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[AH rights rturvid.] 

S-s-o ■ ^j- /,r 





LAKES . . • .14 


PLUNGE. . . . .31 


DO SOME GOOD . . .46 


FRIEND . . . .61 









CHANGE • • • • 109 

X. MR. derrick's HARRIAGE-DAT • .138 


XII. DRIFnNG • • • .172 

Xm. ESCAPE . . • • 191 

XIV. MRS. LUFTON'S NEWS • . . 206 

XV. MISSING . . • • 220 


XVn. A REFUGE . . • • 261 


XIX. CONCLUSION . « • •291 

THl i-i ; 




Ian. irsi 

mc in» 1^^ 




ways feel 
I to him/' 
e the in- 
as your 
allel with 
ler. You 
tance was 
e sense of 
that Mr. 
r brother, 
nfort and 
sent; the 
which he 
nt forget 
a way as 
terly. I 
. ould be 





s at any 

ay you 
)T your 
•Lir ser- 

2 THE author's daughter. 

make a morning call at Hampstead, or wherever 
it is that your cousin is visiting." 

"Anthony said he was going out of town to 
visit the Beresfords." 

" Yes ; he said it so elaborately that I was con- 
vinced that he was going in another direction. I 
don't mean that he was conscious of what he 
was going to do, but I think he would change 
his destination when he got out of the house, 
thinking he ought to make that call first. It 
will depend on what sort of people Miss Evans 
is staying with, but at present I think her chance 
a good one. Your brother never has met, and 
may possibly never meet again a girl who suits 
him in every way as she does; but then again 
men seldom marry the persons who suit them, or 
rather whom their friends think suit them." 

" Do you really think Lucy so fit a wife for 
Anthony ? Would she raise his character and 
help to make him less sensitive and more easily 
pleased T 

"Do you bejieve Anthony would be happy 
with a wife who would improve him, or do you 
think that such a woman could be happy with 
him ? If you with your talents and your gentle- 
ness can do nothing better than try to manage 
him, what can you expect from any one else T 

" I have so much less power and influence than 

LORD Darlington's diplomacy. 3 

a wife could have," said Amy ; " and I always feel 
stupid with Anthony, for I owe so much to him/' 

'* Young ladies are apt to over-estimate the in- 
fluence of a wife on such a nature as your 
brother's," said the earL " Lucy Evans's thoughts 
and hopes and ambitions would run parallel with 
his, and he would be satisfied with her. You 
would be surprised how indulgent a husband 
he would be to one whose whole importance was 
derived from himself, and who had a due sense of 
that importance. Recollect, however, that Mr. 
Derrick is only interesting to me as your brother. 
I am sorry to think how much your comfort and 
happiness depends on him for the present; the 
more so as aU that he has doijie for you, which he 
takes care you should never for a moment forget 
or lose sight of, has been done in such a way as 
to make your sister unkind and unsisterly. I 
can only fancy that if he were happily married 
as he accounts happiness, his temper would be 
easier and his requirements from you fewer." 

'*' Is not that a heartless way of viewing it ?" 
said Amy. 

" I don't want you to think me heartless at any 
time, and pai-ticularly now wlien you say you 
want my advice. What is your trouble or your 
difiiculty ? My best counsels are [at your ser- 

• It 



Amy hesitated and coloured. She had thought 
it would be very easy to speak about Allan's letter 
to Lord Darlington^ but the words would not 
come. He felt the matter was more serious than 
he had anticipated. 

" This correspondent of yours in Anstralia^ 
no love affair, I hope/' said the earl with an 

" I don't think so— at least I am ahnost sure 
that it cannot be, but he thinks differently." 

"Ah! you wish to give your friend at the 
antipodes a gentle dismissal/' said Lord Darling- 
ton, with a sense of relief. "No one could do 
such a thing more kindly than you, I am sure. 
You know that Mr. Derrick would be highly dis- 
pleased if you did anything else." 

" I know it well," said Amy. " I never dared 
to speak to him on the subject ; but you have so 
much kindness and forbearance, you are so much 
older and more reasonable on these matters^ that 
I feel as if I could come to you like a father (the 
earl winced), and that you would have patience 
with me." 

" And this is your friend the blacksmith," said 
the earl, courteously enough, but indignant at the 
thought of the ignoble rival 

" Allan loves me I cannot tell you how much 
better than I deserve ; if I had stayed at Branx- 


holm I should have married him, and I am sure 
we should have been happy." 

" It is very probable that you might, but you 
did not stay in Australia. You are now moving 
in very different society, surrounded by all Eng- 
land has to give of luxury and refinement. I 
do not suppose that the life in Australia would 
satisfy you now," said Lord Darlington. 
" Have I grown so artificial ?" said Amy. 
"And you owe something to your brother, 
who has really been most kind and generous to 
you in his own way. It would never do to make 
an irreconcilable breach with your family, as your 
mother did, and suffer for it as she did." 

"Mamma was happy, my lord," said Amy, 
seriously. "Mamma never regretted what she 
did in manying my father. And if Allan reaJIy 
is my first love — and I have seen no one yet 
whom I can compare to him, no one yet who is 
so dear to me — ^and if I cast him off because he 
is not rich enough or great enough, and because 
he cannot lodge me in a palace, or hedge me 
round with servants, I shall do wrong. You 
say I owe something to Anthony, but I owe 
something to Allan too. If I could only make 
you have some idea how good he is, how straight- 
forward, how manly, yet how gentle, how 
clever, how affectionate. I wonder I held out 

6 THE author's daughter. 

when he pleaded so hard ; but my heart was set 
upon going to England and making Anthony my 

" But before you make up your mind to return 
to Australia, and make Anthony your enemy by 
doing so, think over the matter. I have no 
doubt that your friend (he could not bring him- 
self to say lover) is an excellent young man, very 
superior to his family, and his position, and if 
you could take England, and culture, and civili- 
zation with you it might be all very well for you 
to imagine that he was your first love, and to 
rest contentedly in your lot. But after seeing 
and knowing a fuller and higher life, you could 
not be satisfied to descend to a lower. You have 
told me that at first Australian bush ways were 
strange and uncouth to you, even when you went 
to them as a child from a poor home. What will 
they be to you now when you go from circum- 
stances of such external polish and luxury as you 
have here T and the earl glanced round the splen- 
did drawing-room in which they sat, where every 
possible arrangement was introduced to give com- 
fort and to anticipate the wishes of the occupants. 
Of this place she might be the mistress, and smile 
at Anthony's caprices and Edith's envy ; but al- 
though he felt tempted to speak, he knew this 
was not the proper place or time for a declaration. 

LORD Darlington's diplomacy. 7 

The advice must be disinterested, or supposed to 
be so. 

" Do you think, then, that happiness depends 
on external circumstances ?" 

" To a very great extent it does, and I think 
it is painful to every one to go back in the world. 
You may fancy that you love your Australian 
friend, but I say you could not make him 

" Not happy 1 He is not hard to please." 

" No lover ever appears to be hard to please ; 
it is a way they have got of being thankful for 
very little ; but I am looking a little further for- 
ward than you are. Do you recollect teUing me 
that it was a pity when a great portion of your 
life was tabooed, so that nobody took any interest 
in it, or would hear you talk of it ? Now, of the 
time you have spent in England lately, in which 
you have seen so much and heard so much — in 
which, I am told, you have improved so much, 
you would never be able to speak to — ^to— the 
person in question. Do you think, if you mar- 
ried this young Australian, that he could bear to 
hear you describe scenes which he never could 
enter, or talk about the people you met, the par- 
ties, the^ excursions, the exhibitions, the concerts, 
the antiquities of England ? And if you feel it 
hard for a brother to dislike what interests you, 

8 THE author's daughter. 

how much worse would it be in the other case ? 
A brother is only your guardian for a time. It 
depends very much on yourself for how long or 
how short a time, whereas if there is any point 
which your husband shrinks from you must be 
on your guard for life. Did not this yoimg man 
dislike the resolution you took, and try to make 
you suspect your brother's liberality and gene- 
rosity ? I assure you, my dear Amy, that though 
you might have made him happy if you had 
never left Australia, it is different now. It is 
impossible for you to return the same Amy 
Staunton who left him ; it is impossible for you 
to have the same appreciation of his virtues and 
the same bUndness to his faults or weaknesses. 
You must not dignify the liking of an inexperi- 
enced child with the name of a first love ; but 
judge seriously whether you love him enough 
now to risk a serious quarrel with your brother, 
an estrangement from all your English friends, 
relinquishment of all the pleasiires of the best 
society which are now opening for you, with 
the chance — I may almost say the certainty — 
of being disappointed yourself, and also disap- 
pointing your friend." 

This was a new way of putting it. Amy was 
prepared to be told that Australian life might 
not make her happy ; but she had thought that 


there was nothing wanted to make Allan per- 
fectly happy for life but her consent to be his 
wife. It was wonderfully generous in Lord Dar- 
lington to take his happiness into consideration, 
and not to rail at poor Allan for his presumption, 
as Anth< iny would have done. But was it true 
that she was so changed as to be unfit for such a 
life again ? Would not Mrs. Lindsay think her 
more like a chimneypiece-omament than a help- 
meet for an industrious man ? Would it not be 
very painful if any of the family were dissatisfied 
with her, and above all if there were to be re- 
serves between her and Allan } And yet it was 
quite possible he might feel a dislike to English 
talk as Anthony had to Australian. 

" Don't you think I have learned prudence in 
England ?" said Amy. " I am sure I have had 
many lessons." 

" You have, but it is evident that you do not 
love this young man, or you would not speak 
of such a thing as prudence. Besides, if you 
were silent on these subjects, you could not help 
thinking of them, and that he would know and 
dislike. It seems an unkind thing to do, but it 
would really be the truest kindness to write to 
him decidedly to put an end to his hopes. I am 
sorry for him, because he will feel it severely for 
a time ; but considering all the difiiculties, draw- 

10 THE author's daughter. 

backs, and dangers it saves him, it really is the 
wisest and the kindest thing you can do." 

'* And so your unbiassed opinion is that what 
he wishes so much would not really make him 
happy, my lord. I never thought I was good 
enough for him or loved him enough. It will 
grieve him dreadiully to hear that I never can be 
his wife, but that would be better for him than 
if I was a bad wife. Must I write so decidedly ?" 

'' I think from what you say of his letter that 
the thing should be settled at once. If you take 
no notice of it, he will consider that you sanction 
his hopes, and I think that would be cruel, as I 
feel certain that, however much you dislike to 
give pain, you do not feel towards him as he 
wishes you to do. K you did, you would have 
no hesitation and ask no advice, but act for your- 
self I am very sorry I have had such an un- 
thankful, unpleasant post, but you may depend 
on my view being the correct one." He drew 
the girl gently to him and kissed her cheek. The 
action seemed so natural and so paternal under 
the circumstances that she took no alarm ; in- 
deed, she returned the kiss, and let a tear fall off 
her eyeKd on his cheek. 

He had divined the doubt that always haunted 
her mind with regard to Allan — the doubt that 
she loved him enough. Although Amy was natu- 


rally affectionate and grateful, she was not im- 
pulsive, she was not carried away by vehemence 
or passion, and her position at Stanmore had 
made her more diflSdent of herself. She longed 
to escape from censure, and to be^ able to speak 
without forethought and restraint, and the fond- 
est of her recollections of Branxholm was the 
feeling of freedom and the open intercourse 
which she had held with every one there. If to 
Branxholm she was to bring any of that atmo- 
sphere of restraint which she had felt so oppres- 
sive, it woidd take away its dearest charm. 
And she coidd not help thinking that the only 
occasioDis in which Allan had appeared unreason- 
able or imamiable were when he spoke or thought 
of her brother's claims on her affection, or of the 
friends and pleasures she looked forward to in 

It was a comfort that Lord Darlington did not 
think her regret absurd, that he did not scold 
her for crying at the thought of what Allan 
would suffer, that he did not grow impatient with 
her hesitation as to acting on his advice. He 
gave her a little time to think over the subject, 
and though he watched her closely, it was done; 
without causing her any uneasiness. She read 
Allan's letter again, and felt that it must be an- 
swered decidedly. She had given him no right 

12 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

to express himself so confidently, and she per- 
ceived that the old bitterness with regard to her 
going away from old friends to try new, tinged 
his condolences with her on her disappointment 
in Anthony and EditL 

" ELave you written to your friend T asked 
Lord Darlington, on the following morning, which 
was the day of the departure of the Marseilles 

"Yes, I have written as you advised; I sup- 
pose it is the best thing to do." 

" Have you been decided V 

" I think so ; at least I tried to be so/' 

"Firm and gentle, that is characteristic of 

" I daresay he will think it cruel." 

" He may for a time ; but however much he 
may admire you, am I rude to say that he may 
find some one else soon who may console him ? 
I know it is not conventional to detract from 
your hold of your friend at the antipodes, but 
when he coidd not keep you there, he could 
scarcely expect to win you back." 

Amy's letter was indeed decided. She spoke 
of no coercion and no persuasion, but that she 
had come to the conclusion that it was better for 
them both, and especially for Allan himself, that 
they should give up the thought of being more 


to each other than friends. She begged him 
not to write again till he could accept the new 
relation in which she wished to stand with him. 
It was with many tears and many pauses, and 
much re-writing that she completed this the 
shortest letter she had ever written to Allan 
Lindsay. She did not give the usual details of 
the month's proceedings which she had written 
to him regularly before. It would only grieve 
him the more to hear about them, and, for 
aught she said to the contrary, her brother might 
have been dead, and her sister married, and the 
Hammonds simk in the bottom of the sea, since 
her last minute and voluminous letter which had 
been sent from Belton. She must not write to 
him again till she heard how he received this, 
and she Qpuld not help anticipating the pain with 
which she must read the letters now on their 
way or to be written before he knew how un- 
kind she was. 




