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" 600072280P 







\All righit nservtJ.] 

^So. u. li. 







IV. amy's NEW HOME • . . 47 



MARRIAGE . . . .74 



RECEPTION . . • .146 






XIII. BUSHING IT . . .239 

XV. MILLMOUNT . . . .279 





It was drawing towards evening in the later 
summer, when a young man was riding slowly 
and steadily homewards on a rather tired horse, 
along a rough district-road, which led — I will not 
say in what direction, or to what locality — in the 
colony of South Australia. Suffice it to say, that 
it was somewhere on the borderland where agri- 
cultural farming ceases and the great sheep-runs 
begin, and that it was as beautiful a coimtry as 
could be seen in all the colony. Even at the sear- 
son of the year when Australian scenery looks 
its worst, when the grass is burnt almost to the 
colour of the earth it covers, an experienced eye 
could tell, by the length and closeness of the her- 
bage, by the lay of the country and the look of 
the soil, and more especially by the nimibers of 

VOL. L 1 

2 THE author's daughter. 

fine gam-trees that enlivened the sombre colour- 
ing of the landscape with their great white stems 
and luxuriance of green foliage, that it was a 
well-watered region, and land that in ordinary 
seasons would grow anjrthing. 

Alla.n Lindsay rode slowly, for two reasons : the 
first and best was that his horse was tired, and 
had been frightened by a violent storm of thim- 
der and lightning, which had rolled and flashed 
all the afternoon ; and the second was, that he 
was taking that leisurely and critical survey of 
the country which is natural when a man returns 
from a land-sale through the property which he 
has just bought. Though he had not been a 
purchaser on his own account, as he was not yet 
twenty years of age, he had been entrusted by 
Jiis father to bid for him, and he had even gone a 
little beyond the limit which the old experienced 
colonist had set. But as he looked aflectionately 
on the open, slightly undulating country, he felt 
that his father would have been more disap- 
pointed if he had let their neighbour, Mr. Ham- 
mond, outbid him, than he could possibly be at 
the little extra price that was to be paid. 

" Yes," said Allan half aloud, " this land is 
worth more to us than to Mr. Hammond ; and if 
we have early rains, as I thought we should have 
with this storm, it will look first-rate in a month 


or two. But it is strange that this season of the 
year we have so much thunder and lightning, 
with scarce a drop of rain. Steady, Charlie, my 
man," said he, affectionately addressing his horse, 
whom a more vivid flash than usual right across 
the eyes had terrified afresh — " you* ve gone far 
enough to-day to sober you, so you needn't plunge 
like that," and he patted and soothed the fright- 
ened animal. 

He had not ridden half a mile farther when 
he heard voices apparently of some people in 
distress, where voices were not usually heard, and 
a loud " cooey " directed him to the spot, which 
was at some distance off the road. There he 
foimd his was not the only horse made restive by 
the lightning, for Mr. Hanmiond's spring-cart 
had been overturned ; the horse having dragged 
it till the wheel had caught in a charred stump, 
when it had tilted over, and thrown out the three 
occupants of the vehicle, while the horse had got 
loose from his traces and had run off. One of the 
party he knew well — Tom Cross, Mr. Hammond's 
groom — who now limped sadly towards him with 
a badly sprained ancle; but the other two — a 
gentleman who lay on the groimd dead or insen- 
sible, and a girl apparently about thirteen, who 
hung over him in an agony of grief and terror — 
were absolute strangers to Allan. 


4 THE author's daughter. 

" Wliat is all this, Tom Cross ?" said Allan. 
" How did you get this terrible upset V 

" Rattler took fright and dashed off with us," 
said Tom ; and lowering his voice, " I think it is 
all over with the poor gentleman. Neither me nor 
the girl there can make him speak, and it's a 
quarter of an hour since we had the spill. It was 
on his head, d*ye see, and that's bad" 

" Oh ! papa, dearest papa, do speak to me !" said 
the child. " Oh ! please do try to revive him ! " and 
she turned to the stranger, as if he must be able 
to do something, when such unlooked-for assist- 
ance had come to aid her own and the groom s 
inadequate efforts. " He is only fainting ; mamma 
used to faint often if she was a little too tired, and 
this was a terrible falL Oh ! if I had any drops 
to give him!" 

The young bushman took a flask out of his 
pocket, and tried to get a few drops out of it into 
the mouth of the stranger, but it was of no avail 
He had been pitched on his head with great 
violence, and a concussion of the brain had caused 
instant death. 

" Will he never speak ? " said the child again. 
" Can we not send for a doctor, and get him taken 
to a house ? " 

^' You cannot go so far as Mr. Hammond's, but 
Branxholm is not far off, and you can take him 


there. My mother would do all in her power for 
you— and for him," said AUan with an effort, for 
he knew nothing could be done. " If the cart 
could be trusted to go as far as Branxholm, Charlie 
will go in harness even if you cannot catch 

" I'm of as little as no use," said Tom, " but 1 
don't think there's much the matter with the 
cart; one of the shafts is broke, but you can 
splice it, m be bound, and you'll drive softly, as 
is most fitting, leastways, at any rate." 

Allan took his knife and a piece of strong 
whipcord from his pocket, and began to splice the 
broken shaft in a most workmanlike manner. 
" This is a terrible business, Tom," said he. " Do 
you know who this gentleman is ?" 

" He was coming to be tutor to them big boys, 
and to keep the store and accoimts, it is likely too, 
and I was sent to the township with the trap to 
meet them. A very pleasant-spoken gentleman 
he was, too, and him and the girl asked such 
heaps of questions about the trees, and flowers, 
and such like, and the birds that we saw hopping 
about. They were all new to them apparently, 
for they are new chums. But what is to be done 
with her now ? In course she must go to Mr. 
Hammond's and be took care on till her friends is 
wrote to, but it's a poor welcome this to South 

6 THE author's daughter. 

Australia. There, Allan, don't you see Rattler 7 
Afberdoing all this mischief he comes back penitent, 
and it is as well, for though you say Charlie will 
go in harness, the harness is all on Rattler's back. 
You catch hold of him, he's like a lamb now." 

It was the work of some little time to catch 
the horse, to mend the traces roughly, and to put 
Rattler in his old position between the shaflB. 
Allan next boimd up Tom's leg as well as he 
could with pockethandkerchiefs, and helped him 
up into the spring-cart. He next lifted the body 
of the lifeless stranger, placed it gently on the 
floor of the cart, removing the seat, and resting 
the head on a carpet-bag ; and then took the girl 
in his arms, and laid her so that she might be 
near her father, but where she could not feel the 
weight press on her to convince her that all hope 
was over. She looked surprised at the manner 
in which she was lifted, and perhaps a little 
ofiended, but a glance at Allan's kind face, with 
the honest blue eyes full of a moisture very 
imusual to them, made the little lady forgive the 
liberty. He next fastened Charlie to the spring- 
cart, as Tom had declined to drive so sad a load 
with his lame foot. Under any other circum- 
stances, Tom would have thought nothing of 
driving with a sprained ancle, for, as he said, 
his feet had nothing to do with the business ; 


but though the storm was over and the horizon 
clear, he would not venture to handle the reins. 

" Are we not going to Mr. Hammond's V* asked 
the little girL 

" No, we are going to my father's at Branxholm, 
for it is nearer/' said Allan Lindsay. 

" And you will send for a surgeon ? For you 
know he must be bled or something done to make 
him speak." 

" If it had not been for this foot I'd have 
moimted Charlie and gone to the township, but I 
suppose there's some one to be found at Branx- 
holm to go there for Dr. Burton, and somebody 
must go across to Aralewin. Mr. Hammond is 
sure to be home by this time, though he was 
not when I left it to-day. I know he won't be 
pleased at our putting Rattler in the spring-cart, 
which he ain't used to, but Mrs. Hammond she 
said as how there would likely be a lot of luggage, 
and the spring-cart is the roomiest. But you see 
we have had to leave the boxes after all We're 
heavy enough without them. There's nobody 
will run away with them, I suppose, till we can 
send down for them, and they're all marked plain 
enough, * G. Staunton,' for us all to swear to if 
they are stole." 

" You have not been long in the colony T said 
Allan to the girL 

8 THE author's daughter 

" Only a fortnight in Adelaide, but we were in 
Melbourne for more than a month.** 

" And your papa was going to be tutor at the 
Hammonds* ? " 

" Yes, when he is better he must go there, for 
Mr. Hammond says that I may stay there too, and 
I promised mamma, that I never would leave dear 

" Is your mamma in England T asked Allan. 

" No, no ! mamma is in heaven. But I cannot 
spare papa to her yet. Mamma must wait a little 
longer. There are saints and angels in heaven, 
and my little brothers are there; but if I lose 
papa, I have nobody — nobody." 

"Hiive you any shipmates that you liked?" 
said Allan, thinking of that only resource of 
Mendless strangers in the colonies. 

"Our shipmates are all in Melbourne, for we 
came over in a steamer to Adelaide ; but we did 
not care much about our fellow-passengers. The 
captain was very unkind, and the people on board 
were not like papa. Papa is Qerald Staunton, 
you know." 

Allan did not know anything about Gerald 
Staimton, but he had a reverence for learning, 
and he had envied the young Hammonds the 
succession of private tutors they had had, and 
had wondered why they did not profit more by 


their advantages. And there was something in 
the countenance of the dead man so refined, so 
intellectual, and so gentlemanly, that he was 
sure he was superior to any Mr. Hammond had 
previously engaged 

" I suppose your papa — Mr. Staunton, I mean — 
knew everything that boys should know; Ian- 
guages, aoid figures, md geography, and speUing. 
and all that sort of thing," said Allan. 

" Papa never was a tutor in his life. I don't 
quite know how he will like it. He was an 
author in London, and a critic for the Pal- 

Allan's reverence for the dead man rose still 
higher. What treasures were to be buried with 
him, that Allan would give up his fair worldly 
prospects to possess ! No doubt he was a genius, 
and his want of success in life perhaps was rather 
a proof of it than otherwise. 

** He's an Oxford man, I heard Mrs. Hammond 
saying to Mr. Louis," said Tom Cross ; " and she 
seemed mightily taken up with the notion that 
he had got some sort of' a degree, though I am 
sure I don't know what it is ; but of course she 
knows. She's uppish, and always was ; but she's 
kind too, and this poor young lady will find that 
out, never fear." 

La spite of the weU-wom black frock and the 

10 THE author's daughter. 

plain straw hat, dusty with the long journey 
from Adelaide, even Tom Cross had seen that 
she was a little lady, and Allan had still more 
observation. He could not call her pretty; she 
was too pale and thin, and angular for beauty at 
this particular time, but she gave promise of 
being very lovely ere long. The face was ex- 
pressive, her eyes perhaps too large at present, 
but dark and full of varied light ; her head was 
beautifully set on her shoulders, and her feet and 
hands finely formed. Her tine accent, or rather 
the absence of any provincial accent, contrasted 
with Allan's Scotch, and Tom's Midland English ; 
and they both felt that, whatever might be her 
circumstances, their unhappy feUow-traveller was 
something quite out of the common. 

" When you get home wiU your mother try to 
make papa speak ? Oh ! papa, will you not 
speak to your own poor Amy ?" and the girl 
kissed the lifeless face, and now for the first time 
she was aware of the chill that had come over it, 
and the horrible thought pressed itself on her 
that he was dead. Allan saw by the expression 
on her face that she now apprehended the truth, 
though she was too much horrified to speak of it. 
He endeavoured to soothe her as if she had been 
his own sister ; he patted her gently on the back, 
aayiiig — " Poor dear ! poor dear ! it is the will of 


Gkxl, and we cannot gainsay it. May He help 
you to bear it.'' The familiarity of the action 
the child shrank from instinctively, but only for 
a moment, for Allan's face was so full of sy m{)athy , 
his lips quivered with suppressed emotion, his 
eyes could not keep back the drops that rose to 
them, and his voice trembled as he spoke. She 
drew closer to him, allowed him to take her 
hand, and wept with a quiet, intense sorrow, 
speechless and noiseless. Now and then a deep 
shaking sob went to the hearts of her two living 
companions, but, alas! nothing could now awaken 
the sympathy or call forth an effort from one 
who had been all the world to Amy Staunton. 



Allan was relieved wheu he came wiihin 
sight of home. His mother and his sister Jessie 
were better able to comfort the poor little orphan 
than he could be : and then Mr. Hammond might 
be sent for, and he and his wife might be able to 
suggest something that could be done to send 
her to her friends, though in that case, of course, 
he would see her no more, nor have any oppor- 
tunity of asking a thousand questions, which 
the daughter of an Oxford student and author 
might be able to answer, about things which in 
his bush life he had had no opportunity of 

Branxholm was an irregular-looking building. 
It had been put up at different times upon no 
sort of plan. As an addition had been needed, 
it had been placed somewhere, without any 
consideration as to symmetry, and often with 


mistakes as to convenience. As Allan had 
grown older he had seen that this patchwork 
was rather unwise, and he had now notions in 
his head about the next alteration, which was to 
be a more thorough and systematic piece of work 
than had been before attempted. The farm- 
offices and stock-yards were on a level with the 
house, and much too near it, while the garden, 
which was really beautiful and well kept, lay 
back from the house, and was not much seen as 
you approached it. • A never-failing creek ran 
through the garden, and was crossed by several 
rustic bridges and bordered by magnificent 
willows; and the ingenuity which Allan had 
shown since he was fourteen years old in 
irrigating the whole large garden from the creek, 
made its progress and its fertility something 
wonderful in the district. But from its position 
Amy could have seen little of the garden even if 
she had looked through her tears. 

As the spring-cart drove up to the front door, 
which, however, lay at the side of the house, 
Allan called for his mother and sister in a voice 
so strange, that they hurried from the kitchen 
and the garden with alarm, and brought with 
them the master of the household, too, to find 
out what could be the matter. A few sad words 
told the tale. The body of the poor gentleman 

14 THE author's daughter 

was lifted gently from the spring-cart, and laid 
on the bed in the spare room. Amy followed 
the remains of all that was dear to her in the 
world, and shrinkingly took the cold hand that 
would never press hers more, while Mrs. Lindsay 
and Jessie tried to comfort her. 

They tried to coax her out of the room while 
they did the last sad offices for her father, but 
she would not leave it. 

"This should be yours, now, my dear," said 
Mrs. Lindsay, as she began to take off the 
wedding-ring from the Uttle finger. 

" No, no," said Amy. " Papa never would part 
with that; he should carry that to the grave 
with him. I will not take it. But is he — ^is he 
really dead ? They said they would send for a 

"Oh, my dear," said Mrs. Lindsay, "he is 
past all doctors skill now; but we'll send for 
Dr. Burton to satisfy you that no skill could 
have saved him from the first. Allan will go at 
once if it would be any comfort to you. And 
I suppose George Copeland is in the house, 
Jessie ; he maun ride to Aralewin as fast as he 
can, to tell Mr. Hammond of this awfu* dis- 

"George is gone already. Tom Cross gave 
him the letters, and he was off in five minutes ; 



and I think my father has sent Pat for the 
doctor," said Jessie. " Allan thought, as the 
poor lassie was better acquainted with him, he 
would not leave the house for so long a time. 
It is not that Allan grudged the trouble, but his 
heart is sore for the poor bairn." 

Mrs. Lindsay found all was done as Jessie had 
said, and now for the first time found an oppor- 
tunity of asking who the poor gentleman was, 
and what was his connection with Mr. Hammond. 

" It is a sudden and awfu* providence, Allan," 
said she. 

" K it is awful to us, mother; what is it to that 
poor orphan, fatherless and motherless in a 
strange land ? What can we do for her ?* 

" No doubt Mrs. Hammond will see to her, as 
is weel her part, and she seems a genty bit body, 
though no that very weel put on, and bonnie too, 
if it was not for the greeting." 

" I forgot to ask you, Allan," said Mr. Lindsay, 
" in all this trouble, if you have got the land." 

" Yes, father, over Mr. Hammond's head too ; 
for his agent was bidding against me, and made 
me give five shillings more the acre for it than 
you set as my price." 

" Mr. Hammond won't be over pleased at that, 
Allan, and he behoves to come here to-night 
about this unfortunate business, but it cannot be 

16 THE author's daughter. 

helped. I am not sorry that you have got it, 
nevertheless," said Hugh Lindsay. 

It was a five miles' ride for George Copeland 
to the Hammonds' home-station. It was one of 
the perversities of fate that had planted the 
Hammonds so that their nearest neighbours 
were people who could not be visited, though 
they might be very worthy people in their way. 
The Lindsays, though Hugh Lindsay (or rather 
his wife for him, for she was more skilled in 
genealogical lore) could coimt kin with the 
Balcarras family, had begun their colonial career 
in a humble way, and indeed for many gene- 
rations had been poor plain people. But Hugh 
Lindsay had brought to the colony habits of 
industry and frugality, and a useful though 
limited education. He was shrewd and clear- T 
headed ; he had a sensible and active wife, and 
a family of children whom he made useful to 
him; so that from his original position of a 
shepherd for another in the early days of the 
colony, he had risen to be a considerable stock- 
holder and landowner. He was, of course, a very 
much poorer man than Mr. Hammond, who had 
begun life with some capital, while Hugh Lindsay 
had his capital to create, and who had been 
equally fortunate in his opportunities and pretty 
nearly as shrewd in business. 


Hugh was aware that his social position was 
fiur inferior to that of his neighbour, but he 
was not at all disposed to put himself forwanl. 
Only in the matter of land buying he had once 
or twice come into collision with Mr. Hammond, 
and this was not the only occasion in which he 
had bought land over his head. He could not 
help regretting that Jessie, who was so useful and 
such a treasure to her mother, and Allan his own 
right hand, whose judgment and skill he relied on 
in all matters of business, should have missed the 
advantages of the position they had helped to 
attain ; and that while the younger members of 
the family were at school in Adelaide, the two 
cleverest and best of them all should be so back- 
ward in school attainments. It was of less con- 
sequence for Jessie, but for Allan it was indeed a 
loss, that by the time his father could spare him 
he was too big and too manly to send to school. 
Louis and Fred Hammond used to report to their 
mother that Allan was the handiest fellow in the 
district, and had wonderful knowledge of stock 
and horses, and was a famous shot; but Mrs. 
Hammond discouraged the lad's visits to Branx- 
holm, for she could not bear her boys to. associate 
with such unpolished boorish clodpoles as the 
Lindsays must be. She was ambitious for her 
children^ and especially for her sons, and she had 

VOL. I. 2 

ness between the very limited monarchy of the 
tutors in the Aralewin school-room, and she could 
not help feeling that they were very backward, 
and that they could not expect to make any 
figure in England, where she hoped to be able to 
take them ere long. 

She was delighted a day or two before my story 
opens, at the receipt of a letter from her husband, 
saying that he had been so fortunate as to secure 
for his boys the services of a gentleman of higher 
attainments and of more agreeable manners than 
any who had ever been at Aralewin. Mr. Ham- 
mond had been favourably impressed by his 
Oxford degree of Master of Arts, and by his cre- 
dentials from the editors of various journals and 
periodicals to which he had been a contributor ; 
he almost feared that the situation was not good 
enough for him. When he had seen the little 
girl, who must be considered in the light of an 
incumbrance, he had been equally taken with 
her, and thought she would be an excellent 
companion for his bush girls, as her acquirements 
appeared to him to be astonishing. He offered 



that she should be treated in every way as a 
child of the family, and that no deduction should 
be made firom the salaiy he was prepared to give 
on her account. Mr. Staimton closed at once 
with the offer, and Mr. Hammond was oveijoyed 
at the result. He had written a hasty note to 
his wife on the subject, saying, that as he might 
not be at home on Wednesday, he would like her 
to send to the township for the new tutor and his 
little daughter. He had gone home by another 

route because he wanted to be present at 

races, and he had just got home half an hour 
before the Lindsays' man, George, came with his 
bad news. 

" So you did not stay for the land sale," 
said Mrs. Hammond; "the races were too at- 

" I wish I had stayed ; I never thought of 
Hugh Lindsay going so high, I left my limit 
with my agent, and he of course would not take 
the liberty of going beyond it, and writes me that 
he's sorry, and aU that nonsense." 

" Was Lindsay at the sale himself? " 

" No. AUan was there bidding for his father. 
The old man puts great trust in that boy." 

" These low people can afford to pay more for 
land than you. Look at your expenses for labour 
that Lindsay gets his own family to do." 

2 M 

20 THE author's dauohtbel 

" His fSunily are some expense to him now. It 
costs something to keep four boys and girls at 
school in Adelaide. But are you not pleased 
about the tutor, Mr. Staunton ? " 

'' Staimton ? '* said Mrs. Hammond. " I thought 
you wrote the name Stratton." 

" Not Stratton ; I wrote the name as plain as 
possible. It is a remarkably fine name — Gerald 
Staimton. You ought to be able to read my 
handwriting by this time." 

" Gerald Staunton ! " echoed the lady, " Gerald 
Staunton ! " 

" Yes, the author. You may have heard of 
him, as you are more bookishly inclined than I 



I really think, George, that you have been 

much too hasty in this matter. You ought to have 

consulted me before you definitely arranged to 

have not only one person, but two additional 

persons as inmates of my house." 

" I have always engaged the tutors hitherto, 

" Yes ; but what torments they have been ; and 
this is a double risk. Does this Mr. Staunton 
know anything about teaching ? " 

" There's his degree; there's no mistake about 

- His degree wiU not make him a good tutor, 


if he has not been accustomed ' to teach, and 
besides, I look rather suspiciously on his degree. 
According to all I can make out, he is a man who 
ought to have got on, and who has not done so. 
Talents I dare say he may have, but if there is 
anything morally deficient, that is far worse. 
And to bring a strange girl to be a companion to 
my daughters! Who knows what habits and 
what principles she may commimicate? You 
have not acted with discretion in this matter, Mr. 

" Why, my dear, you seemed as pleased as 
Punch at the idea, and now you turn round all at 
once. If the man has not been successful, is he the 
first clever good man who has not made money ? 
And it was because his health gave way after 
his wife's death that he threw up his literary 
appointments in London, and tries the milder 
climate. He has been some years on the African 
Coast — Sierra Leone, I think — in his younger 
days, and that has told on him." 

" Then we are to have an invalid to nurse," said 
Mrs. Hammond. 

"No, not an invalid," said Mr. Hammond, 

" The voyage and the climate have done 
wonders for him, and he seems as sound as you 

22 THE author's daughter. 

or I ; and as for the girl, she is the nicest be- 
haved and the cleverest little thing I ever saw. 
You are sure to like both of them." 

" K you had come home at once instead of 
writing me such an indistinct message to send 
Tom to the township for them, this might 
have been altered. K I had only known sooner 
— ^but you never can withstand anything in the 
shape of amusement or horseflesh. I am sure 
these races were worth nothing." 

" The best country match I ever saw. I should 
have tried Highflyer there, though. He would 
have beaten Zoe and Mazeppa all to pieces. I 
would not have missed the sight for ten pounds. 
I like these country races; they keep up the 
English love of sport. Williams has a filly rising 
three ; I must have it ; it is the most complete 
little thing I ever saw, and would be the very 
thing for you." 

" Is that by way of a sugar-plum ?" said Mrs. 
Hammond. " Well, here I sit day after day ; I see 
nobody — I go nowhere ; I devote myself to your 
family ; and I must say that I do not think the 
step you have just taken is an advantageous 

" I wish I heard the sound of wheels. It is 
more than time they were home ; but Tom is a 


safe hand. I dare say it is all right. But here 
comes Lindsay's man in a great hurry. What 
can be the matter? Send the man in here 
directly, Ann," said Mr. Hammond. 



" There is bad news for you, sir," said George 
Copeland to Mr. Hammond. "There has been 
an accident with the spring-cart." 

" What ! nothing happened to Rattler ?" 

"No; Rattler is all right, but he took fright 
and dashed off the road wildly till he came 
against a stump, and the gentleman that was 
coining here has been thrown out." 

" Is he hurt V said Mrs. Hammond. 

" He is dead, ma'am, quite dead. Tom Cross 
says he never gave a movement after he had the 
fSaJl, and when AUan came up to them he was 
quite dead." 

" (lood God !" said Mr. Hammond ; " how 
unfortunate! What a terrible business this is. 
Killed on the spot! What was Tom thinking 
of to let Rattler play such a trick ? I never 
knew that horse shy before. It was lightning, 


and very near, I know, but my horse was like 
a lamb. I put such confidence in Battler and in 

"Tom has got a bad sprained ancle, or he 
would have brought his own bad news, sir," said 

"And the girl — ^the poor girl, is she hurt?" 
said Mr. Hammond. 

" She may be bruised, but nothing serious, sir ; 
but, poor thing, she takes on terribly about her 
father, and she has no mother either, they tell 
me, and not a friend or acquaintance in the 

" We must see to her," said Mr. Hammond ; 
" I'll ride across directly. Be good enough to 
tell Smith to saddle Harkaway for me as fast as 
possible, Copeland ; let us not lose a moment." 

" No, my dear ; let Smith put the horse into 
the dog-cart; I am going with you," said 
Mrs. Hammond ; " I'll not keep you back a 
minute, but I must go." 

" Well," said Mr. Hammond to himself, as his 
wife left the room to prepare for the journey, 
" women are good creatures, though unreasonable 
sometimes. There is my wife, so cross and 
suspicious about my having anything to do with 
this man or his little girl, without knowing 
much about him ; and now, when she hears he 

26 THE author's daughter. 

is dead, poor man, she is so sorry for the poor 
child that she will go at this time of night to a 
house she never meant to enter, to fetch her 
home and try and comfort her. She has a soft 
heart if you can only get to the right side of it. 
But this is a bad job, a very bad job ; to think, 
of Rattler serving me so." 

Not many minutes elapsed before Mr. and 
Mrs. Hammond were on their way to Branxholm, 
for Smith was expeditious, and so was the lady. 
She was very silent during the journey, and 
indeed her husband could say little, but only 
gave vent to his feelings now and then by 
a remark and a regret as to the sad accident 
of the day. 

Mrs. Lindsay and Jessie had tried in vain ta. 
comfort the poor orphan, or to get her to take 
any food, but Allan had persuaded her to swallow 
a cup of tea, and had wheeled in his mother's 
easy chair for her to sit in by the side of the bed. 
She was not npisy in her grief, but she looked 
so thoroughly heart-broken and crushed that it 
seemed vain to talk the kindest commonplaces to 
her. The Lindsays were glad to see that Mrs. 
Hammond accompanied her husband, for that 
looked kind. They knew very little about the 
lady; she might be a very good person among 
her own people, but she was reckoned very 


high — much more so than her husband. It was 
with some embarrassment that Mrs. Lindsay 
greeted the great lady, wondering how she ought 
to behave to her, but she was very soon relieved 
from her dilemma. Mrs. Hammond gave her 
distinctly to understand that she had come to 
see the remains of the unfortunate gentleman 
who had been prevented by this fatal accident 
from fulfilling his engapment to Mr. Hammond, 
and also to see the child who had escaped ; but 
that she ignored altogether the fact that she was 
in any way the guest or visitor of the Lindsays. 
She appeared quite unconscious of their presence, 
and spoke only to her husband, who, however, 
had something to say on the subject of the 
accident to Allan and his father, and who 
thanked Mrs. Lindsay very cordially for the 
trouble she had taken. 

"I should like to see the body of this Mr. 
Staunton, George," said Mrs. Hammond. 

" He is laid out on the bed in the spare room," 
said Mrs. Lindsay, " and Jessie and me have done 
the best we can for him, but it's no like a man 
dying quiet in his bed, an' the bit lassie is sitting 
beside him. We canna wile her away for a 

Mrs. Lindsay conducted Mr. and Mrs. Hammond 
into the room, and went out immediately, think- 


ing that these might be fine manners, but they 
were not gracious manners, for the lady looked 
at her as if she was an intruder in her own 

" He is greatly changed from when I saw him," 
said Mr. Hammond. 

" Yes, changed, no doubt," said Mrs. Hammond. 
"These sudden accidents, I suppose, do change 
people." She looked at him attentively, and 
then turned to the child and gave a slight 
involuntary start when she met the beseeching 
expression of the sad eyes. "How like," said 
she, half aloud, " what a likeness !" 

"I do not see any likeness at all," said Mr. 
Hammond. "My dear," continued he, taking 
Amy's hand kindly, " we are very sorry, very sorry 
indeed. But you know that your poor papa has 
gone where there is neither trouble, nor pain, nor 
sickness, and you must try to be comforted. 
And your mamma is dead, too V and he looked 
at her black frock. 

"Yes, a year ago," sobbed the child. "And 
now I have nobody, nobody. Oh ! I cannot live 
to bear it." 

" Yes, my dear, you must live, and there are 
happy days for you yet. You must come home 
with us. You know our house was the house 
your papa was taking you to." 


"Home without papa! There is no home 
anywhere for me. Don't ask me to leave 
him while he is here, for you know I cannot 
do it." 

" She is quite right," said Mrs. Hammond 
coldly. "You must not think of taking her 
from the good people here till after the inquest 
and the funeral." At the word funeral Amy's 
tears burst out afresh. She would soon not even 
have her father s body to be near her. 

"My dear Amy — I think your poor papa 
called you Amy," said Mr. Hammond, " I suppose 
you have no friends in the colony but ourselves. 
But though I will do all I can for you, it is only 
right that your relations at home should be 
written to." 

" I have no relations to write to," said 

" No relations V said Mrs. Hammond. 

" None that care for me. I have a half-brother 
and sister, but — but " 

"But you have quarrelled with them," said 
Mr. Hammond. 

" I never saw them," said Amy. 

" Are they not rich ?" asked Mrs. Hammond. 

"Yes, but I know nothing about them, and 
they know nothing about me." 

" But if they are rich, they ought to be made 

30 THE author's DAUOHTER. 

to know about you," said Mr. Hammond; 
" certainly they ought." 

"And have you no uncles, nor aunts, nor 
grandparents V asked Mrs. Hammond. 

It wa^ very trying to the child in her grief 
to be questioned in this way by strangers. " I 
wish you would not speak about it," said she. 
" It used to be papa, and mamma, and me, and 
that was enough. Tlien it was papa and me, 
and now it is only me. I have one aunt, but 
I never saw her but once." 

" Your half-brother and sister live with their 
father's relatives, I suppose," said Mra Hammond. 

" Yes," said Amy. 

"Had your mother never any letters from 
them r' 

"No, I don't think so," said the child, growing 
stiU more distressed. Mr. Hammond interposed. 
He whispered something in his wife's ear and 
received a sort of assent. Mrs. Hammond looked 
for a few seconds at the dead man and the living 
daughter with a cold scrutiny that might have 
convinced her husband that in this instance they 
had not got to the soft side of her heart. Amy 
felt the gaze unspeakably painful. At first, when 
Mrs. Hammond entered the room, the dress, the air, 
the voice of a lady had given her some hope that 
she might throw herself into her arms and weep 


out her tears there, but she soon found out that 
plain Mrs. Lindsay, or Jessie with her kind 
tearful face, or Allan with his glistening blue 
eyes, were more sympathising friends and safer 
confidants than this handsome, well-dressed, lady- 
like woman, and she felt a shrinking repugnance 
to Mr. Hammond's reiterated proposal to take her 
home with him, if not to-night, at some early day. 

After a quarter of an hour spent in a very 
constrained and uncomfortable manner in the 
chamber of death, Mrs. Hammond and her 
husband went again into the family sitting-room. 
Without apparently looking at anything, Mrs. 
Hammond's eye took in everything and every- 
body in the room, from the gaudy paper of the 
walls, and the tastelessly arranged common- 
looking ornaments on the chimney-piece, and 
the unharmonious colouring of curtains and 
carpet, to Jessie's freckles and Mrs. Lindsay's cap. 

"Now, Mr. Hammond," said Hugh Lindsay, 
"I'm thinking there maun be an inquest the 
mom, and we'll have Dr. Burton's evidence as to 
the cause of his death. As for the funeral, will 
you have it at your place or at ours ? or as it's 
like he belonged to your church, there will be a 
long journey before ye can get to what ye call 
consecrated ground. There's a bonnie bit of land 
at the end of the garden, where our Patrick is 

32 THE authob's daughteb. 

laid, and whero we all mean to lie beside him 
when our ap|M)inted time comes, that if the bit 
lassie had no objection, he ini^ht be laid there^ 
for it's thirty miles and mair to St Bartholo- 
mew's as I think ye call it." 

" Nothing could be better, George, than this 
arrangement," said Mrs. Hammond, " and the ex- 
pense of the funeral of course we will, bear, as it 
is not likely this unfortimate man had much 

" Very little of that, I am thinking," said Mr. 
Lindsay, " but what is to be done about the poor 
lassie V 

"Oh! of course," said Mr. Hammond, "we 
must — " 

" I could not think of taking her home with us 
till I know more about her," said Mrs. Hammond, 
interrupting her husband, " and at present she 
cannot bear to leave the body, as is very natural. 
Her friends must be written to, and she will in 
time be sent to them, but in the meantime I 
should like to see what sort of temper and prin- 
ciples she has before I brought her to stay with 
Madeline and Clara; they are such impressible 
girls, as you know." 

"But my dear," said Mr. Hammond, "you 
must have had this poor Amy if this unfortu- 
nate gentleman had lived. I engaged expressly 


that she was to have her home with xiB, and 
to be the companion of our girls." 

" You engaged very rashly, as I told you ; and 
besides, if the child had her father with her, the 
case would be very difierent." 

" She looks very sweet-tempered, and I know 
she is a most intelligent child," said the astonished 
Mr. Hammond, who could not conceive any cause 
for his wife's unreasonable prejudice against one 
who had particularly attracted his Uking. 

"*Deed does she," said Mrs. Lindsay, whose 
warm Scotch blood fired up at the grudging way 
in which Mrs. Hammond spoke about the 
bereaved and desolate orphan. " If you think it 
a burden to have the charge, I'm sure she's 
heartily welcome to bide at Branxholm till she 
can hear from her Mends in England, and for 
longer too. The pot that boils for eight may 
weel boil for nine, and the Almighty has pros- 
pered us, so that we would never miss the 
orphan's meal of meat, or her bits of claes. 1 
thought she was owre genty for the like of us, 
but if so be as she'd be satisfied to take up her 
dwelling with us, there's none of us that would 
think twice of the burden or the trouble. And I 
dare say the lassie might take up to be of some 
service in the house. We're no to send the bairn 
that has by sic a sudden and awsome providence 

VOL. L 3 

34 THE author's daughter. 

been brought to our door, to sic a place as the 
Destitute Asylum." 

** Don't speak of such a thing as the Destitute 
ABylum/' said Mrs. Hammond, with a curious ex- 
pression on her iajciQ that her husband could not 
read. '' There may be some insurance money or 
iomething coming that would defray the girl's 
passage to England.'' 

''Insurance? That might be forfeited by a 
man's going abroad/' said Mr. Hammond. " I 
know he is poor, for he told me so, and he was 
particularly anxious about this child, that he 
might continue her education himself, because 
she was not provided for." 

" Well," said Hugh Lindsay, " as the good wife 
says, the bairn is welcome to stop at Branxholm, 
if ye dinna think she has mair claims on ye, for 
it was on your business and in your employment, 
as. one may say, that her father came to his end." 

"True enough," said Mrs. Hanmiond, taking 
the words out of her husband's mouth, "we 
should be bound to make you some compensation 
if you were good enough to keep the child. It 
is neither the expense nor the trouble that I 
think of, but I am so carefiil of my children, 
that I must know whom they associate with. 
But we would pay a reasonable board." 

" That's fair enough," said Hugh Lindsay. 


" But the good man will not take a penny from 
you for the bairn," said Mrs. Lindsay hastily. 
" We keep nae boarding-school ; if we did, we 
would not need to send our ain sae far from us. 
We dinna want to be paid for common Christian 
charity. Our bairns are no owre find to associate 
wi' the daughter of a gentleman that ye all 
thought fit to give instructions to your sons. If 
ye hae na the heart to ofler a home to the 
orphan, please God shell find one here, and we'll 
look for nae compensation at your hands." 

Mr. Hammond was naturally a liberal and 
kind man, and he had never felt so small in his 
life as he did on this occasion. Mrs. Lindsay's 
warmth and indignation he felt to be well de- 
served, and he was surprised that it did not 
kindle some more generous feeling in the heart 
of his wife. He had never known Mrs. Ham- 
mond behave so very strangely. He knew her to 
be a woman tenacious of her position, prudent in 
money matters, and careful in engaging in any- 
thing involvingjexpense or trouble, without well 
weighing beforehand whether she could carry it 
out properly ; but her meanness, her coldness, 
her dLcourtiy to this poor orphan and to this 
worthy family were not characteristic of her. 
His own opinion of Amy Staunton was so 
favourable, he was so convinced that she would 


36 THE authob's daughter. 

be a valuable companion to his indulged and 
sometimes overbearing girls, that he was disap- 
pointed as well as greatly mortified at his wife's 
prejudice. He knew her prejudices to be things 
that there was no chance of reasoning away ; it 
was a good thing that she had not many of them. 
He had a great reverence for his wife, who in all 
great matters governed him, his children, and his 
household with a generally comfortable but occa- 
sionally inconvenient sway. She saved Mr. 
Hammond a great deal of trouble by her decided 
views and her managing ways ; she was generally 
very attentive to his personal comforts and indul- 
gent to his tastes, so he knew he must submit to 
be thwarted now and then. But to be evidently 
thwarted by the wife of his bosom before the 
&mily of the Lindsays, to be outdone in liberality 
on ground especially his own, was humiliating. 
If Hugh Lindsay's wife was rather hasty in 
forestalling her husband's more cautious proffers, 
she took the right ground, and her husband ac- 
quiesced in her views more cheerfully than Mr. 
Hammond could submit to the low position occu- 
pied by his wife. 

The matter, however, was settled ; the inquest 
was to be held on the morrow, and the orphan 
was to remain at Branxholm. 

" Somebody mi;st write to the friends, though," 


said Mr. Lindsay. " It would be better for you, 
that's a lady and a scholar, to write to them than 
for the like of us." 

" As I have not taken the girl, or any respon- 
sibility with regard to her," said Mrs. Hammond, 
" the Communication certainly ought not to come 
from me. Your son or daughter could surely 
write a simple statement of facts. And your son 
having been present at, or near, the time of the 
accident, is the most fit person to give information 
as to this very sad afiair." 

Allan's face had changed colour many times 
during the conversation which he had listened to. 
It had glowed at his mother's warmth but very 
lately, but another tinge passed over it at the 
proposal that he should write to the friends of a 
scholar and an author. 

" Indeed Allan's no very clever with the pen, 
though there's nothing on the farm or the station 
that he's backward with ; and as for contriving, 
there never was his match seen, but his hands 
have been aye so full of work that there's been 
no time for learning. I'm sure Isabel and 
Phemie will never be the lassies that Jessie has 
been to me, nor will Jamie or Hughie ever fill 
Allan's shoes, but the younger ones are getting 
the lair. But surely the lassie is old enough to 
writQ to her friends herself, and nae doot has the 

38 THE authob's daughter. 

skill, so ye needna be at the fSEish of writing 
neither, Mrs. Hammond/' said Mrs. Lindsay. 

Mrs. Hammond was not accustomed to be 
looked on with scorn. It is probable that she did 
not even go to say good-bye to the girl, but Mr. 
Hammond could not leave without having another 
look at the orphan. He wanted to say that he 
was glad she had met with some kind friends in 
the Lindsays, and to advise her to try to be happy 
with them, but the words stuck in his throat. He 
felt it was a very different kind of society from 
what she had been accustomed to, and he felt that 
he had no right to offer any advice. He might 
do something for her yet if he only could bring 
Mrs. Hammond to reason, so he only said good 
night and left her. 

When the Hammonds had driven off in the 
moonlight, Mrs. Lindsay broke forth — 

" Well, if I ever in my life saw such an upset- 
ting, cold-blooded, hard-hearted woman ! Is that 
what they all call manners? I dare say she 
was feared that if she was civil we might claim 
acquaintance with her. Visit her indeed ! I'd 
rather die on the high road than beg at her house 
for a bit of bread." 

" You're hasty, good wife," said Mr. Lindsay, 
** m no deny that her ways are most aggravating, 
and most uncivil, and the way she turned up her 


nose at that bit lassie as no fit to come in contact 
with her girls was fistr from Christian charity, but 
it was fair enough to offer to pay us for the keep 
of the lassie. No that I'd demean myself by 
taking it any more than you would. We have 
enough for ourselves, and a thought to spare 
besides. And as you say we'll never miss it." 

" I think mother was quite right to be angry/* 
said Allan. '' If she had not spoken I am sure I 
would, and if you had felt it a burden, I would 
have worked double that you need not take a 
penny from the Hammonds. But this young 
lady has been brought up differently from us, and I 
doubt she wiU find us veiy strange in our ways." 

" Our ways are weel enough," said Mrs. Lind- 
say. « If we are na fine, at least we're kind- 
hearted and honest, and I count the conduct of 
thae visitors we've just had as far frae kind, 
and somewhat beside being honest. It makes 
one sick of the very name of gentlefolk to see 
sic goings on. If these are the sort of ways 
the lassie has learnt, the sooner she forgets them, 
all the better." 

" Oh ! mother, that is not what I mean," said 

" But it's what I mean, Allan, and rough as 
we are, she must just put up with us and be 
thankful, at least tiU she can better herself,". 


said Mrs. Lindsay. " If Phemie and Isabel had 
been at home, no doubt it would be more cheer- 
ful for her, for she's but a baim compared to you 
and Jessie, but we'll do our best. You maun 
take her to your room, Jessie, and let her sleep 
in the little green bed. I would na put her in a 
room by hersel, for it would be eerie with a 
oorpse lying in the house.'' 

