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CATHERINE ELLEN SPENCE,
IN THREE VOLUMES.
RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET.
[Ait righU rucnid^
HS-o^ a. /^.
CONTENTS OF VOL. II.
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.
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
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 ?"
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
" 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,
" 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
" 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
" 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
" 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
" 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
"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
" 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-
" 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
" 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
" Oh ! you will see some one whom you will
" 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 /
" Then you will engage yourself to me for three
years. I would wait six if I thought you would
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,
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
" 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
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
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
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-
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
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
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,"
" 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
" If ye ever go to Scotland, Amy," said Mrs.
" 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
"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.
" 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
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
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
"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
" 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
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
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-
" 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
'' Mrs. Banim said she would call for me at
" 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
" 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
" Mrs Banim has asked me and a few friends
to meet you this evening; she will be disap-
'' 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
" 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
" 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
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
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
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
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
" 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,"
" 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.
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-
"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
"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
" 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-
"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-
" 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
" 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
"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-
" 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
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
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
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
" 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
"But they have been so kind, and Leo-
" 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
" 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
" 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.'*
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
" 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
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
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
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-
" 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
" I am sorry I know very little that is newei\
I have scarcely had any music but what mamma
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
" 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
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
"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
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
" 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
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
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
"There is no place like it after all," said
" 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
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
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
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
felt grateful to her brother, she was sorry that
he made it so difficult for her to win her sister's
" 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
" 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-
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-
" 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
"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-
"And the crop was good, you say; and the
vintage, that is not on yet."
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
''Very well; she went with me to Adelaide,
and helped me to procure my outfit for the
" 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,
"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
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
" 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
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
" 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."
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
" Oh, no ! indeed, I don't know if I have a cold
" I don't like to hear people cough, especially
those whom I love," said Amy with a little
" Oh ! my cough is nothing ; you need not
fidget yourself about it."
"Both you and your sister seem to be very
" 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
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
" 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
"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
** 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
" Yes," said Amy ; " I am sorry you are not
" 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
" 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 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
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
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
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
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
" 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
" 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
" 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-
'' 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
" 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
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
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
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
" 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
" Anthony Derrick sent for her from Austra-
" 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-
" 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
** 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-
" 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
" 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.
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
" Yes, my lord ; but the cousinship is remote.
It would be reckoned as a relationship by the
"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-
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
" 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-
" 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
" 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
*' 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
" 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
'' I take a great interest in Australia," said the
** 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
" 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
"How did you get on in the scrub, as you
call it ?"
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
" Now," thought Amy, " Anthony will really
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
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
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
" What harm could that do ?" asked Anthony,
unwilling to give in, even in appearance only, to
"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
** 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
"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
" 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
^ 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
"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
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
" Then I must have a few sittings," said Mr.
" 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
"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-
'^ 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
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
" 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
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
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
" 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
" It would appear that she needed no counte-
nance or help from us then," said Mrs. Hammond,
" 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
" 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
« 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
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,"
" No, Isabel had no preference for Mr. Lufton
" 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
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
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
" 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
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
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
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
"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
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-
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.
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
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-
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
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
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.
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
"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-
" 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
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
" 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-
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
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
*' 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
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
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.
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
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
" 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
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-
"Oh! that was supposing you were to be
" 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
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
^'Not at alL You must not judge of what
papa was, either in appearance or intellect, by
"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
" 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
" 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
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
" 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
" But that is not my question. Miss Staunton ;
you shift your ground with me. Was he hand-
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
" 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
" 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
" 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
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
" 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
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
'' 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-
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
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-
" 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-
" Did you say Mrs. Hammond was to be of the
party, and the Smarts 1 I shall go," said Miss
" 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,
" 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
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
" 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
" 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
" I thought the young gentlemen meant to
return to Australia shortly," said Miss Penni-
" 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
" 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
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
" 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-
" 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
"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,
"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
" 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
" 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
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.
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
" 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
" 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
" 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,"
" 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,"
" 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
" 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
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
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 ;
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.
ANTHONY DEKRICK FINDS BELTON SOCIETY 'QUITE
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-
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
" 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
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
" 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 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-
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
" 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."
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-
" You know you are a relative," said Amy.
"The relationship is trifling," said the earl.
" I prefer to be placed in the category of — ^--
"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-
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.
" 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-
" 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
" 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
" 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-
" 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,"
"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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
" 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-
" 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
" 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
" 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-
" Why, no, not particularly, I think," said An-
" I think you are. I fancy you are fond of
Lucy, and I am sure I hope — I wish you may be
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
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
" 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-
" 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
" 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
" There is a message to you, but as it proceeds
upon a mistake I think I had better not give it
" 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-
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,
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,"
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
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
END OF VOL. II.
BILMMa, PKINTKB, UUILDFURD.