When Anthony Derrick, according to Lord Dar- 
lington's surmise, went to call on Miss Evans he 
was fortunate enough to find the young lady at 
home. She was, however, just going out to see 
the pictures at the Royal Academy, and, although 
Mr. Derrick had seen them before more than once, 
he offered to accompany her and her party, partly 
because he thought it woidd be pleasant, and 
partly because he thought nothing could be more 
annoying to Edith. She had wanted to go in that 
direction, and had asked him to accompany her, 
but he had excused himself by pleading engage- 
ments out of town. Lucy was as delightful at 
the Academy as she was in the coiuitry ; her criti- 
cisms were exactly to his taste; she asked for in- 
formation as to the painters whose names she saw 
in the catalogue, and was often very much amused 


with the titles which they gave to their pictures. 
Stopping at one entitled *' The Landing of the 
Pilgrim Fathers/* treated in the somewhat pre- 
Raphaelite manner, Lucy could not help laughing 
at the sombre group of ugly, ill-dressed men, 
women and children whom the artist had trans- 
ferred to his canvas. She did not observe the 
fidelity of the details, the manner in which sea 
and sky and wood and rock combined and con- 
trasted, the lofty expression on the rugged features, 
or the childish and womanly beauty that looked 
out of the unbecoming and puritanical dress of 
their time and class. She was only eager to know 
who had painted such an absurd picture, and, 
seeing it was a Mr. Hubbard, asked if that was 
not Amy's friend. Anthony recollected the name 
as that of an artist whom Amy had mentioned, 
but, as he believed he was somewhat of a Bohe- 
mian, living on his wits in a scrambling way, he 
had forbidden her to take lessons from him or to 
visit him — for young ladies could not be too 
much on their guard as to their associates. 

" I am quite certain that Lord Darlington and 
your sister have been often at his studio, how- 
ever," said Lucy. 

" Indeed it is the first time I ever heard of it," 
said Anthony. 

" I have heard the earl say, ' there is a bit of 

16 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

sky for our friend Hubbard;' and] otherwiae 
allude to the painter aa if they knew him welL" 

"Upon my word his lordship carries things 
with rather a high hand, and Amy rather with 
an under hand for my taste. If Amy goes to such 
a place I have a right to know of it And you 
think they went often?" 

" I may be wrong, but my impression was that 
they were very frequent visitors; but I never 
dreamed of its being without your knowledge, and 
against your wish, Mr. Derrick. I should not z C 
have mentioned it if I had thought so." 

" I wonder what they could be doing there," 
said Anthony, whose curiosity was easily excited. 

" Suppose you call and see. There is no neces- 
sity for your putting the artist on his guard by 
telling him your name, and your relationship to 
his young friend." 

'' If you will accompany me, Miss Evans, I shall 
be only too happy. Suppose we get this Mr. 
Hubbard's address, and hunt him up together. I 
am at your service for the day." 

As Anthony said these words he met full in 
fiBM5e his sister Edith, who had been persuaded by 
a friend to look in at the Academy pictures for 
half an hour. It was a delicious moment for An- 
thony ; he introduced Miss Evans to his sister as 
" a sort of cousin of ours, you know — at least 


Amy's cousm." Lucy was looking her best, and 
both appeared to be very happy, so that Edith's 
indignation at all the unfortunate results of her 
brother's rash acknowledgment of Amy and of 
his invitation to her rose to a point of silent rage 
such as it never before reached. That is to say, 
her anger was voiceless to him; she only con- 
tented herself by a disclaimer of the relationship, 
and a satirical remark that his engagements out 
of town had been surprisingly soon got over, and 
looked Lucy over from head to foot with what 
she mistakenly supposed to be civil contempt ;;^ 
but she gave utterance to her indignation to Amy, 
who, dispirited and depressed with the idea of 
writing so cruel a letter to Allan, could not 
stand the reproaches which were poured on her 
for leading Anthony away from his own relatives 
and friends in order to put him into the design- 
ing hands of her unprincipled Belton connec- 

Amy coidd' only say truly that Anthony had 
told her that he did not care anything at all for 
her cousin, and that he had been displeased at her 
for supposing such a thing possible ; that he con- 
sidered himself so far above all the family at Bel- 
ton Rectory that no one could misunderstand 
any slight attentions he might pay to Miss 

VOL. III. 2 

18 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

"Slight attentions !" said Edith. "He posi- 
tively refused to accompany me to town to-day, 
alleging he had engagements for the whole of the 
day in the country, and he goes — I do not know 
how far — ^for this girl, and takes her just where he 
might expect me to see her, and says he is at her 
service for the rest of the day. He introduces 
her as my cousin to me and my friends, and laughs 
at my siu^rise. Anthony never did such a thing 
before. He is going to marry her. You have 
manoeuvred very nicely indeed to strengthen 
your own position with him. Amy Staxm- 

" Indeed ! Edith, it is nothing of my doing. I 
think Anthony is too young to many yet, and 
so he says himself," 

" So he is, ages too young. A man is a fool if 
he marries before he is thirty; and, although 
Anthony thinks himself so very cautious, he is 
really very easily duped. Miss Evans makes an 
excellent catch of his simplicity. I am sure she 
is a deceitful artful girl ; I could see it in the 
smile and the expression of interest she cast on 
Anthony; and the insolent way in which she 
hung on his arm and looked at me was intol- 

" I think — I am sure — I hope — ^you will find 
yourself mistaken. Not that I consider it right 


in Anthony to pay such marked attentions with- 
out meaning anything serious by them/' 

" Then you would rather he meant something 
serious, Amy," said Edith. " Of course she's your 
cousin, and not mine, as he most impertinently 
said. Thank goodness and my grandpapa, I am 
independent of his whims and caprices, and I 
cannot stoop to say what I do not think. If she 
were twenty times Anthony's wife I should never 
look on her as a sister. The half-sister he brought 
from Australia has been trying enough, and I 
want nothing more of his choosing, and so I shall 
tell him when I see him, but he gives me very 
little of his company. It is all very well for you 
here in Lord Darlington's house, with him to take 
you about everywhere, but no one seems to care 
what becomes of me." 

" I daresay Lord Darlington would do as much 
for you as for me." 

" I daresay he would not,'* said Edith, signifi- 
cantly. "However, you deserve something for 
your patience with his dreary daughter and her 
stupid aunt ; and, as he is doing the exemplary 
parent for once (what a purgatory it must be for 
a pleasure-lover like him to go through), it is very 
kind in you to help him in his unwonted cares. 
And you go with the party to Darlington Castle; 
and, if Anthony can tear himself away from Miss 



Evans, he can go too ; but I have had no invita* 
tion, and yet jon say the earl would do as much 
for me as for you." 

Amy eould not disarm her sister's suspicions 
with regard to Lucy Evans; and she could 
scarcely help sharing them when she took Lord 
Darlington's opinion into consideratiou also. 
Anthony came in the evening, and told her in a 
defiant sort of manner that he had thought it his 
duty to call on her cousin and had been led to 
accompany her to the Academy, where he had met 
££th<, and where he had wished to join the two 
parties, but that Edith had been so extremely dis- 
agreeable, and, indeed rude, that he had left her to 
get rid of her ill-humour, and had gone sight-seeing 
with Miss Evans, who had been very grateful for 
his company. She had asked when Amy would be 
at home, and on hearing that she was to be out 
after luncheon, had offered to call on the follow- 
ing morning; and he had promised to meet her 
at Lord Darlington's, and go with her to Kew. 

Amy wanted to say that this did not agree well 
with his professed indifferenee to Miss Evans, and 
tried to begin a remonstrance, but her mouth was 
shut by an attack in another quarter. 

" Do you know how we found out your engage- 
ment for to-morrow ? We went to see your Mend, 
Mr. Hubbard, and were called on by him to admire 


his next year's Academy picture, ' The Author's 
Daughter' he calls it. I really think, Amy, that 
I have some right to be consulted with regard 
to a portrait for which you are giving sittings, 
and I think you ought to know that such a 
grouping and such accessories as this fellow is 
putting in were likely to be most offensive to me. 
I don't want the world to be reminded of your 
Orub-street life ; and the likeness is so unmis- 
takable that every one would say at once it was 
Mr. Derrick's sister ; and the whole old story 
that every one has forgotten will come up fresh 
and strong." 

"I knew you would not like it; I said so 
from the first," said Amy. 

" Then why do you so persistently do things 
that you know I do not like ?" said Anthony. 

" It was Lord Darlington's idea to give Mr. 
Hubbard the opportunity of making a good pic- 

" And of course to get me to buy it, so as to 
prevent its being seen." 

"I meant to pay for it, myself. Mr. Hub- 
bard was a friend of papa's — of Lucy's uncle. 
Did Lucy tell her relationship T 

" No, indeed ! we went vmog. Lucy Is not so 
very proud of her connection witii literature as 
you seem to be. But as for your paying for it, 

22 THE author's daughter. 

you have no idea of the value Mr. Hubbard 
puts on the picture. I am not mean about 
money matters, Amy ; you know how liberal I 
have always been to you, but I object to have 
hundreds extorted from me in this underhand 
way for a thing which I can never show." 

" Hundreds !" said Amy, looking aghast. 

"Yes, I assure you your friend values his 
picture at three hundred pounds, and says he ex- 
pects to get that for it when it has been seen and 
admired by the world ; and I believe he will ask 
more, because I will not allow it to be seen. So, 
as you have appointed to-morrow for a sitting, 
you may tell him to be more chary of showing 
it for the future. I assure you he boasted of 
getting admittance to the very room Gerald 
Staunton lived in, and painting the old carpet 
and curtains from the Hfe. I did not think you 
could have done anything so imderhanded and 
deceitful as this. You might have gone to Frith 
for a portrait if you wanted one. It is not that 
I grudge money, but I dislike being deceived." 

^'I wish Lord Darlington had not been so 
pressing about it." 

" Lord DarKngton seems to me to be a very 
convenient scapegoat at present. I hope he 
finds you more manageable than I do. Well, I 
shall tell the earl my feelings with regard to 


Mr. Hubbard's great academy picture before you 
take your last sitting, and that is my main 
reason for meeting Miss Evans here to-morrow. 
I shall be able to speak more calmly and tem- 
perately about it after I have slept off some of 
my annoyance." 

Miss Evans's visit was ostensibly paid to Lady 
Olivia and Miss Pennithome, but the conversa- 
tion was conducted almost exclusively between 
her and Mr. Derrick. Lord Darlington had been 
entrusted with Amy's letter to Allan to post in 
the course of his morning ride, for he thus made 
sure of its being despatched ; and when he re- 
turned for luncheon he found Miss Evans in full 
possession of the field. Edith, who had called 
at Darlington House to ascertain something of 
her brother's proceedings, was enraged, Amy be- 
wildered, and Lady Olivia stunned with one of 
her most distracting headaches, which Lucy's 
sharp, loud voice was very apt to give to her. 
Some voices soothed the invalid, but others made 
her painfully nervous, as if she was all ear, and 
Lucy's was one of tjie latter. 

The conversation was so lively and pleasant 
that Anthony forgot to call Lord Darlington to 
account for his conduct with regard to "The 
Author's Daughter," and started with Miss Evans 
for Kew. The earl was amused to see how Edith 

24 THE author's daughter. 

Derrick's dislike and contempt, which she took 
no pains to conceal, drove her brother in the 
contrary direction from her wishes, and how 
Anthony, in his security that he was not to be 
taken in, was led day after day into Miss Evans's 
company, and day after day found it more and 
more agreeable. Even the friends with whom 
she stayed were pleasanter than those with whom 
he was accustomed to associate. His ambition 
and his tastes had hitherto made him rather 
aspiring with regard to the society which he 
kept. It was at Belton Rectory that he first 
made the acquaintance of educated people, who * 
had a proper sense of his importance, and who 
studied his wishes and seemed to hang upon his 
moods, and it was a delightful change from the 
jangling at home with his aunt and Edith, and 
from the occasional wholesome snubbing that 
Lady Gower and the Beresfords bestowed on 

So thoroughly happy did he feel with his new 
friends that every day was full of engagements 
with them ; and, before the time appointed for 
the visit to Darlington Castle, he informed his 
sisters that he had proposed to Miss Evans, and 
had been so fortunate as to be accepted by that 
lady. Edith received the news, as he expected, 
with a burst of angry tears, and a declaration 


that she would live with her aunt Anne hence- 
forward ; but from Amy he had expected a bet- 
ter and more cordial reception to his great piece 
of news. It was Amy's cousin and friend whom 
he had honoured by his proposal ; it was, in fact, 
Amy who had first put the idea into his head, 
and from her he looked for an enthusiastic con- 
gratulation. She tried to feel pleased ; she knew 
she was expected to be delighted; but Lucy's 
character had opened out to her of late, and 
that not pleasantly. 

When she received a long letter from her 
aunt Evans, congratulating her on the approach- 
ing happy event, and rejoicing that Lucy's hap- 
piness and dear Mr. Derrick's were certain — 
speaking of Lucy's fine disposition and good 
temper, and excellent \iesxiy with all the adjec- 
tives underlined, and of the train of events 
which had made Mr. Derrick's generosity and 
liberality to his half-sister the means (under 
Providence) of procuring him the greatest bless- 
ing on this side heaven — ^for it had shown him 
to dear Lucy in such an amiable light that it had 
won her heart — and speaking of the blank it 
would make in the rectory household when Lucy 
left it to adorn a sphere for which she was so 
well fitted, but that they must make up their 
minds to the sacrifice when it was for her happi- 

26 THE author's daughter. 

ness 88 well as that of dear Mr. Derrick — ^Amy. 
felt disposed to question almost all of the propo- 
sitions contained in it, and found it very difficult 
to write an answer that could at all correspond 
with her aunt's high-flown ideas. 

She had grown accustomed to confide every- 
thing to her friend, Lord Darlington, and, in 
great doubt as to whether what she had writ- 
ten would do, she gave him both letters to read. 
He smiled at the exaggerated praise of the 

" One would think that these two people were 
the hero and heroine of romance, instead of 
being the most common-place persons of our ac- 
quaintance. Mr. Derrick is heavy common-place, 
and Miss Evans is lively common-place, and they 
suit each other very well ; but as for the perfect 
happiness Mrs. Evans speaks of, they are not 
capable of it, and I don't know if they would 
like it. Your answer is rather tame after all 
these gushing tendernesses. Your sincere self 
cannot be altogether concealed behind conven- 
tionalities. But this is a fine phrase of Mrs. 
Evans's — she hopes they will be as happy as 
they deserve to be. Why do not you echo that 
with a little emphasis ? No, you cannot bring 
yourself to use even true words when they may 
be supposed to have a false meaning. But to tell 


you the truths Miss Evans, since her engagement, 
is not what she was before ; and I am almost 
sorry I did not have your sanction to crush the 
affair in the bud. I fear you will not be happy 
with her." 

" I daresay we shall get on very well, although 
I do not think quite so much of my future sister- 
in-law as her mother does. Anthony looks very 
happy, and she will be always able to amuse him 
and to interest him, so that it will not be of so 
much consequence what I say or do. I should 
not speak in that way to you of my only bro- 
ther, but you know you are the only person to 
whom I can open my heart." 

