very nice one at your service, like my 
own, bound in calf and gilt ; but, unlike my own, 
it is not lettered." 

"Oh! that makes no dilTerence. I shall be 
much obliged to you for it, and I certainly will 
enter those little facts of yours as soon as I can — 
but here is the pleasantest sound we hear in the 
day, the dinner belL How useful this note-book 
of yours will be to confront the stewards with 



64 THE author's daughter. 

when they assert that they have varied our bill 
of fare. I shall keep a register of all our meals 
on board for the future. It is a glorious idea. 
I owe you one for the idea." 

Leonora Porter saw the joke, and it had the 
effect on her which shrewd Mr. Harding had 
intended. Captain Halcombe had been too at- 
tentive and Mr. Porter too unsuspicious. In all 
their little squabbles, the young officer had 
generally wound up the discussion with a con- 
cluding compliment which Leonora had received 
graciously. He was tall, thin, and sallow, but 
had a irood carriage and what is called a fi:entle- 
nuudy ^Lance and he paraded his ritions 
in England as well as his importance in fashion- 
able circles in Calcutta so as to impress the 
Sydney girl with a favourable idea of his birth 
and breeding. Mr. Harding had crossed the 
ocean several times, and he knew an exclusive 
preference for one person's society over that of 
others is dangerous, although the result seems to 
be only quarrelling and squabbling. Mr. Porter's 
heiress would be a very good catch for an ex- 
travagant and self-indulgent captain in the 
Indian army, even though he had some influence 
in Downing-street. In these days of competitive 
examinations luid pubUcity given to the abuse of 
patronage, a man of Captain Halcombe's capacity 



THE VOYAGE AND LANDING. 05 

or incapacity could not be pushed forward 
much. 

This little scene, in which he had allowed 
himself to be quizzed without discovery and 
without resentment, showed Leonora the real 
inferiority of his understanding, and his igno- 
lunce not only of colonial matters, which miglit 
be pardoned, but of other matters more important 
to himself. How often an adroit friend can sei-ve 
a girl more by turning the conversation so as to 
make her admirer show her his character, than 
by advice or warning. The discovery is then 
her own, and though it may be unpalatable, it 
is swallowed, which a friend's warnings and 
descriptions and analyses of the character very 
rarely are. 

There was another stoppage at Aden, and then 
our friends sailed up the Eed Sea; as it was 
during winter the passage was not insupportably 
hot. Amy felt it incongruous to go across the 
wonderful country of Egypt, so associated in the 
mind with ancient history and legend, by a 
modem railway, but the Australians and Indians 
looked on it as a matter of course, and scarcely 
made a remark on the subject. As they drew 
nearer and nearer to the shores of England, Amy 
grew painfully anxious as to how her brother 
would receive her, and how she could possibly 

VOL. IL 5 



66 THE author's daughter. 

come up to his apparently high expectations. 
During the first part of the voyage, after she had 
learned to like Miss Porter and her father, she 
had rested in the present and tried not to fret 
about what was yet to come, but when she came 
in sight of England, which she had left four 
years before, her heart beat thick and fast. Mr. 
Porter very kindly promised to stay with her at 
Southampton till she could hear from her brother 
or make arrangements for going to Stanmore, 
although he himself wished to go to London at 
once. The telegraphic despatch was sent and 
answered ; Anthony would come at once to take 
his sister home, and she had nothing to do but 
sit and expect him. 

While Amy had been full of doubts and 
anxieties, Anthony had been constantly assuring 
himself that he had done right. His aunt's and 
sister's doubts had only the effect of convincing 
him that there was no sympathy to be got from 
them. Edith was independent ; Edith was, com- 
paratively speaking, old, and had neither the 
love nor the deference for him which he knew 
he should receive from this sweet young sister 
who would owe everjrthing to him. He felt 
that her letters were simple and grateful, and he 
was sure that personal acquaintance would only 
enhance her sense of all that he had done, and 



THE VQYAGE AND LANDING. 67 

would do for her. He was not imaginative, but 
still he rehearsed little scenes in which she would 
falter out her grateful thanks ; — in which he 
would surprise her with costly gifts, which she 
could not imagine were for her; and in which 
her cleverness and readiness would aid him in 
keeping Edith in her proper place. 

Even with an exchange of photographs as a 
preparation, at first sight a stranger looks like a 
stranger. Both brother and sister had idealised 
really good likenesses, till, on both sides, there 
was a shade of disappointment at the reality. 
Anthony looked darker and heavier and more 
clumsy than his sister had fancied ; and on this 
bleak day in the English spring, after a voyage 
in hot latitudes. Amy was not looking her best, 
and hers was a style of beauty more winning 
than striking. He had expected nothing less 
than perfection from Mrs. George Copeland's de- 
scription and from his Own prepossessions ; and he 
could not help seeing that Amy was slightly 
freckled and sunburnt, all the effect of those four 
years in so hot a country, and so much exposure 
to all weathers. 

Still she was handsome, and, when she had 
full justice in the matter of dress, would eclipse 
Edith anywhere (of course the outfit on which 

6—2 



68 THE author's daughter, 

so much money and thought had been spent in 
Adelaide, and which had been satisfactory in the 
steamers> was antediluvian and inadmissible in 
England), Amy wa» scarcely of middle height, 
while her brother and sister were talL Anthony 
was nearly as tall as Allan Lindsay, but his figure 
was not so symmetrical, and though he had 
more acquired elegance of gait, he had not the 
easy strength of the young Scotchman, 

How strange a meeting is between a brother 
and sister who have grown up separately under 
widely different influences. A timidity unknown 
to Amy for many years, crept over her when she 
heard and answered the numerous questions 
which her brother put to her ; all on recent sub- 
jects — all only with regard to the time which 
had elapsed since he had communicated with 
her — ^her voyage, her fellow passengers, her 
money matters. The seventeen years which she 
had passed before evidently had no interest to 
him — it was really to be a new life to her. 

She felt embarrassed as to how Anthony ex- 
pected her to speak of him ; was there to be the 
same limitation of their intercourse with regard 
to his past life ? But she had not been long in 
his company before she knew that it was only 
on her side that life was to be regarded as 
having begun last October, and that there was 



THE VOYAGE AND LANDING. 69 

no part of his previous history that he did not 
expect to be interesting to his sister. 

As Anthony haxi enquired about fellow passen- 
gers, she asked leave to introduce the Porters to 
him, as they had shown her great kindness on 
the voyage. 

" Who are they f ' asked Anthony, with a little 
suspicion in his tone. 

" Mr. Porter is a Sydney merchant, and a very 
pleasant, kind old gentleman, and Leonora and I 
have been great friends all .the voyage." 

"You seem to have a knack of picking up 
great friends. Amy— of course I must be intro- 
duced to these people, but I don't want you to 
keep up any intimacy with Australians Of 
course, during a voyage there is no help for it, 
you are forced to have these people's company 
whether you wiU or not ; but it is an under- 
stood thing that unless a young lady's guardians 
approve of the acquaintance, it is dropped on 
landing." 

"But they have been so kind, and Leo- 
nora ^" 

" Oh ! yes, I understand all that. I suppose 
you would be grateful to any one who passed a 
plate or said good morning to you goodnaturedly. 
But Edith is strongly prejudiced against Aus- 
tralia, and I think that it wiU be necessary to 



70 THE author's daughter. 

drop these people. I don't think any the worse 
of my little sister for these marks of an affec- 
tionate dispositicm; indeed I think it very 
charming; but you owe something to Edith's 
prejudices and my wishes." 

•* I thought — ^I mean I wished that my sister 
could have accompanied you, but I suppose I 
was unreasonable/' said Amy. 

"You see, Edith is of rather a peculiar tem- 
per, and is not so favourably disposed towards 
you as I am. She ia somewhat uneasy at your 
Jiaving mixed so long with those vulgar people 
who have also been kind to you in their way, 
and she is afraid you may have imbibed their 
mannei's, so that new Australian friendships and 
acquaintances would prejudice her still more. I 
do not at all despair of you — although you have 
picked up the Scotch accent more strongly than 
I could have expected you to do in four years, 
and may have a few other gaucheries. You will 
soon shake off these things when you are habi- 
tually in really good society. As for your defec- 
tive education, we must see what we can do to 
remedy it, although those precious years have 
been wasted. I wish something could be done 
with your dress before you left Southampton, but 
I suppose you must go as you are. Edith and 
my aunt are rather critical in these matters, and 



THE VOYAGE AND LANDING. 71 

may pronounce you as antediluvian as our rector's 
lady did Mrs. George Copeland on her first ap- 
pearance at church." 

" Is Miss Derrick at Stanmore V said Amy, 
who felt that the ordeal wa» going to be severe. 

" Oil ! yes, she always stayed with us in my 
grandfather's time, and though she sometimes 
talks of taking up her abode in a separate esta- 
blishment with her favourite Edith, I fancy that 
there are advantages in living at Stanmore as the 
head of my establishment that she does not care 
to forego." 

" I suppose it is a beautiful place ; indeed I 
know it is." 

" There is none finer in the country," said An- 
thony, with enthusiasm, for this was the most 
felicitous remark that Amy had made. " And, of 
course, in a pecuniary point of view it is a good 
arrangement for them to live in my house and 
have the use of my carriages, horses, and servants. 
But, as is natural and proper, I still like to be 
master in my own house, and invite whom I 
please to it ; and I have been hurt at the man- 
ner in which both my aunt and Edith have be- 
haved with regard to you. My aunt is naturally 
partial to her side of the house, and thinks that 
our poor mother behaved very badly with regard 
to the second marriage. In fact it is only of late 



\ 



72 THE author's daughter. 

years that I have been told of my mother's ex- 
istence, for my childish idea was that she was 
dead when she left us. It is a sore subject with 
the Derricks. I have overlooked it, because it is 
of course no &ult of yours, but you will see the 
wisdom of not speaking to Miss Derrick or to 
Edith of your father, or your mother either, un- 
less in answer to any question they may put to 
you. I am sorry to say that it will be neces- 
sary for you to be careful if you wish to be 
comfortable with them." 

" I will try," said Amy, who could not help 
looking back regretfully to the home where she 
never needed to be on her guard. 

" You are a little a&aid, Amy," said Anthony, 
" but I will stand up for you. I do not want you 
to give up any of your rights in their favour ; 
and after all if you satisfy me, which I am suie 
you will try to do, that is the important point." 

" Do you ever see Darlington Castle ?" asked 
Amy. 

" No, I have not been there yet. The earl 
has been very cool to us, and, although I have 
met him at Lady Gower's, I cannot say that I 
get on with him." 

" Does your grandaunt, Lady Gower, know of 
your invitation to me T asked Amy. 

" Yes ; and, like all our friends, disapproves of 



THE VOYAGE AND LANDING. 73 

it, in spite of the Darlington countenance which 
she acknowledges that you have. I want you to 
come out with success to justify my precipitation. 
I felt there was no time to be lost, and that it 
should be done at once." 

Anthony submitted to be introduced to the 
Porters, and thanked the old gentleman formally 
for his kind protection of his little sister, and then 
hurried Amy away to take the first train. Her 
eyes were full of tears as she bade good-bye to 
Leonora, who promised to write to her from 
London, and hoped to hear all about that beauti- 
ful country house of Stanmore. Anthony thought 
the Porters were desirous of getting into good 
county society by means of Amy and took a 
dislike to them. He had no wish to be fore- 
staUed in her affections by any girlish frien«J8hip. 
Amy had no family connections in the world 
but himself who cared about her ; her Australian 
friendships were all put aside, and done with, 
and he looked on her heart as a blank piece of 
sensitive paper, ready to be impressed with his 
image, and his image alone. 

During the long railway journey Anthony 
had little to say, and Amy shrunk into the cor- 
ner of the carriage and weighed all the difficul- 
ties of her position. The only comfort she could 
find was in the thought that Allan would not 



7^ TllK AUTHORS DAUGHTEIt 

lN^ Hiirry tr» hear that her path was not all of 
n»scs; and the only pleatsure she could look for- 
wanl to with any confidence was a visit to Jessie^ 
to see her and her baby.'* 



■; 
/ 



CHAPTER IV. 

HOME AT STANMORE. 

Anthony Derrick expected his sister Amy to be 
very much impressed with the beauty and mag- 
nificence of Stanmore, which was a large hand- 
some modem mansion. Mr. Derrick had spared 
no expense in laying out the extensive pleasure 
grounds, and, although he had no great taste in 
these things, he had availed himself of the taste 
and skill of others ; and lawns and terraces and 
clumps of wood and artificial lakes and rockeries 
gave a variety to what was originally a flat and 
bare piece of ground, and also had the effect of 
making a hundred acres look like two hundred. 
Amy did admire rural England exceedingly, of 
which she had now almost the first sight. The 
three miles' ride in an open carriage from the 
station to Stanmore gave her the idea that it 
would it be all very beautiful in two or three 
months, but at present the bleak east wind 



76 THE author's daughter. 

whistled through leafless trees, and, though 
the little grass that was to be seen was green, 
it was not the time of the year for the enthusi- 
astic admiration which Anthony expected, and 
which, some weeks later, Amy expressed. He 
was not aware how her thoughts had been tra- 
velling to Branxholm during her journey, and 
how she was mentally writing to Allan, so he 
was surprised when, after having bestowed in- 
sufficient praise on the mansion and grounds, she 
pointed to a plain substantial farm-house about 
three-quarters of a mile from Stanmore, and 
asked eagerly if that was not Millmount: 

Anthony was disappointed, naturally disap- 
pointed, that his new-found sister should not 
have her whole eyes and thoughts engrossed by 
his generosity and his importance ; and it was 
still more vexatious that her curiosity was turned 
to the very people whom he was determined she 
should forget. Amy saw the expression of his 
countenance, and partly read it. 

" Millmount is one of ymir farms, is it not ?" 
The cloud cleared away a little. 

" Yes, it is ; but not the largest or the finest on 
the estate. That is it, rather too near the Hall 
for the view, but the drawing-room looks to the 
south, and so do the principal rooms, so it is less 
matter. The Copelands are very decent people in 



HOME AT STANMORE. 77 

their way ; they are never behind in their rent, 
and that is the main thing with one's tenantry. 
But here we are, Amy," said Anthony, as the car- 
riage stopped at the end of a beautiful avenue of 
lime-trees ; " this is your home." 

There was no one of the family at the door to 
meet them on their arrival, though the carriage 
had been sent to the station, and they must have 
been expected to arrive at that time. Amy had 
to undergo the unfamiliar gaze of liveried servants 
who opened the drawing-room door for her, and 
announced her by name, while Anthony stayed to 
give some directions as to her luggage. 

Edith Derrick rose when she saw Amy standing 
timidly at the door, went forward to meet her, 
and kissed her, but the kiss was cold and indiffe- 
rent; her aunt Anne contented herself with 
shaking hands as coldly with the new comer, 
and asked her to sit by the fire, as no doubt 
she was half frozen with this long journey on 
such a wretched day. 

" I should like to take off my wrappings first," 
said Amy, who really wished to get out of the 
room. 

" I will ring for Parkes, the maid my brother 
has engaged to wait upon you, to assist you with 
your toilet," said Edith. " I believe she will do, 
at least my Wilson says she thinks so." 



78 THE author's daughter. 

To have a maid engaged for herself exclusively 
was certainly very kind, but when Amy had been 
conducted to the spacious and elegant bedroom 
by this smart young woman, all the grandeur of 
her position could not reconcile her to the idea 
that she was imwelcome to her sister, and that it 
was very doubtful indeed if Edith would ever 
learn to like her. If Parkes saw her yoimg mis- 
tress's agitation, she took no notice of it ; — she 
only said something about the fatigue of a long 
railway journey after a long voyage, and asked 
if Miss Staunton had suffered from sea-sickness 
much, which seems to be the only idea which 
inland country people have on the subject of 
voyages. In a minute she opened the trunk 
and selected the dress for her young mistress, 
excused its being a little out of date on accotmt 
of the distance and the wild sort of country that 
it had been brought from, and modified it slightly 
with one or two touches to make it look more 
modem, dressed her hair in the most approved 
fashion, and was satisfied with her success. Amy 
cotdd not help being surprised at the style that 
had been given to her, and Parkes took stock of 
her young lady's capabilities as a lay figure, and 
convinced herself that there would be no diffi- 
culty in dressing her to look much better than 



HOME AT STANMORE. 79 

Mis8 Derrick, and cutting Wilson out, although 
she gave herself such airs. 

It would have been pleasantor if a sister's liand 
had relieved her of her heavy cloak, and a sister's 
eyes and taste had directed the operations, but 
still if that was denied, it was perhaps tran- 
quillizing to have this long toilet performed 
by an absolute stranger, to whom it was not 
necessary to speak much, and whom it was of 
comparatively little importance whether she 
pleased or not. The dinner -gong sounded as 
the toilet was complete, and Amy went back to 
the drawing - room as timidly as on her first 
entrance. 

Her brother was pleased with her appearance. 
Farkes had modernized her and improved her, 
and justified his selection of a maid ; he took 
her in his arms and welcomed her to Stanmore 
Hall, and pointed out to her notice several pretty 
things in the room. He took her arm, led her 
into the dining-room, and placed her at his right 
hand. Amy was at first glad to see that there 
was no stranger, and afterwards rather sorry, for 
any one would have been easier to talk to than 
tlie tliree persons on whom her future comfort 
and happiness were to depend. She felt embar- 
rassed by the presence of the grave domestics, 
and the solemn state of this quiet family dinner, 



80 THE author's daughter. 

which seemed as if it would never be done. 
Amy sat opposite to her sister, who watched 
her so that she felt nervous and awkward. It is 
not to be supposed that she had faultless conven- 
tional manners, although at Branxholm they had 
appeared to be perfection. Had it not been for 
experiences in Adelaide, and on board the P. and 
O. steamers, she would have been more ignorant 
and awkward still amidst the formalities of En- 
glish dinner etiquette ; but on the present occa- 
sion she was so painfully anxious not to make 
blunders and not to offend, that Edith and her 
aunt cotdd not but observe her want of confidence 
and repose. 

Anthony thought he ought to speak to Amy, 
and markedly to take notice of her, as he was 
piqued at the coldness of the others, and saw 
that his half-hour's appeal and remonstrance with 
them before dinner had been disregarded alto- 
gether. But there were few subjects on which 
he could talk to his sister. Personal matters 
were too ticklish ground, and general subjects 
seemed out of place, so that conversation was 
very languidly kept up between them, and 
Edith and her aunt talked exclusively to each 
other. 

Amy was tired of the protracted dinner, and 
yet sorry when it was over and she was obliged 



HOME AT STANMORE. 81 

to accompany the ladies to the drawing-room 
without her brother's kind protecting care. 

" Do you play, Amy V asked Edith when they 
reached the drawing-room. 

« A little," said Amy. 

" What teacher had you ?" 

'' Mamma taught me first until she grew too 
weak, and then I had lessons from Mrs. Partridge 
in London. I never had any lessons in Austra- 
lia." 

" Will you sit down and let us liear what you 
can do V 

" I will try, but do not expect much," said Amy, 
who knew that though her playing had been 
thought splendid at Branxholm slie had now 
more critical ears to satisfy. She had natural 
good taste, and a connect ear, and a fine touch, 
but tliis did not satisfy Edith. 

" Nothing goes down now but classical music ; 
you want the ground to be gone over again." 

"Miss Staunton's playing is very like Lady 
Eveline's. That surely is one of her pieces you 
played last," said Miss Derrick. 

"I know it is very old-fashioned," said 
Edith. 

" I am sorry I know very little that is newei\ 
I have scarcely had any music but what mamma 
played." 

VOL. II. G 



82 THE author's daughter. 

" You do not want for talent," said Miss Der- 
rick, "though you have not the execution nor 
have you had the thorough grounding that 
Edith has had; but so many years have been 
lost." 

" Do you draw V asked Edith. 

" Not at alL I was to have learned ; Mr. Hub- 
bard was going to teach me, but when we left 
England I lost that opportunity." 

" Do you speak French ?" 

" Not very well. I understand it pretty well." 

« Italian V 

" I know a little Italian." 

" German T 

"I have read Lessing's Fables on board ship 
going out, but I could not go on by myself" 

" Oh dear ! and I suppose you are eighteen T 

" No, not quite so old ; only seventeen and a 
halt" said Amy. 

" A sad pity, is it not ? Should you not like 
to make up for lost time, and prosecute some of 
those branches ?" said Edith. 

" Oh yes, very much indeed," said Amy, who 
felt greatly at a discount. How presumptuous it 
had been in her to accept the post of governess — 
of salaried governess — ^in honest Hugh Lindsay's 
household ! " I should like to learn everything 
more thoroughly, but indeed I should not have 



HOME AT STANMORE. 83 

been so backward if I could have gone on, for I 
waa leaxmng so fast when " 

Here Amy stopped, for she had been told not 
to say anything about her papa, and at the re- 
collection of him, and of the sad day when she 
lost him, and her utter desolation when she sat 
by his body, Mrs. Hammond*s cold contemptuous 
looks and expressions returned to her, and she 
felt that both her sister and Miss Derrick were of 
the same class. 

Tliere were some beautiful drawing-room books 
on the table, there were portfolios of engravings, 
and pictures on the walls, and statuettes and 
ornaments of various descriptions profusely scat- 
tered over the mantel-shelves and occasional 
tables. Any one who had tact and feeling would 
have talked to the poor girl on these subjects, 
and discovered by her remarks and her questions 
what capacity she had, but these two ladies had 
no feeling for her, and very little tact in their 
dealings with friends or acquaintances, so that 
this first interview was more like the reception of 
a new pupil by a somewhat exacting teacher than 
that of a sister to a new home. Amy shrunk 
from the catechising after a number of point 
blank questions had been asked as to her attain- 
ments, and nervously took up a book, her father's 

6—2 



84 THE authob's daughter. 

favourite Tennyson, beautifully illustrated, and 
began to try to read it. 

" A great reader I suppose V said Edith. 

" No, not a very great reader ; in fact I am not 
great in anything, I only want to creep through 
the world and oflfend nobody." 

" That can scarcely be done if you are to hold 
the position in the world that Anthony expects 
of you. He has such very exalted notions on 
the subject," said Edith. 

"I surely heard some one play — not you, 
Edith," said the person spoken of as he entered 
the room. " I suppose it was you. Amy T 

" Yes, Anthony, I played for a little." 

" I liked it very much," said Anthony, " sit 
down again, and let me hear you." 

The encouragement put fresh vigour into 
Amy's fingers, and she played better than before. 

"This is very fine indeed. Amy. I never 
expected so much fix)m you. It is quite an 
agreeable surprise to find you have so much 
musical taste. Your touch is better than Edith's 
in piano passages, and you are more accurate 
with regard to time. Edith will not condescend 
to pay sufficient attention to that, and it spoils 
her playing to my taste. Don't you like Amy's 
playing, aunt T said Anthony, who really was 
fond of music and understood it. 



HOME AT STANMORE. 85 

" It is very old fashioned," said Miss Derrick. 

''That can be remedied, for the fingers that 
play old music so well will do justice to new. I 
suppose you never touched such an instrument 
before." 

"Never; it is a little stiff, but exquisite in 
tone," said Amy. 

" Erard's best, and not six months old. I chose 
it myself out of twenty." 

"The upright was the better instrument, 
Anthony," said EditL "I cannot think why 
you chose a horizontal, contrary to my opinion 
and to Signor Masuccio's too." 

" I chose one that suits my own taste and my 
own voice," said Anthony. " Do you sing, Amy ?" 

" Not at all, I have never been taught, but I 
should much like to hear you sing and my sister 
play." 

Amy did not like to say "Edith," she could 
not call her " Miss Edith," but this first use of 
the words "my sister" in the sister's presence 
was difficult. 

" Then will you play an accompaniment for me, 
for Edith will not keep time ? I look forward to 
you for this service in future." 

"I fear I may not be able to play accom- 
paniments as you like at sight," said Amy 
timidly. 



86 THE author's daughter. 

"Perhaps not, but if I say, 'play this bar 
slower, or that passage qiiicker,* you will do it, or 
try to do it, which is what Edith will not do. 
She is one of those infallible people who are 
never in the wrong. I hope you are conscious of 
some small failings, Amy," said Anthony in an 
under tone, but one which was distinctly heard 
by the young lady of whom he spoke. 

It was really the case that Amy did not play 
exactly to his liking at first, but she made no 
objection to trying again and again, and every 
fresh trial brought some improvement; still it 
was not so agreeable or so interesting to others as 
to themselves to observe the progress made. 
Amy turned round and saw the expression of 
weariness and impatience on her sister's face. 
" This practising should be kept for the morning," 
said she ; " it is too bad to inflict my blunders on 
such good judges of music." 

" I don't consider that I am a worse judge of 
music than my aunt, or Edith, and I consider 
that last attempt excellent. I wish you could 
sing, I am sure you must have a good voice, and 
your ear is excellent. I must have you taught. 
Don't you think Amy has a very good idea of 
music, aunt ?" 

" She wants a Uttle good instruction," said 
Miss Derrick. 



HOME AT STANMORE. 87 

'* I think it woul<l ]»e a very gf^od thing for 
Amy to go to school fi)r a year or two; there in 
no need to say how oUl she is, she niiglit [nusk for 
sixteen — and Madame Lefevro couKl do some- 
thing for her," said Edith. 

" No, indeed, I am very much obliged to you 
for the proposal. Just when I am congiutulating 
myself on gaining a <Iear little sister, who is dis- 
posed to be a companion to me, you suggest that 
she should be packed off to Madame Lefevre*s, to 
have her natural musical taste destroyed by your 
Signor Masuccio, and her natural mannci's tnins- 
fonned into those of a boarding-school miss. No, 
Amy shall have the best masters at home, but 
she shall not be sent away for her education. 
Besides, Amy, thougli slie may pass for sixteen, 
is really too old to go to school Slie is quite a 
grown-up young lady who very probably has 
taken out her degree in flirtation on board sliij). 
I believe that is a capital place to graduate in. 
Is it, Amy ?" 

" I don't know," said Amy blushing. 

" You must be introduced to our aunt Lady 
Gower after you have had a little touching up, 
and she must introduce you, as she has already 
brought out Edith. We have had a veiy quiet 
time since my grandfather's death, but we may 



were good enough to say I might have." 

" Then when you go to town with us you will 
be in the shade, and there we can get better 
masters than in this coimtry place. We intend 
to go next month." 

*' I shall be so glad to see London again," said 
Amy. 

"There is no place like it after all," said 
Anthony. 

" It is not half so pleasant as Paris," said Edith. 

" Paris is all very well," said Anthony. " I 
should not mind it if there were no Frenchmen in 
it, but I thoroughly dislike the French." 

" And I like them extremely," said Edith. " I 
think their manners are so agreeable." 

" That is one of the few points on which Edith 
and I differ," said Anthony. " You will come to 
a knowledge of several more when you have been 
a week in the house. But, as she is always 
backed up by aunt Anne, I expect you to side 
with me, so as to keep up the balance of power 
in the house." 

" If you have to assent to every absurd propo- 



HOB(£ AT STANMORE. 89 

eition which Anthony makes you will need to do 
it at the sacrifice of your understanding or of 
your sincerity," said Edith, " because he has had 
so little to amuse him lately, that he finds a 
strange pleasure in differing from and contradic- 
ting me. Perhaps singing to Amy's accompani- 
ments, if not absolutely harmonious, may amuse 
you a little more than it amuses me and keep 
you from jangling with every one else in the 
establishment." 

The Derricks had been accustomed to be 
amused by their visitors, and, although Anthony 
would not acknowledge it to Edith, even he felt 
rather disappointed that poor timid little Amy, 
who was not allowed to talk about the things 
that she knew about and was interested in, had 
so little conversation. 

K Allan Lindsay had seen his poor girl in this 
splendid house, and heard Anthony tell her 
before he bade her good night that he was deter- 
mined to give her every advantage, that her 
allowance for dress and pocket money should be 
equal to what Edith drew for that purpose, and 
that she should have her first quarter's money on 
the morrow — a simi which astounded Amy to 
hear mentioned — he would have thought his 
chance of her return to Australia as his wife very 
small ; but if he had also known of the bitter 



would have come out again bright and sti 



CHAPTER V. 

A VISIT TO MILLMOUNT. 

It was an idle life that Anthony and his sister 
led at Stamnore, but yet there was method in 
its idleness. The hours were got through with 
some system and regularity, even though there 
was no great result. There was a part of the 
day for going out, and a part for receiving visi- 
tors, although there were not many visitors in 
the country. 

It would have been evident to Amy, even with- 
out Anthony's remarks, that there were to be 
two parties in the house, Edith and her aunt on 
one side, and Anthony and Amy on the other. 
It was natural to Amy to cling to her brother, 
and it was not only natural but necessary, for he 
did not like her to try to be agreeable or con- 
ciliatory to the others. His authority ought to be 
sufficient to secure her a kind reception, and if it 
had not been accorded for that, Anthony did not 



V ' 



1 



felt grateful to her brother, she was sorry that 
he made it so difficult for her to win her sister's 
love. 

" I want to take you over the estate. Amy," 
Haid Anthony on the morning after her arrival. 
'' You can ride, I know, and I have a beautiful 
little mare for you." 

" Oil ! thank you," said Amy. " You could 
see by the likeness that was taken at Bulletin 
that I ride. The longest journey I ever took was 
t() see Mrs. George Copeland ; we were three days 
and more on the way. I suppose she is not more 
than a mile off now." 

" Not much more," said Anthony. 

" Will you take me to see her," said Amy 
pleadingly, " or let me go by myself r 

" Well, once in a way, I don't mind," said An- 
thony ; " but you must be aware that you are 
now in a position quite removed from Mrs. George 
Copeland. You must drop the acquaintance as 
gracefully and gradually as you can, but it must 
be dropped." 

" My dear Anthony," said Amy earnestly, " but 



A VISIT TO MILLMOUNT. 98 

for these good people I should have starved or 
been sent to the Destitute Asylum." 

" Not if you had had common sense and written 
to me," said Anthony, who had established a 
grievance on this score. 

" You forget I was a child, and that my jKxjr 
father died so suddenly that I could not ask his 
advice ; but my making such a mistake does not 
alter my obligations to Mr. Lindsay and his 
family. They took me in and treated me as one 
of themselves, and I can never feel distant to 
them. It would be most ungrateful and wicked 
if I did." 

" My dear Amy, you do not understand my 
meaning. Different ranks and different circum- 
stances in the world demand different conduct 
and relations with people in an inferior position. 
It is not good for such small farmers as the Cope- 
lands that people from such a different sphere 
should treat them as equals. It only leads to 
ruinous ambitious strivings after a style of life 
like ours, and then what will become of my rent 
and their profits ? They are very worthy people, 
no doubt. I am grateful to them for all they 
have done for you, and I have said so ; but by- 
and-bye you will find better and more suitable 
friends. However, I will take you to Millmount, 
so dry those great eyes of yours and get ready to 



be too small, for I have grown stouter on the 
voyage," and she proceeded to array herself in 
Allan's gift, which she knew Jessie would be glad 
to see. Anthony recognised it, looked at it criti- 
cally, and said she must have a new habit im- 
mediately. 

Millmoimt was prettily situated on a rising 
ground which had once been occupied by a wind- 
mill. Mr. Copeland had had the mill taken down, 
and farm offices and a steam thrashing mill put 
in its place. There was a nice old-fashioned 
garden round the house, and a look of home 
about it that Amy's heart warmed to. The Cope- 
lands knew that the Australian mail was in, and 
they had seen the Squire's carriage taking home 
his sister from the railway station, so they were 
not so much taken by surprise at the condescen- 
sion of this early visit as Anthony Derrick ex- 
pected. When the two figures on horseback ap- 
proached, they were seen, and Jessie stood with 
her baby in her arms at the door while George 
forestalled the groom and helped Amy to alight. 