It needed all Jessie's persuasion to induce Amy 
to leave her father^s body for the night, and in- 
deed a little of Mrs. Lindsay's authority in addi- 
tion. She submitted to go to bed and let Jessie 
put out the light, but the kind-hearted girl was 
distressed to hear the heavy sobs every time 
she woke, which showed that poor Amy could 
not sleep for her grief She would not allow 
the orphan to get up when she herself did, and 
carefully darkened the room in hopes she might 
deep a little in the cool of the morning, but 
when she crept as quietly as she could to the 
door about breakfast time, she found Amy ready 
dressed in the worn black frock, and led her into 
the large kitchen, where the family had assembled 
for breakfeust. Although Branxholm possessed some 
good rooms, it was convenient to take breakfast 
and dinner in the kitchen, and the old custom had 
been kept up when there was little necessity for it. 
Amy timidly went up toMrs.Lindsay,shook hands 



with her, and said good morning, and then went 
to the master of the house with the same salu- 
tation. The ceremony was new to him, and at 
first he thought she meant to go away. 

" Ye're no to leave us, my dear," said he. " Ye 
behove to bide at Branxholm for a bit. We're 
no going to part with you on a sudden. That 
is no the way we entertain strangers in the busL" 

When Amy took the seat beside Allan which 
was left vacant for her, and wished him good 
morning without meeting with the expected re- 
sponse, she began to fear that she had made 
some blunder. " Have I done anything wrong?" 
said she in a low voice ; " are you not pleased 
with me?" 

" Oh aye, pleased enough," said Mrs. Lindsay, 
whose quick ear no whisper could escape, " but 
we are na used to thae fashions. They seem to 
me to be just an off-put of time. Sit down, 
my dear, and have your breakfast. I hope we'll 
find something that you can eat, for not a bit 
passed your mouth that I saw yestere'en." 

The large violet-coloured eyes filled with teara 
There was no father now to wish good morning 
to, no morning kiss to receive from him. She 
was among strangers in a strange land, who had 
strange and unknown ways. 

Allan knew what she was fl^inlring of, and 

42 THE author's daughter 

felt for her. He half- whispered to her, "Don't 
iliink us unkiud because we don't understand 
the fashions you were brought up to. As you 
come to know us better, you will find out that 
we wish each other well without saying much 
about it. Now have a cup of tea from Jessie, 
or will I make it for you as I did last night ? 
or, as you are just off the ship maybe you will 
like milk best." 

" There's some grand kirn milk," said Mrs. 
Lindsay, " for Jessie made the butter this morning 
when you were sleeping or should have been. 
Maybe you would like that best." 

" No, I thank you, I should prefer tea to any- 
thing," said Amy, who looked round the break- 
fieust-table, which was spread with liberal though 
somewhat inelegant profusion. There were fiied 
bacon and eggs, and mutton chops, and boiled 
eggs, and cold (iomed beef, with fresh butter and 
beautifully white home-made bread and soda- 
scones, which Mrs. Lindsay herself had made as 
a treat for the stranger. Jessie Lindsay presided 
over a large half-gallon tin teapot, with a handle 
in front as an auxiliary to the handle in common 
use. The best china was never taken into use in 
the kitchen, and the earthenware was of various 
shapes and patterns, for there was a great deal of 
breakage, and commonware could not be matched, 


BO that the cups and saucers were of three different 
patterns, the plates of another, the butter served 
up in a saucer, and the chops displayed in a tin 
dish. Jessie was liberal in her administration of 
a plentiful supply of new milk, with a jug of 
cream for her father and Allan and the stranger, 
and also dealt out the sugar with a bountiful 
hand. The fire was at her back, which was not 
comfortable in such hot weather, but Allan had 
arranged a screen, so that it protected her. The 
fountain, filled with boiling water to replenish the 
vast teapot, bubbled on the fire, and the frying- 
pan which stood on the hob was occasionally 
visited by a large gray cat, who was as often 
driven away by Mrs. Lindaay, while three dogs 
stood round the table, and ate the bones which 
were thrown to them from time to time. One 
would think that this was a great breakfast to set 
before a small family, but it was not only the four 
Lindsays and their young guest who were assem- 
bled to eat it. At the lower end of the table sat 
the servants of the household. George Copeland, 
a good-looking Englishman, who had gone to Mr. 
Hammond's on the previous evening; Pat Murphy, 
who had been sent for the doctor, but had found 
him absent on a long journey to a distant patient; 
and Donald McClure,a thickset highland shepherd 
very recently imported from the North country. 

44 THE author's DAUOHTEB. 

There were besides Tom Cross, who, with his leg 
well bandaged up, ate a good meal off a colonial 
bo£bi which stood at one end of the kitchen, and 
two travellers looking for work, who had got lodg- 
ings for the night and a morning meal before 
setting out again on their quest. All but our poor 
orphan brought hearty appetites with them ; but 
Mrs. Lindsay's hospitable entreaties and offers of 
anything and every thing on the table could not 
induce Amy to eat more than would feed a mavis. 
Allan went out and fetched a few bunches of ripe 
grapes, a dozen of rosy peaches, and a little baaket 
of figs from the garden. " Perhaps you could eat 
some of these," said he. " They are all cool, for 
thes\m has not been on them; try something 
more than that poor cup of tea." 

" Thir *ill be the figs that's spoke of in Scrip- 
ture," said Donald McClure. " A' the figs that 
e'er I saw in the city of Glasgow was sauted wi' 
sugar, but thir*s the green figs I*se warrant, and 
they grow in the garden here. It's a wonderful 
country this." 

" Taste them, Donald," said Allan, and he 
handed him the basket. But the taste of figs to 
a novice is generally disappointing, and Donald 
expressed his opinion that though the green figs 
might make a good plaster for King Hezekiah, 
them that was sauted with sugar was better to 


the tsuste, and could not be induced to try ano- 

" We have got some olives in the garden at 
your service, Donald," said Hugh Lindsay. 
"That*8 another Scripture fruit, ye ken. Oil 
that makes a man's face to shine comes from the 

" Na, na," said Donald, " 1*11 try nae experi- 
ments in things I'm not acquaint wi\ The 
apples and pears I ken weel, and as for the 
grapes they're just a sort of grozets, but I have 
nae broo o' figs and olives an' what ye ca' pome- 
granates ; though there's Scripture warrant they 
were good enough for Hebrews, that's na reason 
why they should agree wi' Christians." 

" I suppose the figs are as new to you," said 
Allan, addressing Amy, " and I suppose you do 
not like them." 

*' Oh ! I like them very much, but I cannot eat 
anything. I used to eat figs in Madeira," said 

" Did you stop there on the voyage ?" asked 

" No ; I was there two years ago for some 
time," said Amy. 

" They make first-rate wine there," said Hugh 
Lindsay ; " did you see the vineyards or how the 
wine was made ?" 

46 THE author's daughter. 

** I saw the vineyards, but I don't know any- 
thing about the making of wine. It was two 
years ago. I was a little girl then." 

" And ye're no very big now," said Mrs. Lind- 
say, " but the good man thinks everybody, big 
and little, should be as much taken up about 
flocks and herds, and land and crops, and vines 
and wine-making as he is himself. But if you're 
no going to eat any more we'd better clear away 
the breakfast, and let us all get to our work, for 
it's a busy day for more reasons than one." 

It was altogether a strange scene to Amy. She 
had been brought up in comparative poverty, but 
it had been poverty accompanied by elegance and 
refinement. This rough plenty, this mixing up of 
masters and servants, these homely jokes and 
strong provincial accents, were all as different 
from her guarded and secluded life as the only 
child of cultivated and literary people, as could 
well be imagined. She must take her old place 
in the spare room ; that was the only place for 
her. She rose to go, but a voice from the sofa 
interrupted her. 


amy's new home. 

" I AM afraid, Miss," said Tom Cross, for the voice 
was his, " that there are some of your boxes broke 
in the fall. Allan went off tliis morning early to 
fetch them here, and he says he is afraid there is 
some mischief done. You had better look and see, 
because if there is any little accident, Allan, who 
is the cleverest fellow with his hands of any one in 
the colony that has not been bred to the trade, will 
mend it for you. He has got a workshop and a 
forge, and many a pound he's saved his father and 
his neighbours too." Tom thought that unpack- 
ing and examining her boxes would give the poor 
girl something to do, and something to think of 
besides her irreparable loss. 

"What is the use of unpacking my things, 
when I do not know where I am to go or what I 
am to do ? Oh ! dear, dear papa, what is to be- 
come of me V 

48 THE author's dauohteil 

" You may stop with us, and welcome," said 
Mrs. Lindsay, " till ye can hear from your friends, 
or for all your life, if it would be agreeable to 

" If I had only been a little older," said Amy, 
" I might have been of some use. I could have 
done something, but I can do nothing." 

" Oh, but you can learn," said Mrs. Lindsay. 
" Rome was not built in a day. No doubt in 
time you may come to be as handy as our Jessie." 

Amy looked at the large, pleasant young woman 
of twenty-three, who, with an apron on, and her 
aleeves tucked up to her elbows, was busily en- 
gaged in making up bread — ^a thing too important 
to be trusted to Judy — with her fair hair tanned 
and her comely features freckled by exposure to 
all sorts of weathers under an Australian sun, 
and she wondered if she ever could by Mrs. 
Lindsay's training grow to resemble her. It was 
so different a prospect from all that the author's 
daughter had thought of becoming, that what 
was meant for encouragement only saddened her. 
What would her papa have thought of her being 
domesticated with such a household ? 

Allan had more observation than his mother, 
and understood more of Amy's feelings. He led 
her out of the house to have a look at the 
weather, which had changed from extreme heat 

amy's new home. 49 

to cold. A heavy shower or two had fallen 
through the night, and though it had not much 
effect in refreshing the pastures, the garden looked 
revived, and he took her through it. 

" If anything ever vexes or troubles me," said 
he, " I always get best out of it when I am out 
of doors, and on horseback, so you must get 
Phemie's riding-skirt, and I'll mount you on 
Brownie, and show you the coimtry. I don't 
know how it may look to your travelled eyes, but 
I think it a very fine coimtry hereabouts." 

" Yes, I like it very well. Dear papa said yes- 
terday that every mile after we left the township 
brought us into prettier scenery, but — ^but — 
but — " and here the poor weary heart broke out 
afresh, " what is scenery to me now ?" 

" I wanted to ask you if you would like your 
poor father to be laid here," said Allan. " It is 
thirty miles to the nearest churchyard, and that 
is a strange place to you. And if he was laid 
beside our poor Patrick, under that sheaoak and 
the three willows, this place would seem more 
like home to you. But it's for you to choose. We 
will do just as you like." 

" Then I think I would like him to rest here, 
for it is not so much like taking him from me." 

" But is there really nothing better for you to 
do than to stop with us, where we would make 

VOL. I. 4 


you welcolne and do for you all that we can 7 
But have you no friends ?" 

" No friends that care about me at all, and no 
money to take me to them if I had them," said 
Amy. " But I was going to learn ; papa meant 
to train me to be a governess, so that I could 
make my own living ; that is, after he foimd he 
was not strong, and I was getting on nicely ; aU 
the voyage out I read and studied with him every 
day ; for he said he might not have so much time 
to give me afterwards ; but it is all at an end 


" You have been at good schools, I suppose," 
said Allan. 

" No, very little at school. Mamma taught me 
wLJe she was able, and then papa gave me 
lesso: s, but I am only thirteen, and so little; no 
one vr )uld think I could teach till I grow bigger, 
and have forgotten half of what I have learned." 

"You are only thirteen, and I suppose you 
know hundreds of things that I don't V said 
Allan, " and I am nearly twenty, too old to go to 
school, and that is worse than being too young, 
for that gets better every day." 

" Do your father and mother really offer to 
keep me here altogether ?" said Amy, doubtfully. 

" Yes, really, and only too glad if you will ac- 
cept the offer. Mrs. Hammond ought to have 

amy's new home. 51 

done it. It is the meanest and coldest thing I 
ever heard of a lady doing, to throw off the care 
of you, as she did, but never doubt your welcome 
at Branxholm.'' 

" It is very good of your father and mother, 
it is very good of you, but — " 

" I know it quite well," interrupted Allan, " our 
living is too rough ; we are not fit people to asso- 
ciate with such a little lady as you are. Perhaps 
my father and mother are too old to change their 
ways, but for the rest of us, if you see anything 
that vexes or annoys you, just tell us. We would 
do better if we only knew how. And what you 
cannot amend, you must try to put up with." 

" I will try," said Amy, " for you are all very 
good. Then I may unpack my things and see 
what is broken ? for I am pretty sure there is 
something wrong. And as for the large case of 
books that was left in Adelaide to be fetched out by 
Mr. Hammond's drays, will you give them room 
here ? Some of the books might be useful to 

" I don't think you know how ignorant I am," 
said Allan blushing. " I mean of books. I am 
afraid that your books would be too far on for 

" Oh ! surely not," said Amy, " you could 
teiach yourself a great deal if you would take 


52 THE author's daughter. 

the trouble, and perhaps I could " — and she he- 

" Could you teach me ?" said the young man, 
eagerly. " You cannot think how anxious I am 
to learn, but my father could not spare me, and 
with poor Patrick dying so young, I was doubly 
needed to help him. You don't think I am too 
old to begin at the beginning ? I can read, of 
course, and write a little, but I am afraid that 
is about all I can do." 

Allan did not speak or behave in any way 
like an uneducated man, as such a one is seen 
in England. He had been educated by circum- 
stances, and had naturally first-rate abilities, so 
that Amy was surprised at such a frank con- 
fession of ignorance. 

" I am afraid I am only fit to help one who 
begins at the beginning," said she, " and if you 
will do your best to learn I will do all I can 
for you. I should be so happy if I thought I 
was of some use to anybody in the house. Then 
I may unpack my boxes and see if it is dear papa's 
desk that is broken ? " 

On looking into the trunk Amy discovered 
that the old desk was uninjured, but that her 
work-box had come off its hinges. " I know I 
did not pack things well, but I had no idea of 
the roadS; and every thing seems out of place. 

amy's new home. 53 

Oan you mend this ? " and she brought the work- 
box to Allan. 

He wondered at the exceedingly handsome 
though not new workbox. It was of rosewood 
beautifully inlaid and most thoroughly finished. 
In the centre was a silver name-plate with the 
iTiiiia.lft K D. curiously interwoven and sur- 
mounted by a small coronet. 

"This is a splendid piece of workmanship," 
said Allan, ** only the screws of the hinges have 
never been strong enough. I can mend it easily 
if I can get small enough screws, and I think 
I have some ; if not, I will send to Adelaide for 
them. I hope this handsome box will stand the 
climate ; it is very severe on such things." 

" It has been to Madeira and back already," 
said Amy. " It was mamma's, and I love it for 
her sake." 

" Then I must take great pains with it. Would 
you mind coming into my workshop with me 
to see if I have screws that will suit?" said 
Allan, who knew that Dr. Burton had arrived, 
and who wished to keep Amy a short time 
longer out of the chamber of death. " You look 
like a city girl ; T suppose you never saw any- 
thing like this before. Here is my forge and 
anvil, and the bellows I made myself; not very 
handsome, but th^y answer the purpose — ^they 

64 THE author's daughter. 

get np the heat. And here is my carpenter's 
bench and tools; I am going to get a turning 
lathe, for it is a capital thing for many purposes. 
It is very useful to be able to shoe the horses, 
and do rough carpentering when we are so far 
from any township." 

" I never saw anything at all like this," said 
Amy, looking with interest on the rough shed, 
which Allan had put up with his own hands, 
and which was hung roimd with old horseshoes and 
odd apparently useless pieces of iron, and piled up 
at one end with timber of various shapes and sizes. 

"I dare say it looks very confused to you, 
but I could put my hand on anything that is 
here in the dark. Oh ! here are the screws, 
I think they will do. But you would see 
nothing like this in London, and that was your 
home always I suppose." 

'* was bom in London, and except for the 
voyage to Madeira and back again, and the 
voyage to Melbourne, and after that to Adelaide, 
I have never been out of London. Oh ! by-the- 
bye, we went to the seaside when the children 
were ill, and with mamma, too." 

" But had you no country cousins, or uncles, 
or aunts, or grandparents, to visit," said Allan, 
who could not imderstand the fact of a person 
having no relatives, near or distant. 


amy's new home. 55 

* No,** said Amy with a sigh ; " you see mamma 
married twice, and all her friends were so dis- 
pleased at her marrying papa, that they never 
spoke to her again. They took away her 
children from her, so that I never saw my 
brother and sister.*' 

"You have a brother and sister, then," said 
Allan eagerly. "If they only knew you they 
would be glad to take care of you now that your 
poor father is gone. Blood is thicker than water, 
as we Scotch folk say." 

"No," said Amy, "I don't think that they 
would. Papa wrote to them that mamma was 
ill, and then afterwards that mamma was dead, 
and they took no notice of the letter — not the 
slightest notice. I cannot write to them. I 
cannot ask anything from them. I would rather 
stay with you and your father and mother, who 
speak so kindly to me. Oh ! I so often dream of 
that brother and sister, and try to make them 
like me and to be sorry about dear mamma, but 
it always fails — it always fails. Never even in 
my dreams have they given me a kind word. 
But don't speak about this to anybody. I tell 
you now because I cannot help it, and because 
my heart is full — ^too full," and the girl leaned 
on Allan's bench and wept. 

The inquest resulted in a verdict of "Acci- 

56 THE author's daughter. 

dental deatL" (Jerald Staunton was buried at 
the end of Hugh Lindsay's garden, and Amy 
settled herself as an inmate of that plain but 
hospitable home, and matters improved so much 
at Branxholm after her arrival, and Amy became 
such a favourite with every one, that all the 
people of the district could never leave off 
wondering at Mrs. Hammond's extraordinary 
conduct and extraordinary blunder. 



But to accotmt for Mrs. Hammond's conduct 
in some measure, we must go back in her history 
some twenty years. Though she was not a very 
genial or benevolent woman she had many 
excellent qualities, and would never have thrown 
the burden of little Amy Staunton on her 
despised neighbours if she had not had a special 
reason of her own for disliking and suspecting 

Although Mrs. Hammond had always held 
her head very high in Australia, and spoke of 
society in England as if she had always mixed 
on equal terms with the very best county people; 
though she dreaded and opposed the intrusion of 
parvenus and self-made men into the charmed 
circle of colonial aristocracy, and was especially 
exclusive with regard to her children, she had at 
one period of her life been on her promotion, and 

58 THE author's daughter. 

had begun her career as governess in the fiamily 
of the wealthy Mr. Derrick, who had made an 
immense fortune as a cotton manufacturer. She 
had been educated with great care by a mother 
who had been left in straitened circumstances, 
and who had staked her all on that one chance, 
for she felt sure that if Clarissa Hope once was 
placed with great people on any footing she was 
sure to make her way. So Miss Hope had been 
turned out perfectly competent for a first-class 
situation according to the requirements of twenty 
years ago, and had been engaged by Mr. Derrick 
at a very handsome salary as finishing governess 
to two young ladies of sixteen and fourteen years 
of age. Mr. Derrick had bought Stanmore, a fine 

estate in shire, and was ambitious that his 

children should take a good place in county 
society. The only son of the family had been 
at Oxford and was travelling on the continent 
when Miss Hope began her educational duties ; 
but before his return she had succeeded in 
making herself agreeable and almost necessary 
to the parents and in ingratiating herself also 
with her pupils; and he had not been long at 
home before she believed she had made a con- 
quest of John Derrick also. In the last process 
she lost her own heart more completely than she 
ever did before or aiPber, for she thought him both 



handsome and agreeable. To a girl who has 
been educated to teach, whose whole girlish life 
has been spent in what is to be useful to her in 
after life in the seclusion of a boarding-school, 
who has never been initiated in all the light 
playful talk, half flirtation, half raillery, that 
breaks the boundary line between jest and 
earnest, the first attentions of a disengaged and 
eligible young gentleman are very likely to be 
successful. Miss Hope could not detect in the 
son who was to inherit the fortune the tone of 
underbreeding too apparent in the father who 
had acquired it. An Oxford course and a con- 
tinental tour were correctives that in her opinion 
could not fail to make him a perfect gentleman ; 
and as he had not hitherto been much in ladies' 
society. Miss Hope's liveliness, Miss Hope's perfect 
knowledge of her position, Miss Hope's tact in 
falling into everybody's ways and never offending 
or displeasing any one, Miss Hope's playing and 
singing, especially to the harp. Miss Hope's very 
handsome face and figure and good style of dress, 
were working wonders. John Derrick thought 
her a famous girl with plenty of life, or as he 
called it of go in her, and he flirted with her on 
every convenient opportimity, but still with 
discretion, for his father and mother never 
suspected anything of it. 

60 THE author's daughter. 

But on one unlucky holiday time Miss Hope 
reluctantly left her delightful situation to spend 
six weeks with her mother ; for in spite of all 
John Derrick's hints and planning, and Miss 
Hope's declaration that she did not care for 
hoUdays, Mrs. Derrick would not invite her to go 
to the sea-side with the family. She had the 
satisfaction of seeing that her admirer was quite 
as much disappointed as she was herself, and the 
few parting words he said she felt amounted almost 
to a declaration of attachment ; so she bore the 
separation as she best could, and charmed her 
mother and her mother's circle with her accounts 
of the thorough appreciation she had met with 
from the whole family at Stanmore. 

Unfortunately for Miss Hope's expectations, the 
Derricks became acquainted at the fashionable 
watering-place to which they had gone with 
a family as much superior to them in birth and 
position as they were beneath them in fortune. 

The Earl of Darlington was a poor peer 
originally, but his extravagant habits had 
lessened, as far as entails would allow of it, 
the family property which he had inherited 
from his father. 

The title and the estates descended to a second 
cousin, and as every encumbrance that could 
possibly be borne by the property was already 


heaped on it for the Earl's own expenses, it was 
likely that his only daughter Lady Eveline 
would be left penniless at his death. Tlie Eitrl 
had married rather late in life, and prudently 
so &r, for he had married an heiress, but as he 
had imprudently managed that her money should 
be completely at his own disposal, he had spent 
it, and was quite capable of spending another 
fortune like it ; for though not young, he had as 
extravagant tastes and liabits as ever. Lady 
Darlington chafed and fretted and reproached 
her husband when the money was gone, and 
bewailed the injustice that had robbed her 
daughter. On these occasions the Earl used to 

"No fear of Eveline. She'll marry Herbert 
and be countess when you are dowager. Have 
I not kept friends with my heir for the very 
purpose ? And he's a careful fellow ; he 11 nurse 
the property a bit. I see he can't bear a stick of 
timber to be cut down ; he is just a Uttlo too 
ready with his advice, and if it were not for 
Eveline I'd fire up. You suppose I have no 
command of my temper, Lady Darlington, but 
the curb I put on it in that fellow's presence for 
Eveline's sake is a tight one, and you reproach 
me with not caring about my daughter." 

''It ia only a chance you speak of, Lord 

62 THE author's daughter. 

Darlingtx)n. Eveline is a child yet, and though 
a pretty one, people do not care about beauty 
now-a-days. And Herbert Darlington's means 
are very small just now." 

" Small or great, he will be able to live within 
his means, which is what I never could do," said 
the Earl laughing, " so he is a richer man than 
me now, and he has a rich uncle besides. Oh ! 
I should feel quite easy if Eveline was married 
to him ; and depend upon it, when Lady Gower 
brings her out, that she will be the rage. She 
has the Darlington countenance, and the family 
has been noted for beauty for three centuries." 

But before Lady Eveline's countenance had 
come to its full beauty, in fact when she was not 
sixteen, Mr. Herbert Darlington and his ex- 
pectations were transferred elsewhere. 

He married a Miss Pennithome, the only 
child of a wealthy city-man, and reputed the 
richest heiress of her time. Lord Darlington 
was furious in his rage, but he could not have 
the satisfaction of cutting off his heir with a 
shilling. He could only cut him in society, and 
cut down a very little more timber, and Lady 
Eveline's penniless condition became as great a 
grief to hiTn as to his lady. The only thing that 
could be done under the circumstances was, to 
take a leaf out of Herbert's book, and ally his 


daughter to wealth, if not to birth ; so that when 
the gout drove Lord Darlington to Brighton, and 
he found himself placed in the next house to 
Mr. Anthony Derrick the cotton lord, he 
determined to cultivate the acquaintance, very 
much to the satisfaction of Lady Darlington and 
to the delight of the whole family of Derricks. 

Lady Eveline was just sixteen when she met 
with John Derrick, and though she was in a 
very different style from Miss Hope, there was 
no doubt she was a very pretty and elegant girl. 
The Countess was very courteous to him; the 
Earl, though of a hasty, irritable temper, was 
always glad to see him, and the young man was 
flattered by this introduction into aristocratic 
society. His father and mother were full of the 
praises of the Lady Eveline, and his sisters struck 
up a violent friendship for her. Charlotte and 
Anne Derrick used to accompany Lady Eveline, 
with their brother's escort, for walks and rides 
on the beach, and John was delighted to show 
his acquaintance that he had a lady of title under 
his care. He brought forward his stock of small 
talk, which had been so irresistible to Miss Hope, 
and Lady EveKne did not seem to dislike it. 
She had never been in society, or been much 
with people of her own age. She had missed 
Herbert Darlington's frequent visits, for they 

64 THE author's daughter. 

were the only things that had brought any 
change to her life at home, for her father was 
very irritable and her mother querulous, and 
both of them were a great deal older than her- 
self Her pleasures had been in reading and 
music, and her education had been but imperfect, 
at least so far as judgment and principles were 
concerned. She was a great novel-reader and 
built many castles in the air of a very romantic 
kind. She had intense pleasure in out-of-door 
life, which in the beautiful country about 
Darlington Castle was always attractive ; and as 
all her pursuits and amusements had been 
solitary, she enjoyed the change to the bustle 
and life of a crowded watering-place, and felt 
the society of companions of her own age 
pleasant. Still she looked down on her friends 
too. She had heard the indignation with which 
her father and mother had spoken of Herbert's 
mesalliance with Miss Pennithome, and won- 
dered at their civility to this Manchester family. 
After about a month's acquaintance, a con- 
venient opportunity having presented itself, 
Mr. John Derrick made a formal proposal to 
the young lady. Lady Eveline was taken by 
surprise ; she had never dreamt of such a thing 
a£i that this plebeian young man would fall in 
love with her; her heart was indifferent and 


more than indifferent to John Derrick, but she 
disliked to give pain, and so she listened. It 
was not at all unpleasant to listen ; she had 
always liked the love passages in her favourite 
novels and romances better than any other 
passages in the books, and had often wondered if 
that was the way in which declarations were 
made in real life. So she listened much longer 
than she ought to have done, not as if it were 
her own concern, but wondering what other 
people would think of it if they only knew; 
how amused her mamma would be, and how 
indignant her papa at the young man's pre- 
sumption. She was not old enough or thoughtful 
enough to feel the pain which a fruitless decla- 
ration ought to give to a woman. Her lover 
interpreted her silence as encouragement ; he 
took her hand and was raising it to his lips 
when Eveline started, and woke to the con- 
sciousness that this was really her own affair, 
and that Mr. John Derrick was entitled to an 

" Oh, no !" said she, " I cannot allow of such a 
thing. What would papa say ?" 

"But I have your permission. Lady Eveline, 
to speak to the Earl on this subject f' said John 

Eveline did not know what her consent to this 

VOL. I. 5 

66 THE author's daughter. 

implied ; — she only saw that it would save her 
from saying anything painful to his feelings, and 
she felt very certain that her papa would be 
decided in his answer. 

" Oh ! yes ; I suppose you may speak to him/' 
said she. 

"And if I win his consent I may hope for 
yours X' said the yoimg man eagerly. 

" You have not got his consent yet," said she, 
half seriously, half archly, and she ran out of the 
room, leaving him in the seventh heaven at the 
favourable reception she had given to his 
addresses, while she herself was flattered, 
amused, and excited, but never dreaming of the 
possibility of marrying him. 

John told his father the result of his interview; 
indeed he had not made his proposal until 
Mr. Derrick had both sanctioned and urged it, 
and the old gentleman went with the lover to 
the Earl with offers of most liberal settlements, to 
strengthen hisclaims to so distinguished an alliance. 
They found the Earl in very good humour and 
by no means unprepared for the overtures they 
made. Lady Darlington was called into council, 
and she too looked with favour on a marriage 
that would secure her poor girl from the poverty 
she had dreaded for her. She was too young at 
present, far too young ; but if Mr. John Denick 


would wait for two or three years they would 
make no objection. This was acceded to; the 
old gentleman said they were both young 
enough, and he thought it would be well for 
them to wait. 

When Lady Eveline was summoned into her 
father's study, or the room which went by that 
name in the Brighton establishment, she was 
astonished and confounded to discover that 
everyone took it for granted that she had pro* 
mised to marry Mr. John Derrick, provided he 
obtained the Earl's consent. Her mother clasped 
her to her heart, wept over lier, and said she 
knew she should be happy ; her father declared 
that he had no wish but to please her, and that 
if she had set her heart on this young fellow, he 
would make no objection on the score of birth or 
position. Young people would be young people 
and take fancies to each other to the end of time, 
and he, the Earl, did not see any good in 
thwarting them. He had thought she would 
wait till she had been presented before she made 
conquests, but after all there was no time like 
the present. Then old Mr. Derrick gravely said 
that he was most happy that everything had 
been so pleasantly and amicably arranged, and 
declared his intention of welcoming Lady Eveline 
into his family ere long. 


68 THE author's daughter. 

" But I am so young," said Eveline, shrinking 
back from all this congratulation, and feeling, 
that, through everything that was said by others, 
John Derrick's eye was fixed on her with an 
expression of confident success that embarrassed 
and mortified her. " I am so very young," she 

" So we all say," said the Earl, " but if you are 
both of the same mind two years hence you will 
not be too young then." 

^' But— but — ^but — " said Eveline and then 
words failed her. Perhaps John Derrick would 
change his mind in two years' time. It was 
a distant prospect ; a good deal might happen in 
two years. 

" A two years' engagement is not an unreason- 
ably long one," said Mr. Derrick, " so you must 
wait with patience, my boy." 

" But mamma," said Eveline, " don't let it be 
spoken about." 

"Oh, no!" said Lady Darlington, "I think 
that as you are so young, and as your education 
is not completed, it would be well that no one 
knew that you are engaged, particularly if you 
do not like it mentioned." 

Engaged — ^was she really engaged ? It was 
very strange to be so misunderstood and hemmed 
in by the parents whom she had trusted to, to 


get her out of her dilemma without giving her 
any trouble about it. But she would get out of 
it somehow. It was a good thing that everybody 
agreed that it should not be mentioned, not even 
to Anne or Charlotte — Mr. Derrick promised her 
that — and then she could talk quietly about it 
to her mother. She would explain that the 
marriage was out of the question. 

" As to visiting and correspondence," said Lady 
Darlington, " if the aflFair is to be kept quiet, it 
would not be advisable to permit very mucli of 
either, but still in moderation we can allow of it. 
Eveline will pay her promised visit to her aunt, 
Lady Gower, at Christmas." 

" Oh I I had hoped she might have come to 
Stanmore then," said Mr. Derrick. 

" No, that cannot be. It was an old promise 
that she should go to her aunt's when she was 
seventeen, for Lady Gower cannot be troubled 
with chits of children, and Eveline has looked 
forward to it for years. K you mean to keep 
this affair unknown, it would be very foolish to 
have much correspondence or intercourse when 
she is at Gower's Court," said the Earl. 

John Derrick did not altogether like these 
arrangements, but you cannot say " no" to an 
Earl whose daughter you wish to marry. He 
had wished at once to step into the circle of 

70 THE author's daughter. 

aristocratic society, and to be kept in the back- 
ground while Lady Eveline was enjoying herself 
in tlie gay and fashionable world was losing the best 
half of the triumph of his success. Eveline was 
pleaded with the provision that her parents made. 
She did not want to see much of John Derrick, 
even if it ever came to anything, and as for 
correspondence, she wondered what in all the 
world they could find to say to each other. She 
caught a glance at his face timidly enough ; he 
looked annoyed ; she was sure he had not a good 
temper. He had not the courage to appeal 
against the hardship of restricted opportunities 
of lovemaking, but yet he did not like it. 

On the whole both father and son were quite 
satisfied with the result of the interview, and 
when they were gone Eveline tried to explain to 
her mother that all this had been taken for 
granted, and that she had no idea of accepting 
John Derrick's proposal when she allowed him 
to speak to her father ; but before she began her 
mother clasped her in her arms and wept over 
her again, and said she could bear to give her up 
for her own good and her own happiness, as this 
imdoubtedly was. She had always known she 
must give her up, but tins had come upon her 
rather soon. 

''A great deal too soon, mamma; I cannot 


understand it at alL After all you and papa 
said about poor Herbert's marriage to the grand- 
daughter of a — cobbler — how could you think of 
my marrying Mr. John Derrick, whose grand- 
father was — " 

" Never mind his grandfather, my dear ; it is 
not his grandfather, or father either, that you are 
to marry. I had not much of a grandfather, but 
yet Lord Darlington was only too glad to marry 
me, and, to tell the truth, if you do not make a 
good marriage I do not know wliat is to become 
of us, for he has made away with all I had. The 
reason why we were so displeased at Herbert's 
marriage was that there was a sort of under- 
standing that he was to marry you when you 
were old enough." 

" Oh ! that would have been very different/* 
said Lady Eveline. 

" Indeed, on the whole I think this is much 
better for you, because Herbert was poor, at 
least during his uncle's life-time, and now I hear 
that old Mr. Herbert has left him his whole 

fortune, he was so pleased with his prudent 


marriage. But this Mr. Derrick should have 
half-a-million, if report speaks true of his father's 
wealth, and the old gentleman seems as desirous 
of the alliance with our family as his son is, 
so that everything will be easy " 

72 THE author's daughter. 

"But mamma," said Lady Eveline, "I am 
sure I don*t like him well enough to marry him." 

" Oh ! I dare say not ; he does not ask you to 
marry him to-day or to-morrow. I am sure you 
will like him sufficiently well before there is any 
call on you to do so, and the young man is 
really wonderfully well, considering," said the 

" But I ought to teU him how I feel, surely." 

"Oh no, dear, there is not the slightest 
necessity to say any thing about it. He ought 
to know that a well-brought-up girl does not fall 
in love with a man before he asks her or at the 
moment of a proposal. You have given only a 
little negative encouragement." 

" But I did not mean to give him any 
encouragement at aU." 

" You are a little goQse not to know that 
referring him to your father was very decided 
encouragement," said the Countess. 

" But I was so sure that he would not 

" K he had not been a desirable parti your 
papa would have put a stop to it at once, but as 
it is, really, everything that could be wished for 
you, the Earl sees it as I do, and there was no 
harm done by your blunder." 

So it was settled, and Lady Eveline tried to 


think it was as well settled as the Earl and 
Countess said it was, and faintly tried to foster 
anything she could feel like a prepossession for 
John Derrick. 




It was under very different circumstances from 
those before the holidays that Miss Hope re- 
sumed her flirtation with John Derrick. If he 
had not the ^clUt of a declared engagement with 
Lady Eveline Darlington, he had the pleasure 
of a secret one, and he had never enjoyed flirt- 
ing so much as now, when he felt sure nothing 
could come of it. Miss Hope was more agree- 
able than ever, and to his proposal to take les- 
sons in singing and in music from her, his parents 
made no objection, so he was thrown into her 
company still more than before. Lady Eveline 
was very fond of music, and it was with some 
ulterior view of making himself agreeable to her 
by-and-by, while at the same time the process 
was exceedingly pleasant to himself, that he had 
proposed to cultivate his naturally good voice. 
Miss Hope felt, if Mr. and Mrs. Derrick sus- 


pected, as they could scarcely help doing, the 
growth of Mr. John's attachment to herself, that 
they approved of it. His pleasure in the gover- 
ness's society was greater and more uimiixed 
than that of his noble betrothed. Miss Hope 
was older, more experienced, and had more 
tact. Lady Eveline was timid and sensitive; 
she did not love him well enough to be confiding 
and affectionate, and though they were engaged, 
he had always stood a little in awe of her. 
Under a very commonplace character, John Der- 
rick concealed an enormous amount of vanity, 
and a disposition to take deep ofience if he was 
slighted, so that Miss Hope, who really loved 
him, and to whom he was the most important 
person in the world, was sure to be a pleasanter 
companion than the inexperienced girl who had 
been persuaded into an engagement with him 
for family and worldly reasons, and whose parents 
underrated all but the wealth of her suitor. 

When Lady Eveline's name was mentioned in 
conversation between pupil and teacher, John 
Derrick thought it rather good fun to speak 
slightingly of her beauty and other attractions. 
His promise to keep the engagement secret al- 
lowed of this latitude, and as Charlotte and 
Anne were always praising the Lady Eveline, 
he thought it necessary to say something dif- 

76 THE author's daughter. 

ferent in order to throw Miss Hope off the 
scent. He had discovered Miss Hope's wishes, 
and had been flattered and amused by them. 
He knew that he was a very eligible person ; 
his reception from the Earl and Countess had 
strengthened his opinion of his importance ; but 
the idea that even the governess's obscure posi- 
tion had not protected her heart from his powers 
of fascination was rather amusing ; so he played 
the game, with nothing staked on his part and 
everything on Miss Hope's, with considerable 
skill and success. 

In the mean time, Lady Eveline's negative 
amount of afiection for him had no food but a 
few short and far from ardent or romantic letters. 
Indeed, even if he had been a good correspon- 
dent, which he was not, a man of average ca- 
pacity can scarcely write good love-letters to 
one woman when he is deep in a flirtation 
with another. His whole powers in that way 
are forestalled, and even at the best it was Lady 
. Eveline's rank and position that he had been 
most attached to. Miss Hope's person and man- 
ners were far more to his taste, and if her other 
qualifications had been equally attractive there 
was no doubt as to whom he should have pre- 
ferred. He fancied that the style of beauty 
which Lady Eveline possessed, which was a 

LADY Eveline's marriaqe. 77 

complete contrast to his own, was that which 
he admired, and that lier ethereal elegances her 
transparently fair c(miplexion, her deep blue 
eyes, and sunny hair witli its ri])])ling curls, was 
his tyi>e of beauty ; whereas he really in his 
heart preferred Miss Hope's, which was more like 
his own, but with softened expression an<l more 
regular features. He was not ill-looking, but 
his face was rather heavy and clumsy, whereas 
Miss Hope was really a fine woman, large and 
well made, whose dark eyes, fine straight black 
hair, strongly defined eyebrows, and short black 
eyelashes, clear brown complexion with a warm 
glow through it, rather large mouth, with white 
and regular tt^eth, made her altogether somewhat 
like himself, but consieleiubly handsomer. She 
would have won him if she had not been his 
sister's governess, but even with that disadvan- 
tage he could not help being fascinated. 

The only mark of attention he ventured on 
to remind Lady Eveline of his engagement was 
suggested by his father, and consisted in a mag- 
nificent set of jewels to appear in at a large 
party at Gower's Court. They were given through 
the Countess of Darlington, and arrived at a time 
when Eveline was disposed to forget all about 
her engagement. She had entreated that her 
aunt should know nothing of the matter, and 

days who was heir to a marquisate, and as Lady 
Gower was satisfied that Eveline was prettier 
than she promised to be, if she had any chance 
there the less that was said about the Manchester 
family the better. But Lord Martingale knew 
his own value too well to throw himself away 
on the daughter of the spendthrift Darlington, 
and Eveline's style was not at all to his taste, 
80 that he baffled his hostess's attempts to throw 
them together. Though Lady Gower was a leader 
of fashion, and very exclusive in many of her 
ideas, she had a pride in getting up agreeable 
parties, and this could not be made up entirely 
of eligibles. It was necessary for the success 
even of parties in town to have a large sprink- 
ling of detrimentals, in the shape of yoimger 
sons, clever young professional men, officers with 
very little beyond their pay, and even of a few 
litterateurs, now that literature was becoming 
so much the rage. If for parties in town, how 
much more valuable were such people for a six 
weeks' campaign at Christmas, when the neigh- 
bours were slow, and when there were possibi- 


lities of frost setting in and putting a stop to 
field sports. 

It was therefore a lively circle into which Lady 
Eveline Darlington was introduced as a fresh 
face and a fresh nature ; and she felt the atten- 
tions, the badinage, the smart conversation, the 
careless gaiety of that pleasure-loving and plea- 
STire-seeking coterie something as delightful as it 
was new. Her father had been of the old school 
of self-indulgence, and she had bad no brothers, 
so that it was a great deal more to her than 
to other young ladies of rank to come out. The 
Derricks had been very slow and stupid compared 
to this gay assembly, and she could not help 
contrasting John Derrick unfavourably with 
several of the yoimg gentlemen whose compli- 
ments were much better turned, and whose at- 
tentions were much less clumsy. She received 
her fair share of admiration, if not from Lord 
Martingale or Sir Henry Overton, from one or 
two others whom she thought much more agree- 
able ; and especially from Mr. Gerald Staimton, a 
young barrister who was toiling up the many slow 
steps that lead in one case out of ten thousand 
to the woolsack, and which that remote chance 
tempts so many adventurous spirits to climb. 

He had never seen anything out of his dreams 
so fresh and innocent as Lady Eveline Darling- 

80 THE author's daughter. 

ton, and sunned himself in the presence of one 
so unconsciously charming. Her enthusiasm about 
books, and pictures, and landscapes, her ignorance 
of the ways of the world, her frankness in ask- 
ing information, her evident pleasure in every 
thing he said to her, were dangerous to the peace 
of mind of a briefless barrister with all the world 
certainly before him, but still a long way off". 