Not even with this temptation would Lord 
Darlington speak; he reserved his declaration 
till she was his guest at his country seat, among 
the scenes of which her mother had so often 
spoken to her. Anthony was anxious that Lucy 
should be asked to accompany him ; but as the 
earl thought lovers were tiresome company, and 
as he knew that Olivia disliked Lucy's voice, he 
did not invite her, and he hoped that Mr. Derrick 
would accompany his fixiTiC^e to the Lakes, and 
he and Amy would enjoy themselves much bet- 
ter without another pair of lovers being in their 
way. But Anthony had no wish to give up the 
Darlington preserves or the ^lat of the visit to 

28 THE author's dacohter. 

his ancestral halls, which he had so long wished 
for; and, besides, he ought to go to look after 
Amy a little. Lucy, too, was bent on having 
such a recognition of her claims by the head of 
the family ; and she and her lover thought it 
was only because Amy did not wish her com- 
pany that she did not receive an invitation, 
for she could do anything she pleased with the 

Anthony determined that Lucy should be 
asked, and so he insisted on Amy's requesting, as 
a personal favour to herself, that her brother's 
intended wife should be of the party. 

"What right have I to dictate what guests 
Lord Darlington invites to his own house f * said 
Amy, surprised. 

*' Not to dictate, but if you say you wish it, it 
will be done ; that is to say if you say it as if 
you really wished it. You have more influence 
with Lord Darlington than any one else has. I 
don't know how you manage to acquire it." 

" But it is absurd to suppose that I have such 
influence as that impUes." 

*' I believe you really don't wish Lucy to go, 
for I am sure it is so natural that we should 
like to be together, that Darlington has only to 
have it put into his head to accede to it at once. 
I think after doing so much as you did to bring 


about a match between nS) the least you can do 
is to tiy to keep in Lucys good graces, and do 
a good-natured thing for her with Darlington, for 
she has set her heart very much on going." 

" Well, Anthony, if you insist on it I shall try 
my influence. Perhaps his lordship only wants 
reminding, as you say." 

Amy did as she was desired accordingly, and 
her request was acceded to with a slight demur 
and hesitation on the earl's part. She was a 
little surprised to see him give up his wishes to 
please her, but her good offices had the effect of 
putting her brother and Lucy into such high good 
humour with her that she could not help rejoicing 
over it. It was gall and wormwood to Edith to 
see thxit Miss Evans invited to Darlington Castle 
as her brother's affianced bride, while she who had 
a right to go, and who had wished to go so much, 
was left with her aunt Anne at Stanmore. Indeed 
there would have been no prospect of peace or 
pleasure for anybody if Edith had been in the 
same house with her future sister-in-law. Lucy's 
northern tour was relinquished joyfully. Her 
course was otherwise directed. She had trans- 
acted the important business of her Ufe ; she had 
won a lover — ^young, rich, and well-bom — ^whom 
she loved, or believed she loved, with all her 

30 TH£ author's dauohteb. 

heart. He wsb pliant and pleaaant in her hands, 
and her success with him made her confident of 
success in every walk in life which they might 
take together. 



Miss Pennithorne's views of love and matri- 
mony had been widened by the glimpses she had 
of Mr. Derrick's rapid and prosperous wooing of 
Miss Evans. It bewildered her to see how little 
the parties were improved or softened by their 
happiness in a marriage which they had gone 
into of their own accord, and which appeared so 
suitable in every way. Amy felt that she had 
inflicted on her and * on Olivia an unwelcome 
companion for their visit ; but still, although the 
lovers were sufficiently fond of making a parade 
of their felicity, and thought every one must be 
deeply interested in every speech or incident 
which carried on their successful love-making, 
there were hours of every day in which they 
were out of the way, and when Olivia escaped 
the sharp thin voice which used to set her all on 

32 THE author's daughter. 

Of all her life, this was the happiest time which 
the invalid had spent ; her father was so indul- 
gent, Amy was so delightful, the countiy was so 
lovely, and she had such an entirely new lookout 
from the couch at the open window that she 
feasted on it for hours together. Then she was 
taken out in a garden-chair of a new and pecu- 
liarly easy construction, and could herself admire 
the lawns and pleasure-grounds and garden and 
conservatories. She could do more, she could be 
taken right into the wood, and see how nature 
really looked in her less trim and orderly dress ; 
she could reach out her own hand for flowers, 
and arrange them for herself She could feel the 
delicious sounds and scents of the lovely autumnal 
scenes steal over her senses and lap her in Ely- 
sium ; no air she had ever breathed had been so 
invigorating ; she felt better, and was willing to 
own it. Sometimes she would watch a game at 
croquet on the lawn, in which Anthony and Lucy 
so excelled that they would have played at it 
every day for hours ; but as it was not so pleasant 
to be invariably beaten, Lord Darlington would 
give up and propose something else. At other 
times, Lady Olivia would be taken out, with her 
father and Amy beside her talking pleasantly 
either to her or to each other, but never speaking 
on subjects which did not interest the invalid. 


When their engagements prevented their accom- 
panying her, there was always dear aunt Sophy 
at her service, and plenty to talk to her about. 
No one had ever supposed that Olivia had such a 
faculty for seeing as she now displayed in her 
slow quiet rambles. She was the first to discern 
a bird's nest, a distant squirrel, a hidden flower, 
a curious insect, a wonderful butterfly, and her 
ears were equally quick to perceive the distant 
fall of water, or the chirp of the tiniest bird. 

" Oh I aunty," she would say, " I never 
thought, even when I longed for it so, that life 
was so sweet, that the great world was so beauti- 
ful. How very good of papa it was to bring me 
here and to contrive that I should have all this 
great joy. I feel as if I was well, although I 
cannot walk." 

Miss Pennithome rejoiced in the improvement 
in the health of her darling, and could not help 
congratulating herself that, whatever of evil might 
come of it in future, this visit had made the earl 
pay so much attention to his daughter that he 
had procured for her some mitigation of her lot. 
The wonderful garden-chair was a thing that 
would be available at all times, and would be 
as great a comfort at Thrush Grove as at the 

Everybody in and about Darlington Castle de- 


34 THE author's daughter. 

lighted Amy^ especially everything that was old 
in it. Her mother's descriptions Lord Darlington 
professed to be able to verify, and if he did some- 
times make mistakes, she could not find them 
out. She had begged, if possible, to have her 
mother's very own room for her own ; and, al- 
though it went to the earls heart to think that 
Lucy Evans was far more magnificently lodged 
than her, he never refused her anything she set 
her heart on, and the housekeeper had had orders 
to make it as bright as possible for the young 

There was an old gardener still on the estab- 
lishment, although only in a subordinate capacity, 
who recollected Lady Eveline, and was willing 
to talk about her to her daughter, and who used 
to point out her favourite walks and the trees 
under which she would sit for hours with a book 
till people thought she was lost ; but he was al- 
ways the one to find her out — ^they always came 
to him when Lady Eveline was missing — he was 
of more account then than he was now-a-days, 
more's the pity. 

In spite of Lord Darlington's numerous sport- 
ing engagements, he contrived to be Miss Staun- 
ton's escort in many of her rambles ; and, al- 
though he was satisfied with the impression 
which the beauty of his mansion and property 


made on her, Anthony and Lucy were getting 
quite out of patience with the very leisurely 
nature of the earFs wooing. They wished for the 
^clat of his engagement to lend a little lustre to 
their own. They did not know if they would 
like both marriages to take place at once, in case 
that they might be considered secondary person- 
ages ; but still the thing would have its advan- 
tages too. Anthony began to fear that perhaps 
the earl was not really in earnest, for he had 
never spoken to him of his intentions, which he 
ought to have done. On one occasion, when 
Anthony had taken courage and asked about Mr. 
Hubbard's picture, the earl had quietly said it 
was all his doing and all his concern, Mr. Hubbard 
knew for whom it was being painted, and Mr. 
Derrick need give himself no uneasiness on the 
matter. Mr. Staunton was a literary man whose 
portrait was a most desirable addition to the 
picture-gallery at the castle, and his daughter's 
likeness only made it the more valuable in his 
(the earl's) eyes. If Mr. Derrick disliked its 
being exhibited it need not be done. 

" He tells me nothing, Lucy," said Anthony, 
after this conversation. " Upon my word I 
think I have a right to feel ill-used. If he does 
not come forward Amy's prospects are ruined for 




36 THE author's daughter. 

" What a fool she must be," said Lucy in reply, 
" with such cards in her hands to play them so 
badly, frittering her time away with that stupid 
aunt and Lady Olivia, when she ought to secure 
him. But perhaps he is shy/' 

So he was, though not in the sense which Lucy 
supposed. The more confidence Amy reposed in 
him, the more affectionately she talked to him, 
the more he felt convinced that the idea of marry- 
ing him had never entered her head, and that it 
would shock her to be told in what light she was 
regarded by him. Of course the shock must be 
undergone, but he shrank from it a little, and his 
having been so recently asked for disinterested 
advice with regard to Allan Lindsay, made him 
feel more disposed to delay his declaration. It 
was from fear that Anthony or Lucy might rudely 
cut the Gordian knot, which he alone thought he 
had skill enough to untie, and that their hints 
and looks might open to her his secret wishes 
without in any way advancing them, that he 
spoke at last. Anthony one day had said awk- 
wardly, without looking at his noble host, that 
he wished other people were as prompt and as 
straightforward in their love affairs as he had 
been, and without waiting for any answer, had 
retreated with Lucy to surmise the effect of this 
shot. The earl felt the hint, and acknowledged 


to himself that, after so many months of apparent 
devotion, he owed it to the family, if not to Amy 
herself, to propose to her. 

So he chose time, place, and circumstances as 
favourable as possible to his suit. It was in the 
fading autumn light, when he was seated beside 
Amy under a noble elm, which had been (accord- 
ing to the old gardener) a favourite seat of Lady 
Eveline's, and which therefore was a frequent 
haunt of her daughter's. Lord Darlington had 
on that day surprised her with a present, the 
most graceful that an author's daughter could 
receive. He had commissioned a literary man 
on the staff of the Palladium newspaper to make 
a collection of all Gerald Staunton's best pieces, 
and to have a few copies beautifuUy printed and 
sumptuously bound for private distribution. He 
had apologized to Amy for not bringing out a 
people's edition, because that could not be done 
without considering Anthony's feelings; but he 
had wished that he himself, his daughter Olivia, 
and especially the author's daughter herself, 
should have this volume. The gift might not 
have been so costly as the diamonds which 
Anthony had presented to Miss Evans the day 
before, but it showed so much sympathy, so 
much thoughtfulness, and such an appreciation 
of what was admirable in her father's writings, 

38 THE author's daughter. 

that Amy was moved to tears of grateful pleasure 
by it. 

" Now," said the earl, " let me hear you read 
something of it, so long as the light lasts. You 
can see to read this one essay. I think it is a 
good one." 

The subject was repose — ^how hard often to 
obtain amidst the incessant claims of a busy 
world, how precious after work, how soothing 
after sorrow or disappointment to have an hour 
in which to forget them, and in the quiet sanctity 
of home to find sympathy and relief in commu- 
nion with those dear ones who lay aside their 
daily burdens of allotted care. 

There were little touches that called up her 
father and her mother to her recollection; a 
quotation or two which she had often heard in 
their familiar talk. The light had failed, or the 
eyes were dim, for the essay was not finished at 
that sitting. 

" Oh ! if mamma could have looked forward 
to my sitting here under this dear old tree 
reading papa's thoughts to one who can so well 
appreciate them how happy it would have made 
her. But she sees and knows it now. I have 
been so very happy here." 

" Then why should you leave Darlington 

LORD Darlington's first plunge. 89 

Castle, my dear Amy? Why should you not 
remain always here 1" 

" It is very delightful, but of course I must go 
home soon," said Amy, with a sigh. 

"Do you not think that your brother could 
spare you now that his head and heart are so 
fiill of your cousin 1" 

" Oh, perhaps he could ; but I cannot remain 
here when Lady Olivia and all of them are 

" But there is no occasion for Olivia going. 
I think of keeping her at home. She seems to 
have got so much stronger here. They used to 
say the air was too keen for her, but I fancy 
it is a mistake." 

" That will make her so happy, and Miss 
Pennithome too. I daresay I could persuade 
Anthony to let me stay another month or two." 

" I think your brother will be delighted if 
you accede to what I wish; and do not you 
think you should be happier here than at Stan- 
more ?" 

" I am sure of it. Oh ! how good you are to 
arrange all this so nicely. I have not half ex- 
plored the woods yet, and you must take me to 
those beautiful hills before I go. I don't know 
what I can say to thank you." 

" You need not say much, Amy." 

40 THE author's daughter. 

"No, for you know how much I feel," and 
Amy took the eai-rs hand in hers. 

" But you do not know how much / feel," said 
the earl, returning the gentle pressure with 
interest. How singularly pale he grew, how 
curiously his lips quivered. " Do not you know 
that there is only one relation under which you 
can stay here." He paused. 

"As your adopted daughter and Olivia's sister," 
said Amy, timidly, for there was something omi- 
nous in his manner and in his pause. " Or could 
not I call you uncle, as Olivia calls her cousin, 
aunt r 

"No, my dearest girl, not that — that is not 
what I mean. Can you think of nothing else ? 
Could you not bear to think of yourself as — 
my — wife ? Then all this which you admire so 
much would be your own." 

Tears of sorrow and of terror at the sudden 
shock rose to Amy's eyes. 

"Oh! no, my dear Lord Darlington, don't 
speak to me in that way. I daresay you mean 
it very kindly. I daresay it was very absurd in 
me to think that I could stay here as Olivia's 
friend and sister. And you thought that this 
might make it possible; but never mind it, it 
was only a passing thought. Let us get back to 
our old relations again." 


" My dear Miss Staunton, my dear Amy, if we 
must return to our old relations again, it will 
bring no change on my part. I have thought of 
you in the way you have only now discovered 
almost from the first day I saw you. Every one 
sees it, every one knows it but yourself. Even 
aunt Sophy perceived it at a glance. Your 
brother and Miss Evans are calculating when 
I am to propose, and indeed losing patience with 
my delays ; but I knew it would surprise you a 
little at first, and I have been so happy with 
you that I dread giving you even momentary 

" But you know it is impossible — absolutely 

« There is no such word as impossible in my 
vocabulary. The idea is new to you, and you 
think it cannot be realized ; but I can wait. I 
have waited already — and I can wait longer." 

" But — ^but — " said Amy, despairingly. 