The contrast was so strong between her recep- 



\ 



A VISIT TO BdLLMOUNT. 95 

tion at the farm-house and at the Hall tlmt it 
was hard for Amy not to betray her emotion. 
She could not make much demonstration to JesHie 
before Anthony, but she kissed the Imby in her 
arms and followed her into the pletusant jmrlour 
to be introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Coi^land. It 
looked like a home to go to ; there were no ser- 
vants in the way ; Mrs. Copeland laid down her 
knitting to welcome warmly Jessie s young friend ; 
Mr. Copeland threw aside the newspaper where 
he had been studying the markets to shake hands 
and to see how very like she waa to her photo- 
graph. First came a few enquiries about the 
voyage, and then from Jessie the ton-cnts of ques- 
tions about Branxholm, father, mother, Allan, 
Isabel, and the rest. Amy looked animated and 
joyous, she had brought letters and loving mes- 
sages from everybody, and keepsakes and presents 
for Jessie and George and the baby, which she 
had been carrying herself till Anthony took them 
from her, and gave them to the groom, but he 
soon saw the contents of her packet and the plea- 
sure of the recipients. 

" This is your locket, Jessie, just the same as 
mine, except tliat yours contains your father's and 
your mother's hair, and mine has papa's and 
mamma's ; and let me look at your watch, Jessie, 



such good articles in Australia. It is really the 
match of mine, but your chain is prettier. And 
so my father is keeping stout and well, and my 
mother misses me whiles yet ?" said Jessie. 

" Yes, whenever there is a busy time she re- 
grets you." 

" And how does Jamie do at Gundabook ?" 
asked George. " Does he like it ?" 

" Very fairly indeed, and Hughie is grown so 
much, and is doing very well at home." 

" What about this new station ? Mr. Lindsay 
must be growing speculative. I hope he has not 
too many irons in the fire ?" asked George. 

" I don't think so. Allan is to go to and fro, 
and they have got a very good sort of man for 
the place." 

"And the clip was good both at Branxholm 
and Gundabook ?" 

" Yes ; and the prices are keeping well up too,'* 
said Amy ; " so I saw in the newspaper at South- 
ampton." 

"And the crop was good, you say; and the 
vintage, that is not on yet." 



i 



A VISIT TO BHLLHOUNT. 97 

** I suppose it is on and perhaps over now, but 
of course I had to leave Branxhohn before there 
was a grape ripe. I had to spend a whole fort- 
night in Adelaide before I left." 

" And Mra Troubridge, how is she V* aske<l 
Jessie. 

''Very well; she went with me to Adelaide, 
and helped me to procure my outfit for the 
voyage." 

" She will stay in Adelaide most likely, for she 
never liked the bush. That was a sudden death 
of Mr. Troubridge's. And Mr. Lufton, w1m> is lie 
looking after now ?" said Jessie. 

" I don't know, unless it is Isabel," said Amy, 
blushing. 

"Has Allan ever planted any tobacco, as he 
threatened to do ?" asked George. 

"Yes he has made the experiment, and he 
thinks it will do." 

"And Brownie and Prince Charlie and the 
cows, are they all well ? Tliere is one particular 
strawberry cow that Jessie and I have a great 
affection for," said George. 

" Oh 1 Strawberry is all right, but Mrs. Lindsay 
says she is growing old." 

"Growing old, Jessie, to think of that! Khe 
ought never to grow old," said George. 

" None of your nonsense, George. Who do you 

VOL. II.. 7 



aiKf\J\AV VUl\7 JL VJL VXXWOWL UfXXVA V/ V \A9} ILftAV VXXV» X^^OV VTJ. VAJL\7 

face is George's. What a good-natured little 
fellow he seems to be. I know so little about 
babies. I always expect them to cry when I 
look at them ; but see, he lets me take him in 
my arms, he is not a bit shy. Oh ! yes, he is 
like Mrs. Lindsay." 

Anthony Derrick listened to this animated 
family conversation with a vague sense that it 
was very far from the thing that he had a right 
to expect. He himself was a secondary person in 
the gi'oup, and he was not accustomed to be over- 
looked by his tenants, and he was determined to 
hold the first place with his sister. Amy had so 
little idea of her dignity as his sister, and was so 
distressingly familiar. Her acquaintance with 
the rude coarse details of the household at Branx- 
holm was not kept in the backgroimd, it was 
actually paraded before him; — her interest in all 
their concerns, her attachment to every member 
of the family, and even to the dumb animals 
about the place. Her eyes had brightened at the 
mention of the cow. Strawberry, as they had not 
done when he had told her of the extent of the 



t 



A VISIT TO MUXMOniiT. 99 

Stuimore estate ; and the improvements he pro- 
posed to make on it did not seem to her so im- 
portant as Allan Lindsay's experiment in growing 
tobacco. Perhaps he had been rash, as Edith 
and Miss Derrick had said from the first, and 
there might be a strain of vulgarity about her 
which not even his love and his generosity could 
extirpate. But he was not disposed to own that 
he had been mistaken ; he only chafed at Amy's 
blunders after all the advice and warning he had 
given her before setting out, and felt that she was 
to blame for his disappointment 

Old Mr. Copeland did not observe the cloud on 
the Squire's brow, and spoke in the innocence of 
his heart 

" It must be very pleasant for you. Sir, to find 
so pretty and so agreeable a sister coming out 
full-blown on you, like this. You can see how 
good-hearted she is, for everybody at Mr. Lind- 
say's grew fond of her at once, and there is my 
old woman taking to her too. We have both 
something to thank Australia for, I am sura 
Though Mrs. George is not showy she is sterling ; 
and, from all I can make out, she'll have a good 
bit of money when her father dies. They make 
money fSsust in those colonies, faster than we far- 
mers can do in England. Only think of Mr. 
Lindsay having pasturing rights over fifty square 

7—2 



« 



u 



100 THB AUTQaoTs lUUaHTEK, 

miles m one plao^ and forty in another ; and Miss 
Staonton says hi» new run wiU be fifty more, and 
he has got land bought out and out too about 
two thousand acres of his own. These are large 
figures. Sir; they make our Kngtish estates and 
farma look smalL" 

Do they indeed T' said Mr. Derrick shortly. 
I mean as to extent, of eourse the vahie is 
very diflFerent," said Mr. Copdand. 

"Ohl land is worth next to nothing there/' 
said Mr. Derriclc 

"Not exactly so, Sir. George tells me that 
land sells dearer about Adelaide than in America 
or in other parts of Australia. Nothing less than 
twenty shillings the acre, and often a great deal 
higher. Mr. Lindsay^s is splendid land, and he 
paid dear for it." 

" There is not much land like the Stanmore 
estate in England or out of it,*' said Mr. Derrick. 
** Twenty shillings an acre for the fee-simple is a 
ridiculous price for land." 

''That is the reason ^^Hiy fiurming will pay 
there with smaller crops and higher wages than 
we have. You don't know the difficulties we have 
in making up the rents in England.'' 

" If I don't know, it ia not for want of being 
told," said Anthony ; " but you always look very 
comfortable under your hardships. And now, 



A VISIT TO MILLMOUNT. 101 

Amy, if you have finished all your interesting 
conversation, I should be glad if you would re- 
sume your ride with me. You have been here 
an hour or more, and we mean to go as far as 
Brocklehurst." 

" You'll be back soon to see us. Amy, Miss 
Staunton, I should say," said Jessie ; " but it is 
hard to recollect that you are not now the little 
girl in the black frock that came to Branxholm 
four years ago, and that cried all night in the 
green bed in my room. I have not asked you 
half the questions that I Wanted to. Good-by, 
toy dear, if it must be good-by." 



CHAPTER VL 

amthont's bem onstrancb. 

Amy mounted her horse with Qeorgd's assistanoe^ 
and rode in silence with her brother for about a 
quarter of a mile. She wanted to speak and did 
not knpw what to say ; any idea that occurred 
to her appeared open to objection. She knew 
that Anthony was displeased, and yet she did 
not feel that she had done wrong. A remark 
about the house, or the farm, or the fjBuxdly^ or 
Jessie, or the baby, would only aggravate this 
otfenoe. and for a while she felt unable to speak 
of anything else, for her heart was full of these 
subjtvt^ A comparison of the scenery with iha,t 
of Australia was also discarded as dangerous. 
Oimld she say an}*ihing about Madeira and her 
viHit Uioro ! Would Anthony not like, when 
Uu\v woro by thomsolvo*, to hear her speak of 
tlktar luotlior. and her illness and death ? She 



ANTHONY'S REMONSTRANCE. 103 

was not suflSciently experienced in the art of 
conversation to be able to lead dexterously to the 
subject, and the more anxious she felt to break 
the painful silence the more her ideas refused to 
shape themselves. At last Anthony happened to 
cough ; it was a little nervous cough preliminary 
to speaking to his sister, but she took ad- 
vantage of it to ask if he had had this cough 
long. 

" Oh, no ! indeed, I don't know if I have a cold 
at aU." 

" I don't like to hear people cough, especially 
those whom I love," said Amy with a little 
sigh. 

" Oh ! my cough is nothing ; you need not 
fidget yourself about it." 

"Both you and your sister seem to be very 
strong." 

" Stronger than you appear to be certainly. 
You do not seem among other good things to 
have picked up the size of those people whom 
you try so much to imitate." 

" No, I am slight, like mamma," said .Amy. 
" Papa said I was very like what mamma was 
before she was ill. Did you know that we went 
with her to Madeira ?" 
»^ " No, indeed ! when was that ?" asked 

Anthony. 



104 THE author's daughter. 

** When I was eleven years olA It was such 
a beautiful voyage, mamma liked it so much." 

" Did she f asked Anthony ; " and it did her 
good, I suppose." 

" Only for a time, and then she wearied to go 
home again, and we had a long disagreeable 
passage and bad weather and contrary winds, 
and poor mamma was very ill indeed when we 
landed." 

" I suppose our mamma used to speak to you 
about me sometimes." 

" Only twice or thrice in her life." 

" Indeed !" said Anthony. 

" Do you recollect her, Anthony ?' asked Amy, 
with tearful eyes. 

** A very little, and the miniature keeps up the 
recollection — she was very like you. But it is 
very strange that she should not have spoken to 
you about me. I was her eldest child and her 
only son." 

"Not her only son, Anthony. I had three 
brothers who died young ; but you know mamma 
might tliink a great deal about you without 
sa^dng much, and it could do no good speaking 
to me on the subject when I was so young 
\STiat she had to say she said to papa, I 
suppose." 

** She must have felt tliat she had done very 



aitthont's REMOXSTRAXCE. 1(K> 

wrong to leave her children in the way she did. 
I have no doubt that it preyed on her mind and 
led her to an early death." 

" No ; it was a neglected cold that brought on 
her illness first/' said Amy, simply. " I hope it 
was not what you say, because it would have 
been very miserable for her to have such feelings. 
She knew that you had kind relations, and were 
well provided and cared for. I ho])e slie was not 
all her life unhappy about that." 

"And you were always poor, Amy. Your 
father was an ill-paid over-worked literary hack, 
with indiflerent health. You ought to feel that 
things are very diflFerent with you now." 

"Very diflTerent, indeed," said Amy with a 
sigh. "The bad health was very sad; but 
mamma was very patient and papa too." 

" How did our mother speak of me on those 
two or three occasions when she mentioned my 
name to you X' said Anthony. 

" Only that I was to be friendly with you if 
you or my sister ever tried to be friendly with 
me, and to love you all the more because she had 
not been able to do her duty by you, and I am 
sure I will obey her in that ; but when papa got 
no answer to his letters announcing mamma's 
death, we thought you did not care anything 
about her or me either." 



106 THE author's daughter. 

" And that was the reason you did not write 
to me on your father's death. Did you never 
think of it V 

"Yes, I thought of it, but I felt so timid 
I could not do it." 

" It is very unfortunate, for at that age we 
might have moulded you into what we pleased. 
I do not say that I despair of making yon in 
time a credit to me ; but I cannot say much for 
your acceptance of your new position to-day. 
You have observed that I have not been 
pleased." 

" Yes," said Amy ; " I am sorry you are not 
pleased." 

" You should be sorry that you have given me 
so much cause. It is a good thing that Edith 
did not accompany us." 

" But, Anthony, I could not keep at a distance 
from those with whom I lived for years. I could 
not hurt Jessie's feelings by assuming great airs 
with her. I don't ask you to be familiar with 
them." 

" I should think rvot ; but remember that 
when you go out with me you take my level," 
said Anthony, as if this must and should settle 
the matter. 

The tears stole silently down Amy's cheeks. 
K Anthony was so obtuse and so unsympathising. 



ANTHONY'S REMONSTRANCE. 107 

no expostulation or explanation would do any 
good. She could not help now looking forward 
to a return to Australia, and thinking of straight- 
forward Allan Lindsay's devoted love more kindly 
and more seriously than ever. 

And yet she was still eager and anxious to 
please her new-found relatives ; she felt that she 
had much to learn, though she did not think 
there was so very much to unlearn as Anthony 
supposed. If she could only be allowed to go to 
school to gather a few subjects for conversation 
which would not be obnoxious to her brother 
and sister! The school to which Leonora 
Porter was going, a fashionable establishment 
at Brighton, was of course the most desiruble 
to Amy, and the least so to her brother, so that 
was given up ; but she would have preferred to 
go to any school rather than to have her lessons 
at home, especially as her sister and Miss Derrick 
evidently wished her to be out of the house ; and 
the education that her brother paid for and the 
compaiuom she was introduced to by his mea«s 
would always be subjects on which her lips might 
be unsealed. 

Amy found, however, that Anthony was deter- 
mined that he should have his own way; he 
rather liked the constant antagonism with regard 
to his little sister, and the position of her advocate 



lOS THE author's daughter. 

and defender in all things, small and great, that 
the others took exception to. fie took pleasure 
in himself engaging her masters and hearing their 
praises of her abilities and docility, fie watched 
over her progress with interest, and felt how 
much she owed to him, for he spared neither 
trouble nor expense to procure her the best and 
most fashionable instructicm. There was otie 
disappointment — her voice Wad Hot equal to her 
taste, and no cultivation could make her a singer; 
but other things were satisfactory. So as he had 
greatly undervalued her acquirements when she 
arrived, at the end of a year, in which she worked 
faithAilly and successfully, he was disposed to 
over-estimate her acquirementSi ^hich certainly 
were sufficient to throw Edith's completely into 
the shade. 

Although these private lessons were fiiot all 
that Amy had wished, they were a great relief 
to her. They were something to do and some- 
thing to speak of, and something too to write to 
Allan about without dilating on her domestic 
position. She learned to avoid difficult subjects, 
and thus to please Anthony. She rarely now 
received the cruel and injudicious censures wtich 
had pained her so much at first. She had only 
to complain of his lavish and injudicious praises 
of her before her sister and Miss Derrick, and of 



ANTHONY'S BI^IONSTiUNCE. 109 

the invidioiis comparisona which he was too apt 
to draw. Anthony oertainly grew proud and 
fond of her — ^a fondness capricious and sensitively 
jealous; but still his attentions, his liberality, 
and his praises gratified the girl whose strongest 
feelings were her desire to please and her wish 
to be loved. 

It was an ungraceful present, that of a new 
watch and chain, in order that Hugh Lindsay's 
parting gift should be tabooed ; but she hung the 
locket to the chain and felt that she still wore 
what kept her in mind of the kindly and gene- 
rous old man. It was not often she could manage 
to go to Millmount, but when she did she went 
alone, and so her brother could not hear what 
passed between her and her Australian friends. 
Every month a long letter addressed in a bold 
masculine hand from Allan Lindsay provoked 
the frowns and ill-humour of Anthony, and 
every month she sat up half a night to write an 
answer. This was the one pomt on which she 
made a stand. Anthony, however, ccMisoled him- 
self with the thought that she was only a school- 
girl, and trusted that when she had been brought 
out, and knew what society was, and received 
the attention and admiration which her beauty 
and grace and accomplishments deserved, she 
would graduaUy drop this ridiculous and ob- 



110 THE author's daughter. 

jectionable correspondence with her old pupil, 
though Edith sometimes sneered at the expense 
and trouble he was at to educate and polish 
a wife for some Vandal of a Lindsay in the 
bush. 



CHAPTER VII. 



COMING OUT. 



Lady Gower had been rather disappointed in 
Anthony and Edith Derrick. Neither of them 
had the Darlington countenance, and they had 
been thrown so much on the plebeian side of their 
family by their mother's desertion that when 
they came to be of an age to be taken notice of 
and introduced by their grand-aunt they had not 
the air or the manner or the easy temper that 
characterizes good society. When Anthony had 
informed her that he had sent to Australia for his 
half-sister, Amy Staunton, she had taken the news 
very coldly, as she thought he would soon tire of 
his fancy for her. Anthony, therefore, delayed 
introducing Amy to her grand-aunt until the ad- 
vantages he had procured for her had wrought 
some improvement, and Amy was not eager to 
know Lady Gbwer, for her mother's account of 
her had not prepossessed her in the old lady's 



J 



112 



THE author's daughter. 



favour. But both were agreeably surprised with 
each other when they met. The old lady was 
clever, and had tact and temper; and she was 
charmed with her niece, who had the true Dar- 
lington countenance, with even more vividness 
and variety in her style of beauty than her mother 
had. Her evident desire to please won upon the 
old lady, who had always thought Edith's manners 
deficient in that appearance of amiability which 
all young ladies ought to possess. 

" She will do, Anthony," said Lady Gk)wer. 
" I don't mind bringing that girl out." 

'' Handsome, is she not ? I knew she would 
do fix)m her portrait, but all of you threw cold 
water on my rescuing her from the wilds. She 
looks fifty per cent, better, too, since she came 
home and mixed with civilized society." 

" What do you mean to do for her, An- 
thony, if ake were to marry so as to please 
you ?" 

" By Jove ! if she were to marry well, so as to 
please me, I'd not make her &r behind Edith. I 
can afford to portion my favourite little sister 
handsomely." 

" Oh ! very well," said Lady Gower, " that is 
satisfactory. She is far more likely to marry 
well than Edith. Edith wants grace, and tries to 
make up for it with what she calls style. If you 



COMIKG OUT. 113 

have the grace the style follows naturally. But 
Amy will do." 

" I have taken pains with her, and she is to 
have masters until next season, when she comes 
out." 

" Don't overdo the masters, Anthony ; people 
tire of all this education and accomplishment. I 
was rather in hope, as Amy had been so many 
years in the wilds, that she was warranted of a 
fascinating ignorance, though, by-the-by, Gerald 
Staunton's daughter must have a little tinge of 
blue, and Eveline's child ought to have some 
taste for music ; but I think the less conventional 
education she has the better." 

" Edith and my aunt exclaimed at her deficien- 
cies when she arrived," said Anthony, struck with 
his aunt's remark, but desirous of throwing the 
blame of any mistake upon others. 

"Edith and Miss Derrick don't know what is the 
most taking thing in good society — no parvenues 
do — so I excuse you, Anthony. There is some- 
thing in Amy's simple manner, in her way of 
accepting attention with surprise and gratitude, 
as if it were unexpected and undeserved, that 
will captivate people more than all the modem 
languages and all the ' ologies' that you are teach- 
ing her." 

'' I do not think I have diminished her simpli- 

VOL. II. 8 



114 THE author's daughter. 

city or timidity of manner," said Anthony, and 
he spoke truly so far. 

" I hope you may not ; but all those studies 
luid accomplishments tend to give what they call 
confidence, and that grows into boldness, which 
is not fascinating. We were not accomplished to 
the fingers* ends when I was a girl, and yet we 
were better oflF for lovers and husbands than the 
women of this generation are. The girls now a 
(iays insist on the shadow, the observance, the 
attentions, all the privileges of weakness, but they 
lose the substance. They have dozens of flirta- 
tions and h\ii^dreds of attentions, but few lovers, 
and often no husband. Wherever Amy picked 
up that diffident manner, it is too valuable to be 
overlaid with modem confidence and modem 
fastness/' 

" Nothing can ever make Amy fast. I rather 
dreaded her colomal experience for that, but 
there is no trace of Yankeeism or anything of the 
kind. The only fault I find is her liking to her 
Australian friends. I wish to stop the corres- 
pondence she carries on with them." 

" Better not, Anthony ; she will drop it by-and- 
by; but don't lay any commands. Edith does 
jiot like her, and Miss Derrick does not, and 
I suppose your aunt, Mrs. Chaloner, does not 
either/' 



COMING OUT. 116 

" No," said Anthony ; " but / am very fond of 
her, and that is enough." 

" She is really a Darlington, and I too must do 
something for her," said Lady Qower. " She must 
be presented at Court, and then we must take 
care that she comes out with some ecldt" 

The months slowly moved round, and at last 
came the day when Amy under her aunt's wing 
was to enter into the new world of fashion. Lady 
Gower had the power of setting the girl at her 
ease, and the presentation on the birthday — a 
short formality for which much preparation was 
made — ^was sufficiently successful. Amy was pro- 
nounced lovely by several good judges, and An- 
thony was pleased. The next step was more 
difficult and important. Lady Gower wished her 
young niece to make a striking first appearance, 
and accordingly got up a series of elaborate 
tableaux vivants from the romance of " Kenil- 
worth," in which Amy should take a conspicuous 
part. She did not fear her breaking down from 
the tinudity she so much admired, because there 
was nothing to be said, and she had sufficient 
docility to sit as she was directed, and sufficient 
beauty to look lovely as Amy Bobsart, the ill- 
starred wife of the Earl of Leicester, " Kenil- 
worth" offers a splendid field for striking scenes 
and rich costumes. Lady Gower was remarkably 

8^2 



116 THE AUTHOB's DAUOHTEK. 

dever in getting up these representations, and 
liked the credit and glory of having arranged 
living people so as to resemble a well-conceived 
picture. Anthony Derrick fancying Amy would 
be more at ease with him, and besides'desirous of 
tiie part which waa the most magnificent costume, 
pleaded to have the character of Leicester, and 
though he was not handsome enough, his request 
was granted. Lady Beresford's eldest daughter 
(who was also grand-niece of Lady Gower's, but 
in a different style of beauty from Amy) imper- 
sonated Queen Elizabeth ; a Mr. Harborough, 
Tressilian; Wayland Smith was taken by Mr. 
Leslie Beresford; and Flibbertigibbet by a 
younger member of the Beresford family ; Tony 
Foster was impersonated by a nephew of Lord 
Gower's ; Janet Foster was offered to Edith Der- 
rick, but she objected to play a secondary part to 
her sister, so she said she should prefer to look 
on. She would have accepted the part of Eliza- 
beth, but Miss Beresford would have been offended 
if she had not had a principal part. 

Amy's dress was to be little varied during the 
whole series of tableaux ; it was to be an exact 
copy of a costume in a family picture of an ances- 
tress — a distinguished Court beauty, perhaps a 
little after the time of Elizabeth. Never had 
Amy's delicate beauty been so piquantly shown 



COMINO OUT. 117 

off; the profusion of jewels in her hair and round 
her throat and wrists, the square cut bodice with 
its laced stomacher, the sleeve slashed with black 
velvet with its deep fall of antique point lace, the 
hair drawn up so as to show the perfect contour 
of the young face and to add to the height of the 
figure, and the little high-heeled shoe with its 
diamond buckles, which was not altogether con- 
cealed by the hooped petticoat of Elizabeth's time, 
stiff and ungraduated, of the richest brocade 
silk. 

In the first tableaux, in which Amy sat at the 
feet of Leicester, admiring his dress, his orders, 
and decorations, Anthony's magnificent get-up 
was quite unnoticed ; all eyes were turned to his 
beautiful companion. 

" How has that picture got out of its frame," 
said Lord Darlington, "or my cousin Eveline 
risen from her grave ? Who is Amy Bobsart ? 
Sir Robert, do you know V* 

" A grand niece of Lady Gower's," said Sit 
Robert Beresford, " and of course a distant rela* 
tion of my own." 

"And of mine too," said Lord Darlington. 
" But I have seen the Derricks, and this lovely 
girl is no more like them than I am ; there is 
only one girl of the Derricks, and she is sitting 
by Lady Beresford." 



118 THE author's daughter. 

" This is not a Derrick ; you know Lady Eve- 
line married twice." 

"Oh! yes," said the Earl, smiling, and in a 
hurry. "This is a Staunton then. Where did 
Lady Gower pick her up ? I never heard of her 
before." 

" Anthony Derrick sent for her from Austra- 
lia." 

" From Australia ? Oh ! I think I heard some- 
thin^r of Gerald Staimton dying there. I did not 

" Oh ! he is a much better fellow than he gets 
credit for," said Sir Robert, " for he has behaved 
nobly about this girl, and given her every advan- 
tage." 

" And she will do him credit. She is the pret- 
tiest little thing I have seen these ten years. I 
must be introduced to her. Here she is again 
with Tressillian and Wayland Smith in the dis- 
tance. What a beautiful remorseful expression, 
the very embodiment of the novelist's idea," said 
the earl, looking still more critically at the td- 
bleau, " But at these things they ought to speak. 
There is a world of trouble taken to produce a 
momentary effect — she has studied that expres- 
sion and attitude, and a little more study would 
give us an interesting dialogue, and let us hear if 
the voice matches the countenance. She has 



COMING OUT. 119 

evidently been dressed after Lady Anne Darling-* 
ton, even to the pattern of the lace on the sleeve. 
I never heard of this girl before. My cousin, I 
know, was under a cloud after she niarried so in- 
decorously, and as I had lost sight of hdr when 
she was in prosperity, owing to the absurd im- 
perious temper of the late e!arl, I saw no call to 
hunt her up when nobody knew her ; but I liked 
Eveline as a child veiy much, and this girl is 
even handsomer. ^Printers* ink has not hurt the 
race so much as factory oil. These Derricks are 
heavy and awkward compctred to this author's 
daughter from Australia. Has she lived there all 
her life f ' 

" No, only a few years. It is a year or rather 
more, since Miss Staimton arrived from the anti*- 
podes, and Derrick has kept her back till he had 
polished her sufficiently for presentation. He 
never saw her till they met at Southampton." 

" I'd not mind having a little sister like that 
produced full-grown to me, from Australia or 
elsewhere," said the earl. 

"Derrick cannot bear any allusion to her 
having been in Australia at all. If she had 
written to him when her father died, her stay 
would have been very short; but he heard of 
her through one of his tenants somehow, who 



120 THE author's daughter. 

had connections there, and he is very touchy 
about it." 

** Oh yes, we know Derrick can be touchy ; his 
skin is remarkably thin." 

Amy did not appear in the next scene which 
represented Elizabeth in her court, with Leicester, 
Sussex, Baleigh, Blount, and Vamey near her, 
and Shakespeare and Spencer in the background. 

" Very good costumes," said Sir Robert, with 
a father's pride, "you miss your bright, particu, 
lar star, but Augusta makes a good Elizabeth." 

'^ Yes," said the earl, critically, " a very good 
Elizabeth, but the Leicester is a poor one — ^no, 
however, I am not sure. We are apt to forget in 
the splendour of the dress, the real character of 
the man, even as the novelist represents him. 
Scott's idea of Leicester is a shallow schemer, 
who tries to combine two inconsistent objects — 
the love of Amy Robsart, and the favour of 
Elizabeth — and who fails. He is impressible, 
jealous, susceptible to flattery; on the. whole, 
Derrick does not make a bad Leicester." 

Two other scenes foUowed in which Amy had 
no part. The Earl of Darlington watched them 
with the eye of a connoisseur, but without the 
keen interest he felt in his newly-discovered 
young cousin ; but when the last scene came, that 
in which the infuriated Elizabeth dragged Amy 



COMING OUT. 121 

Bobsart into the presence of her husband, and 
ought to have said, if tableaux were allowed to 
speak, " Knowest thou this woman," the gentle- 
manly sounds of approbation, which had been 
heard before, were exchanged for loud and con- 
tinued applause. The tableau was called for 
again and again ; Elizabeth's anger and jealousy, 
Leicester's dismay, and Amy's terror were so ad- 
mirably given. 

" I don't like tableaux in general," said Lord 
Darlington, who was one of the best theatrical 
critics in London, " and I have a civil contempt 
for private theatricals, and acted charades, and 
all descriptions of play acting and water ; but I 
will say this for Lady Gower, that she makes the 
best of the very limited field she allows her- 
self. Dress, attitude, and expression, momentary 
though they are, are perfect, only one wonders 
at such a bevy of people going through so much 
to produce so little. A great compliment to the 
bystanders that ladies and gentlemen will sub- 
mit to be made lay-figures of, and go through 
several rehearsals to amuse us for half an hour. 
I suppose this is the last ; Lady Gower has too 
much good taste to give us a trap-door scene, so 
I must be introduced to my cousin, and compli- 
ment her on her very successful first appear- 
ance;" and Lord Darlington made his way to 



122 THE author's daughter. 

Lady Gower, who was overwhelmed on all sides 
with compliments and criticisms on her series 
of tableaux, 

" Now I will take Lord Darlington's opinion, 
for he is a judge. Mr. Pemberley says Amy 
Bobsart's drescr was scarcely Elizabethan, but 
one must consider the becomitigness of a cos- 
tume, as well as its date," said Lady Gower. 

"The dress was perfect, and the wearer the 
same," said Lord D«Erlingtoii with a bow. " You 
must introduce me to Amy Robsart, or to Lady 
Ann Darlington, or to my cousin Eveline, by her 
real name, for her impersonation of th^se three 
characters is so good that it will be difficult for 
me to shake off my first impressions. I hope she 
"wdll continue to wear the very becoming dress 
(which I see you copied from- one of our family 
portraits) all the evening.'* 

" That woidd bfe too oonspicuoiis ft>r a timid 
debutante,'' said Lady Gower, " but as you are 
well acquainted with th6 secrets of the green- 
room, I will introduce you now before she 
ehtoges her dress." 

Amy had felt very afixioHiS^ wMle the tableaux 
were going on, lest any awkwardness on her part 
should spoil them, and disappoint Anthony and 
Lady Gower, and now when the old lady brought 
forward a tall, distinguished-looking, rather 



COMING OUT. 123 

elderly man, who wished for the honour of toucli- 
ing the Countess of Leicester's fair hand, and in- 
troduced him as the Earl of Darlington, she felt 
her brother's eye was upon her. This was her 
real introduction into society, about which An- 
thony was so anxious. She must bear herself 
with courage. She offered her hand with natural 
grace, the earl raised it to his lips with old- 
feshioned gallantry and bowed, not as people bow 
on the stage, or as bows are made in modem 
society, but slowly, gravely, reverentially, as 
bows used to be made by people of rank a cen- 
tury or two ago. 

" Perhaps the Countess of Leicester will honour 
me with her hand for the first dance, if the jea- 
lous earl has no objection," said Lord Darlington, 
looking at Anthony Derrick with a slight ges- 
ture of acknowledged acquaintanceship which 
was more elaborately returned. Amy was dis- 
engaged and very happy to have a partner se- 
cured. Anthony was delighted at his sister's 
coming out under such auspices. There might 
be some prospect of a greater intimacy between 
the Derricks and their mother's family through 
the sister whom he had brought to England 
against every one's advice. 

*' Darlington's notice will distinguish Amy and 
give her the place she ought to fill at once," 



124 . THE author's daughter. 

said Lady Gower. "I told you she would do, 
Anthony, as soon as I saw her." 

" But I knew she would do, before I saw her," 
rejoined Anthony, triumphantly. 