Lady Gower had thought she had given her 
niece sufficient warning when she had said to 
her a day or two after her arrival : — " Lady 
Darlington trusts that I will not put any non- 
sense into your head or let any one else do it, 
so I need only tell you that, with the exception 
of Lord Martingale, and Sir Harry Overton, and 
Mr. Seymour, there is not an eligible person at 
Gower 8 Court. As for the others, whatever they 
may say, you know it means nothing. Mr. Staun- 
ton, for instance, is well enough to pass an hour 
with, but he has nothing and neither have you, 
and he knows it. I only speak to you because 
you are so utterly inexperienced; a year hence 
you will see these things for yourself." 

" Oh ! I am safe enough, dear aunt," said Eve- 
line with a laugh and a little sigh, " you need 
not tell me to take care of my heart." She thought 
her engagement, uncomfortable as it was, was de- 
fensive armour sufficient for all her requirements. 


" My dear Eveline," said Lady Gower, a fort- 
night after this warning, "I told you to take 
care of your heart, and you said you were quite 
safe, but you ought to take care of poor Gerald 
Staunton's too. You are not sufficiently distant 
with him. I really should blame you if he has 
the presumption to fall in love with you, absurd 
and preposterous as it would be. We cannot do 
without these creatures, and yet they are a 
world of trouble to us ; silly moths fluttering 
around dangerous candles. I think I overheard 
you saying you wished he could go to Darlington 
Castle to see some view or another, but there 
is one comfort, Darlington will not invite him." 

Eveline heard this warning with a little feeling 
of shame, but not altogether without pleasure. 
The idea that Gerald Staunton was falling in 
love with her most imprudently and hopelessly, 
was far more romantic and interesting to her, 
than John Derrick's proposal to make an ex- 
change between rank and money; it was far 
more like books, and unfortunately Eveline knew 
nothing of life but from books, and neither her 
querulous mother nor her fashionable aunt tried 
to guide her heart or judgment in any other 
but the most worldly way. 

There was an additional glow on Lady Eveline's 
cheek when Gerald again sat beside her and 

VOL. L 6 


82 THE author's daughter. 

resumed the sparkling but still occasionally se- 
rious conversation, which they always took up 
just where they had left off. Each recollected so 
distinctly the other's last words, each had been 
thinking over the subject in the interval, and 
was ready to throw or to receive any new light 
on it. Lady Gower's eye was upon them, and 
she could hear all that they said, but there was 
not a word that she could take exception to. 
It was simply that they were interested in sub- 
jects that did not interest her that she was 
suspicious. Lady Eveline flattered herself; — ^but 
it was the amount of interest, and the looks and 
tones in which the conversation was conducted, 
that alarmed that clever woman of the world. 

Gerald Staunton was one of her best talkers ; 
she had always liked to place him where he 
could enliven a dull corner, but she did not like 
that her niece should appreciate his lively 
hiunour, his apt quotations, his fluent narrative 
so keenly. Nothing he said or did ever jarred on 
Eveline, his taste was so good, his opinions so 
just, his criticisms so keen. She was a little 
ashamed of her omnivorous capacity for novel 
reading, and her indiscriminating taste for poetry, 
and was now determined to like and dislike with 
better judgment, that is to say, with Gerald 
Staunton's judgment. 

LADY Eveline's marriage. 83 

In the course of conversation one day the name 
of Jolin Derrick happened to be mentioned, and 
Eveline heard with secret emotion that he had 
been a fellow-student with Staunton at Harrow 
and Oxford. As he did not know that she had 
any intimate knowledge of the family, or any 
connection with Jolm Derrick in particular, 
Staunton could not guess how she was pained to 
hear anecdotes of his sensitive vanity, of his 
deficient scholarship, of his want of gentlemanly 
feeling, of his desire to fasten himself on great 
people, and of the rebuffs he had met with. Lady 
Gower acknowledged that it took several gene- 
rations of wealth to get the tradesman's spirit out 
of the blood of these money magnates, and 
laughed at Mr. Staunton's description as heartily 
as the othei's, lamenting that so fine a property 
as Stiuimorc should have fallen into such hands, 
and bringing in a disparaging allusion to the 
Peimithome alliance wliich Herbert Darlington 
had contracted. " Nothing can be done with her, 
Eveline. I made an effort and went to her, but she 
is hopeless, absolutely hopeless. And Manchester 
is several degrees lower tlian London of course." 

All this must be true — quite true, for Eveline 
believed implicitly in Staunton, and how much 
more distressing was her engagement to her. 
Her indifference was fast changing into positive 

G— 2 

84 THE author's daughter 

dislike, when the packet with the handsome orna- 
ments arrived. 

Lady Eveline took them to her aimt, deter- 
mining to confide in her, and to implore her assist- 
ance to get free. 

At first Lady Gower was astonished at the idea 
of her brother embarrassing himself to get such 
expensive omamenta for Eveline. especiaUy as 
she had written that Lord Martingale had left 
Gower^s Court; but when she heard the girl's 
confused and hesitating confession of where they 
came from, and what right Mr. John Derrick had 
to send them, her countenance cleared, and she 
took a very cheerful view of the whole proceed- 
ing. It was astonishing how differently Lady 
Gower looked on the Derricks when she heard of 
the formal proposal accepted by her brother on 
Eveline's behalf, 

" I never heard of Darlington doing a wiser 
thing," said she. " Upon my word, Eveline, I am 
delighted to hear this, though it was not fair to 
keep me in the dark so long." 

" But you laugh at them all," said Eveline. 

" I laugh at everything and everybody, as 
you know very well ; and besides, I did not know 
at the:,time of the connection likely to be formed, 
and that was your fault. You sly thing, coming 
to me so young and innocent, to be introduced 


into the world, and with your cards all played 
beforehand and played so well too. And I 
might have saved myself aU that trouble about 
Lord Martingale. Oh ! I can scarcely forgive 
you for not telling me. We must bring them 
forward ; I suppose they are improveable. Har- 
row and Oxford and the Continent — they have 
done their best for him, and you must not mind 
what a flippant fellow like Staunton says, who 
would give his ears for such a position. John 
Derrick does not sound very aristocratic, but 
Lady Eveline Demck will do." 

" But my dearest aunt, I am sure I do not 
like him well enough. I really was taken by 
surprise at his offer, and they all said that I had 
engaged myself when I had no intention of doing 
so. Oh ! do, dear aiuit, help me out of this terri- 
ble entanglement," and Eveline burst into tears. 

" Nonsense, my dear child ; it is the best thing 
that could possibly happen. I would have done 
the best I could for you, but I don't think you 
are likely to take in the set I mix with, and 
you know the Derricks are immensely rich. One 
is sure of property that is newly acquired, 
whereas no one can tell the incumbrances that 
are on old estates, and I am very glad that 
Darlington and your mamma exerted a little 
parental authority to reassure you." 

86 THE author's daughter. 

" But I think I shall he miserable ; I know I 
do not love him." 

" Your head is so full of romances that you have 
no idea of what is really required as love from a 
young lady of rank." 

" And besides, I am pretty sure he does not 
care much for me," said Lady Eveline sullenly. 

" Oh ! yes, I am convinced that he does. I am 
sure these are most striking proofs of attachment. 
But I see how it is. It was the greatest folly 
not to tell me of this affair before you came to 
Gower's Court. If you had not been here, and 
seen a number of idle flattering creatures that 
appear to you to be more lively and agreeable 
than the excellent yoimg man to whom you are 
engaged, you would have been quite satisfied with 
your chains. Never mind, these are really beau- 
tiful, and you may wear them with an easier 
mind than I thought you could have, for you know 
that they were paid for." 

" Paidfor — ^yes — "said Lady Eveline witha sigh, 
" but I would give them all and a great deal more 
to be able to return them and feel that I was free." 
"Ttfydear child, that cannot be. It is very 
wrong to trifle with a young man's feelings in this 
way, and very disgraceful to break off an engage- 
ment. If Mr. Derrick broke it off, every one 
would cry shame on him, and you should feel 

LADY Eveline's 87 

your own responsibilities too. It would be very 
dishonorable conduct, considering that has given 
you no cause of complaint, and has as you say 
been as silent as to his success as you could wish. 
As for any attentions you may have met with 
here, I assure you that they mean nothing, abso- 
lutely nothing. You are known to be the 
daughter of the poorest and most extravagant 
peer in Great Britain, who has no political influ- 
ence whatever, and no man in his senses would 
think of falling in love with you unless it was 
some one circumstanced like Mr. Derrick." 

" Why did you tell me to take care, then, if 
there was no danger of anyone being insane enough 
to care about me ? " said Eveline indignantly. 

" Oh ! these are words of course which I 
address to every young girl under my care whom 
I see flirting with such people. Gerald Staimton 
does not really care about you any more than 
you do about him ; but I am really very glad to 
hear of this engagement." 

Eveline was hurt at her aunt's supposing that 
she had given more alSection than was felt for 
her ; her pride was roused at the humiliating 
idea, and her manners to Gerald changed. He 
thought she had had a lesson from her aimt and 
was acting upon it. It was very proper certainly 
that she should grow cold to him, and much 

88 THE author's daughter. 

better for them both, for he knew it was the 
most imprudent of all possible attachments, but 
yet it had been her frankness and girlish simpli- 
city that had so much won upon his heart. His 
apparent disappointment at her more distant 
manner awoke a delightful though agitated con- 
sciousness that her aimt had been mistaken, and 
that he really loved her ; her old fascination re- 
turned, and one day out of doors, with a clear 
frosty sky above and a carpet of snow under 
their feet, her desire to know that she really held 
a high place in his regard led him on so far as to 
confess that he loved her. 

How differently this declaration was received 
from that of John Derrick ! How quickly it 
was apprehended, and even in spite of the 
miserableness of her pre-engagement, how proud 
she felt for the love of such a man ! 

It could not be accepted — of course not — 
" I am already engaged," she faltered out. 

Gerald Staunton's coimtenance changed. He 
was horror-struck at her heartless conduct in 
leading him on to make a rash and mad proposal, 
while all the time she had no intention or power 
of returning his affection. 

" Forgive me. Lady Eveline, my presumptuous 
folly," he said coldly. " K I had known of this 
before, I should have been saved a great deal of 


pain. I wish you all happiness." He was turning 
to go when he observed the white face of the 
girl, and her remorseful expression as she moved 
her lips as if to speak. He stopped to hear what 
she had to say. 

" It is I who ought to ask forgiveness. I see 
that concealment is wrong ; but I have been in 
the wrong about it altogether. Try to forgive 
me for the pain I have given you." 

" I know it was the height of presumption on 
my part," said he ; "I never intended to breathe 
a word of my feelings towards you, but I was 
foolish enough to misunderstand your manner, 
or your words, or something." 

He had only understood her too well, but how 
useless and vain to say so. 

" Mr. Staunton," said she slowly, " this engage- 
ment of mine was not of my seeking, but papa 
and mamma have set their hearts upon it, and so 
has Lady Gower, and things have gone so far 
that it would be dishonourable to break it off, 
and I will never think of doing such a thing; 
but — ^but I am not very happy, and when I think 
that I have made you unhappy too, I feel as if 
my heart would break." 

Mr. Staunton could not help trying to comfort 
her a little ; he guessed that if things had been 
brighter and more promising with him, Lady 

90 THE author's daughter. 

Eveline would not object to break off her en- 
gagement, but what had he to offer ? His birth 
was by no means equal to hers, and his fortune 
was all to make, and an engagement for an 
indefinite period to a struggling man was what 
her noble relatives would never consent to, but 
her remorse and her grief only made the con- 
sciousness of his position more painfuL 

At this point in their conversation they were 
interrupted by Lady Gower, who guessed there 
had been something serious passing between 
them. She looked angrily at her niece, and 
ordered her to go in, and stay in her own room 
till she could speak with her. She then turned 
to the presumptuous lover. 

" This will never do, Mr. Staunton," said she. 

" So it appears," replied Staunton. 

"We cannot allow of such things in our 
society. Lady Eveline is my niece, and under 
my care. She is young and inexperienced, and 
does not know the world." 

" I hope she never may." 

"But yoimg as she is, she is engaged," said 
Lady Gower. 

" So Lady Eveline has just told me, and 
astonished me very much by the information." 

" She is engaged to John Derrick, your college 


"Engaged to Jolin Derrick, and I have been 
speaking so thoughtlessly about him ! She is a 
great deal too good for him." 

" No, no, the young man is well enough, and 
will make her an excellent husband; but you 
will understand that for your own happiness, it 
will be better to see as little as possible of her 
for the future, so I do not expect to see much of 
you in town when I return, and for the present 
I tliink you had better go back to your 

" Has not Lady Eveline been coerced into this 
engagement ?" asked Gerald. 

" Oh ! no, nothing of the kind. Indeed, Mr. 
Derrick asked her in the first place, and she 
very properly referred him to Lord Darlington, 
and so the matter was settled. There is no such 
thing as coercion or compulsion now-a-day. It 
is altogether a most delightftd arrangement, and 
I am quite sure that Lady Eveline has no desire 
to break it off. Your attentions might make her 
uncomfortable and unhappy, but they can do 
nothing further, and I am quite sure that as an 
honourable man you must feel what you ought 
to do imder the circumstances." 

Gerald Staimton took the advice of his hostess, 
and left Gower's Court at once, and Eveline 
knew that he had given up all hope of her, but 

92 THE author's daughter. 

believed that he loved her still. People who 
have once loved must love for ever, and though 
nothing would happen to break off her engage- 
ment, her dislike to it was as strong as ever. 
Lady (Jower had determined on declaring it, and 
invited John Derrick to Qower's Court, where he 
had the pleasure of seeing his present worn, and 
his choice justified ; for after she was known to 
be engaged, Eveline met with more . general 
admiration than before. His friends and ac- 
quaintances congratulated him on having won the 
yoimg beauty before she had come out, and he 
was favourably introduced by Lady Gower to 
the society he had longed for. He accompanied 
Lady Eveline to Darlington Castle, and if the 
kindest reception possible from the Earl and 
Countess could have made up for the coldness 
and timidity of his bride-elect, he might have 
been satisfied. To a certain extent he was 
satisfied; Eveline would of course grow very 
fond of him when she was married to him, and 
in the mean time she was not teasing or ex- 
acting; he had more liberty in his state of 
engagement than any young fellow of his ac- 

Miss Hope had wondered at John Derrick's 
being invited to Gower's Court, and after that 
to Darlington Castle, but as he had parted from 


her with regret, and as his letters to his sister 
always contained a message to Miss Hope, and 
as he had once written her a note on his own 
account, requesting the words of one of her 
favourite songs, she felt sure that she was not 
forgotten. Still the visit to Darlington Castle 
was alarming. 

" We are all so fond of Lady Eveline ; we saw 
so much of her when we were at Brighton. 
Is it not delightful that we are going to have 
her for a sister. Miss Hope V said Charlotte 
Derrick to her governess one day. 

Miss Hope was leaning over Charlotte's drawing 
board pointing out a defect in the perspective, 
when she heard this astounding piece of news. 
She drew back with a slight exclamation, which, 
however, was nothing more than such intelligence 

" And to think how sly they have both been 
about it," continued Charlotte. " They have been 
engaged since August, and never let Anne or me 
know, though papa and mamma knew all about 
it. I hoped that it might happen some time 
or other when John was asked to Gower's Court, 
but as it turns out they had settled it long ago." 

" She is so lovely and so distinguished looking," 
said Anne ; " and only seventeen. Is it not 
deUghtful, Miss Hope V 

94 THE author's daughter. 

Miss Hope bit her lip at the thought of how 
she had been duped and blinded. John Derrick 
had really given her cause to think he loved 
her, and more unmistakeably after he was 
bound to Lady Eveline than before. 

" Of course with John's prospects it is an ex- 
cellent match for Lady Eveline," said Charlotte ; 
" for though she is an Earl's daughter, she is as 
poor as — as poor as you are, Miss Hope. John 
gave her her diamonds to be presented at 
Court in, and papa will not say how much they 
cost. If he had not she must have appeared in 
old things of her gi-eat grandmother's. I like 
new things. When I go to Court I shall coax 
papa to get me as handsome a set. If they had 
not made so mighty a secret of it, I might have 
had a look at it. Don't you think I should have 
as handsome things as John's wife ?" 

" Oh ! yes, of course, yes," said the governess. 

"Lady Eveline is coming here on a visit soon and 
you will see her. I am sure you will think her 
lovely, and she has such an exquisite voice, and is 
so fond of music. That is the reason why John 
has been so anxious to learn from you lately. You 
know it was after we returned to Stanmore from 
Brighton that he became so enthusiastic." 

Miss Hope remembered the time and the cir- 
cumstances, and did not feel at all soothed by 

LADY Eveline's marriage. 95 

the recollection. It was some time before John 
Derrick returned to Stanmore, and by that time 
she had schooled herself to hide the deep offence 
which she had felt at his conduct. He was 
disposed to be as friendly with her as ever, and 
as every one spoke openly to him of his relations 
to Lady Eveline, he thought it was perhaps due 
to Miss Hope to explain the matter to her. To 
her he made light of his attachment, did not 
praise the beauty or the elegance of his be- 
trothed, said she was rather young and shy, 
but would probably acquire confidence by-and- 
bye, and gave it to be understood tliat the young 
lady and her family liad rather sought him out 
than been sought by him, for of course it 
was a capital chance for them, and the governor 
had taken up the idea very cordially, and they 
had settled the matter very summarily in the 
room which the Earl called most inappropriately 
his study. Miss Hope drew tlie conclusion that 
his attachment was not very profound, and she 
was prepared to dislike Lady Eveline and all the 
family unseen and unheard. 

The promised visit to Stanmore was not paid 
so soon as expected ; Lady Eveline had slirunk 
from it, and John did not press it. He enjoyed 
showing her to his friends and being con- 
gratulated on his choice, and receiving compli- 


: f 

96 THE authoe's daughter. 

ments on her beauty and accomplishments, but 
he dishked the trouble of trying to win the 
heart he took for granted would be sufficiently 
his own for domestic comfort. Miss Hope dis- 
liked Lady Eveline still more when she saw her. 
Her pupils were never weary of praising her, and 
the old people liked her modest unpresuming 
manners, and her acquiescence in all the ar- 
rangements they made or proposed for her 
future home ; but Miss Hope saw the truth 
with the quickness of perception which her 
own wrongs and her own indignation had 
sharpened ; the girl gave no heart to John 
Derrick; she was making a worldly marriage 
of convenience. She had ousted her. Miss Hope, 
without any excuse or palliation of the offence ; 
she was mercenary, she was deceitful She could 
discover the lack of affection in all she said and 
did, and in all she did not say and did not do. 
There was no lingering with him in quiet comers 
of the room, no separating from the party for a 
quiet tete-^tete during a walk or excursion, no 
brightening of her eye as he entered the room 
in which she sat. She would sit down to the 
piano to avoid conversation with John Derrick, 
she would suggest any arrangement that would 
prevent him from being her only escort to or 
from a place. The girls thought she was ex- 


tremely fond of them, but Miss Hope saw a 
different cause for her desire for their company 
wherever she was. 

And yet this pair were to be married ; there 
appeared to be no help for it. How terribly 
quickly the weeks and months flew past for 
both Lady Eveline and Miss Hope. It seemed 
as if nothing could break the charmed net that 
entangled them, but Miss Hope once made the 

" How very happy you must be, Lady Eveline," 
said she to her one day. 

"Hiippyr echoed the girl with a sigh and 
a start. 

" It is so seldom when young people make a 
marriage of affection that the parents on both 
sides are so reasonable as they have been in 
your case." said Miss Hope mth a sUght a^ent 
on the word affection. 

"Yes, I suppose so," said Lady Eveline. "I 
beUeve it is very iture." 

" Mr. John Derrick is so agreeable, quite the 
life of our society at Stanmore," said Miss 

" Is he ? Do you think so ? I have seen 
so little of the world. You know I am very 

Miss Hope thought Eveline was boastful of 

VOL. I. 7 

98 THE author's DAtJGHTER. 

her youth, whereas in fact she wished she was 
older and had more determination. 

" Old enough, however, to choose for yourself. 
It is astonishing how soon young ladies learn 
to do that," said Miss Hope. 

"To choose for myself f said Eveline with 
a bewildered air. " No, I did not do that." 

"Then you had happiness thrust upon you 
by affectionate friends. No matter how it comes, 
if you are quite sure it is happiness," said Miss 

" I don't know why you should speak in 
such a way to me, for even though I am so 
young I am not your pupiL" 

" Certainly you are not," said Miss Hope, 
"and as everything appears to be so satis- 
factory, there is very little occasion for you to 
take a hint from any one," and the matier 

Lady Eveline did not know and could not 
guess that Miss Hope had found the man 
irresistible to whom she was herself so indif- 
ferent; she had considered her insinuations 
very impertinent, and had answered her with 
a hauteur which was not at all usual or natural 
to her. She had felt Miss Hope's eyes often 
on her, and they had made her feel uncom- 
fortable. Her conscience was uneasy ; she knew 


she was in the wrong; but all her authorized 
advisers had persuaded her that she was irre- 
vocably committed, and that an engagement 
ought to be held as sacred as a marriage, so 
that she could see no way out of it. 

Old Mr. Derrick behaved very handsomely ; he 
took a house for the young people in London, 
and furnished it splendidly. He made most 
handsome presents to the bride, and thought 
she was charmingly conscious in her embar- 
rassed gratitude, but imfortunately she did not 
take to him or to the old lady, and in the 
long weary months of her engagement she even 
tired of the society of Charlotte and Anne. 

The two years specified came to an end, 
and the marriage took place. The trousseau 
was superb, and the ceremony was performed 
at a most fashionable church by a fashionable 
clergyman. The Morning Post gave a full and 
particular description of the dress of the bride 
and of the bridesmaids, and announced to the 
world that the happy couple had gone to make 
their wedding tour in Scotland. Both families 
received the congratulations of their friends on 
the happy event, and the Earl and Coimtess 
felt very glad that it was so well over. 




Lady Eveline's parents and her aunt Lady 
Gower flattered themselves that, now she was 
fairly married, the love of a wife would naturally 
waken to a man who had no vices and few 
faults that they could see — ^who was disposed to 
be indulgent to her and proud of her. But people 
want a great deal of love or a great deal of 
prudence to begin matrimony upon, and poor 
Eveline had neither. The more closely she was 
brought to her husband, the more she was thrown 
upon his society alone, the less she foimd she 
liked him. If they had taken up house-keeping, 
and received and returned their wedding visits 
from the first day of their marriage, they might 
have done better; but that long honeymoon 
in Scotland was to both of them rather tiresome, 
and to Lady EveKne almost unendurable. His 
conversation wearied his wife, his vanity made 

LADY Eveline's second marriage. 101 

her despise him ; all the points in his character 
which Gerald Staunton had shown up for her 
own and her aunt's amusement at Gower's Court 
came out strongly during that disappointing tour. 
He had little appreciation of natural beauty, and 
except in the solitary case of music there was no 
sympathy of taste between them ; and even in 
music his taste was in his wife's opinion rather 
low and meretricious. His temper, which was 
not quick, but slow and xinforgiving, was roused 
to see that his wife neither gave him the love nor 
the deference which he deserved, and it wa« a 
relief to John Derrick too when they began to 
mix with the world. 

It was in company alone that he felt any 
pleaspure in Lady Eveline's society; she was a 
charming hostess ; her timidity wore off; she was 
declared to be the most beautiful woman of the 
season, and he was proud of her. He liked to 
watch the homage she received, provided she waa 
not herself very much pleased with it, and when 
they were in crowds there were no visible jars or 
incongruities of taste between them. So John 
Derrick fiUed his house with company, and he 
and Lady Eveline accepted every invitation they 
received. They often met with Gerald Staunton, 
and as he was considered very clever, and altoge- 
ther a rising man, John Derrick was disposed to 

102 THE author's daughter. 

cultivate the acquaintance of his old college com- 
panion. Eveline had never dared to tell her 
husband of what had passed between herself and 
Staunton, and made faint and few objections to 
his wish to have him at her parties. She had no 
reason to give but the true one, and she felt so 
much pleasure in Staunton's conversation and so- 
ciety that she was almost glad she dared not give 
it Gerald Staunton fancied it would be absurd 
and foolish to decline the invitations he received. 

She was a married woman, not apparently un- 
happy, and of course she had made up her mind 
to her fate. It was a pity, however, that she saw 
so much of him, for the contrast between Staun- 
ton's talents and Derrick's mediocrity ; between 
Staunton's dignified self-respect and Derrick's sen- 
sitive vanity ; and between Staunton's earnestness 
and Derrick's flippancy — struck every day with 
stronger force on the heart of the imloving wife. 

Lady Gtower was the only person who seemed 
to be alive to the dangerous position her niece was 
in. She was disappointed that Lady Eveline, 
who had been such a gentle and tractable girl, 
now made such an unaccommodating wife. In- 
deed Lady Eveline might have been happier, and 
ought to have been happier ; for though she had 
made a sad mistake, and indeed done a wrong 
thing, she might have made the best of it, and 


tried to draw out what was good and tolerable in 
her husband. But though she had had the courage 
to sacrifice herself to please her parents through 
a mistaken sense of duty, she had not the 
patience to bear what she had brought on herself. 

It was dangerous to hint to John Derrick any 
suspicions with regard to Gerald Staunton, but 
Lady Gower ventured to remonstrate with her 
niece on the subject of his visits. 

'' I did not want him to come, aunt," said Eve- 
line sharply, " but Mr. Derrick insisted on it. It 
was his doing, not mine." 

" You never told him of his imprudent and ab- 
surd conduct at Gower's Court? " 

" No, indeed," said Lady Eveline, " he is quite 
disposed enough to be jealous without any cause. 
He cannot live without society and he finds Mr. 
Staunton agreeable. You know I only have him 
here on my J)ublic days — ^not like the Beresfords 
and Mr. HoUingworth, who are here on all occa- 
sions. I did remonstrate with Mr. Derrick at first, 
but of course whatever I appear to wish he is 
sure to go against. Besides, whatever Mr. Staun- 
ton may have felt, or I may have felt, our position 
is very different now. ff you and mamma and 
papa amongst you have made me very miserable, 
all for my own good, I think you may let me 
alone now." 

104 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

" Well, I can drop a hint to Staunton/* said 
Lady Gower. 

" No, no," said Eveline, tnming as pale as death. 
" Don't let him think so meanly of me as that he 
needs be afraid of me, or that you have no con- 
fidence in me. Oh ! aunt, you ought to consider 
me a little." 

But Lady Gower was determined, and managed 
to give Staunton to understand that he had better 

discontinue his visits to street. About the 

same time he received the offer of a lucrative 
appointment at Sierra Leone, which Lady Gower 
had exerted all her influence to procure. He was 
getting on but slowly in his profession, and waa a 
little embarrassed in his circumstances, so that 
the offer was opportune. He had also felt that 
it wa8 not safe to see so much of Lady Eveline 
Derrick, whom he knew now to be unhappy, so 
he closed with the offer hastily, and busied him- 
self with preparations for his departure. His 
only sister regretted the step he took, but as he 
had behaved very liberally to her in making over 
all the slender patrimony he had inherited to 
add to her fortune, she was able to marry a young 
curate to whom she was engaged, and he felt 
satisfied that he had left her under the best of 

It was necessary to take leave of his London 


friends, and to receive their congratulations and re-* 
grets. Among others he must take leave of Lady 
ISveline, and then keep out of her way for ever. 

A few weeks before he called to say fareweU, 
Lady Eveline became the mother of her eldest 
child — a boy. Her mother and aunt hoped this 
new element would sweeten her life, and that she 
would grow contented and happy ; but she was 
one of those women who would love her children 
through her husband, and for his sake. She had no 
love for children as children; she had no turn 
for amusing them, and she had never had any expe- 
rience with them. This boy was exceedingly like 
his father, and that, where the father is not loved, 
is no recommendation to the mother^s heart. She 
had hosts of servants to take all the trouble 
of the child, and returned to her rounds of gaiety 
with undiminished zeal She could not endure her 
life without the change and excitement of society. 

To bid Gerald Staunton good-by for years cer- 
tainly, and probably for ever, was a thing exceed- 
ingly bitter and bewildering to her. She knew 
that her aunt had moved heaven and earth to 
procure this appointment, and that it was on her 
account that he was banished from his own proper 
sphere, and had his fair prospects of professional 
success blighted. She showed more emotion than 
was proper or prudent, and unfortunately she 

106 THE author's daughter. 

betrayed to her husband a partiality that was to 
him in the highest degree offensive. 

He had now discovered, as he thought, the 
cause of her indifference, and he felt that he had 
been deceived and duped. The vague jealousy he 
had felt of everyone whom Lady Eveline seemed 
to like, had now- a definite object, and she could 
no longer parry or deny his reproaches. John 
Derrick now left his wife more than he had done, 
lived very fast, and neglected her. This did not 
distress her so much as it ought to have done ; she 
was much happier in his absence ; and the know- 
ledge of that only increased his dislike to her 
going anywhere, or seeing anyone at home, though 
he would not take the trouble to accompany her 
or to help her to entertain her guests. 

Three children were bom to this mis-matched 
pair ; and one of the three, the youngest, died. 
This was a legitimate cause of grief to both, and 
ought to have drawn them to each other ; but 
neither John Derrick nor his wife loved their 
children so intensely as to grieve for them long, 
and they both seemed to think that their natural 
regret was a thing to be dissipated and diverted by 
amusement and society, rather than to be soothed 
and sanctified by mutual sympathy. What might 
have resulted in the course of many years— ^ 
whether they might have learned to bear their 


chains more lightly in middle age when com- 
panionable children grew up beside them — no 
one can tell ; but during the few years in which 
they lived together, their unhappinoHs and their 
want of congeniality increased rather than dimi- 
nished ; and when John Derrick took an inflam- 
matory fever and died after a short illness, after 
the shock was over, it was a sensation of relief 
rather than anything else that was felt by his 

The Earl of Darlington had died two years 
before his son-in-law, and Herbert reigned in his 
stead ; and the two fortunes he had acquired by 
marriage and inheritance from more plebeian 
families made him a more wealthy and more use- 
ful Earl than had been among the Darliiigtons for 
generations. All encumbrances were cleared ojff 
and contiguous estates purchased. Improvements 
were made and timber planted, and the Dowager- 
Coimtess was rather sorry that the breach had 
been so decided that she could never hope to see 
Darlington Castle again. She did not regret John 
Derrick's death, for he had never appreciated 
Lady Eveline, and after his marriage had been 
very discourteous to herself; she could now live 
with Eveline and the dear children. The hand- 
some jointure settled on the yoxmger widow 
would help the slender provision of the Dowager- 

108 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

Countess. Eveline had been a dear good girl to 
sacrifice her own inclinations as she had done> and 
if she had suffered a little, her troubles were 
now at an end, and a life of freedom and inde- 
pendence begun at twenty-three was a compen- 
sation for her filial obedience. 

And so all appeared to go very smoothly for a 
few months after Eveline's widowhood. She grew 
fonder of her children and took some pains with 
them ; and her husband's relations, who thought 
John had been but poorly treated by his aristo- 
cratic wife, could now find no fault with her ex- 
emplary conduct. She lived in a quiet and retired 
way; she occupied herself as she ought to do, 
and did not pine after gaiety and excitement, the 
love for which had driven poor John from his 
home. The old gentleman had felt the premature 
death of his only son a heavy blow, but he fixed 
his hopes all the more intensely on his two grand- 
children, Anthony and Edith. 

Miss Hope had left the Derrick family some 
years before. Indeed she was in town making 
arrangements for going into another situation, 
with the highest recommendations from her former 
employers, at the time when Gerald Staunton was 
going to Sierra Leone. Mr. John Derrick, who 
always liked her society, had asked her to make 
his house her home for a week or two, all the 


more pressingly because he knew that Lady 
Eveline did not wish it. She was so agreeable 
and so sympathising, that he confided in her his 
discovery of Lady Eveline's previous attachment, 
and she said nothing to mitigate his wrath. It 
was a relief to have a person to talk to who 
took such a right view of a woman's duty to 
her husband. He could not help thinking that 
he might have done better if he had been less 
ambitiously matched, but now in the hazy dis- 
tance of the past, he forgot that the offer had 
been his own voluntary act, and only recollected 
how anxious the Darlington family had been to 
secure him. Miss Hope was too willing to believe 
that he had been entrapped, and to give Lady 
Eveline credit for duplicity ; and perhaps Lady 
Eveline had as much right to be offended at the 
manner in which they spoke of her, and at the 
tender reminiscences they called up of old days at 
Stanmore, as John had at her emotion in parting 
with Gerald Staunton. But Miss Hope was pru- 
dent; she shortened her visit and went to 
Hastings, where her mother had recently taken 
up her abode, although it was not nearly so con- 
venient for the business she had to do, and then 
entered on her new situation with a determina- 
tion to be very careful of her heart. 

It was not so good a situation in any respect 

110 THE author's daughter. 

as the one she had left, but she gave perfect satis- 
fiskctioiL Here she met with Mr. Hammond, who 
was going out to Australia, with what was a 
flonall capital in England, but which in the infant 
days of Adelaide was a very handsome sum to 
begin upon. He had not very much idea of 
colonial life, and had a notion that there were few 
women and no ladies there. He admired Miss 
Hope's beauty, her style, and her accomplish- 
ments ; and he thought her a very clever, clear- 
headed sensible woman, who would make a good 
wife for a colonist ; so he proposed and was ac- 
cepted. He had at first fancied that he had 
demeaned himself a little by offering his hand to 
a governess, and expected she should feel very 
grateful and a little surprised ; but no sooner was 
he engaged than she made him feel her superiority, 
though not uncomfortably, and after his marriage 
he rested in the conviction that Mrs. Hammond 
was the cleverest woman in the world, and was 
capable of taking any place in society that she 
chose. She talked of aristocratic circles in which 
she had mixed with confidence and fluency, 
and in the remote regions of South Australia 
her really well-acquired accomplishments, her 
excellent style of dress, her accurate language, 
her devet well-written notes, and her perfect self- 
possession, fixed her at once as la crime de la 


crime, at the very top rank of colonial aristo- 

The term squatter, which has so low and mean 
a sound to English ears, is quite euphonious and 
aristocratic in Australia; and when Mr. Ham- 
mond invested his capital in sheep and settled on 
the crown lands of South Australia, he took a 
position equal to that of the best professional 
men or leading merchants in the colony, and one 
more likely to lead to fortime, in those days at 
least. There are exceptions, as in the case of 
self-made men like Hugh Lindsay, but the bulk 
of our sheepfarmers consist of people who 
brought capital into the colony, and they hold up 
their heads accordingly. 

In aU Mr. Hammond's transactions, great and 
small, he always asked his wife's advice, and al- 
ways took it ; and as her judgment was excellent 
she really helped him on. Everything prospered 
with them ; his runs were in the choicest locali- 
ties, his sheep improved rapidly in wool-bearing 
qualities, his overseers were always trustworthy, 
his expenses were moderate. When he was 
forced to buy land it always happened that he 
had the means of paying for it, and that it was 
the best thing possible for him to purchase and 
enclose at that particular time; though every 
time the hundreds were declared he felt aggrieved 

112 THE author's daughter. 

and said the Oovemment did not do justice tc^ 
the squatters. Mr. Hammond certainly was a 
little extravagant about horses, buthis wife allowed 
it, because she thought he could afford it, and gen- 
tlemen must have some hobby or other. It was the 
only matter in which his judgment was superior to 
hers, and as he had got a name for keeping excel- 
lent stock he did not lose much even on that. 

Mrs. Hammond was therefore going steadily 
up. If 8he married her husband without any ab- 
sorbing attachment, she had a large stock of pru- 
dence, and she made the very best of all the ele- 
ments of her life. She was passionately fond of her 
children, and so was Mr. Hammond ; indeed they 
werefonderof their children than they were of each 
other. It was the strongest tie between them — 
much stronger than the tie of mutual interest Miss 
Hope had not told her lover of her first attach- 
ment ; it could do no good and was quite imneces- 
sary. There were so many mortifying circum- 
stances connected with it that she preferred to 
keep silence on the whole affair, and begin her 
new life in a new country with every advantage. 
She might have been happier, and of course she 
would have been of more importance as Mrs. 
Derrick than as Mrs. Hammond, but on the 
whole she was very comfortable and had much 
in her power. She had been able to assist her 

LADY Eveline's second 113 

mother materially through Mr. Hammond's 
liberality, and in due time she would take her 
children to England and give them all the advan- 
tages that money could obtain. 

Although the Derricks and Lady Eveline had 
lost sight of Miss Hope, only hearing that she 
had married and gone to one of the colonies, she 
had been kept, for a few years at least, well in- 
formed as to the affairs of the family by her 
mother, who had formed an acquaintance with a 
poor relation of the Derricks, who was a neigh- 
bour of hers at Hastings. Mrs. Hammond still 
felt a keen interest in the most important and 
wealthiest people whom she had known, and 
from whom she had hoped and suffered so much. 
She therefore heard that John Derrick died at 
the age of thirty, leaving a widow and two 
children. She was sure that if Gerald Staunton 
returned from Sienna Leone alive, in spite of the 
most stringent marriage settlements by which 
her fortune would be reduced to a mere nothing 
if she married again. Lady Eveline would give 
her hand to the old love ; but Mrs. Hammond 
was nearly as much surprised as other people to 
hear that this union took place eight or nine 
months after John Derrick's death. She had 
looked for some idea of decorum and propriety 
from a lady of rank ; some regard to her position, 

VOL. I. 8 

114 THE author's daughter. 

to her reputation, and some consideration for her 
poor children whom she left to the care of their 
father's relatives ; some pity for her mother, 
whose prospects were so materially altered by the 
second marriage ; but Lady Eveline had shown 
none ; she had married Gerald Staunton with this 
indecent haste, and had also injured most mate- 
rially the prospects of the man she loved by the 
folly and impropriety of which she had been 

But Lady Eveline, with her ill-regulated con- 
science, had one remorse hanging heavy upon 
her. She felt deep compunction for having 
married one man when she so entirely loved 
another. This is the greatest sin a woman can 
commit, but it is the man whom she marries 
without love who is most wronged, and not the 
man she gives up. The latter may find some 
compensation in a new attachment; his grief 
may be bitter at the time, but it is susceptible of 
various consolations; whereas the former is 
chained for life, and cannot go elsewhere for 
domestic happiness. But Eveline did not see 
that she had been guilty with regard to her 
husband; she thought he might have known 
how little affection she felt, and might have 
withdrawn ; she had never told him that he had 
her heart; and as all he wanted was a noble 

LADY Eveline's second marriage. 115 

alliance, he had no right to be disappointed and 
angry because he got nothing more. It was his 
own vanity and jealousy and selfishness that had 
wrought his own unhappiness. She did not 
think he could have appreciated her love if she 
had given it to him ; but Gerald Staunton — ^who 
deserved everything and had received nothing — 
whom she thought of so constantly, who h«ld 
been banished from England, and sent to die in 
that pestiferous climate, all on her account ; his 
prospects bUghted, his usefubiess destroyed, his 
talents wasted, all because slie had not had the 
courage and the honesty to break through her 
detested engagement and betroth herself to him 
for any length of time, or live with him in the 
humblest circumstances; — Gerald Staunton she 
had grievously wronged. It appeared to her 
now, looking back on the past, as if it had been 
the easiest thing in the world to do— so much 
easier than the miserable life she had endured so 
long. The one thing she had not had — ^love — 
assumed an importance in her eyes greater than 
it deserved ; all her reading and all her thinking 
fostered the idea that it was the only thing 
worth living for, and that without it all pleasures 
were like apples of Sodom that turned to dust 
and ashes between the teeth. 

When on a visit to her aunt. Lady Gower, she 


116 THE author's daughter. 

heard one day from an acquaintance that Gerald 
Staunton had returned from Sienna Leone dying, 
as might have been expected after so many years 
of that deadly climate. She could not control 
her emotion till her informant withdrew. She 
ordered her carriage without delay, and hastened 
to his lodgings to see him before he died and to 
implore liis forgiveness. Very pale she looked in 
her widow's weeds; very agitated and tearful. 
Gerald, who was not actually dying but very 
dangerously ill, was very nearly frightened into 
his grave by the sudden apparition, which im- 
plored his forgiveness for all the mischief and 
injury she had caused him. So far as he could 
understand the wrong he had suffered, he forgave 
the suppliant; but his mind wandered often, and 
he could scarcely recognise her, and when he did, 
it was as Lady Eveline of Gower's Court, and not 
Lady Eveline Derrick. She would m-i leave him 
in this critical state; she was determined to 
remain as his nurse till he died or till he re- 
covered. What were mother or cliildren or even 
reputation to her now compared to him ? She 
was his now, if he would accept of her, or his if 
he would wait for her if he survived ; if he died, 
she would die with him. Everything was for- 
gotten except that she loved him and that he 
loved her. 


Under these circumstances, Gerald Staunton 
only waited till he was out of danger to marry 
Lady Eveline Derrick. The Dowager Countess 
was hotly angry, her husband's relations coldly 
and implacably indignant, and her children were 
told never to speak of the mother whom they 
never saw again. None of her friends or ac- 
quaintances could countenance Lady Eveline 
after the terrible indecorum of which she had 
been guilty, and Gerald Staunton's only sister 
was as angry at what had taken place as Lady 
Gower was. Her brother might have done so 
much better; the connection would ruin him, 
and so in a pecuniary point of view it did. 

He obtained employment at some drudging 
literary work. Lady Eveline dropped her title, 
and dropped very soon out of the remembrance 
of society. As her father was no longer the 
Earl, the book of the peerage was cleared of her 
name, and she lived obscurely in a quiet street in 
London, and tried the reverse of the picture, 
where there was little but love to brighten her 

Gerald might have regretted the relinquish- 
ment of his ambitious hopes and the nameless 
career that circumstances had hurried liim into, 
but he was too generous ev^r to reproach his 
wife with it. 