" I know what you would say. There cer- 
tainly is some disparity of years between us; 
but in every other respect there is sympathy «md 
affection. On my side there is love; on yours 
there will be. Women have been known to 
love ugliness and deformity when accompanied 
by a noble soul or an affectionate heart, and 
I cannot, I will not believe that you cannot be 

42 THE author's daughter. 

won by me when I feel how deeply, how entirely 
I love you. Do you think that your brother 
loves Lucy Evans as I love you, or your Aus- 
tralian lover or that boy Hammond, with his 
great eyes, loves you yourself as I do. They 
can forget, and do forget. But with me it is 
my only chance for happiness. Think what a 
failure my domestic life has been. I do not 
speak to you of the home we could make for 
Olivia. I do not speak of the position you 
would take in the world, or remind you that by 
acceding to my wishes you will once for all 
satisfy your brother, and be independent of his 
caprices for the future." 

" No," said Amy, " do not speak of these things. 
If there was any one on this side of the world 
that I really liked, it was you. You must not 
think me unkind and ungrateful. K there was 
anything else I could do for you I should be so 
glad to do it, but this I cannot do. I must go 
home to Edith to-morrow. I must not stay here 
affcer this. But now I recollect something Edith 
said; I suppose she saw* all that I was so 
blind tor' 

" Yes, every one saw it. I made no secret of 
my devotion. No one thought it impossible or 
ridiculous but yourself." 

" Not ridiculous, my lord, but very very sad. 


Is it not terrible to lose my friend, ray dear 
friend in this way ? I have not a friend left in 
the worid now that I have been so cruel to Allan." 

"You look reproachfully at me, Amy; but 
when you asked my advice could I make it 
valueless by telling you how much interested 
I felt in the matter? But my opinion was 
correct. Would not my jealous heart have told 
me rightly if you had loved the young man ? 
But you did not love him, and not even in your 
anger at me are you in love with him now. It 
would seem a path to take you out of your 
dilemma to write to him that you will marry 
him, but that is not love now, and it is not 
happiness for the future. If your heart was his, 
I should not ask for it. There are plenty of 
women I could dazzle with the prospects I could 
hold out to them, but that is not what I want. 
I know that your heart is disengaged, and I 
think you are noble enough to love me in spite 
of a disparity that I would fain make less if 
possible. I don't say to-day or to-morrow, but 

" No, never — ^never," said Amy. " I ought not 
to let you speak, but all I have to say seems so 
imgrateful. You have been so kind," and she 
stooped to pick up the book he had given her, 
and put it into his hands. 

44 THE author's daughter. 

" You do not mean to return that to me. Am 
I not ten times paid for that by hearing you read 
to me for those precious ten minutes, and with 
the look of those grateful eyes and the touch of 
that dear hand f 

"Oh! if I had only known, I should have 
behaved so differently. But I do not like giving 
this again to you, because I thought it a friend's 
gift and accepted it as such. You will forget 
all this, and be my friend again, for I am so 
desolate now." 

" I shall be anything that you wish, Amy, and 
do anything that you please." 

" Then let me go, please ; I must be by myself 
now," and she stopped the protestations which 
the earl was about to make about the continuance 
of friendship and the unselfish character of his 
attachment. She hurried back to the castle, and 
locked herself up in her own room to reflect on 
the changed position of her affairs, to anticipate 
Anthony's disappointment and displeasure, and 
to wonder as to how far Lord Darlington was 
right in sayiBg that her heart wa« disengaged 

In the meantime the rejected suitor took a 
solitary stroll. He had not expected a favour- 
able answer at once ; he knew that the idea was 
too new to Amy for such good fortune as that, 
but he had hoped for a conditional one, and so 


far he was disappointed. But as for despairing 
he had no feeling of that kind. Anthony's ill- 
humour, Lucy's impertinence, Olivia's entreaties, 
and his own prudence would work wonders ; and 
'Amy's Uking for him was so great that it only 
needed a Uttle fostering to transform it into more 
love than he had ever thought he could inspire 
until he had seen her. 




If Lord Darlington had been generous he would 
have kept Amy's answer to himself, at least as 
long as he could ; but he wished that Anthony 
Derrick's influence should be brought to bear 
upon her while she was in the midst of scenes 
which had pleased her so much, and which he 
felt must plead strongly in his favour. Anthony 
was certainly eager to know what had been done ; 
but the earl might have parried his questions or 
softened the revelations he had to make if he 
had felt so disposed; but he made a point of 
telling the whole afiair at once. As there was 
a tacit understanding to that efiect between them, 
Lord Darlington considered it due to Mr. Derrick 
to say that he had formally proposed to Miss 
Staunton, and that he had been refused. 

" Positively refused ?" asked Anthony in alarm. 


" Positively ; for the present, at least. Indeed, 
the young lady was very decided ; but if you, 
Mr. Derrick, have no objection, my offer may be 
renewed by-and-by, when Miss Staunton is fami- 
liarized with the idea." 

" Familiarized ? You don't mean to say that 
she did not expect it, my lord ?" 

" So she tells me, and I am bound to believe 
her ; but I thought my attentions could only have 
been understood in one way by your sister." 
Lord Darlington was not generous enough to 
own the doubt and hesitation which he had really 
felt, and the knowledge he had had that this had 
been a surprise and a shock to Amy. 

" She must have been wilfully blind not to see 
it. I am sure that both Lucy and myself have 
given her the strongest hints on the subject, and 
all the world knows that Amy has given you 
every encouragement. I thought you were shy 
in speaking out, and indeed said as much this 

" Your hint only precipitated my own mortifi- 
cation and deep disappointment." 

" I must say that Amy has behaved very badly 
indeed, but I shall talk to her." 

" Of course young ladies should be free agents 
in these matters ; but yet J am glad that you are 
disposed to exert your legitimate influence in my 

48 THE author's DAUOHTEK. 

favour. I am aware that I am not so likely to 
win a young and lovely girFs heart now as I was 
some years ago ; but I had flattered myself that 
Amy was superior to the considerations which 
weigh most with young people of her age, and 
that the perfect harmony of feeling and tastes 
which subsists between us might have ripened 
into something more affectionate than the friend- 
ship which she still feels for me. Her love for 
my poor daughter I can never be sufliciently 
gratefril for, although my dearest personal hopes 
have been disappointed." 

"Only for a time,mylord," said Anthony, eagerly. 
" Amy is not so absurd as to continue to decline 
your very flattering offer. There is nothing, next 
to my own union with my dear Lucy, so near to 
my heart as that Amy should reward your attach- 
ment. She cannot persist in her refusal if you 
are disposed to persevere." 

" I have said I do not yet relinquish the hope 
of winning her ; but I have no wish to be obtru- 
sive or disagreeable. There must be a little pause 
in my proceedings." 

Anthony's displeasure at Amy's conduct was 
first confided to Lucy, who fanned the flame, for 
she felt as much injured at the rejection of this 
great connection for the family as her lover did, 
and had trusted to Amy's marriage with Lord 


Darlington as strengthening her own position 
with Lady Gower and the Beresfordsi and the 
other aristocratic relatives of Mr. Derrick. It 
also would have afforded her a signal triumph 
over Edith, who had been so rude and disagree- 
able, if A«r cousin, with whom she was always so 
friendly, was a countess ; whereas now, if Amy 
persisted in her obstinacy, Lord Darlington pro- 
bably would have as little to say to the Derricks 
as he had before his introduction to the girl who 
had captivated him so much. And what objec- 
tion Amy could make she could not conceive ; 
indeed she said so much in praise of the earl and 
his property and his liberality, that Anthony of 
course asked if she, Lucy, would have married 
the earl if he had asked her; and was told that 
if she had not seen Anthony she might ; but 
that it was singular how she had been fascinated 
from the first day she had seen him. She had 
felt in some way as if this was her fate, partly 
because she had thought so very much about Mr. 
Derrick and his generosity to Amy before he 
arrived at the rectory, and this generosity and 
kindness appeared to be very little appreciated 
by the object of it, when she could thwart her 
brother's dearest wishes as she did. 

So when Amy rose on the morning after the 
earl's declaration, after a miserable and sleepless 

VOL. ni. 4 

50 THE author's DAT70HTER. 

night, she reoeived from both her brother and 
her ooosin a terrible batteiy of censure and per- 
suasion. Many things were recalled to her me- 
mory that she ought to have understood — ^An- 
thony had often hinted at Lord Darlington's pre- 
ference, Imcj had rallied her on it. They could 
not believe, and the world could not believe, that 
she was ignorant of the meaning of his atten- 
tions. They had all gone to visit at the castle, 
on the understanding that she would very soon 
be its mistress, and now that the earl had come 
forward in the handsomest way, after innumer- 
able acts of kindness which ought to have touched 
her heart, to be rudely repulsed by one who ought 
to have been only too grateftd for his sincere and 
disinterested attachment was cruel and even un- 
principled. Of course she did not mind how 
grieved the earl was, or how disappointed her 
brother felt at her declinii^ an offer so far above 
her deserts. 

Amy tried to say something in vindication. 
She had looked upon him as a father or an uncle 
— ^never as a lover. She was only nineteen, and 
he was fifty or more. It could not be a right 
thing to mairy him. 

" And yet you like him ?* said Anthony. 

" Yes, I do, in another way." 

" And respect him T* 


" Yes, I have always respected him." 

*' And you agree in most of your opinions and 
tastes r 

« Yes, I think so." 

" You don't complain of his temper V* 

" Ifo ; I think his temper is a very good one." 

" And you believe in the sincerity of his attach- 
ment r 

" Yes, but I cannot return it ; don't press me, 
Anthony. I would do anything to please you 
that I can ; but tliis is my affair and Lord Dar- 
lington's, and not yours." 

" Well, I did think that my sister Amy had a 
nobler nature than to refuse a most flattering and 
most unobjectionable offer, for no other cause than 
a disparity of years. It shows a want — I can 
scarcely express myself; but with all I have done 
for you there is a sort of lowness of mind that 
makes it impossible for you to take the position I 
claim for my sister." 

" 1 know you are disappointed, Anthony ; but 
if you had only given me a hint of your suspi- 
cions long ago I should have sto|)ped this affair 
in the bud, and Hot beefi so foolish and wrong." 

*' I would have spoken to tell yoU that I sanc- 
tioned Lord Darlingtoii's addresses; but Lady 
^iivdr said I had bettei* hbt, for he could manage 
IxiQ own affidrs* Nicely he has managed them — 


52 THE author's daughter. 

managed to give the world to understand that 
you were leading him on, only to jilt him cruelly 
at last." 

" Lord Darlington would not speak thus to me. 
Oh ! he was veiy good and gentle ahout it." 

" I am sure if he can think of you forgivingly, 
it is more than I can do for a while, or Lucy 
either," said Anthony, sullenly, refusing to be 
coaxed over, and determined to feel injured. 
Had he not a right to be seriously displeased 
when he was disappointed in this, the only thing 
he had ever wished his sister to do ? Men of An- 
thony's stamp are apt to forget the innimierable 
requirements they make from their friends and 
dependents, and to bring forward every fresh de- 
mand as if it were the first claim that had been 
presented in return for yeara of kindness. 

When Amy escaped from her brother and Lucy, 
and found her old place by Olivia's sofa, she was 
met by another description of persuasion. 

** Papa has told me a sad tale to-day. He is so 
grieved. I wonder if it is because I am in the 
way r said Lady Olivia. 

'' Oh I no," said Amy, kissing her. 

'' Don't think that I would object to so young a 
mamma. Not at all ; I should love and obey you 
just as if you were as old — as old as aunty ; and 
I don't think that I shall trouble any one long. 


Papa says that my poor brother Boulton cannot 
live many months, and I know that my life will 
not be much longer than his. You have made 
me very happy. Amy. Cannot you do the same 
by papa ? I know, of course, that it is a good 
deal to ask, and he knows the same ; but I never 
can think of papa aa anything but young, he is 
so young in all his ways. And how happy we 
might be all together ! Have you seen him to- 

" No, not to-day.* 

" I don't think he likes to vex you by the 
sight of his grieved face. I never saw papa so 
overcome. I thought nothing could have moved 
him ; but he must love you very very much." 

" I am so sorry, Olivia. But tell me, dear, 
were you not very much surprised ? Yaw did not 
expect that this was to come ?" 

" I did not expect it ; but I was not very much 
surprised. I thought at first that you had said 
yes, and I was so deUghteA" 

" Oh ! I wish I had some place to go to, not 
Stanmore," said Amy, pressing her hand on her 

" I see you have a headache, Miss Staunton," 
said Miss Pennithome, who entered the room at 
this moment. 

" Yes, it does ache rather badly,^^ said Amy. 


'' Come into my rooxn and I will bathe it for 
you, as I do Olivia's when it distresses her. Tou 
look far from welL" 

And aunt Sophy led her gently from the try* 
ing company of Lady OUvia> and bathed her head 
tenderly and skilfully, without seeming to notice 
the tears that fell slowly from her eyes, until she 
s^med a little soothed. Then Miss Pennithome 
took her in her arms and gave her a good hug and 
a hearty kiss. 

'' Now don't mind what Lord Darlington says 
or how he looks, or what your brother may say or 
threaten. Don't care for what Olivia says i she 
thinks that her father should have everything he 
asks for, and of course she naturally thinks he 
deserves whatever he may set his heart on. But 
you are not to allow them to persuade you out of 
your own judgment and feelings. It is not 
natural or right for a girl of nineteen to marry a 
man of fifty-three, and tlmt is Ins age, as every* 
body knows; and, besides, though he is veiy 
pleasant with you, and behaves very nicely to 
Olivia just now, he is a man of the world, and 
only cares for people when they are able to give 
him pleasure or do him service. My dear girl, you 
choose a husband for sickness or health, for joy 
or sorrow, for wealth or poverty. It is not a 
fair-weather summer friendship that can stand 


all that you are likely to meet with in married 
life, and although you may have a deal of troubli- 
and worry from your brother and that scheming 
worldly girl. Miss Evans, you have done ri^kt and 
you will never repent of it. Only don't tell 
Olivia that I have said this, for she can keep 
nothing from her father, and if he knew that I 
had gone against him or thwarted him in any- 
thing he would take Olivia from me, and it would 
break my heart. But bear up ; the storm will 
blow over. I never loved you half so much &s I 
do to-day." 