Amy had long had a curiosity to see her 
mother's old friend and playfeUow, and felt his 
attentions not only flattering, but agreeable. He 
was the most reassuring partner she could have 
secured, for h^ was not young and was not taken 
up about himself, he only wished to please the 
girl in whose company he had chosen to be, and 
he had that knowledge of human nature which 
taught him what would please her. He did not 
praise her impersonation of Amy Robsart, as he 
thought compliments might confuse her, but he 
gave her to understand that he admired it as 
much as if he had expressed his ideas in words. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

amy's new friend. 

" We are cousins, you know," said the Earl of 
Darlington to Amy in tiie pause that intervened 
before the dance began, wishing to set his young 
partner at her ease. ** You must have heard of 
our relationship." 

" Yes, my lord ; but the cousinship is remote. 
It would be reckoned as a relationship by the 
Scotch, however." 

"The Scotch are very tenacious of all family 
ties ; they are a clannish people ?" 

" Oh I yes, very." 

" Then you like the Scotch ?" said Lord Dar- 
lington, who imderstood the tone of her voice. 

" What I have seen and known of them I have 
liked very much, and I think their fidelity to all 
bonds of kinship is very honourable." 

"But you know that even in England we 
claim our relatives, however distant, when they 



126 THE author's daughter. 

do US credit. We can drop troublesome or 
obscure third cousins with more ease and grace 
than they do on the north of the Tweed ; but at 
the same time we are careful to preserve the ac- 
quaintance and friendship of those of our rela- 
tives who are sufficiently important and agreeable. 
I am sure your brother, Mr. Derrick, considers 
that I am his cousin." 

" Oh ! yes, he does ; aad I have heard so much 
about you jfrom poor mamma, who knew you 
well when she was young, that I feel as if I 
knew you better than any stranger here. But 
then I am not so sure that I can do you enough 
of credit to be claimed as a cousin. My point of 
view is so different from yours." 

" I certainly ought to consider all my poor cou- 
sin Eveline's children as my relatives ; but now, 
if it were not for an occasional glance at my own 
face in the mirror, I might fancy that time had 
rolled back, and that it was the identical young 
playfellow who was now at my side. Where have 
you been hidden from the world so IcwQg, Miss 
StaTinton. I hear you have been recently in 
Australia, but that must have been after my poor 
cousin's death, was it not ?" 

" Mamma died in London more than six years 
ago, and after that, as you say, we went to Aus- 
tralia." 



amy's new friend. 127 

" And your poor father did not long survive 
her — ^an accidental death, I believe — very painful 
it must have been for you." 

" Yes ; there was scarcely a year between their 
deaths." 

" Very sad, and you had no brothers or sisters 
except Mr. and Miss Derrick, of whom you had 
seen nothmg and knew nothing, and you were 
left alone at the antipodes. I do not suppose 
that there is any one here that has been so far. 
Our modem summer tour, although it is yearly 
extending, does not yet go so far as that. Were 
you long in Australia ?" 

" About four years," said Amy, looking roTind 
the splendid apartment, and the brilliant assem- 
bly, aad contrasting the scene with her first in- 
troduction at Branxholm. 

" It is rather an ugly place, with a very hot 
climate, is it not V 

" No, it is not ugly ; at least the place where I 
lived was very beautiftd, and I liked the climate 
very much. But I should not talk about Austra- 
lia to English people, for none of them have 
patience to hear." 

" Oh ! but I will haVe patience to listen to 
anything you may choose to say; it is one of 
the conditions of the partnership (limited) we 
have entered into for the space of a set of quad- 



128 THE author's daughter. 

rilles that we should find eaxjh other agreeable. 
I suppose society in Australia is very primi- 
tive r 

" Rather/* said Amy, laughing. 

" It must be very pleasant indeed to go back a 
few centuries by a few weeks* voyage. One does 
get so tired of the monotony and artificialness of 
English society ; the same thing night after night 
and day after day. You see how it has infected 
me, I put night before day as the world does; 
and yet with all this eager pursuit of pleasure 
there is so little really obtained. Better live in 
Arcadian pastoral simplicity or rock a cradle at 
the gold-fields than lead this vapid, idle existence 
that one despises so thoroughly ;" and Lord Dar- 
lington looked for the moment as if he were supe- 
rior to the society he was in. 

" Don't decry what I mean to enjoy ; recollect 
I am only beginning what you are tired of," said 
Amy, smiling. 

" It is very stupid of me, but I am rather apt 
to forget you are not your mother, to whom these 
remarks would be more appropriate. But you 
liked Australia." 

*' Yes, I did. I met with great kindness, and 
on the whole I was very happy there ; but I am 
very sure that if you were to try Australian life 
you would be much disappointed," 



amy's new friend. 129 

" You do not then give me credit for natural 
tastes V 

" No, not exactly that, my lord, but there is 
very little interesting there but work ; and when 
people have lived a life of idleness and pleasure, 
they would not find that very entertaining. All 
the people I knew in Australia worked hard." 

" And were you busily employed too ? I hope 
so, for I like to see yoimg people industrious." 

" Oh ! yes, I learned to be useful ; but don't 
mention it." 

'' I take a great interest in Australia," said the 
earl. 

** Oh ! I am so glad to hear it. It is a great 
pleasure to have some one that I can speak about 
old times to. I am so glad, too, that you recpUect 
mamma so kindly." 

" Poor Eveline !" said the earl, with a sigh, 
" she was a charming girl ; and your father was 
a man of genius ; he would make her happy, 
she was so enthusiastic and romantic. I have 
never seen any collected edition of (herald Staun- 
ton's writings, they would be well worth gathering 
together and publishing." 

"You admire them, then," said Amy, with a 
grateful glow on her fi^wse. " It is what I should 
wish of all things^ but my brother has no sym- 

VOL. II. 9 



130 THE author's daughter. 

pathy with such a project as publishing papa's 
works." 

" The Derricks have little or no literary taste," 
said the earl. " Then that is another subject on 
which we can have a little confidential talk. I am 
certain that we shall agree in most things." 

"You know it is a great pity," said Amy, 
"when there is a large portion of one*s life that 
nobody cares to hear about ; and of course it is 
scarcely to be expected that Anthony and Edith 
should care about papa or even about mamma, 
and you know Australia is nothing to them." 

" Nothing to them any more than to me ; but 
I must say I feel grateful to it for sheltering — if 
I had not a grudge against it for hiding — a, very 
interesting yoimg relative so long." 

" The last is Anthony's view of the matter," 
said Amy. " But if he had not such a dislike to 
the name of Australia it would be pleasanter for 
me, because there was a good deal happened there 
that tended to make me what I am, and what I 
fear I cannot be changed from in spite of all An- 
thony's pains and care. But living in the bush 
for four years was not a good preparation for such 
a scene as this." 

^' Then you lived in the wild bush ?" said the 
earl, whose interest in Australia was only con- 
temporaneous with his interest in Amy; but 




amy's new friend. 131 

who, knowing something of the character of An- 
thony Derrick, could see that his little sister had 
not unmixed cause for gratitude for all he had 
done for her. 

" No, not the wild bush ; there was a farm and 
a large garden, and neighboiu^ within a few 
miles, although the run was pretty large. But I 
have been really through the wild bush. Fancy 
riding for fifty miles through mallee scrub." 

" Scrub ! what is that ? not Scrub in the play, 
I suppose," said the earl, with an expression of 
interest on his face that delighted Amy. 

"No; it is the low underwood that is to be 
found all over the imsettled districts of Austra- 
lia, especially upon poor land. The mallee scrub 
is the tallest of scrubs, it grows from six to ten 
feet high and very close. I once spent a night 
in it," said Amy, lowering her voice. 

" A night in the scrub ! lost in the bush !" said 
Lord Darlington, looking pityingly on Amy. 
" Who left you in the scrub all night ?" 

" Oh ! I was not left alone ; we were a party 
of four, and it was all my own fault that we did 
not push on to Gundabook. And I was none the 
worse for bushing it, so you need not look so 
concerned." 

"How did you get on in the scrub, as you 
call it ?" 

9—2 



132 TH£ AUTHOB's daughter. 

" Oh ! it was summer-time, so Isabel and I 
wrapt a wallaby-rug round us, and slept on the 
ground. Was not that primitive V 

" Most refreshingly so. But were you not 
afiraid of natives or bushrangers ?" 

" No, not at all ; but the gentlemen had fire- 
arms if any one had attacked us." 

" I suppose you were sorry to leave so delight- 
ful a life in a new country to come back to hum- 
drum old England T 

" I did not know whether to be sorry or glad," 
said Amy. " I am pleased to hear you say I 
"might be sorry, for every one says that I can 
have nothing to regret at the other side of the 
globe. But perhaps you can understand how a 
girl who had lived in London all her life enjoyed 
the freedom and the out-of-doors life in the clear 
bright warm atmosphere. And, besides, when I 
lived in Australia no one found out my faults or 
deficiencies, and every one was so kind to me, 
and so indulgent even to my unreasonable wishes 
— I am sure I was imreasonable enough that 
night in the scrub. When I returned to England, 
I found that I was far behind other girls of my 
age in many things, and had grown brusque and 
awkward in my manners, and everything was to 
be amended." The little sigh that accompanied 
these words was understood by the listener. He 



amy's new friend. 133 

had interpreted the expression of Anthony 
Derrick's face correctly. This little girl was 
under great obligations to him, but waa, never- 
tlieless, a little afraid of him. 

" It certainly is one of the conditions of pro- 
gress that we should occasionally be found fault 
with, and, if possible, it should be done while we 
are young, and there is a hope of amendment ; 
but I do not think that it is a pleasant thing at 
any age. I would merely hint to you that you 
are forgetting the figure." 

" Thank you, I see I am wrong," said Amy, 
with a face so bright and happy in the possession 
of an intelligent and interested listener to some 
of her reminiscenc3S, that L jrd Darlington could 
not help thinking her much handsomer than her 
mother was when he knew her. 

When the set was over he sat down beside her 
for a while and talked to her. Her fear of 
making some awkward mistake and disappoint- 
ing Anthony was dissipated by his easy good 
nature. She felt herself especially fortunate in 
her first partner, who, though an earl, and so old, 
was so kind and pleasant. 

Anthony was satisfied with his sister's appear- 
ance and success. He was almost sorry to inter- 
rupt the renewing cordiality of the head of the 
family towards his favourite sister by introducing 



134 THE author's daughter. 

her to another partner, in the person of a young 
officer of the Guards, who begged for the pleasure 
of dancing with her in a manner different from 
the earFs, more modem and less ceremonious. 
This young gentleman talked to Amy Staunton 
about her costume and her pose and her command 
of countenance in a very complimentary way, 
and told her of some private theatricals that he 
had been one of the prime moveiB in/ which had 
been very successful, and asked her opinion of 
Sothem and Kate Terry and. other celebrities. 
It was pleasant enough, but she could not help 
following with her eye her mother's old friend, 
and hoping that she might dance with him again 
in the course of the evening. Very much to her 
surprise, she found that there was no scarcity, 
but rather a superabundance of partners for her ; 
but the earl secured her hand for the dance 
before supper, and took her hand and sat beside 
her in a situation that was due to his own impor- 
tance perhaps, but, as Amy felt, was far beyond 
her deserts. The conversation turned on Dar- 
lington Castle, which the earl said she ought to 
see. Amy hoped it had not been much altered, 
because she would like to recognise her mother's 
description of her old home. The earl confessed 
the castle had been added to, but the old 
part was little changed^ and the portrait after 



amy's new friend. 135 

which Lady Gower had dressed her grandniece 
was still hanging witli other family portraits in 
the old hall. 

Shortly after supper tlie earl disappeared ; at 
least Amy saw him no more, but she wiis in sucli 
a whirl of engagements tliat she could not have 
had time for another pleasant talk. Her first ball 
had been a success, she was going to be the 
rage for a season, or at least for a month. She 
had never seen her brotlier s eye rest on her with 
such an expression of confidence and satisfaction 
before. 

" Now," thought Amy, " Anthony will really 
love me." 

For this love between brother and sister was a 
far more fluctuating and uncertain thing than the 
liking which had gi'own up between Amy and 
Allan Lindsay. In the one case there had been 
the frankness and fearlessness of two affectionate 
and honest natures, everything was oj)en and 
above board, no cloud of suspicion wtis ever 
suffered to come between them ; while witli 
Anthony there were simken rocks in every 
direction in which she tried to make her way, 
. and though, to do him justice, he let her know 
immediately by look or speech that he was 
oflfended and did not brood silently over his wrongs, 
still the tender points were many, and one mis- 



136 THE author's daughter. 

take acknowledged and apologized for did not 
seem to make her much less liable to fall into 
another. 

It was pleasant to be amongst strangers whose 
peculiarities she did not know, and who were 
comparatively indifferent to her, and whom Amy 
need not be afraid of offending. The beautifully 
decorated rooms, the brilliant lights, the good 
music, the splendid dresses, the crowd, the conver- 
sation, the conventional tone of compliment, and 
the exaggerated importance which pretty yoiuig 
girls generally find given to them in a ball-room, 
all produced in Amy a feeling of exhilaration 
which she had not looked for, and when to these 
stimulants were added the gaining of a friend in 
her relative, Lord Darlington, and the idea that 
Anthony was now really pleased with her and 
proud of her, it is no wonder that she was too 
happy for sleep or for repose. Edith was used 
to this sort of thing, and rather despised Amy's 
freshness of feeling ; but Anthony saw it with 
delight. He had given Amy this pleasure, he 
had brought forward this timid girl to a sphere 
which she was calculated to adorn, and the 
result had been instantaneously successful. 
Never had he kissed her with so much affection 
as on the morning after the ball when she came 



amy's new friend. 137 

down stairs, not listless and irritable like Edith 
after an evening's dissipation, but full of life and 
spirits — ^never had he felt so perfectly satisfied 
with himself. 



CHAPTER IX. 

GREAT PROSPECTS. 

Lady Gower had always kept up some intimacy 
with her cousin Herbert. Even in the lifetime 
of his low-bom wife she had visited him, and 
after her death — which happened about two 
years after he had succeeded to the earldom — she 
had looked on him as the most eligible parti of 
all her acquaintance, and had tried to tempt him 
to a second choice in vain. Had Lady Eveline 
not made so absurd and foolish a marriage, her 
chance would have been a good one, and Lady 
Gower thought she might have come in for title 
and estates if she had only waited a decent time, 
for the earl had liked her, and if they had been 
thrown much together they might have both made 
up for the uncongeniality of their first marriages by 
marrying a suitable partner at a suitable age, and 
been happy, as the story-books say, ever after- 
wards. But if Lady Eveline was in a hurry the 



GREAT PROSPECTS. 139 

earl seemed to be in no hurry at all. No one 
attributed his remaining unmarried to any 
romantic attachment to the wife he had lost, for 
everyone knew it had been a marriage of con- 
venience. Nor was there likely to be any objec- 
tion on his part to giving a stepmother to his 
children, of whom the late Miss Pennithome had 
left two, for he was very little with them, and, 
indeed, was very unfortimate in his family. His 
only son was weak in intellect, and his daughter, 
from some accident in childhood, a cripple con- 
fined to a sofa for her lifetime. The earl led a 
life much apart from his children ; he disliked 
disagreeable and painful things, and did not feel 
his affection for his son and daughter at all 
increased by their affictions. His son was 
boarded with a physician who was believed to be 
very clever in cases of mental disease ; but year 
affcer year passed without any improvement, 
but rather with a loss of what little ability he 
had possessed ; his daughter lived with a cousin 
of her mother's, who was devotedly attached to 
her, and who tended her with the most affec- 
tionate solicitude. The earl visited them occa- 
sionally, but he lived in the world, and no one 
could expect a man in the prime of life to devote 
himself to such unattractive children. Nobody 
thought him a bad or even a careless father; 



140 THE author's daughter. 

everything that money could procure for them 
he was willing to give, and Dr. Johnson and Miss 
Pennithome knew that they had only to suggest 
anything that could ameliorate the condition of 
their respective charges to get it at once. 

That he had been so many years a widower 
had surprised all his female friends, but none of 
his male acquaintances. He liked liberty, and he 
got as much amusement and pleasure out of his 
life as he could. He liked change, novelty, and 
variety ; he travelled much on the continent, he 
had been often over aH the thoroughfares of Eng- 
land. He did not himt for the picturesque in 
secluded nooks, but delighted in London in the 
height of the season, in the continental capital, 
the crowded watering-places — all the busy noisy 
haunts of men and women. 

In spite of the great disparity of years. Lady 
Gower*s worldly ideas of match-making were 
gratified by the marked attention the Earl of 
Darlington paid and continued to pay to Amy 
Staunton. The shy bird was caught at last, but 
the provoking part of it was that he would not 
confide in the old lady. He behaved to his young 
cousin like a lover, and talked about her like a 
grandfather. Lady Gower relieved her mind by 
comparing notes with Anthony Derrick, and 
found that he too was puzzled to read the signs 



OBEAT PBOSPECTS. 141 

of the times. Edith said there was nothing in it, 
but he thought the attentions very marked, and 
it would be such a great thing for Amy if tlie 
earl did propose. 

Lady Gower reassured Anthony; she knew 
Lord Darlington well, and had seen him with 
many women, but she had never seen such solici- 
tude or such evident admiration in his manner ; 
there was no doubt that he was in earnest. 

" Then I had better tell Amy that she ouglit 
to encourage him, as it is a thing we all approve 
of so highly." 

" Leave Amy to manage her own affairs. She 
encourages him sufficiently, and I am very certain 
that if you venture to put in your oar, you will 
offend Darlington. Don't you see that he is 
trying to win a heart for himself A younger 
man and a poorer and more obscure man miglit 
not mind a little advice from friendly relatives, 
but Darlington would suspect your kindest offices 
and mine too, and might start off at once. It is 
difficult work, but he is doing it well, and all the 
better that I do not think the girl has any idea 
what he is aiming at. All that you and I have 
to do is to see that no other person has much to 
say to her. Let there be no Gerald Staunton in 
/ter way. I think the coast i.? clear at present. 



Darlington's attentions meant nothing, and ap- 
pear to agree with your sister. It will never do 
for you and Edith to be discussing Amy's pros- 
pects of a coronet. It might come to Amy's own 



ears." 



" What harm could that do ?" asked Anthony, 
unwilling to give in, even in appearance only, to 
Edith. 

"Things are going on very well, and any 
change would be for the worse. I will back Dar- 
lington to play his own game, but he may throw 
it up if he thinks we are looking at his hand. 
If she is to be a coimtess, it will cost you some- 
thing, Anthony. You must act handsomely by 
her." 

** Of course I shall. I always said I should if 
she married to please me, and nothing could 
please me better than this. Lord Darlington has 
invited us to Darlington Castle at last. I sup- 
pose I must give Amy credit for this act of 
civility, for she showed more interest in the place 




GREAT PROSPECTS. 143 

and more knowledge of it than I could do ; and 
to think of her being mistress of it after all, 
and that I should have taken her from the anti- 
podes for so noble a position. I thought she 
might have forgotten her Austi-alian friends this 
mail when she has so many engagements, but no, 
her letters were written somehow and despatched 
as usual." 

"Don't distress yourself al)out those letters," 
said Lady Gower. " They will gradually become 
shoiiier and more indifferent. It was natural that 
she should write fully about her successful enMe 
into society, but the sunshine of gaiety, amuse- 
ment, and admiration will make her quietly re- 
linquish what all your storms and sulkiness and 
orders will only induce her to cling more closely 
to." 

" I don't storm or sulk," said Anthony. " I 
consider my temper is remarkably even. Amy 
does not complain to you of it ?" 

" No, but Edith does ; and with such a father 
as yours and such a grandfather as my brother 
the late earl, it would be rather strange if you 
had a remarkably good temper." 

" Oh ! if you go by what Edith says you will 
have a fine idea of my character. She always was 
disposed to thwart and contradict me, and since 
Amy came home she has been ten times worse." 



144 THB authob's daughter. 

" I wonder what she will think when you 
yourself marry," said Lady Gower. 

" I don't mean to consult her on the subject at 
all events, and I don't mean to marry till I am 
past thirty. What is the use of a man giving up 
his liberty for nothing ?" 

Amy had indeed written at greater length and 
in better spirits than usual to Allan and Isabel 
She had been very timid and fearful about her 
coming out, and her brother's instructions and 
warnings and forebodings had increased her ti- 
midity; and now that the thing was over, and 
well over, and now that she had gained a friend 
in whom she could confide, her heart overflowed 
with joy and hope. Lord Darlington had asked 
her one day if there was an}* place he could take 
her to as he had a morning at her service, and 
she had made a pilgrimage with him to the dull 

house in Street^ where her mother had lived 

and die^i. There was a ticket of " Apartments to 
let *' on the window, and Amy had the unexpected 
privilege of gv^ing through the rooms she knew so 
well, ai\d though her companion did not see much 
romance in the dull place he said nothing to jar 
ivn her fooling;^ and let her ay quietly on the old 
SK>& wheiv Ex'oliuo St&unum had spent her last 
liviu^ da\^ 

^ Now."' «aid Amy, "^ would you do me ainrther 



GREAT PROSPECTS. 145 

great favour, would you take me to Mr. Hub- 
bard's studio, if you don't think Anthony would 
be angry V* 

" I am sure he will object to nothing you do 
when you are under my care, and I really wish 
to see this studio, and your fistther's old friend, so 
put the onus of the visit on me," said Lord Dar- 
lington good naturedly. 

Mr. Hubbard had made more than one removal 
since Amy had seen him, and it was with some 
difficulty that he was discovered in a still poorer 
room and with still shabbier appointments than 
she recollected. Perhaps it was only her present 
state of luxurious magnificence in Belgravia that 
made her think so, but she felt afraid that her 
companion would be distressed, as Anthony would 
have been, to see the great slovenly, not to say 
dirty, artist stretch out first both hands and then, 
on fully recognising the little girl whom he had 
not seen for years, take her in his arms and hug 
her, and then overpower her with questions, and 
after his curiosity was satisfied with regard to 
her, detail his chequered fortimes since she had 
gone to Australia. It smote on him sharply that 
i^e had now been so long in England without 
coming to see him, and it was difficult to explain 
that her brother, who was so kind and liberal, 

VOL. II. 10 



146 THE author's daughter. 

was so very kind as to choose all her friends and 
acquaintances for her. 

" Indeed, I was very much obliged to my rela- 
tive, Lord Darlington," said Amy, bringing her 
companion forward, " who expressed a desire to 
see your studio, and offered to bring me here." 

"Perhaps his lordship has some appreciation 
of art," said Mr. Hubbard, bowing, "and your 
brother has not. It is a mournful thing to see 
wealth and rank in the possession of those who 
do not see the true position of the artist. Do you 
like this I am doing for Mr. Loder, Amy, a family 
gi-oup on a classical subject." 

"Had you not once a sketch of papa T asked 
Amy. 

"Yes I have it, but still unfinished. I will 
let you see it, the likeness is good, or at least I 
thought so. Let me put you with him, and I 
will make as good a painting of it as any I ever 
did. Give me a sitting or two. You have grown 
as handsome as I prophesied, and will make a 
lovely picture." 

Amy looked at Lord Darlington. " What would 
Anthony say T 

"Never mind what he says," said Mr. Hub- 
bard. " No one is to know of its being a portrait. 
The subject pleases me, and it is so rarely I can 
find a good subject. There is no doubt if Mr. 



GREAT PROSPECTS. 147 

Derrick does not choose to take it, I shall be able 
to sell it." 

" No doubt of that," said the earl with an in- 
telligent nod to the artist ; " but I dare say Mr. 
Derrick will prize it when he sees it. And you 
wiU prize it too, Miss Staunton." 

'' Oh yes, papa's likeness is so good. I must 
have that." 

" Then I must have a few sittings," said Mr. 
Hubbard. 

" We can manage that," said the earl ; " there 
is no necessity for telling Mr. Derrick of it till 
it is finished, and then it wiU be a surprise to 
him." 

"I don't think he will like it," said Amy, 
shrinking. "You know he does not care for 
papa, indeed he dislikes to have his name men- 
tioned." 

'^ I shall make a point of speaking of him to 
inure him to it, but not if you do not wish it," 
said the earl, who saw that Amy's feelings were 
really strong on the subject; "but the portrait 
must be taken. For Mr. Hubbard's sake, we 
ought to give him the opportunity to paint a suc- 
cessful picture, as I have no doubt this will be. 
I shall now leave you for an hour or two, and 
return when you have had your first sitting 



over." 



10—2 



148 THE author's daughter. 

" Oh ! my lord, you are too good," said Amy. 

Amy felt that she cotdd pay for this picture 
from the allowance which her brother made her, 
and was sure that Mr. Hubbard would be glad of 
the commission, but whether Anthony would 
pennitherto take possession of it was a very 
different question. When the earl returned, he 
was nearly as much pleased with the sketch as 
Mr. Hubbard himself was, and was determined 
to be the possessor of it, as well as of the original, 
but he criticised a little and talked like a con- 
noisseur, very much to the artist's delight. 

" Now is ttiere anything further you wish to do 
to-day ? I think you spoke of some things you 
wished to send to Australia." 

Amy hesitated — calculated a little mentally — 
" I am afraid I cannot do that and the picture 
too, and yet it has been so long delayed, and you 
were so good as to say you would arrange it for 
me." 

" Can I make any little advance," said the earl, 
laughing. " Young ladies when they go out first 
are apt to be a little embarrassed." 

" No ; I am not embarrassed at all yet, only I 
don't know what I am to give Mr. Hubbard for 
the picture. I have plenty of money and some- 
thing to spare for all my requirements this 
quarter." 



OBEAT PR08PECT& 149 

^ And the picture will not be painted for some 
time to come.** 

" And I may not be allowed to have it, but 
still I ought to pay for it/' said Amy. 

" If you are so quixotic, and feel embarrassed, I 
hope you will not mind applying to me. But is 
it necessary to send these things to Australia ?" 

" I promised the microscope and the telescope, 
and I wish to send some remembrances to the 
girls, and now that I am in London I think I 
should do it, only I cannot let Anthony know ; I 
do dislike concealing tilings from him, but I can- 
not help it. And it is so good of you to take so 
much trouble for me." 

'' Oh ! an idle man like myself likes the im- 
portance of a little business to transact for a 
friend, and we must have this packet sent in the 
most expeditious manner, of course, since it has 
been so long delayed." 

" Yes, by the mail steamer," said Amy, " if it 
does not give you too much trouble." 

Amy over-estimated the trouble Lord Darling- 
ton took, for on payment of a little extra charge, 
the optician undertook to send the presents in 
one packet if they were forwarded to him, and 
he would have done it for Amy as readily as for 
her friend. But it was a comfort and satisfaction 
to have the earl's company and countenance in 



150 THE AXJTE[0B'S DAUGHTEB. 

the affair, and her mind was relieved that she 
had kept her promise to her Branxhokn firiends^ 
and shown that even in the midst of what they 
would consider dissipation she had not forgotten 
them. 



k 



CHAPTER X. 

A RECOGNITION. 

On the evening of the day in which Amy had 
done so much business with Lord Darlington she 
went with him and with her brother and Lady 
Gower to the Italian Opera. It was one of An- 
thony's most dearly cherished ideas that Amy 
had seen nothing until he had opened the world 
for her ; but the fact was that she had been taken 
when a child to every place of amusement that 
was worth seeing. Gerald Staimton's position on 
the Palladium gave him free admittance to 
every theatre and concert and exhibition in Lon- 
don ; and the quietness of the family life at home 
was compensated for by the number of public 
amusements which the little girl shared with the 
hundreds and thousands of pleasure seekers in 
London. Gerald Staimton knew by sight, if not 
personally, every actor and singer of any note in 
England, and his extensive acquaintance with all 



152 THE author's DAUOHTEK 

literary, diumatic, and artistic subjects made him 
a deUghtful interpreter and critic to guide his 
daughter 8 taste. She had always thought her 
father's remarks the pleasantest part of the phty^ 
and when her mother accompanied them her 
appreciation of what was most beautiful in music 
had been also of service to Amy, so that when 
Anthony was thinking how delighted and sur- 
[irised she ought to be at her first play or opera, 
his little sister felt how she missed her father's 
explanations and her mother^s rapt attention. 
She harl only once expressed her feelings, but 
Anthony showed so much annoyance that she 
should miss anything while she was with him 
that she kept silence ever after, and her 
brother went back to his original idea that 
this must be all new to her. After a 
while she overcame the feeling and allowed 
Anthony's taste, which was good, though rather 
hypercritical, to direct her in music, while Lord 
Darlington's dramatic taste, also somewhat fasti- 
dious, had its weight with her. On this night, 
if it had not been for misgivings with regard to 
the picture, she would have been especially 
happy, for she had accomplished several things 
by hor kind friend's assistance, and felt that she 
could always apply to him in any difficulty. 
Edith had declined to go to Covent Garden that 



A BECOGNinON. 163 

evening, for the opera was one she did not care 
for; but Lady Gower and Anthony paid very 
little regard to Edith's wishes or tastes at this 
period. The manner in which her great aunt 
petted and distinguished Amy was an additional 
cause of disunion between the half-sisters. Amy 
was new, and Amy was successful, and she must 
be taken wherever she wished to go. 

As she sat she was observed and recognised by 
an old Australian friend in the stalls. " Mamma, 
lookl" said Louis Hammond to his mother, 
" there is Amy Staunton in a front box, she who 
used to be with the Lindsays at Branxholm, you 
know. Is not she lovely?" 

Mrs. Hammond followed the direction of her 
son's eyes, and saw what took her back many, 
many years. Anthony Derrick and Amy Staunton 
looking so like his father and her mother that she 
needed to look at her sons and daughters and 
husband to make her certain that she was not 
Clarissa Hope still. 

" Is she not lovelier than ever ?" said Louis. 

"And exquisitely dressed," said his eldest 
sister. 

" Mr. Lufton said she had been sent for by her 
fnends, and that they were great people," said 
Louis, "but I scarcely thought she would cut 
such a dash as this." 



154 THE author's daughter. 

" I always told you, my dear, that you were iii 
the wrong box about that girl," said Mr. Ham- 
mond. " I knew fh)m her looks and ways that 
she must be well-bom and well-bred, and here 
you see her in the heart of the best circles in 
England." 

" It would appear that she needed no counte- 
nance or help from us then," said Mrs. Hammond, 
coldly. 

" I am sure she sees me," said Louis ; " she 
smiles to me. I wonder if she has forgotten the 
day when I broke her netting-needle, and Allan 
made her another ; and the coat-of-arms on the 
netting-box, that belonged to her family." Louis 
had guessed rightly at her thoughts, for the sight 
of his face had recalled the very train of ideas 
that his mind had followed. 

" Who is that young fellow looking so hard at 
you. Amy ?" said Lord Darlington, who had taken 
lately to calling her by her Christian name. 

" I think — I am sure, indeed — that it is a neigh- 
bour of ours in Australia." 

At the word Australia Anthony Derrick's face 
looked dark, and Mrs. Hammond, who was unable 
to prevent herself from looking at him, saw how, 
even in its worse changes, it resembled his 
father's. 

" Indeed I a neighbour, an admirer, I should 



A RECOGNITION. 155 

say ; he is certainly expecting a recognition ; just 
the least suspicion of a smile will do/' said Lord 
Darlington. 

« I hive recognised him," said Amy timidly. 

" It is none of those Lindsays? " asked An- 
thony, in an earnest whisper. 

" No ; only they lived at Aralewin before they 
went to England, and I used to see Mr. Hammond 
and the boys sometimes. It is a long time since 
they bade us good-by. Louis has grown a man, 
but he is recognisable anywhere." 

" He is not handsome^ but pectdiar looking," 
said the earl ; « a remarkably long face, especially 
the lower part, and as he has no beard as yet, I 
fiuicy you could not forget him, and he seems 
determined to have a good look at you!' 

" I don't like it," said Amy, shading her face 
with her fan, and talking to the earl. 