118 THE author's daughter. 

He felt the charm of the devoted love, the 
simple child-like confidence of that impulsive 
nature; he reposed in it and resolved to be 
satisfied with it. They very rarely spoke of the 
time that had passed between their parting and 
their meeting, and Eveline tried to forget that 
she had had another husband, or that she' had 
other children than those of Gerald Staunton. 
How differently did maternity, with its pains^ 
its pleasures, and its duties, appear to Eveline 
now! What solicitude and watchfulness, and 
love, and pride, did her children call forth ! Amy 
was the eldest of their four children, and was 
always strong and healthy, but the three boys 
bom subsequently were very delicate. 

Years of watchful care and all the best advice 
that could be procured could not save them; 
they all died at about the same age. After the 
death of her boys, Eveline's face assumed that 
strange far-looking expression peculiar to be- 
reaved mothers; her health too began to give 
way, and her husband grew alarmed about 
her. When her medical attendant prescribed a 
voyage to Madeira and a winter's residence there, 
Gerald threw up his employment and accom- 
panied her and his little girl. 

His family had been a very expensive one, but 
he would neglect nothing that would give 


Eveline a chance of life, and a change of climate 
without him could do no good. 

But the sacrifice was unavailing; — Lady 
Eveline did not get better, and she longed to 
return to England, to be buried beside her boys. 
That desire was gratified ; she lived through the 
voyage, and a month or two afterwards. Her 
anxiety about her little girl and her husband 
was very great ; she spoke a little to the girl of 
her past life, gave her some advice which the 
child could scarcely understand, but the words of 
which she begged her to recollect ; and enjoined 
her especially to take good care of her poor papa 
when she was gone. This advice Amy could 
comprehend, and she resolved to act on it ; but 
she scarcely understood the far-looking intense 
way in which her mother gazed on her father. 
Did she suspect what was unknown to Gerald 
himself, that he was so soon to follow her to the 
Silent Land ? 

It was not many months after Eveline's death 
that Gerald Staunton, not feeling very well, but 
by no means alarmed about himself, went to 
consult the excellent physician who had attended 
his wife, and from him received that terrible 
sentence of death w;hich is so appalling when 
dear ones are dependent on your exertions. 

There was no hope, but there might be delay. 

120 THE author's daughter. 

A wanner climate, an easier life, and great care 
might prolong his life for several years. He now 
i^gretted the great seclusion in which they had 
lived, for in case of his death Amy would be 
friendless. The non-acknowledgment of his 
letters, announcing Lady Eveline's death to 
Mr. Derrick and her children, which he had 
felt at the time to be a discourtesy, was now 
a serious misfortime. The Countess-Dowager 
was dead ; the Derricks were all estranged ; his 
sister, Mrs. Evans, had never visited him during 
his wife's lifetime, and had come to see him once 
after her death to shew him that she had no 
quarrel with him, but that she had decidedly 
objected to have any intercourse with her. She 
had a large family and no great income, and she 
did not seem to take to Amy at all, so that she 
was not to be depended upon. With his pub- 
lisher he had had only business relations, and 
his little work on Madeira, which he had tried 
to persuade Eveline would pay all their expenses, 
had not taken and did not sell. Gerald hesitated 
a long time as to which of two courses to 
pursue : — ^whether to make submission for Amy's 
sake to the Derricks, or to try, as his last chance 
to prolong his life, to leave England for Australia, 
where he was to act very differently from hereto- 
fore: where he must be sociable, brilliant, and 

LADY Eveline's second marriage. 121 

agreeable, where above all things he must en- 
deavour to win friends for his child, who might 
be kind to her in case of his death. He was at 
the same time to try and complete her education, 
so that she might be able to earn her own liveli- 
hood. She was an intelligent, a docile, and a 
pretty child, and the idea of taking her with liim 
to the antipodes was pleasanter than that of 
begging the Derricks to have compassion on her. 

His residence at Sierra Leone had made life 
assurance impossible but at a rate so enonnous 
that it was a very bad investment, and now of 
course his life was absolutely worth nothing in 
that way ; but Dr. Hudson had assured him that 
at his age and with his habits he might live very 
probably for six or eight years in Australia, and 
he had no doubt that in one of the thriving 
capitals of the colonies he could easily get a 
situation of light work sufficient for the neces- 
sities of his now small family. Amy had no 
objection to make; the place she lived in was 
quite indiflerent to her, provided only her father 
was with her, and he got so much stronger on 
the voyage that his spirits were better than they 
had been since Eveline's death. 

But he did not make friends among the pas- 
sengers, who were not numerous and were not 
pleasant. There is no place where disagreeable 

122 THE author's daughter. 

people can make themselves so obnoxious as on a 
long voyage. When they arrived at Melbourne 
he found that it was rather overdone at the 
time with educated gentlemen, and that obtain- 
ing the sort of employment he wanted was no 
easy matter. 

A ready writer is always sure to be able to 
make a living in England, though it may not be 
a luxurious one. But it is putting the roimd 
man into the square hole to bring a man with a 
special literary talent, like Gerald Staimton's, for 
careful criticism, and light essays, and philological 
research, into a bustling city like that of Mel- 
bourne. It is only on the staff of a newspaper 
that any one can gain a certain income, great or 
small, as the case may be, by literary work. 
Dr. Hudson had absolutely prohibited any night- 
work, and besides Gerald was totally ignorant of 
colonial politics and colonial life, and it would 
take him months to learn. He grew nervous as 
week after week his slender resources diminished, 
and there was no nearer prospect of success. The 
very youth, and life, and hurry of Melbourne 
dispirited and stunned the old Palladium critic, 
and when he was told that Adelaide was a 
quieter and slower place, it occurred to him that 
he might be more easily suited there. When he 
had arrived the literary world was still more 


hopeless for him than that of Melbourne, and he 
returned from vain enquiries more dispirited than 

Amy suggested that if he could not get em- 
plbjnnent as a writer he might as a teacher, 
because he knew so much, and was so pleasant 
to learn from. The idea was new to him and he 
acted upon it at once. His advertisement in the 
Adelaide newspapers attracted Mr. Hammond's 
eye, and the engagement had been made without 
delay. Mr. Hammond had been so prepossessed 
with Amy's manners and appearance that it had 
determined Staunton to accept a situation where 
he might make friends for his darling child. 
But it so happened that no friend was made in 
that quarter. Mrs. Hammond's heart had been 
hardened to her by a long course of events and 
feelings in her own life, and Amy's strong re- 
semblance to her mother awoke the old dislike 
and jealousy; — so that Amy Staunton, the grand- 
daughter of an Earl, the sister of the heir to a 
splendid fortune, was left in the bush of South 
Australia with no better or more powerful friends 
than worthy Hugh Lindsay and his wife and 
family, who were very much disposed to be kind 
to her, and to train her to be of some use to 



Although AJlan Lindsay had been fully aware 
of his own ignorance, he had little or no idea of 
the extent and ramifications of the knowledge 
which he desired so much to acquire ; and if he 
had been left at sea with the books alone which 
poor Gerald Staunton had brought from England, 
and for which he put up shelves lovingly as if 
they had been living things, he might in his am- 
bition to learn everything have missed his aim, 
and at all events have learned nothing thoroughly 
or methodically. But yoimg and inexperienced 
as his little teacher was, she gave good advice and 
good assistance to her friend Allan, whose re- 
markable powers surprised Amy as much as his 
remarkable ignorance. It was not at first she 
perceived his genius, for it was not a brilliant 
one ; it was not quick or ready like her father's ; 
his verbal memory was deficient, and that in the 


outset of education is the first quality that strikes 
a teacher ; but as Allan began to feel his way and 
get holding ground, when he had once seen why 
a rule was given, or a principle laid down, his 
clear logical mind led him further in its applica- 
tion than his teacher could follow him. Tliere 
was of course for a long time, along with this 
comprehensive view of the bearings of a subject, 
great ignorance of its details, but Amy felt that 
her education had not stopped abruptly as she 
had feared, for this constant reference to hei: 
opinion and authority of a mind older and more 
powerful than her own, carried her back to old 
lessons which she might have forgotten, and at 
the same time foi'ward in a direction into which 
few school girls ai*e ever led, and towards subjects 
to which her father might not have called her 
attention. Jessie Lindsay, too, was desirous of 
learning something, but a little would satisfy 
her; she knew she was too old to be made a 
scholar of, and besides she had not time to give to 

It was at first only an hour or two in the 
evening, after the day's work was over, that Allan 
could devote to make up for lost time, and he was 
so necessary to his father that if he did try to 
snatch a little leisure during the day, the old man 
would call for him and make him leave off. The 

126 THE author's daughter. 

more he sounded the depths of his ignorance and 
the greater the heights which Allan had a glimpse 
of far above him, the sadder were his regrets at 
the lost years, and the poor scraps and edges of 
his days that he could now give. At first his 
progress was slow, and he felt depressed rather 
than exhilarated. 

" Dear me ! Allan, my man," said his mother to 
him one day, " I thought all this work wi* books 
was to make ye as happy as a king, but for a' the 
lot that yeVe got, and a' the pains and patience 
Amy takes wi' ye, there seems to be mair gloom on 
your brow than I e'er saw wi' the hardest day's 
work ye ever did. It's no behaving weel to Amy, 
poor thing, that's doing the best she can for you, 
to be so dissatisfied. If the Almighty has na 
^ven you the capacity for books that he has for 
other things, it behoves you to be satisfied with 
your gifts, an no to try to gar water run up hill." 

" But I can't be satisfied, mother," said Allan ; 
*' not till I try harder, at any rate. I ought to 
understand this." 

" 'Deed, Allan, I think ye are just trying to 
learn owre muckle, and what gangs in at ae lug 
just gangs out at the other. It was all very weel 
for Mr. Staunton, poor man, that had his bread to 
get by it, and poor bread I doubt it was, to learn 
this, that, and the other, but for you who'll have 


a bonnie bit of property, and ken wool how to 
make the best o't, I see no occasion for ye to fash 
your thumb with by-ordinar learning. If ye can 
read your Bible and the papers, and have a good 
hand o' write, and can cast accounts so a« to keep 
you from either cheating or being cheated, it is 
just as much as can be expected o' you wi' your 

" But, Mrs. Lindsay," said Amy, who entered 
the room at the moment, " why should Allan be 
inferior in these things to his brothers who are 
now at school ? " 

" He'll never be inferior," said the mother. " No, 
Allan has the best headpiece of the lot of them, 
and is no to be left behind the hand; but I was 
just saying, that it does not need much book 
learning to farm the land and mind the stock 
and sheep, and there's a hantle things that were 
very befitting to a gentleman and real scholar 
like your father, that it would be mair fash than 
profit for Allan to learn, wi' his father needing 
him at every turn for his help and his counsel." 

" But, mother, will not my help and my counsel 
be of more worth to my father the more I know?" 
said Allan. 

" No doubt, no doubt," said the mother, but 
she said it doubtfully, " that would depend on 
whatna' kind of things they are, but there seems 

128 THE author's daughter. 

to me to be some things that further a man^ 
and some things that hinder a man, and whether 
Jessie's in the right o* the matter or no, she looks 
blither and mair contented than you." 

" Well, mother, I am not discontented either, 
but I cannot be quite contented to have the 
headpiece Mdthout the furniture inside, and I 
fancy that all sorts of knowledge would fui'ther 


" May be youVe right, Allan, but I would not 
have you educated above your station." 

" But what is my station, and what may not 
my station be ten years hence, that you fear my 
knowing too much ?" said Allan. 

" That's very true, Allan, there's no saying 
what you may attain to. But all I was saying is, 
that you're no such good company in the even- 
ings as you used to be, and your father was saying 
ye were no' sae helpful to him, which is a pity, 
and I thought that if ye aimed at less ye micht 
prosper better." 

" I thought your proverb was ' If ye mint [aim] 
at a gowTi o' gowd ye'll aye get a sleeve o't,' " 
said Allan rather sadly, and the conversation 

Although the old people were exceedingly 
anxious in theory that Allan should have a chance 
of making up his lee- way, he had been so long 


the most useful person at home, and his services 
in various ways were so indispensable, that prac- 
tically he was hindered by them, and it was from 
trying to do too much in too little time that the 
disappointment arose. Amy felt sure that if her 
father had been the teacher, he could have suc- 
ceeded better; and probably he would, for he 
would have had more authority with the parents, 
and would have perceived the difficulty. There 
was one in the household, however, who perceived 
it, and who endeavoured to remedy it to the best 
of his powers. This was George Copeland, who 
had not been much longer at Branxholm than 
Amy, but who was a man of a superior order to 
any about the place. At first he had been rather 
careless and indifferent as to whether he pleased 
Hugh Lindsay or not, but he was naturally good- 
natured and good-tempered, and had a pleasant 
manner. But after the arrival of little Amy 
Staunton, and the kindness shown to her by the 
family, George seemed, as Hugh Lindsay said, to 
take hold of his place, and to work with more 
than eye-service. He was clever too, and handy, 
and in a roving life of ten years over the colonies, 
the intelligent young Englishman had learned 
things which neither the versatile Pat nor the 
stolid Donald were ever likely to learn in all their 
lives ; and instead of sending him out with 
VOL. I. 9 

he was offering advice, he contrived to impress | 

the master with the idea that he must give Allan 

his head, and neither fret nor curb him. The 

object for which Allan was working now was a 

good one, and he had sense enough to be trusted 

to view it in his own way. 

Allan was grateful to (Jeorge Copeland for his 
timely and judicious aid, and when light began 
to shine out of darkness, when he too began to 
take hold of the work now before him, and he 
felt the thread that would lead him through the 
labyrinth of words and phrases to the facts, and 
the ideas, and the principles beyond, his face 
grew cheerful and he was as social and pleasant 
as before. 

It was at the time of the midwinter holidays; the 
girls and the boys at school had petitioned to spend 
them at home, for it was miserable being at school 
from Christmas to Christmas, and they were all 
eager to see the girl whom their father and mother 
had taken home ; so they were allowed to come 


home, in spite of the baxi roads and the broken 
weather. There was more to come than the 
young people, for the girls had persuaded their 
father to get a piano to set in the best parlour, 
and to commission their music teacher to choose 
it, because they had gone so fer ba<5k in their 
music last holiday that it had taken them all 
the first quarter to make it up; and besides, 
as Amy was fond of music, Allan had urged 
the purchase on her account. He was anxious 
to make her new life as pleasant for her as he 
could, and owed her something for her patience 
with him. 

When Isabel and Phemie, fresh from boarding- 
school, questioned Amy as to what she had 
learned and what she could do, they were 
astonished to find that she was, as they said, 
"further on," than any girl at the school, and 
indeed might be further on than Miss Effingham 
herself. They looked at her books with wonder 
and awe, and listened to her performances on the 
new piano with delight. And as the time drew 
nearer for their return to school, a bright thought 
struck Isabel, that since Amy was so clever, why 
should they go to Adelaide at- all ? Could she 
not teach them at home ? And they plied their 
mother to make their father agree to this delight- 
ful arrangement^ which would leave them at 


132 THE author's daughter. 

liberty to ride about the country and enjoy all 
the pleasures of home while they were learning. 

" Nae doot," said Mrs. Lindsay, " she's got the 
skill and the wit, and as for the piano, the way 
she makes the lifeless thing speak is just aatonish- 
ing ; but I misdoot ye'll no mind a wee body like 
her that Isabel could mak' twa o,' after the first 
novelty o' the thing is worn oflF." 

" But Allan is bigger than we are, and he minds 
what she says, mother," said Isabel 

" Oh ! but ye hae na Allan's sense or discretion," 
said Mrs. Lindsay, " and there's none of ye sae 
keen for learning as he is, an' it would be hard on 
Amy, poor lassie, to gie her sic a pair o' gilpies to 

" Oh ! but we've asked her, and she said she 
would like it, and I am sure it costs father a lot 
of money to keep us at the school." 

" That's true, but we didna tak' Amy to Branx- 
holm to mak' a profit of her. Na, that might 
befit the like of Mrs. Hammond, but it's no our 

" But we don't like the school, mother," said 

" I'm thinking that's the plain English of it," 
said Mrs. Lindsay. 

" I'm sure there's no need for us being kept so 
strict and never allowed to go out anywhere but 


for a walk with the governess, and then we know 
nobody in the town but uncle Robert and our 
cousins, and Miss Eflingham won't allow us to 
go there half as often as we like, because she says 
we come home with more vulgar ways than be- 
fore we went." 

"Vulgar indeed!" said Mrs. Lindsay. "It 
doesna do to try to make gentlefolks of the like 
of you, if you're to be taught to look down on 
them as ought you. He's no more vulgar than 
yoiu* father, and that Miss Efl^gham kent richt 
weel when she took the both of you." 

" Oh ! but Uncle Robert lives in Adelaide, and 
you live out in the coimtry ever so far, and that 
makes a diflFerence. Oh ! yes, we are bush girls, 
and of course we are set among the little ones in 
the classes, and we are sneered at if we speak 
about our father and mother, for it's papa and 
mamma with all the others. Oh, mother !" con- 
tinued Isabel with a sigh, " it is hard work trying 
to be a lady. You're no to do this, and you're no 
to say that, and you're no to sit in this fashion, 
and no to walk that gait. Phemie and me have a 
constant 'Don't do that. Miss Lindsay,' 'Don't 
express yourself thus. Miss Euphemia,' and so on 
from morning to night." 

" And what the better will we be of it all V 
remonstrated Phemie, "not a bit. I'd like to 

134 THE author's daughter. 

speak better nor I do, and to know the meaning* 
of words and how to spell them, and to have some 
notion about places, and to play on the piano ; 
but as for the airs, and graces, and carriage that 
Miss Effingham is always dinning into our ears, I 
see no good in them." 

"Airsaad gra<^ for you to ride in a carriage 
in !" exclaimed Mrs. Lindsay. " Indeed its sma* 
thanks Miss Effingham will get from me if that 
is what she airts at. I'll speak to your father 
about it this very day, and if he thinks weel o' 
your notion, and Amy is willing to try, we might 
have you learnt something without the airs and 
graces. But I'll see what Allan says first, before 
I break it to the good man," said Mrs. Lindsay, 
Mdth her instinctive respect for the judgment of 
her eldest son, who, besides, was most likely to 
know Amy's real feelings on the subject. 

Allan hesitated ; he thought, like his mother, 
that it was taking advantage of Amy to give her 
so many pupils. But he now saw his way and 
hoped to be less troublesome to her, and there 
was no doubt she could teach them, as well as 
they had hitherto been taught, and he knew 
she wished to make the attempt. 

Hugh Lindsay was willing to do what his 
wife and Allan thought feasible, and it was settled 
that Amy was to be asked to undertake the duties. 


" I am so young," said she ; " I wonder you can 
trust me ; but as I want to learn to teach so that 
I may be independent, I am very glad you will 
try me." 

" And it will be a great saving to me if you 
succeed wi' the lassies," said Hugh Lindsay, " an* 
a pleasure to them besides. And if ye can give 
them your skill at the piano or the half o*t, its 
more than we ever expected of the schoolmistress 
in the town." 

" There's mony things that it seems to behove 
young folk to learn now-a-days, that was never 
thocht of when their father and me were at the 
schule. There was the reading and the writing, 
and a sma' matter o' counting, and the questions 
we learned; — but what wi' the piano, and the 
geography, and the grammar, and a wheen things 
they call roots, that are a sair fash to the brains to 
learn a' on the top o' the plain branches, I*m 
thinking ye'll have your hands full. Amy, my 
woman. They're no to call downright stupid, but 
they are no sae quick in the uptak as Allan," 
said Mrs. Lindsay. 

" I should really like to try," said Amy. " It 
will be a beginning for that work my poor father 
thought I might in time be able to do." 

" And if they're fashions and dinna mind ye, 
you maun just call in Allan, for they'll aye mind 

186 THE author's daughter. 

him," said Mrs. Lindsay. " And as for what ye 
Bay about learning to teach and being independent, 
you're no to think that when we took you, we 
didna tak' you for good an a'. As I said to Mrs. 
Hammond, the pot that boils for eight may weel 
boil for nine, and if it boik owre, as our pot does, 
for as the Psabnist says, our cup of prosperity 
overflows, it will be for your behoof as weel as 
for Jessie's, and Isabel's, and Phemie's. Ye shall 
have your dwelling with us and your providing 
just as if you were ane of our ain, when ye see 
fit to leave us for a house of your ain, but let 
there be nae seeking o' service among fremmet 
folk. When your aunt — Mrs. Evans do they call 
her ? — ^wrote that she was glad you had met wi' 
sick kindness in a foreign country, and never 
made the offer to tak' you hame, the goodman 
and me felt that you were given up fairly to us, 
and we will deal fairly by you. So if you find 
the lassies owre troublesome a'thegither, just say 
so, an' ye'll no be burdened wi' them ony longer, 
and they'll go back to the schule." 

This threat had its effect ; the girls knew their 
mother would act on it, and they worked very 
feirly under their young teacher. 

It was easier, however, for Mr. and Mrs. Lind- 
say to do large and generous things than to change 
family arrangements or old habits out of considera- 


tion for their young guest. It was many months 
before Allan could prevail on them to have their 
meals in the second parlour, which was certainly 
the proper dining-room, but wliich was made the 
sitting-parlour in order that the best room might 
be always kept in order. He suggested that Amy 
had not been used to associate with such people as 
themselves, and still less with such as their ser- 
vants, and the girls from town seconded his request 
that there should be a separation ; but as Mrs. 
Lindsay and Jessie said, they did not take any of 
the trouble, and it was a convenience to have all 
the confusion of the meals in the kitchen — Jessie 
in particular objected to any innovation ; she felt 
like the ladies of old Saxon time, and liked to be 
the dispenser of food to the establishment ; and 
though her father did not make so much objec- 
tion to the change, she was sure that he would 
miss the opportunity of talking over what had 
been done and planning what was to be done next, 
with both Allan and George. 

It was on one occasion when Amy had observed 
George's thoughtfulness and consideration for 
AUan that he asked her if she would mind 
including Copeland with the family, for certainly 
he was superior in every way to the other ser- 
vants and chance travellers, and it might remove 
some of the difficulties. Amy liked George and 

138 THE author's daughter. 

agreed to that modification of the plan, so Allan 
brought forward his proposal again with this 
difference, and found that there was no objection 
raised by any one. George took his place naturally 
where he could be most useful, and in little thinga 
he was more attentive than Allan, and had more 
of the forms of poUteness. 

The Hammonds heard a good deal from various 
sources about the guest they had rejected. Their 
friend, Mr. Lufton, who lived about thirty miles 
beyond Aralewin, used sometimes to call at the 
Lindsays*, and was enthusiastic about the pretti- 
ness and the cleverness of the young stranger. 
Mr. Troubridge, whose wife was a great reader, 
and who, knowing something of the name and 
reputation of Gerald Staimton, was very sorry 
indeed that she had not had the chance of be- 
firiending his orphan, used to prose in Mrs. Ham- 
mond's own drawing-room about the mistake she 
had made, and wonder why she did not try to 
retrieve it by going to the girl and offering her a 
home now, for no doubt she would be very glad 
to escape from those rough, unpolished people, to 
a more refined society. What was worse, Mrs. 
Hammond's own boys, who had always liked to 
go to Branxholm when they had a chance, were 
still fonder of going now, and her eldest, Louis, 
was constantly regretting the imtimely death of 


Mr. Staunton^ the more especially as Amy was. 
such a dear little creature, and it would have 
been so delightful to have had her at home. 

Mrs. Hammond knew that Amy had written to 
her father's sister, and she buoyed herself up with 
the conviction that Mrs. Evans must send for her, 
and then there would be an end of all this ; so aa 
soon as there was the needful time allowed for 
the receipt of an answer, she reminded Mr. Ham- 
mond that it was probable the child would be 
written for, and he very willingly rode across to 
enquire. He, too, was desirous that Amy should 
be removed from the immediate neighbourhood, 
and felt convinced by his wife's strong impres- 
sion, that, whatever Amy's mother might have 
been, her father's sister, whom he knew to be the 
wife of an English rector in the country, would 
see it to be her duty to take care of his orphan. 

But the letter was as unsatisfactory as possible. 
Even though the family of Lindsays were pleased 
to think that Amy was not going away, they 
were very indignant at the spirit and tone of the 
letter. After expressing her sorrow at her bro- 
ther's sudden death, and her cautious hopes that 
he was prepared for the momentous change, Mrs. 
Evans glanced at the unfeeling conduct of the 
family, on whom her brother had some claim, and 
then praised in the most glowing terms the gene- 

140 THE author's daughter. 

rous conduct of the Lindsays. She had never in 
her life heard of such goodness to an absolute 
stranger ; she hoped Amy would be grateful to 
those who had thus made a home for her and 
spread a table for her in the wilderness, and 
would also thank a Higher Power which had in- 
spired such kindness, for without Him there is jao 
good thing done or even thought. Mrs. Evans 
was also glad to hear that these excellent people 
were in easy circumstances, and hoped and prayed 
that their kindness might be returned to them 
fourfold ; she trusted that Amy would accommo- 
date herself to her new circumstances, and not 
give way to selfish sorrow for those who were 
beyond her aid or her prayers, but would dili- 
gently try to do her duty in this world, and to 
prepare her heart for the next. She then went 
into some family details with regard to her hus- 
band and her children, mentioned them all by 
name, and told their ages, as if to show that she 
felt like an aunt ; and to make up for all omis- 
sions of interest in Amy's affairs by trying to in- 
terest Amy in her own; sent kindest regards to 
the Lindsays, and especially to that dear Mrs. 
Lindsay, who had been so like a mother to her 
orphan niece, and ended her letter with a sort of 

Amy had hoped for something from her aunt. 


after she had written to her. She recollected 
that her father was Mrs. Evans's only brother, 
and that it was with her mother that there waa 
the quarrel, if any ; that she had seemed grieved 
at parting from her father, and had cried a good 
deal ; but this letter, so cold and pharisaical, was 
a disappointment to her. Allan, who had brought 
it, had looked earnestly at her while she read. 
He feared some evil, and held his breath. 

" Read it, Allan," said she, when she had come 
to the end of it, " and give your mother Mrs. 
Evans's message." All that she had lost came up 
before her. The old wound of the death of the 
best loved one was ripped up afresh, after months, 
by this cold letter of condolence ; the half-hopes, 
she had formed that she might be taken back to 
English civilization, to the society of those who 
were allied to her in blood, and probably also 
of congenial tastes and manners, were rudely 
snapped ; there was really no life for her but 
this ; she must bend her nature to it, and be very 
grateful, as Mrs. Evans said. 

" Amy," said Allan, indignantly, " if she is such 
a woman, how thankful you should be that you 
are here ! Don't distress yourself about such 
empty rubbish, such contemptible hypocritical 
twaddle as this. Will you let me read it to my 
mother? She will not appreciate the message 

142 THE author's daughter. 

unless she understands something of the kind of 
woman that sends it. You will let me read it to 

Feelings of kinship were strong with the Lind- 
tgays, and there had been a rather imeasy fear in 
Allan's mind that his little teacher would leave 
him ; for her father's sister — b, minister's wife — 
would be boimd to send for her. 

When Allan went into the garden (where his 
mother was giving George some directions about 
ihe vegetable beds that he was laying out) with 
Amy's open letter in his hand^ she stopped short 
in a most important sentence, and turned to meet 

" She's no to gang, I hope," said she, eagerly. 

" No, it's good news for us, mother, but Amy's 
a little downcast. She says I may read you the 
letter. It's a good plain hand, and that's the best 
that can be said of it. Now don't say a word 
till I come to the end, for there's a message for 
you," and Allan read it right through. 

" Dear Mrs. Lindsay ! — ^that dear Mrs. Lindsay. 
Well, that beats a' I ever heard in my life. I 
think Amy, poor thing, has been the means of 
showing us the hollowness of things we are used 
to hold in high esteem, for if Mrs. Hammond 
made me sick of gentility, this is like to make 
one ashamed of a profession o' religion. No a 


word o* kindness to the bit desolate oi-phan ; no 
an offer that if she was na comfortable wi' the 
like o' us, that she would do a kinswoman's part 
by her ; no a question aboot what sort o' life she 
led, or if she saw her way to anything better ; 
but exhortations to her to be grateful, and a lang 
story aboot her ain bairns and her ain goodman. 
Grateful to us for what? 'Deed it's us that 
should be grateful, and so I would like to tell 
baith her and Mrs. Hammond. But ye say that 
Amy's downcast aboot it. Nae wonder ; sic pro- 
fessions and sic self-seeking are nae cheerful sub- 
jects to consider. But I'U tell her that we canna 
but rejoice that there's nane to take her away, 
for I'm sure it's nae empty words I mak use o' 
when I say she is like a bairn o' my ain, and your 
father is o' the same mind, though he says less 
aboot it." 

Amy had other letters by the mail ; one from 
• the proprietor of the Palladium, regretting the 
untimely death of her father, his good friend 
Gerald Staunton, praising his talents, and saying 
that the journal had missed him, and could see 
•no one to supply his place satisfactorily. From 
him Amy had expected nothing, and the well- 
turned phrases of regret and sympathy soothed 
her and comforted her. There was a longer letter 
from an old friend, an artist, into whose studio 

144 THE author's daughter. 

Amy had been often taken by her father — full 
of surprise, fuU of grief, fuU of wishes that he 
could do anything for her ; but he was poor, often 
in difficulties, and generally imprudent. K the 
bereavement had happened in England, Amy 
might have been asked to share his scrambling 
life, and divide his crust with him, but the dis- 
tance was an insuperable bar, and he could only 
express regretful pleasure that others were so 
much more able than himself to help her. She 
had not written to Mr. Hubbard, but Mr. Loder 
of the Palladium had told him of the sad catas- 
trophe, and though the artist hated writing, he 
could not help expressing his feelings and his 
sympathy with his dear friend Staunton's orphan. 
To the Derricks Amy had made no communication; 
there was a short postscript to her aimt's letter, 
which Amy had kept back, saying that perhaps 
it was as well she had not applied to them, as 
she had no claim on the old gentleman whatever, 
and it was likely that her brother and sister did 
not know of her existence. 

Mr. Hammond, therefore, was doomed to dis- 
appointment ; there had been no offer from Eng- 
land to give Amy a home. She was still to 
remain within five miles of them, a thorn in his 
wife's side, and a mortification to himself. Mrs. 
Hammond was sorry, and she said so, but yet 


sh3 did not wish she had acted otherwise. She 
could not have offered Amy a home when she 
felt such intense dislike and suspicion of her; 
when the tones of her voice, the changes of her 
countenance, the air and manners, all reminded 
her of one whom she had good reason to dislike 
and despise. She could not have done her duty 
by her. Amy Staunton was better situated with 
the Lindsays, and since her aunt would not take 
her, let her stay at Branxholm, whatever it might 
cost Mrs. Hammond, for the time could not be 
long now that the family would be kept in South 
Australia. Mr. Hammond was seeing his way 
now to returning to England himself for some 
years at least, and, as Mrs. Hammond fondly 
hoped, for life. 

She disliked the colony more now that she had 
lost prestige in the neighbourhood, and she di- 
rected all her influence with her husband towards 
such arrangements of his affairs as would enable 
him to leave the colony. 

VOL. L 10 



The prospect of going home to England was also 
agreeable to Mrs. Hammond, because it would 
put a stop to Louis' and Fred's frequent rides to 
Branxbolm, and prevent her marking herself 
odious bj laying her commands on them that 
they were to discontinue the practice. She dis- 
liked giving orders that she could not enforce, 
and she was very anxious to retain the love and 
confidence of her boys, so she put a constraint on 
herself and listened to what they said on their 
return from their visits without making much 
objection, lest they should get into the habit of 
going there and not telling her. But Amy 
Staimton was still a mere child, and no positive 
harm could be done yet It had been one of the 
contingencies that the mother had dreaded in 
case of receiving Amy as an inmate that one of 


her sons might become attached to her ; and the 
likelihood pressed itself more strongly on her, 
when she saw that Louis in particular was very 
full of her praises. 

One day when the boys had ridden across after 
school hours to ask Allan to show them how to 
shoe a horse, they were as usual invited to take 
tea. The coldness felt towards Mrs. Hammond 
was not extended to her sons, who were nice lads 
and had no airs, Mrs. Lindsay said. Amy was 
busy making a pretty net for Jessie's hair after 
the pattern of one of her own, which had been 
greatly admired, and Louis, wishing to show that 
he could do some things, though he was not quite 
so clever as Allan, said that he would like to help 
Miss Staunton with her work, as he had made 
fishing nets, and could do the stitch ever so fast. 
Amy's netting-needle, however, being of slender 
carved ivory was slighter than any that Louis 
had ever worked at, and the thread finer and more 
apt to go into knots, and in giving his work a 
hasty tug he snapped the needle into three pieces. 
He was sorry that his display of skiU had turned 
out so ill, and profuse in apologies for his awk- 
wardness, and in explanations of how he came to 
give the thread such a jerk ; but he would send 
to Adelaide for a netting-needle, and it should 
come out the very first opportimity. Allan saw 


148 THE author's daughter. 

how disappointed Amy looked and Jessie too, so 
he said he knew he could make another, not so 
fine or so pretty, but which might aoswer the 
purpose. He looked at the broken implement 
attentively, and went to get a piece of hard wood, 
for he had nothing else to make it of; and Amy 
put the fragments of her netting-needle and her 
work into the little case which she had for such 
things. It was one of her mother's, somewhat 
like the work-box, but instead of the coronet it 
had a coat of arms on the centre plate. Louis 
Hammond, who was at an awkward age and felt 
awkward ailer his performance with the netting- 
iieedle, began to admire the box. 

" Don't break that too," said she pleadingly. 

" It is so curious, is it not, George T said Louis 
to George Copeland, who had just come in for 

George looked at it attentively. " How strange, 
Miss Staunton, that you should have these arms 
on your box. Where in aU the world did you 
pick it up ? I know that crest as weU as I know 
the lion and the imicom — Lord Darlington's, it is." 

Amy coloured. How had George Copeland any 
knowledge of her mother's family, and how did 
he recognize the crest ? This was the only thing 
in her possession that was marked with the 
Darlington arms. 


" It was my mother's," said she quickly ; " I 
don't exactly know how she came by it, but I 
know she was some connection of the Darlingtons. 
You know that you claim relationship with Lord 
Lindsay of Balcarras, Jessie," continued Amy 

" I can't count it nor follow my mother when 
she coimts it," said Jessie. " But what do you 
know about this Lord Darlington, George ?" 

" My father's landlord had a son married to a 
daughter of the Earl of Darlington, and that's 
how I came to know the family and the crest. 
Mr. Anthony Derrick, that's Lord Darlington's 
grandson, is the heir to old Mr. Derrick, for Mr. 
John he died young, and it's likely he'll soon 
come in for the property ; for the old squire, is as 
old as my grandfather, and he died an old man of 
seventy-six, years ago." 

" Derrick ?" said Louis Hammond ; " I should 
know that name. They were surely friends of 
mamma's. I have heard mamma speak of them." 

"Oh! Mr. Derrick, the old squire, was well 
known far and near ; they called him the cotton 
lord, but that was before my father went to 
Stanmore estate that Mr. Derrick bought. The 
money was all made with spinning-jennies, and 
this lad, young Mr. Anthony, will get the most of 

150 THE author's daughter. 

it, for Mr. John was the only son. His grand- 
father sets great store by the boy." 

" I hope he is a good lad then," said Amy, in a 
low eager tone. 

" Good enough, I dare say, and quite able to 
spend a fortune. He's proud and high of course, 
seeing what he is bom to ; but his grandfather 
thinks nothing too good for him. It is a pity 
when old people set their hearts too much on 
boys. If my grandfather had seen what IVe 
come to, every hair on his grey head would have 
stood on end. Ne'er-do-weUs are best at a dis- 
tance, as Mrs. Lindsay would say. Tom and 
Charlie have turned out better than me, that's 
one comfort," said George, with something be- 
tween a sigh and a laugh. 

" You've not turned out ill," said Jessie Lindsay 
gravely. " My father is much pleased with you 
and so are we alL Why don't you write to your 
friends, you that can write so well ? I don't 
believe you have written once since you came 

" Oh ! I am a rolling stone," said Copeland. 
" I'll stay out my year here, where, as you say, I 
have got a good character ; and then I'll be off to 
get another, perhaps not so good. Does your 
father want a hand. Master Louis ?" 

"Yes, to go up the Darling to one of his 


stations there. I am very sure he would like 
you, for he was wondering who to send. I wish 
he would send me, instead of poking me with 
Mr. Prince over those detestable Latin and Greek 
lessons, and those beastly problems. Fred and I 
hate them like poison, and after a year of that 
we're to go to England, and Fred will be sent to 
Harrow, or Rugby, or Eton to be flogged ; and I 
to Oxford or Cambridge to be plucked. The 
whole business is a complete sell ; and my father 
and mother have set their hearts on it, and it 
must be gone through. I know I'll be running 
away and going to sea or something of that sort, 
and then what will their feelings be ? What is 
the use of all that rubbish ? If a man can back a 
horse, and hunt up cattle, he may live like a 
gentleman in the bush. I don't mind learning to 
shoe a horse, or carpentering like Allan, and if 
my father would only trust me on the Darling 
I'm sure I'd give him satisfaction ; but that brutal 
lingo that Mr. Prince is hammering into us is fit 
for nothing but monkeys to jabber. And I am 
sure the governor knows nothing about it him- 
self, though he looks so wise when Prince tells 
him what book of Virgil we are at, and quotes a 
line or two of the gibberish, as if he understood 
every word of it. The girls actually say they 
like their lessons, but it must be all pretence ; 

152 THE author's daughter. 

they can't do it, or if they really do, what can 
you expect from a parcel of girls ? but they 
bother Prince as much as Fred and me do. But 
as the governor won't hear of me going up the 
Darling, it's very likely he would give you the 
billet, Copeland," said Louis. 

"My father has no wish to part with you, 
George," said Jessie. 

"Nor have I," said Allan, who had returned 
with the piece of wood he wanted. " We might 
make it as well worth your while as Mr. Ham- 
mond. You know my father is buying a new 
station at Gimdabook, and he says he would like 
to send you to it, as Jamie can come home from 
school to be of some use at home. He would 
have sent me, but now that I am really learning 
I don't want to leave my little schoolmistress. 
But my father has such trust in you." 

" But our station on the Darling is a far bigger 
one, and carries four times the sheep that Mr. 
Lindsay can put on Gimdabook," said Louis; 
" and with my father going away a man would 
have more charge. George asked me if my father 
wanted a hand, Allan ; I did not put it into his 

" You see what it is to get a good character. 

It is new to me to be in such demand," said 


" You said you liked the place and the work, 
Qeorge/' said Jessie. 

" So I do, and I'll like the next place Til go to 
as well, I suppose. I am a rover ; there is no 
dependence to be put on me." 

"Your year's up next month," said Allan; 
" but I never thought of your leaving us. My 
fitther does not easily part with his men. I hope 
he will be able to persuade you to stay." 

" I think not," said George, and it appeared as 
if no persuasion could have any effect with him. 
He had never stayed more than a year at any 
place all the years he had been in the colonies, 
and though the entreaties of the family made 
him uncomfortable they did not mate him change 
his mind. Allan, who thought nobody could 
withstand Amy, begged her to try her powers of 
persuasion. The purchase of Gimdabook appeared 
so desirable, that Hugh Lindsay was determined 
to go through with it even though he feared that 
he must send Allan there, and so lose his society 
and check his studies, which were now going on 
so satisfactorily to himself that he was again 
cheerful and helpful, and almost indispensable. 

Hugh Lindsay was a man who had never lost 
an opportunity of making money. He never had 
capital lying idle or a man in his employment 
who had not full work. His own run wfts apw 

154 THE author's daughter. 

fully stocked, and it appeared to him that 
Gundabook might be supplied from it and the 
sheep never missed. The contingency of sending 
Allan would be a necessity if George could not 
go, that must be taken along with other business 
necessities. The mother, on the other hand, 
thought that if George could not ga Gundabook 
must be given up; and that another station 
would cast up by the time Jamie was fit to be 
trusted. She did not grasp so eagerly at the 
opportimities as her husband, and rested more 
complacently in the thought of the comfort she 
had attained to. 

" I wonder," said Amy to George, a day or two 
after his first intimation that he was likely to 
leave the Lindsays, "that you can wish to 
change your employment when everyone here is 
so kind to you and treats you as an equal, to 
take service with the Hammonds who hold them- 
selves so high." 

" It seems very absurd, but one likes to serve, 
if one has to serve, amongst gentlefolks, you 
know," said George. 

"There are different ways of discovering 
gentlefolks," said Amy. " I only know that 
the gentlefolks had no kindness for me while 
these good people here have been so dif- 


** The chances on the Darling station are better 
than at Qimdabook/' said George. 

**I don't know that; Mr. Lindsay is very 
sanguine about Gundabook." 

" O yes, for him no doubt, but for the manager 
Mr. Hammond's offer will be the best." 

" Then Allan must go," said Amy. " You have 
been so remarkably good in contriving that Allan 
should have more time that I scarcely expected 
you would put a stop to his book-work al- 

" Oh ! no fear of Allan," said George. " Set 
Allan anywhere now and he is sure to learn. 
But he, and indeed all the family, think too 
well of me. Any other man would suit them 
as well." 

" It will be a great change at Branxholm," said 
Amy, " without Allan and without you." 

"I believe it was the sight of that box of 
yours with the coat of arms on it that unsettled 
me. If I could stay more than a year at one 
place I think I might have stayed here, but there 
seems a fate against it." 