Amy needed Miss Pennithome's encouragement. 
Her confident assertion that her refusal of the 
earl had been right and must be maintained, 
helped her through the mieerable day. She was 
now as eager to go away from Darlington Caistle 
aa she had been to go to it Anthony and Lucj- 
were annoyed that their visit was shortened; but 
it was made evident that the earl did not wish 
for their company if he had not Miss Staunton's, 
and that he would drop their acquaintance alto- 
gether imlese Amy changed her mind Lucy went 
to London to meet her mother, to see about some 
preparations for the approaching great event of 
her life; and AnUiony and Amy returned to Stan- 
more in very bad spirits. Edith Derrick and het 
aunt had determined to set up housekeeping for 



themselves, they could not bear to live at Stan- 
more when Anthony had been so veiy foolish and 
had made himself so very disagreeable. Amy had 
half hoped that if she had offended her brother, 
she might have pleased her sister, but Edith was 
nearly aa much aggrieved at Amy's refusing so very 
eligible an offer as she had been at her brother's 
contracting so disadvantageous and ineligible 
an alliance with Amy's penniless and insolent 

She was determined to break off entirely with 
both, and to go with her aunt Anne to visit her 
aunt, Mrs. Chaloner, pending the arrangements 
for foiming a separate establishment. She wrote 
an indignant letter to Amy, and a formal one to 
Anthony announcing her determination, and took 
no notice of the letter of explanation which Amy 
penned with all the pains and study she could 
bestow on it. It was a dreary prospect to go to 
Stanmore with Anthony, who was so seriously 
displeased with her. His anger took the form 
for a time of silent neglect. He did not trouble 
himself to find &ult with her or to lay any com- 
mand on her except one, that she should not go to 
Millmount to visit Mrs. Copeland until he gave 
her permission. Amy did not try with her old 
anxiety to please her brother. In one sense this 
was a relief, but then there appeared to be nothing 


to live for. She bad been so anxious to please, 
so bungry for love and for approval, and now it 
seemed tbat sbe bad no one to care for. Sbe 
could not belp missing tbe attentions, tbe delicate 
flattery, tbe ready acquiescence wbicb Lord Dar- 
lington bad bestowed on ber for so many montb& 
Wbat sbe read now sbe could not speak of, wbat 
sbe saw sbe bad no one to see witb ber, and wbat 
sbe imagined tbere was no one to tell it to. 

Antbony bad asked Lord Darlington and tbe 
Beresfords and a few otber friends to join liim at 
Stanmore, wbere tbe preserves were good, tbougb 
not equal to tbose on tbe earl's own estate ; but 
tbey all seemed to bave otber engagements, and 
did not come forward a. he expect Of cour«e 
be could account for Lord Darlington's recu- 
sancy ; be doubted bis professions of still loving 
Amy as tbe days pasped away and be did not 
appear ; but Mr. Derrick could not explain tbe 
tardiness of tbe otber guests, and be tbougbt also 
tbat tbe neighbours at Stanmore were not so 
attentive to bimself as tbey used to be, and tbat 
be bad lost something in public estimation. His 
suspicions were rather directed to Amy's conduct 
to Lord Darlington, or Lord Darlington's to bsr, 
as a cause of this neglect, than to the more natural 
reason tbat be, as an engaged man, and engaged 
to one out of tbe neighbourhood, and beneath 


himinrank^wasnota person of 80 much conse- 
quence as he had been in the county society. 

Of all the invited guests, the one who had most 
cause to be offended was the first to appear at 
Stanmore. liord Darlington was not going to 
leave the field clear to others, and as his theory 
was that opportunity, resolution^ and perse- 
verance could thaw the coldest woman living, let 
Anthony only give him the first, he would provide 
the other two requisitea As for his age, does not 
Balzac say that the time of life when a man is 
most dangerous to the other sex is at fifty-one, 
not much less than the earl's age ; and ought not 
Balzac to know? Probably Balzac meant that 
men of that age were dangerous to the peace of 
women between twenty-five and forty, who are 
floating in the circle of Parisian society-*-*and that 

one must fix the date a little earlier to win an 


English girl of nineteen — but still it is a great 
thing to have the tact and discretion of a wide 
experience and the careful temper of years to keep 
such a business well in hand. 

He had not gone into society with the sad 
dispirited look which had so pained Amy, No, 
his air was hopeful and oheerfiiL When Lady 
Oower questioned him with authority as to the 
cause of his rejection, of which she had heard an 
indignant account from Anthony, the earl had 


answered that it was only a matter of time, that 
the young lady only wanted to know her own 
mind, and that it was very absurd in Mr. Derrick 
to be either angry for the present or apprehensive 
as to the result, for these feelings Lord Darlington 
himself did not share. He paid none of that 
general attention which he had been accustomed 
to do to his lady acquaintances, he had the air 
and manner of a man whose affections were en* 
gaged. He spoke constantly of Miss Staunton, 
selected books and music for her, quoted her 
opinions, compared and contrasted her with other 
young beauties, always to her advantage; and 
appeared to be, as he really was, perfectly confi-' 
dent of succesa 

It wafi a cheerful sight for Anthony to see Lord 
Darlington drive up to Stanmore, smiling and cour- 
teous as usual, and making the kindest enquiries 
after Miss Evans. It was not altogether a painful 
event to Amy, his attentions were so unobtrusive 
and quiet that at first she hoped that he had 
given up his love suit and meant to be contented 
with the fidendship she felt dying to regain. But 
it was not so ; Anthony's elation and Anthony's 
direct words disclosed to her that the earl did not 
relinquish his suit, and that he had come expressly 
to prosecute it. 

It was in vain for Amy to be cold and shy ; he 

60 THE author's DAUOHTEB. 

was determined to be pleased with all she said and 
all she did not say. She refused the books and 
the music which the earl brought to her, but he 
did not seem to care. It was enough that he had 
had the pleasure of thinking of her when they 
were bought. She might use them or not just as 
she pleased. When Anthony frowned at her 
short speeches and her discouraging silence, her 
lover seemed perfectly satisfied, and always con- 
trived to shield her fix)m her brother^s censure and 



" I HAVE the greatest desire/' said Lord Daxliiig- 
ton one day to Anthony, " to see Amy's Austra- 
lian friend. Suppose we turn in that direction 
accidentally when we take our morning ride with 
your sister to-morrow." 

"I think we had better not," said Anthony. 
" I have prohibited Amy's visits there for some 
time, because I have a sort of suspicion, at least 
Lucy thought so, that some sort of childish 
attachment on Amy's part to a brother of this 
Mrs. Gleorge Copeland has made her so very 
absurd and headstrong." 

** IPvmporte" said the earL "I have a curi- 
osity to see the lady, and you shall see that our 
visit can do no harm." 

Anthony reluctantly acquiesced, as he did in 
many of the earl's arrangements. Whether it 


wafl his title or his age or his voice or his maimer, 
or all these things combined, the influence which 
he exercised over Anthony was great. Amy had 
an unwillingness to ride out with the lover whom 
she wished to discourage, but as her brother 
always accompanied her, and would have been 
very aiigry if she refused, she yielded with the 
best grace she could muster. 

And yet she enjoyed the rides, for the earl had 
tact enough to divert her mind from himself per- 
sonally to those things in which they could agree 
to admire together. The leaves were falling fast, 
and in all the varying tints which are displayed 
in an English autumnal wood they were seen 
hanging on the trees or swept over the sward 
by the wind. 

" There is nothing like this in Australia f said 
Lord Darlington. 

** No, except where they have planted exotic 
trees. The native trees are not deciduous, and 
there is a greater sameness, both in form and in 
foliage. The leaves are much smaller as a rule, 
and the appearance of the trees changes little 
with the varying seasons. There are some fine 
old tl-ees in Australia, however. I should like to 
see a full-sized gum-tree amongst these oaks and 
elms and limes and chestnuts," said Amy. 

'' I suppose it is more tropical in Australia.?' 


''Not what is generally accounted tropical. 
There is not the abundant moisture combined 
with heat to produce the luxuriant vegetation 
that is to be seen in Indian and American tropical 
countries. The tangled jungle, the enormous 
trees, and the magnificent flowers of Brazil have 
no counterpart in dry Australia. But yet these 
falling leaves make me feel melancholy, beautiful 
as they are." 

" They have no such effect on me," said the 
earL " They must fall to be succeeded by fresher 
and brighter, and besides they are exceedingly 
beautiful in themselves. It is always the autum- 
nal tints which artists prefer." 

" Is not that conventional ?" said Amy. " Surely 
the freshness of spring and the glory of summer 
are as worthy of being represented on canvas." 

'' No ; I think not, for they are raw, and the eye 
is &tigued with the vividness of the unvaiying 
green. And even in reality I admire autumn 

'* So do I," said Anthony, " and, as it is the 
sporting aad the hunting season, it is the time 
when one sees most of the country. During 
the spring and summer all the world is in Lon- 

" It is a pity," said Amy, " that the season is so 
unnaturally divided." 


'' Well, I don't think so, for London is really 
more enjoyable in fine weather than it is at 
other times. But is not this Millmount?' said 
the earL ** I wish very much to see your Aus- 
tralian friend. Miss Staunton, so will you be good 
enough to take me with you, and introduce me 
to her r 

Amy looked at Anthony for his sanction to this 
unexpected request. 

" If Lord Darlington wishes it, I am sure I 
don't care," said he. 

"I thought you would like to see your old 
friend, so just take me as an encumbrance," whis- 
pered Lord Darlington in Amy's ear, as he helped 
her to alight. 

It was very long since Jessie had seen her 
friend; she thought that she had been some- 
what spoiled by the great society to which she 
had been introduced, and she was a little stiffer 
and colder in her greeting to the squire's sister 
than usual Although Lord Darlington had 
ostensibly planned this visit on Amy's account, 
he contrived that she shoiQd have no oppor- 
tunity of saying a quiet word to her friend. 
He took the lion's share of the talk, and 
astonished all the party, and Anthony most of 
all, by his knowledge of Australian matters, 
and the lively interest he seemed to take in 

THE earl's interest IN A]CT*8 FRIEND. 65 

them. He enquired kindly after Mr. Lindsay 
and Mrs. Lindsay, and seemed to know that the 
former was a little deaf, and the latter subject 
to rheumatism. He asked after Mrs. George 
Copeland's clever brother and her pretty si8* 
ters ; looked at the photographs of the family 
at Branxholm, and the views of the surround- 
ing country with interest ; spoke of the progress 
of Australian discovery, and asked if they had 
seen the two most recently published works on 
the subject. When Jessie replied in the nega- 
tive — 

" Miss Staunton, I am sure, will be very happy 
to give you a reading of them ; she has just got 
them from London." 

" Oh ! my lord," said Amy, " they are not mine 
to lend ; you know that they are yours." 

" You don't suppose I got them for myself," 
said the earl, smiling. "They are yours; I 
don't mean to take them from Stanmore — at 
least not yet. I think they may interest Olivia 
by-and-bye. You know how delighted slie 
always was with an3rthing you told her of 
your Australian experience ; and your reading to 
her was always a great enjoyment to my poor 


" I have not seen you, Amy, since you went 

VOL. III. 5 


to London, Atid you have not written often to 
me, so that I don't know how you have been 
getting osL We saw about your going to court 
in the papers ; but I am more anxious to know 
how you got on in the country with your father^s 
friends/' said Jessie. 

"I can assure you/' said Lord Darlington, 
" that her career both in the bustle of London 
and in Uie quiet of the country was quite a 
Huccess. I don't know how many conquests 
Miss Staunton made in the great world, but 
I can tell you of two that she made at Bel- 
ton. My daughter Olivia was the first, and 
the second was a young fellow — an old neigh- 
bour of yours in Australia — ^a Mr. Louis Ham- 

" Oh ! you wrote that you had seen the Ham- 
monds, but you did not write that, Amy. And 
they have settled in England for good," said 

" They live very near my aunt's now ; but you 
must not pay any attention to what Lord Dar- 
lington says." 

" Oh ! I am perfectly correct in my informa- 
tion, Mrs. Oeorge. I never saw a young man so 
far gone in my life," and the earl laughed good- 
humouredly and complacently. ''And as for 
Olivia, her case was desperate." 

THE EABL'S interest IK AHT'S FRIEND. 67 

" Can't I see your baby, Jessie T said Amy, 
whom all this sprightly talk only depressed 

" She is asleep, and Harry is out with his 
grandfather; he cannot bear to stay in the 
house, but follows grandfather almost wherever 
he goes. But I daresay Jeanie will wake up 

" Can't I see her asleep T said Amy, despe- 

" No, Miss Staunton, not to-day, I fear," said 
the earl, taking out his watch. " We must be 
home for Ixmcheon, and we have sat chatting 
here pleasantly so long that we have scarcely 
left ourselves time to canter across to Stanmore. 
Among other excellent things that Miss Staun- 
ton picked up at the antipodes, Mrs. George, 
there is a habit of punctuality, which is very 
refreshing and agreeable. I think there are few 
things more trying, Mr. Derrick, than the dila- 
tory and careless habits of many modern young 
ladies with regard to appointments, but Miss 
Staunton is a model of promptitude and punc- 
tuality. I am sorry not to find the gentlemen 
at home, but I shall hope for better fortune 
next time I call. We must now wish you 
good morning," and Lord Diarlington withdrew 
the party as dexterotisly as he had introduced 




68 THE author's daughter. 

Mr. Derrick did not clearly understand the 
earl's meaning, and though inclined to defer to 
him in most things, he never liked being made 
a secondary person with his own tenants and 
dependents. Besides, Lord Darlington's over- 
flowing courtesy made the squire himself appear 
stiff and churlish. Still, again, his ease of man- 
ner, his confidence, and the insinuations as to 
his relations with Amy, which Mrs. George 
Copeland was not too stupid to observe^ and 
which must corroborate the popular rumour that 
there was certainly something between them, 
were all gratifying, and on the whole the plea- 
sure predominated in Anthony's impression of 
thevisit. But Amy, a« usual, was ungrateful for 
any kindness shown to her. This was a kind 
thought of Lord Darlington's to let her see her 
old friend without displeasing him (Anthony), 
and yet she had never appeared so much out of 
humour in her life. 

For the first time she was really angry with 
her Mend Lord Darlington, aad he p3ved it. 
and feared lest he had pushed his advantages 
too far ; and retarded instead of advancing his 
suit. He kept close by Anthony — he did not 
care for any private talk with Amy until she had 
calmed down. Amy did not appear at luncheon, 
complaining of feeling unwell. After luncheon 

THE earl's interest IN AMY'S FRIEND. 69 

the earl played billiards with Anthony, and 
allowed himself to be beaten It had come on to 
rain heavily, and both gentlemen felt dull, like 
the weather. But towards evening it cleared up, 
and the earl took a solitary stroll with a cigar in 
his mouth, while Anthony cheered himself by 
writing to Lucy. There was a slight figure 
making its way along the avenue ; it was Amy, 
and she was evidently going to MiUmount. It 
cost him some trouble to overtake her light, 
swift steps, which she hastened a little when she 
saw that she was followed, but he at last came 
up with her. 