" RecoUect that I have no liking for Austra- 
lians," said .Anthony ; " I hope that young feUow 
will not claim acquaintance with you on the 
strength of any Australian reminiscences." 

Mrs. Hammond was as dissatisfied with the 
direction which her son's eyes took as Anthony 
himself could be, but her remonstrances were of 
no avail. " What do people sit in front boxes for 
if they do not expect to be looked at?" so he 
watched the party rather than the opera. He at 



156 THE ATTTHOB'S DAUGHTER. 

first thought Lord Darlington was an uncle or old 
relative, but on closer observation he concluded 
that he was an admirer, and the idea seemed to 
him altogether preposterous and wrong. He 
watched them when they moved to go, but before 
he could make his way through the crowd by 
his different route Mr. Derrick's carriage had 
rolled off with the object of his curiosity. 

All night Louis racked his brain how to get 
an introduction to Miss Staunton, or rather how 
properly to introduce himself. A doucefwr to the 
box-keeper had procured him the information 
that the box was Lady Gk)wer's, and that the 
yoimg lady was a niece of the old lady's, at 
present living with her brother, Mr. Derrick, in 

square ; that the old gentleman was the 

Earl of Darlington, a distant relative, and a very 
devoted attendant on the young lady. 

Mrs. Hammond was horrified to hear that he 

intended to call at square, while his father 

pooh-poohed tiie idea, saying that he might call 
if he pleased, but he would not be well received, 
for those stuck-up English grandees looked down 
on poor colonials so much. 

Louis was bold enough in planning his visit, 
but though he had been all night framing an 
introductory sentence, his courage rather failed 
him when he came to the door ; he passed it and 



A RECOGNITION. 157 

repassed it before he took courage to ring the 
bell, and when the answer to his enquiry was 
that Miss Staunton was not at home he was rather 
relieved than otherwise at the moment. 

He left his card, which after all was all he could 
reasonably have expected to do during calling 
hours in fine weather in London, and on Amy's 
return she saw "For Miss Staunton" scribbled 
in pencil over the name of " Mr. Louis Hammond, 
Aralewin, S. A.," with his London address printed 
below the Australian. The girl's heart warmed 
to the familiar names; she was very sorry 
Anthony was so averse to the acquaintanceship, 
for she should really have liked to have a talk 
with Louis. 

A few days later he had an opportunity of 
speaking to her, for he watched for her in Hyde 
Park, and had the good fortune to see her with 
Lady Gk)Wer and without her brother or sister. 
He rode up to the carriage, which had come to a 
deadlock along with many more, his bow was 
cordially returned ; Lady Gower had some con- 
fused idea that he was a Stanmore neighbour, for 
she, being somewhat deaf, had lost the conver- 
sation in the opera-box, and asked to be intro- 
duced. She liked to know every one of Amy's 
acquaintances, that she might be able to keep the 
coast as clear as possible for Lord Darlington. 



158 THE author's DAUGHTEB. 

Louis was delighted with his reception, and 
asked Amy a great number of questions as to 
how she liked England and what she had been 
doing since she left Australia, confiding in her 
that he himself was going to return as soon as 
he could get leave from the governor and his 
mother; asking if she did not think London 
a smoky, noisy place, and saying that Mr. Ham- 
mond was taking a place in the country at last 
in the hope that the family wotdd be more 
contented to remain in England under these new 
circumstances. Then he asked what news she 
had received from Branxholm ; was it really the 
case that Mr. Luffcon, after all his love affairs 
with very young ladies, was actually going to 
marry Mrs. Troubridge with five children, for 
such a rumour had reached his mother, and none 
of them would believe it. He had fancied that 
Mr. Lufton would have tried for Isabel Lindsay, 
or perhaps the younger girl still, for he was told 
they were very good looking and very Hvely, or 
perhaps he had tried and faUed. 

Amy said she believed the report was true. 
Mrs. Troubridge had sympathised with Mr. 
Luffcon for many years, and business matters 
had brought them together very much. She 
thought they might be very happy, though the 
marriage had surprised her greatly when she 



A RECOGNITION. 159 

heard of it. Mr. Lindsay had said that Bulletin 
and Richlands would work well together, and 
the little Troubridges would be all the better 
for having some one with authority over them. 

" But these are such poor considerations," said 
Louis, who had very romantic ideas about love 
and marriage at this time. " What does Allan 
think of it ? I suppose he writes to you." 

" Oh ! yes," said Amy, with a slight blush, 
" I get letters very regularly from Branxholm. 
Allan seemed to be amused at it, for he thought, 
like you, that Mr. Lufton was preparing to 
propose to Isabel." 

" I hope the young lady is not disappointed," 
said Louis. 

" No, Isabel had no preference for Mr. Lufton 
at all." 

" Has not Mr. Lindsay taken that large run of 
Billabong for Allan ?" 

"Yes, but Allan does not live there, he goes 
backward and forward from Branxholm ; Jamie 
is at Gundabook, and though the season has been 
so dry, they have had water for the sheep as yet. 
You know George Copeland sunk a good well 

there before he married Jessie, and " here 

Amy stopped, for at this moment she saw her 
brother Anthony and Lord Darlington at her 
side, and knew from Anthony's countenance that 



160 THE author's daughter 

he had heard what she had said. No langaa^ 
could describe the stifl&iess of Mr. Derrick's bow 
or the condescension of Lord Darlington's manner 
when Amy introduced Mr. Louis Hammond to 
them in an embarrassed way. The young man 
had spirit and felt this reception^ which was 
what his father had prophesied he would meet 
with from Miss Staunton's friends, but Amy was 
timidly kind and courteous still, and he was not 
to be driven from his pursuit of the object of his 
early admiration by the rudeness of her guaxdianB. 
In fact that only made the affiiir more romantic 
and mteresting. 

Hig next move was to try to persuade his 
mother to call upon Miss Staunton, because what- 
ever might be his position as the son of an 
Australian squatter, he was satisfied that his 
mother's early English associations had been 
suflEiciently aristocratic, and that her manners 
were perfect. He thought her the cleverest and 
most ladylike person in the world. Li all the 
society in which he had seen her she had asserted 
herself calmly and fearlessly, and she had been 
taken at her own valuation ; and with such an 
ally he felt sure he could make his way even 
with that disagreeable brother of Amy Staunton's. 
Hia boyish admiration had grown, as he thought, 
into the serious passion of a lifetime ; he knew 



A RECOGNITION. 161 

his mother wished him to marry young, though, 
perhaps, not quite so young as this would be; 
she wished him also to marry well, and the 
accounts he gathered as to the wealth and 
position of the Derricks were such as rather to 
dazzle liimself, and certainly should be satis- 
factory to his parents. He had never clearly 
understood the old episode of the manner in 
which Amy had been thrown upon the Lindsays; 
he had fancied that it had arisen out of the great 
liking which Mrs. Lindsay had taken to the little 
girl, and her own reluctance to leave the place 
where her father was buried. He had no idea 
of the intense hereditary dislike which Mrs. 
Hammond felt for the daughter of the woman 
who had thwarted her ambition as well as her 
love, and could fancy no objection could be made 
to renewing his acquaintance with so charming a 
girl. 

Mrs. Hammond's decided refusal to grant his 
reasonable request astonished Louis, who had 
been indulged in every wish that it was in her 
power to accede to hitherto. In order to win 
her over to his side he poured out his passion 
and his hopes into her ears, and for the first time 
fo\md her unsympathising and not to be won 
over. The more vehement and passionate he 
was, the more inexOTable she became — the bitter- 

VOL. II. 11 



162 THE author's daughter. 

ness of the past came back to her. Was this girl 
to estrange from her her son — her eldest bom, 
her hope, her pride— just as her mother Lady 
Eveline, with her artfiil appearance of artlessness, 
had won John Derrick when Clarissa Hope had 
believed him to be her own ; not only won him, 
but neglected him and made him miserable ? It 
was so new to Louis to be opposed by his 
mother, so new to have his feelings sneered at 
and his wishes disregarded, that he expressed 
himself angrily, as spoiled boys are apt to do 
when they cannot get what they ask, but which, 
to do Louis justice, he had never done before. 
The first thing like a quarrel between mother 
and son thus was brought about by this girl 
whom she felt she hated ; she sternly told Louis 
she would hear no more of this absurd nonsense, 
and he felt that it would be prudent to forbear. 

But it is singular how opposition increased his 
desire to try to win Amy. He saw her several 
times in the park, and fancied from the expression 
of her face as she bowed to him that, if it was 
not for her brother, she would be only too happy 
to speak frankly and kindly to him. Perhaps 
she felt towards him in the same manner, though 
probably not in so strong a degree, as he did 
towards her, and he was certain that her brother 
was harsh and stem, and that she was not happy 



A RECOaNITION. 163 

with him at alL The Hammonds were preparing 
to go out of town to the pretty country house 
which they had taken, and Louis felt as if he 
must either speak or write before he left London. 
As he could not get any sympathy from his 
mother he applied to his father, and found the 
old gentleman more indulgent, though still by no 
means encouraging. Mr. Hammond had no old 
grudge at poor Amy, but he had an uncomfort- 
able feeling of remorse that his wife's influence 
had made him do the one mean and shabby 
action of his life in leaving her at Branxholm, 
and he had always regretted that he had not 
distinctly apologised to Amy before he left 
Australia. 

" But Louis, my boy, your mother cannot bear 
to think, far less to say, that she has made a 
mistake or done wrong ; and, although I might 
have gone and told Miss Staunton that I was 
very sorry I had not done my duty by her when 
she was the Lindsays' governess, I cannot, and 
still more your mother cannot, go cringing to her 
now that we know she is the sister of a mil- 
lionaire and the granddaughter of an earl. I 
have no desire to toady great people, and I am 
satisfied with my position as an Australian 
sheepfarmer." 

11—2 



164 THE author's daughter. 

" But my mother is scarcely satisfied with that 
position," said Louis. 

" Perhaps not, and if we had been kind to the 
girl, it might have been an introduction that she 
would have availed herself of; but as we were 
anything but kind I can scarcely wonder at this 
brother's black looks. No doubt the girl has 
told him how we behaved." 

" She does not feel any bitterness herself I am 
sure, K you had seen how she smiled, and 
heard how she spoke, you would not have 
thought my chance at all bad." 

"Well, she is a very pretty girl and a good 
girl too, I believe, but if you want to win her 
you must do it for yourself, and trust neither to 
your mother nor to me. If, as you say, you 
think her unhappy with her brother, she may 
think the more of your attachment ; but after all 
you are a mere boy, and you had better drop 
this boyish whim, for I really think your mother 
would not like it, and you would not do any- 
thing to vex her, I am sure." 

" Did you think of what your mother wished 
in such a matter as this when you were my age ? 
Mamma is really unreasonable about this." 

"Well, I did not think much about either 
father's or mother's wishes when I was as old as 



A RECOGNITION. 165 

you," said Mr. Hammond honestly; "but that 
affair came to nothing, as yours will do." 

" No it won't," said Louis. " You have given 
me leave to make my own way, and I shall 
do so." 

Mr. Hammond congratulated himself that his 
son had short space for his operations before 
leaving London, and even that space was short- 
ened, for on the very day of this conversation 
Amy Staunton went out of town. Louis saw 
Edith and Anthony and Lady Gower and Lord 
Darlington in public places, but Amy did not 
accompany them. At first he thought she was 
iU and felt alarmed, but he learned by enquiring 
at her brother's house that she was well, but had 
gone to pay a visit in the country. Further 
enquiry as to the place she had gone to elicited 
nothing, the footman did not know, only that 
Miss Staunton was to be absent for six weeks 
probably. It was not at Stanmore or Darlington 
Castle, that was all he knew about it, nor at 
Lady Gower's country house at Gower's Court, 
and with this negative information Louis was 
forced to be contented. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hammond were relieved, and 
Louis's eternal passion grew more reasonable till 
circumstances brought about another and a more 
favourable meeting. 



CHAPTER XL 

BELTON RECTORY. 

Amy's visit out of town was very suddenly de- 
termined on, and surprised her as much as it did 
Louis. Lady Gower, in her watchful care of her, 
took a little alarm at the attentions which were 
paid to her grandniece by a younger son, who 
had no prospects whatever, but whom Amy found 
agreeable. Most opportunely, as the old lady 
thought, a letter reached Amy at this time, con- 
taining an invitation which would take her out 
of danger if it was accepted. The letter came 
from Mrs. Evans, Gerald Staunton's sister, and 
expressed great surprise at not having heard she 
was in England until they heard she was in the 
heart of the gay world and presented at court. 
She apologised for not coming to call on her, but 
a journey to London was a thing she very rarely 
took. Mrs. Evans hoped that the omission would 
be overlooked, and that her niece would come to 



BELTON RECTORY. 167 

visit her at Belton Rectory as soon as she felt 
tired of gaiety, for her cousins longed so to be- 
come acquainted with her; and to spend six 
weeks in one of the prettiest districts of Eng- 
land, even in a plain household like theirs, 
might not be altogether unattractive to her. 

It was a different thing, sending money to 
fetch an almost unknown relative from Australia, 
and, after that, to provide for her future, from in- 
viting for a summer visit a girl whose position 
was recognised and whose means were ample. 
The first step might be detrimental to the family 
for whom Mrs. Evans lived ; the second might 
chance to be advantageous. There were no reli- 
gious reflections in this letter ; apparently Mrs. 
Evans considered religion only fitted for seasons 
of afiliction and adversity. 

Amy was disinclined to accept an invitation 
from an aunt whom she thought worldly and 
selfish, and besides she was happier than she had 
been since she came to England, and perhaps 
happier than she had been since her father's 
death. Her brother was so much easier and 
pleasanter with her, and she felt grateful to her 
friend Lord Darlington, for helping to bring about 
so good an understanding. Anthony also disliked 
the idea of her going near her father's relations ; 
but when Lady Gower saw the letter, and under- 



168 THE author's daughter. 

stood where Belton Rectory was situated, she 
said at once that the invitation should be ac- 
cepted without delay, and gave Mr. Derrick such 
suflScient reasons that he consented. Amy had 
only time to exchange letters with her aunt, and 
to arrange for being met at the station ; her en- 
gagements for the next fortnight were disre- 
garded, and the consequence was that Mr. Ernest 
Churchill and Mr. Louis Hammond saw her no 
more m London for that season. 

Lord Darlington happened to be out of town 
when the arrangement was made, and Amy was 
very sorry that she could not bid him good-bye. 
When he was informed of the circumstance he 
seemed annoyed, but did not leave London at 
once, as Lady (Jower had confidently expected ; 
for town was still too full and too gay for him 
to leave it quite yet, and besides, there were 
some circumstances that he wished Amy to be- 
come acquainted with and accustomed to before 
he again presented himself to her. 

Amy had no such diflSiculties with her uncle, 
aimt, and cousins at the rectory as she had met 
with at Stanmore. They were all disposed to 
like her, and to take far more notice of her than 
she felt that she deserved. She was ashamed of 
the profuse apologies her aunt made to her for 
the letter she had sent to her in Australia, and 



BELTON RECTORY. 169 

only half believed the repeated protestations she 
made, that if she (Mrs. Evans) had only had more 
personal knowledge of Amy she would liave been 
most happy to have made her like one of her own 
children. The questions that were asked as to 

the establishment at Stanmore and in 

square, and the apologies for the plainness of 
things in the rectory, and the dulness of the 
quiet country neighbourhood, and the want of 
amusement, struck Amy as rather absurd, con- 
sidering that they knew she had been for years 
in Australia in the homely household of Uie 
Lindsays. 

"Am I really growing so conventional as to 
care for these things, or is it only because people 
wiU 80 pertinaciously remind me of them V 
Amy said to herself one day, when her aunt had 
dwelt on the disagreeableness of her not being 
able to afford to keep a man-servant to wait at 
table, and the awkwardness of having only a 
crinolined parlour-maid in the rather narrow 
rectory dining-room. She hoped that Amy 
would not mind it, since with these rising prices 
of all things, and a family growing more expen- 
sive every year, the fixed incomes of the clergy 
had a hard strain on them ; and then wandered on 
to the other privations which Amy must feel in 
exchanging Stanmore for this humble home. 



170 THE author's daughter. 

These apologies wearied and pained her a little, 
and so did the compliments ; everything she did 
or said or wore, received its meed of praise from 
her aunt and cousins, and patterns were taken 
of dresses and mantles and other things to be 
imitated in less expensive materials. 

It was a large family, and the four eldest were 
girls, tall, rather good-looking, especially the 
eldest, and perhaps naturally good-tempered and 
amiable — ^but sadly in want of something to do 
— ^and rather spoiled by the absorbing selfishness 
of their mother. It was not for herself that 
Mrs. Evans was selfish and self-seeking ; but the 
interests and the advantage of her children were 
the exclusive objects of her care. Her husband 
was a person whose position was rather that of 
a tame man in the house than that of the head 
and chief of the family. He was quiet and 
mediocre in everything, and the active duties of 
the parish were mostly discharged by a hard- 
working, and very odd-looking curate. Although 
the parish was so large that there should have 
been sufficient work for both rector and curate, 
the willing horse generally gets the burden, 
even in the care of souls, and Mr. Evans could 
indulge his constitutional indolence without any- 
thing going decidedly wrong. Mr. Nash, the 
curate, was a married man, who had no chil- 



BELTON RECTORY. 171 

dren, and his wife, who was as willing and as 
zealous as her husband, had taken the active 
supervision of the schools and the visiting of 
the sick and poor before the Misses Evans had 
been old enough to be of any service in such 
matters, and when the young ladies had grown 
to womanhood they did not see that there was 
any need of their services, especially as they 
knew that Mrs. Nash would not like their in- 
terference. She was a little dowdy woman, with 
a fussy maimer but a kind heart ; she did not 
mind being patronised by the wife and daugh- 
ters of the rector in their social relations, but in 
the management of the schools she would hold 
the chief place, and in her ministrations among 
the poor her ro\md face and unfashionable gar- 
ments were far more welcome sights than those 
of the handsome and stylishly-dressed yoimg 
ladies. 

Amy heard of the few families who were in 
the neighbourhood who were visited by the 
Evanses, and with surprise and delight learned 
that her friend's daughter. Lady Olivia Darling- 
ton, had resided in the parish for more than a 
year. The Evanses had hoped for great things 
when this lady came with her cousin or aunt, 
Miss Pennithome, to live so near them ; but the 
young lady was so much of a cripple and in- 



172 THE author's daughter. 

valid that she never left the sofa^ and Miss Pen- 
nithome was so devoted to h^ that she could 
not be induced to leave the house except to go to 
church, and for a rare ceremonious calL Thrush 
Grove was therefore a disappointment to Lucy 
Evans and her sisters, but she hoped for better 
things at Thornton House, which had been bought 
lately by a gentleman with a grown-up family. 

Amy, however, felt much more interest in 
Thrush Grove, and went there to call with her 
aunt and cousins on the day after her arrival at 
the rectory. Lord Darlington had once or twice 
slightly alluded to his daughter as being an in- 
valid, and Lady Gower had known nothing about 
her, so that Amy's knowledge of Lady Olivia was 
very slight, but her curiosity was great. 

Amy, as Mrs. Evans's niece, was very well re- 
ceived by both aunt and niece, and when they 
heard that she was acquainted, intimately ac- 
quainted, with Lord Darlington, they were both 
eager to make a friend of her. Even the distant 
relationship to Lady Olivia, who had very few 
relatives, was a strong bond between her and 
Amy, and it was with more animation than the 
languid invalid usually showed that she asked 
questions about her father and answered Amy's 
kind enquiries as to her health and occupa- 
tions. 



BELTON RECTORY. '173 

Lady Olivia was not without a kind of in- 
valid beauty, which touched Amy. In spite of 
the contraction of the features which seems 
always to result from such serious accidents as 
she had met with in youth,, there was a bright- 
ness in the eyes and a beauty in the smile, 
and a softness in the voice which would have 
made her charming if she had not been too ex- 
clusively occupied with her own sufferings and 
deprivations. Her invalid talk wearied out Lucy 
Evans and her sisters, who, in the possession of 
high health and animated spirits, were too apt 
to come into the dull house like a whirlwind, 
and go out of it leaving a sense of disturbance, 
but nothing at all of brightness or cheerfulness. 
Amy had known sorrow ; she had sat quiet be- 
side her mother's sofa day after day, and the 
tones of her voice were lowered to address the 
invalid as she looked with concern and sympathy 
on Lady Olivia. Her helplessness, the dulness 
of her life, her habitual languor of spirit, seemed 
to demand care and affection; and Amy could 
not help wondering why her kind thoughtful 
friend. Lord Darlington, should only visit this 
couch once or twice a year. But there was one 
person who loved and prized the poor invalid. 
Miss Pennithome, or aimt Sophy, as Lady Olivia 
called her, devoted herself to her charge as few 



174 THE authob's daughter. 

mothers could have done. She lived in and for 
Olivia. As Olivia could not go out she would 
not leave her, and so she narrowed her sphere 
abnost to the compass of the four walls that 
contained her treasure. In a sense this was an 
evil to Olivia and to both, for so little breath 
from the outer world reached them ; and with- 
out being naturally cold-hearted or uncharitable, 
they became self-absorbed, or rather two became 
absorbed in one. As their few visitors did not 
feel every change in Olivia's health, or every 
fluctuation in her spirits as keenly as the patient 
and her nurse did, they fancied that the outer 
world was cold and imfeeling. 

Although Amy could not perceive the rela- 
tive position of Thrush Grove to the neighbour- 
hood in all its completeness, her quick intuitions 
made her catch the tone of the house as her 
cousins had never done, and the newness of the 
circumstance that one from the circle in which 
the earl moved habitually should come to visit 
his daughter made Lady Olivia press her to re- 
peat her call, or if possible spend a long day 
with her as soon as she could. Anything that 
was interesting to her darling gave pleasure to 
Aunt Sophy, and she warmly seconded the invi- 
tation. She had some recollections connected 
with Lady Eveline, but nothing unpleasant. She 



BELTON RECTORY. 175 

only knew that before Mr. Darlington met with 
her cousin Elizabeth he had been expected to 
marry his own relative, Lady Eveline, but that 
the fortune of the former had been more dazzling 
than anything he could expect with the other. 



CHAPTER XII. 

AN OLD maid's TREASURE. 

Miss Sophy Pbnnithorne had been a cousin and 
dependent of the wealthy family to which the 
presumptive heir of the earldom of Darlington 
had allied himself. She was the only one of the 
fortunate Elizabeth's Mends who was not dazzled 
by the noble alliance and brilliant prospects held 
out to her. She mistrusted Mr. Darlington from 
the first, and when she found that her cousin was 
separated completely feom her father and friends, 
and that her husband ruled her absolutely in all 
things, she fancied that Elizabeth must be un- 
happy. She judged of Mrs. Darlington's feelings 
by her own, and she knew that to break off all 
affectionate relations with her old friends woidd 
have made herself miserable. Whereas Elizabeth 
did not suffer much in the separation ; she had 
her enjojnnents in society for the present, and she 
did not perceive any of the civil contempt with 




AN OLD maid's TREASURE. 177 

which her husband's friends treated her — and for 
the future, was she not going to be a countess ? 
Her husband was rather neglectful, but that was 
always the case in the fashionable world, and she 
was not so passionately attached to him as to feel 
jealous or unappreciated. She knew that Sophy 
cared for and tended the old people as well as she 
could have done, and better than she had ever 
tried to do, and it was a great thing for them to 
see her name amongst fashionable people, especi- 
ally after her accession to the title. She did not 
take so gloomy a view of her family afflictions as 
Sophy woidd have done under the circumstances. 
She thought her son was a little slow ; but many 
minds were long in opening, and she hoped from 
year to year that he would take a start. As for 
her daughter's lameness, had they not the best 
advice in England for her, and are not these things 
all curable now-a-days ? 

In spite of the estrangement which Sophy so 
much regretted, the great lady and her noble hus- 
band were present with both her mother and 
father on their death-beds. It seems to be a 
great satisfaction to a certain common class of 
minds that they can atone for years of neglect 
by showing themselves at a time when they can 
be of no service. Sophy Pennithome thought 
that when Elizabeth had made her way to Clap- 

VOL. II. 12 



178 THE author's daughter. 

ham to see her dying mother, she might come 
again to visit her bereaved father ; but, although 
many months elapsed, it was not until the old 
gentleman was dangerously ill that the earl and 
countess presented themselves. It seemed to 
both parents to be so great a satisfaction to see 
her and her husband on these occasions, that 
perhaps they might be excused for thinking too 
much of it, 

Mr, Pennithome left to his only daughter his 
entire fortime, with the exception of a few small 
legacies and several handsome charitable bequests, 
and of a sum in the funds which would produce a 
life annidty of two hundred and fifty pounds a year 
for Sophy, but which should revert on her death 
to Elizabeth and her children. It is curious how 
money is left, and still more curious that the world 
saw nothing disproportionate in the bequests to 
the indifferent daughter and the devoted niece. 

The countess did not long live to enjoy her 
husband's position and her father's fortune, for 
a severe illness consequent on the birth of a still- 
bom son, terminated fatally, and her husband 
was left a young and by no means a disconsolate 
widower. 

Miss Pennithome always looked in the fashion- 
able intelligence for an approaching marriage in 
high life, which she expected would follow Eliza- 



AN OLD maid's TREASURE. 179 

beth's death within a decent interval ; but years 
passed by, and there was no such announce- 
ment 

The earl had never cared for children, and his 
own did not interest him. There was no neces- 
sity for his taking any active superintendence of 
either son or daughter; he could afford to pay 
handsomely people who were far more competent 
to the charge than he coidd be expected to be. 

It was a mere accident that led to Olivia being 
placed under Miss Pennithome's care. Hisr me- 
dical adviser had recommended a removal from 
London and a constant residence in the coimtry, 
and had thought Darlington Castle too cold, and 
he chanced to suggest the very locality to which 
Miss Pennithome had retired on her annuity as 
the most favourable. It occurred to the earl that 
Sophy would be kind and careful, and that the 
board he could pay would be an object to the 
vegetating maiden lady ; so he wrote courteously 
to his wife's cousin, making the proposition as a 
matter of business. Very differently was the 
proposal received by the enthusiastic affection- 
ate little woman. All her memories, all her at- 
tachments, all her ambitions had been connected 
with the wealthy uncle who had been like a 
father to her ; her love for her cousin Elizabeth 
had been strong and extravagant when compared 

12—2 



180 THE author's daughter. 

with the cousin's deservings; her grief at the 
separation had been humble and uncomplaining, 
and accordingly the offer that she shoidd have 
the sole charge of poor dear Elizabeth's afflicted 
child, was a source of joy that was almost painful 
in its intensity. 

She had been composing herself for some years 
to her fate aij a solitary old maid. She had been 
neither handsome nor clever, and she had passed 
through youth into middle age without having 
even the glory of a love-disappointment, and had 
felt 'the loss of occupation consequent on the 
death of her aunt and uncle very much. 

She did not envy other women their husbands, 
but she envied them their households and their 
children, and her maternal instinct had been 
exercising itself a little on some of the young 
people who lived near her, but always with a 
sad feeling that these little folks did not belong 
to her ; that, however much she might love them, 
she coidd not influence them much, or hope to 
attach them to herself strongly. 

K any letter had come to her proposing a per- 
manent resident who should be under her au- 
thority and care, she woidd have rejoiced in it 
greatly ; how much the more now when she knew 
who the girl was, how much she suffered, how few 



AN OLD maid's TREASURE. 181 

there were to love her, and how much there was 
to do for her. 

Every one in the parish (which was not that 
which Mr. Evans held, but was situated in an 
adjoining county,) who saw Miss Pennithome at 
church on the Sunday after she had received and 
answered Lord Darlington's letter speculated on 
what could make her look so bright, what had 
lent colour to her naturally pale cheeks, and made 
the smiles liu'k upon the corners of her mouth, 
and caused the tremulous voice and agitated 
manner in which she gave the responses. Some 
said she must have had a fortunne left to her, 
and others that a lover who had been years in 
, foreign parts must have come to England to 
marry her. The gossips who called on Monday 
morning to see what was in the wind, found that 
everything was being brightened up at Miss Pen- 
nithome's, and that she herself was agitated and 
absent as they had not seen her during the years 
of her residence in the neighbourhood. It was 
not long before they heard the important news, 
not that it was quite certain yet, but Miss Penni- 
thome hoped that her grateful acceptance of the 
earl's offer would settle the business. 

It was a great piece of news at the time when the 
little Lady Olivia first came to Miss Pennithome's, 
but the novelty soon wore off Her fatlier's visits 



182 THE AUTHOB'S daughter, 

were short and rare, but they were more interest- 
ing to the neighbours than the constant residence 
of the daughter. But to aunt Sophy the charm of 
possessing a child of her own never grew less ; 
even the somewhat cold manner of the little lady, 
her expressions of disappointment at the home, 
which after all the brightening up looked mean 
and poor to her eyes, did not chill that good 
Wann heart. She was patient and affectionate, 
and in time engrossed to herself almost all the 
affection which Lady OUvia had to bestow. 
Every visit of the earl was long wearied for by 
his daughter; he brought new books and toys 
and pictures, and music, which aunt Sophy would 
diligently practise to play to her darling ; he also 
used to brin^: fresh and costly delicacies and fresh 
subjects rinversation, and in hixoself he wa. 
something new and interesting. But to Miss 
Pennithome his visits were a trial, for she always 
had a fear that he might take Olivia from her. 
She was never at her ease with the earl, and he 
used to set down her embarrassment to her city 
breeding and to his own transcendent claims on 
her respect ; but if she had loved Olivia less, she 
might have been comparatively comfortable with 
him. It was the immense value of the thing 
with which he had entrusted her that made her 
so hesitating and so fearful of offending him. 



AN OLD maid's TREASURE. 183 

At first she feared his critical eyes would see 
deficiencies in the appointments of her cottage, or 
take exception to the medical adviser whom she 
had engaged from the neighbouring c juntry-to wn ; 
but as years passed without his offering to remove 
Olivia from her care, she began to think that so 
long as Lord Darlington remained a widower, he 
woidd be contented to leave her with aunt Sophy 
If he married again it would be natural and per- 
haps right that he should take his daughter to 
his own home, and then Olivia would be sepa- 
rated from Miss Pennithome as effectually as 
Elizabeth had been ; not merely a bodily separa- 
tion, but an alienation of interests and affections. 
The step-mother would be handsome and brilliant 
and clever — if she were amiable she would eclipse 
poor aunt Sophy, and if she were the reverse, 
would make Olivia miserable. If the earl looked 
nonchalanty as he generally did. Miss Pennithome 
feared that the fatal disclosure was about to be 
made, and she was to be robbed of her darling. 
Still, so many years had passed away, that these 
anxieties became less distressing, and the earl's 
visits which reawakened them had become rarer. 
It was with the idea that Lord Darlington might 
come to see her oftener at Thrush Grove than at 
Stillwell, that Olivia had pressed her aimt to 
move to the former place ; but although Thrush 



Miss Pennithome think that this was the person 
of whom she had cause to be afraid, whom 
Lord Darlington had distinguished by marked 
and serious attentions, and to whom he was 
determined to offer his coronet, as Amy herself 
did. 