Amy shook her wise little head ; it seemed to 
her that George gave the name of fate to his own 
inclinations. Her fate was more definite ; she 
was hemmed in to the life she led, and could not 
blame herself for having missed any opportunity 

166 THE author's daughter. 

of bettering it. It was well that she had been 
some months at Branxholm before the younger 
girls came home, for by that means she had 
learned more of Allan and of Jessie, and had 
contracted for them something more like friend- 
ship than she could have expected, considering 
the diflference of their years. 

Allan was her chief friend, and the person over 
whom she had most influence ; he had always 
been a gentleman in mind, and he wa^ disposed 
to be a gentleman in manner, if he knew how to 
become so. He looked best in his own house, 
where he was most at his ease and where he had 
been the master spirit since he was sixteen ; for 
he had good judgment and a determined will, 
but at the same time he was so good-natured 
that his authority was not felt to be a tyranny. 
In him were developed those qualities and talents 
for which early colonial life is the best training — 
the readiness, the promptitude, the quickness of 
resource, the capacity for judging rightly and for 
acting effectively in new and untried circum- 
stances, the quick eye and the skilful hand. 
There was a natural dignity about him that 
made nothing he did appear mean or trivial 
labour. None of the family had so much of this 
natural dignity, but they all had it more or less ; 
ftnd it was singular that Jessie and. Allan, who 

JESSIE undsat's declaration. 157 

had had least of the advantages of education, 
possessed it in the highest degree. The deference 
with which Allan was treated in his own family 
had a tendency to make him a little opinionative 
and obstinate, but the arrival of Amy Staunton, 
with 80 many points of superiority that he waa 
obliged to yield to, had been an excellent cor- 
rective, and he was more convinceable than he 
used to be. a^ Mrs. Lindsay put it. 

Allan was not long in making Amy's new 
netting-needle; it was rather thick, but she 
could work with it, and soon finished the net. 
Jessie thanked her for it, and said it was very 
pretty. Amy arranged the thick curls of fair 
hair under it and was satisfied with the eflFect, 
but Jessie looked anxious and distraught. She 
had not her wits about her as usual, her mother 
said, and indeed the anticipation of Allan's going 
away had unsettled everybody in the house ; but 
no one guessed what Jessie had on her mind 
as an especial cause of disturbance. 

It was the day before George Copeland's de- 
parture. He had not finally agreed with Mr. 
Hammond, but it was an understood thing that 
he was to go to the Darling, and on this Sunday 
afternoon the family at Branxhohn were dull 
enough, and George feeling that he had been the 
cause of it all looked miserable. Judy had cut 

158 THE author's daughter. 

her finger very baxily, so Jessie was obliged to go 
to milk instead of her, and George oflfered to go 
and bail up the cows for her and carry home 
the pails. He could not milk, or he would have 
oflfered to do that last good-natured office for her. 
There was not much said on either side till Jessie 
had milked her last cow. George untied tho leg- 
rope, and waa taJdng up the pails when she 
stopped him. 

" Stay a few minutes, I have something to say 
to you before you go — -just a few words. Have 
you nothing to say to me ?" 

Copeland looked embarrassed, but said nothing. 

" We have been very good friends this twelve- 
months back," she said slowly. 

"Veiy good Mends." said George. 

" I have thought whiles that we might be more 
than Mends, but maybe you could not bring 
your mind to make up to my father's daughter. 
So, George Copeland, I'U just say this; Tm 
willing to be your wife if you can like me well 
enough to wish to be my husband." The girl's 
cheek crimsoned as she made this singular offer. 
Copeland did not speak. 

"IVe been mistaken, George," said she, "but 
it is better for me to have it aU out like this 
than to have you going away not knowing how 
you thought of me, or whether you were minding 


or forgetting me. This last fortnight's doubt has 
been terrible. It is well it is at an end, only don't 
think the worse of me for what I have said." 

"No, certainly not," said George, who could 
answer that question satisfactorily. 

"When I made up my mind to say these 
words I was prepared for the consequences, and 
I ran the risk. Only be honourable and tell no 
one. If you or any man had asked me to be 
your wife, and I felt that I could not give you 
my heart, I would never have breathed word of 
it to a living creature.'* 

"I am sorry, very sorry," said George, "but 
I never thought of you in that way. Aj3 you 
sa-y* you were my master's daughter, but as for 
telling, you can trust to my honour not to say 
a word that would give you pain, although it is 
what I might weU be proud of." 

" Proud of ?" said Jessie. " But I'll get over 
this all the better when nobody knows about it 
but you and me and the God above us. I'll not 
break my heart, though I have been strangely 
mistaken. You looked so unsettled and yet so 
sorry to leave us that I thought you fancied you 
would get on faster with the Hammonds and so 
be sooner your own master and have a right to 
speak for yourself. K I had not thought that you 
liked me in that way I'd have never said what 
I have said and what I never can unsay. But, 

160 THE author's daughter. 

George, maybe it is not a fair question — ^if it is 
not tell me so — is there any other girl living 
that you like better ?" 

" No," said George, " I cannot say there is. I 
never thought that I was either rich enough or 
good enough to marry, and would not have a 
girl depend on such a broken reed as I am." 

" Then maybe you will change your mind and 
think more of me when you are far away ; if so 
I can only say that you wiU find me the same." 

" You said you were going to get over it," said 

" So I will ; m get over that senseless way of 
thinking about you and wondering what you 
think about me that makes me forget my work 
and lose my head, as my mother says ; but that 
was the doubt and the fear and the difficulty of 
finding out your real feelings. That doubt is over 
and that difficulty overcome, and I'U go back to 
my work with a mind at rest ; but as for getting 
over what I feel for you altogether, that will take 
a while, I'm thinking." 

" Your father looks higher for you than such 
as me," said George. 

'^ I think not," said Jessie. "What was he, 
what were we aUbut plain working people? K 
he's worth ten thousand pounds, or maybe nearer 
twenty thousand, we helped to earn it, and should 
have a right to please ourselves. I took a flock 


of sheep when I was eleven years old, and Allan 
even younger than that; and even after I was 
set free of the sheep the butter and cheese and 
bacon that I helped mother to make went far to 
keep the house, and let my father save money for 
land and stock. He nev<}r would like us to marry 
out of our degree to bo looked down on by our 
husband's kin." 

" I may be below your degree here," said Cope- 
land, " but my relatives at home are different. If 
I had not been a scapegrace and idle and fond of 
adventure, and gone off to sea when I should 
have stuck by my father, I might have been 
your equal in means ; but I have never settled in 
my life, and have always spent my money as fast 
as I earned it. What will become of the wages 
I am to get from your father to-morrow, God 
knows — I don't. I used to say that I would be- 
gin to save next year, but lately I have given 
over even that salve to my conscience." 

" George," said Jessie, earnestly, " there's good 
in you or you never could have taken such a hold 
of my heart. It is not for my own sake I say 
it, but for the sake of the father and mother 
that weary for you, and for the sake of the wife 
you will one day have, and of the God that gave 
you talents and opportunities that you have no 
right to throw away, make a bogiiuiii^o: now. 

VOL. L 11 

162 THE authob's daughter. 

Save this money that is due to you; go to 
Mr. Hammond's with the determination to stick 
to your work ; write to your fiither and 
mother; strengthen your resolution every way 
in youp power. Look at my father who 
began the world with nothing and who has 
earned for himself comfort aud abundance, aud 
sees his children ready to work for him when 
he gets past hard work. This is the country 
for the honest industrious man, and you cannot 
fiedl to get on if you are only steady and re- 
solved. For you are so honest and straightfor- 
ward; my Either says no one he ever paid 
wages to had his interest so much at heart. Oh ! 
George^ though I have been so mistaken in your 
thoughts of me, let me not be mistaken in this, 
that you deserve my good thoughts of you." 

Jessie Lindsay was not pretty, but she was 
very comely, and as she now stood leaning with 
her back to the milking shed facing George, he for 
the first time saw into her soul and was touched 
by its strength and its weakness. She looked so 
earnest, so self-forgetful ; she had no thought of 
herself, but she took the only opportunity that 
was given to her to arouse his better feelings and 
to restore him to self-respect. 

This was the wife for hiip of all the world if 
he only knew it, and he began to have a conscious- 


ness of the fact. If such a woman as Jessie 
Lindsay, with her intuitive sense of right, her 
sound judgment, and her affectionate heart, could 
be brought to love an unsettled somewhat im- 
pressible man like him, the whole course of his 
life would be changed. He would infallibly rise 
in the world if he submitted to the affectionate 
influence she was capable of exerting. But such 
men as George Copeland do not readily attach 
themselves to such women, and but for her sur- 
prising frankness he would have left Branxholm 
on the morrow with no other memory cf Jessie 
Lindsay than that she was a good active girl who 
was somewhat reserved in her manner. He might 
have told the wife whom at a future period he 
might have married, and who would be a very 
different person, that be wished she had a lesson 
from Jessie Lindsay in managing a houise, or a 
dairy, or a poultry-yard, or her quiet effective 
activity when there was any emergency, or her 
steady even temper. These things were all good 
in their way, but they were not charming. How- 
ever, now when George knew that this large re- 
sen'^ed nature had given all her heart to himand be- 
lieved him to be worthy of it, things were changed. 
It was not pity that he felt for her. After the first 
few embarrassed words had been said and her mis- 
take as to his feelings discovered, Jessie Lindsay 


164 THE author's daughter. 

had never looked more dignified than she did in 
this interview. She would get over it as she 
said. She was likely to make a far better 
marriage in every point of view than one with 
him could ever be. But George felt restored 
to self-respect and to honourable ambition 
when this woman expressed such hopes of him 
— ^when she had seen through the outer crust 
of levity the good true soul within him, and 
when she urged him for the sake of the 
parents he had left, and of the happy home he 
had scarcely thought attainable, to begin life 
anew on a new plan and in a better spuit. 

"Jessie," said he, "you put new life into 
me. rU take your advice ; 1*11 write to my 
father and mother this very night; I'll leave 
my wages in your father's hands, where I 
know it will be as safe as in the bank; and 
I'U go either to the Darling or to Gundabook 
just as you think best." 

" I think you had better go up the Darling. 
After what I have said to you I think it would 
be better for me if you go right away." 

*' Are you so sure of that ? But we part friends, 
I hope," said he, taking her hand. 

" The best of friends," said Jessie. " I'U al- 
ways wish you well wherever you may be, and I 
know you will not think the worse of me for 


what I have said, and I hope you'll mind some of 

" 111 mind it all," said George, " but we cannot 

part like this." Jessie looked almost beautiful as 
she looked at him, and she loved him, so he 
thought there could be no harm in snatching a 
kiss. Without being at all in love with her, only 
having leadings in that direction, and having been 
long removed from that rural English society 
where he had spent his boyhood, where kisses 
were as plenty as blackberries and were given 
and taken without much being thought of them, 
the temptation to give a warmer farewell than 
mere hand-shaking was irresistible at the 
moment. But to Jessie Lindsay a kiss was a 
solemn thing — ^the seal of true love and of 
nothing else — ^to be given to the man she was 
to marry, but not until the troth was plighted. 
She drew back with an indignant blush and 
extended her free arm, for George held the 
other fast, to show how physical could support 
moral force, but Copeland understood the 
colour and escaped the threatened blow. 

" Has anything I have said to you made you 
think that Td allow of such a liberty?" said 
she. " It is little you know Jessie Lindsay if 
you think she would have such goings on 
from a man that does not care for her^ at 

166 THE author's daughter. 

least does not care for her in the way that 
alone can make it right and fitting to touch 
Up with lip. Although I have not had much 
learning I know my own place and yours. Let 
go my hand, if you please, this minute." 

" I beg your pardon, Miss Lindsay," said 
Copeland, dropping the hand he held and feel- 
ing a little cowed by her grand manner. " I 
did not think you would take it up so seriously. 
I used to kiss my sisters and cousins and the 
girls about, and nobody thought anything of it." 

« Fm neither your sister nor your cousm, and I 
don't feel like one, nor do you feel like a brother 
to me, and besides I'm not used to kiss anybody 
and I won't have it. Write your letter and go 
your way to-morrow, George. We part friends if 
you do not offend me again," and Jessie lifted her 
milk pails and walked slowly to the house, leaving 
George Copeland in a state of bewildered admira- 
tion at her spirit and her sincerity. 



If Jessie Lindsay had undergone a great did- 
appointment and a great mortification she did 
not retire to mourn over it in secret. No excuse 
of headache or of other ailment was offered td 
prevent her taking her place at the tea-table as 
usual, or joining in the family conversation. 
Perhaps she talked a little more than her wont, 
for the others were rather silent, for all were 
sorry at CJeorge Copeland's intention of going 
away, and old Mr. Lindsay was somewhat of- 

" You said you were going to write, George," 
said Jessie, after the tea-things had been taken 
away. " Will I get you some paper and pen and 
ink, or have you got them ? I suppose you'll write 
in your own room." 

" No; if youVe no objection I'll write here," 
said George. He wanted an occasional glance at 

168 THE author's daughter. 

Jessie to help his resolution. He sat awhile with 
the paper before him after she brought it, and 
the old home feelings and memories crowded upon 
him. The old-fashioned roomy farmhouse ; the 
jolly, good-natured, but yet sometimes imperious 
father ; the careful affectionate mother ; the teaz- 
ing but pleasant brothers and sisters; the old 
church with the elms round it; the good-humoured 
rector, with his stately lady ; the young curate 
whom all the girls worshipped ; the village ale- 
house, where the smock-frocked peasants resorted 
on Sundays and holidays ; the old pear-trees in 
the garden; the old horses in the stable; the 
middle-class school to which he had been sent as 
a boarder and where he had learned very little 
for the money it had cost, but where he had first 
entertained the notion of going to sea. 

" No wonder it is hard for George Copeland to 
begin his letter, the first he*s written since he 
came here," said Hugh Lindsay rather bitterly ; 
" for he has only to acquaint his friends that he 
is as changeable after ten years in the colonies 
as he was when he went from his father's house." 

But when George fairly began his letter he 
wrote qidckly and evidently a good clear flowing 
hand. Jessie sat down with a book where she 
could not see him, but George changed his posi- 
tion and she would not change hers. 


He had nearly finished his letter when Jessie 
came up to him and said her father was going to 
read a sermon as usual on Sunday evening ; would 
he take his letter away and finish it, or would he 
stay and listen with the rest of the household ? 
George preferred to stay. 

" You had better stop and hearken," said Mr. 
Lindsay. " It's no mony sermons you're like to 
hear up the Darling, and I hope this one will do 
you good. Pass me my spectacles, Amy, and find 
me out my place. I've read the book through so 
often, that I'm no clear about where I left off, but 
you may keep mind of it better." 

George had always felt something wanting in 
the little religious service which marked the dif- 
ference between Sabbath and UJcaday in the 
Scottish household of Hugh Lindsay, and this 
evening he felt it more than ever. In such 
country situations as this of Branxholm there 
seems a want of some simple and familiar liturgy 
to express the thanksgivings and the supplica- 
tions of the household ; but the Scottish system 
of extempore, or at least original and imwritten, 
prayer, allows of no set form of worship, where 
there is no minister to conduct it. There is cer- 
tainly latitude given to private persons, but Hugh 
Lindsay had no gift in prayer, being a man rather 
slow of speech and indisposed to make any extra- 

170 THB author's daughter. 

ordinary profession of religion. Books of family 
prayer no doubt abound, fitted for families in full 
possession of all the ordinances and inhabiting 
Great Britain ; but for persons living in the far 
bush, who never hear a church bell, the omissions 
that ought to be made and the passages that 
ought to be supplied, would have required a 
quicker eye and a more ready tongue than Mr. 

So he contented himself with seeing that no 
unnecessary work was done on Sundays, and with 
reading a sermon in a somewhat broad accent 
to his household in the eveninga He occasionally 
bought a new volume, but his favourite book was 
a collection of sermons which had been given to 
him by his brother on leaving, which had been 
written by a minister whom he had hea«l often 
preach on sacramental occasions ; for he belonged 
to the same presbytery as Hugh Lindsay's own 
minister, and was considered the most able man 
of them alL Fifty-two sermons a year had been 
read for many a year in that household, and this 
particular book was so familiar to Jessie and 
Allan that they knew the turn of every sentence 
in it The sermon to Scottish minds is the most 
important part of the religious service at church, 
80 that it is natural that it should be offered as a 


substitute for the whole at sea in a Scottish 
vessel or in the bush in a Scottish family. 

Copeland felt that night as if he needed prayer 
more than a set discourse. He was beginning a 
new life and he would fain have had some living 
devotional thoughts and feelings suggested to him. 
Jessie sat for a quarter of an hour after the con- 
clusion of the sermon in silent thought, perhaps 
in silent prayer, and George resumed his letter 
and finished it. By that time the family were 
retiring to bed, for though Simday was hailed as 
a day of rest, the limitation of employments — 
where there was no church to go to, no Sunday- 
school to teach or learn in, no neighbours to 
visit, and Very few to see — made one and all of 
the household willing to abridge a little at both 
ends. Jessie was going with the others when 
George stopped her. 

" I*d be glad if you would stay and see what 
I have been writing. Miss Lindsay, as it is {U5Cord- 
ing to your advice I am taking up the pen." 

She accordingly stayed, and George put his 
letter into her hand. She was not much of a 
scholar; as she had said herself, she had taken 
care of a flock of sheep when she was eleven years 
old, and when she was relieved of that work 
there had been always a great deal of domestic 
and dairy work to occupy her hands and her 

172 THE author's daughter. 

mind ; her own writing was a slow and painful 
process, and she could not read written hand with 
any degree of fluency. She had had no idea that 
George was such an expert penman, and blushed 
when she returned him his letter. 

" You had better read to me what you wish me 
to hear," said she. " It does not seem to be my 
business, but as I urged you to write and as I 
wish that we should part friends I'll listen to it." 

George's letter was to this effect : 

" My dear Father and Mother — I have been 
too much ashamed of my long silence and of the 
imsatisfactory nature of anything I ever had to 
say to you since I came to Australia to write till 
now, but you must not think that I forget you, 
or cease to think of you with love and self- 
reproach. As I am resolving to act differently 
for the future, I am going to try to confirm my 
resolution by begiuning a regular correspondence. 

" It is now I think eighteen months since I 
wrote to you from Boorundara. I have since 
been on the South Australian side, and have 
been twelve months here doing miscellaneous 
farm and station work, and have got such a 
character for being a good hand that I am begged 
to stay by my present master and pressed to 
leave by one of his neighbours, and in both in- 


stances to take a better situation than my 
present. I think I will stay in my i)rosent em- 
ployment, for I appear to have been Uh) fond of 
change. What between the sea and the di^f^in^ 
and the quart-crushing comjmny and the brfwury 
I have always had tempting offers for lH!ttt?ring 
myself, and the consequence is that those wlio 
have stuck to the worst employment liave dis- 
tanced me in the race. And it is this desire for 
change that has made me so averse to nituni 
to you when you urged it so strongly ; if I could 
not stay at home when I got there 1 should only 
disappoint you doubly. 

" But I think I have come to a turning i)oint 
in my life, and that I may yet become worthy 
of your affection. Sometliing has cf)rne a(;rohB 
my path just at this time in the shape of a good 
woman, and whether I may ever see my way to 
marry her or not, whether I may ever grow to 
deserve her or not, T shall always frel indebted 
to her for the advice she him given and the reso- 
lution she has inspired. If I am ever a comfort 
or a pride to you in my life, it will be greatly 
owing to her. 

" I have a year's wages almost untouched and 
mean to keep it sacred, and when I have saved 
of my own earnings as much as will tjike mo 
home and bring me back again^ if I caimot settle 

174 THE author's daughter. 

in England, I may go to see you, but I will not 
take your money for such a purpose, however 
willingly and anxiously you may offer it; and 
I think that after these years of knocking about 
I am better cut out for life in a new coimtry 
than in the old. Write to me all of you ; I do 
not say write kindly, for you have always written 
so kindly that it cuts me to the heart. I'd 
rather have a box on the ear any day than 
such expressions of affection when I feel I do 
not deserve them; but write all about yourselves. 
I want to know everything that goes on at home, 
and what Tom and Charlie, and Lizzie and Jane 
are about. Tell me if there is any change in 
the house, if the old mossy apple trees are still 
bearing, if the elms where we used to go after 
the rooks have been cut down, as was threatened 
to make nests for older friends stilL Tell me how 
the old squire keeps his health, and if he ever 
goes to Millmount to praise mother's poultry- 
yard and dairy now-a-days, and if Mr. Anthony 
has left Cambridge and come to Stanmore to live. 
"I saw the Darlington crest the other day, 
where I had no idea of expecting to see it, and 
it brought old times to my mind. I would like 
to know how the yoimg squire is thought of in 
the county and by the tenantry, and if his 
grandfather has better reason to be proud of 


him than mine had of a runagate like me. Ten 
years away from home, and no fm1;her on in 
the world, seems a very poor account to give of 
myself, but ten years hence — I have some hopes 

" With kindest love to all my brothers and 
sisters, believe me always your affectionate and 
dutiful son, 

"Georoe Copeland." 

" You see what you have done, Jessie," said 
George. " May I apologise to your father formy 
shabby treatment of him, and beg to be allowed 
to go to Gundabook T 

" As you please," said Jessie, and she thought 
for awhile. " I have been wondering what made 
me so deceived about your heart. That un- 
settledness, you say, is natural to you, so I had 
no right to judge by that ; but I see it is because 
you have been amongst gentlefolk like Amy 
that your ways are different from those of any 
man we ever had about the place — ^gentler, kiiider, 
and more polite. I thought it was because you 
liked me, that you were so mindful, and the way 
you used to circumvent my father to let Allan 
have some quiet time for his books was what 
he'll never forget, nor me either. But it is what 
you would have done in any house and for any 

176 THE author's daughter. 

master, for it was a pleasure to you, and you had 
the wit as well as the will to do it." 

" I have been brought up as differently from 
Miss Staunton as you have been," said George. 
" Father is only a tenant-farmer of old Mr. Der- 
rick, a jolly, beer-drinking farmer, who rides a 
good horse, keeps a good table, pays his rent, 
growls at the game laws, and laughs at the 
doctor. He has had more schooling than your 
worthy father, but is not so long-headed or so 
prudent. I never saw such natural business 
talents as your father has except perhaps Allan's. 
No; I would not have done as much for any 
other master, though I confess I might have done 
as much for any other woman as for you, be- 
cause I was blind and did not see how much 
better you were than any I had seen in my 
wandering life. I am not really far ahead of 
you in my bringing up, though desperately be- 
hind you in purse. But, Jessie, for all that I am 
going to try to deserve you, and when you have 
made a man of me I'll see how my better self 
feels towards you and then how your good father 
feels towards me." 

" He takes your leaving him very much to 
heart," said Jessie. " I never saw him so much 
put out with anything." 

" Well, if he'll forgive me I'll work at Gunda- 


book as I never worked before ; and if all Mr. 
Lindsay says is true, it is likely to be a first- 
rate speculation." 

" My father's speculations are almost always 
successful, but I have gone against this one, for 
there is such a thing as having one's head too 
full of business ! but if you are willing to take 
the charge it will be a relief to us all, for Allan 
would be sorely missed at Branxliolm." 

" And will you not miss m6 r said George, 
who felt desirous to awaken again the tenderness 
she had acknowledged to. 

" I think you have said all that is necessary, 
so I will wish you good-night," said Jessie. 
" You'll put out the lamp before you go." 

" Good-night, Miss Lindsay," said George, not 
even venturing to take the hand, far less to touch 
the cheek of the girl whom he determined should 
be his wife. While she wondered over the events 
of the day with thoughts rather bitter than sweet, 
for the recollection of George's blank face and 
hesitating disavowal of any reciprocal affection 
overpowered all the kindlier speeches and more 
hopeful suggestions of the second interview, he 
resolved to try as much as he could to attach 
himself to her. His vague wishes took the form 
of a definite plan; he was going to offer to 
manage the station at Gundabook on shares, if 

VOL. I. 12 

178 THE author's daughter. 

Mr. Lindsay would agree to it, or for wages, if he 
iroidd not. In the former alternative he would 
be able to prove that he could be his own 
master ; and if he did well for a year he would 
speak to Mr. Lindsay, and if he then could trust 
him with Jessie they might be married. By 
that time he believed he would be as fond of 
Jessie as she herself could wish. 

Hugh Lindsay was satisfied with George's 
handsome apology, and more than satisfied with 
it. If he had had any difference with any one 
he waa always very strongly convinced that he 
was in the right, only it was seldom the other 
party had the grace to own it. It waa scarcely 
in human nature — at least it was not in Hugh 
Lindsay's nature — to help chuckling over Mr. 
Hammond's disappointment when his arrange- 
ment with Copeland fell through ; so when Greorge 
proposed to take the station on shares he agreed 
to it readily, and offered more liberal terms than 
Copeland thought he deserved. 

" Writing to your friends and listening to that 
capital sermon of Mr. McCroskey's has done you 
good, George, and brought you to reason ; and 
now I'll hear the end of the good wife's lamentar- 
tions about Gundabook. Clever woman as she 
is and sensible in most things, Mrs. Lindsay 
hasn't the enterprising spirit that a man needs to 


get on in the world. It will no be very solitary 
for you, for there's Dugald McLaxjhlan and his 
wife for company. So let us see about drafting 
the sheep, and you may have what horse you 
like ; I'll no be beat by Mr. Hammond ; ye'U 
get as good a beast to carry you from Branx- 
hohn as from Aralewin." 

All these matters being settled, George Cope- 
land went to his new duties in a very few days. 
Jessie missed him, but then everybody in the 
house, even the phlegmatic old Highland shep- 
herd, regretted Chorche, as he called him, and 
half wished that he had gone to Gundabook 
instead of Dugald McLachlan. The new man 
who was engaged to fill Copeland's place was not 
to be compared to him in any way, and Jessie 
liked to hear the disparaging parallel drawn. It 
showed that she had had some excuse for her 
regard for him, and that she was only reason- 
ably affected by his absence. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hammond, who had reckoned 
with certainty on engaging Copeland after what 
had been said, were naturally disappointed and 
annoyed when he changed his mind, and the lady 
thought it was just that vulgar family's luck, 
and another instance of the unscrupulousness of 
the lower orders in this country with regard to 
breaking engagements. 


180 THE author's daughter. 

Mr. Hammond could not say there had been 
any regular engagement, but certainly there was 
an understanding. 

" But, mamma," said Louis, " why did not you 
take Amy Staimton home when her father was 
killed ? Surely there should have been an un- 
derstanding that it was your business." 

Mrs. Hammond winced — she could bear re- 
flections from her husband and her neighbours, 
but that her son should think her in the wrong 
was worse than anything else. 

" Oh ! the Lindsays took a great fancy to her, 
and she to them ; it is much better as it is." 

" But she is not like the Lindsays ; you never 
saw such a girl, she is so pretty and so lady- 
like. I am cStain from somethixi she said tilt 
she has great connections. And to think of her 
being governess there ; but of course she'll marry 
Allan or James, or one of the Lindsays," and 
Louis sighed. Louis was nearly eighteen, and 
his mother congratulated herself that in six 
months he would be in England. 

" Copeland says that his father was a tenant 
of old Mr. Derrick's that I have surely heard 
you speak of," said Louis. 

" Oh ! is he T said Mrs. Hammond. " Mr. Der- 
rick is a very wealthy man ; at least he used to 


be when I visited the family ; he had a beauti- 
ful estate in shire." 

" He made money cotton-spinning," said Louis, 
turning up his nose, with a squatter's pride, at 
such base mechanical ways of getting money. 
Strange that cotton-growing and wool-growing 
should be the aristocratic employments in Ame- 
rica and Australia, while the conversion of these 
raw materials into useful articles, though re- 
quiring more intelligence and more capital, is 
never considered at all aristocratic in England or 

" Copeland must be of a better class than his 
employers if his father was one of Mr. Derrick's 
tenants," said Mr. Hammond. 

" No doubt he is. I liked his appearance and 
manner very much when we accompanied him 
to Mr. Lindsay's on that unfortunate evening, 
and that makes it more provoking that we 
should lose him after what he said to Louis. 
But these low people can always outbid us; 
they can afford to pay more wages than we 
can, for they do so much of their own work.*' 

" I wish you would let me do some of your 
work instead of keeping me grinding away at 
these lessons," said Louis. " I'm sure I have no 
objection to go up the Darling, or if you would 

182 THE author's daughter. 

only let me take care of the home station when 
you are away I show you how I'd manage." 

"I daresay you would," said Mr. Hammond. 
" I'm sure if your mother was not so set on your 
education being properly completed I should be 
only too glad to leave you some charge here ; 
for I can trust you, my boy, and you reaUy have 
a talent for country life and stock." 

"Mr. Lufton could advise me a little, and I 
could always get a hint from Allan Lindsay," 
said Louis, eagerly. " Do, mamma, let me stay V 

" It is absolutely impossible that I should con- 
Bent to such an arrangement/' said Mrs. Ham- 
mond. " When I go to England I take with 
me all that is dear to me in South Australia." 

" I begin to hate the name of England," said 

« And so do I," said Fred. , 

This sentiment was echoed by all the young 
people who were seated at table. 

"Poor ignorant children," said Mrs. Ham- 
mond ; " you little know what you despise." 

It was not altogether smooth work for George 
Copeland in this attempt at settliQg down and 
trying to make and to save money in this out- 
station of Gundabook. The restlessness and 
roving habits of ten years' growth were not to 
be calmed down all at once. It was not nearly 


SO pretty a country as that surrounding Branx- 
holm ; and George was always susceptible to 
beauties of scenery. It was flat, and there were 
no trees ; the sheep fed chiefly off scrub and 
saltbush. There was very hard work for him 
and Dugald sinking wells, and yard after yard 
of solid rock to drive through before there was 
a drop of water to be got. It was a dry season, 
and if they failed to get water the run must 
be abandoned and the sheep driven back to the 
home station, for the surface water had absolutely 
failed as it had never done during the two 
years in which Mr. Lufton had occupied it, and 
by which Mr. Lindsay had been led to buy it. 
But George had worked heroically and Dugald 
steadily, and in the very nick of time water 
was found. The want of companionship weighed 
on George's spirits ; the only other residents on 
the station were the old Highlander and his 
wife, who spoke as little English as one could 
believe possible after seven years of colonial 
life. The old woman certainly could not speak 
more than twenty-five words, while Dugald him- 
self had been driven by necessity into the know- 
ledge of about a hundred ; but it is very difficult 
to hold connected conversation with so limited a 
vocabulary, even if George and his assistants 
had had many ideas in common. If Allan had 

184 THE author's daughter. 

gone George knew that he would have stayed 
tiirough everything, but then Allan knew a little 
Gaelic, and George despised the guttural high- 
pitched scolding language too much to learn it, 
and would have been laughed at if he had 
attempted it. Besides, Allan could make a com- 
panion of a book at any time, and George liked 
human voices and human faces. He had not 
known how much he had grown attached to the 
fEimily of Lindsays — how much his meals had 
been sweetened by their company till now, when 
Mrs. McLachlan was the only substitute for Mrs. 
Lindsay and Jessie and Amy aoid the girls, and 
Dugald's ignorance for Mr. Lindsay's shrewd 
common sense and Allan's fine intelligence. It 
was a pity that Jessie was no correspondent ; he 
longed for a letter from her or a sight of her. 
But first came the well-sinking, that could not 
be left ; then the daily drawing of water which 
was too much to leave for Dugald ; then Mr. 
Lindsay had suggested that some fencing should 
be done, and his suggestions had the force of 
conunands with George. Even the roughest 
bush-fence, if round a large area, takes a long 
time ; then came on shearing time, and the year 
of probation had expired before George could 
spare time to go to Branxholm. 


Allan had written to him now and then with 
his father's wishes and orders, and everybody 
desired to be kindly remembered to him. Amy 
Staunton sometimes had a message — indeed 
Allan was fond of bringing her name into his 
letters at all times ; but there was no special 
mention of Jessie or any message or letter 
from her though George had written to her 

Had he not been rash and foolish in thus in a 
measure binding himself without any particular 
affection for her ; nothing stronger than esteem 
and a wish to feel love ? Was she not forgetting 
him in his absence ? 

It wa^ when he wa^ puzzling himself vainly 
over this matter that he received a letter from 
both of his parents that did him good, and 
inspired him with fresh courage. The joy that 
his mother expressed on hearing that he had 
been brought under the influence of a good 
woman reminded him of what Jessie had said 
and how she had looked on that memorable 
Sunday ; and the hope she entertained that one 
day he might bring his wife home where she • 
would be received as a daughter, helped George 
to weather that long year at Gimdabook. And 
when he took a retrospective view of what had 
been done for the station during the year he felt 


that Hugh Lindsay had cause to be satisfied with 
the place, and George Copeland to be satisfied 
with himself. 

There had been some changes at Branxholm 
during his absence. Amy Staunton had sprung 
up into an elegant girl of fifteen. Isabel Lindsay, 
a year older and a head taller and very much 
larger in the frame, had nearly given up lessons, 
and was beginning to be of some use in the house. 
Phemie was still learning something from her 
young governess, and Allan did not see any pro- 
spect of ever completing his education; every- 
thing he learned only showed him how much 
more there was to be known. 

The Hammonds had gone to England with no 
intention of returning, leaving their home station 
under the care of a Scotchman named McCallum, 
and this overseer^was a more frequent visitor at 
Branxholm than any neighbour the Lindsays 
ever had. As George travelled towards the 
station, feeling more of the old home longing than 
he had done since he had left England, he heard 
from an acquaintance that Mr. McCallum was 
looking after Jessie Lindsay, and that her father 
was greatiy pleased to see it. " She's the best of 
the whole lot of Lindsays," said his informant ; 
" and McCallum knows what he is about when 
he makes up to her." 


How grave Jessie looked when George first 
met her eyes ; they were not what a casual 
observer would caU fine eyes, though they were 
well shaped and of a very clear blue colour, for 
they were neither flashing nor sparkling nor 
melting; but they had a steady light in them 
that one could depend on, and if they were well 
looked into they repaid the trouble. She looked 
older than when George had parted from her — 
not unpleasantly older — there were no lines on 
her cheek or brow or round the comers of her 
mouth, but her face looked calm and more 
thoughtful, and her movements were a little more 

George could get no opportunity of speaking to 
her for hours. Allan and his father were full of 
questions as to how matters were going on at 
Gundabook ; Isabel laid hold of him to see her 
new pony ; Jamie wanted to see if he could come 
up to George with the rifle after a year's hard 
practice, and kept him an hour before he was 
satisfied that George was still greatly his superior; 
but Jessie was shy and silent, and would give 
him no chance to speak to her. A chance obser- 
vation of Isabel's about McCallum's visits called 
up the colour to her cheek, but George thought 
it was indignation and not consciousness — he 

188 THE author's daughter. 

had seen both, and fancied he knew the dif- 

"I suppose you are not going to milk this 
afternoon/' said he ; "I would go and bail up the 
cows for you if you were — I wonder if the poor 
beasts wiU know me again." 

" I'll milk if you would like it," said Jessie in 
a low voice, " and Biddy (for Judy is married and 
gone from Branxholm) will see to the things in 
the house and get the tea with some looking after 
from Isabel." 

" The cows have not forgotten me," said Gteorge, 
as he bailed up the very strawberry cow whose 
leg he had released from the rope a year ago 
before Jessie had changed his life for him. " And 
I want to know whether you have forgotten me, 
or what passed between us here." 

" I have forgotten none of it. There are. few 
things that I forget. It humbles me much to 
recollect all that passed here. I think you might 
have spared me that pain, but I deserved it," said 

" Jessie," said he, " I did not mean you to take 
it like this. I only thought that if you would 
call to mind how you felt then, and would only 
feel to me in the same way now, I would be 
happy — happier than I ever thought to be in my 
life, for now I do really love you. I'd be glad, 


very glad to be your husband, if you can love me 
well enough to be your wife. I think I can 
be trusted to be steady now, and witli Uod*8 
blessing, I'll do my very best to make you 

Jessie's large frame shook with the emotion 
which George's words and looks called forth. 
" My heart is yours now as it was then ; at leant 
I know of no change, except that I know you 
have proved yourself more worthy of what I feel 
for you." 

" Then why did you not write when I wrote to 
you ? It cast me down to get no answer." 

"I could not trust myself to write. I had 
done too much in speaking, and I could not make 
out by your letters exactly what you meant, so I 
was afraid I could not tell you just what I meant 
by mine. Besides I was ashamed of my writing, 
though it is better now, thanks to Amy. But I 
was ashamed whenever I thought of my mistake 
and your surprise ; and besides I wanted you to 
right yourself because you felt you ought to do 
it, and not for my sake, for that would show you 
deserved my love. It is only when a man is 
unworthy that love can bo a misery. Even if 
you had not told me that you feel tliat lov(5 for 
me that makes mo so happy I can scarce see you 
through my tears, I would never have mourned 

190 THE author's daughter. 

if you had proved yourself good and I had won 
you to your father and mother. Now you'll have 
to speak to my father, and I doubt you will have 
some trouble there, for he is set on my marrying 
McCallum, and to me he is the most wearisonae 
company I ever was in. So that TU never do, 
George ; whatever my father may wish or may 
command I can obey him so far as to give you 
up, but not to marry another man." 

" You'll not give me up, Jessie," said George 
earnestly, for he now felt as much like a lover as 
a girl could wish. 

" Well, I think not," said Jessie. " Marriage is 
a thing that so much concerns the two persons 
that enter into it that I scarce see what even 
parents have to do with it, except in advising ot 
delaying or such like. But I must mind Straw- 
berry ; she's surprised at being bailed up and not 

" I'm willing enough to wait till I have got 
further forward to satisfy your father. 1 think 
my own father would help me a bit if he knew 
what a good sensible girl I have won in the wilds 
of Australia*: Perhaps if I show my letters and 
tell him my father's circumstances Mr. Lindsay 
would be more favourable." 

" If you win Allan's good will you may make 
pretty sure of my father's, and I don't think 


Allan is so much taken up with this overseer of 
Mr. Hammond's as the rest of them are." 

"And to win Allan you should have Miss 
Staunton for your friend. That is a match com- 
ing on in time as sure as fate." 

" I think it very likely," said Jessie. " It will 
be a great pleasure to me and to all of us, for she 
is the winsomcst little creature that ever crept 
into a household, and the cleverest. She has 
been very serviceable to me in many ways. I 
never cared to learn much before, because I did 
not wish to raise myself above you, but when I 
found that you were so far ahead of me in school- 
ing and the like, I have worked, and Amy says 
that I am the most patient of the lot of them, 
though Allan's more persevering. I see the end 
of my learning, but he does not." 

" Will you write to my mother, Jessie T said 
George eagerly ; " it would gladden her heart to 
get a letter from you." 

" If you wish it very much, George, I will," 
said Jessie. " Did you get any news about the 
young S(j[uire Derrick that Amy wanted to hear 
about r 

"He was not at Stanmore when my mother 
wrote last. The old gentleman is failing fast 
and he had gone to the south of England for a 
change, and Mr. Anthony and Miss Derrick and 

192 THE author's dauqhteb. 

young Miss Edith were with him. Father says 
he is well enough spoken of — ^that is to say he 
hears no ill of him — and that is more than can 
be said of half the heirs to large estates in 





George's eyes were full of suppressed fun and 
triumph when Mr. McCallum met him at the 
door as he carried in the milk-pails for Jessie. 
He knew by intuition who the visitor was. 

" Well, Miss Lindsay," said the tall, raw-boned 
Scotchman, extending his hand to her, " I hope 
yeVo nae waur." This was his customary salu- 
tation to young ladies, combining, as he thought, 
a little facetiousness with the simple wish for 

" I'm very well, I thank you," said she, " but 
I must put past the milk before I go ben the 
house. You'll find my father there, and he'll be 
glad to see you." 

''Aye, aye, careful and managing as ever. The 
milk maun be looked to first. I wish my old 
woman at Aralewin had half your skill. But 

VOL. I. 13 

194! THE author's daughter. 

whose this swankie that*s making himself so 
helpful r 

" It's George Copeland, that's come from my 
father's station at Gundabook. He was at 
Branxholm for twelvemonths before he went 
up the country, but that is before you came to 
these parts." 

" Oh ! it's Gteorge Copeland, is it ? I've heard 
Mr. Hammond speak of him," said McCallum, 
looking at the middle-sized, well-made English- 
man, with his quick eye and his thick curly 
dark brown hair, not altogether with bene- 
volence. "And how are things looking at 
Gundabook f 

" Somewhat better since I went up," said 

" It's a poor place," said McCallum. " I wonder 
at Mr. Lindsay having anything to do with it. 
In a dry season like this what can you do for 
water ?" 

" We've sunk for it and got it." 

" Is it good water, though, when you have got 
it ?" said McCallum. 

" Yes, very good water." 

" You never get the wool there off the sheep 
that you can hereabouts, not the half of the 
quantity, and the quality is very indifferent," 
urged the overseer. 


" Mr. Lindsay is satisfied, however," said 
George, "and you can judge for yourself. I 
have brought the wool down to-day, and it 
looks very respectable." 

" I know the place well by Mr. Lufton's des- 
cription. He would not have parted with it if it 
had been worth keeping." 

" It did not suit him to keep it, but it suited 
Mr. Lindsay to buy," said George. " I'll not say 
that it is a garden of Eden, but an industrious 
mail can make a living on it." 