" You feel better, I hope. Miss Staunton" 
" Yes, I do feel rather better, and I thought 
the air would refresh me." 

"It is pleasant after the rain, but rather 
damp," said the earl, knocking out the ashes of 
his cigar, and tjien throwing it away. "Will 
you take my arm ?" 

" No ; I thank you, I should rather not." 
"In these days of crinoline walking arm-in- 
arm has gone rather out of fashion, and yet it 
was a good fashion I thought as you did not 
feel very strong you might be glad of a little 

"I am quite well, I do not need it," said 


70 THE author's DAUOHTEB. 

Amy, bluntly; "and you know I am itngry 
with yoa" 
''Angry, Miss Staunton, surely not angry f 
" But I am. Why insult me wfth the mockery 
of a visit to my old friend ? Wliy ait and smile 
fuid say things that would m^e any one be- 
lieve that — ^tl^t — we were more to each other 
than we ever can be, I never could have 
thought you eould be so ungenerous. Lord Dar- 

" My dear Miss Staunton^ you n^isupderstand 
me altogether. I do not say that my feeling9 
towards you have changed, for that would be 
false. I do not believe that they ever can 
change. But I think you are catching a little 
of Mr. Derrick's sensitive jealousy if you fSancy 
that my idle thoughtless talk to-day could lead 
any one to suppose that we are anything more 
to each other than very good friends — and that 
we are still, I hope. I always comfort myself 
with the thought that, however p^resumptuous I 
may have been, Amy is at heart still my very 
good frigid. Peihaps I waa a little heedleas, but 
my only wish was to be ftgreeable to a friend of 
yours, who in heTself interested me much. I 
don't call her at all handsome, but sh^ has a 
fine expression, and has such steady, open blue 
eyes. Is the baby at all like her 1" 


" Harry is a little like her, but the baby is 
more like her father/' said Amy, somewhat mol- 

*' I think that it is your own eonsciousness of 
what I was ouce rash enough to say to you tlmt 
makes you so easily alarmed. Forget it ; forget 
everything that would offend or annoy you. 
Use me as a friend if you can, as a convenience 
if you cannot. You know that your life here is 
but a sad one; but until you find some one 
whom you can love better than you love me — 
one who loves you better you can never find — 
you are dependent on Mr. Deiridc for comfort 
and happiness. If I can keep him pleased and 
in ffood humour, so that your life at Stanmore 
4 !» ™c»tt« «>d »^, i. i. »™gh te ,». 
Only don't think me ungenerous, Amy ; that is 
what I cannot bear, and what I do not deserve 
from you. And to show you that I mean what 
I say, I shall contrive that, without offending 
your brother, you shall go to Millmount to-mor- 
row to spend the day. Take the books or not 
as you please, and explain to Mrs. Qeorge Cope- 
land aaything which youfiuicyahehaflmisunder- 
stood-^my presumption and your refusal ; and 
see the baby both asleep and awake." 

"Ohl thank you, my lord, you are too 

72 THE author's daughter. 

" I am not then so very ungenerous, Amy V 

" No ; forgive me, but I am not happy. Life 
seems so difficult." 

" It would make me happy to make it all easy 
for you, but if that cannot be I must try to 
smooth over a few little snags. Now we are 
friends again. It is falling very chill now, you 
had better get home before you catch cold ; and 
do play me something this evening in token of 

Amy could not refuse to return with her 
friend, and she felt so softened by his gentleness 
and forbearance that Anthony was delighted with 
her manner. It was surprising that, in spite of 
her anger and her petulance, the earl had so 
much patience with her, and, although it was 
provoking, it was very flattering that he was so 
constant and so devoted to her, notwithstanding 
her resolute discouragement. His generous offer 
to retire in favour of a more fortunate rival she 
took for a great deal more than it was worth, 
and her spirits rose after the explanation she had 
had in the avenue. She had read often of such 
things ; novels and poems were fiill of instances 
in which men had wooed a woman long and pa- 
tiently without success, and then had given up 
with noble grace when they discovered that her 
heart was elsewhere bestowed, and a life-long 


and tender friendship substituted. This sacrifice 
might be hard, but it was natural to a noble 
nature, and Amy believed that the earl had a 
noble nature. 

"The Beresfords are coining to-morrow, and 
the Trevyllians," said Anthony to the earl, when 
Amy had retired for the night 

" So I suppose ; and the Harcourts before the 
end of the week. You will have your house well 

"Amy seems in better humour to-night. I 
hope she will do the honours decently. I 
thought she was very much put out this morn- 
ing, but you have had some explanation, I sup- 
pose V 

" Yes, a very satisfactory one. We are getting 
on very well indeed." 

" I did not augur any good from your going to 
Copeland's. You know it was against my will 
that we took Amy there." 

"That was a very unsatisfactory affair. I 
£Eincy I mismanaged it. I should have taken 
your advice and not gone with Amy. But she 
wishes to pay an independent visit to her friend, 
and I think she should do it ; suppose she goes 
to-morrow. We are to go to the meet at 
Brocklehurst, you know." 

"I thought I told you that I disliked her 

74 THE author's daughter. 

viaitiiig my temuits in the way she does; and 
besideB I have a reason which affects you more 
than me." 

" My dear Derrick, it does not affect me at all. 
I am not jealous of any rival in England, and 
certainly have no apprehension with regard to 
any Australian clodpoll of your sister's acquaint- 
ance. Tour scruples with regard to your tenants 
I can understand, but don't be uneasy about me. 
I think restrictions are always unwise things, and 
to tell a woman that she must not go to any par- 
ticular house makes it only the more attractive 
to her. It is evident, however, that your sister 
had been obedient to you, from Mrs, George's 
manner. I scarcely expect her to be so sub- 
missive to myself. I think she will always be 
able to turn me round her finger, and will 
fiU my house with her friends rather than my 



" I am sure Amy ought to feel proud of your 
constancy," said Anthony. 

" I think she is, a little. Then I suppose she 
shall go to-morrow ?" 

" She must return in time for my guests ; they 
are to come by the half-past five train." 

"Oh! certainly; shall I tell her your wishes, 
or will you communicate them yourself to your 
sister 1" 

THE earl's interest IN AMY'S FRIEND. 75 

" Do it if you please/' said Anthony. 

" It is very kind of you to make me the bearer 
of a pleasant message/' said the earL " Then it 
is settled." 



When Anthony, forgetting that lie had promised 
Lord Darlington that he should make the com- 
munication, told his sister Amy on the morning 
after her veiy unsatisfactoiy visit to Millmount 
that she might go to see her Australian friends 
instead of accompanying the earl and himself to 
the meet of the hounds at Brocklehurst, provided 
she returned home to receive his expected guests, 
Amy felt too grateful for Lord Darlington's kind 
offices to indulge in the offended feelings which 
had distressed him on the preceding day. She 
thanked her brother in words as if the thought 
was his own, but she looked at the earl, and 
showed him that he was forgiven. 

Jessie was surprised and delighted with her 
friend's early visit, and yet curiously anxious as 
to whether she did not come to communicate bad 
new& Amy was so softened by Lord Darling- 


ton's kindness that she did not rush in with the 
disclaimer that she had been prepared with 
when he had intercepted her evening walk. It 
would be imgenerous to take advantage of his 
generosity, and proclaim to Jessie that he had 
made a ridiculous proposal and had been refused, 
and yet that was what Mrs. Qeorge Copeland was 
very desirous of knowing. 

Jessie hovered on the borders of the subject 
for a long time, asked all the particulars of the 
sqtiire's engagement to Amy's cousin, which had 
now become public property as a piece of news, 
and wondered over it greatly ; asked about the 
Hanunonds. and Mr. LolTin pLrticular. and what 
sort of style they lived in, and what kind of 
horses they rode ; then enquired about Lord Dar- 
lington's daughter, Lady Olivia, who she heard 
was greatly afflicted, and his son too in another 
way, then returned to Mr. Louis and what like 
he had grown up, and in the midst of these -en- 
quiries suddenly burst forth with— 

" But you're not going to marry that old man, 
are you. Amy V 

" Oh ! no, don't fancy such a thing," said Amy, 
blushing, however, in spite of herself. 

'* It is not right, you know, and not natural." 

" No, Jessie, it is not right. 

" But everybody says it is to be." 


" Everybody may be wrong." 

'' And he looks as if lie thought it was to be." 

" He knows a great deal better than that ; he 
is my cousin, and has been very friendly." 

" Very friendly indeed, and he wants folk to 
believe that he is more than friendly." 

" I am sure you should have known me better 
than to think I ever could do such a thing. I 
suppose he cannot help his manner ; he does not 
reaUy m^ anything by it." 

"But it is scarcely fair in him to mislead 
other people, and what between what George 
hears from the Hall and what I heard and saw 
for ihyself yesterday, 1*11 be bound that you might 
be a countess if you liked ; but, oh ! Amy, you 
must not like." 

" No, Jessie, I must not like." 

" It is not only for Allan's sake I say it, though, 
poor fellow, it would go near to break his heart." 
She looked appealingly at Amy, who held down 
her head. " I know there is a great diflference in 
conditions between you and our people now, 
though my father cannot be brought to see it, 
and you are in no way bound to Allan, and it is 
likely your brother would not hear of such a 
thing, but there is a greater real difference be- 
tween you and that old cousin of yours, and a 
difference that years will make worse, for woi^ldly 


means may improve and a young man may learn 
the ways that please you, but a husband that is 
too old for you when you are nineteen will be 
older still when you are nine-and-twenty — at 
least that's my view of the matter, and it is 
George's too. But it is not to be, I am glad of 
that. I may tell Qeorge and satisfy him on that 

" You may tell Qeorge certainly." 

'' But, Amy, keep as clear of him as you can. 
I fancy Mr. Derrick asks him here at this time 
when there is such a work with the pheasants 
and partridges, and you have no right or power 
to gainsay it. I'm sure Australia was a blessed 
place compared to this, where you have horsemen 
and dogs breaking down your fences and tramp- 
ling over your fields without saying by your 
leave, and no one dares to complain, though you're 
overrun with hares and rabbits and all sort of 
vermin, besides the partridges that you have no 
leave to destroy ; but, as I said, the squire, your 
brother, will have his own way, and ask this 
grand cousin to the house, but take care what 
you are about. Amy, my dear." 

" Oh ! I am very careful." 

" I saw that you would not take the books he 
brought for you, that was right of you. But it 
was very civil in him to offer us the lend of them. 

80 TH£ author's daughter 

and though I say it that should not say it, and 
to the girl I should not say it to, he has a plea- 
santer tongue in his head to them that are below 
him in condition than the squire has himself. 
Mrs. Copeland was quite taken up with him. and 
I had no patience to hear her when I thought of 
you and him ever coming together, for I think in 
this old country folk think a very great deal 
about estates and titles and what they call posi- 
tion. You may laugh at it in the like of us, but 
Greorge's sisters are just as sore about Qeorge 
having worked for wages for my father, and as 
keen to have it forgotten, as your brother could 
be at your giving lessons at Branxholm, and 
being paid for it honestiy, aa was my father's cus- 
tom. Oh ! Amy, I do weary to see my father's 
face again, but they are all set on getting a long 
lease of MiUmount, and that will tie George and 
me to the place. The squire has given leases to 
the Harri^ns and the Sffs, and oS holding from 
year to yeax is not comfortable for la^g out 
capital on the land, which it needs. Mrs. Cope- 
land was saying that agood word from youmight 
get us the lease that Dixon the agent is rather 
stiff about. He objects to the farm being back- 
rented, and when one's laying out every penny 
on the land it is fair we should have the rent to 
lie by for the first two or three years." 


" I have not much influence with Anthony/' 
said Amy. " I fear my interference would do you 
no good. The earl has a great deal more influence 
than I have, Mrs. Copeland should apply to him/' 
said Amy, sadly. 

" That's influence I don't want you to ask for 
us ; but every one says you are the favourite 
sister, and that Miss Derrick is so angry at the 
squire for marrying your cousin, so that you 
would have things all your own way." 

" Every one is mistaken in that instance too." 

" Well, I am sorry for that, but the other mis- 
take I am glad to have set right. And the daugh- 
ter is sickly, and the son little better than a 
natural ; it is hard on the old man too, but why 
in the name of wonder does he not pick out a nice 
sponsible middle-aged woman of about thirty-five 
to make him comfortable and take care of his 
children, instead of turning to a bit lassie like 
you, years younger than his own daughter ? But 
there's one thing to be glad of, it cannot be hard 
to say nay to such a wooer, for if he has the face 
to make up to a fine young lady like yourself he 
must expect to meet with a rebuft. Whereas a 
young man is full of hope, and it is grievous to 
disappoint him. Although I fear you are for- 
getting Allan among all your grand friends and 
your conquests, as my lord calls them, he will be 

VOL. III. 6 

82 THE author's DAUOHTEB. 

glad to hear that you would not take an old man 
for houses, and land, and grandeur. I am sure," 
continued Jessie, looking at Amy^s morning dress 
— the most elegant and tasteful and fineshest toilet 
possible — "you have finery enough at Stan- 
more. K money or anjrthing that money can 
buy could make you happy, you have no lack of 
that. The squire is very generous to you in that 

" Yes, in that way he is. I am to be magnifi- 
cent at the wedding that is now approaching, for 
Anthony himself is to choose my dress and orna- 
ments. So you like my dress. You see how 
nicely it is caught up for walking, so that it can 
be let down in a moment It was so pleasant 
walking here this morning between the hedge- 
rows. My brother wished me to ride, but I prefer 
walking this short distance, and I brought Cart- 
wright with me to carry my parcel — a frock and 
hat for little Harry that I bought in London. I 
wonder what Cartwright would have thought if 
he had seen me carrying the basket to the wheat- 
field with bread and cheese and cake, and a bottle 
of wine for the reapers, on that important day 
that changed my fate for me. Young ladies may 
walk, you know, Jessie ; it is quite fashionable for 
them to walk a great deal, but they must not 
carry anything, not even a Bible or Prayer-book 


to church. I should have brought my little pre- 
sent before, but I had no opportunity, for our visit 
yesterday was accidental. But I am going to 
spend the day with you to-day, so I shall see 
George and get acquainted with the baby, and go 
over your poultxy-yard and dairy." 

Perhaps Lord Darlington thought that a day 
spent in this homely farmhouse, where his quick 
eye had observed Lxy deficiencies, might con- 
vince Amy that she would not like to go down in 
the world. Amy, too, had observed these defici- 
encies when she knew that the critical eyes of her 
brother and the earl were upon them, but now 
that she was alone she was determined to see 
nothing but what was pleasant. She looked like 
the Amy Staunton of Branxholm, as she followed 
Jessie about in her household avocations, and ad- 
mired the poultry, and insisted on feeding the 
young chickens. 