Olivia's pressing invitation to Amy to repeat 
her visit only gave aunt Sophy pleasure, and 
she echoed it heartily. This was the only 
young girl whom Olivia had taken to; very 
much from the hardness and selfishness of the class 
of modem young girls with whom she had come 
in contact, as Miss Pennithome thought. No 
doubt it must be dull for poor Olivia to be always 
with a humdrum old maid like herself, and there 
was something in Amy's manner that won upon 
Miss Pennithome, as it won on every body who 
was not jealous or exacting. Amy felt almost as 
great a wish to please Lady Olivia's affectionate 
aunt as to please the invalid herself. It was 
not long before Amy found her way again to the 
invalid's sofa, first with her cousins and after- 




AX OLD maid's treasure. 185 

wards without them. Her talk charmed the 
girl who had been such a close prisoner to four 
walls. The accounts of her voyages, first to 
Madeira and back, and then to Australia and 
back; her descriptions of shipboard life, of 
Portuguese manners, and, above all other 
things, of the primitive simple life of her 
friends at Branxholm, burst upon Lady Olivia 
with a sense of freshness like country air 
to a pining citizen. The young lady's languid 
manner warmed and brightened ahuost to liveli- 
ness. Amy's visits were wearied for, and were 
repeated and prolonged, till Mrs. Evans and her 
daughters thought Amy was really behaving, 
rather ill to themselves. Of course. Lady Olivia 
was a person of rank ; but still she was to them 
the least interesting being in the parish, and they 
thought Amy must be in love with dulness to 
spend so many hours with that querulous invalid 
and her stupid aunt. 

Amy did not receive so many direct compli- 
ments at Thrush Grove as at the rectory; but 
what compliment could be equal to that of listen- 
ing with eager attention to all that she said, and 
what could give her greater pleasure than speak- 
ing without reserve on many things too trivial 
for Lord Darlington's ears, which were tabooed 
in her brother's household ? It is not what people 



when she did so. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

LOUIS HAMMOND HAS ANOTHER CHANCE. 

An event which happened at this time prevented 
the Evanses from taking Amy's defection so much 
to heart. Something still more interesting than 
the arrival of a cousin on a visit took place in the 
parish; for on the second Sunday after Amy's 
arrival, the Thornton pew, which was close by 
the rector's, was filled to overflowing by the 
family of Hammond, who had taken possession of 
their estate in the country at the end of the 
week. Louis's surprise on finding the object of so 
much speculation and so many fruitless enquiries 
sitting close by him was very great. He looked 
on it as a fortunate omen. Fate had again allowed 
them to meet, and here in the quiet of the country 
his chances were a hundred times greater than in 
London. Mr. and Mrs. Hammond exchanged 
glances. Amy appeared to be domesticated at 



188 THE AUTHOB*S DAUGHTER. 

the rectory, and they could not help recalling that 
Evans was the name of the aunt who had dis- 
appointed them by not inviting Amy to her Eng- 
lish home. Still it was absolutely necessary that 
the Hammonds should be on fiiendly terms with 
the clergyman of the parish; it was the only 
legitimate introduction which they, as strangers, 
could have to the society of the neighbourhood. 
Besides, Mrs. Hammond was a good Church- 
woman, and had made enqiiiries as to the side 
of the Church taken by the Reverend Frederick 
Evans before she had agreed to the purchase of 
the property. The answer had been satisfactory 
as to that point. The rector was neither High 
Church nor Broad Church nor yet distressingly 
Low Church ; but it is probable that if he had 
been either, he would not have been so absolutely 
useless in the Church as he was, for any kind of 
view held earnestly would have been better than 
his indifference and inactivity. 

On going out of church Amy coidd not help 
blushing as she returned Louis's profound bow. 
Mrs. Hammond hxmg back with her younger 
son ; but Mr. Hammond shook hands with Amy, 
was introduced to her aunt and cousins, and 
hoped Mrs. Evans and the young ladies would 
call at Thornton House soon, which Mrs. Evans 
promised to do very readily. Louis had a few 



LOUIS HAMMOND HAS ANOTHER CHANCE. 189 

words to say too, and left Belton Church in a 
state of proud exultation. His mother rmist 
become acquainted with Amy now, and when she 
knew her she must love her. 

Amy was eagerly asked by aunt, uncle, and 
cousins as to her acquaintance with these new 
people. Mrs. Evans was at first disconcerted to 
hear that they were the inhospitable squatters in 
whose service her brother had lost his life, and 
who had not made up for it in any way ; but as 
Amy slurred over the circumstance — for she 
thought it might remind her aunt of her own 
short-comings, and only spoke of the wealth and 
importance of the family, of Mr. Hammond's high 
character, and of the good nature of the boys, 
when they visited at the Lindsays — ^the old 
grudge was forgotten in the prospect of pleasant 
neighbours, and perhaps more substantial advan- 
tages accruing to the family at the rectory ; and 
Mrs. Evans determined to call on the moiTow. 
Amy must accompany her, because now that 
Amy's position was so excellent, it was an advan- 
tage to Mrs. Evans to have her company ; besides, 
it would be well to show Mrs. Hammond that 
now that she stood in no need of kindness her 
niece was willing to make the first advances. 
Amy shrunk a little from the visit, partly on 
account of her own feelings, and partly from fear 



190 THE author's daughter. 

of what Anthony might think of it ; but her aunt 
was firm and she yielded. 

Mrs. Hammond changed colour a little when 
Miss Staunton was announced with Mrs. and 
the Misses Evans. She extended her hand 
coldly, saying that Miss Staunton had grown 
considerably since she had had the pleasure of 
seeing her last, and then turned to Mrs. Evans, 
to whom she talked on local matters, and made 
enquiries about workpeople, for there was a 
good deal to be done to the house and grounds 
before she (Mrs. Hammond) could feel satisfied 
with her new home. Both ladies were agree- 
ably disappointed in each other, and Mrs. Evans 
found the call pleasant. Mrs. Hammond's plea- 
sure was marred by observing that Louis, who 
had lingered about the house all day in the 
faint hope of such call being made, sat down 
beside Amy and talked to her, and to her 
almost exclusively, asking her what had taken 
her out of town so suddenly, explaining his 
own fruitless enquiries after her, expressing his 
astonishment and pleasure at recognising her 
at church on the preceding day, enquiring about 
the neighbours, the fishing, the shooting, the 
hunting in the country from her, a comparative 
stranger, rather than from her cousins, who had 
been boru at the rectory. 



LOUIS HAMMOND HAS ANOTHER CHANCE. 191 

He soon discovered that she had made the 
acquaintance of Lady Olivia Darlington, the 
daughter of the condescending earl, whom he 
disliked so much, and that she was a frequent 
visitor at Thrush Grove. A sudden inspiration 
led him to turn from Amy to address a few 
remarks to Lucy Evans, and he did it so well 
that she forgave him his past neglect of her 
claims on his notice. Lucy had invited a few 
friends on the following day to do honour to 
her birthday, and it struck her that the Ham- 
monds would make a pleasant addition. The 
invitation was short, but the party was not a 
ceremonious one; would they be good enough 
to accept it ? The young people were only too 
glad to go out anjrwhere, and as Mrs. Evans, 
with some apologies, backed her daughter's re- 
quest, Mrs. Hammond gave in. " It would be 
an opportunity of seeing the people with whom 
they were to associate, and of judging of them 
better than in ceremonious calls," Louis said; 
but his mother saw that he cared nothing 
about the country neighbours ; the delight 
of meeting Amy Staunton was the attraction 
to him. 

"I believe," thought Mrs. Hammond to her- 
self as her visitors left the house, escorted by 
Louis, who walked down the avenue witli them 



192 THE author's daughter. 

— ^" I believe there is a fate in these things. I 
have fought against this girFs admission into our 
family from a dread that Louis or Fred might 
grow to love her. I have opposed my husband, 
and annoyed him to avoid it; I have spoken 
coldly and harshly to Louis himself in order to 
check it ; and here we have settled down in a 
parish where Amy Staimton*s near relatives re- 
side, and where she may spend weeks and 
months every year with them ; and so Eveline 
Darlington's daughter comes between me and my 
own boy,' and he will care for none of my warn- 
ings. He is bUnd, as boys are, to what I see so 
well, for I dislike her now as much as I disliked 
her mother, and I am not an easily prejudiced 
or an imreasonable woman." 

Lucy Evans was the handsomest of a rather 
handsome family, and was perhaps a very nice 
girl for fine weather and prosperous circumstan- 
ces, for, as she had good health and high animal 
spirits, she was supposed to be very amiable and 
affectionate. She laughed a great deal, and 
showed the reddest lips and the most beautifully 
regular and white teeth in the world; indeed 
her laugh was so pretty that one forgave her 
for laughing at little or nothing, and even some- 
times for laughing when crying might have been 
more appropriate. She was a girl with a great 



LOUIS HAMMOND HAS ANOTHER CHANCE. 193 

deal of life ; she was a first-rate croquet-player, 
a skilful archer, and a most indefatigable dancer. 
So far as life consisted in amusing herself in the 
first place, and her friends incidentally, she ful- 
filled its purpose well. No one laughed more 
lieartily at awkward, blundering Mr. Nash, the 
curate, and his dowdy wife than Lucy did. No 
one could throw more fim into her mock civili- 
ties to them, or overdo the earnestness of her 
enquiries of them as to the health of the poor 
of the parish or the prosperity of the penny 
club or the supplies of flannel and coals for win- 
ter, so as to make the worthy curate and his wife 
feel uncomfortable and convulse her young friends 
with laughter. No one was so much amused 
with the grotesque, the ugly, the old, or the 
feeble, as Lucy was, and no one had so sharp 
an eye for a butt or a quiz. She could pick out 
at a glance the most promising butt in a crowded 
room ; she could ally herself to the cleverest and 
most unscrupulous person of her own sex, or, if 
possible, of the other, and assist first in hunting 
up and then in hunting down the unfortunate 
object of her amusement. Nothing that she said 
was remarkably clever ; but if a girl talks a great 
deal, and is not scrupulous as to what she says, 
she must say smart things pretty frequently ; and 
Lucy Evans passed, not only in her own pai-tial 
VOL. n. 13 



194 THE author's daughter. 

fkmily circle, but amongst a tolerably large gene- 
ral acquaintance, for a really talented and bril- 
liant young woman, a little inclined to say severe 
things, as all clever people are at times, but yet 
good-hearted on the whole. 

It was Lucy's party — her birthday party. She 
had been accustomed to see her friends on her 
birthday, and, though she said she feared they 
were keeping a chronicle of her age, she could 
not give it up just yet. Lucy looked her best 
and talked in her liveliest manner. In spite of 
Louis Hammond's pre-occupied heart, he could 
not help being captivated, in an inferior degree, 
with Lucy's beauty and sallies, especially when 
she teazed Amy on the subject of her visits to 
Thrusli Grove, and wondered what amusement 
she could iind in Miss Pennithome's talk about 
dear Olivia's poor appetite, and her bad nights, 
and her head-aches, and all the rest of it ; and as 
for Lady Olivia, Lucy was not one of the snobs 
of England ; — a title could not make iminterest- 
ing people attractive to her ; but Amy had been 
so spoiled in the fashionable world, her cousin 
declared, and had such notions about the aristo- 
cracy, that she was eager to claim a sixth cousin 
who had a courtesy title, and could stand oceans 
of twaddle from the aimt and niece. Such 
humble people as her own cousins or the Misses 



LOUIS HAMMOND HAS AKOTHEB CHANGE. 195 

Smart, or the Misses Martyn, or even the distin- 
guished Australian visitors were comparatively 
luiinteresting to her. Louis enjoyed this, even 
when he saw that Amy was annoyed, because it 
was from her aristocratic associations that he 
feared most ; but he liked still better when, after 
Lucy had finished her attack, Amy turned to 
him and said in that confiding tone which goes 
to a man's heart, " I appeal to you, Mr. Louis ; 
you knew me in Australia, and I am sure you 
cannot think that I care about people's rank or 
title, or position. But I have seen a great deal 
of Lady Olivia's father in London ; he was an old 
friend of my poor mamma's, and he has been 
very kind to me for her sake. You know, Lucy, 
he was my first partner when I came out at 
Lady Oower's, and he set me at my ease when I 
was nervous and timid. I had heard of Lady 
Olivia and had a great curiosity about her before 
I saw her here, and I really do not feel Mias 
Pennithome or her niece at all tiresome. I am 
very fond of them both." 

The absence of all embarrassment in speaking 
of the earl, satisfied Louis ; he answered, cheer- 
fuUy— 

" I can certainly say that Miss Staunton is the 
very last person I could fancy to be courting the 
great or liking people better because they are 

13—2 



196 THE author's daughter. 

aristocratic. If Lady Olivia is so much of an 
invalid it is very good-natured to go to visit her. 
Have you heard from Branxholm by last mail, 
Miss Staunton ?' 

•' Yes, I receive letters regularly." 

" Mr. Lufbon has not written to me for a long 
time," said Louis. 

" He was otherwise engaged, I suppose ; he is 
married now, so Isabel writes to me." 

" Well ! to think of his marrying a middle-aged 
widow, with a large family, after all his attempts 
with young ladies," said Louis. " The Lindsays 
are all well, I hope." 

" Quite well ; they are building an addition to 
the house ; the entrance is to be at the front. I 
have got a plan of the improvements." 

" Allan has some notion of that kind of draw- 
ing. I suppose the plan is his ?" 

" Yes, and I imderstand it quite well," replied 
Amy. 

" And I suppose — ^that is, I fancy — I mean — 
that Allan writes you about everything that 
occurs — that is to say, that he is your chief cor- 
respondent." 

There was more conftision on Amy*s counte- 
nance when she answered this question than 
when she spoke of Lord Darlington. 

"Yes, Allan is the best letter writer of the 



LOUIS HAMMOND HAS ANOTHER CHANCE. 197 

family ; that is to say, the girls write mostly to 
Jessie — Mrs. Copeland — and of course about 
plans and improvements Allan can give the 
clearest account." 

Though Lucy Evans was sharp, and thought 
herself still sharper than she was, she did not 
understand Amy's embarrassment She attri- 
buted it to her recollection of her dependent po- 
sition among the very worthy but inadmissible 
people with whom she had spent her girlhood, 
and to her feeling that her appeal to Louis had 
carried his reminiscences a little too far. 

" It was through this Mrs. Copeland I think 
that your brother Mr. Derrick first heard of 
you," said Lucy. " It is altogether a curious 
story, I am sure. I wish some such imknown 
relative would hear of me, and treat me as your 
generous brother has done." 

" Of course you have seen Mrs. Copeland 
often. I never thought her so pretty as the 
younger sisters ; but I hear that McCallum, our 
overseer at Aralewin, was very sweet on her too. 
Where are the Copelands now ?" 

" Old Mr. Copeland has a farm on the Stan- 
more property, which, you know, is my brother's, 
and George and Jessie live with the old people. 
They are very fond of Jessie." 

" Well I I'd never do such a thing as take a 



198 THE author's daughter. 

wife to live with my father and mother," said 
Louis. 

*' I quite agree with you," said Lucy. " French 
people do it. Chinese, Egyptian, and other bar- 
barous races think it may do, but it is thoroughly 
un-English. But I forget, Mr. Hammond, you 
are not English. What do you call yourselves, 
you Creoles of the antipodes— currency, or corn- 
stalks, or what ? What a sad thing it is to think 
that,you are not a true-bom Briton." 

" I don't call myself anything, but you may 
call me an Australian if you please, I am not 
ashamed of my birthplace. I can only say that 
I can ride a horse, pull a boat, or shoot a rifle 
with any man of my size and weight, while I 
am in this country ; and when I return to Aus- 
tralia, which I hope to do in a year or two, I 
hope people will not say that English life has 
ruined me for a colonist. My father wished me 
to go in for a profession, Miss Staunton, my 
mother wished it still more, but I have no turn 
for study, and it would have been too slow a life 
for me. My home is likely to be more in the 
saddle than anything else, if I return to look 
after the govemor^s station, and I have taken 
care not to forget how to ride. The governor 
is as fond of a good horse now he is in England 
as he used to be in Australia ; and to see him at 



LOUIS HAMMOND HAS ANOTHEB CHANCE. 199 

the Derby is as good as a play. That is the very 
best thing in England, I consider." 

Louis's talk had brought up a great many 
memories. Mr. Hammond's love of races and 
fondness for horses recalled to Amy that terrible 
day so many years ago, and she could scarcely 
believe she was the same Amy Staunton who was 
then so desolate and friendless. If her poor 
father could have seen her as she was now, an 
honoured guest in his sister's house, but depen- 
dent on her for nothing, what a relief it would 
have been to his anxieties ! Lucy Evans could 
only see that this lanky yotmg Australian was 
an admirer of Amy's, and, though she would 
have preferred that his admiration had been 
bestowed on herself, there was a great deal of 
fun to be got out of every flirtation that was 
carried on in her presence ; and in the meantime 
Fred Hammond was worth going on with on her 
own account, and the Misses Hammond were very 
pl»»„t ^d ve^ „™cd girl,. 

On further acquaintance Mrs. Evans became 
very much pleased with her new neighbours, 
and was particularly attracted by Mrs. Ham- 
mond. Mrs. Hammond was not so much pre- 
possessed with the rector's lady, and she was dis- 
appointed with the rector; but still she could 
not say why she disliked Mrs. Evans, unless it 



200 THE author's daughter. 

was because she was Gerald Staunton's sister and 
Amy's aunt. 

In a private conversation between the two 
ladies Mrs. Evans had expressed herself very 
sirongly and very properly as to the impropriety 
and the folly of her brother's marriage with 
Lady Eveline Derrick, and had told Mrs. Ham- 
mond that she had never visited her or counte- 
nanced her in any way ; although of course she 
could not keep up any feeling of the kind against 
the poor orphan whom her brother had left. Mr. 
Derrick had been most magnanimous and gene- 
rous in taking Amy by the hand ; he had evi- 
dently given her every possible advantage, and 
from what she (Mrs. Evans) could gather, Amy 
was now his favourite sister. He had loaded her 
with presents — such jewellery as she wore had 
never been seen at the rectory before — ^and her 
allowance was so extravagantly handsome Mrs. 
Evans wished she had the fourth part of it to 
dress herself and her daughters on. There could 
be no doubt that Anthony Derrick would portion 
her very handsomely, and he could well afford 
to do so. 

Mrs. Hammond heard this and thought over it. 
No, she did not like the girl ; she never could 
like the girl. No amoimt of fortune could 
make her welcome Eveline Staimton's daughter 



LOUIS HAMMOND HAS ANOTHEB CHANCE. 201 

as her son's wife. But she would cease to strive 
against circumstances ; she would relinquish her 
active hostility ; she would learn to hear Amy's 
name without emotion; she would treat her 
with negative politeness, and let things go as 
they would. Louis was delighted to see his 
mother apparently give way to his wishes in 
this instance as on all previous occasions. His 
father's partisanship was active ; he did not see 
that Louis could do better than try for Amy 
Staunton ; and now that she was among middle- 
class people, who had a reasonable respect for 
his position as a successful Australian proprietor, 
and a wealthy and influential parish resident, 
Mr. Hammond was delighted to renew his ac- 
quaintance with the dear little girl whom he had 
liked so much when he saw her with her poor 
father. 

Louis's star appeared to be in the ascendant ; 
he was happy and hopeful, and he looked almost 
handsome in his eagerness to please and his de- 
termination to be pleased. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 

Lady Olivia Darlington had wished and longed 
that her father would make his visit to her this 
year a little earlier in the season than usual, that 
she might see him in company with Amy, who 
seemed to like him so much and to be on such 
easy terms with him. She did not write to that 
effect to the earl, for she stood too much in awe 
of her father to make a request that he should 
give up London pleasures and London society for 
her, but she wrote of her delight in making Amy's 
acquaintance, calling her a pet, and a darling 
child. A curious smile played on the earl's face 
as he read the phrases used by the elder with 
reference to the yoimger, but he had already de- 
termined to go to Thrush Grove at a particular 
time, and the letter had little effect one way or 
the other on him. A second letter informed him 
of the settlement of the Hammonds at Thornton 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 203 

Hous6| and he easily identified the young gentle- 
man Olivia had seen with his sisters with the 
hero of the opera and the park. Olivia said that 
the family at the Rectory seemed delighted with 
all the Hammonds, and that they made the place 
much more lively than it had been. 

The earl liked very much to touch Anthony 
Derrick on any sore point in his organization, and 
he had been always amused with the jealous and 
exacting liking which he bore to his pretty sister, 
and particularly with his repugnance to her Aus- 
tralian recollections and her Australian acquaint- 
ances ; so he lost no time in informing Mr. Derrick 
that young Hammond was close beside Amy now, 
and evidently in great favour. The earl said this 
in such an easy nonchalant manner, as if it was 
a matter of no consequence to himself, that An- 
thony was puzzled and indignant with himself 
fqr yielding to Lady Qower's wishes and allowing 
Amy to visit her aunt. She had not been open 
with him, she had said nothing about these Aus- 
tralians in her letters, she had only dwelt on her 
frequent visits to Lady Olivia, which she knew 
would please him, and had shrunk from telling 
him how she had been placed so that she could 
not help associating with the Hammonds. She 
had only said that her aunt and cousins were 
very kind to her, and that she was enjoying her 



204 THE author's daughter. 

visit very much. But now it would appear that 
after all he had done for her — ^her brilliant d^but, 
and her fair prospect of a coronet with a relative 
of his family — ^she was enjoying herself with 
relatives of her father's and with Australian 
people who had done nothing for her — ^who had 
indeed behaved very badly to her — ^and was pro- 
bably carrying on a flirtation, if nothing more 
serious, with a most objectionable young man 
who knew all about her miserable low position 
in Australia. It was most ungrateful in her, and 
most provoking to him, that after his extra- 
ordinary generosity, she should be so happy when 
away from him among people whom he disliked. 
If she had said she did not care for the family of 
the Evanses, if she had drawn disparaging com- 
parisons between the house, the appointments, 
and the society at Belton Rectory and that at 
Stanmore or in London, he would have been 
satisfied, but she had done nothing of the kind, 
and now in addition to this there appeared to be 
concealment and duplicity. 

He said he must at once summon Amy home, 
but Lord Darlington checked this resolution by 
saying that he meant to pay a visit to his daugh- 
ter on the morrow, and if it was all the same to 
Anthony, he could accompany Miss Staunton on 
her return. 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 20 "> 

Anthony knew that the earls visits were .slmil, 
and was relieved to hear that ho was giiing to sut* 
for himself how matters stood. 

** I wish your lordship would l>e giKxl eiioii;^h 
to tell Amy that I disapprove of this intimac}', and 
that she must drop it/* said Anthony. 

" I fiancy a visitor like Miss Stjiunton must see 
the society of the house in which she lives, and, 
besides, I never like to carry disagreeable mes- 
sages. If you have any orders to give, you cjin 
write them or go down to Belton yourself. It is 
a very pretty neighbourhood." 

Anthony could not understand the earl. Did 
he really wish him to make the acquaintance of 
these people ? Had not he made concession 
enough in allowing Amy to visit there without 
being dragged into such society himself ? 

" Amy has completely fascinated my daughter. 
I feel very much pleased that they are such good 
friends." 

" So am I," said Anthony eagerly. " That is a 
very different affair from the other." 

"Tlicn I take nothing but friendly messages 
from you to your sister," said the earl, coolly. 

When Lord Darlington arrived at Miss Pen- 
nithome's he heard sounds of laughter very un- 
usual in that sober quiet household, and on 
entering he found that Amy was sitting on a low 



206 THE author's daughter. 

chair close to his daughter's sofa, while Lucy and 
Juliet Evans and Clara Hammond and Louis and 
Fred were conducting that idle rattling talk so 
common with young people in good health and 
spirits. The unexpected entrance of the earl was 
like a bombshell thrown amongst the party, ex- 
cept to Amy. She disengaged a curl from Olivia's 
fingers, rose from her seat, shook hands with him 
warmly and fiunkly, and, without quitting his 
hand, she led him forward to his daughter's sofa, 
and saw Olivia's pale cheeks glow at her father's 
kiss. 

Lucy Evans was delighted at this rencontre ; 
she had always wished to see how Lord Darling- 
ton and that stupid fiissy timid Miss Pennithome 
got on together; and the contrast between his 
easy dignified self-possession and coolness ££nd 
Aunt Sophy's agitated apologies and expressions 
of surprise at his unexpected visit, her nervous 
enquiries as to his journey, her dread lest he 
should be fatigued, her offers of refreshment, all 
dexterously parried by the earl, were as good as 
a play to Lucy. 

Miss Pennithome cast distressed looks at her 
visitors, doubting whether she should introduce 
them to Olivia's father or not, but Amy relieved 
her of that difficulty by introducing her cousins 
and her old Australian neighbours, feeling how 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 207 

much easier it was to deal with Lord Darlington 
than with her brother Anthony. The visitors 
would not go, as Miss Pennithome wished and 
expected they should ; Lucy and Louis were too 
much interested to leave until they had made a 
very long call, though the conversation languished 
among the young party, resting chiefly with the 
earl and Amy. 

Aunt Sophy's old fear came back to her when 
she saw how animated Lord Darlington looked, 
and Louis Hammond's glance and crest-fallen 
expression on the earFs entrance was not lost 
upon her. She had often thought that if the earl 
married he would marry a young and beautiful 
woman, but to fix upon such a mere child as this 
was too great an absurdity on his own part, and 
too great an insult to her poor Olivia, who had 
treated Amy half as a friend and half as a play- 
thing. Olivia's joy at this meeting, her eager 
appeals to her father as to things of which Amy 
had told her, and then her re-appealing to Amy 
for support and corroboration, all tended to make 
Miss Pennithome more anxious and distraught, 
for in case of this dreadful thiilg taking place, 
Olivia might not think it a misfortune, but would 
part easily from her. old fond aunt for this new 
friend. As her eye wandered restlessly from one 
to another of the three in whom she was inte- 



208 THE axjthob's daughter. 

rested, Lucy Evans, who had no idea of her 
thoughts, only enjoyed her manner, and sat taking 
notes until Amy recollecting herself said it was 
time to go. 

'* I thought you were going to spend the day 
with me. Amy T said Lady Olivia in a reproach- 
ful tone. 

"Oh! that was supposing you were to be 
alone." 

" I hope I am not the cause of your altering 
your arrangement. Miss Staunton. I thought 
you would be glad to hear all the chit-chat from 
town," said the earl. 

" Oh I do stay," said Olivia in an earnest whis- 
per. " I did so long to see papa and you together, 
and it is good of him to come soon, so that I 
could have you both at once. It is so dreadftdly 
dull here for him ; I never have anything to say 
to him, and I know he wearies. Aunt Sophy," 
continued Olivia aloud, "do ask Amy to keep 
her engagement, and not to leave us till the 
evening." 

Aunt Sophy did so, but rather stiffly. What 
would she not do that her darling asked her ? 
but Lucy Evans saw how curiously the presence 
of this overpowering earl took all the kindness 
and cordiality out of her voice and manner. 

Amy accepted the invitation, however. She 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 209 

Wished to stay, for she meant to try to under- 
stand why this old nobleman, so kind and courte- 
ous to herself, should be so cold and careless to 
his daughter and her aunt. She had discovered 
that they both stood in awe of him, much in the 
same way as she did of Anthony, though, his 
visits being short and few, they could not feel 
oppressed by it, as she had been at Stanmore on 
her first arrival. 

To Lucy Evans s offer of sending her brother 
to see her cousin home in the evening, the earl 
quietly said he intended himself to have that 
pleasure. Louis Hammond, who had intended 
to be her escort, was annoyed at this aristocrat 
taking such cool possession of her, and was 
almost inclined to agree with Lucy that Amy 
had a weakness for great people. Lucy certainly 
made great fun of the scene they had wit- 
nessed, and mimicked Miss Pennithome's flurried 
blimdering manner to perfection. Although she 
was much pleased at the idea that a peer of the 
realm was going to see her cousin home to the 
Rectory, and pay his compliments to the family, 
she knew Louis Hammond's feelings too well 
to do anything but laugh at the antiquated 
politeness and the venerable appearance of Amy's 
old beau ; not that she thought there was any- 
thing serious in it, but Louis was disposed to be 

VOL. n. 14 



210 THE author's daughter. 

jealous, and jealousy was always a very amusing 
thing to Lucy, It was only on his daughter's 
account that Lord Darlington could take so 
much notice of a child like Amy, and certainly 
Amy played her cards very well. But Lucy had 
never been so charming as when she ridiculed 
Lord Darlington to Amy's lover. 

" These young ladies are your cousins by your 
father's side," said Lord Darlington, when the 
young people had gone ; " of course I know all 
poor Eveline's relatives." 

" Mrs. Evans is my father's sister," said Amy. 

" Gerald Staunton's sister ; is she at aU like 
him?" 

^'Not at alL You must not judge of what 
papa was, either in appearance or intellect, by 
my aimt." 

"Any more than I could judge of you by 
Derrick or his sister." 

" Did you see Anthony before you left town ?" 

" Yesterday I saw him. I should not be sur- 
prised if he made a run down here to see how 
you get on with your new firiends." 

" Anthony here ?" said Amy with surprise and 
alarm. 

" It is only a surmise of my own ; very probably 
I am wrong. He sends his love and all that sort 
of thing. Why, I never saw Olivia look so well 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 211 

as she does to-day ; you seem to have done my 
poor girl good." 

" I know she has," said Olivia eagerly. " Aunt 
Sophy can trust me with her, for she has such a 
nice knack of supporting me and propping me 
up a little when I want a change." 

" I had no idea when you made this move that 
you were near Gerald Staunton's relatives. You 
know Gerald Staunton, the brilliant essayist and 
reviewer?" 

" Mrs. Evans had mentioned him to me, but 
I did not really know him or his works till Amy 
spoke of him," said Lady Olivia; "and since 
then, I have read what I can obtain of his 
writings with a new and peculiar interest. 
Knowing something of an author's life and 
history throws so much light on his works." 

" Well, for my part," said the earl, " I think 
I prefer to know nothing whatever about the 
authors of the books I read. A man's books are 
generally so much better than himself; at least 
I never met with one who could stand the 
scrutiny of personal acquaintance so well as the 
ordeal of public criticism." 

" Oh ! do you think so ?" said Amy. " I know 
you are a severe critic of the acted drama, and 
I suppose you are equally severe on books and 
their writers. I sometimes feel as if it was a 

14—2 



212 THE author's daughter. 

great mistake introducing me into fashionable 
society, and that if I were only allowed to mix 
with poor authors and struggling artists I should 
be more on my own level if not so much on that 
of Anthony. But I never have known intimately 
any author but papa, and I think even you would 
have acknowledged that he stood the test of the 
most familiar personal acquaintance." 

" I suppose my acquaintance with authors has 
not been sufficiently intimate," said the Earl 
laughing ; " but it has on many occasions been 
enough to shew that their words and actions in 
common life are not always strictly in accordance 
with their written sentiments. Possibly we 
should be rather glad that a man gives us his 
very best in his books, and leaves himself the 
worse for it/* 

" Why should it be so?" asked Amy. "A man 
must be the better for having thought nobly or 
wisely, and not the worse. I feel sure that papa 
was as much benefited as his readers by what he 
felt to be good or true." 

" You may be right,'' said the earl ; " you speak 
from your intuitions and a limited experience. 
I speak from a wider but a more superficial 
experience." 

" I like Amy's view best," said Lady Olivia ; 
'' and when she tells me that such an essay was 




AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 213 

written in Madeira, such a review just before her 
mother's death, and such another just after it, 
I seem to see a double meaning in what I read. 
The idea of having to write when one's heart is 
breaking with sorrow or one's body racked with 
pain, because one was under engagement to do 
so, and for doily bread, seems to me terrible." 