Although George had succeeded in gaining the 
ear of the daughter, he felt eclipsed in the eyes 
of the old people by this rather dictatorial 
Scotchman, who "cracked of horses, craps, and 
kye," and sheep too, to the goodman, and spoke 
to Mrs. Lindsay of his aged mother in Scotland, 
of whom he had been for many years the stay 
and the pride — a fact of which he was rather 

Now and then a speech was addressed to 
Jessie herself, which was meant to be insinu- 
ating, but which Jessie only laughed at and 
turned off. George had wished to go over the 
accounts of the station (which he had kept as 
methodically as he could) with Mr. Lindsay and 
Allan ; but McCallum wished to audit the 
accounts, and to assist the Lindsays with his 


196 THE author's DAUCfHTEB, 

superior knowledge and experience ; and though 
Mr. Lindsay would not have minded, for he 
wanted to prove that his speculation had been 
a good one, George and Allan disliked showing 
their affairs to a third party. Everything that 
George said he had done McCallum suggested 
might have been done differently or done better, 
and instanced many cases in which other people 
had made blunders which he had pointed out to 
them, and that all his own plans and methods 
had been invariably crowned with success. 

"Are ye no thinking of ploughing, George, now 
that you have done sic a bit o' fencing ?" said 
Mrs. Lindsay. 

" No ; the fencing is only to keep the sheep in 
and save a man's wages ; but it would be a great 
pleasure to me to see a bit of land fit to plough. 
I'd very soon have some wheat in ; but the land 
is poor, and there's too little rain." 

" No ; the good man says that though it may 
carry sheep well enough, it is no sic a bonnie bit 
as Branxliolm, where we have sic a garden for 
vegetables and fruits o' every kind under heaven, 
I think. Did ye notice the orange-trees, how 
they've grown since ye gaed awa, George ? I'm 
sure it often goes to my heart to see the peaches 
and the plums and the pears going to waste, for 
we've far mair than sic a family can destroy 


[consume], and you would be glad of our leavings 
at Gundabook if we could send them. But that's 
impossible, though we can send you the flour, for 
Allan has had a braw crop this year off the old 
bit. We're feeding the sheep off the stubble," 
said Mrs. Lindsay. 

" I don't think it pays mixing up wheat with 
sheep," said McCallum. " I never saw it done in 
the North, and it has never been attempted at 
Mr. Hammond's station neither. It's no the way 
of doing that has been followed by the men that 
has made their fortunes in this colony." 

" Weel, it may no answer for them that's got 
all their labour to hire," said Mrs. Lindsay, " but 
Allan is a famous hand at the plough, and Jamie 
is coming on to be serviceable too, and it's a 
great saving to hae nae flour to buy, but rather 
wheat to sell ; and then there's green wheat for 
the ewes and the young lambs, and hay for 
the beasts in the summer." 

" What would they say in Scotland to feeding 
lambs with young wheat, or cutting down a crop 
of growing corn for hay V said McCallum. 

"Every land has its ain lauch," said Mrs. 
Lindsay ; "we wouldna maybe cut down com for 
hay if we could grow a^ much rye-grass and 
clover, or have such crops of turnips for feeding, 
as they have in the old country. But it's 

198 THE author's daughter. 

boughten land that Allan ploughs, and I think 
the wheat-field makes the place heartsome." 

" I'm sure my eyes were glad to see the green 
com as I came near the place. I think Branx- 
holm has more of an English look than any 
station I ever saw, either on this side or in 
Victoria, and I've seen some hundreds," said 
George. " I had rather be a farmer than a 
shepherd any day." 

" So should I," said AUan. " I am glad I was 
not sent to Gundabook." 

" And yet you know well that farmers are the 
most grumbling, discontented set of folk on the 
face of the earth," said McCallum. " God Almighty 
can never send weather to please them, and it's 
no in the power of man to satisfy them with the 

"And are the sheep and cattle farmers aye 
satisfied ?" said Mrs. Lindsay. 

" They make much more money," said McCal- 

" They whiles lose it too," said Mrs. Lindsay. 
" I'm no saying anything against the sheep, for 
no doot the goodman has done weel wi' them ; 
but I ken less aboot them than the farm. But it 
has aye seemed to me that there is great waistrie 
at they big stations, sic waistrie as we hae nane 
o* here, except in the matter o' the fruit, and 


that the pigs get. Talk o' lambs feeding on 
green wheat, they'd open their eyes in Teviotdale 
to hear o' feeding pigs on peaches and apricots. 
But what wi' the sheep and the bit farm and the 
dairy, there's fuU work for all of us the whole 
year round, and a full house and abundance, and 
something put into the stocking every year from 
all hands. And as for Allan's wheat and Jessie's 
butter and cheese, they'd tak the prize at the 
Show if it was na owre muckle fash to send 
them sae far." 

"There's nae doot o' Jessie's skill and her 
eydant hand. I heard a' aboot what she could 
do lang or I came to this district," said McCallum, 
who talked his broadest Scotch to Mrs. Lindsay 
by way of making himself agreeable. 

" And who told you that V said the mother, 
who was fond of Jessie, and eager to know who 
had spread her fame. 

" Deed it was a shepherd on Blackwood station, 
where I came from last, that had been awhile at 
Branxholm, Bill Rooney by name, that told me 
about Jessie's cleverness." 

" He had very little to do," said Jessie, nettled 
at the familiar use of her Christian name. " He 
was the idlest man we ever had in the house ; if 
he had minded his own business better it would 
have been better for him/ 

200 THE author's daughter. 

" Maybe so, but folk canna a* mind their ain 
business when they once get alongside of you, 
Jessie; but that minds me it*s getting late 
and I must be jogging. Will ye see to my 
beast, George, and bring him round V George 
was rising with no very good grace, when Allan 
offered to do it ; and in a few minutes McOalluni 
took leave of the family. 

"A very douce man he is, and a good neigh- 
bour; he must be a great comfort to his old 
mother, poor body. It*s a great odds to us 
having him at Aralewin, from thae upsetting 
Hammonds," said Mrs. Lindsay. 

"He is rather upsetting hiLlf, mother." said 
Jessie ; " so ready with his advice, as if we didn't 
know how to manage our own affairs, and after 
all the years that my father has been in the 
colony too." 

" He has great skill in sheep-managing on large 
stations, no doubt ; but I never had any opinion 
of that new fangled way of dressing that he re- 
commends. Our own fashion has served our 
turn, though he makes light of it," said Mr. 

" He's a regular sawny," said Isabel. " I won- 
der, Jessie, that you can put up with a slow 
Scotchman like that." 


" Who says I can put up with him V said 
Jessie, impatiently. 

"What for do you say that o' the Scotch, 
Isabel ?" said her mother. 

" It's no that he's a Scotchman, only but be- 
cause he is a slow, solemn Scotchman, that seems 
to take his words out and look at them awhile 
before he says them, that I can't be bothered 
with him," said Isabel. " I begin to yawn when 
I see him coming over the hill, and I never stop 
till he goes away." 

"There's nothing like the Scotch for sense," 
said Mrs. Lindsay, gravely. 

" Oh ! Scotchmen stand so much on their sense," 
said Jessie, impatiently. 

" Weel, lassie, and it's a very guid thing to stand 
by ; not but what I daresay your father kens his 
ain business as well as maist folk, and though it 
might be weel meant, it was scarce necessar to 
be advising him." 

" I am thinking," said Allan, " that Amy and 
George are wondering where is the great differ- 
ence between us. English people cannot distin- 
guish between North Country and South Country, 
and East Country and West Country accent, and 
lump us all together, and I suppose they look on 
us all as slow, solemn Scotch people." 

202 THE author's daughter. 

" No, indeed ; there is a great difference between 
Scotchmen and Scotchmen," said Amy. 

" Who would compare such a man as McCallum 
with Allan V said George. 

*' Who, indeed ?" echoed Amy. 

" Oh 1 my Allan's no that far behind McCallum, 
though he is young yet," said Mrs. Lindsay. 

"Behind him!" said George, "he's ahead of 
McCallum, any way you reckon the two men; 
but now that Isabel's slow Scotchman has gone, 
arid she has waked up, I fear she will become 
sleepy again, for we have nothing lively to amuse 
her with. We have these accounts to look over, 
and I should like it done to-night." 

Everything was satisfactory, and more than 
satisfactory, to Mr. Lindsay; George had done 
more for the station than had been expected ; 
but when he explained what was his great ob- 
ject in sticking to Gimdabook, and said that he 
had won Jessie's consent to marry him, the old 
man was disappointed. He had wished his chil- 
dren to do better, and McCallum, who had a 
handsome salary and good perquisites from a 
wealthy absentee proprietor, and who had, be- 
sides, saved money, was, in all worldly points of 
view, a much better match than George. He 
liked the young Englishman, and Allan liked 
him still more than his father did ; but the idea 


of an attachment between him and Jessie had 
never entered either of their heads. 

A little impatient exclamation at his presump- 
tion was the first reception of his proposal by 
Mr. Lindsay, and then an enquiry as to how he 
expected to keep a wife whom he wanted to 
take from a home of comfort and plenty. George 
replied that he hoped to take her to Gundabook, 
and they would work up together, as her father 
and mother had done before them. He asked for 
no money with his wife, but he earnestly desired 
the consent of Jessicas parents. He had no doubt 
that he would make his way with her by his 
side, for the thought of her had helped him well 
through the year. 

" And you have done well. I'm no denying 
that you have done very well, my lad ; but I*m 
thinking that the notion of what you might get 
with Jessie has been an object ; but I'm no going 
to disinherit myself for my bairns to take up 
with any man that comes about the place. It is 
a bad example. Isabel, that sneers at a good, 
sensible man like McCallum, will be taking up 
with Harry Weir that came in your place, if her 
sister Jessie, that we expected better sense from, 
cannot look higher than the like of you." 

" I don't think there's much to be apprehended 
from Harry Weir^ father/' said Allan ; ** a sham- 

204 THE author's daughter. 

bling awkward fellow, no more like George than 
a cart-horse is like a racer. But you must hear 
what Jessie herself says. People camiot always 
be equal in means when God has fitted them 
otherwise for each other." 

Although Hugh Lindsay was vexed and an- 
noyed at the afiair, he was a just and upright 
man ; and when Jessie told him how strong her 
attachment was, and that she never could marry 
the man of her father's choice, or anybody but 
George, he felt that she must not be thwarted. 
Old memories of a courtship among the braes of 
bonnie Teviotdale, where there was far less 
chance of worldly prosperity for the pair of 
lovers than now opened for George and Jessie, 
came over him. Jessie had never looked so like 
her mother as when she declared the state of 
her heart. George's account of the circumstances 
of his family in England carried some weight. 
A Scotchman always appreciates the fact of 
having come of respectable people, and the letters 
George showed bore strong evidence of that. 

So that when Hugh Lindsay broke the news 
to his wife he was disposed to soften matters, 
and to be a little impatient with her for making 
the very objections he had offered, and which 
had been overruled. 

The parents loved and respected their daugh- 


ter^ and gave in to her wishes handsomely, so 
that within tliree months after they had been 
consulted there was a merry wedding at Branx- 
holm. During the interval George had worked 
very hard to make the house better and more 
comfortable, and when Jessie took possession of 
it she was surprised at his ingenuity. She had 
determined to work for her husband even more 
than for her father ; but she found that there was 
not so much to do, for she had no dairy, and the 
household was very smaU. 

She found George a most thoughtful and affec- 
tionate husband, who appreciated the happy 
home she made for him as none but a wanderer 
could do, and who never by word or look ever 
hinted to anybody that his wife had taken the 
initiative ; even when Hugh Lindsay had spoken 
of his presumption he had not defended himself 
by pleading her declaration. 

On the day that Allan Lindsay had completed 
his twenty-first year, which happened while 
George was serving his year's probation, his 
father spoke to him about family matters, and 
told him how much he felt beholden to him for 
all ho had done, both with hands and with head 
for the general prosperity. He proposed that 
Allan should now take a definite position, and 
have a share in the home station, and in the 

206 THE author's daughter. 

farm of which he had been such a successful 
manager. Although Allan had appeared quite 
contented to work at home for his father, the old 
man wished to deal fairly by him, and to allow 
him to have a share of the profits of the in- 
creasing property at his own disposal He had 
never seen any good come in the long run from 
keeping young men in the position of children, 
however useftd they might be ; and he knew that 
Allan would meet with many temptations to 
leave him both by being ofiered wages, and by 
the prospect of more adventure and change. 
Allan was ereatly pleased with the handsome 
way in whicf his fler put the new arrange- 

" And there's another thing I wanted to speak 
to you about, AUan, and that is about Amy. 
You well know that she is like a daughter in the 
house, and that whatever she wants she may 
have it, just like Jessie or Isabel or Phemie ; but 
she does not just belong to us, and I'm thinking 
that when she grows older and bigger she'll want 
to go to push her own fortune, which by all ac- 
counts she's well fitted to do. McCallum was 
saying that the governess at Mr. Braddin's sta- 
tion where he was at the North was not fit to 
hold the candle to Amy for the Scotch tunes and 
the Irish times she plays ; and in other things, 


too, she's had a by ordinary education, as no 
doubt her father was the man to give it. Your 
mother has said, and I mean to stand to it, that 
she should have share and share alike with your 
sisters ; but yet I fancy she would feel more in- 
dependent, and there would be less chance of 
her being wiled away from Branxholm if she 
had a regular sum by the year for her services. 
It's a great saving to me to be able to keep 
Isabel and Phemie at home, and I think the 
house is blither with them too ; so if you and 
Amy could settle what it was fair for such a 
young thing as her to get, I would like it better 
than the way things are going on now." 

" I think that of all the family I am most in- 
debted to Amy," said Allan. 

" That's true, and I keep that in mind too ; but 
now you are working on your own account you 
may be able to pay her back somehow or other. 
You're both young, but wait a bit ; and in the 
meantime you'll speak to Amy and tell her what 
I mean." 

" It is just like your honest straightforward 
self that you'll take no advantage of my work, 
nor of that of the stranger who was thrown 
upon your charity," said Allan. 

Amy was astonished to hear that Mr. Lind- 
say thought her services worth money; but 

208 THE author's daughter. 

when the point was insisted on, she, with 
Allan's help, fixed a very moderate sum as 
sufficient remuneration, and she felt rather im- 
portant at the idea of earning her own liveli- 
hood at fifteen. She had sometimes difficulty 
in maintaining discipline with the tall girls w^ho 
were her ostensible pupils; but A11a.n and 
Jessie supported her well and they learned 
more than the yoimger ones. Jessie had had 
a new light thrown on the subject, and worked 
with a steadiness that surprised Amy for all the 
year that George Copeland was absent. Indeed 
up to a certain point her success was greater 
than Allan's ; her work was less faulty, though 
less brilliant and less ambitious. It certainly 
satisfied George Copeland, and the letters she 
wrote to his father and mother first on the 
engagement between them being ratified by 
her parents' consent, and afterwards at Gunda- 
book, were so well written and so admirably 
expressed, that no one could have supposed 
that they came from a girl whose childhood and 
youth had been spent in the far bush, and her 
whole life in constant imintellectual labour. 
George's mother got her letters by heart; she 
wrote the most affectionate answers to the be- 
loved daughter-in-law, who had won back her son 
to hope and self-respect, and every month both 


Mr. and Mrs. Copeland urged more strongly the 
propriety of George*s return to help his father 
with the farm, for neither of his brothers had 
ever liked it, and indeed neither of them could get 
on with their father. Charles Copeland had gone 
into business as a seed merchant in a neighbour- 
ing town, and had married a rather showy young 
woman, who, however, had no money. Tom had 
married better with regard to means; but his 
wife was sickly and a great care to him, and he 
was settled at a great distance as a jeweller in a 
large manufacturing town. It had cost a lot of 
money to set up both sons in business ; indeed 
George had cost them less than any son they had. 
The three daughters were all married ; the Cope- 
lands were (apparently) a marrying family. They 
had hoped that the eldest daughter might have re- 
mained with them, for she was the last to go off ; 
but her fate came upon her in the shape of a fair- 
spoken commercial traveller, a friend of Tom's, 
whom he had introduced to his parents to lead to 
this sad result. So that the old people who had 
brought up six children saw themselves deserted 
now in their failing years, and they turned 
longingly towards their eldest son and the \m- 
known daughter-in-lfiw, of whom they had a 
strong conviction that she would prove the best 
of all those introduced by marriage into tlie 
VOL. I. 14 

210 Tfifi AtrtfiOE's DAUGHTER 

family. They recollected that George, though 
he had his faults, had the best temper of the 
three lads; and now that Mr. Copeland i^as 
getting past his best, an active son, who had 
learned wisdom from experience, would be in- 
valuable at Millmount. 

While the husband and wife were debating as 
to what answer should be given to the last urgent 
appeal, they had visitors — expected and welcome 
visitors — at Gundabook. 

It was leisure time at Branxholm, and A11a.n 
had offered to take Isabel and Amy for a long 
ride and a fortnight's visit to George and Jessie, 
for Amy was now a good and fearless rider, and 
Isabel had ridden on every sort of animal and in 
any sort of fashion from the time she was six years 
old. The very first money Allan Lindsay had 
that he could call his own he had devoted to 
the purchase of the handsomest side-saddle, 
riding-habit, and hat that could be got in 
South Australia as a present to Ajny. She had 
accompanied Jessie and Mrs. Lindsay to Ade- 
laide when they were buying Jessie's wedding 
clothes, and what to Mrs. Lindsay was of more 
consequence than the clothes, the providing,, 
which it behoves every bride to take home 
with her to her husband's house. The worthy 
old lady had not been in Adelaide for ten 


years back, and nothing of less consequence 
could have made her take the fatigue of the 
journey. But she did not think Jessie was a 
judge of house linen, or napery (as she called 
it), and Mrs. Robert Lindsay was an English- 
woman, and could not be expected to know 
anything of what was needed, so that depart- 
ment of the business she must see to herself. 
And certainly she did it very thoroughly, only 
she bought twice as much as Jessie thought she 
needed. " Things are made so much flimsier now- 
a-days," Mrs. Lindsay would say, giving the linen 
an impatient tweak, " so ye behove to have the 
larger stock in the house." 

Amy went in partly to give Jessie the advan- 
tage of her taste in choosing, and partly to get 
her riding habit properly fitted on. It was hand- 
somer than Isabers or Phemie's ; but the girls 
were not jealous of her superior equipment ; they 
were very fond of her, and besides, whatever 
Allan did he had a good right to do^ and after all 
the pains she had taken with him, it was a plea- 
sure to him to give her something. She looked 
better in the riding habit and on horseback than 
in any other dress or in any other circumstances. 
She was still slight and probably would always 
be so, but her figure was finely proportioned, and 
her slendemess did not betoken any delicacy of 


212 THE author's daughter. 

constitution. Her eyes did not appear so large 
now that her cheeks had rounded out and looked 
rosy. She did not take on the large broad 
freckles so common with fair-complexioned 
people in so hot a climate, but she had a 
little of the natural browning which a healthy 
girl cannot escape who lives much in the open air 
in Australia, and a curious eye might perceive a 
few dark small freckles across her nose and the 
upper region of her cheeks. But she was beyond 
question the beauty of the district, and if it had not 
been a thing generally understood that she was to 
be married to Allan Lindsay when she was old 
enough, she would have had a great deal of ad- 
miration in spite of her youth. Even with that 
understanding there were more than one or two 
callers who made a convenience of Branxholm 
hospitality in order to have a look at the hand- 
some English girl, half daughter and half gover- 
ness, whose father's death had left her no better 
friend than old Hughie Lindsay, as old colonists 
still called him, in spite of his years and his 
means. Mrs. Hammond's conduct had been more 
tban a nine days' wonder in a thinly-peopled dis- 
trict where wonders were scarce ; her name or 
Amy Staunton's name could never be mentioned 
without a reflection on her stinginess and her 


Mrs. Lindsay had been half amused and half 
Sony to see how Louis Hammond parted from 
Amy. "Only calf love," she observed to her 
husband, " but the laddie feels it mair than his 
mother would just like." Louis kept up a regular 
correspondence with Mr. Lufton, ostensibly about 
horses and kindred topics, but he always made 
particular enquiries as to the family at Branx- 
holm, and especially about Amy Staimton ; and 
Mr. Lufton, who felt a little tender in that quarter 
himself, had no objection to give any reasonable 
amount of information. Louis had felt too jealous 
of Allan Lindsay to ask him to correspond with 
him, but he considered Mr. Lufton an old fogey 
who had been refused by ever so many young 
ladies to Louis's certain knowledge, and therefore 
could be no dangerous rival. Louis was determined 
to return to the colony as soon as his want of 
success had convinced his father and mother that 
he was fit for nothing else, and the recollection of 
Amy Staunton was interwoven with all the me- 
mories of the sunny South Land which he loved 
and regretted so much. 




Mr. Lufton had had some information with 
regard to the projected journey of Allan, Amy, 
and Isabel from Branxhohn to Gundabook, and 
they had not been far on their way when they 
met him. He came to press them to make his 
house a resting-place for one night, as, though it. 
was a little out of the dire(;t road, a night's 
lodging for ladies was a thing to be manoeuvred 
for, and he would be only too happy to return in 
sonie small measure the great hospitality he had 
often received from the Lindsays. Mr. Prince, 
the former tutor at Mr. Hammond's, was on a 
visit at Mr. Lufton's station at Bulletin, and he 
thought the young people would like to see him. 
The invitation was cheerfully accepted by them. 
Isabel in particular was very anxious to see the 
house that so many young ladies had declined to 
share ^vith such a gentleman as Mr. Lufton. It 


was a short stage of their journey, but they could 
make up for it afterwards. 

On tlieir arrival they found that they were not 
the only visitors. A party of wandering photo- 
graphers had been making a bush tour, stopping 
at each station and taking views and portraits 
at every resting-place. It was the first time 
that the art had penetrated so far, and conse- 
quently the artists had met with the most 
hospitable entertainment and obtained large 
orders in the district. Mr. Lufton was delighted 
to see them ; he had long wished for a faithful 
representation of his primitive dwelling to send 
home to his relatives in England, and he rode 
hastily forward when he saw the apparatus 
standing in front of his house to welcome the 
proprietors of it. When the photographers saw 
the party approaching they were greatly struck 
with the beauty and grace of Amy Staunton as 
she appeared on horseback. 

" There never could be a better picture than 
that would make," said the elder of the two. 
" Let us take, at least, this young lady on horse- 
back ; the horse, too, is a pretty creatiure, and the 
tout ensemble will be beautiful. All bush ladies 
should have at least one portrait taken on horse- 

*'0h! Allan," said Isabel, "is not this a 

216 THE author's daughter. 

chance? Let xis be taken now all of us, and 
leave our likenesses with Jessie ; she will be so 
pleased to get them." 

" That is to say if they are finished in time," 
said Allan ; " but I think it a very good oppor- 

" It must be done," said Mr. Lufton, ^ and done 
at once." So the apparatus was adjusted, and 
the likeness of Amy taken on the spot. 

"It shotdd have been taken at Branxhobn, 
though," said Allan, a little disappointed, **just 
by the wiUow-tree, instead of here on this bore 
plain, with only two scraggy gum-trees in the 
distance; but oh! it is very like you. Amy. 
We must have more than one for Jessie now 
that it is so successful I must have one for 

"And of course I must have one," said Mr. 
Lufton, " as it is on my premises that it is taken, 
and those two scraggy gum-trees, as you 
irreverently call them, are my especial land- 

" I wonder you don't plant," said Allan, while 
Isabel was settling herself for the important 
operation. " I'm sure you could have as fine a 
garden as we have, and as handsome willows too 
if you made use of your water privileges." 

"Then you know you could always have a 


willow to hang your harp on/* said Isabel, 
saucily ; " it would be so convenient." 

"YouVe spoiled it now," said the photo- 
grapher; "did not I tell you not to speak or 
move till I gave you leave V 

" I could not help it," said Isabel ; " I'll do 
better next time. But, Allan, you must tryste 
them to come to our place, and I hope my father 
and mother will get taken as well as the house, 
only I doubt we'U not be home to urge it. 
Write a letter to send by them," continued 
Isabel. *' I suppose I've spoiled this one too, but 
it came into my head." 

A third attempt was more successful, though 
it waa not by any means so striking a picture m 
Amy's. " It will do," said Allan. " I think your 
Prince Charlie is rather better than Amy's 
Brownie ; but that's maybe because one does not 
look so much at the horse in this picture." 

"As a work of art," said the photographer,- 
" I never did anything so much to my liking as 
that. I quite congratulate myself on the idea, 
and I think I have done justice to my subject" 

Mr. Lufbon declared that both idea and exe- 
cution were admimble ; he had never seen Amy 
look so charming before. After all it was only 
brother and sister attachment between her and 
Allan. She spoke of the beautiful present he 

218 THE author's DAUGHTEa 

had given her very frankly, and was delighted to 
see how well the habit and hat came out in the 
photograph. Indeed, she seemed more engrossed 
by the likeness being carried out in these things 
and on Brownie than by the representation of her 
own face, which was more interesting to her 

Then Allan got his portrait taken, and last of 
all Mr. Lufbon, and as a final proceeding the 
whole party was photographed, with Mr. Prince 
standing at the door to welcome them to Bulletin 
Station. The derivation of the name Mr. Lufbon 
hoped would be lost in the spelling he had given 
it, for he had tried hard, but ineflectually, to 
change it altogether ; but in old time there had 
been a precious waterhole close to the site of the 
house, and some kind Christian had fastened an 
old soup-and-bouilli tin (which had been emptied, 
perhaps, in the Katherine Stewart Forbes, or 
some such early-dated colonial arrival) to a 
saplin that grew near by a strong piece of 

The waterhole and the bouilli-tin had been a 
landmark on the overland route jfrom New South 
Wales when the country had been first stocked, 
and many a pipe had been smoked and quart-pot 
of tea boiled near those scraggy gum-trees by the 
rough-and-ready overlanders in old times. 


The name, therefore, was so pertinaciously 
adhered to after the original cause of it had long 
been worn out, that all Mr. Lufton could do was 
to alter the spelling, and his mother and sisters 
at home thought it rather a euphonious and 
almost classical name compared to others in 
Australia that they had heard mentioned. 

Mr. Prince, since the departure of the Ham- 
monds, had led a wandering life among the 
neighbouring sheepfarmers,.who were very glad 
of the company of an idle educated man who 
liked a little sport, and who could take a hand 
at picquet or whist in the evenings. Mr. Prince 
had heard a good deal about the Lindsays and 
their guest, but had never happened to meet 
them before. He was struck with the tall, 
handsome, powerful young Scotchman, with his 
capacious forehead, his gracious expression, and 
his great natural dignity. If Amy had improved 
in her appearance since her arrival at Branxholm, 
Allan had also gained much. As his mind had 
opened and his thoughts had been directed to 
other things than the daily work which he still 
did faithfully and well, his expression had 
softened, and his whole countenance and bearing 
had become less countrified. But Allan always 
looked best at home in bis own house among his 
own avocations ; and now when Mr. Lufton was 

220 THE author's daughter. 

full of the little attentions of hospitality to his 
fair guests, pressing upon them every sort of 
refreshment, and sure that they were dreadfiilly 
tired; and when Mr. Prince, who had been 
captivated by that indescribable air and manner 
which he had seen once in his life and suffered 
from too, eagerly entered into conversation with 
Amy about her father and his writings, and 
books, and publishers, and particular editions, 
Allan sat in the background with nothing to do, 
and nothing to say. 

He had hitherto been the only person to whom 
Amy had talked of her father. It had been to 
them a sacred subject, approached reverently 
and tenderly ; but here was this stranger making 
common talk of it, quoting a passage now and 
then, shewing the delicate sense of himiour, the 
playful and exquisite wit, the harmless satire 
that the old Palladium critic had been noted 
for, and Amy did not seem hurt or displeased, 
but, on the contrary, enjoyed it. Mr. Lufton 
grew more animated than Allan had ever seen 
him before. Mr. Twyford, the elder photographer, 
if he did not know much of books, had an extra- 
ordinary memory for personal anecdotes, chiefly 
about well-known colonial people. No name 
could be mentioned about which he had not a 
good story to tell, and he told it pointedly and 


tersely. Amy enjoyed spending an evening with 
a scholar like Mr. Prince, and Mr. Lufton was 
very pleasant in his own house, and the photo- 
graphers were new people to her. She recollected 
Mr. Hubbard's scorn of photography as a mere 
mechanical art, and was surprised to see so much 
love of nature and artistic feeling in those who 
practised it. Above all, she enjoyed the fun of 
her new situation, and laughed very heartily at 
all the jokes she heard. Wit and humour were 
not the specialities of the Lindsay family ; they 
were good-humoured and clear-sighted, but they 
were not ready in repartee, and scarcely under- 
stood it when they heard it. Isabel had more 
turn for saying smart things than the others ; 
but her wit had been looked on as rather im- 
pertinent, and was not encouraged in the family. 
But on the other hand there was an atmosphere 
of sincerity and good will in the household that 
many more polished homes could not boast of. 
After the first week Amy had no fear of offending 
any one — she ne^er needed to hint at anything 
she wished — they did not understand hints — ^but 
the more plainly she spoke the better they liked 
it. Allan wished to learn to speak well, and 
asked her to tell him whenever he made a 
mistake or used an ungraceful Scotticism, and 
he never was offended with her for pointing out 

222 THE author's daughter. 

his errors. She had lived in such immunity 
from censure since her father's death, her opinions 
were always so much deferred to and her actions 
always considered so right and proper, that she 
wondered if she had not grown brusque and 
awkward and abrupt in her manner, and thought 
she coidd perceive if these strangers thought so. 
But when do youth and beauty and high spirits 
fail to give perfect satisfaction to an admiring 
lover like Mr. Lufbon, or to a listener like the 
unsuccessful scholar, or to artists of any sort ? 

It was only on Allan's brow that there was 
a slight cloud. Isabel was delighted, and could 
put in an observation now and then, but Allan 
was silent. At last Mr. Prince expressed a regret 
that he had never seen Branxholm and the irri- 
gation that Louis Hammond had spoken so much 
of, and asked Allan how he had managed to 
make so small a stream of such great service, 
and that started the young Scotchman on a 
theme that he understood both theoretically and 
practically, and he tried to show Mr. Luffcon at 
how little cost of money he could make as fine a 
place of Bulletin. 

" Where is the use of it?" said Mr. Lufton. 
" All the improvements Mr. Hammond made are 
thrown away, for he has left the place, and the 
overseer cares nothing about the look of it. 


Perhaps if your sister had taken pity on him 
instead of on Copeland, the garden might have 
been kept in order, but it is now a wilderness 
of weeds. It is a fine place, however ; don't you 
think so, Miss Isabel ? and he's greatly in need 
of a housekeeper. I hear McCallimi has not given 
up visiting at Branxholm." 

" It's not me he comes to see I can tell you, 
Mr. Lufton. He always preaches to me that I'll 
never fill Jessie's shoes, and I certainly have no 
wish to take up with old ones that she has 
rejected. Mr. Mc Galium wearies me to death, 
but I'll say that for him, that he wears the 
willow for a decent length of time, and Jessie may 
feel complimented." 

" Then is it Miss Staunton," said Lufton, " that 
is the object ? " 

" Can a man not come to have a chat with my 
father or mother but Amy or me are to have the 
credit of it ?" said Isabel. " McCallimi comes to 
have the pleasure of missing Jessie, and he likes 
to take toddy with my father besides, and that 
is a thing I cannot bear in him." 

" Where do you mean to put up to-morrow 
night ? " asked Mr. Lufton. 

"Jessie and George went on to Gordon's the 
first night, but we have lost some ground coming 
by Bulletin, so we will likely take three days 

224 THE author's daughter. 

to our journey, will we not, Allan ? " said Isa- 

" What do you say to camping out in the scrubs 
girls ? " said Allan. " You were so set on this 
journey that you were prepared to run all risks, 
and you know I have got a blanket for yon in 
case of the worst" 

" Oh ! you will not think of such a thing as 
that I have a great mind to go to Qundabook 
myself and will accompany yoiL So we will ask 
for a night's quarters at my friend's Mrs. Trou- 

" That is off our road," said Allan, decidedly. 

" Not much, and the road is better, and Mrs. 
Troubridge is dying to see Miss Staunton. She 
told me she would be so glad if you could make 
a halt there when I mentioned your intended 
journey to her last week." 

" It is very kind of her," said Amy ; " but I 
suppose we cannot accept of it, can we, Allan ? " 

There was a little tone of regret in her voice. 
She did not very much like the idea of camp- 
ing out, and she wished to see some more new 
people ; and Mrs. Troubridge had been very much 
liked and much spoken of by both Louis Ham- 
mond and Mr. Lufton. 

" If you wish it very much. Amy, it could be 
done ; only Mrs. Troubridge might be very glad tp 


see you, and not care for the company of Isabel or 
me/* said Allan. 

" Oh ! she is not at all like Mrs. Hammond — 
the frankest, liveliest person possible. She said 
she should be delighted to see you all," said Mr. 
Lufton, eagerly. 

" Then by leaving a long stretch for the third 
day we can manage it," said Allan. 

" But what of the work we have to do for you," 
said Mr. Twyford, "if you go away and leave 

" You know what I want done. Mr. Prince 
will show you the best views ; but be sure not 
to take anything unless the weather is favour- 
able. You can have my horses, and ride about 
the country, and if you like to take a run to 
Branxholm you can do some work there for Mr. 
Lindsay before I return, which will be in the 
course of a week," said Mr. Lufton. 

" I wish we were at home to direct where the 
views should be taken," said Allan ; ** but I will 
note down the aspects that you think best. 

'* And if there is no chance of your being at 
home," said Mr. Twyford, "I should like to 
take a vignette of Miss Staunton to-morrow 

" Certainly," said Allan ; " the face is too small 

VOL. I. 15 

226 THE author's daughter. 

in what you took to-day, and as vre are not going 
far, we need not start early." 

So the matter was settled. Mr. littfbon was 
elated that he had this opportunity of intrcxlucing 
yiias Staunton to his best Mend, and of showing 
the young lady the better society that he could 
introduce her into. Mrs. Troubridge had been an 
Adelaide belle some ten years before the date of 
this story, the liveliest of the lively, a most deter- 
mined and successful flirt. Why. after five or 
six years of skirmishing with a dozen of hearts, 
she had finally married a grave middle-aged man 
like Mr. Troubridge, had been a wonder to all her 
ai'quaintances, and especially to all her old ad- 
mirers. He was not so handsome as several of 
them, not so clever as most of them, and, though 
in comfortable circumstances, was not so rich as 
two or three of those who had either been refused 
or trifled with. Perhaps the desire to marry and 
settle down (se raTvger, as the French say,) comes 
upon fast young women as it does upon fast 
yoimg men at a particular epoch in their exist- 
ence, and the man who steps in at that time is 
pretty sure of success, however imsuitable he may 
have been in other respects before the feminine 
mind is made up. Nothing astonishes men so 
much as the matrimonial choice made by their 
female friends and acquaintances, and particularly 


in those instances where the choice has been from 
a wide circle of admirers ; and when Miss Orme 
exchanged a fair amount of balls and parties, 
combined with frequent opportunities of shop- 
ping and familiar visiting, and a house in Ade- 
laide where papa was in easy circumstances and 
hospitably inclined, and where there was a large 
and pleasant family of brothers and sisters, for a 
sheep station in a remote a^d ahnost unapproach- 
able district where there were few comers and 
goers, and for the company of a good-hearted and 
tolerably sensible but very unromantic husband, 
every one had something to say about the unsuit- 
ableness of the sphere she had chosen. 

The cares of a young family were exacting, 
still Mrs. Troubridge woidd have ridden about a 
great deal if there had been any neighbour to 
visit or any friend to accompany her on her rides. 
When she could prevail on a sister or yoimg lady 
friend to come out to Bichlands for a three or 
six months' visit she used to ride with her to 
great distances, and, after the fashion of the fox 
who had lost his tail, she used to recommend 
bush life to her visitor, and beg her to take 
compassion on poor Mr. Lufton and give her a 
neighbour. He was only thirty-eight, and though 
not rich, he was getting on ; he was of very 
domestic habits and very fond of ladies' society. 


228 THE author's daughter. 

Mr. Luflon had, however, proposed to two of Mrs. 
Troubridge's sisters and to three of Mrs. Trou- 
bridge*s young lady visitors wiiliout receiving a 
favourable answer, and for a short while after 
each refusal the poor fellow felt as thoug^h he was 
doomed to a life of single blessedness. Appa- 
rently he had never come in at the critical time 
in any young lady's life ; indeed, the objects of his 
aflfection were generally girls in their teens, who 
had no idea of giving up all amusement and 
society for him. He was little in stature, his 
hair and whiskers were rather red, and he was a 
bad dancer. The many refusals he had met with 
had made him rather a butt among Mrs. Trou- 
bridge's circle of acquaintance. That lady^s real 
dislike to the bush was seen through her affected 
reeonunendation of it; and the wish to be a 
neighbour within twenty-nine or thirty miles of 
that lady could not compensate for the distance 
jfrom every other pleasant friend and acquaintance. 
Still, in spite of so many refusals, Mr. Lufton was 
desirous of winning a young and a pretty wife, 
and had never proposed to any one whom he did 
I not consider to be both. 

Mrs. Troubridge had heard much of the Rose 
of Branxholm, and of the beauty and refinement 
of that singularly planted flower, and would have 
welcomed the whole family of the Lindsays to 


her house for the sake of seeing the only person 
about whom she could teaze Mr. Lufton since 
her youngest sister's marriage. 

When she saw Amy she was as much charmed 
with her as Mr. Lufton had expected ; she re- 
ceived her with the most cordial hospitality, 
and spoke frankly and kindly to her friends. 
Mr. Troubridge, who, after Mr. Hammond's de- 
parture, had been very glad to call at Hugh 
Lindsay's on his way to or from Adelaide, was 
pleased that they would take advantage of his 
house on their long journey, and entered into a 
conversation with Allan about some pastoral 
rights he had that some one was interfering 
with. He knew if there were young ladies in 
the house there was no getting a word of sense 
out of Mr. Lufton, and he was glad to bring 
out the Government regulations and to explain 
the boundaries of his run to a shrewd fellow 
like young Lindsay, whose opinion on the sub- 
ject was at any time worth twice as much as 

When Mrs. Troubridge first saw Allan's tall 
figure and handsome, intelligent countenance, she 
thought her neighbour's chance was a small one, 
but again when she saw Allan absorbed in that 
stupid pastoral dispute of Mr. Troubridge's with 
that fellow Crabtree, and looking, as she thought. 

230 THE author's dauohteb. 

clownish and awkward, while Mr. liufton was 
giving out the same small talk which he had 
before presented to five in her hearings but nrhich 
to Amy was quite new and original^ for she lis- 
tened with apparent pleasure, she thought his 
star was at last in the ascendant. A child, to 
be sure ! — ^Lufbon had always liked chits in pina- 
fores ; — ^but a lovely child, an authoi^s daughter, 
and a very charming musician. She would be a 
delightful neighbour as Mra Luflon if her old 
friend could win her ; the children were taking 
to her at once. A project entered her head that 
it would be very nice to get Miss Staunton to 
come to her as a governess and companion. 
Though Amy was very young, Mra Troubridge's 
children were all under eight, and there could 
be no doubt that they coidd learn from her all 
they required to know. This would rescue the 
poor girl from the Vandals amongst whom she 
had been thrown, and also give herself a perma- 
nent and. pleasant companion, and Mr. Luflon 
great opportunities for seeing Amy beyond what 
young Lindsay could have. 

Amy liked Mrs. Troubridge's manner very 
much. It was new to her to be a little fussed 
over — to have a practised and tasteful hand ad- 
justing her collar and assisting her to arrange 
her hair. And when Mrs. Troubridge followed 


the girls to their room for the night to see that 
everything was comfortable for them, tliere was 
a nicety about the arrangements that was differ- 
ent from things at Branxholm, though they were 
greatly improved since Amy*s first introduction 
there. After Isabel, who was tired and sleepy, 
had gone to bed, Amy, who was tired and ex- 
cited, sat up a little, half undressed, while her 
hostess spoke to her about her father and his 
writings. Books were the only amusement that 
Mrs. Troubridge had in the bush ; she certainly 
read the lightest and trashiest of literature ; but 
even novel reading gives one the character of 
having a somewhat cultivated mind in remote 
country districts. She offered Amy any number 
of green, red, and yellow volumes to read, and 
Amy thankfully accepted the offer. Then she 
glanced, but not unkindly, in an under-tone at 
the uncongenial household into which Mrs. Ham- 
mond's inhospitality had thrown her. Amy gave 
a little sigh; old trains of thought had been 
awakened during the last two days, and the 
idea that she would never be able to lead such 
a life as her father had meant for her struck 
sadly on her heart. 

Next Mrs. Troubridge made her proposal that 
she should live with her as a friend, but at the 
same time receive a salary for teaching her three 

232 THE authob's dauohteb. 

little ones. Amy started to full consciousness 
when she heard this — ^the kindness, the gene- 
rosity, the forbearance, that every one at Branx- 
holm had shown her, pressed upon her grateful 
heart Did any one really love and respect her 
father s memory or her father's writings as Allan 
Lindsay did ? Could she be as much loved, as 
useful, and as independently situated anywhere 
as at Branxholm ? Mrs. Lindsay's motherly care 
might not be so demonstrative, but it was as real 
as Mrs. Troubridge's could be. 

" I cannot leave my good friends ; indeed, I 
have no wish to do so," said Amy. 

"But you have been so differently situated, 
and you are completely buried there," said Mrs. 
Troubridge, forgetting that her home was more 
remote from civilization and more dull in many 
ways than the stirring household of the Lind- 
says. " My children would be so fond of you, 
and you would feel more independent." 

" I scarcely think so," said Amy. " You can- 
not tell how good they all are to me; and as 
for salary, Mr. Lindsay insists on my taking one 
from him." 

" Indeed 1" said Mrs. Troubridge, who had not 
thought that the close-fisted Scotchman would 
have been so liberal. " That, perhaps, alters the 



" No, it is not that ; but I cannot leave my 
friends. You must not press me to do so un- 
grateful an action," said Amy. 