Then came dinner — a solid substantial meal 
washed down with excellent home-brewed ale. 
It was long since Amy had eaten such a dinner, 
at such an hour, without any one watching behind 
her chair to carry away her plate. The appoint- 
ments at Belton Rectory, which her aunt had 
apologised so profusely for, were much more ela- 
borate and formal than what accompanied this 
simple meal at Millmount. Still she enjoyed her 


84 THE author's DAUOHTEB. 

dinner and the talk with (xeorge, who stayed at 
home for the rest of the day, in order to see more 
of her. Baby showed up very well, and Harry 
sat at table and behaved tolerably, considering 
that his grandfather, who had been somewhat of 
a martinet with his own children, encouraged all 
his mischievous tricks by undisguised laughter 
and applause. 

Amy felt she had not been spoiled by her 
worldly prosperity after all, for she was so 
happy; and the idea of acting hostess to the 
fashionable party of guests who were to stay at 
Stanmore, was rather terrible to her, although it 
must certainly make it easier for her to avoid 
Lord Darlington. 

The visit, although the longest she had ever 
been allowed to make at Millmount, came too 
soon to an end, and she returned to her duties 
and her cares at the Hall. 

Lord Darlington and Mr. Derrick both watched 
with interest the manner in which Amy did the 
honours of the house to strangers. Anthony 
knew that Lucy would have more confidence 
and more readiness, and have more to say ; but 
on the whole Amy was pleasanter and prettier 
and more pliant than his aunt or Edith. The 
earl was in love, and he was satisfied ; the diffi- 
dence would wear off, the grace and the charm 


-would remain. By common consent Lord Dar- 
lington was allowed to sit always by her side. 
He was the most important person in the house, 
and he had his rightful place by the hostess, not 
only at table, but everywhere else within doors 
or without, and as he was cautious and circum- 
spect. simply saving her from everything that 
might be disagreeable or fatiguing, and above 
all keeping Anthony amused and in good humour, 
she could not help feeling obliged to him. It 
was impossible that he could continue his suit 
with so little encouragement. The feeling he 
had fostered so injudiciously would subside into 
quiet friendship as he had hinted it woidd . 
surely at his age it was impossible for him to be 
so deeply or so desperately in love as a young man 
might be. How Allan would receive her dismis- 
sal was a question she often put to herself. She 
had gone to the wrong party for advice, and had 
not the advice been wrong 1 Would there be 
any harm in her writing a few lines to say that 
she hoped he did not think her very unkind, or 
would that be taken for too much? She was not 
going to marry Allan simply to get quit of Lord 
Darlington ; there was much weight in what he 
had said, and it might really be better for Allan 
if she never crossed his path again. The last 
letter she had received from him had not been 

86 THE author's daughter. 

so confident as that which had alarmed her, for 
it had been .written in answer to the long account 
she had given of her successful entry into the 
fashionable world She had described her Lon- 
don relations — Lady Gower, the Beresfords, and 
especially Lord Darlington — and the spirit and 
vividness of her sketches had struck sadly on 
Allan's hopes. He complained that there was 
less of herself and her thoughts in this letter 
than usual. He was evidently dissatisfied and 
unhappy. Even his thanks for her present from 
the opticians did not appear to be hearty. Lord 
Darlington was right ; he would never like her 
to speak of her English friends or her English 
life. How curiously penetrating the earl was ! 




Lady Olivia was very tired by the time she 
reached Thrush Grove again, after her glance at 
life in other places. It had been a tedious 
journey,, taken by what were called easy stages, 
but which appeared to be very far from easy 
stages to the invalid. The excitement was over 
which had kept her up in London and at Dar- 
lington Castle, and she settled herself on her old 
sofa with a feeling of languor and weariness and 
disappointment, which none of aunt Sophy's cares 
could divert. She had had some vague hopes of 
permanent improvement which were now dissi- 
pated, and the rupture between her father and 
her friend, which she believed jtiO be final, would 
deprive her of both for a long time, perhaps for 
It was only due to Lady Olivia, as a relative of 

88 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

dear Mr. Derrick's, that Mrs. Evans and Lucy 
should come to enquire how she had stood the 
journey on the earliest opportunity. 

Lucy was the first to call ; she came with her 
air of high health and spirits and success, and 
asked a few direct questions and offered a little 
unmitigated pity and condolence to the invalid's 
sufferings, which were as unpalatable as the most 
nauseous medicine could have been, and then 
spoke of her shopping campaign in London, and 
discussed the fashions, and what was most suit- 
able for a bride, and what was most becoming to 
Lucy's own complexion, and what most pleasing 
to Mr. Derrick's taste, and, fancying that she had 
soothed and cheered Lady Olivia, went home to 
tell how well she had done it. 

Mrs. Evans was little better, for her whole 
head and heart were full of her daughter's en- 
gagement and the preparations for the marriage. 
She spoke feelingly of the presents Lucy had re- 
ceived from Mr. Derrick ; the compliments Lord 
Darlington had paid her ; the perfect satisfaction 
of Mr. Evans ; the astonishment of Mr. Nash and 
of the Misses Smart, when they heard the great 
piece of news ; t«id the despair of Fred Ham- 
mond, who had been flirting with Juliet for con- 
solation. She did not see that the interest of her 
listener (who had been rather bored by Lucy's 

MISS pennithorne's second appeal. 89 

love affairs personally), was far from being equal 
to her own, but meandered back and forward in 
the narrow channel of her own pre-occupied 

Miss Pennithome's next visitors were Mrs. 
Hammond and her eldest daughter, and, although 
they too were engrossed a good deal with their 
own affairs, there was some interest felt by Lady 
Olivia, and still more by her aunt in the state of 
Louis Hammond's health. Mrs. Evans had men- 
tioned in a very cursory manner that the young 
gentleman was not very well, but even Miss Pen- 
nithome's curiosity on the subject could not keep 
her to it in the face of other more delightfiQ 
topics. But the mother's heart was full of it, 
not that she was very anxious, she would not 
allow herself to be alarmed. Louis had never 
liked the English climate, and often neglected the 
precautions which were necessary for Australians- 
bom to take. The first winter he had had a 
seasoning cold, nothing more than could have 
been expected; the second winter he had a 
cough, but that was owing to over-heating him- 
self pulling a boat, and sitting out in the evening 
air with insufficient clothing ; the following win- 
ter he had been quite well, but now a cold he 
had taken in autumn seemed to hang about him, 
and Mrs. Hammond felt a little uncomfortable 

90 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

about such a bad beginning to an English winter, 
and had determined that he should travel with his 
father to the south of France to see what a month 
or six weeks in a warmer climate could do for his 
restoration. The boy had always wished to see 
the vine countries of France and Spain, and his 
mother persuaded him, and tried to persuade 
herself that it was a journey of pleasure and 
nothing more ; but the questions she put to Miss 
Pennithome, who was considered very skilful in 
nursing, although her experience was not par- 
ticularly wide as to coughs and colds and loss of 
appetite and loss of strength, showed that she was 
really uneasy about her son. 

Miss Pennithome, who was carrying on a 
double train of thought in her own mind, could 
only say that she thought Olivia had benefited 
from the change even to a less mild climate ; and 
she had no doubt that this southward journey 
would remove the slight illness which Mrs. Ham- 
mond confessed that her son suffered from. Clara 
Hammond, who had no feeling of uneasiness or 
alarm, could only tell Olivia how much she should 
miss her brother and her father too ; and then 
asked her about Mr. Derrick and Miss Evans, 
and if the great relations of the Derrick family 
were pleased by the marriage that was so satis- 
factory to the rector and his household. This 

MISS pennithorke's second appeal. 91 

™ „ poo, . ^..^g, » hi, &«.»., ^h. h.™ 
been if he had married Miss Hope, but Mrs. Ham- 
mond now had nearer objects of interest than 
this parallel case coidd arouse. Her son filled 
her thoughts to the exclusion of minor affairs. 

As Mrs. Hammond rose to go Miss Pennithome 
touched her softly on the arm and said, 

" I should like to say a few words to you if 
Miss Hammond will remain for a few minutes 
with Olivia. Will you step into the garden 
with me V 

" Certainly/' said Mrs. Hammond, and she fol- 
lowed Miss Pennithome into the little flower 
garden in front of the house. 

" You recollect, I daresay, our having a little 
conversation a few weeks ago on the subject of 
Miss Staunton, Mrs. Hammond ?" 

" Yes, I recollect it perfectly," said Mrs. Ham- 
mond, coldly. 

" You said then that you thought she was of 
the world, worldly; and that she was intent 
then on making the best marriage, in a worldly 
point of view, that was within her reach, and 
I doubted it. Well, I was not mistaken in my 
view of her character. She has refused Lord 
Darlington — positively refused him. I think you 
ought to know, and that Mr. Louis ought to know, 
so I tell you, although I may offend the earL'* 

92 THE author's daughter. 

" You are very obliging certainly, Miss Penni- 
thome, but it does not concern me much how 
Miss Staunton manages her love affairs." 

"It concerns your son nearly/* and Miss 
Pennithome looked earnestly into the mother's 

"But how did you come to know it, Miss 
Pennithome ? Did the young lady boast of her 
triumph to all of her friends ?" 

" No, indeed ; the earl made no secret of it. 
He told Olivia and Olivia told me. Mr. Derrick 
and Miss Evans were exceedingly angiy and my 
darling was greatly disappointed, and as for Lord 
Darlington himself, he had been so secure that 
he must have been terribly mortified." 

" Yes, for the young lady gave him sufficient 
encomugement. I saw with my own eyes how 
she led him on." 

" My dear Mrs. Hammond, she had not the 
least idea of what the earl meant ; and I think 
she was nearly as much disappointed at losing 
her friend as he was at losing the beautiful 
young wife he had been so long wooing. And 
every one was against her but me, and I could 
do nothing to help her except to tell her that she 
was right, and to tell this to you, for Mr. Louis 
ought to know." 

" Yes, perhaps he ought," said Mrs. Hammond, 

MISS pennithorne's secokd appeal. 93 

thoughtfully. "At all events, I feel obliged to 
you for telling me this. It is very disinterested 
in you. Louis ought to feel very gratefid for 
your kind concern in his behalf." 

As Mrs. Hammond walked away from Thrush 
Grove she felt this unpalatable piece of news 
must be told; and pictured to herself how 
Louis's face would kindle at Amy's justification. 
On second thoughts, however, she determined to 
call round by the rectory, and if possible learn it 
from another source, so as not to compromise the 
well-meaning old maid who was a second time 
so officious. So she sent Clara home by herself, 
and went alone to ascertain the feelings of the 
rectory family about it. 

Mr. and Mrs. Evans were not at home, nor was 
Lucy, and she did not feel called on to speak on 
Amy's affairs to any of the other younger mem- 
bers of the family. She walked slowly home, 
feeling that she had got a reprieve, and found 
that in her absence Mr. Hammond, who also had 
grown uneasy about Louis, had determined to 
hasten their foreign trip; and thought they 
might set off on the morrow if Mrs. Hammond 
would give her mind to the packing and the 
preparations. Louis looked decidedly better and 
brighter than he had done for the last month. 
After all it was only a little cold, and such 


prompt measures as had been taken were certain 
to be successfuL He asked his mother where 
she had been, and whom she had seen, and what 
news she had heard, but, except the news that 
Mrs. Evans and Lucy had gone to London again 
on business connected with the approaching 
marriage, Mrs. Hammond gave none. Every- 
thing was to be got ready for the start, and 
Mrs. Hammond busied herself to see that nothing 
shoidd be forgotten. Louis was full of talk as to 
what he meant to see in France and Spain which 
might be of any value to him afterwards in 
Australia ; he seemed to be quite himself again — 
why awake hopes which had been put to sleep ? 
Why revive a love that had only been a care and 
a torment to her poor boy ? Even if Lord Dar- 
lington had been refused, did that make his 
chance a good or even a fair one ? There were 
others who might find her charming, and whom 
her brother n4h. be a.tujrrk» many. 

So Mrs. Hammond kept Miss Pennithome's 
information to herself, and allowed her son and 
her husband to start on the continental tour 
without saying a word about Amy Staunton. 
If the news was confirmed by Mrs. Evans she 
might write. 

But when Mrs. Evans and Lucy returned from 
their second campaign in London Mrs. Hammond 

MISS pennithobne's second appeal. 95 

gathered from them that the refusal, although 
provoking enough, was by no means so decided 
as Miss Pennithome had given her to understand. 
Lord Darlington did not take it as a refusal ; he 
was at the present time at Stanmore, and had 
carried down to Amy all sorts of presents. She 
had not returned the presents she had received 
from him before he made his declaration ; and he 
had told Mr. Derrick that he was perfectly satis- 
fied with Amy's reception of him. He was not 
a man to persevere without good hope of success ; 
and Amy in her heart was very fond of him, 
every one could see that. 

There certainly was no great reason given to 
her to write to Mr. Hammond or Louis in the 
rectory accoimts ; but still, although she liked to 
have discredit thrown on Miss Pennithome's in- 
formation, the worldly tone of Mrs. Evans and 
her daughter jarred on Mrs. Hammond's feelings. 

Louis and his father wrote cheerfully from the 
continent; the cough had quite gone, and they 
were enjoying the trip even more than they had 
anticipated. They talked of lengthening their 
journey ; and Mrs. Hammond thought that any 
hint as to Amy Staunton's refusal of her noble 
suitor might do Louis a great deal of harm, and 
could scarcely do him any good. 

Mr. Derrick came to the rectory in his new 

96 THE author's DAUGHTEK. 

and delightful character of a lover not very long 
after Lucy's return from London. He found that 
even daily letters were not sufficient food for his 
love; and, although he had sometimes thought 
he had been rash and precipitate with regard to 
his generous offer to Amy, he never for one 
moment repented of his proposal to Lucy. The 
more he knew of her the more he found out her 
merits and her talents ; her beauty improved in 
his eyes, and her wit never palled on him. 