" Still it is what nine-tenths of the world have 
to do," said Amy thoughtfully. "We hear of 
the trials and woes of authors and artists because 
we are in the way of hearing more about them 
than about other people; but the ploughman 
must go to the plough, the clerk to his desk, the 
factory hand to his whirling wheels, for daily 
bread, whatever grief or anxiety he may be 
suffering from; perhaps no work is more the 
better for sorrow or sorrow more the better for 
it than literary work. At the time I dare say 
papa felt it a great hardship to write, especially 
on uncongenial subjects, but I am sure he was 
always the better for the effort," 

"What a wise head this child has on her 
young shoulders, papa," said Lady Olivia. " You 
would not think to hear her talk that she is so 
very many years younger than I am ; but then 
she has seen the world, and has met with such 
strange varieties of people in her wide wanderings. 
She and the young Mr, Hammonds have been 



214 THE author's daughter. 

talking about a handsome ploughman in Australia 
who was a great friend of hers. Was he a plough- 
man, however, or a blacksmith, because you 
certainly spoke of his shoeing horses V 

" She has never gone into these details with 
me," said the earl, with a quickness which Miss 
Pennithome observed. " He was handsome, was 
he ? That is more than I can say of your young 
Australian friend who has just left us — ^but this 
ploughman or blacksmith " 

" He was not really a ploughman or a black- 
smith either," said Amy. " He could do anything 
that he tried to do, and he could do fifty things 
that people in his position would never think 
of in England. It was to him that I sent the 
telescope and microscope, for he has a very great 
turn for science, though he has not had great 
opportunities." 

" But that is not my question. Miss Staunton ; 
you shift your ground with me. Was he hand- 
some T 

Amy did not know exactly whether Allan 
Lindsay was handsome or not, but she instinc- 
tively answered, " Not at all, my lord ; that is to 
say, he had a good expression and looked in- 
telligent. He was very kind and good-natured 
to me always." 

"And you will never see him again," said 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL; 215 

Olivia, " handsome or not, for you have left 
Australia for ever. It is very well to talk about, 
but I am sure you are really very glad to be 
among friends and relations and to live in the 
midst of civilization, to see all that is to be seen 
and hear all that is to be heard in this wonderful 
old England ; to see and hear what I never can. 
Nothing but the dim reflection of its sights and 
the faint echo of its sounds can reach me here." 

" Perhaps the reflection is fairer and the echo 
sweeter than the things themselves. You see no 
disproportion, no distortion, no painful incon- 
gruity, and you do not catch the jarring notes 
that spoil our enjoyment," said the earl, and he 
looked appealingly to Amy for confirmation, 
who said, "Yes, it may be so," slowly and 
doubtfully. 

" It is well for you to say so," said Lady 
Olivia, with some bitterness in her accent ; " but 
which of you would exchange your life with its 
vivid colours, its full harmonies, its strong hopes, 
its earnest resolutions, its prizes which can be 
gained, and its obstacles which can be overcome, 
for my colourless, stagnant, purposeless, useless 
existence ? Oh 1 for one year, only one year of 
life like that of others, and then let me die !" 

She spoke passionately and vehemently. HerA 
father had never heard her express anything 



216 THE author's daughter. 

stronger than the natural querulousness of an 
invalid before. He could not help recalling the 
preventible accident which had laid her prostrate 
for life, and aunt Sophy recollected it too. But for 
that Lady Olivia might have been a beauty and 
a leader in society, for she thought very highly 
of her darling's abilities, which her father had 
never taken any pains to discover. 

"But Olivia, my love," said the earl after 
a short pause, " you have many resources — ^books, 
art, music, friends ** 

" I am always amused at the people who call 
themselves my Mends talking about my resources. 
They weary of sitting beside me for an hour, and 
fancy that I should not weary of the long sixteen 
hours of the waking day and often the still 
longer hours of the sleepless night added to them. 
Resources are all very well for those who take 
them up in the intervals of living ; but to live in 
them is impossible. I don't mean you, my darling 
Amy, for you will sit a whole day beside me ; 
but you will soon be gone, and oh ! how I shall 
miss you." 

" I never heard you speak in this strain before, 
Olivia. Is it the effect of receiving such lively 
visitors as you have had to-day ?" asked the 
earl. 

" No, I do not think it is that, but I fancy it is 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 217 

talking so much to Amy and hearing all about 
her life that makes me feel how I am laid aside." 

" Oh ! I am sorry," said Amy, " very sorry. I 
thought that it gave you pleasure." 

" So it did — so it does — but I can give you no 
pleasure in return. I can say nothing to amuse 
you or anybody. I can be of no use to a single 
creature in the world." 

" Now do not say that," said Amy. " You can- 
not think what pleasure it gives me to speak of 
my past life to you, about poor mamma's long ill- 
ness and dear papa's books, about our struggles, 
our voyages, and my adventures in Australia. 
My lips are sealed on these subjects among 
my relatives at Stanmore and at the rectory. 
No one there wants to be reminded of my humble 
life in childhood, or my dependent position in 
Australia, and if I have perhaps painted them a 
little couleur-de-rose, it is because I have met with 
sympathizing and indulgent listeners. You, my 
lord, were the first person I met with in England 
who cared to hear of these things;" and Amy turned 
to Lord Darlington with a frank, grateful smile. 

Miss Pennithome was watching the earl atten- 
tively ; she was not at all clever or sharp natu- 
raUy, but her intense interest in this matter gave 
unwonted acuteness to her perceptions. She had 
never seen Lord Darlington in ladies' society since 



218 THE author's daughter. 

he had wooed and won her cousin Elizabeth, in 
the days when he was a handsome young man ; 
but at that time she had doubted the reality of 
his attachment, and had suspected him of inte- 
rested motives. Now he was almost an old man, 
yet he seemed scarcely so self-possessed a lover 
as he had been in those young days. He had 
never looked on Elizabeth with such an expres- 
sion as he now turned on Amy in answer to her 
smile and grateful speech. And Amy was lovely, 
there was no doubt of it ; lovely in repose and 
still lovelier when she spoke, lights and shadows 
played over the yoiuig face in every dimple — ^and 
to think that this old worn man of the world, sel- 
fish and self-centred, might win this beauty and 
freshness for himself, and after showing her off 
for a few years in the fashionable world, might 
establish her as his nurse till her youth and 
freshness had withered, struck Miss Pennithome 
as so sad and so unnatural that she looked on 
the scene with pity and alarm. Lord Darlington 
could do it, and would do it. She had an over- 
weening opinion of his power and his influence 
over others. No one had ever dared to contra- 
dict or thwart him with any success, and what 
could poor aunt Sophy do to prevent it ? Olivia 
would be no ally. She had no idea that her 
father was selfish, and scarcely that he was old. 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 219 

After the first shock of surprise was over, the 
idea of his marrying this charming girl, provided 
the girl' could be brought to consent, would be 
delightful to her. Aunt Sophy knew that her 
darling would prefer such a home as Amy could 
make for her in her father's house, to her aunt's 
dull company and secluded situation. 

As Lady Olivia caressed the curls or played 
with the fingers of the girl whom aunt Sophy 
had welcomed and loved up to this time, the 
bitter pangs of jealousy wrung her heart. The 
reflection of her homely little figure and ordinary 
middle-aged countenance, which she could catch 
in the mirror over the mantel-shelf, contrasted 
with the grace and beauty of her youthful rival, 
and she saw herself deserted in her old age ; — the 
girl to whom she had devoted herself for fifteen 
years, and in whose life she had lived, alienated 
from her as her mother had been long ago. Never 
had aunt Sophy been so distraite or so stupid, 
never had Lord Darlington's superficial good 
breeding been so sorely put to task to carry on 
a little conversation with her. It occurred to 
him, perhaps for the first time in his life, that she 
must be a very dull companion for Olivia, and 
that, with no one else to associate with, his 
daughter had really good reason to complain of 
her monotonous and dreary life. The earl ac- 



220 THE author's daughter. 

cordingly suggested an early visit to London, as 
the best tonic that Olivia could take, without 
dropping a hint as to aunt Sophy's accompanying 
her. Olivia only hoped that Amy could be with 
her a great deal, and Amy said that if Anthony 
made no objection she should be most happy to 
do so. Miss Pennithome listened to the talk of 
the girls as to what could be seen and done with 
silent agony. To whom could she speak, with 
whom could she take counsel ? She had lived 
so exclusively for one object and for one person 
that she was in want of friends. 

She knew Mrs. Evans to be a worldly woman, 
and felt that the idea of her niece becoming a 
countess would dazzle her. Mrs. Evans would 
fancy that such an alliance might be of great 
advantage to her daughters, and, although Miss 
Pennithome knew the earl too well to think that 
it could be so, she did not suppose that anything 
she could say would convince the rector's lady 
that appointments for the boys and better chances 
of settling well in life for the girls might not 
come out of it. 

There appeared to her to be only one chance 
of a friend for her, one with whom she was so 
slightly acquainted that she did not know whe- 
ther she might depend on her or not. But Louis 
Hammond was evidently an admirer of Amy 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 221 

Staunton, and if Mrs. Hammond had the feelings 
of a mother she might do something to prevent 
the sacrifice of the simple girl whom her son 
loved, to the selfish Lord Darlington. It did not 
occur to Miss Pennithorne to speak to Amy her- 
self,' or to Louis himself; tliat would have been 
according to her ideas indelicate and improper, 
although it might have been more effectual than 
applying to any third party. 

Miss Pennithorne had been brought up accord- 
ing to the old r^ime, and had strict ideas of the 
etiquette to be observed in matters of courtship 
and marriage. Having had no personal expe- 
rience of these things, she had not learned to 
rectify or modify her theories to suit circum- 
stances, so she held her original idea that until . 
an engagement is proclaimed no one ought to 
allude to an attachment to the young people* 
concerned. Besides, if she spoke to Amy, Lord 
Darlington would be sure to find it out, and if it 
had the effect she wished, he might be so offended 
at Miss Pennithome's presumption that he might 
take Olivia from her. 

If Mrs. Hammond would take it upon her to 
warn Amy against the insidious advances of Lord 
Darlington, and speak to her as a woman of the 
world and a woman of experience, of the danger 
and impropriety of a young girl marrying a man 



222 THE author's daughter. 

so completely hlaa^ as he was — a point on which 
Miss Pennithome dared not speak, for she was 
the guardian and almost the mother of his only 
daughter, and it was not for her to proclaim his 
faults; if Mrs. Hammond could encourage and 
invite her son to make a declaration, the result 
might be a suitable marriage for both the young 
people, and a disappointment for Lord Darlington 
that he could scarcely blame aunt Sophy for. 

No doubt Mrs. Hammond could see all the ad- 
vantages of the match for her son ; the daughter 
of Lady Eveline, and the favourite sister of the 
wealthy Mr. Derrick, must be a very welcome 
wife to one of this Australian family, and the 
Hammonds were old friends and acquaintances, 
and both Mrs. Evans and Louis himself had said 
that Mrs. Hammond was very clever. She could 
do this if she would, and do it well ; whereas, 
ev^n if aunt Sophy had dared to do it, she would 
probably make a sad bungle of it. Some oppor- 
tunity of speaking to Mrs. Hammond on this sub- 
ject must be found or forced, and her sympathies 
and her talents enlisted in the rescue of Amy 
Staunton from different dangers and difficulties 
than those of friendlessness and desolation. 

Miss Pennithome sat silently planning how she 
was to contrive a quiet interview, what she was 
to say to Mrs. Hammond, and how she was to say 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 223 

it, while the other three persons in the room 
talked about the books, the new games and the 
new music which the earl had brought. Amy- 
was asked to try over the latter, and not Miss 
Pennithorne, and perhaps in her preoccupied 
state of mind poor aunt Sophy might not have 
done it well, but she felt that her place was taken 
from her in that respect too. When Amy sug- 
gested that a larger easel than the one from 
which she read might be adjusted to Olivia's 
sofa, so that she might try to draw a little, as 
she seemed to have some artistic taste. Lord 
Darlington wondered that it had never been 
thought of before, and said it must be tried at 
once. Amy was persuaded to make a very long 
day of it, and when she bade her friend good-bye, 
promising to come again soon. Lord Darlington 
put on his hat and gave Miss Staunton his arm 
to see her home to the rectory. 

" It will be all over," thought Miss Pennithorne 
to herself as she saw them depart, " before I have 
a chance to open my mouth to speak to any one 
to prevent it. Lord Darlington has come of set 
purpose for that one thing, and a t^e-A-tSte walk 
in the fading twilight for nearly a mile may settle 
the business at once.'' 

But Miss Pennithorne was mistaken ; the earl 
was not at all hasty or hurried in his proceedings. 



224 THE author's daughter. 

and, in spite of his easy self-possessed manner, 
he felt that he was older in Amy Staunton's eyes 
on this occasion than he had ever been before. 
Of course it was well known that he had a 
grown,-up son and daughter, but now Amy had 
come into personal contact with the eldest, Olivia, 
who looked even older than her years ; and be- 
sides this he felt that in Olivia's complaints there 
was some reproach to himself which he might 
not really deserve, but which Amy might reason- 
ably fancy that he deserved. So the conversation 
which Miss Pennithome had thought would be of 
nothing less than love and marriage settlements 
turned almost wholly on Olivia, with faint refer- 
ences to the difficulties which a man in his cir- 
cumstances felt in the charge of a motherless in- 
valid girL His thanks to Amy for her kind 
attention to his poor child were not voluble, but 
admirably turned. One short allusion to another 
family trial, of which he had never spoken before 
— one sadder and more hopeless still — ^went to 
Amy's heart. She felt honoured by his confi- 
dence and touched by his trials, and her little 
hand gently laid itself in his. But not even that 
action, encouraging as it was, could lead the earl 
to the imprudence of speaking out. It was far 
better not. It was far better for his chances of 
success that she should lie awake half the night 



AN IMPORTANT ARRIVAL. 225 

thinking of him, and puzzling herself as to his cha- 
racter, and wondering what she could do to bring 
him into more affectionate relations with his daugh- 
ter, fancying herself always coming in to explain 
away any little misimderstanding, interpreting be- 
tween them, and leading them to love each other 
as father and daughter ought to do. Miss Eenni- 
thome was very discreetly kept out of sight in 
their castles in the air; she appeared to be 
rather an element of disunion between them* 
for though she was very kind to Olivia, and 
although it was very good in Lord Darlington to 
give her the charge of his daughter, it was evi- 
dent that he and aunt Sophy did not get on well 
together, and it might be that this partly accounted 
for his being so little with Lady Olivia. Lord 
Darlington's tone of condescension for his wife's 
cousin, and his mentioning that it was a very 
important thing for her, in a pecuniary point of 
view, to have Olivia, which had induced him to 
keep her there, although, of course, it was rather 
dull for his invalid, did not pain Amy as it would 
have done on the previous day, for she had 
thought Miss Pennithome very odd in her man- 
ner, although she had not been so much amused 
with it as Lucy Evans had been. 



VOL. n. 15 



CHAPTER XV. 

MISS PENNITHORNE*S APPEAL. 

Lucy Evans was determined to get as much 
fun and as much 4clat out of Lord Darlington's 
visit as possible. Whatever his intentions might 
or might not be with regard to her cousin, an 
earl was an earl and not to be seen at Belton 
Rectory every day. He had been twice seen in 
the neighbourhood, and had on both occasions 
wound up his short visit by a Sunday in the 
country, in which he appeared morning and 
evening at church, and which he had evidently 
found so tiresome that he started off on the 
following morning. He had never called at the 
rectory before, although his daughter was a 
parishioner; still the Evanses were willing to 
overlook that slight, and were satisfied now when 
he went in with Amy, and said all that was 
proper to her uncle and aunt. 

" We have changed the hour for our picnic 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 227 

to-morrow, Amy," said Lucy. " The Hammonds 
suggested one o'clock for our meeting here instead 
of half-past twelve. It is a pity the nuts in the 
hazel-woods are not ripe, I should like to set 
those long-legged Australians nutting; but we 
must exercise them in finding ferns and mosses 
for us. You promised to get some for Lady 
Olivia, Amy. Do you care about ferns, my lord ?" 
continued Lucy, turning to the earl ; " we are sup- 
posed to have the finest ferns in England, and I 
am making a splendid collection." 

"Ferns are quite the rage at present. Miss 
Evans, and I am not such a Vandal as not to 
admire what all the world does." 

" Then would you mind — I mean would you 
like to honour us by joining our party ? It is 
a very quiet family affair, only ourselves and the 
Hammonds and the Misses Smart and their 
brothers. Dr. Smart, as you know, attends Lady 
Olivia." 

" I shall be most happy," said the earl, " to 
accompany you. I always like to explore the 
country a little when I am out of town, and this 
county is of a very different style of beauty 
from that of either of my country residences, so 
that it interests me." 

" I am sure we shall all be delighted if you 
honour us so much, and I hope you will enjoy the 

15—2 



228 THE authob's daughter. 

day as much as I mean to do ; and will you give 
mamma's compliments and mine to Miss Penni- 
thome and say that we should be very much 
pleased if she could accompany you," said Lucy 
in the spirit of mischief. " We all think that 
she mopes too much, and that it only makes it 
duller fOT Lady Olivia when the only companion 
she has will never go out. Tell her that it is 
not exclusively a young party, for Mr. and Mrs. 
Hamonond are to be with us and Mrs. Smart. We 
intend to have a very pleasant day. I fear she 
will not be induced to come, but will your lord- 
ship be good enough to give the invitation and 
tell Miss Pennithome how much mamma and all 
of us wish it." 

" She will not go out and leave Olivia," said the 
earl. " Do you think so, Amy ? " 

" Not unless " and Amy stopped. 

Lord Darlington had some idea what she meant 
to say, but he did not choose to take it up. The 
notion of staying at home with Olivia for a long 
day to let Miss Pennithome go to a picnic, when 
he wanted to go there himself to see Amy with 
her Australian admirer, and to circumvent and 
forestall him in every way, was not to be 
dreamed of 

'' I am afraid that Olivia has been so much 
accustomed to her aunt's constant presence that 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 229 

even the last new novel could scarcely make up 
for the want of her for so many hours," said Lord 
Darlington with a smile ; " but I will deliver your 
message, Miss Evans, and press your invitation 
with all the arguments in my power. For myself, 
nothing could give me greater pleasure than as- 
sisting at such a party — flowers, ferns, hazel-nuts, 
wild strawberries, sunshine, youth and beauty," 
— and he gave the slightest inclination of his 
head towards Lucy — "have always irresistible 
attractions to me. Let us pray for fine weather, 
that everything may be as brilliant as my anti- 
cipations." 

And the earl bade the family at the rectory 
good-by, leaving Mrs. Evans in ecstasies at Lucy's 
courageous invitation and its result 

" Miss Pennithome will never come to the 
picnic, mamma, more's the pity. It is such splen- 
did fun to see her with Lord Darlington. I'd give 
the world to make her come. I wanted Mrs. 
Hammond to see them together, too ; but it is 
hopeless, and the old gentleman will be off as 
usual on Monday morning unless we make the 
place particularly agreeable to him." 

" I am going to-morrow to get some ferns and 
flowers for you, Olivia," said Lord Darlington to his 
daughter on his return. "I hear you want a few." 

"Amy promised to get them for me," said 



230 THE author's daughter. 

Olivia, and she looked disappointed. She knew 
that her father had always spent a good deal of 
the time even of his short visits out of doors and 
away from her, for of course he wearied in the 
house; but she had hoped that this time he 
would have been more with her. She had never 
found him so kind or so pleasant before, and in 
her heart she had thanked Amy for bringing him 
nearer to her. 

" Mrs. Evans and Miss Evans asked me to join 
their picnic party and I could not well refuse. It 
might have been taken as a slight," said the 
earL 

Miss Pennithome was amused at this pretext. 
As if Lord Darlington could not refuse anything 
that was disgreeable to himself whether it was 
taken well or not. 

" Of course, as the rector of the parish in which 
you reside, Mr. Evans is entitled to some atten- 
tion, and considering the kindness of Mrs. Evans's 
niece to my Olivia," said the earl, affectionately, 
" I owe something to her, and perhaps you will not 
like your ferns any the less because I have taken 
some trouble about them. I suppose it is only 
rare sorts you want ?" 

" Amy knows what I want," said Lady Olivia. 
" I think I have all the common kinds." 

" I have sent across to Bulstrode the carpenter. 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 231 

and he is coming to speak to you about the easel 
you want for Olivia at two o'clock to-morrow," 
said Miss Pennithome. 

" Let him come again and charge for it in his 
bill," said the earl, laughing. " These things can 
always be paid for to that class of people. But, 
by-the-by, I have a most particular message to 
you. Miss Pennithome, from Mrs. and Miss Evans, 
begging you to favour us with your company to 
the picnic in the hazel-woods. If you could be 
induced to leave Olivia — " 

" Oh ! no ; I never go anywhere." 

" Well, perhaps it is needless to ask you, but 
Miss Staunton thought Olivia might be so much 
interested in the new books I brought from Lon- 
don that she might not miss you so much." 

" Perhaps she might not," said Miss Penni- 
thome, shortly. 

" And I think — at least it has been suggested to 
me — that perhaps you rather overdo your devo- 
tion to Olivia, and that if you mixed a little more 
with the world, you might feel the better for it, 
and have more to say to her." 

" Perhaps so," said Miss Pennithome, in the 
same abrupt manner. 

"It is to be quite a lively party," continued 
the earl. " Mr. and Mrs. Hammond and their four 
young people, to whom Amy introduced me here 



232 THE author's daughter. 

Mr. and Mrs. Evans and all their family, two 
Miss Smarts, with their mother, no doubt worthy 
of their name. If you can resist all these attrac- 
tions you are very philosophical, Miss Penni- 
thome." 

" Did you say Mrs. Hammond was to be of the 
party, and the Smarts 1 I shall go," said Miss 
Pennithorne. 

" Go, aunt Sophy, and leave me alone, and that 
during the time of papa's visit when I ought to 
feel gayest ! " said Olivia. " Leave me quite 
alone ! " 

" But you must learn to do without me if you 
are going to London," said aunt Sophy, strug- 
gling after some excuse; "and, perhaps Mrs. 
Evans may feel herself slighted if I refuse." 

" Slighted ! aunty, how can she think that, 
when she knows that you never go anywhere ?" 

" It is time that I should go somewhere," said 
Miss Pennithorne, pressing her hand on her head. 
" I know I am a stupid old woman and have got 
nothing to say to you, and you are growing tired 
of me, and no wonder." 

"Don't talk nonsense, dear aunty. I should 
never tire of you if you lived to the age of Methu- 
selah and I lived with you, which I pray may 
not happen, however. So don't think of going 
av/ay from me to-morrow, there's a dear." 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 233 

How unskilled was poor aunt Sophy in giving 
reasons or excuses. Go to this picnic she felt she 
must. There was the earliest and the best oppor- 
tunity of speaking to Mrs. Hammond, and at the 
same time of watching Amy's behaviour to Louis 
and to the earl. But to refuse her poor Olivia 
her pressing entreaty that she should stay at home 
and not leave her quite alone, without giving her 
any reason except that she wished for a day's 
pleasure, was an unprecedented thing. And 
although Lord Darlington had discharged his duty 
in delivering the invitation, he had no inclination 
to press it any further. He did not see that Miss 
Pennithome's presence would in the slightest 
degree add to his enjoyment, audit might detract 
from it, so he took it for granted that Olivia's pa- 
thetic appeal had had its effect, and said no more 
on the subject. 

On the morrow, however, father and daughter 
were surprised to see that Miss Pennithome 
changed her dress shortly after breakfast for 
something lighter and cooler than her usual 
house wear, and that she remarked as she ap- 
peared in the drawing-room that the day was 
likely to be a warm one, and every one would be 
^wearing summer things. 

" You don't mean to say that you are really 
going to the picnic, aimt Sophy," said Olivia. 



234 THE author's daughter. 

" I said last night that I meant to go, my dear, 
and I have not changed my mind." 

" I never thought you could be so unkind, 
aunty." 

" I am sorry you think so, but I cannot help 
it, I think I should go," said aunt Sophy. 

Lord Darlington's idea that she was not a fit 
guardian for Olivia was strengthened by her 
pertinacity. It showed a degree of selfishness of 
which he had not supposed Sophy Pennithome 
capable. Olivia, absolutely imaccustomed to be 
thwarted by her aunt even in the merest trifle, 
showed disappointment, annoyance, and even a 
little temper, and enjoyed her father's soothing 
and caresses. He had never been so gentle and 
so nice with her before ; but it did not occur to 
her as it had done to Amy, that he might stay at 
home with her. That would have been too 
prodigious a sacrifice on his part to be thought 
of. But that he settled her comfortably on her 
sofa, that he cut the leaves of the most promising- 
looking of the novels he had brought, and read 
her a chapter and a half of it aloud before he 
started for the rectory, were kindnesses never to 
be forgotten and never to be sufficiently appre- 
ciated. It was a cold cheek that was offered to 
aunt Sophy when she kissed her darling and 
bade her good-by, not without two or three 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 235 

bitter tears on the part of Miss Pennithome. 
If aunty really cared so much for her why did 
she not stay with her? it was absurd to shew 
emotion when she was acting so unkindly. 

So Olivia was left quite alone for a greater 
number of hours than she ever recollected to 
have spent by herself since she came to live with 
her aunt. She could ring for Sarah if she needed 
her, but she had refused her aunt's offer that 
Sarah should sit by her and read to her. At first 
she rather revelled in the idea that she was ill- 
used, and refused to let her thoughts be diverted 
from her recent grievance, but by-and-by the 
very novelty of her situation had its charms. 
The book was tolerably interesting, but still she 
had many subjects for thought even more inter- 
esting. Her father had in the first place pro- 
mised a long visit — ^he had even talked of a 
fortnight, but that was almost too much to 
believe in — and then the proposal to take her to 
London with him when Amy left the neighbour- 
hood was both new and delightful. It might be 
a little too late in the season, but then her papa 
would be more at leisure to amuse her, and he 
had promised that all the wonders of London 
that could be brought to her sofa, or that she 
could be taken in an invalid carriage to have 
a glimpse of, she should see. The novel lay 



236 THE author's daughter. 

unheeded on her easel while she built her airy- 
castles and filled them with new pleasures and 
new inhabitants, and thought gratefully of Amy 
Staunton who bad been the means of brightening 
her life. 

In the meantime, Lord Darlington, half amused, 
half annoyed, and quite out of breath, was hur- 
ried to the rectory by the silent, agitated little 
woman who hung upon his arm, who was full of 
remorse, of doubt, and of wonder whether she 
could do anything with the opportunity for 
speaking to Mrs. Hammond which had been so 
hard for her to make. Lucy Evans's surprise 
and delight at seeing Lord Darlington so prompt 
and so channingly accompanied gave themselves 
vent in the most cordial reception to both of her 
guests. Miss Pennithome's impatience and hurry 
had made them earlier than their appointment, 
and a quarter of an hour elapsed before they 
could expect to see the Smarts or the Ham- 
monds. Mrs. Evans feared that Mrs. Hammond 
might not be able to come, as she had been 
suffering from severe toothache on the preceding 
day and might not think it prudent to venture 
out even if she was better. Miss Pennithome 
then almost wished she had not come at all, and 
thought still more remorsefully of her solitary 
darling. On what pretext could she return to 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 237 

Olivia if the lady did not appear ? for she was 
sure she could not say what was on her mind to 
the old gentleman. Her acquaintance had never 
lain much with gentlemen, and she had an idea 
that they were very different indeed from ladies, 
that they were to be deferred to or to be coaxed, 
not to be advised or rea^ned with by those of 
the inferior sex. 

Miss Pennithome's doubts were cleared off by 
the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Hammond with their 
two younger girls in their carriage, the eldest Miss 
Hammond and the two young gentlemen accom- 
panying them on foot ; the distance to the hazel- 
wood was short, but Mrs. Hammond was no 
walker, and as a carriage must go to take the 
provisions she took advantage of it. Mr. Ham- 
mond and the girls got out when they reached 
the rectory and offered a seat in the carriage to 
Miss Pennithome and Mrs. Evans, who were not 
fond of pedestrian exercise ; but Mrs. Evans had 
appropriated to herself the honour of accom- 
panying the earl in the pony-chaise, and did not 
accept the invitation. So Miss Pennithome found 
herself as she had wished to be, alone with Louis's 
mother; but unfortimately it was too soon to 
speak, for Mrs. Hammond had seen nothing for 
herself as yet. 

They saw that Louis had offered his arm to 



238 THE author's daughter. 

Amy Staunton and that she had taken it ; but 
before the party had fairly started Lord Darling- 
ton had alighted, insisting that Mr. Evans should 
take his place, and he walked with Lucy Evans 
close behind the yoimg people, so that not a 
word could be said which they could not hear, 
an arrangement which was as pleasant to Miss 
Evans as to himself*. 

" I see that Lord Darlington does not choose 
to be classed among such old folks as we are," 
said Mrs. Hammond. " He wears remarkably 
weU for his time of life.*' 

"Yes, he does," said Miss Pennithome, "he 
takes care of himself, and takes pains with 
himself." 

" Is your niece. Lady Olivia, pretty well to- 
day, that you could be induced to leave her ?" 

" Yes, pretty well, and she had so many new 
books to amuse her that I thought I might 
venture out on such a beautiful day. I hope 
you do not feel your toothache, Mrs. Hammond. 
There is apt to be a draught in a carriage." 

" Not in this, I think ; Mr. Hammond had it 
built expressly for me ; as I am very sensitive to 
draughts, although I like ventilation and plenty 
of fresh air as much as any one in the world can, 
he made it a sine qua non that I could drive in 
it with safety in any weather. I believe Mr. 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 239 

Hammond is as good a judge of horses and 
carriages as any one in England." 

" So I have heard Mr. Louis say ; I should 
think that he, too, knew a great deal about these 
things." 

" I think he does. When we were so long out 
of England it was the greatest resource my boys 
had to ride and drive about the country. Louis 
could drive me very well when he was eight 
years old. But now I should prefer Louis and 
Frederic to turn their attention to other 
matters." 

" I thought the young gentlemen meant to 
return to Australia shortly," said Miss Penni- 
thorne. 

" Not with my consent," said Mrs. Hammond. 
" I should prefer my boys to distinguish them- 
selves in England rather than that they should 
bury themselves in the obscurity of a remote 
colony. With their abilities and the education 
we have been able to give to them they would 
be quite thrown away among the sheep and 
cattle and clodpolls of Autralia." 

Miss Pennithome was glad to hear these 
sentiments. Amy's good connections and Amy's 
probable fortune would be of great advantage 
to a young man, which an ambitious mother 
could not fail to see. There were careers in 



240 THE author's daughter. 

diplomacy, or in Parliament even, which the 
wealthy Anthony Derrick might open to his 
sister's husband, particularly as he did not care 
for such things for himself. 

When the party arrived at the wood which 
was to be the scene of action. Amy Staunton 
somehow detached herself from Louis, and went 
about looking for flowers and ferns with Lord 
Darlington. The earl also took his place beside 
his young friend at luncheon, and was very 
assiduous in his attentions to her, though not so 
engrossingly as to prevent his being agreeable to 
the others; but Louis scarcely could get an 
opportimity of speaking to Amy, and he was 
boiling over with suppressed rage and jealousy. 

Amy had begun to suspect that the young man 
was a lover ; and, as she did not like the cold 
looks of his mother, and had no prepossession 
for him beyond friendly liking, she took the op- 
portunity which Lord Darlington's visit gave her 
to break off an intimacy that would only lead to 
poor Louis's unhappiness. She knew, besides, 
that if her brother did come to Belton he 
would be very much displeased at her having 
anything to do with the Hammonds, and par- 
ticularly with Louis; and in this instance she 
felt that it was possible to please Anthony with- 
out doing violence to her own feelings. So she 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 241 

turned to her old friend, of whom she had been 
thinking so much during the night, with a confi- 
dence and an evident pleasure in his society, 
which made his heart beat somewhat more 
quickly than its wont. She spoke to him with 
her usual frankness, and with more than her 
usual feeling, for she thought that he and his 
daughter missed a great deal of happiness, which 
if they understood each other better, they might 
derive from more frequent and more familiar 
companionship. She heard his surmises and re- 
grets with regard to Miss Pennithome's extraor- 
dinary fancy for amusement on this day with 
interest and surprise, and wondered with him at 
the curious idea which aunt Sophy must have of 
enjoyment, for she did not mix with the party 
at all, or look for anything interesting on her 
own account, but kept close to Mrs. Hammond, 
sitting by her for a long time, yet scarcely speak- 
ing to her, or being spoken to by her. Her face 
looked sad and full of anxiety, and almost of 
fear. Amy thought. No doubt she felt a little 
ashamed of her conduct, especially as it brought 
her no good. 