" I shall not say another word about it ; but 
I must have a visit from you soon. I will call 
on Mrs. Lindsay after you have returned, and 
persuade her to let you come to Richlands for 
six weeks; it will be a change for you, and I 
shall enjoy your visit of all things. You agree 
to that, at any rate." And Mrs. Troubridge 
kissed Amy affectionately, and bade her good 

The weather on the following morning looked 
lowering ; the air felt thick and oppressive even 
at the early hour they took for their start. Mrs. 
Troubridge thought they should delay their ex- 
pedition till they saw how the day was going to 
turn out ; but they knew they had a long stretch 
for the horses, and thought they had better rest 
at midday. A great part of this day's journey 
lay through a most particularly Australian and 
very ugly and barren tract of land. Allan knew ' 
as much about Bay of Biscay land, about various 
kinds of scrub, and about honeysuckle country and 
tea-tree swamps as Lufton did, and his surmises 
about the quality of the soil and the hopefulness or 
hopelessness of its ever being able to carry a pay- 
ing number of sheep were quite as reasonable and 

S84 THE author's dauohteb. 

more scientific than those of the elder Aostraliaa 
He also watched the weather warily, and looked 
well to the horses, and the girls felt that thej 
depended on his care on this day, though on the 
former Mr. Lufbon had been more full of little 
attentions. But when they got into the mallee 
scrub the dreariness of the journey and the 
threatening appearance of the sky depressed the 
party. Mile after mile they went on in a nar- 
row track bounded on each side by a scrub too 
high to see over, and too dense to push through, 
the dull, dead-alive green of the leaves looking 
duller than ever against the grey sky. 

'' If the station Jessie and George are on is at 
all like this," said Amy, " I do not wonder at his 
rejoicing at the sight of the vineyards and wheat- 
fields at home." 

" Oh ! it is not so bad as this ; no, nothing like 
so bad. It is opener and better watered, though 
not so well watered as we could wish," said Lufbon. 

" Is all the back country in Australia like 
this ?" asked Amy. " Is it only near the coast 
that you have good land ?" 

" Oh ! there is good and bad all through, but 
the interior is all too dry. A great deal can 
be done by stocking and well-sinking, but this 
can never be such a coimtry as the United 
States," said Allan. 


" Why not T said Mr. Lufton, waxing patriotic. 
" I don't think there is better land in the world 
than that you have round Branxholm, or I have 
at Bulletin." 

" Very likely/' said Allan ; " but with so little 
rain, such a want of navigable rivers and of 
coal, it is impossible that we can ever rival 

" I never expected such an admission from 
you, Allan," said Mr. Lufton, reproachfully, 
"after the lecture you gave me about not making 
the best of Bulletin." 

" Perhaps it is one of our advantages that we 
have this dry climate to fight with/' said Allan. 
"Things would be too easy for us if we had 
twice as much rain, and perhaps the climate 
would be less healthy." 

"But you do not deny that Australia is a 
very good place ? I don't think you have any 
cause to complain of it," said Mr. Lufton. 

" No, indeed," said Allan ; " but what I meant 
was that we never could have so large a popu- 
lation here as in Europe or America. The great 
bulk of the land must be kept in pasture ; some 
of it, such as this, is not fit for pasture at alL 
The English price of wool fixea the point at 
which sheep-farming ceases to pay, and I suppose 

236 THE author's daughter. 

ere long the English price of wheat vnll deter- 
mine how much wheat shall be grown." 

" I wonder what is to determine the point of 
om* halting-place," said Mr. Luflon. " There 
seems an opener piece of country right ahead, 
where the horses could pick up something." 

** We had better stop there and have some- 
thing to eat It is well that Mrs. Troubridge 
supplied us with so much cold tea, for there is 
so much wind here, that if we attempted to 
light a fire, to make fresh tea, we should set the 
whole country in a blaze. I am sorry for you, 
Amy, because you dislike cold tea so much. 
That is one bush taste she has not acquired, 
Mr. Luffcon." 

"Can we not manage to boil a little water 
in the billy you are carrying, Allan, and make 
some tea for Miss Staunton f said Lufton, when 
they had alighted, and hobbled the horses, and 
taken out their provisions. "See, here is a 
pretty clear space. You can watch on one side, 
and I will guard on the other. There is no risk 
of fire when people are looking after it." 

"Don't take all that trouble for me. I can 
drink water. I do not really care about tea," 
said Amy. 

" But I know you do, and we can manage it/* 
said Mr. Lufton. 


" I do not think we can ; the wind is too 
strong, and the risk too great," said Allan, 

" Nonsense, Allan. None but the brave de- 
serve the fair ; and for the sake of Miss Staun- 
ton's tea, you will see how I can encounter all 
risks ;" and Lufton began to clear a spot for his 
fire, and gathered some dry brushwood to light. 

" Don't," said Amy ; " if Allan says it is not 
safe, I am sure it is not." 

" K Allan has no pluck that is not to prevent 
me from having it," said Lufton, persisting in his 
intention. Now was the time to show Amy that 
the devotion of a lover like himself was some- 
thing far beyond the brotherly and cautious 
kindness she met with from Allan. But when 
he had lighted the fire, he found that the yoimg 
Scotchman had spoken truly. The wind in- 
creased in force, and shifted from one quarter to 
another, and it needed the exertions of the whole 
party to keep it from spreading ; the danger grew 
more imminent every moment. Fortunately 
Isabel Lindsay was not troubled with nerves, 
and Amy kept hers in tolerable check ; but long 
before the water in the tin vessel, known by 
the name of a billy, was near the boiling-point, 
even Mr. Lufton was convinced that it must be 
sacrificed to extinguish the fire so foolishly and 
rashly lighted. The precious water that had 


been carried for more than twenty miles was 
tlius wasted, and there was nothing left for any 
one to drink but the despised cold tea.. Mr. 
Luflon's attempt at distinguishing himself by 
his gallantry had proved a failure, but Amy's 
good humour under the disappointment made 
him admire her all the more. 



" If we don't get to Gimdabook to-night we will 
be badly off for supper, and there is no water to 
be got that I know of," said Allan Lindsay, after 
they had finished the provisions they had taken 
with them. " I don't Uke the wind coming 
up so strong. I would fain have allowed the 
horses a longer spell, but I think we must push 

" There is thunder in the air," said Amy, in a 
low voice. 

" I hope we will get forward before it comes 
on," said Allan; " I know you cannot bear being 
out in it. So, Mr. Lufton, get Isabel's horse and 
I will moimt Amy. Riding habits are very 
pretty, girls, and you both look very well in 
them, but they are a great encumbrance at 
times. Could you not tuck them up a little, 
so as to leave you more freedom ? Keep close 

240 THE author's daughter. 

to me, Amy ; I know Brownie, and Mr. Luftpn 
does not" 

Amy was losing her self-possession at the idea 
of a thunderstorm coming on ; she had never 
been out in one since the fatal day when she 
lost her father. Mr. Lufbon did not think there 
was any chance of such a thing ; but Allan quick- 
ened the pace of the party as much as he thought 
the horses could bear, and never took his eye off 
Amy and Brownie. After about twelve miles' 
journey through a dense scrub, the wind shifted, 
and the sky became suddenly black, and one dis- 
tant roll of thunder was heard. 

" Let us stop here — let us get down at once," 
said Amy. " I'll camp here all night rather than 
ride through the storm that is coming. If you 
want to go on, go without me, and come back 
for me to-morrow. Oh Allan, help me off 

" Why, Amy, there is nothing to be alarmed 
at," ^d Allan. 

"There really is not," said Lufton; "there 
will be little or no thunder and it is very dis- 

" But I am alarmed — ^unreasonably alarmed — 
do let me get down." 

Her piteous pleading had no flinty hearts to 
move. Though all the rest of the party were 


very anxious to reach Gundabook that night, and 
saw no reason why they should not, they dis- 
mounted. Amy was in general so reasonable and 
so accommodating that they knew her terror must 
be real and great, and they gave way to her and 
endeavoured to soothe her fears. Allan hobbled 
the horses so that they could not wander far from 
the place, and they prepared to spend the night in 
the scrub without supper, bed, or breakfast, and 
with the chance of a ducking. 

" If it rains hard you will all be drenched to 
the skin, and there are no hollow trees to take 
shelter in, even if it was safe on accoimt of the 
lightning," said Allan. 

" And my beautiful new habit will be spoiled, 
and that will be a sad pity," said Amy. " I wish 
I was not such a coward, but I cannot venture on 
horseback again till this is over. There is the 
thunder again. Oh dear! oh dear!" and she 
took Allan's hand and clung close to him for 

They sat huddled together for an hour, in 
which the storm continued. There was a little 
rain, but not so much as might have been ex- 
pected. Amy rejoiced that her habit was not 
ruined by the wet. But the night closed over 
them before she could make up her mind to 

VOL. I. 16 


mount Brownie again, and there appeared to be 
notliing to be done but bushing it. 

" I <lon't quite like the idea of the young ladies 
})ein;r out all night without food or shelter. We 
nx'ii think nothing of it, but it is different with 
huiicB, and so near Gundabook as we are — within 
an hour's ride/* said Mr. Luflbon. 

" A good hour and a halTs now that it is so 
dark," said Allan. 

" I am STU-e that your horse could carry you in 
an hour, Allan," said Mr. Lufton. 

" He might perhaps, but Brownie and Prince 
Chjirlie are both tired. However, if you would 
venture. Amy, there is a little moonlight." 

" Oh ! no, don't ask me ; I don't mind camp- 
ing out here, but I am afiraid of journeying in the 

" K I were not as blind as a mole in the dark," 
said Lufton, " I would think nothing of pushing 
on to Gundabook and returning with some provi- 
sions and wrappings that Mrs. Copeland would be 
glad to furnish me with, for it is wretched to have 
nothing but the damp ground to lie on. I know 
Copeland has a splendid wallaby rug that he 
would send." 

" A wallaby rug ten miles off is likely to keep us 
very warm," said Isabel, shivering a little in the 
cold night air. " We will make the best of our 


own blanket and dream of the rug. Why, Amy, 
you are colder than I am." 

" I'll ride across at once," said Allan, " George 
will give me a fresh horse, and I will be back in 
two liours." 

" Oh ! don't go," said Amy; "you may lose the 
tracks, and then where shall we be ? " 

" You will be where I leave you," said Allan, 
laughing; "it is where I will be that is the 
question; but I am too practised a bushman 
to lose myself in such a track as this. Mr. Luf- 
ton, take good care of the girls for two hours, 
for I will not be longer than that away. I 
don't think there will be any more thunder or 

Amy remonstrated, but Isabel rather urged her 
brother to go, so that he took his own way, and 
set oflF for Gundabook. Here was a most inte- 
resting and romantic situation for Mr. Luffcon. 
Two very fine girls, both imder seventeen, alto- 
gether placed under his protection for two hours 
and probably for longer; night coming on fast, 
and absolute silence and seclusion for miles 
around. He could not have fancied anything hap- 
pening so congenial to his tastes or so opportune 
for his hopes. 

But he had not been long left in charge when 
he wished Allan back again. He fancied that it 


244 THE author's daughter. 

was because there were two young ladies, and that 
he could Iiave managed to entertain one ; but it 
really was the solitariness and the dreariness of 
the situation that baffled him. Talk very suit- 
able for a picnic party in fine weather with abun- 
dance of provisions was felt to be scarcely the kind 
of conversation to offer to two frightened girls in 
a dark night in the wilds, who had neither fire 
nor candle nor supper. He could only say there 
was no cause for alarm about Allan, which Isabel, 
as well as Amy, began to express as soon as he 
had really gone, and try to exaggerate the neces- 
sity of providing something more comfortable for 

" I am sure I wish you had not put the notion 
into Allan's head, Mr. Lufton," said Isabel " It is 
all very well for you to say you would have gone 
off, when you knew that you would have been 
of no use ; but if anything happens to Allan, I'll 
blame myself for evermore that I took up your 

" Nothing wiU happen to Allan, except that 
he'll perhaps get his supper an hour and a half 
before us," said Mr. Lufton, testily. 

" That's a very likely thing," said Isabel, 
" AUan is not the one to think about his own 
supper when we are waiting for ours — ^like an 


" Englishman or Scotchman, there could be no 
harm in his taking something to eat while 
Copeland gets him a horse ready," said Mr. 

" You may think so, but Allan will help to 
get the horse for himself; and I am sure I wish 
he was back here with it. K we had not stopped 
at Richlands last night, we might have easily 
got forward before the weather changed," said 

" Then we should have been obliged to camp 
out last night in all probability instead of this," 
urged Lufton. 

" But it was a far better night, and we would 
never have thought of sending Allan away," said 

" It is rather hard that I should be reproached 
for obtaining you good quarters for one night, 
because the weather has prevented us from reach- 
ing our destination to-day. I appeal to you, Miss 
Staunton. Is not your fair friend too hard upon 
me ? " said Lufton. 

" The fault is all mine," said Amy ; " I am 
ashamed of myself for being such a coward." 

" No, it is not your fault at all, for you begged 
Allan to stay, and if he were only here, I'd not 
mind a pin for the night or the cold or anything. 
Do strike another match and look at the time, 

246 THE author's daughter. 

Mr. Luflon. If he is coming at all he ought to 
be here now," said Isabel. 

" I have only three or four left in my box," said 
Mr. Luflon. " I think you had better not make 
me look every five minutes. It can do no good, 
and it will not be safe to be without the means 
of striking a light in case of the worst." 

It seemed a long time after Mr. Lufton had 
expended the last match he dared, which showed 
that Allan had been gone for nearly three hours, 
before the girls heard the tramp of hoofs in the 
silence, and both of them had been worked up 
to a great pitch of excitement and alarm. 

" I hope you have been keeping up the girls' 
spirits, Mr. Lufton," said Allan, when he had 
reached the camping-place, "for I have been 
longer than I expected. My own horse was 
tired, and this one felt aggrieved at being taken 
out at night, and I could not get him to go half 
so fast as I expected." 

" We thouglit you had missed the tracks," said 
Amy, " and were very much afraid about you." 

" We have been very miserable," said Isabel, 
" and as dull as we could be." 

"I am surprised at that, when I left you 
in such good keeping. I thought girls could 
not be dull in Mr, Lufton's company," said 



" I am sure he has not been the least enter- 
taining," said Isabel ; " has he, Amy ?" 

" It has been dull for Mr. Lufton as well as for 
us," said Amy, apologetically. " I wish I was 
not so much to blame for the uncomfortable night 
we are likely to pass." 

" Oh ! the worst is over now," said Isabel. 
" Allan has come loaded with provisions and 
with that beautiful rug ; I don't wonder at the 
horse taking it leisurely." 

And under the combined feelings of relief at 
Allan's return and the comfortable sensations 
which the food and wrappings gave rise to, the 
party recovered their spirits. No meal was ever 
more heartily enjoyed than this supper, so far- 
fetched and wearied for, though it was groped 
for in the dark, and eaten in the most imsophisti- 
cated manner. Perhaps the solitude had never 
echoed with such laughter as that with which 
our young people seasoned their supper. Mr. 
Lufton recovered his spirits and his temper, and 
proposed an appropriate toast in a neat speech to 
their better luck next day, which was drunk in 
Branxholm wine out of a broken wine-glass by 
the whole company in succession. 

The novelty of the situation kept Amy awake 
longer than her fatigue. The sky cleared and 
the dew feU heavily. She watched the moon 

248 THE author's DAUOHTEB. 

set in the west and the stars slowly revolving 
in the heavens. It was something to recollect 
all her life, this night in the bush, wrapped in 
the great wallaby rug with Isabel It 'was more 
like being on shipboard than anything else. She 
recollected well falling asleep one evening in the 
tropics on deck, and waking to be startled by the 
sight of the blue sky and the shining stars ; but 
there she had her father by her side. He had 
never left her for a moment while she slept. At 
last with the thought of him in her mind she 
dropped off to sleep. It was broad daylight 
when she awoke on hearing a sharp tmusual 
sound. Allan stood near, and she saw he ^ras 
intent on something. Isabel started up too, and 
asked what was the matter. 

" Nothing particular, only you had better get 
up, and let us get as fast as we can to Gunda- 
book," said Allan, coolly. 

" But there is something particular," said 
Isabel. " What is it, Allan ? a snake ? have you 
killed it r 

" Yes, but not a bad one, nothing to make a 
fuss about ; I knocked it on the head with my 
heavy whip-handle. I dare say it woidd have 
done you no harm, but I did not like to see it so 
near you. I'll take it away, and you can get up 
in security, for I don't think either of you like 


the look of a dead snake." And Allan carried off 
the dead reptile. 

Mr. Lufton could not help wondering at the 
promptitude and skill of the blow, and at the 
light account Allan gave of it. He did not know 
much of snakes, and was suspicious of all the 
tribe, but he believed this to be a venomous one. 

The expression of thankfulness that passed 
over Allan's face when he turned to Mr. Lufton 
shewed that the creature had been reaUy con- 
sidered dangerous by him. 

" I mean to manage better when we return," 
he said in a low voice ; " there must be no camp- 
ing out in that journey, Mr. Lufton." 

It was a hurried breakfast that the party took 
before starting, more with the idea of not carry- 
ing back or wasting the provisions Allan had 
fetched than from hunger, for they were all 
eager to reach their journey's end. Now in 
daylight the few miles seemed no distance at all, 
and as they went along they saw a great im- 
provement in the appearance of the country. 
Both George and Jessie had come some distance 
on the road to meet them, and their welcome 
was as hearty as they could expect. Mr. Lufton 
was almost sorry that he had not kept Gunda- 
book, now it looked so promising, and compli- 
mented Mr. Copeland on his success. 

250 THE author's daughter. 

The Copelands felt Mr. Lufton's visit rather an 
intrusion, because they wanted a quiet fajnUy 
conclave to discuss the invitation to return to 
England to help the old gentleman with the farm 
of Millmount, and, besides, they had a jealousy 
of Mr. Lufton on Allan's account. AUan had 
heard the subject of Mr. Copeland's letter hur- 
riedly broached on the preceding evening, and 
he had himself such strong ideas on the subject 
of a son's duty by his father that he was disposed 
to think George should go, though the femily at 
Branxholm would miss him and Jessie greatly. 

When Amy had her first opportunity of 
speaking quietly to Jessie, she told her of Mra 
Troubridge's oflFer. Jessie saw how favourable 
such a situation at Richlands would be for Mr. 
Lufton's pretensions, and eagerly interrupted her 
by saying, 

" But you refused it, though it was very well 
meant, no doubt. You know they cannot spare 
you from Branxholm. How would the girls get 
on without you ?" 

" That is what I felt, and I said to Mrs. Trou- 
bridge that I could not leave you. But yet, 
don't be angry with me, but tell me plainly if 
you think it wrong ; I do sometimes wish to be 
among different people. I don't mean Mrs. 
Troubridge in particular, though she was very 


kind, but when I was at Bulletin I met with 
Mr. Prince, who used to teach the Hammonds, 
and talking with him brought up so many things 
to remind me of dear papa. I could not help 
thinking that if he had lived things would have 
been so different for me. I do miss him so to 
look up to. Don't be angry, for I do respect and 
like your good father and mother, and Allan and 
you, and all of you, but " 

" Yes, Amy, it is veiy natural that you should 
think so. But if you were to go into the world 
and take your right place, there you might learn 
to despise the plain homely people you are now 
at home with." 

" No, never to despise them, never ! It is only 
a passing thought, perhaps. I have promised 
Mrs. Troubridge a visit if Mrs. Lindsay will 
spare me ; she is going to call at Branxholm to 
persuade them to part with me." 

"Mr. Lufton is always talking about Mrs. 
Troubridge ; I suppose he is often at Richlands ?' 

"I suppose so, but you never saw such a 
stupid person as he is to travel with. We had 
such a disaster yesterday because he would light 
a fire, when any one might have seen the danger 
of it; and at night when we were so anxious 
about Allan, the only comfort he offered us was, 
that Allan was staying to take a good supper 

252 THE author's daughter. 

with you. It seemed to us as if he never -would 
come back. And of course it was Allan that 
killed the snake this morning/' 

"Then you were not very much taken with 
Bulletin, or with its owner V 

" Oh ! Bulletin is not to be compared with 
Branxholm. I am quite sorry now I had my 
portrait taken there, especially as Mr. Lufton 
takes so much credit for it. There are to be 
views taken at Branxholm; and if possible 
portraits of your father and mother, before "we 

" Oh ! I am so glad," said Jessie, " for I will 
prize them very much if I go to England; as 
I am likely to do." 

"You going to England?" said Amy with a 
tone of regret. 

"Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Copeland urge it so 
earnestly that I do not think I can oppose it, as 
George's heart seems to be for the move. I am 
a little feared about how I will get on with a 
strange father-in-law and mother-in-law, for they 
are set on George and me taking up our abode ,. 

in the house. And my being both Scotch and 
colonial will put me at a disadvantage with 
them, for I will have to learn their ways and to 
imleam my own, and you know I am not very 
notice-taking. But if we have to go Til do my 


best ; George thinks there is no fear of me, but 
his opinion of my capacity is downright extra- 
vagant. I'm sure there never was a man easier 
to please than him, and he gives me credit for it, 
as if he was the most cantankerous being in the 

"Are you then really going to the farm — to 
Millmount, on the Stanmore property V said 
Amy eagerly. 

" There's no great permanence on these English 
farms like what my father speaks of in Scotland. 
George does not think his father has got a lease, 
but the old Squire does not turn out the tenants 
so long as they pay their rent." 

" But suppose the old Squire were dead, 
would the yoimg Squire — ^this Mr. Anthony 
Derrick that George speaks of — make any 
change ?" 

" I don't know ; I fancy Mr. Copeland thinks 
that now he is growing old, the squire would be 
more likely to keep him on if he had a young 
active son to help with the farm, and he cannot 
bear the notion of leaving Millmount." 

" Then you may see that young Mr. Derrick ; 
you will be sure to see him," said Amy. 

" He does not go much amongst the tenantry, . 
I hear; but then he has been at college, and 

254 THE author's daughter. 

abroad, and down to the south of England with 
his grandfather." 

" But you will hear about him," said Amy 
eagerly. " Do find out for me how he is liked, 
and his sister too, Edith Derrick : I wonder if she 
is at all like me.*' 

" Then are you nearly related to these great 
people ?" said Jessie. 

" Very nearly ; they are my mother's chil- 

" Your mother's children ! — ^your brother and 
sister ! Why did not you write to them instead 
of to that aunt who was so profuse in her thanks 
to that ' dear Mrs. Lindsay ? " 

" I do not know that they ever heard of me. 
All mamma's friends, all Mr. Derrick's Mends, and 
papa's Mends, too, were so displeased at her 
marriage with papa that we never saw anything 
of them, or got any letters from them. But Mrs. 
Evans came to see papa after mamma died, and 
that is the reason I wrote to her." 

" George says he heard no ill of young Mr. 
Anthony," said Jessie, thoughtfully; "but if I 
see him I'll tell you what I think of him." 

" I wonder if I ought to have written. I do 
not feel as if I could do it now ; but if you could 
in some way or other mention my name and who 
my father was before him, you could discover. 


I think, whether he had ever heard about 


" Oh, Amy ! you are wearying of Branxholm," 
said Jessie. 

" No, no ; if he asks about me tell him I am 
very happy and quite independent. Don't speak 
as if I was in any need of anything from him. 
Though I said I missed something, don't think 
that I would prefer a life among people who, 
though related closely to me, are absolute 
strangers to me, and who might think them- 
selves very generous and benevolent in giving 
me a home, to the life I have at Branxholm. 
But I long to get a friendly letter, though it 
might be a short one, from my brother or my 
sister ; and I should like to be able to write to 
them, and tell them about dear mamma, and what 
she said about them when she died." 

" And that's all you think is likely to come of 
it if I go home, and if the Copelands are still at 
Millmount, and if I see the young Squire, and if 
I have the chance of speaking about it," said 
Jessie, thoughtfully. 

"A good many ifs," said Amy, "for such a 
small result. But you can scarcely imagine how 
I long after a little thing from these unknown 
relatives. You have your father and mother and 

256 THE author's dauohter. 

brothers and sisters, and fiiendly uncles and aunts 
and cousins." 

" And yet all seems nothing to me in compari- 
son with George," said Jessie ; " that is to say, if 
he thinks it right to take me away from them I 
will not say a word against it, though for my own 
part I know I'll think long for a sight of Branx- 
holm and of the faces there. I might never see 
my father or mother more in this world. Til 
trust to your letters about them. Amy, to let me 
know how they keep in health, and how they get 
on without us ; that is to say, if we do go, for 
you think it no trouble to go into particulars. I 
am sure George and me laughed as if we'd never 
stop at your accoimt of Phemie's first baking, and 
the way she said if the pastry was not light it 
was well-tasted, and my mother's saying that 
with the best of flour and the best of butter she 
would be clever if she made it ill-tasted. And 
all that about Hughie*s shooting, too ; none of the 
others would think it worth while to write these 
things, but they carry me back to Branxholm, 
and I'll need them all the more if I leave the 
colony altogether." 

Amy promised to be very minute in her epistles 
in such a case; and though her mind was 
strangely preoccupied with the idea that Jessie 
might soon actually see her brother and sister 


she suffered herself to be taken round the place, 
and looked at the improvements along with the 
others. Fortified with Allan's opinion, George 
now spoke as if his going to England was a 
settled thing ; and Isabel was full of indignation 
at the idea. 

" I know what will be the upshot," said she. 
" Allan will have to come here, and Jamie will 
be so set up about taking his place at Branxholm 
that he'll be more tiresome and provoking than 
ever. Him and me's for ever quaxrelling about 
something or other. Don't look at me so, Amy ; 
I can say it better when I like ; but ' he and I 
are for ever quarrelling* sounds just like a book, 
does it not, Mr. Lufton V 

" I am afraid you do not stand much in awe of 
your teacher, Miss Isabel But a truce to pedan- 
try — what do you quarrel about T said Mr. 

" Not much, but then neither of us will give 
in ; we are both rather dour." 

** Dour ! surely that is not English, Miss Staun- 
ton r said Mr. Lufbon. 

'' It is a capital word^ English or not English," 
said Isabel, '' and I read in one of Amy's books 
that when a Scotch word expresses one's meaning 
best you should be free to use it." 

VOL. L 17 


'* I guppose it meaoa ttmbbom," aaid Mr. 

" No, for that is somethiiig wicksd — it stuUxxn 
and rebellious son was to be killed in the Scrip- 
tures ; but my father is rather dour^ and Jamie 
and me take after him, and Allan's near hand as 
dour as my father." 

" I suppose, then, it means not easily convinced 
that you are in the wrong, Miss IsabeV' said 
Lufion, who began to find that this young Lind- 
say was lively and agreeable. 

** Something like that It's not easy to get a 
notion into our heads, and it's far harder to drive 
it out of them. But the provoking thing about 
Jaiuie is that he never will get angry though he 
is so aggravating, and the more I speak to him 
the worse he grows. AUan and Jessie are the 
only ones that know how to manage him, and 
they'll both be gone from Branxholm soon, it's 
likely. I wish George and Jessie would consider 
our father and mother a little, and not be so much 
taken up with his,** 

" It is the way of the world," said Mr* Lnften ; 
''you'll do the very same' when you are -maaried 
—just what your husband wisdies." 

''No; just catch me doing that^ I mean te 
have every bit of my own way then," said Isabe). 

"Oh! it's very fine talking beforehand, but 

3U9HIICO rr. 259 

you know you piu^t promisQ find vow to obey, 
Miss Isabel/' said Mr. Lufton. 

" No, indeed 5 J'U get ft good-natured minister 
like the one tho^t married ^ly father and mother. 
He always left out the word ' obey/ fot, as he 
said; he did not Ipxow what bargain the couple 
had made between themselves, and he saw no 
good in interfering with it; and, what is mor^, 
he thought that if the wife was willing to obey, 
and the husband Qould make her do it, she'd 
submit to his orders whether she promised tp do 
it or not, and if she had made up her mind tp 
the contrary, all the vows under heaven would 
not make her submissive. That's what I call a 
sensible man ! he gave plenty of good advice and 
cautioning at weddings and christenings, my 
mother said, but he neither questioned folk too 
hard nor made them promise more than h^ 
thought they were likely to perform." 

"And the word was really left out in the 
marriage service 1" said Mr. Lufton, witfe an 
E!nglishman's incredulity as to any latitude being 
taken in such things by an officiating clergyman. 
" I shall want more evidence of suc^ ^ strai^ 
exception to the rule." 

" It really w^^/' |U|^4 All|u> ; *^ Jjoth flay i^iioM 
and mother assert the fact." 

" Well; witb or withpv^ tbe yow, Mrs. lincjsay 


260 THE author's daughter. 

is a model wife. I cannot think how she brought 
you up with such notions of matrimonial duties, 
Miss Isabel. But if you really want to keep 
Allan at home I should be veiy glad to take 
Gundabook off your father's hands rather than that 
it should make such a division of your &inily." 

" Now that it is so improved !" said Isabel, who 
did not want for the family shrewdness; ''but 
you'll have to convince my father, and, as I told 
you, that is no easy matter, for what he begins 
he always carries out ; and if it were necessary 
for Gundabook that he should go there himself, 
he'd go and make no words about it. No ; you 
had better try to drive George Copeland off his 
notions about England if you want to be a firiend 
of the fiajnily." 

" Of course if I did repurchase Gundabook I 
should compensate your father for his improve- 
ments; and Copeland has really done a great 
deal, both for the house and the station." 

" He is very handy, George, 1*11 say that for 
him, though IVe a very black crow to pick with 
him just now. But even if you offered what you 
thought a long price for the improvements I 
don't think you would come near up to my 
father's notion of what they are worth," said 

" You ought to think your sister very lucky to 


be taken to England. It is the tbdng that we 
all aim at. You see how Mrs. Hammond's ambi- 
tion could not be satisfied in Australia. I am 
sure, Miss Staunton, though you are saying no- 
thing about it, that you are rather envying than 
pitying Mrs. Copeland," 

'' Not for leaving her father and mother/' said 
Amy, roused from her reverie. 

"But there are some things to be foimd in 
England that you must regret and long for," 
urged Mr. Lufton. 

"Some things; yes, there are many things," 
said Amy. 

" I know there are many things," said Lufton. 
" My visit to England has been long delayed, but 
I hope to accomplish it ere long. Every letter I 
get from home, every newspaper I read, only 
shows me how much one misses in these wilds." 

A little sigh from Amy encouraged Mr. Luf- 
ton ; there was no doubt that she regretted her 
native land, and he (Mr, Lufbon) was much more 
likely to gratify her wishes than any one she 

The fortnight that was to be spent at Gunda- 
book was abridged, and the stay of Allan and the 
girls was fall of business and cares. Mr. Lufbon 
remained only a few days, and pressed the tra- 
vellers to take the same route on their return ; 

262 THE author's daughter. 

but time was predous, and they took the road 
by Grant's staticm, which George and Jessie had 

Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay wesre greatly diaoonoerted 
by George Copeland's change of plans for life 
They had hoped, by coming out to Australia^ to 
be able to keep their children near them for their 
lives, and that had been one nudn reason for 
emigrating. The scatterings of Scottish families 
of all ranks^ and especially in Hugh Xdndsay's 
own rank, are far and wide, and often restdt in 
lifelong separations. As he had accumulated 
property in the colony, Mr. Lindsay had felt that 
there was room enough on his own land for his 
sons and his daughters ; and he dealt fairly and 
kindly by them all, so that there was little ia- 
ducement for them to go fiar from him. But here 
was another father and mother claiming a son to 
whom his eldest and his favourite daughter was 
irrevocably bound, and against whom he had no 
right to claim her. Little as the old man showed 
his affection in words, it was very evident that 
this departure of Jessie cost him a great deal — 
more even than it cost her mother. She, good 
woman, had left home and kindred to go to the 
ends of the earth with him, and would cheers 
folly do it again with or for him, and she knew 
that Jessie accepted this trial as one of the con- 

BUSHIK6 IT. 263 

ditions of her marriage. Not but what Mrs. 
Lindsay, ss usual, had more to say of the hard- 
ships of parting with Jessie than her husband 
had, but she relieved herself in that way. 

As for Allan's going to Qundabook, she had 
still more objections to make to tliat than to 
George's leaving it. Jamie might have a trial 
there. So long as he was at Branxliolm he did 
not take his fair share of the work, but trusted 
too much to Allan or to Btarry Weir. Besides, 
Allan was the most skilled with the plough, 
and with the reaping machine, and had most 
knowledge about the garden ; and if things went 
wrong at Branxholm that would be worse than 
if there were losses at Oundabook. Qeorge 
Copelaad had given the out-station a capital 
start, and Jamie was a year and a half older 
than when it was undertaken. Donald was 
steady enough, and hi3 wife a quiet, civil body, 
though not over clean; but better men than 
Jamie had had no better company. Jamie him- 
self was very wiUing to go, and there was no 
occasion why Allan should be sent from work 
of far more consequence. 

The mother's arguments had their effect, and 
the younger brother went to Qundabook, while 
the youngest of the family, Hughie, was taken 
from the school, where his mother said he was 

264 THE author's daughter. 

only losing his time, and employed in those de- 
partments which Jamie had taken, ^th a pro- 
mise that if he did well, and if he wished it, he 
should be sent back to Adelaide in a year. But 
Hughie took kindly to the work, and never asked 
to return to any learning. 

When George and Jessie had sailed for London, 
Amy had many hopes, and fears, and doubts as 
to whether she was right in trying to remind 
her brother and sister of her existence ; but as 
many months passed before she could hear at all, 
and several more before the Derricks came to 
live at Stanmore, she heard little or nothing 
except the same indistinct rumours that had 
reached her before from Mr. and Mrs. Copeland's 
letters. Gradually she gave herself up to the 
idea that nothing was ever to come of it, and 
ceased to speak of the matter even to Allan. It 
had always been a very distasteful subject to 
him, and he was not sorry when she dropped it. 



Mrs. Troubridge was very much disposed to 
cultivate the acquaintance of the interesting or- 
phan whom Mr. Lufton had introduced to her ; 
and although the party from Branxholm had not 
taken Richlands on their homeward route, as she 
hoped and expected, she overlooked the slight, 
and called at Branxholm on her next visit to 
Adelaide, and accepted of Mrs. Lindsay's hospi- 
tality for the night. 

She was not so much afraid of compromising 
herself by visiting her inferiors as Mrs. Hammond 
had be»! »d I d^y, enjoyed being in »y 
one's house. Different walls, and floors, and 
plates, and teacups, from those at Richlands bad 
always an exhilaratinsc effect on Mrs. Troubridge's 
spirite. and she found that, independent of Ay 
Staimton, the Lindsays were worth visiting on 
their own accoimt. She had a frank, rattling 

266 THE author's daughter. 

manner amongst strangers, and did not appear to 
condescend to her host and hostess, so that they 
did not feel how much she considered herself their 

Mrs. Lindsay had a lurking idea that this fiur- 
spoken lady wished still to wile Amy ainray firom 
Branxholm, and saw some stratagem in the 
friendly overtures, but it only seemed to make 
the good woman more original and amusing than 
her wont; and Mrs. Troubridge thought Mr. 
Lufbon, who had often spoken of Mrs. Lindsay's 
kindness and motherly ways, had not done half 
justice to her cleverness and quickness of obser- 
vation. Hugh Lindsay was shrewd and quiet, 
Isabel very lively^ and Allan wonderfully intelli- 
gent, and by no means such a boor as might have 
been expected, and, what was more than that« be 
was remarkably handsome. No contemptible 
rival to the unlucky Mr. Lufbon after all, though, 
true to her old friendship, she determined to 
further his cause as much as she could, and 
pressed for an eariiy visit at Richlands from Miss 
Staunton, which she said had been promised to 

Mrs. Lindsay received this invitation coldly, 
but said, of course Amy might please herself 

" The children have talked about you con- 
stantly since you were with us that OM evening. 


Miss Staunton/' said Mrs. Troubridge. "I am 
sure that with your large household, Mrs. Lind<^ 
say* you could easily spare me Miss Staunton for 
a month or six weeks.'' 

"WeVe had to spare Jessie for good," said 
Mrs. Lindsay, "and I'm sure I have no done 
missing her yet." 

" Certainly, I qidte enter into your feelings ; 
but suppose Miss Staimton and Miss Isabel (Miss 
Lindsay, I should call her now) would come to 
keep me company at Bichlands for a month, the 
change would do them a great deal of good. I 
should like the two together, because they might 
find it dull We have splendid rides all roimd 
about, and I have no end of books for them to 

" Yes, but how's the work to get on if both 
Amy and Isabel are away ?" 

" How did it get on when they went to Qun- 
dabook ?" asked Mrs. Troubridge. 

" That was a matter of necessity to go to see 
Jessie, poor thing, left all alone in that far-off 
region." said Mrs. Lindsay. 

" And I am sure she never could be duller than 
I am. I'm often amused to think how little I 
say, and how little is said to me, week after 
week, at home. Nobody believes it, I know, but 
I am naturally quiet — very quiet, and Mr. Trou- 

268 THE author's dauohter. 

bridge is the same, and unless we have a friend 
to wake us up, we get as dull as ditch-water. 
It really would be very charitable in you girls to 
cheer us and shake us up a little, and the chil- 
dren would be in ecstacies if you would come. 
Do, Mrs. Lindsay, give your consent." 

" Well, well, we'll see about it," was all the 
answer Mrs. Lindsay could be prevailed upon to 

" At any rate 111 leave you the books I pro- 
mised to lend you, and you can return them in 
person if you please. When you have finished 
these I can supply you with others. I have 
hundreds of novels at Richlands, and I like to 
do my best for the diffusion of useless know- 

"That is a poor thing to aim at," said Mrs. 

" Not that I consider novel-reading really use- 
less," said Mrs. Troubridge ; " I only contrast it 
with what is called useful knowledge, which I 
hated at school" 

" So did I," said Isabel 

"And I hate it stiU," continued Mrs. Trou- 
bridge, with charming frankness. "But you 
know that novels give you great insight into 
human nature, and I know I have learned more 
history from novels than from anythmg else. 


Then with regard to maimers, T think bush 
people, who have not seen much of the world, 
ought decidedly to go through a severe course of 
novels to learn how people speak and act in dif- 
ferent spheres of society. You know we are 
buried out here." 

" You may think you are buried at Richlands* 
but we dinna consider we are buried at Branx- 
holm," said Mrs. Lindsay, drily. "What with 
having our bairns about us, and our hands aye 
full of work, we are baith living and life-like. 
No that I say anything against an entertaining 
book at an odd time, but I wou'd na like to put 
my dependence a'thegither on romancing novels." 
" Oh ! but wo are not all of such a solid cha- 
racter as you are, Mrs. Lindsay ; you do not ex- 
pect old heads upon comparatively young shoul- 
ders. I know the yoimg people will enjoy the 
novels," said Mrs. Troubridge. 

And the yoimg people did. Gerald Staunton's 
library had been very deficient in novels, though 
rich in poetry, and it was the first introduction 
of the family at Branxholm to novels on a large 
scale. No sooner was the first packet read than 
it was exchanged by Mrs. Troubridge for another, 
and their ideas were enlarged and their minds 
opened by the perusal of one work of fiction after 
another of all colours — ^green, blue, red, and 

270 THX authob's dauobtul 

yellow — outside ; and of all qualities— -good, bad, 
and indifferent — ^inside. 

Allan Lindsay was at first completely carried 
away with his new studies, but after six montbs 
of excessive novel-reading he checked himaelf 

" This will not do, giris," he said to Isabel and 
Amy, and Phenda, who were, perhaps, as much 
addicted to the novels as he was, but not so much 
affected by them. " This is bad stuff to grow 
men and women upon. Tour feither did not 
write books like this, and I am glad of it. Amy ; 
nor did he read them, I suppose, for he had bo 

" Yes, I think he read them to review them, 
but he sold all the least useful part of his library 
before we left, and the novels were bulky, be- 
sides, for I recollect they were all in Isxg^ 

" Well, he read them as a matter of business, 
not for amusement ; I am glad of it," rq>eated 

'' I am sure, Alk^i you have had great interest 
a<id great pleasiu^ in these books," said Isabel. 

" Yes, too much pleasure and interest I <ti» 
too apt to think that I ajn the hero, gettiiag into 
scrapes, and gettmg out of th<^» ; coming mix> 
\axge fortimea that I have nev^ earned, or esdn-^ 


ing them in a rapid dash by all sorts of good 
luck favouring eveiything I do — handsome, witty, 
agreeable, the star of society, and the choice of 
some lovely heroine — and to forget that I am 
plain Allan Lindsay of Branxholm, that I have 
to plough to-morrow, and to sow next month, to 
prune the vines, and graft the new trees, and to 
go to Qundabook to lend a hand to Jamie in his 
busy season, before my own comes on, and to 
take out the reaping machine next December for 
the crop that has taken months to grow ; every- 
thing done laboriously, and the reward foUowing 
not very dose on the exertion.*' 

" But Allan, you do your work, and what mat- 
ter is it that while you are reading your book, 
you forget sometimes where you are, and what 
you have got to do ?" said Amy. 

" I don't put so much heart in the work I do," 
said Allan. " I don't feel as if it was of so much 

" Well," said Isabel, " I like to be the heroine 
in imagination. I like to fancy myself as beau- 
tiful, and as aiBidaJ:^^, and as clever as she is ; I 
like ;going through all the adva^itures and es- 
caping ell tiie dai^rs, aaad being married to the 
hero at last, in sf^te <^ aU obetaolae. Don't you 
like it too, Amy V* 

«< Allan says what mH.miina used to say to me. 

myself lately I have felt some compunction ; but 
it is very pleasant. Still, though I go on with 
the characters, I do not feel as if I were one of 
them ; I am not clever enough to be Jane Eyre, 
or handsome enough to be any other novel 
heroine. No ; I am Amy Staimton all the time." 