Lucy Evans was disappointed in the manner 
in which Miss Pennithome showed off. She was 
silent, but not nervous or fussy. Perhaps it was 
only in her own house that Lord Darlington 

VOL. IL 16 



242 THE author's daughter. 

could make her so entertaining ; and, besides, the 
earl was so full of little attentions to Amy, that 
he could not be brought out. All the party ob- 
served them, but Mrs. Hammond and Miss Pen- 
nithome were the only persons, besides Louis, 
who looked on them as serious. The others con- 
sidered that Miss Staunton was the only one of 
the party with whom Lord Darlington considered 
he was on terms of equality or of whom he knew 
anything previously, and it was natural that 
he should be engrossed with her. Louis made 
more than one effort after luncheon to detach 
Amy from her friend, but without success. He 
was as thoroughly out of humour as a young 
man could be ; and even Lucy Evans's liveliness 
could not divert his thoughts from his disappoint- 
ment at the result of this picnic, which he had 
planned and had hoped so much from. If it 
had been a young fellow that had cut him out 
with Amy, he fancied he could have borne it 
better, but that a man old enough almost to be 
her grandfather should presume to come between 
them was maddening. 

What could he do to prevent it ? He caught 
his mother's eye; she felt for him a little, he 
could see it. He went up to her and made a 
commonplace but kind remark about her tooth- 
ache, she answered gently and kindly, "Oh, 



MISS pexxithorne's appeal. 243 

that is nothing, my poor boy." The accent 
thrown into the words " my poor boy " was the 
old sympathising one which had soothed his 
childish pains or boyish sorrows. He took her 
hand and wrung it with a mute appeal to her 
sympathy, and then turned away and sauntered 
alone up the brook. 

Now was the time, if ever, for Miss Penni- 
thome to speak. 

" I don't like to see it," said she. 

" To see what, Miss Pennithorne X* said Mrs. 
Hammond, so coldly and sharply that Miss Pen- 
nithome's eloquence was driven back a few 
points, and her next sentence came out somewhat 
maimed. 

" I mean I don't like to see Mr. Louis Ham- 
mond going away by himself, and so many yoimg 
ladies by themselves." 

" Oh ! I daresay he will be back presently, and 
relieve your anxiety. There is a great deal in an 
English wood in summer-time that is well worth 
seeing besides young ladies. I often tell him that 
there is no natural beauty in Australia that can 
compare with the loveliness of rural England." 

" That is not exactly what I mean," said Miss 
Pennithorne, returning to the charge. " I do not 
like to see people so disproportionately paired 



)» 



16—2 



244 THE author's daughter. 

" As whom T said Mrs. Hammond, drily. 

"As my Lord Darlington, and your little 
friend," said Miss Fennithome, rushing at her 
subject. 

" Oh ! like her mother, of the world, worldly," 
said Mrs. Hammond. " The earl is the best parti 
within the young lady's reach, and she would be 
unwise if she let it slip. If he is rather elderly 
she may hope for an earlier release. Her second 
choice may be for love; let us hope she may 
manage it more decently than Lady Eveline Der- 
rick did." 

" But," said Miss Fennithome, earnestly, " I do 
not believe that this girl is really worldly. I 
think she does not know what Lord Darlington's 
attentions mean." 

"And you do not like the idea of such a 
juvenile stepmother coming between you and 
your mece," said Mrs. Hammond, with a Uttle 
more interest than before ; " natural enough." 

" And your son does not like such a rival 
coming between him and Miss Staunton, and you 
should not like it either," said Miss Fennithome, 
stoutly. 

"Why should you fancy that I have any 
cause to desire such an attachment ? I am no 
friend of Miss Staunton's — I never was. K she 
had ever spoken of me to you at all she must 




MISS PENNITHORNE*S APPEAL. 245 

have told you that I have been anything but a 
friend to her. That is to say if she spoke with 
sincerity. As Mrs. Evans's niece and visitor, I 
must treat her with civility. With regard to the 
attachment you speak of, I think the young 
people may be trusted to manage their own 
affairs ; at all events I shall neither make nor 
mar in the matter. If Miss Staunton prefers, as 
I believe she does, wealth and rank to suitable 
years, and a sincere attachment, it is no business 
of mine ; and I can only say that my son makes 
a fortunate escape. A boyish fancy is soon got 
over." 

" But if you are ambitious for your son, there 
could be no better match for him than she would 
be. Youth, beauty, wealth, good connections, grace, 
and talent," and Miss Pennithome ran over this 
list of Amy's recommendations to Louis's mother 
with a sad emphasis, for she had felt her own defi- 
ciencies in all these respects when she contrasted 
herself with Olivia's new friend. She looked 
earnestly in Mrs. Hammond's face to catch the 
effect of her words, but the lady had turned 
away her eyes and was watching the listless 
figure of her son as he was still to be seen in the 
distance walking slowly to the thickest part of 
the copse. Mrs. Hammond bad rejoiced on this 
day to see that, without any obnoxious effort of 



246 THE author's daughter. 

her own, Amy Staunton was likely to be removed 
from Louis's path ; and she had hugged herself in 
the idea that, as she was making a mercenary 
alliance and proving herself to be unworthy, 
Louis would soon get over his disappointment, 
and she (Mrs. .Hammond) would be no longer 
vexed with Lady Eveline's daughter turning up 
in imexpected places to make her appear un- 
amiable and unreasonable. But she was sorry 
for Louis's present sufferings ; had she not Z 
fered in the same way long ago, and more keenly 
too ? Her love had been of longer standing, and 
had been apparently more secure. And she had 
been alone, among strangers, when the blow fell, 
whereas, he had his mother to feel' for him. She 
was recalling the time when she had ventured to 
appeal after a fashion to Lady Eveline, to con- 
vince her of her worldliness, and how fruitless 
it was, when Miss Pennithome said passionately, 
" Why do you not speak to her, Mrs. Ham- 
mond ? Why do not you warn her ? Why do 
not you tell her that love in a hut is better than 
a coronet without it ? Why do not you, a mar- 
ried woman, tell her that it is wrong in the sight 
of God and man for youth to ally itself to worn- 
out age for the sake of rank or money ? Why 
cannot you urge on her, for your son's sake — 
for her own sake — that Lord Darlington is not 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 247 

the person for her to trust her happiness with ? 
I am sure she does not guess his intentions, yet." 

Mrs. Hammond shook her head. "Depend 
ujDon it, Miss Pennithorne, that young lady 
knows what she is about as well as any of us, 
and she does not need so much advice and warn- 
ing as you think. And if you believe she needs 
it or could benefit by it, cannot you speak to her 
yourself ? You profess yourself to be a friend of 
hers, which I never was, and you know a great 
deal more of Lord Darlington's character than I 
can be supposed to do. If his wife was your 
sister or cousin no one can be better acquainted 
with his weaknesses or his faults, than yourself." 

*' I cannot, I dare not," said Miss Pennithorne. 
" If I were to thwart Lord Darlington in this or 
in any other matter on which he had set his 
heart, he would discover it, I know he would, 
and then he would take Olivia from me, and I 
should never see her more. But I thought if 
you had a mother's heart that you might feel for 
your own son if you did not feel for a mother- 
less girl, who is surrounded by worldly relations ; 
and that you might say something that might 
open her eyes to the danger she is in, for I am 
sure girls are often allowed to drift into miserable 
marriages because no one will show them clearly 
what they lead to. The cleverest man in Eng- 



248 THE author's daughter. 

land — ^and that Lord Darlington is — ^will not 
speak out till he is sure ; and she will never sus- 
pect that she is really bound to him till the 
fetters are rivetted round her." 

"Golden fetters, however," said Mrs. Ham- 
mond. " Nothing so very dreadful as you sup- 
pose. Your old-fashioned notions about the 
young mating with the young are quite obsolete 
now-a-days." 

" For your own daughters surely you would 
wish a better fate," said Miss Pennithome. 

" For my own daughters perhaps I should." 
And Mrs. Hammond looked tenderly on her gii'ls, 
one of whom was of Amy's age exactly, and it 
struck her that she would not like her so mated. 
Superficial people thought Mrs. Hammond a 
worldly woman, but she was not reaUy so ; and 
with regard to her children she was more ro- 
mantic in her ideas than even her husband gave 
her credit for. 

Louis Hammond turned back from his soUtaiy 
walk, and, meeting his sister Clara on his return, 
allowed her to lead him to the rest of the young 
people. Miss Pennithome watched them with 
interest. This was the only love affair that had 
come under her cognizance in its first stage. 
She had spoken about the hitherto unknown 
subject of love and marriage to Mrs. Hammond 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 249 

with a boldness and a clearness that had as- 
tonished herself, for as she spoke light had 
seemed to fall on it. She had spoken kindly, 
and wisely, and well, but yet she had spoken in 
vain. Mrs. Hammond saw her way out of her 
own dilemma, and had no mind to be dragged 
into it again by the most well-meaning old maid 
in the world. 

When Mr. Hammond came to see how his wife 
and her new acquaintance were getting on he 
could not help observing that Miss Pennithome 
looked dull and his wife stifFer than usual, so he 
offered his arm to the stranger and led her to the 
nearer neighbourhood of her older friends, Mr. 
and Mrs. Evans. 

Although Mr. Hammond did not look on Lord 
Darlington as a lover of Amy Staunton's he saw 
that his influence was adverse to Louis's preten- 
sions, and felt for the boy ; all the more so be- 
cause the match had appeared to him to be feasi- 
ble and suitable. If circumstances led — as they 
probably would do — ^to Louis's return to the sta- 
tion at Aralewin, Amy was not likely to make 
so much objection to the bush life as any English 
girl would do, for she knew what to expect and 
what not to expect there. He had talked to 
Amy several times during the past week and. 
found her so kindly disposed to the colony — so 



250 THE author's daughter. 

unwilling to make disparaging comparisons be- 
tween it and England, and so full of praises of 
its skies, its climate, and its people — ^that his 
heart had warmed to her. But now this English 
aristocracy came between him and her, and be- 
tween Louis and her. She had scarcely a word 
to give to either of them, and chose to forget 
that she had been governess in an Australian 
settler's family; and only recollected that she 
was the grand-daughter of the last Earl of Dar- 
lington, while she walked and talked with his 
successor. 

Mr. Hammond was not a ready talker except 
about horses, which he supposed would not be 
a very suitable topic of conversation with Miss 
Pennithorne, so, partly from a desire for infor- 
mation, and partly from a wish to be agreeable 
on the subject, he asked if she had known Miss 
Staunton's mother, and he received a great deal 
of information, gathered partly from rumour, and 
partly from Amy herself — information which his 
own wife could have given him more completely 
and more correctly if she had allowed herself to 
speak on the subject. Never had Miss Penni- 
thorne been so fluent or so graphic ; her remon- 
strance with Mrs. Hammond, unsuccessful as it 
had been, had opened out quite a new vein of 
eloquence in her, and she gave the history of 



MISS pennithorne's appeal. 251 

the family iinderstanding that Lady Eveline 
Darlington should marry the heir presumptive, 
which had been ruptured by his marriage to Miss 
Pennithome her cousin ; the young lady's mar- 
riage to John Derrick ; the early widowhood ; 
the hurried second marriage to Gerald Staunton, 
an old lover, Mrs. Evans's brother; the great 
family quarrel that followed ; the obscure life of 
the Stauntons ; Lady Eveline's death ; and the 
departure of father and daughter to Australia, 
where Mr. Hammond had seen them both. 

She felt all this story, and she did it justice, 
and she found she had a much more interested 
listener in Mr. Hammond than in his wife ; and 
perhaps she might have tried to enlist him as an 
ally if circumstances had permitted, but as she 
was screwing up her courage to make a begin- 
ning, Mr. Evans came and offered his escort to a 
nook in the wood which was very well worth 
seeing, and Miss Pennithome never again had a 
chance of talking to Mr. Hammond by himself. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



AN OLD man's hopes. 



When Mr. Evans had brought Mrs. Hammond 
and Miss Pennithome to the particular nook 
which was the prettiest and the most secluded 
part of the wood, they found Amy Staunton there 
with Lord Darlington, knee deep in ferns and 
wild flowers, gathering the prettiest specimens 
by handsful, and filling a little basket with roots 
which they dug up carefully. 

"If Lady Olivia could have only been here 
with us, Miss Pennithome," said Amy regretfully. 
" Is it not a lovely place ? Here she would wish 
to spend at least one day of the year of life which 
she longs so much for. How little of the whole 
great beautiful world can be brought to her small 



room." 



" The room is not so very small, and with the 
windows open as she has them to-day, there is 



AN OLD man's hopes. 253 

really a beautiful view f5rom her sofa," said Miss 
Pennithome, who felt any allusion to Olivia's 
limited pleasures very painful to-day. 

" Yes, to be sure there is," said Amy kindly. 
" It is better to be laid up as she is in the country 
than in a crowded smoky town. You recollect 
that dull London house we visited, my lord, 
where mamma was so long a prisoner. Although 
papa did everjrthing he could do for her, he could 
not bring the country to her there. I recollect 
80 well his saying so." 

" Everything that money can do is done for my 
poor girl," said the earl. 

" And everything that kindness can do, too, I 
am sure," said Amy, looking at Miss Pennithome, 
who shrunk from her eyes ; she knew she had 
appeared unkind, and she had done nothing to 
justify herself even in her own eyes. She turned 
away and took her companions with her to some 
little distance, while Amy resumed her conversa- 
tion with her friend. 

" I have often thought, my lord, that money 
is more valuable in times of sickness or of such 
deprivation as Lady Olivia's than at any other 
time. Preachers and moralists are apt to talk of 
riches being of no use in warding off sickness and 
death ; but I fancy that they very often do it, 
for timely advice, and timely remedies and change 



254 THE author's daughter. 

mast arrest many diseases. And the alleviatioiis 
of suffering which money can buy are very great. 
Everything that love and kindness could do "was 
done for mamma, and if papa could have coined 
his heart's blood it would have flowed for her. 
Indeed in a sense he did do so. My aimt tells 
me he knew that he was dying when he left 
England, for he wrote to her to that effect, though 
I knew nothing of it. The dreadful accident 
hastened his death, but nothing could have de- 
layed it many years. And if mamma's illness 
had not been so long and so expensive, and he 
had not fatigued himseU* by his anxious careful 
nursing of her, his health might not have given 
way as it did ; and I am sure there were many 
comforts wliich he needed in the last year of his 
life — the poorest we ever knew — ^that he could 
not obtain. You don't mind my talking to you 
About being poor. It will sound like a novel to 
you ; you do not know what it is to be harassed 
for money or dependent on varying health for 
daily bread." 

" You have had your troubles, Amy. I, too, 
have had mine of a different kind, but no less 
real. Let us both hope that they are over." 

" Over !" said Amy, shaking her head ; " you 
may flatter yourself that yours are over, but I 
cannot expect the same for mine. People do not 



AN OLD man's hopes. 255 

get over all the troubles and trials of life at 
nineteen." 

" No, by-the-by, it is about that time that the 
love perplexities and sorrows that make the staple 
of life in novels, begin," said the earl ; " or per- 
haps you began yours earlier. How many hearts 
did you break when you left Australia V 

The quick blush, the start, the tremble that 
followed this question convinced Lord Darlington 
that there must have been something connected 
with her Australian friend of whom she had 
spoken on the previous day at Miss Pennithome's. 
It was well to know as much about it as possible, 
for forewarned is forearmed. But Australia seems 
to English people a very long way off; and if the 
earl had no fear of Louis Hammond, who was at 
hand and who was on friendly terms with her 
Belton relatives, he was not likely to feel much 
apprehension with regard to Allan Lindsay, 
separated by half the globe and by several grades 
of the social scale from the AYny Staunton, whom 
he might have ventured to love, but for whom a 
far more brilliant destiny was opening. 

The only opportunity which Louis had of 
speaking to Amy was a disappointment, for she 
was so full of praises of the English wood and 
the varieties of foliage to be seen on English 
trees, the exquisite changes of tint in the leaves 



256 THE author's daughter. 

with the varying seasons, the profusion of ver- 
dure, and the loveliness of English wild flowers, 
that his speech about the beauty of a mountain 
gorge near Aralewin which she had never' visited, 
fell very flat. 

" I do not mean to say anything against your 
southern scenery, but it may be very well in its 
way and not come up to England. I often think 
what a mistake it is to speak of Beautiful France 
and Merry England. I should say Beautiful Eng- 
land and Merry France," said the earl. 

" What a pity that English people live so much 
in town, and that the habit is increasing on them ; 
for the coimtry is so beautiful, and country-life 
in England is the most delightful in the world," 
said Amy. 

" I thought you liked London and London life," 
said the earL 

" I fear I have been corrupted by the prevalent 
fashion, and that I prefer spending half of the 
year in London, and the other half in the country," 
said Amy. 

" That is what my father and mother mean to 
do," said Louis. 

" Are you only going to stay at Thornton House 
for half of the year ?" said Lucy Evans. " How 
disappointing ! we trusted to your being neigh- 



AN OLD man's hopes. 257 

l)()urs all the year, except perhaps for an autumn 
lioliday." 

" I think it is likely we shall not go to London 
every year," said Mrs. Hammond. " Two estab- 
lishments are very expensive, and now that the 
girls have done with masters, an autumn holiday 
on the continent ought to be sufficient for us, or 
a short visit to London. You young people did 
not appreciate London when we were residing 
there. You complained of the crowd and the 
noise and the smoke in a manner that was almost 
childish." 

Mrs. Hammond was not disposed to help Louis 
out in any way ; Miss Pennithome*s appeal had 
only made her more jealously watchful of Amy's 
words and looks, that she might satisfy herself of 
her being as unsuitable for Louis as she was dis- 
ttisteful to herself. If it had not been for Lucy 
Evans's assurance that Lord Darlington would 
certainly leave Belton on the following Monday, 
while Amy must stay to complete her six weeks' 
visit at the rectory, Louis would have been still 
more miserable than he was, but even though he 
did not quite believe in the old gentleman's de- 
parture, it was a comfort to hear it so confidently 
predicted. 

Miss Pennithome had never spent so long a 
day in her life ; she wearied to return to her poor 

VOL. TI. 17 



258 THE author's daughter. 

Olivia, for if she was likely to be robbed of her 
so soon, she ought to prize her society all the 
more while she could have it. She could not be 
persuaded to stay to take tea at the rectory, 
which Lord Darlington very frankly consented to 
do, somewhat to Amy's surprise, but hurried 
home to find her darling very tired of the solitude, 
out of spirits, and greatly disappointed that her 
papa did not accompany her aunt. Miss Penni- 
thome at once addressed herself to the first and 
most important piece of business, that of getting 
tea, which Olivia would not take from Sarah ; 
but instead of finding that she had more to say 
to her niece after her day's pleasure, she felt that 
she had nothing. She had not even thought of 
bringing any flowers, she had been so preoccupied 
with more important cares, and she felt Olivia's 
reflections on her for the omission very hard to 
bear. Olivia feared her father would forget to 
bring them too, for everybody forgot her when 
they were intent on their own pleasure. But 
Lord Darlington was not so remiss. Amy had 
packed their joint collection of treasures beauti- 
fully in a light basket and given it to the earl as 
he left the house. He at first wondered that this 
had not been given to Aunt Sophy to carry, but 
he recovered himself immediately, and accepted 
the trust as one of the exigencies of his situation. 



AN OLD man's hopes. 259 

It would not do for him to refuse to do anything 
Amy wished — even if the basket had been ten 
times larger and heavier he must have carried it 
twice as far if she had expected it. He had passed 
a pleasant if rather a fatiguing day, and as he 
walked home to Thrush Grove in the moonlight 
he had as foolish thoughts in his head as Louis 
Hammond had ever indulged. It is not youth 
alone that builds castles in the air. This old 
man was dreaming that he could make the 
young girl perfectly happy. He perhaps thought 
more of external circumstances than the younger 
lover did ; of the jewels he would hang upon 
her, of the magnificence of dress, furniture, and 
equipages with which she should be surrounded, 
but still he wanted her love, and fancied that 
he was capable of awakening it. He was not 
yo.ung certainly, but he had never undergone 
any great or violent passion, and so he deluded 
himself into the idea that he was still young in 
heart. He had a quickness of observation with 
regard to this girl which made him catch he? 
moods, and a desire to please which made him 
sympathize with them ; and he had a theory that 
any man of resolution and perseverance could 
win any woman he determined to take the trouble 
to win. He must speak soon, but not too soon ; 

17—2 



260 THE author's daughter. 

her brother and her aunt, Lady Gower, were 
favourable to his pretensions, and he thought he 
had made himself interesting and in some degree 
necessary to her. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

ANTHONY DEKRICK FINDS BELTON SOCIETY 'QUITE 

ENDURABLE. 

When Monday came and went without Lord 
Darlington taking any steps for his departure, or 
even speaking about it, Lucy Evans was put out 
in her calculations ; but as he had established the 
most friendly relations at the rectory, and paid 
her in particular a good deal of attention, she 
could not regret it so much as Louis Hammond 
did. Lucy felt that it must make a great diffe- 
rence to Lord Darlington to know pleasant people 
in the neighbourhood, and not to be limited to 
the dullest house in the parish. As Amy had 
engagements at the Hammonds*, from which the 
earl did not wish to be excluded, he judiciously 
admired Clara's singing, and Mr. Hammond hesi- 
tatingly hoped that he would visit them in a 
quiet way, and if it suited him to accompany 



262 THE author's daughter. 

the rectory party at any time, Mrs. Hammond 
and himself would be most happy to see him. 

Anthony Derrick was surprised to receive a 
letter from the eari, saying that he found Belton 
so pleasant, he had no idea of leaving it for some 
time. Miss Evans was a very fine girl, and very 
lively; and the Hammonds were all pleasant 
people, the eldest young lady having a splendid 
voice. There was scarcely a word said about 
Amy in this letter ; what could the earl mean ? 
Would it be well to recall his sister, or was it 
not possible, as had been suggested to him by 
Lord Darlington, that Anthony himself should 
go down to Belton to see what was going on. 
Lady Gower thought he might, and his dislike to 
being kept in the background overcame his re- 
pugnance to visit the Evanses, so he suddenly 
made up his mind to go, and astonished his sister 
and aunt at home as much by his departure as 
he astonished his sister and aimt at Belton by his 
arrival. Mr. and Mrs. Evans, however, received 
him very cordially and pressed him to make their 
house his home. Amy's importance paled before 
that of her brother. It pained her to see that he 
could listen to the apologies and the enquiries as 
to what he liked and disliked, and allowed 
trouble to be taken to please him especially 
without the embarrassment which she had felt. 



BELTON SOCIETY. 263 

or without the light careless manner by which 
Lord Darlington contrived to escape many words 
and much solicitude. In spite of the three ge- 
nerations of wealth, Anthony Derrick was not 
perfectly well-bred, and his sense of his own im- 
portance was not carried easily but ponderously. 

Anthony s mind was relieved by seeing that, 
although Amy had not been mentioned by the 
earl, she was still as much the object of his solici- 
tude as before, and that Louis Hammond was no- 
where in the race with him. Indeed the young 
man's hopes fell still lower when she had not only 
her watchful lover but her disagreeable brother 
constantly at her side, and he surmised that it 
was a match of Anthony's wishing and of An- 
thony's making. Nothing appears so very ab- 
surd and undesirable to a young man as the 
marriage of the girl he loves to an old man, 
and when he was not in their presence he could 
not help thinking it altogether too preposterous 
ever to happen ; but the dexterity, the tact, the 
adaptability, the authority, which Lord Darling- 
ton displayed in his intercourse with Amy, and 
in his out-manoeuvring of himself made Louis 
almost admire while he hated him. 

And Lucy Evans, who had laughed at the earl 
so delightfully at first, gave up that amusement. 
She saw that there was something in the atten- 



264 THE author's daughter. 

tioiis which Lord Darlington paid to her cousin, 
and she felt that it would be well to keep on the 
right side of so distinguished a person. If An- 
thony Derrick had not come on the scene she 
might have exerted herself to divert Louis 
Hammond's mind from his disappointment ; but 
Anthony disliked the young Australian, and 
enjoyed hearing him quizzed and seeing him 
neglected. It was impossible to show the same 
amount or kind of rudeness to Louis that An- 
thony had shown in the Park, now that he and 
his family were welcome visitors in the house in 
which Mr. Derrick was an honoured guest, and 
besides. Lord Darlington would not allow any 
incivility to be shown. He set the example of 
courtesy without cordiality, and Anthony tried 
clumsily to follow it. 

The praise which the earl had bestowed on 
Miss Evans made him at first look on her as a 
rival to his sister Amy, and Anthony thought 
it might be well to show her a little attention, 
which, as she was young, handsome, and lively, 
was no severe task for him to go through. Al- 
though he was not very observant, it soon 
dawned on him that Lucy was a surprising girl 
for the country. Her style of wit suited him ; 
he could so readily understand it ; and as her 
raillery was not levelled at himself, he saw all 



BELTON SOCIETY. 265 

the points she made. Perhaps when he was gone 
she might entertain others with his failings or 
awkwardnesses, but at present he was too im- 
portant a person to run any risk of offending. 
Anthony recollected how dull he and Edith had 
felt the retirement of Stiinmore, although it was 
a finer place and had a better class of society than 
Btjlton could boast of. Amy's arrival, although 
it had given rise to a good deal of disunion, had 
not made the country lively. She was deficient 
in wit and humour, and, although well-meaning, 
did not lay herself out to be pleasant as this girl 
did, who had lived all her life in this obscure place, 
and who found food for her own amusement in 
everything and in everybody she saw, and was so 
frank and so graphic in her descriptions and imi- 
tations that she kept everyone in the house in 
good-humour. Why had not he had such a sister 
to brighten his magnificent home ? After all that 
he had done for Amy in particular she might have 
laid herself out more to amuse him. She had 
read a great deal more, and seen ten times more 
of the world than Lucy, but she had not got the 
knack or power to charm Anthony with her read- 
ings or her recollections. And now, although 
Amy was occupying herself very much as An- 
thony would have had her to do, although she 
was making herself agreeable to Lord Darling- 



266 THE author's daughter. 

ton, both directly to himself and indirectly by 
the manner in which she behaved to his invalid 
daughter, Anthony felt disappointed because 
she was not so solicitous to please him, or so 
engrossed with him as she had been at Stan- 
more. 

It was strange that the first person, other 
than Amy herself, to whom Anthony made any 
complaint of her, was this charming cousin Lucy, 
and it was remarkable with what feeling she 
apprehended his dissatisfaction and echoed his 
half-expressed regret. 

" It is a pity," said she, " that with all Amy's 
general amiability, there is no getting beyond a 
mere liking for her. I sometimes think that it is 
because she expends all her capital in small 
change, and some people are not satisfied with 
giving a sovereign and receiving back sixpence, 
though no doubt other recipients of sixpences, 
for which they have not paid so dear, think her 
very affectionate." 

Anthony felt that he had given the sovereign, 
and sighed to think of the miserable return his 
sister had made to him. 

" You know," said Lucy, " that I am a good 
hater. I cannot feel alike to everybody; per- 
haps you may think me ill-natured sometimes, 
but I would rather be thought so than go in for 



BELTON SOCIETY. 267 

milk-and-water. There is so much of that mild 
beverage in the world that I think it needs a 
tonic now and then." 

" You are quite right, Miss Evans ; I admire 
your frankness/' said Anthony. " Strangers think 

Amy very frank and open ^" and Anthony 

looked as if he expected his sentence to be 
finished for him. 

" With so much apparent frankness, I never 
saw any one with so much real reserve," said 
Lucy, who was equal to the situation. " Reserve 
is certainly very dignified and aristocratic. I 
thought it was the atmosphere of the circle in 
which she moved that had afiected her, but now 
that I become acquainted with you, I see that it 
must be natural to my pretty cousin. I am sure 
I was quite thrown out by the reception she gave 
to young Hammond. I fancied it was a case at 
first." 

" But it is not," said Anthony, eagerly, anxious 
to have his own opinion confirmed by so compe- 
tent an authority. 

" No, I think not, unless Amy carried her re- 
serve further than I think she does. But the old 
gentleman seemed disposed to help his son, and 
used to get into long conversations with her about 
Australia. I wish he could talk of anything else. 
I have got so tired of the name of the place 



268 THE author's daughter. 

since the Hammonds came here, I really hate it. 
You see I can hate things as well as people." 

" I was very much annoyed at my sister's not 
telling me in her letters that the Hammonds were 
here, at least not until I had heard from another 
source. It is an instance of that want of open- 
ness which you have perceived." 

" I could scarcely have believed that of her," 
said Lucy, " for she seemed very much interested 
in the family, and of course you have a right to 
hear of everything that interests her when she is 
removed from your guardianship." 

" You think so, because you take a proper 
view of things, Miss Evans. Then you really 
think this young fellow has no chance with 
Amy r 

" Amy is better employed," said Lucy with a 
smile. " I was very much amused to see how the 
Australian fell to a ruinous discount when other 
views were opened to her." 

" There are a great many things that seem to 
amuse you. Miss Evans, you have such capital 
spirits, and such a disposition to make the best of 
aU your opportunities." 

" I need all my spirits," said Lucy ; " I never 
get away from this sleepy place, and the house- 
hold depends on me to keep them alive. I am 
sure, as I often tell Amy, if my brother had taken 



BELTON SOCIETY. 269 

me away from that dreary Australia — where I 
believe she was little better than a household 
drudge in a famUy of the most primitive descrip- 
tion (at least Clara Hammond told me as much) 
— and given me so- many advantages, and such an 
enMe to good society as she has had, and been 
altogether so generous and so liberal as you have 
been — I am sure I am astonished at the number 
of valuable presents she has received from you — 
I think I could never do enough to show my 
gratitude. It appears to me that it was the most 
felicitous thing that you should have sent for her 
exactly when you did, before it was too late to 
supplement her deficient education, and before it 
was necessary for her to be brought out." 

" Well," said Anthony, " I feared that I was too 
late, but that was not my fault. I sent for her 
the very day after I heard of her existence in 
Australia. But there were some gaucheriea about 
Amy that made me tremble for her success." 

" Under your care they have worn off. I think 
if I had not known that she had been so long in 
Australia, I should never have perceived anything 
different about her from other English girls. 
Knowing the circumstances, however,! do perceive 
a few things, and especially now the Hammonds 
have been so much with us, I observe a recurrence 
of phrases similar to theirs — colonial Yankeeisras, 



270 THE author's daughter. 

I suppose they are. Not that Mrs. Hammond ever 
uses a phrase out of joint, indeed she talks distres- 
singly like a book, and I would take an even bet 
that she has been a governess somewhere. I can 
perceive the aroma of the school-room hanging 
round a woman for thirty or forty years after she 
has left it. Tell me if you do not think I am right 
in my conjecture; but by-the-by, you do not care 
for cultivating the acquaintance of these people." 

" Not particularly ; I believe they behaved very 
ill to my sister, and that is their only claim to 
her acquaintance ; but she forgives them as she 
would forgive anything Australian." 

" You cannot enter into my feelings fully, but 
I can assure you that there is a great deal more 
ftm to be got out of Thornton House, with Mr. 
and Mrs. Hammond and their family of three 
daughters and two sons, than was to be got out 
of the same place with the doors locked and the 
blinds down as they have been for two years, or 
in old Mr. Thornton's time, when he lived like a 
hermit, and quarrelled with all the neighbours 
who ventured to call on him." 

" I certainly do not grudge you any of your 
sources of amusement; but you ought to see Lon- 
don, Miss Evans," said Anthony. 

" Don't make me discontented," said Lucy, 
with a laugh outwardly, but with a feeling of 



BELTON SOCIETY. 271 

mortification and envy at her heart. " Let me 
enjoy my little life here in my own way, and 
content myself by starting Australian topics this 
evening so as to set off the old gentleman and 
bother Mrs. Hammond, who dislikes the subject. 
It is not surprising that Mr. Hammond likes Aus- 
tralia, for nowhere else could a man with so small 
an amount of brains have made such a hand- 
some fortune so quickly. You can see he has not 
been accustomed to his position ; he wants the 
aplomb of the man who is bom to wealth. And 
he fancies that all his talk about stations and 
runs, about some antipodean government land 
regulations, and about the numerously signed 
address which was presented to him to become a 
member of the Upper House must be as interesting 
here as it might have been there. Mr. Hammond 
a member of their colonial House of Lords ! " said 
Lucy, laughing at the idea. She evidently 
thought that all hereditary peers were Solons by 
right of birtli. 

" What an absurd idea," said Anthony, who 
nevertheless thought himself quite lit for a seat 
in the House of Commons, or Lords either, if the 
ministry could only appreciate talent. He had 
sufficient wealth to keep up a title, and that is 
after all the most important consideration. 

" I fear it would be too much to ask you to 



272 THE author's daughter. 

accompany us to the Hammonds' this evening, 
but we are all engaged to go except Bertie and 
Kate, and it would be dull to stay with such 
children as they are." 

" I shall go to Miss Pennithome's and spend the 
evening with DarUngton," said Anthony. 

" His lordship will be at Thornton House with 
us ; he wished for an invitation, and he obtained 
it. I fear you will find Lady Olivia and her 
aunt very dull company, but there are books in 
the house, I suppose." 

" I think in that case I shall accompany you ; 
I am no bookworm and prefer society, even thougli 
it may not be altogether to my taste, to the most 
thrilling romance in the world, and the evening 
cannot possibly be dull if you form one of the 
company. Miss Evans. I had thought that Amy 
was to have been at Miss Pennithome's, and as 
she is not I suppose I ought to countenance these 
people a little." 

It was no great sacrifice after all for Anthony 
to make. Mrs. Hammond gave a little start 
and changed colour a little when John Derrick's 
son entered her drawing-room and was introduced 
by Lady Eveline's daughter. He set down her 
emotion to her sense of his importance and condes- 
cension, and rather liked it than otherwise. He 
had come only that he might watch Amy's pro- 



BELTON SOCIETY. 273 

ceedings, he said to himself, and ascertain if 
Lucy's hint as to her reserve was correct ; but he 
found that Lord Darlington took sufficient care to 
prevent Louis gaining any advantage, and that he, 
Anthony, was free to enjoy himself as he pleased. 
It was a musical party ; Miss Hammond had a 
fine soprano voice, and her younger sister a fair 
contralto; Louis could go through the bass; 
Juliet Evans had practised a little with them, 
and this was the first night on which they had 
tried their concerted pieces together. Anthony 
Derrick found that his good voice was in request, 
and that he was considered a great acquisition. 
Amy was surprised to see how gracious Anthony 
could be to people whom she had expected he 
would order her to cut ; but as it turned out that 
Amy did not really care for them, and as it was an 
acquaintance that was merely thrown in his way, 
and needed not to be kept up, he could afibrd to 
be civil. He was more than civil ; he sang more 
songs with Clara Hammond, and laughed and 
flirted with Lucy Evans more freely than Amy 
had ever seen him do with other ladies of more 
importance in his own circle of acquaintances. 
Lucy was in the highest spirits possible. 

" Your brother talks the most insufferable non- 
sense. Amy," said she, as she passed the corner of 
the room where her cousin was sitting' with Lord 

vol.. II. IS 



274 THE author's daughter. 

Darlington. " You never told me what a rattle 
he was. I was prepared for something very- 
different." 

Amy looked up in her friend's face, a little 
puzzled by her brother's high spirits. She had 
grown accustomed to ask him to explain her 
diflSculties for her. The earl undei-stood the 
glance, and when safe from any listener he 
answered it. 

" Your brother considers flirtation here per- 
fectly safe, but I am not so sure of it. Your 
cousin is a dangerous sort of person for a man of 
Derrick's temperament. But I suppose you would 
not care if something did come of it." 

" I don't know, I am not quite sure," said Amy; 
" but it is impossible, I think, Anthony looks 
down on my relations so much." 

** He could scarcely do that if they were his 
own," said the earl, smiling, " but, as you say, 
perhaps it is impossible, and Miss Evans does not 
sing. That is a drawback, for I am siu-e Anthony 
has set his heart on some one whose voice suits 
liis. You have been rather a disappointment to 
him in that way." 

" In many ways," said Amy. " But, as you 
say, Lucy's want of voice as well as of other 
things will help to make it impossible." 

** And you cannot hope to draw your brother 



BELTON SOCIETY. 275 

closer to you by a family alliance. She is a fine 
woman, however. I hope she will take care of 
her heart, for Derrick has many good qualities, 
and I think she sees them." 

" Does she ?" said Amy. " I don't think it is 
right for a man to say so much and to mean 
so little as people do in these flirtations when 
they feel so safe, as you call it. How can Lucy 
know his sense of the disparity of rank between 
him and her T 

. "Lucy must learn it as other people do by 
experience. She is clever and will pick it up 
in time ; but she is young yet. But seriously, 
the idea of your brother's marriage in the abstract 
(as your friends the Scotch would say) is not 
disagreeable to you ?" 

"No, not at all; I am sure I should be de- 
lighted if he could find some one who would 
make him happy and who might give him that 
entire sympathy that he says he never can 
obtain from me. Lucy seems so different from 
him, I wonder if she could do it, if such an 
improbable thing could happen as that he should 
fall in love with her." 

" I suppose after all it ia very improbable," 
said the earl, thoughtfully. " I. spoke hastily 
when I spoke of her being dangerous. I forgot 
how much armour your brother wears." 

18—2 



276 THE author's daughter. 

" I bad a little talking to from Anthcmy this 
afternoon about my reserve, because I had not 
written everything that happened and described 
every one I saw here, and I have promised to 
behave better in future. On the whole I think 
be is more satisfied with me since I came out ; 
I am sure I try to please him in every way. 
Tou see I have put on. my pearls because I 
tjbiought he would like to see me in them. I 
know Mrs. Hammond and Mrs. Smart think me 
overdressed, but if Anthony is pleased I must 
npt mind other people." 

"I, too, am pleased," said the earl, ''I don't 
mind seeing you dressed better than other people." 

" Mrs. Hammond recollects me when I was a 
very shabby little girl indeed, and I have always 
thought it good taste to dress plainly in her 
bouse. But still Anthony could not imderstand 
that, feeling, his ideas would lead him to the 
opposite extreme. As he says, we are very 
(|ifferent. I wonder if I had not been separated 
from him so long — if I had written to him at 
the time when I saw Mrs. Hammond — if we 
should not have gone on together more smoothly. 
At least I might have learned his character more 
gradually and jnade fewer mistakes. But yet 
Edith has lived with him always, and she, I think, 
has far less sympathy with him than I have." 




BELTON SOCIETY. 277 

"Very much less, certainly," said thd ^rl. 
'' It may be amusing to themselves, but I inust 
say that it is annoying to an innocent bystander 
like myself to see such captious wrangling as 
your brother and sister indulge in." 

" I wonder if brothers and sisters ever can 
have complete confidence in each other and 
perfect sympathy in each other's feelings V said 
Amy thoughtfully. "Is it only friends and 
lovers and husbands and wives who can tho- 
roughly understand and feel with each other ?" 

"I think so," said Lord Darlington; "your 
relatives you must take as you find them, but 
your friends and lovers you choose for your- 
self." 

" You know you are a relative," said Amy. 

"The relationship is trifling," said the earl. 
" I prefer to be placed in the category of — ^-- 
friends." 

"That is where I do place you," said Amy 
seriously. "I often wonder why in public 
prayers and thanksgivings there is so little 
mention made of friends, because every one in 
church has friends who are dearer and more 
precious than most of the blessings prayed for 
or for which thanks are offered. Even in the 
most general prayers there is a sott of selfish- 
ness." 



278 THE author's daughter. 

" Religion altogether is rather a selfish affidr," 
said the earl. 

" Oh ! no, it is not ; it should not be, my lord. 
I suppose next you will say that friendship is a 
selfish afiair. Why should we love our Mends 
more than other people, except that they are 
more agreeable to us ; but that is not the feeling, 
as you know as well as I do. We love our 
friends because we admire them ; because we are 
grateful to them ; and because we wish to serve 
them in some way, even though it may be only 
a very poor and small way. And in a higher 
degree it is the same with religious feeling; 
adoration, gratitude, and a desire to obey and 
to serve are not selfish feelings, though they 
may make you happy." 

"I understand you. Amy. Don't misunder- 
stMid me by supposing that your reUgious ideaa 
could deserve the cynical remark I made. But 
to return to friendship, which perhaps is more 
in my line than the other." 

" I meant to say when you interrupted me 
that after I had met you at the party at my 
aunt's, and Anthony had been satisfied with my 
appearance in the tableaux, and indeed altogether, 
I felt on Sunday when I went to church as if I 
had something special to thank God for. Some- 
thing had happened during the week to make me 




BELTON SOCIETY. 279 

breathe freer and feel happier. At that bail 
I had pleased my brother and my aunt, and 
I believed I had gained a friend, so I recollected 
these things in church, and was rather disap- 
pointed that I could hear nothing said that 
seemed appropriate to them. I know what you 
are going to say, my lord, that we should not 
take balls and parties with us to church, but 
I do not think that we can actually shut out the 
world when we enter a place of worship, at least 
I know I cannot." 

" Oh ! Amy," cried Lucy, who was bringing 
up Mr. Nash from a retired comer to induce him 
to sing, " I expected better things of you. Do 
you hear my cousin say that she thinks about 
balls and parties at church, Mr. Nash ? Tell her 
how wrong it is." 

No one likes to be ordered to reprimand, but 
Lucy Evans had great power over Mr. Nash. 
She was leading him up to sing, which he did 
not do well, and which besides he was not sure 
was quite clerical, and now she asked him to do 
what was clerical and what he was able to do as 
well as any one,, but what he felt was rather 
ill-timed and perhaps ill-bred. 

" This is not perhaps a fitting time or place for 
such admonition ; but Miss Staunton may excuse 
me for reminding her that waadering thoughts 



280 THE author's daughter. 

are hurtful if not fatal to devotion/' said Mr. 
Nash. 

" So I have always heard it said, but yet if we 
bring our cares to church to have them lightened 
perhaps we might also bring our enjoyments and 
our amusements there to have them sanctified. 
I was many years out of reach of any church, 
and perhaps lost the habit of continuous at- 
tention." 

" But do not you see the vanity of worldly 
amusements when you look on them in the 
sacred light which religious services ought to 
throw on them V said Mr. Nash. 

" I do not know that I do," said Amy. " I 
think we need amusement of some kind ; perhaps 
fashionable amusements might be improved, but 
I have seen so little of them yet that I have not 
tired of them. Recollect this has been my first 
season, and a short one." 

" It would be very premature in you to be 
disgusted with the world yet," said Lord Dar- 
lington ; " and unless you have a cloister at hand 
for Miss Staunton to retire to, I think, Mr. Nash, 
it would be well to allow her to enjoy liberty 
and sunshine." 

" It is not liberty and sunshine that I object 
to, but it is the bondage of fashionable hours and 
fashionable manners and the pursuing pleasure 



BELTON SOCIETY. 281 

as a business instead of taking to it as a relaxa- 
tion," said Mr. Nash. 

" Well," said the earl, " Miss Staunton is re- 
laxing herself in the country after her arduous 
fatigues in the pursuit of pleasure in London, by 
sitting by my poor girFs sofa, and amusing her by 
speaking of them, and if she did take that ball 
to church with her and felt thankful that she 
had been happy herself and had given pleasure 
to myself among others, perhaps she was quite 
as much of a Christian in doing so as if she had 
enjoyed it at the time, repented of it at church, 
and kept all her engagements for the succeeding 
week, to be repented of on the following 
Sunday." 

" More consistent at any rate," said Mr. Nash. 
"But the question of amusements always has 
puzzled me. I do not see the need of them for 
myself, so perhaps I cannot judge for others 
as to what is harmless and what is mischie- 
vous." 

" I have heard that one of the Fathers of the 
Church says that we may know our amusements 
have been harmless and innocent if we can pray 
after them without feeling disturbed or unhappy," 
said Amy. 

"A good test certainly, whoever might advance 
it," said Mr. Nash, who, being Low Church, had 



282 THE author's daughter. 

not much acquaintance with the Fathers, or 
much reverence for them. 

" Where in all the world did you study the 
Fathers T said Lucy Evans, wonderingly. 

" I have not studied the Fathers, but an old 
friend of mine met with it in the course of his' 
readings and pointed it out to me, and it struck 
me very forcibly at the time ; and I have recol- 
lected it lately to excuse myself for what Mr. 
Nash takes so much exception at." 

" But Mr. Nash forgets our amusement ; he 
promised to sing us a song, and not to preach 
you a sermon," said Lucy, forgetting that she had 
instigated the latter as well as the former. "Miss 
Hammond and Mr. Derrick are dying to hear 
you sing." 

Amy was left to the recollection of the time 
and place when Allan Lindsay had found the 
passage from Tertullian in one of her father's 
books; and also to remember how he and she 
had taken their griefs and their perplexities with 
them to church on the Sunday before she sailed. 
The earl thought she was pajdng polite attention 
to Mr. Nash's song, but her thoughts were 
travelling in a very different direction. 

Miss Evans had assured Mr. Derrick that it 
was the best fun possible to hear Mr. Nash sing, 
for he had very little voice and no ear ; but Miss 



BELTON SOCIETY. 283 

Hammond's taste was too good to find such bad 
singing amusing. She joined in to keep the 
curate to the tune. Mr. Derrick struck in with 
a good second, and Mr. Nash's feeble voice was 
completely overpowered, and he felt sure that 
he had never sung so well in his life, and 
received Lucy's compUments on his performance 
with modest compLency. This kind of wit 
was not lost upon Anthony, he pressed the 
curate to sing again and praised his tast^. 
But he was clumsier in his compliments than 
Lucy, and Mr. Nash began to perceive that there 
was a want of sincerity in them. 

On the whole Anthony had spent a most 
agreeable evening, and had made an appointment 
for glee practising at the rectory on the morrow 
with the young Hammonds with astonishment 
at his own condescension. 

The idea which Lord Darlington had thrown 
out that Anthony was rather fond of Lucy 
occurred to Amy again when she observed 
how solicitous he seemed to be over her 
when they walked home together, and when 
she heard frequent laughter from the distance 
which they kept. She was as usual the 
property of Lord Darlington on the way 
home to the rectory. The earl had not walked 
so much for nearly thirty years as he did 



1 • 



284 THE author's daughter. 

now. Louis Hammond might say that he 
preferred to take his walks on horseback, 
but Lord Darlington was not young enough 
to make any objection on the score of fatigue. 
As Amy's acknowledged escort he had many 
privaeges and must pay something for them. 



CHAPTER XVIIT. 

PREMATURE SYMPATHY. 

It was evident that Lord Darlington expected 
tiiat Amy would be his guest when his daughter 
paid the visit to town which now engrossed aU 
her thoughts, and Anthony saw no objection to 
the arrangement. Amy, however, suggested that 
Miss Pennithome should be included in the party, 
not so much for propriety's sake— -which, to tell 
the truth, she did not consider at all — ^but be- 
cause she saw how miserable the poor lady looked, 
and because she dreaded the responsibility of 
taking care of the invalid even with skilful 
nurses, who were not so intimately acquainted 
with her constitution. Aunt Sophy's eyes bright- 
ened when she heard she was to accompany her 
darling to take care of her on the way to London, 
where they were to spend a fortnight, and then 
to go with her by easy stages to Darlington 
Oastle, where Amy was for the first time to see 



286 THE author's daughter. 

her mother's old home, and where Anthony was 
to take the first shot at the Darlington pheasants. 

Although Anthony was annoyed and provoked 
at the earl for being so cautious and so dilatory 
in his proceedings, and not making a declaration 
at once, he was satisfied with an arrangement in 
which his sister was monopolized by her noble 
friend for many weeks, and which would give 
her the fullest opportunity of seeing his wealth 
and his magnificence. He had never thought 
Lord Darlington so amiable as he now showed 
himself; his conduct to his daughter was beauti* 
ful, his behaviour to the Evanses as Amjr's rela* 
tives was charming, and his whole bearing in the 
society of Belton had an ease and a frankness 
which made him a most popular representative of 
the aristocracy. 

Amy was a lucky girl to have so few draw- 
backs to the splendid position she was likely to 
occupy, and she was evidently growing very fond 
of the earl. Was Anthony himself growing fond 
of anybody ? It never occurred to him to qu^s^ 
tion himself on the subject of his pleasure in the 
society of Miss Evans, but Lord Darlington was 
not so attentive to his own love affairs but that 
he kept a close watch on those of others. He 
was disposed to favour Lucy's ambition. He had 
no liking for Anthony Derrick, and he rather re- 



PREMATURE SYMPATHY. 287 

joiced in the idea of his making a marriage which 
would not improve his position to a girl who 
would give him no dignity, and who could not 
even sing. He saw Lucy's faults and weaknesses 
through her superficial manner, and perhaps he 
knew that such a companion would only 
strengthen and aggravate those disagreeable 
points in Anthony's character which made it so 
difficult for Amy to live comfortably with him, 
and he saw, too, that Lucy did not like her 
cousin, although she tried to behave as if she 
did. 

It did not need much managing to throw two 
people together who were so well suited to each 
other ; but the earl, by his praises of Miss Evans, 
by his laughter at her sallies, by the constant 
though secondary attentions which he paid to 
her, and, above aU, by his prolonging his visit to 
Thrush Grove to the very last day possible, kept 
Lucy Evans constantly and pleasantly before An- 
thony Derrick. . He found her always a sympa- 
thizing listener when he wanted to talk about 
himself, and a pleasant talker when he wished to 
hear about other people. To her he confided his 
position at home with his aunt, and his sister 
Edith — ^how prejudiced they had always been 
against poor Amy and all Amy's relations ; what 
objections Edith had made to his visit to Belton, 



288 THE author's daughter. 

but how he had thought it right to go ; and how 
he had been very glad indeed that he had paid 
this visit ; how Edith would never believe there 
was anything in Lord Darlington's attentions to 
Amy ; and how he blinded her by coinciding with 
her. At other times he would describe his pro- 
perty. He contrasted everything which he saw 

in shire with the Stanmore house or gardens 

or conservatories or grounds or estate, very much 
to the disadvantage of the former ; and in this 
discourse Lucy was very much interested too. 
When he dilated on the pleasures of the visit and 
the shooting at Darlington Castle, Lucy gave the 
least little sigh, but begged him to go on. 

The day drew near when the distinguished 
guests were to leave Belton. In fact the earl 
had gone two days before, partly on business and 
partly to make some arrangements for Olivia's 
reception. Probably he thought he could travel 
more comfortably by himself than with his daugh- 
ter and Miss Pennithome, even though Amy was 
to accompany them. 

Lucy was declaring that she should be incon- 
solable when Amy went away. She never had 
had such a delightful visitor as her charming 
little cousin, and the rectory would be dismal 
when she had left it. Anthony was looking dull 
and out of spirits, in spite of the prospect of the 



PREMATURE SYMPATHY. 289 

Darlington preserves, and Amy fancied that she 
knew the cause of his depression. He had taken 
a long moonlight walk with Lucy on the pre- 
ceding evening, and had certainly looked very 
much as if he liked her. Amy had often been 
found fault with because she never gave her sym- 
pathy till she was directly asked for it, and now 
she wondered if she might venture to show him 
that she had some penetration as well as sisterly 
affection. 

Anthony was decidedly out of humour, and 
seemed scarcely to know why he was so. Perhaps 
it was because Louis Hammond had come to the 
rectory on the preceding evening ; and although 
he had not thought it worth giving up the plea- 
sant walk in the moonlight to watch his pro- 
ceedings, still he recollected that the young man 
had seemed more hopeful now that his formid- 
able rival was out of the way, and that Amy had 
been very civil to him. At any rate, it was 
sufficient cause of offence to be mentioned to his 
sister. 

" My dear Anthony, you may set your mind at 
rest on that subject. I do not care for him in 
that way, and I am sure I never can." 

"Why then do you receive him so graci- 
ously T 

" I am sure I did not receive him with more 

VOL. II. 19 



290 THE author's daughter. 

than common politeness, and I am going away 
to-morrow." 

" Yes, I suppose we are both going," said An- 
thony, with something like a sigh. 

" It has been a pleasant visit on the whole, has 
it not, Anthony V 

" Like all pleasant things, it comes to an end. 
I had no idea of staying here so long, however. 
Edith is amazed at it," and Anthony subsided 
into silence. 

" You have something else on your mind, dear 
Anthony," said Amy, soothingly. " Will you let 
me guess it ?" 

" Oh ! yes, do," said Anthony eagerly. He 
hoped she would say something with regard to 
her own position with Lord Darlington. 

" You are sorry to leave Belton Rectory your- 
self, Anthony." 

" Why, no, not particularly, I think," said An- 
thony, carelessly. 

" I think you are. I fancy you are fond of 
Lucy, and I am sure I hope — I wish you may be 
happy." 

Now Anthony was not conscious of his own 
liking yet. He felt pleased in Lucy's society, 
and quite satisfied that he had made a favourable 
impression on her heart, and that she was very 
sorry that he was going away ; but he had never 



PREMATURE SYMPATHY. 291 

dreamed of being hooked in an obscure parsonage 
by a girl, who, however clever and handsome, 
had neither birth nor money to recommend lier, 
and who, besides, was a connexion of his own by 
his mother's second marriage, of which he had 
always been so thoroughly ashamed; Yet he felt 
when Amy mentioned it that he would miss 
Lucy's brilliancy and her ready sympathy, and he 
was displeased at her for finding out what he had 
not confessed to himself. Her sympathy was as 
much too prompt in this instance as it had been 
too tardy heretofore. 

" I am sure," said he, impatiently, " that I have 
neither said nor done anything to make you think 
I care two straws about Miss Evans — a little 
passing attention such as every young man pays 
to any lively girl with whom he comes in contact 
in society. It would be a great catch for her and 
her family no doubt, but I am not to be come 
over so easily, and I think Miss Evans lierself has 
too much good sense to allow such a preposterous 
idea to enter her head. So you thouglit I was 
dismal because I was parting from her ? If so, 
I have only to say two words, and I need never 
part from her at all. But girls are all alike ; 
they fancy everything hangs upon them. Suppose 
a man is a little dull, it may be because he is not 
well, or because he has lost money at play, or 

19—2 



292 THE author's daughter. 

because he is wearing tight boots, or something 
of that sort ; you set it down at once to some love 
disappointment or anxiety. What could have 
put such a notion into your head, Amy, you little 
goose T 

" I am very sorry I have made such a mistake, 
but I fancied you really liked her, and Lord Dar- 
lington thought the same thing. Indeed it was 
he who first suggested the idea." 

'' Lord Darlington might have had more pene- 
tration. Did he seem to approve of it when he 
observed the — ^fancied — attachment?' said An- 
thony, laughing. 

" Why, Anthony, it was no business of his to 
approve of or disapprove of. I believe he only 
thought of it as it would afiect me." 

" Of course my happiness is a very secondary 
consideration. He seemed to admire her a good 
deal himself. She is clever, you know, and he 
likes clever people ; so do I, but yet I don't mean 
to marry a clever wife ; besides, I don't mean to 
marry for years to come, I ought to see you and 
Edith settled first." 

" Well, to confess the truth, I think I am very 
glad to hear there is nothing in it, though of 
course if you had loved her I should have been 
pleased and proud that you had chosen my dear 
papa's niece ; but still on the whole I seem to 



PREMATURE SYMPATHY. 293 

breathe more freely now. I think I rather pre- 
fer Juliet to Lucy. Lucy is rather too satirical, 
and I think she is really colder at heart." 

" Cold !" said Anthony ; " I do not think so ; 
she certainly never has been cold to me, and as 
for satire it is only good-natured badinage, that 
playful style of wit that no one can take offence 
at. I suppose, as you were so penetrating as to 
the state of my heart, you also fancied that Miss 
Evans was in despair at parting with me." 

" And I suppose I am as far in the wrong in 
the one supposition as in tlie other," said Amy. 

" I suppose so," said Anthony, smiling with 
some complacency. " She, however, can express 
all the regret she feels at parting with yoa. A 
sister is a convenient safety-valve for the feelings 
on certain occasions." 

" Oil ! Anthony, don't speak so ; if you think 
it true it is cruel ; if you don't think it true it is 
wrong. I am sorry — very sorry — I spoke on the 
subject at all." 

"Well next time you had better keep your 
sympathy with my affaires de coeur until you 
are asked for it, and you will make no mistake. 
What are you off in such a hurry for ? Oh ! the 
post-bag. Edith does not write to-day; but 
perhaps you expect a note from Darlington." 

Anthony followed his sister to the hall. Thoro 



294 THE author's daughter. 

was a note for her from the earl, and a letter 
with the Australian post-mark besides. 

" I wish these people would give up writing to 
you," said he, impetuously. " I assure you I 
have no sympathy with antipodean correspon- 
dence. Well, what does the earl say V 

" Nothing particular, only about the new couch 
we planned for Ohvia, and the travelling carnage 
in which she can keep her horizontal position, 
and both of which he says are most successful 
things." 

" Nothing about me," said Anthony, who con- 
sidered that if this idea of his attachment to 
Miss Evans had entered Lord Darlington's head 
it must take a very prominent place in his 
thoughts. 

" There is a message to you, but as it proceeds 
upon a mistake I think I had better not give it 
to you." 

" I ought to have it whether it is right or 
wrong ; it belongs to me." 

" Only at my discretion, I think," said Amy. 
" But I suppose you will insist on being told, so 
there is his lordship's letter; read it for your- 
self." 

Anthony skipped the first part of the letter, 
which he only saw contained no love passages, 
and passed on to the conclusion : — 



PREMATURE SYMPATHY. 295 

" Condole with yoiir brother for me on this sad 
parting from Belton Rectory and one of its 
inmates. It is a pity that Miss Evans could not 
have a glimpse of London. It would be well if 
Mr. Derrick could see how she shines in the 
great metropolis before he commits himself; I 
think that she would succeed. I used to say 

that she was very like the Marchioness of , 

and when I saw her ladyship in tlie Park to-day 
the likeness struck me more forcibly. I see the 
Australian mail is in ; I hope you have'^pleasant 
news from your friends. 

" Yours very faithfully, 

" Darlington.*' 

Anthony read the note rather grimly. It was 
really taking a great liberty that Amy should 
have discussed the state of his heart with the 
earl ; but at the same time his lordship's think- 
ing a marriage with Lucy Evans possible and 
even feasible had its effect. It was evident that 
Amy confided a great deal more to Lord Dar- 
lington about her Australian correspondence than 
to Anthony — he forgot that he never spoke about 
them so pleasantly. 

"You had better- show the other letter to me 
too," said he. 

" Oh ! no," said Amy ; " I caimot do that ; I 



296 THE author's daughteb. 

am very sure you would not care to see it. Yon 
know how you always object to be bored with 
anything from the antipodes." 

"Except Miss Hammond's voice, and that I 
assure you Mr. Derrick does admire," said Lucy, 
wlio entered the room with a letter in her hand. 
" I sliould not be surprised if she makes a con- 
quest of him on the strength of it. I have known 
several men who married a voice, and found it 
answer tolerably well. Should you not be [^de- 
lighted if your brother gives you an Austra- 
lian sister-in-law ? I saw you did not frown on 
poor Mr. Louis yesterday. Let us make a family 
alliance with the house of Hammond for both of 
you. How delighted the old lady ought to be 
when she sees the auspicious event duly chro- 
nicled in the country papers. It is droll, how- 
ever, to see how unwilling old ladies are to part 
with their sons. She used to look daggers at 
you when Louis was doing the agreeable ; 
whereas when she saw her daughter Clara sing- 
ing and flirting with Mr. Derrick she seemed all 
complacency. What a terribly humbling spec- 
tacle it is, just as if we girls were only things 
that must be got rid of, as if our brothers were 
in danger of being taken in. Only fancy mamma 
in terror when Bertie and George are old enough 
to pay attention to young ladies ; I can scarcely 



PREBIATURE SYMPATHY. 297 

imagine it, but I suppose it will come to that in 
time. But, Amy, I have got such good news. 
Fanny Hamilton, my particular friend, writes to 
ask me to pay her a visit at Hampstead, and, 
though I am rather late in the season, I am glad 
to see London at any time, and mamma will be 
very pleased that I have the opportunity. I am 
to join them in an excursion to the lakes next 
month. It is so delightful." 

" Then we shall see you in town. Miss Evans," 
said Anthony. 

Lucy looked beaming at Mr. Derrick's desire 
to keep up her acquaintance. Amy was sorry 
for her, as Anthony had been so positive that he 
did not care two straws about Lucy Evans. It 
would have been so much better for him to have 
gone right away, and then Lucy's prepossession 
would have died out. She did not say cordially 
how glad she would be to see her cousin in 
London, but retired to her own room with 
Allan's letter. 

It was the most interesting, but at the same 
time the most puzzling one she had ever received 
from him. It was in answer to one written just 
before she made her entrance into fashionable 
society, and all the fears she had expressed and 
the difficulties which she had owned to had been 
interpreted by Allan in the way most favourable 



298 THE author's daughter. 

to his hopes. She had acknowledged her position 
with Edith, and divulged more of Anthony's 
character in that letter than she had previously 
done. Allan had drawn the inference that she 
was not happy with them, and that she missed 
him. EUs letter was almost confident, and the 
confidence alarmed her. Yet it was true that 
she had seen no one whom she liked better ; it 
was the case that she often missed him. Under 
these circumstances was not she really engaged 
to him ? But then Anthony's anger would She 
dreadful, and besides the time had not expired 
which had been agreed on. 

With whom could she consult ? Anthony she 
dared not ask, for he would be so indignant at 
poor Allan's presumption that he would write 
him an insulting letter, and absolutely prohibit a 
correspondence he had always disliked. Jessie 
Copeland would be as strong on the other side. 
She had not been on such easy terms with her aunt 
or cousins as to confide her difficulties to'' them, and 
besides they would hold her conditional engage- 
ment as an absurd thing, and uphold Anthony's 
views without Anthony's authority. Miss Pen- 
nithome was a good little woman, but without 
experience and without any force of character. 
The only person with whom she could take 
counsel was Lord Darlington, who always was so 



PREMATURE SYMPATHY. 299 

good and kind, and who had patience with all 
her Australian reminiscences, and who was clever 
enougli and experienced enough to give her dis- 
interested advice. She knew she could open out 
her perplexities more easily to him than to any 
one else, and she never had any difficulty in 
making an opj^ortunity of speaking to him. It 
was a great comfort to feel that slie had such a 
friend. So as a beginning to her confidence, in 
her answer to liis note which it was necessary 
for her to write, she told Lord Darlington that 
her friends in Australia were all well, but that 
she would like to talk over her news with him. 
Perhaps he might be able to give her a little 
advice. 



END OF VOL. II. 



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