" That's what I ought to feel, but I do not," 
said Allan ; " so I think they hurt me more than 
they hurt you," 

" But do not they give you some idea of life 
and manners out of your own circle ? " asked 

" Yes," said Allan, thoughtfully, " some of them 
do. They carry me into the past, and into the 
remote as I have never been carried before ; 
but then I have no confidence in their being 

'' And is it not better that we should take an 
interest in imaginary people than only in our 
daily work ? I am speaking to account for my 
own feelings, and perhaps to defend them, but not 
to advise you, Allan," said Amy, musingly. " For 
instance, if I had continued to live in London 


With papa and mamma, just as we used to do 
before mamma became so "weak and ill, knowing 
few people and living more amongst books than 
in the world, and somebody had written a novel 
about such people as you, and described your 
daily life and your way of thinking, even though 
it was not exactly true, and things were said in it 
that none of you had exactly said, and things 
were done that you might have done if circum- 
stances had been a little changed, it would have 
been very interesting to me, and to papa too. It 
would not have done us any harm to have gone 
with you to the plough, or with Jessie and George 
to Gundabook, or to have watched your mother's 
patience with Biddy, or BiddVs wonderful kind- 
ness of heart to her poor relations in Ireland, and 
the effort she makes to save money to fetch them 
here, while at the same time she can scarcely speak 
the truth about them or anything else, because 
she does not seem to know really what truth is. 
This would have been just as unlike my real life 
and as unlike the people I lived amongst then as 
the novels that we are reading now are unlike the 
life at Branxholm ; but it would have done me 
good, I think, and not harm." 

** But these books are not written like that. 
Adventure after adventure, murder, bigamy, 
fraud, and conspiracy heaped up as they never 

VOL. L 18 

ain heads, and it is a marvel to me how they ever 
could get there. For a' ifc gets printed it canna 
mak the thing true." 

" Mrs. Troubridge says she could not live in the 
bush without these books; they are her only 
amusement/' said Amy. 

" Weel, what does a woman with a house and 
a husband and bairns want wi' amusement ? 
When a lassie marries she should say good-day to 
sic things. No that Mr. Troubridge is extraordi- 
nary entertaining; but she kenned that when 
she took him. They say she was a wild ane when 
he got the taming o' her ; a douce sponsible man 
he looks, but no just the sort to tak a young 
lassie's e'e. And I suppose you and Isabel behove 
to go next week to pay your visit that she keeps 
craiking about in her letters to you, Amy, 
aud you'll see for yourselves what a dull life 
it is when a yoimg thing takes up wi' a man 
that might be her father. It's a thing that 
I have nae opinion o' mysel'," said Mre. 


" And is Mr. Luffcon to escort us as he offers to 
do, mother ? " said Isabel. 

" No ; Allan will go with you. With brothers 
o* your ain you need be beholden to no stranger 
for sic service, and as they are no throng wi* the 
wark at this time he can be the easier spared," 
said Mrs. Lindsay. 

On the whole the result of the visit to Rich- 
lands was that both Isabel and Amy were better 
satisfied with their own home on their return. 
Mr. Troubridge was a man who never took any 
trouble to amuse his wife*s guests ; he liked a good 
dinner, and a liberal allowance of wine after it, and 
after his day's work looking after his men and his 
stock he was more apt to fall asleep in the even- 
ings than to add to the liveliness of the party by 
conversation; and although Mrs. Troubridge 
wished to make the girls happy, and was kind to 
them and talked a great deal to them, the house 
was not half so cheerful as Branxholm. They 
heard a great deal about Mr. and Mrs. Orme, Mrs. 
Troubridge's father and mother ; and Miss Orme's 
own life before she was married, with sketches of 
several of her admirers, and also those of her 
sisters, who were now married and settled too ; 
but no amount of leading on would induce her 
to reveal any particulars as to Mr. Ljifton's love 


276 THE author's daughter. 

afiiiirs to Isabel Lindsay. Mrs. Troubridge was 
upon honour there. 

If it had not been for a sad event which occurred 
shortly after the girls had paid their visit they 
might have thought very little more about Mrs. 
Troubridge, though they liked the children and 
found them very smart and amusing. Mr. Trou- 
bridge had been complaining of not feeling very 
weU when they were at Bichlands, but there was 
not much the matter/ and he was generally so 
strong and healthy that no one took alarm. But 
a neglected cold brought on violent inflammatory 
symptoms, and when medical aid was called in 
the case was critical and alarming. Within a 
fortnight of the day when they had last seen 
him they heard that he was hopelessly ill ; and 
that Mrs. Troubridge was almost distracted with 
grief and worn out with fatigue. Mr. Lufton had 
acted like a good neighbour and a true Mend, and 
had done everything in his power to help Mrs. 
Troubridge. She had no unmarried sister who 
could come to relieve her, and she sent to Branx- 
holm to entreat Amy to come. It would do her 
so much good just to look at her. Amy could not 
refuse such a request, and she hastened to Rich- 

She fou^d Mrs. Troubridge in a state of such 
bewildering grief that surprised her. Her im- 


pression had been that she cared very little for 
her husband, his tastes and habits were so different 
from his wife's, and she had been in the habit of 
sajdng, "Oh! that is only Mr. Troubridge's 
opinion," as if that opinion carried no weight 
whatever. She complained of his not living in 
Adelaide, which she thought they could well afford 
to do, and she had a number of grievances larger 
or smaller, that Mr. Troubridge would never re- 
dress, and did not care to hear about. 

Amy had been accustomed in her old life in 
England to perfect sympathy and imion of mind 
and heart existing between her father and mother ; 
and at Branxholm Hugh Lindsay and his wife 
were of one heart in all things, and he was 
always looked on as the head of the house, and 
his opinions and orders treated with respect and 
obedience. She had felt Mrs. Troubridge's in- 
different or opposing manner jar upon her ; and 
now she was astonished at the real grief she mani- 
fested. She tried to comfort the widow when 
death put an end to all cares and efforts in poor 
Mr. Troubridge's behalf; but she found that her 
words had little or no effect. Mr. Lufton had 
never shown himself in such good colours as he 
did on this occasion ; he was so kind, so attentive, 
so thoughtful ; he spared himself no fatigue and 
gave himself up to his friend's service. Mrs. 

278 THE author's dauohtek. 

Troubridge could now consult her own inclinar 
lions as to living in Adelaide ; but she seemed 
to feel a remorse for her grumbling at bush life, 
and preferred remaining for a time at least with 
her children at Richlands. And Amy returned 
to Branxholm a second time with much more 
regard for Mra Troubridge, and for Mr. Luflon 
too, than she could have thought possible a 
month before. 



In spite of all her husband's encouragement and 
her own natural fortitude Jessie Copeland's heart 
beat faster and more anxiously than was agree- 
able when on her arrival in England they took 
the train that was to land them at the nearest 
station to Millmount. They had telegraphed their 
safe arrival and their purposed journey before 
they started, so that old Mrs. Copeland was in a 
fever of impatience. To think of her eldest boy, 
her handsome George, returning to be a constant 
inmate in the house after twelve years' absence, 
was a delightful and bewildering anticipation; 
but would there not be a little risk in including 
the Australian wife ? 

At first the joy of seeing George swallowed up 
all her curiosity and anxiety with regard to the 
unknown daughter-in-law, and she held him in 
her arms for some minutes, without taking her 

280 THE author's daughter. 

eyes off his fece, as she traced the likeness of the 
fair slight lad through the changes that haxl con- 
verted him into the strongly-made, handsome, 
embrowned, and bearded man. 

" Oh ! the eyes are the same, but there are 
linas about them that I was not used to see," she 
exclaimed ; " and I can scarce recognise the smile 
with all that hair about your face; but it is 
George, my own George. My son was lost, and 
he is found." 

" Yes, it is him really come home in the body, 
Sarah, in spite of all your forebodings of ship- 
wrecks and unknown dangers. I knew he'd 
turn up without fail, after he had wrote that he 
was coming. Ah! George, my lad, you'll see 
great changes in us too, and in the parish as 
well," said Mr. Copeland. 

" No more than I ought to be prepared for," 
said George. " Mother looks thin, but still she 
is just the same in every other respect, and you 
are a little heavier than you were, father, but as 
erect as ever. With a horse up to your weight 
I fancy you could ride to cover as well as any 
one in the county yet. But let us not be alto- 
gether taken up with ourselves. Mother, this is 
my dear good wife. Let Jessie be a daughter to 

He put their hands together. The mother 


looked for a few moments at the stranger, and 
met the expression of her kind truthful eyes. 
She felt that Jessie was to be loved and trusted ; 
she took her new daughter into her arms and 
blessed her. 

Few people look their best after a long sea 
voyage through hot latitudes, and Mr. Copeland 
thought his son might have picked up a prettier 
wife in England. The Scotch accent, too, grated 
a little on his unaccustomed ears, and Mrs. 
George had no style with her whatever. But 
the mother's instinct assured her that George 
was a happy and a fortimate man. During all 
the conversation, while her ears were listening 
for what George had to say and how his father 
took the news, her eyes were resting com- 
placently on the quiet unpretending young 
woman who said so little, but that little always 
to the point. Jessie listened with interest to all 
the talk of the village and parish matters and 
farming affairs, appearing to know something of 
the people, or if she did not, trusting to gather 
some clue from the conversation, and not inter- 
rupting the current of talk with enquiries as to 
the who, the when, and the whereabout of each 
narration. If her opinion was required, or any 
question asked about Australia which she could 
answer, she spoke sensibly and properly, and she 

282 THE author's daughter. 

charmed both the old people by her intiinate 
and practical knowledge of all sorts of rural 

She arranged the pillows on the old lady's 8o£ft 
(for she was now somewhat of an invalid) not 
exactly to perfection, for it requires some practice 
or a peculiar instinct which Jessie had not, 
amongst her many good gifts, to do that; but 
with goodwill and readiness to take a hint. She 
made tea for the family in a little old-fashicmed 
silver teapot set in a little stand — ^a great con- 
trast to the capacious vessel in use at Branx- 
holm — and listened to the history which Mrs. 
Copeland gave of it as having belonged to her 
grandmother. There were many curious old 
handsome things in the house, showing that the 
Copelands had been comfortable people for 
several generations, whereas everything that 
was handsome at Branxholm was spick-and- 
span new. Jessie's mother had old stories of 
the greatness of the Lindsays and the Hepbums 
in times long past ; but her own recollections of 
early life were of hard living, poor lodging, and 
little or no farniture in the wilds of Australia, 
and she fully appreciated the heirlooms and the 
anecdotes which her mother-in-law told. Mr. 
Copeland would rather have had the tea-service 
displayed that he had won in a sweepstakes 


with some neighbouring farmers by having the 
longest- wooled sheep amongst them ; but the old 
lady had thought George would prefer the old- 
fashioned silver, without prejudice to showing off 
the new acquisition after tea, and to the relation 
of the whole story of the sweepstakes circum- 
stantially by the old gentleman. He had never 
seen a woman in his life who seemed to know so 
much about sheep as his new daughter-in-law, or 
who handled his samples of wool in such a 
sensible and practical way. 

On the following day, when Mr. Copeland took 
Jessie with her husband over the farmyard, the 
cattle-pens, and stable and poultry yard and 
piggeries, she expressed herself so intelligently 
about all these things that the old man's heart 
was completely won. Although George had gone 
a long way for his wife, and had as yet got 
nothing with her, he had certainly done better 
than if he had brought home a girl from any 
English town; and very few English farmers' 
daughters now-a-days were, as the old man said, 
so knowledgable about rural affairs as Mrs. George 
showed herself The old gentleman was of opinion 
that the young women of the present generation 
were brought up altogether too fine for daily use. 
Even his own daughters had despised or disliked 
what their mother had been taught as indis- 

284 THE author's daughter. 

pensable parts of female education. No doubt 
servants had grown somewhat more skilful, so 
that the things were done ; but with the skill 
had come an uppishness that the old-school 
farmer resented as an innovation, and the finer 
ways were more costly than the older and plainer 
manners of his youth. 

He could not perhaps have put his ideas into 
words, but he felt that it was a pity that almost 
all domestic employments were dropping out of 
the hands of middle-class women in England, 
without much widening of employments of other 

So that Jessie Lindsay's early training to do 
everything with her own hands made her the 
more agreeable to the Copelands, and gave her 
confidence that she might be useful to them. 
All Mr. Copeland said about Millmount, and the 
rent and tithes and income tax and other taxes, 
and the rotation of crops, and the payment of his 
labourers was exceedingly interesting to Jessie. 
She liked to hear a man not much older than 
her own father talk on subjects that had often 
been discussed at Branxholm in her hearing. 

Whether she had been interested in Mr. Cope- 
land's talk or not, she would -have tried for George's 
sake to appear as if she was ; but it cost her no 
efibrt; she liked it and she understood it; and 


this genuine tribute to his conversational powers 
was more charming than if it had cost her a 
sacrifice. Elderly people in civilized commu- 
nities'are generally treated with courtesy ; but it 
was a rare pleasure to Mr. Copeland to be listened 
to with such genuine and imflagging interest and 

When the brothers and sisters came to see 
their returned brother and his Australian wife, 
they were by no means so prepossessed with 
Jessie as their parents. She sadly wanted style 
»d polish, J.^ ^ 6>J«^ »d L 
education was Imiited; but as the old people 
were delighted with her, they contented them- 
selves with a few hints and a somewhat lofty 
manner to Mrs. George. She was humble in 
little things, and took their advice with regard 
to dress and such matters very good naturedly, 
so that by degrees they took her into greater 
favour, and congratulated themselves that so 
suitable a person had turned up to take care of 
the old people. 

It was, as Mr. Copeland thought, a singular 
coincidence that on the day when George's first 
child, a boy, was bom, old Mr. Derrick after a 
long and protracted illness should die. Jessie 
heard this news with some excitement. Toung 
Mr. Derrick was now the Squire, and being 

286 THE author's dauohteb. 

released from his dose attendance on his grand- 
father was likely to come to Stanmore to reside. 
But some time elapsed before this took place, 
and the estate was managed by an agent as 
before. No new arrangements were made with 
the tenants, and Mr. Copeland hoped to con- 
tinue at Millmoimt for the remainder of his life. 

But on one Sunday, Jessie was surprised by 
seeing the Squire's pew, so long empty, filled by 
a young gentleman and lady and a middle-aged 
lady. She looked eagerly for a likeness to Amy 
Staimton, but there was not the slightest resem- 
blance in either of the young faces to her dear 
little friend. They might be strangers — she 
looked questioningly at George. " Mr. Anthony 
and Miss Edith, and their aunt, Miss Derrick," 
he whispered to her. 

The Derricks were accustomed to be looked at 
when in church as the most important persons 
there, so they saw nothing remarkable in the 
repeated glances which George and Jessie Cope- 
land directed towards them. Jessie "could not 
ascertain whether she liked their appearance or 
not, there was a heavy look about the brows, 
and an expression round the mouth that sug- 
gested something of bad temper ; but, to be sure, 
the faces were not animated by conversation, and 
the deep mourning worn by the ladies was severe 


upon their style of face. In going out of church 
the respectful salutation of the tenantry and of 
the villagers was acknowledged stiffly; there 
was little relaxation of the countenance accom- 
panying the slight bend of the head. " I don*t 
think I'll like them at all," she confided to her 
husband. On Sunday evening the young Squire 
and his family were the subjects of discussion, 
and Jessie led Mrs. Copeland on to tell all she 
knew of Lady Eveline Darlington. It was not 
much, for the Copelands had not gone to Stan- 
more till after Lady Eveline's second marriage, 
and they had only heard that it was a low 
hurried match, which had given great and just 
offence to the family. They believed that the 
young Squire's mother was dead many years ago, 
and that the children she had so cruelly deserted 
never heard her name mentioned by their grand- 
father or their aunt who had superintended their 

Jessie kept her knowledge in the background ; 
only with her husband did slie consult as to 
what would be likely to occur if she brought 
Amy's relationship forward. George was as 
doubtful as herself on the subject. He saw a 
happy life before Amy as Allan's wife, and he 
was not strongly attracted towards the young 
squire, and still less so towards his sister. Amy's 

288 THE author's daughter. 

own last letters had been rather expressive of a 
greater shrinking from the disclosure than when 
she first confided in Jessie, and the husband and 
wife, after much doubt and consultation, resolved 
to trust to the chapter of accidents, and only to 
bring forward the subject if there was a very 
good opportunity. 



It has been remarked by an acute observer that 
the children of parents who do not love each 
other are seldom very strongly attached ; and the 
natural bond between Anthony and Edith Derrick 
had been also weakened by the very great parti- 
aUty which their grandfather had shown to his 
heir, and the equally strong partiality which Miss 
Derrick felt towards her niece. As the old gentle- 
man had been the most important person in the 
household, Anthony had always had the advan- 
tage during his life-time ; and now, on Mr. Der- 
rick's death, he felt that he was still more indis- 
putably the master. But the old gentleman had 
been sufficiently liberal to Edith, and although 
Anthony hStd come in for all the landed estates 
unencumbered and improving, the personal pro- 
perty had been equally divided between his two 
daughters, one married and the other unmarried, 
and his young granddaughter Edith. His poor 
VOL. I. 19 

2!)0 THE author's daughter. 

John's daughter should be no worse off than her 
aunts, and the provision made for the aunt and 
niece was ample enough to allow them to keep a 
handsome separate establishment. So long as 
Anthony was unmarried, however, they con- 
sidered that it would be good for him that they 
should live with him, and not altogether incon- 
venient for themselves, and accordingly, when he 
determined on going to Stanmore, from which he 
had been so long absent, his sister and aunt were 
quite prepared to accompany him. 

Anthony^ as the elder brother and the young 
squire, considered that his sister ought to yield 
to liim on every point in which they differed, 
while Edith^ backed by the authority of her aunt 
Anne, more self-possessed and less sensitive, felt 
that she was older for a woman than he was for 
a man, and was never at all disposed to give in. 

She knew how to make her brother feel a little 
incisive remark quietly made; a slight allusion 
to his want of success at the university, a hint as 
to the connection of the family with trade, or any 
mention of a Lady Clara, whom he had met at 
their aunt Lady Gower's, and who was believed 
to have refused him, would amply revenge any of 
his own blunter attacks upon herself. 

The Derricks had not been kept in such igno- 
lance as to their mother as Amy and her friends 


supposed. Edith was proud of the connection 
with the Darlington family, and with the Gowers 
and Pemberleys ; but Anthony was painfully sen- 
sitive with regard to the hasty and indecorous 
second marriage. He had some recollection of 
his mother, and he had never got over the feel- 
ings of deep ii\jury which her leaving him had 
awakened in liis heart. This feeling had been 
kept alive by his grandfather, whose resentment 
had been strong and deep. When the annoimce- 
ment of Lady Eveline's death ^arrived Anthony 
Derrick was young certainly, but quite capable 
of judging for himself; and he had considered 
his grandfather quite right in taking no notice of 
it, and not communicating in any way with the 
low fellow who had sunk his titled mother into 
nobody. Of course Mr. Staunton should provide 
for his own daughter ; it was no business of Mr. 
Derrick's, or of Anthony's. 

Recently, indeed since his grandfather's death, 
he had seen some cause to modify his opinion. In 
looking over the papers of the deceased, he had 
come upon a letter or two of his mother's, enquir- 
ing as to her children, and the communication as 
to her death, not marked, as Mr. Derrick's other 
letters generally were, with the large " A " for 
" Answered." He wished to make some enquiries 
and yet shrunk from telling what connection he 


292 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

had with Gerald Staunton, and was surprised one 
day to hear his name mentioned with admiration 
by one who was considered an excellent judge of 

" Not a great author, by any means/' said this 
Mr. Saville ; " his books did not take with the 
public, although they were carefully written, and 
very correct as works of art. They wanted less 
hasty reading than this nineteenth century public 
will give to anything. But as a critic he was 
unrivalled. No such subtle or exhaustive criti- 
cism or poetry, no such true and pointed judg- 
ment of fiction, has ever been seen in England 
since he left the PallaMum. And his magazdne 
articles on social questions and on philology were 

'^Do you know him?* asked Anthony, awk- 

"Not personally; he was always a retiring 
scholar, and did not know his own value. I do 
not think the PalladiuTn knew it till it lost him." 

" Can you tell me where this Mr. Staunton is 
now ?" asked Anthony. 

" I think he went to Australia and died there, 
but, as I said, I have no personal knowledge of 
him whatever. If you wish to know anything 
about him you should enquire at the Palladium 
office. They are sure to know there." 


It was not without some hesitation that An- 
thony made up his mind to enquire at this office. 
He did not mean to disclose any connection that 
he had with the poor hack writer, but he felt as 
if it was his duty to make some enquiry. The 
editor of the journal was quite accustomed to 
such questions being asked, and took them as a 
matter of business. 

" I did not know Mr. Staunton at all. It was 
before my time that he was on the Palladium^ 
but I recollect a short obituary notice appearing 
in the journal about three years ago, or perhaps 
not quite so much. It was an accidental death 
— instantaneous I believe. 1*11- look over the files 
and find it for you if you wish for fuller infor- 
mation. It was to Mr. Loder the information was 
sent, and he is unfortunately out of town, on the 
continent, in fact ; but my impression is that the 
little girl wrote the circumstances to Mr. Loder — 
our proprietor, you know." 

" And what became of the little girl ?" asked 
Anthony nervously. 

" Oh, so far as I know, she fell on her feet. 
She was adopted by some wealthy Australians — 
squatters, I suppose — and treated like one of the 
family. Better luck for her than if she had been 
left in London." 

" Are you sure of this ?" asked Anthony. 


294 THE author's daughter. 

" I'll enquire of Mr. Loder when he returns, or, 
if it is at all pressing, write to him — "poste res- 
tamie — and get the girl's address, if yon wish to 
communicate with her." 

" Oh ! no," said Anthony, " I only enquired for 
my own satisfaction ; it really is of no conse- 
quence." K Amy Staunton was so well provided 
for, there was no necessity for his ripping up old 

It was with a lighter heart that he left the 
Palladium office. He had got the information 
he wished; he had not betrayed himself, and he did 
not need to do anything. He did not tell Edith 
anything about the information he had received, 
because there was no saying what use she might 
make of it ; but on one occasion, when he was at 
Lady Gower's, now an old woman, but as fond of 
society and of dress and amusement as she had 
ever been, he heard her mention the name of Ge- 
rald Staunton with pity, but yet with a sort of 
liking too. She explained to Anthony the cir- 
cumstances which palliated his mother's conduct, 
and dwelt upon the fact that it was his apparently 
dying state that had made Lady Evelyn hasten 
to Gerald Staunton, and compromise herself so 
that it was necessary for her to marry him. Lady 
Gower, on Anthony's communicating to her the 
information he had received with regard to his 


half-sister, was as willing as Anthony to believe 
in the liberality of the unknown Australians, aii<l 
was perfectly satisfied to leave mattei-s as they 

With some relenting thoughts with reg../<l to 
his mother and his unknown sister in his lieait, 
and with some annoyance at his aunt and Edith h 
willingness to accompany him to Stanmore, wliere 
he would have preferred to be at perfect liberty, 
Anthony determined to look into matters on the 
estate, and to see if more could not be made of 
it than his grandfather had done. 

One of the first farmers whom he went to see 
was Mr. Copeland, and when he was introduced 
to George and his Australian wife, he naturally 
felt more interest in them than he could have 
done a month before. Politeness might have dic- 
tated his questions about Australian life and 
Australian scenery, but Anthony Derrick always 
spoke of what interested himself, and if iiis 
thoughts had not recently been turned in tliat 
direction, he would have asked few (juestions 
about the great south land. Old Mr. (Jopeland 
was pleased to see the kindly interest the young 
squire took in George and Jessie, it augured well 
for Millmount being left in the hands of the 
family. Jessie was pleased, too, to find that 
Mr. Derrick really was more amiable than she 

296 THE author's daughter. 

had thought him. It was a pity he smiled so 
seldom, for his face was so completely changed 
when he smiled. 

" Perhaps the Squire would like to see some of 
your views," said Mr. Copeland. " They have 
brought some good photographs of Australian 
scenery and Australian friends. Jessie, let Mr. 
Derrick see them." 

Jessie hesitated a little, and it was with a 
trembling hand that she brought them out on a 
second and more urgent request from her father- 
in-law. She was half inclined to select a few and 
keep back the others. 

"Let us see them all," said Mr. Copeland, 
impatiently; "they are all worth looking at. 
Here is Branxholm, Mr. Lindsay's head station, 
Mr. Derrick. We have no view of Gundabook to 
show you — that's the out-station that George had 
the management of." 

Mr. Derrick turned the different views of 
Branxholm over and said what was proper about 
them. " This lady on horseback is not you, Mrs. 
George ; your sister, I suppose ?" 

" No, this is my sister Isabel," said Jessie, 
pointing to another carte. " This is Amy Staun- 
ton, and this here is my brother Allan." Jessie 
tried to say the name "Amy Staimton" very 
distinctly. Anthony Derrick evidently knew the 


name well ; he changed colour and was about to 

" She is a poor orphan whose father was acci- 
dentally killed as he was going to be tutor to one 
of their neighbours, and as she had no friends in 
the colony, or in the world either, by what I can 
make out, Mrs. George's father and mother took 
her home. You have got a much better likeness 
than that, Jessie, my dear ; let Mr. Derrick see 
what a lovely girl she is. I never saw a more 
beautiful photograph," said Mi's. Copeland. 

" Would Mr. Derrick like to see it ?" said 
Jessie. " Photographs are seldom interesting to 
folk that don't know who they are meant for." 

" Oh, yes ! certainly, let me see your Australian 
beauty by all means," said Mr. Derrick, nervously. 
He could not help noticing Jessie's strong Scotch 
accent, and observing that she placed the accent 
of the word interesting on the penultimate. Was 
this one of the family of wealthy squatters among 
whom he had heard that his half-sister was so 
fortunately placed ? 

" This is a vignette of Amy, which of course 
shows her face more distinctly ! but I am very 
fond of that one on Brownie, it gives her figure 
and the way she holds her head so well," said 

At home in his own private drawer Mr. Derrick 

298 THE author's daughter. 

had a miniature of his mother taken before her 
marriage, and except that the expression on the 
vignette was more lively and joyous, there was 
almost absijlute identity between the faces. 
Amy's eyes were rather darker, and her eyebrows 
more defined ; but the likeness was even more 
remarkable than when it had startled Mrs. Ham- 
mond and had prejudiced her against the desolate 
orphan. Mr. Derrick could not speak ; he looked 
at both likenesses long and attentively. Jessie 
and George knew of the relationship, and held 
their breath till he should say something, while 
the old people thought he was simply a great 
connoisseur who was struck with the beauty of 
the portraits and the excellence of the execution, 
which was so creditable to Australia. 

" I knew you would admire them," said Mrs. 
Copeland. " Poor child, it is well she fell into 
such kind hands. Is not she a sort of governess 
at your father's, Jessie, my dear, getting a regular 
salary now ? Though she was so young, her 
father, who was a bookish man, had given her a 
first-rate education, and she was clever enough to 
be of great use to Jessie's young sisters." 

" And to Allan and me too," said Jessie, 

"When did her father meet with this sad 
death ?" asked Mr. Derrick. 


"More than three years ago. My brother 
Allan happened to come up to the spring-cart that 
had been upset, and the body and poor Amy were 
taken to Branxholm. Mr. Staunton was buried 
at the end of our garden, and Amy has been like 
a sister among us ever since." 

" It was a shame that the people Mr. Staunton 
was going to did not take her home ; and the 
English aunt, too, should have done something 
for the girl," said Mrs. Copeland; "but it was 
only their loss and your gain." 

" What is your address — I mean your father's 
address — ^this Miss Staunton's address ?" said Mr. 
Derrick, hesitating and stammering. "I must 
write to her. She should have written to me 
when she was left thus. I feel very much hurt 
that she did not, I cannot understand why she 
did not. Now, at least, I am my own master and 
can do as I like. I must have her brought back 
to England without delay." 

Jessie looked aghast at this proposal. Wliat 
would become of poor Allan, whose life she could 
not bear to think of as separated from Amy's, if 
this wealthy and powerful Squire summoned her 
home immediately? It was so much beyond 
Amy's own anticipations, and ran so directly 
coimter to Jessie's wishes, that it was impossible 
to acquiesce in it without some demur. 

300 THE author's daughter. 

" Oh ! my father and mother and all of them 
will never consent to part with Amy. I am very 
sorry indeed that I mentioned her name if you 
fancy you can take her from them." 

" What relation is the young lady to you, Mr. 
Derrick T asked Mrs. Copeland, astonished at the 
young Squire's eagerness and Jessie's reluctant 
acquiescence. "How can you claim her? I 
thought she had only that one aunt in England." 

" She is my mother's daughter, my half-sister," 
said the young Squire ; " so I have some authority 
to call her back to England, Mrs. Greorge. Of 
course I can understand that your family have 
become attached to her, and that it will cost 
them some pain to part with her ; but that does 
not lessen my desire to see and to know my 
sister. My claims on Miss Staunton are para- 
mount, as you must acknowledge." 

"Oh, George!" said Jessie, looking at her 
husband, with tears in her eyes. "What will 
they all say to me about this ?" 

" My dear Mrs. George," said Mr. Derrick, not 
with absolute sincerity, " it would have come to 
the same thing whether you had informed me on 
the subject or not. I heard lately through a 
friend, at least through an acquaintance, that Mr. 
Staunton had been accidentally killed, and had 
left one daughter in Australia. I have already 


made some enquiries, and ere long would have 
come to the knowledge of my sister's where- 
abouts. The result would have been the same, 
only that the sight of these likenesses, and yi^ur 
expressions of affection and regret, give me a 
much more favourable impression of my im- 
known sister than I <tould have obtained from 
any other quarter." 

" But if you had not got such a favourable 
impression you might have been satisfied with 
writing a kind friendly letter, offering help if slie 
needed it, and not been so set upon having her 
home," said Jessie. 

" No ; I think under all circiunstances I should 
have written for her. You say she is educated, 
but she must have been very young when her 
education was broken off." Mr. Derrick was 
ignorant of his sister's exact age and ashamed to 
confess his ignorance. 

" She was only thirteen when her father died." 

" And now she is sixteen or seventeen," said 
Anthony, who could work that little sum. 
" There is no time to be lost, I must write by the 
first opportunity. You know more about the 
Australian mails than I can be supposed to do." 

"The Southampton mail has gone for this 
month, but the Marseilles mail closes the day 
after to-morrow," said George. 

302 THE author's daughter. 

" Would it not be better to think over it and 
write next month/' said Jessie, who thought the 
matter was altogether too suddenly gone into. 

" I am certain that my mind is made up." said 
Anthony Derrick, taking out his note-book 
" You wiU allow me to take down the address, 
and as a particular favour I beg that you will let 
me have those two photographs to show to my 
sister and aunt, and afterwards to get copied for 
myself I wish to compare them with a minia- 
ture I have at home; the likeness is perfectly 
wonderfuL Neither my sister Edith nor myself 
have any resemblance to our mother, but this is 
her very image. And photographs never flatter, 
so I suppose she is even prettier than this repre- 
sents, Mrs. George." 

" Oh ! yes, far prettier, though it is a good like- 
ness ; but this you know is what she looks at one 
time — and Amy's face changes so much. She 
looks whiles perfectly beautiful, doesn't she, 
George ?" 

" Then I am safe not to be disappointed in her. 
When you write to your parents, Mrs. George, 
will you desire them to accept my best thanks 
for their kindness to one who will soon be so dear 
to me ; and now let me have the address ; the 
day for the mail I cannot forget." 

There was no help for it, George gave the ad- 


dress, Mr. Derrick shook hands warmly with Mrs. 
George Copeland, and again thanked her for her 
kindness, and, taking the photographs with him, 
returned to Stanmore, prepared to astonish his 
aunt and sister with his news. He had told 
them nothing about his previous enquiries, so 
that when he laid the portraits on the table they 
were as much surprised as he expected. Miss 
Derrick thought it must have been something 
taken of his mother, and was surprised at the 
good preservation of the photograph. The old 
rides taken at Brighton with Lady Eveline came 
back to her mind as she looked. 

" I never saw Lady Eveline ride on such a 
horse as that, and I did not think that the habits 
were so long in the waist then ; but it is a good 
likeness, and so is this. Is not the hat sur- 
prisingly modem, Edith ? to think of its being 
worn so long ago ; the old fashions come round 
again very quickly." 

" My dear aunt, this is not my mother at all," 
said Anthony. 

" The scenery is curious, too," said Edith, " I 
never saw such trees as those in my life." 

" There were none such at Brighton that I ever 
saw," said aunt Anne. " Where did you come by 
these likenesses of Lady Eveline, Anthony ? " 

" I told you they are not likenesses of Lady 

304 THE author's daughter. 

Eveline at alL This is a scene in Australia, and 
the girl on horseback is Amy Staunton, our half- 
sister, Edith. The vignette shows the likeness 
still better." 

"Amy Staunton! Anthony, Australia! — how 
came they here ? " asked sister and aunt almost 
in a breath. 

" I got them at Copeland's at Millmount ; you 
know they have a daughter-in-law from Aus- 
tralia, and she knows our sister, and has these 
portraits. Did you ever see such a likeness ? " 

" It is wonderful, certainly,** said Aunt Anne, 
" but it is a likeness that does not please me. 
Your poor papa suffered too much in that mar- 
riage ; a selfish, worldly, unprincipled thing it was 
in Lady Eveline to marry him when her heart 
was given to another, all because your papa was 
rich, and then so shortly after his death to marry 
that Gerald Staunton in such unbecoming, such 
indecent haste. Your poor grandpapa felt it ter- 
ribly; as for you two poor dears, whom she 
deserted, you were too young to feel the disgrace; 
but I can assure you it preyed upon me. And 
this is her daughter and his ! " 

" Let me look at her again, Anthony," said 
Edith. " I suppose you think her pretty." 

" Beautiful, Edith, and I hear she is as good as 
she is beautiful. I am going to write to her to- 


morrow to invite her to return to England to live 
with us. Here is the address, ' To the care of 
Mr. Hugh Lindsay, Branxliolm, South Australia.' 
She has been living with these good people, Mrs. 
George Copeland's relatives, for more than three 
years, and they are as fond of her as if she was 
their own daughter. I wish you had seen Mrs. 
George's face when I said I would send for Amy. 
I expect you to write to her as well as myself to 
unite with me in the invitation." 

" Indeed ! Anthony," said Edith, " I am not 
quite prepared for such a sudden step as this ; let 
us think over it for a while." 

" I think there is no time to be lost," said 

" After living apart all our lives what does it 
signify if we delay conmiunication with this girl, 
whom I never heard of before, for a few weeks 
or months ? " said Edith. 

" Now that we know where she is, we must 
take some notice of her ; and Mrs. George Cope- 
land of course writes by this mail, so we must 
also communicate with her." 

" Mrs. George Copeland, aunt. Is that the vul- 
gar-looking woman who sat beside the old people 
at church, who Mrs. Harcourt says came from 
Botany Bay or some such place ? I have no idea 
of bringing a sister from such society and intro- 

VOL. I. 20 


dwing her everywhere, a sister whom I neve 
«w, and who i^ires notliing about either of^ 
Why does not her father take care of her 1 It i 

DO basinet of ours to take her from hiin." 

- Her father is dead years ago, Edith, lo 

might see by her fiwx and air, if y6u were n^ 

blinded by ^^judice, that this girl is not vulgs 

whatever her companions may have been. ^^ 

lieoi^ Cof^land tells me she is well educated." 

•* An admirable judge certainly. Mrs. Harcov 

was talking about her yesterday to aunt, sayi 

duic chough it appeared to be a marriage bel 

in?^>f^ Cojveland^s rank^ she seemed to be hum 

and dL^rreet^ and the old people were satist 

with her. And to think of fetching a girl brou 

up in a style inferior to that of our o^wn tena 

to take the position of my- sister, to revive 

the cxkl st*.^rtes about our poor mother that ipe 

hAve quite f. .n^^tton, vrould be unjust to me, 

But it w.naa bo xrnjust to her and verv 
tul to me not to do it.^ s^ia Authonv. - If 
I s< c mv !..^ ,.,, .^xy-xhir^ you are s;ire to o 

v':^:?!""""""^ "^"^ ^ ^^-^ ver^^ certain 

-- ^>«'* .iscor tH" "^- "" ■""" *^- ""^' ^ 

vv u pU^^.^ J, - ^- * ^^»i may write or 


some ; you cannot deny that. I liave the best 
authority for believing her to be amiable. As 
for the people among whom she has been living, 
she cannot have got much harm from them in 
three or four years. Her father was a gentleman 
and a man of genius, and her mother was Lady 
Eveline Darlington. My mind is made up on the 
matter, and I shall act as I please, however dis- 
agreeable you may choose to make yourself about 
it. I believe it is all jealousy ; you do not like 
the notion of a younger and prettier sister cutting 
you out." 

If Anthony Derrick had designed to prejudice 
his sister against Amy he could not have taken a 
more successful course of action. Her mind had 
not been prepared for the news, as his had been, 
and she was naturally surprised at Anthony's rapid 
proceeding upon his discovery. Her habitual op- 
position to her brother, too, came into play ; but 
when Anthony carefully pointed out that tliis 
unknown sister might be more loved and admired 
in society, as well as by himself, and attributed 
her objection to jealousy, he raised the very spirit 
which he decried. 

" It is all very proper that you should wish to 
do something for her, but if she is comfortable 
with these Australian people, I don't see why 
you should take her away from them," said aunt 


308 THE author's daughter. 

Anne. *' Considering all the unfortunate &inily 
circumstances connected with this girl, I think a 
far better plan would be to enter into correspond- 
ence with her, and discover through her letters 
if she is amiable and affectionate. You can 
invite her by-and-by, if you think it advisable. 
I certainly do not augur well of her character 
from her parentage. Lady Eveline, I grieve to 
say, was fiax from truthful, and this Mr. Staunton 
was a very questionable person. My dear An- 
thony, you may be disappointed and deceived." 

" My dear aunt," said Anthony, rising in deter- 
mination with the opposition he met with, '' do 
you not see that it is of the greatest consequence 
that my sister should be taken away from, the 
undoubtedly vulgar people with whom she is 
living ? At her age she cannot yet have imbibed 
much mischief; but every month's delay is dan- 
gerous now. You speak of conducting a corres- 
pondence with Australia, as if it were with 
London ; you have no idea of the time it takes to 
send letters half round the world. The girl would 
be old and past improvement before we could 
hope to know her character in that way. No, 
my first plan is the best and the wisest, and as it 
is at my expense that she will be brought and as 
she will look to me solely for her comfort and 
happiness, for I ask neither you nor Edith to do 


anything for her, but to write a civil letter and 
give her a civil reception^ I think I have a right 
to take my own way in the matter." 

" I don't think a civil letter would satisfy 
you/' said Edith, " nothing less than a gushing 
welcome like your own could come up to your 
expectations, so I will let it alone. Write your 
own letter; perhaps by the time the young lady 
arrives aunt and I will grow accustomed to the 
idea, and be able to satisfy you with our recep- 
tion of her. If not, thaxik goodness we too are 
independent and can find another residence." 

" I hope you may not have cause to regret 
your determination," said aunt Anne. 

" I am not at all afraid," said Anthony. 

" I suppose you would like us to call on this 
Mrs. Qeorge Copeland to thank her for her kind- 
ness to our sister," said Edith. 

" No," said Anthony, shortly, "/have thanked 
her, and that is quite enough. I do not care to 
trouble you about a matter that appears to be 
quite personal to myself. Besides you are not 
to be trusted to do a gracious thing graciously." 

If Jessie Copeland had heard the conversation 
which was held by Amy's brother and sister and 
their aunt, with regard to her favourite little 
friend, she would have regretted still more the 
revelations she had made. Although Mr. Der- 

come her, she would have felt guilty with regard 
to Amy too. In a worldly point of view, it was 
a great chance for Amy to be taken up in this 
way by her wealthy brother, and to live in the 
beautiful house of Stanmore ; but then she would 
be lost to Allan. Husband and wife speculated 
on the chances of the young people having come 
to an understanding, and being either engaged or 
married. Jessie thought it unlikely, as she had 
had no hint on the subject, while Oeorge thought 
a great deal might be done in three months, when 
the liking was mutual and the young people con- 
stantly together. Old letters were taken out and 
read over with particular attention, but no con- 
clusion could be come to. 

It was a strange letter that Jessie penned to 
Amy on the following day — full of apologies, con- 
gratulations, hope, fear, surmises, recollections, 
anticipations. Amidst her bewilderment, she 
could not help looking forward with pleasure to 
seeing Amy again if she accepted her brother's 
invitation, and hearing the news from home more 
fully and minutely than could be done by letter, 
for surely, though Jessie saw more distinctly than 



the Branxholm people were likely to do the great 
social gap that separated the Derricks from their 
tenants, Amy would always feel affectionately 
towards her, and her great relations would not be 
so cruel as to prevent her from visiting at Mill- 

Mr. Derrick called early on the following day, 
when Jessie was in the middle of her letter, and 
rather confused her ideas. He was colder and 
stiffer to herself than on the preceding day, but 
he was as apparently determined to send for Amy. 
He asked her many questions with regard to 
Branxholm and her parents there, and gathered 
from her sincere answers all he wanted to know 
with regard to the position and education of tlie 
family. All that he heard and saw convinced 
him that there should be no delay, so he wrote his 
letter on his return, and despatched it at once.