He was eager to remove her from her present 
obscure position to that of the head of his 
household ; and, as he did everything en grand 
seigneur, Mr. and Mrs. Evans and Lucy herself 
could only try to meet his wishes as soon as 



Amy did not accompany her brother, she was 
otherwise disposed of at Lady Gower's country 
house. Her aunt was kind to her, and on the 
whole life was easier to her there than at Stan- 
more ; but still Lady Gower kept a vigilant eye 
on the detrimentals, and took care that Miss 
Staunton should be considered booked for Dar- 
lington Castle for life. A little passing attention 
she did receive, but as the earl established him- 
self at his kinswoman's and was always at Amy's 
service, there was no opportunity for any one to 
proceed further. She never expressed a wish or 
a fancy that he was not ready to gratify — ^not 
eagerly or officiously, but by a sort of quiet 
intuition. All his experience with women of 
every different kind was brought to bear on 
the girl he had determined to win. He could 
VOL. m. 7 

98 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

be gay and he could be grave; he could be 
talkative and he could be silent; he could use 
her brother's or her aunt's authority whenever 
it suited his purposes ; and he could override both 
if there was any chance of giving any pleasure 
that could call forth her gratitude. Thus a 
subtle net was thrown round her by a skilful 
hand, and, although Amy told herself several 
times a day that she was perfectly free, Lord 
Darlington was counting the days that would 
elapse before he should call her his own. 

As none of the gentlemen whom she met at 
Lady Gower's had fallen in love with her, they 
did not see (as Louis Hammond had done) the 
great sacrifice of such a marriage. True, Miss 
Staunton was young and pretty; but she had 
been brought up in great poverty, and was alto- 
gether dependent on her brother's goodwill, and 
he was not always pleasant. Besides he was 
going to be married, and it was quite possible 
that Stanmore would not be so comfortable for 
her then. If Darlington was old, he was certainly 
very devoted, he had an easy manner and a fair 
temper ; the hopeless state of his only son made 
the prospects of the second wife more brilliant, 
and certainly the manner in which he carried 
this affair in hand deserved some reward. The 
game he played was an interesting one but at 

amy's feabs. 99 

the same time a fatiguing one. Not only had he 
to keep all his good qualities full in view, but he 
had to repress much that was natural and habitual 
to him wten in Amy's company-*nd in Amy's 
company he elected to be for most hours of the 
day. Whether his valet or his groom ever suf- 
fered for the strain he put upon himself we 
cannot exactly say, but it is likely that they did, 
and that they wished this unnatural state of 
things to come to an end, and that the girl whom 
he now studied, and bore with, and dressed for, 
and thought for, might be transformed into the 
wife who must take her share with others and 
learn to bear with him a little. 

Her greatest trouble at this time was from the 
tone of the letters she received from Anthony and 
Lucy. Being so happy in themselves, they might 
have spared a little of their sunshine for her; but 
there was a hardness and an egotism in all they 
wrote that fell chilly upon her heart. She could 
not help telling Lord Darlington how hurt and 
disappointed she felt. He smiled as he ans- 

" You must not expect your brother and his 
jlobTvoie to be above the commcm weaknesses of 
humanity. Successful love is not apt to make 
people more affectionate or forbearing with others, 
whatever unsuccessful love may do," said Lord 



Darlington, with a Utile sigh. " Ton should have 
known ere this how tiresome lovers are." 

''I do not mind their being tiresome; but 
they both write as if I had given them some 
fresh cause to be offmded, now I have tried to 
{dease Anthonj as much as I eould. I should have 
gone with him to Belton if he had wished it, but 
he chose that I should come to Gbwer^s Court 
And Lucy says something about my not being 
open, which I am sore I do not deserve from 

" I fear you will find the future Mrs. Derrick 
very trying to live with. Is there no possibility 
of breaking this affair off ? ^ 

"Oh! no, nor would I really wish it. They 
really like each other, and, as you say, they suit 
each other. But neither of them care about me, 
and it seems terrible to live in a house with peo- 
ple who do not love me. and to whom I can be of 
no use whatever. That is one misfortune of people 
being rich. There is nothing that I can do for An- 
thony that can reconcile him to my opposing him 
in one thing that he set his heart on. I fear that 
he witl grow to dislike and even to hate me if we 
are to live always together; and Lucy thinks as 
he thinks and feels as he feels. In this country 
there is no one on whom I have any claim. My 
sister and her aunt never looked on me as belong- 


ing to them, and if I were to break with Anthony 
I fear Lady Gk)wer too would cast me off. So I 
am trying to cultivate myself a little at odd hours, 
and then I can tell Anthony that I mean to take 
a situation so that I can be independent. That is 
to say if he will continue so constantly to harp 
on this jarring string. I speak to you, my lord, 
because though it is about you my Inrother feels 
80 much offended with me, and although you 
have far more reason to be displeased than he 
has, you are more reasonable — you are too 
generous to add to my perplexities. You know 
that if I could rightly be to you what you wish, 
I should consent, but it would be a hollow and 
cruel gift with my present feelings. If Anthony 
saw that I was determined, and that I would go 
out as a governess if he did not give up perse- 
cuting me, he would surely yield. I have yielded 
to him in many things, and it has done me no 
good, and I must make a stand now. I owe 
something to myself as well as to him." 

And Amy drew herself up, and never looked 
more beautiful ; and the earl never felt less in- 
clined to give her up. Thia was a very desperate 
step that she threatened, for Derrick in his pique 
and anger at such a proposal was as likely to pay 
her passage back to Australia as to give in,* and 
then she was lost to him for ever. But Anthony 

102 THE author's daughter. 

Derrick wotild never allow his sister to take a 
situation in England, and Lord Darlington conld 
not endure the idea of it himself. 

'* We snrely can do better {<x you than that as 
a threat for Mr. Derrick, because he will never 
believe that you are in earnest" 

'' I win make him believe that I am in earnest/' 
said Amy, impetuously. ''As for being a go- 
verness, I have been one already, and it is nothing 
so very dreadful/' 

" Not at the antipodes, perhaps, where all your 
homely employers looked on you as their supe- 
rior. It is not likely that an English fieunily 
will find out that a salaried dependent is not an 

" And am not I a salaried dependent with An- 
thony ? Is there anything that he has given me 
— an ornament, or a book, or a quarterly allow- 
ance out of his wealth — that he does not think 
should chain me down to see with his eyes, to 
think with his thoughts, to acknowledge no will 
but his ? Oh ! let me get twenty pounds a year 
and feel that I have fiurly earned it, and that I 
am not a slave ! Mamma was persuaded to do 
what was wrong because she did not know of 
anything else to do. Now I can see my duty, and 
I am thankful for what you call my adversities 
because they have opened my eyes." 

amy's feabs. 103 

Lord Darlington had never been seriously 
alarmed before, Shie was quite capable now that 
she was in this mood of taking a situation or of 
writing to Allan Lindsay, which would be worse. 
Anthony would never dream of his blundering 
sulkiness driving her so far, and the idea of Lucy 
Evans, who reaUy owed her great fortune to Amy 
and to the earl, showing such airs of superiority 
and imperiousness to her cousin roused his hot 

Had these things worked favourably for hie 
suit, the earl might have forgiven them, but 
they did quite the contrary at present, and were 
therefore intolerable. 

" I am sure," said he, " that if your brother 
were to be seriously' displeased with you that 
your sister Miss Derrick's heart would warm to 

** It would not be because she loves me, but 
because she is piqued at Anthony; and I am tired 
of homes without love. Oh ! if I could only get 

back to that old home in street with papa 

and mamma, and to old days." 

" But that, alas ! you cannot do ; you must 
make the best of your present opportunities ; and 
I must own that I do not think Mr. Derrick could 
beUeve in this governess scheme, and I do not 
like it." 


" But, my lord, conld you not go away and not 
stay always where I am so constantly, making 
people think that you care for me ?" 

"Think that I care for you!" echoed the 

'' Can you not go to Anthony and say to him 
what you have said to me, that you will not 
prosecute a suit that makes me unhappy, but that 
you will always be friendly with the family, for 
that is what Anthony and Lucy think most of. 
Offer him Darlington Geustle for his honeymoon, I 
know you are not going there at Christmas, so 
you can do that without any sacrifice. Take a 
i-un to Paris or to Home and try to forget that 
you ever had such thoughts about me, because, 
though I try so hard — so very hard — ^to recollect 
how good and kind you are and how much I owe 
you, I fear if I am pressed so cruelly by my 
brother and Lucy that I shall grow to hate you. 
It cannot give you much pleasure to be always 
about me that you should risk that," said Amy, 
weeping. " I never thought that I could hate 
anybody, but now I believe that I am growing 
very unjust and very cruel." 

The earl was relieved by the sight of her tears ; 
it was better she should weep than be so deter- 
mined. As for her threat of hating him, that was 
only a figure of speech. 

amy's FEABa 105 

"By-the-by, Amy," said he, after she had 
cabued down a little, " did you have any letters 
from Australia this month V* 

" No, I did not, which surprises me, as Mrs« 
George Copeland says they are aU well, and 
her impression is that there were letters for 

" Perhaps they were too late'for the mail," sug- 
gested Lord Darlington. 

** That is not likely," said Amy. '* Colonial 
people don't often make that mistake." 

" Your letters are sent on here, I suppose ?" 

** I have so few letters that I do not know, I 
have miseied no others." 

" You have not yet got into the voluminous 
correspondence which young ladies in England 
generally keep up ; a terrible waste of time it 
often is." 

** But, my lord, I am in earnest about what I 
said," said Amy, who saw that the earl meant to 
turn her mind to general topics. 

'* Very well, I understand my part. I shall go 
away at once to Belton and see your brother, and 
offer him Darlington Castle, and then go to 
Paris and try to forget you. That is my lesson, 
and you are only to promise not to hate me any 
more than you do at this moment." 

This Amy promised with some self-reproach ; 

106 THE author's daughter. 

she did not feel that she hated him at all, indeed 
she was sometimes almost frightened to think how 
much she Uked her friend. 

The bitterness of the letters from Anthony 
and Lucy had been occasioned by a circumstance 
which neither of them had alluded to. 

Mr. Derrick had left orders that all letters 
for the Hall should be sent on to Belton, as it 
was possible Miss Stauntcm might not continue 
to stay at Gower's Court, but might visit 
other friends, and he could send them on. 
When the Australian letter came into his hands 
his curiosity was strongly a¥rakened. Lucy, too, 
had an intense desire to know what relations 
Amy held with her antipodean correspondent, 
and she had always maintained, since Lord 
Darlington had had his answer, that Allan 
Lindsay must be a lover. If the letter had 
given way in their hands it would have been a 
good thing, but the envelope was strong and 
well-gummed. Still they handled the letter a 
good deal, and at last worked each other up 
to a feeling that it was very wrong in Amy 
having ^ correspondence with one of the op- 
posite sex which she kept fix)m her brother, 
her rightful guardian; and, as a matter of pain- 
ful but solemn duty, Anthony at last opened the 

AKY'S FEABa 107 

The eyent they considered justified the step 
they took^ for they discovered that Allan Lind- 
say had hopes, though not such strong hopes 
as he had expressed in the letter on which 
Amy had taken Lord Darlington's advice. The 
familiarity of his tone towards Amy, and the 
minute details which he gave of all the people 
and things about Branxholm aroused their scorn 
and indignation. They assured each other that 
they had done rightly in opening this letter 
and discovering how the land lay ; but they did 
not forward it to its proper owner or allude to 
ite having come into their posseesioa Anthony 
wrote what Lucy thought a very spirited letter 
to Allan as if he had learned his presumption 
from Amy herself. And although they were 
very haid on Amy for her want of openness, 
they took good care to conceal the source of 
the present accusation. Mr. Derrick and Lucy 
were puzzled as to whether their discovery 
should be revealed to the earl, but feared it would 
make him abandon a suit that they were very 
desirous that he should continue. 

While thus debating in the intervals of their 
lover's talk, the imexpected arrival of Lord 
Darlington with his smiling countenance, with 
his congratulations to all and sundry on the 
auspicious coming event, his offers of personal 

108 THE author's daughter 

service as groomsman at the marriage, and of 
Darlington Castle for the honeymoon, convinced 
them that all was well and that there was no 
need to mention AUan Lindsay's letter. 



" By-the-by, Derrick," said Lord Darlington on 
the following day, ''your sister tells me she 
had no letter from Australia by this month's 

"Had not she?** said Anthony. "So much 
the better, I think."* 

" It is rather singular, because there has never 
been a month missed before, and on this occafdon 
she felt sure of an answer/' 

** Oh ! something gone wrong with the mail, I 

*' No, Mr, Derrick, the mail is all right." 

" Oh ! then it is some blunder of Dixon's ; he 
has not sent the letters on, I suppose/' said 
Anthony, carelessly. 

The earl could read Anthony Derrick like an 
open page of a printed book ; he knew that he had 
possessed himsdf of the contents of this letter. 

110 THE author's daughter. 

" I should not like such blunders to be made 
with any letters of mine. I am going to Paris, 
and if I write to Miss Staunton I expect that 
she will receive them in proper time," said Lord 

" Oh ! of course ; depend on it, there will be no 
mistake about your letters. I shall write to 
Dixon and give particular directions." 

" I daresay your motives are good enough, but 
your method is bad, Mr. Derrick. You have this 
missing letter." 

" I assure you I have not got it." 

" Then Miss Evans has it, and that is all the 
same thing." 

" Of what consequence is it to you to huiit it 
up, my lord ? You seem much more interested in 
Australian matters than I am. If I did keep it 
back it was in your service. And as my sister's 
only protector and guardian I had a right to 
know what sort of letters she received. She has 
no right to keep up a correspondence of which I 
disapprove. And I suppose she sent you to re- 
cover it for her ? a curious office for you to take 
on yourself certainly." 

'' No, Miss Staunton did not ask this service 
from me ; I wish to recover her missing letter on 
my own account. I know all about this Uttle 
^Bair. Amy took me into her confidence long 


ago, and took my advice on the subject. This 
letter of course was written before young Lindsay 
received his dismissal from her, and I believe she 
has not written to him since." 

Anthony opened his eyes in surprise. Had 
Amy done this proper thing without consulting 
him in the very least, and without confiding in 
him ? He could scarcely believe it. 

'' There is really nothing in it," said the earl 

" But there may be, I fear," said Anthony, and 
he went out of the room and got the letter from 
Lucy. " There, my lord, read for yourself, and 
see if I did not do a kind thing for you in keep- 
ing it back — that is to say, if you still think as 
you did about Amy." 

Lord Darlington took the letter, enclosed it in 
an envelope, re-addressed it, and fixed it down. 

" Now, Mr. Derrick, I have got what I came 
for, and I understand the reason of your harsh- 
ness to my poor Amy. But this Utile matter 
gives me no uneasiness ; I have perfect confidence 
in your sister, and she reposes perfect confidence 
in me. My feelings towards her are unchanged ; 
if anything they are stronger than ever, but I 
wish to win her to accede to my wishes, and 
neither to alarm her nor to threaten her. You 
have always thought me slow and circumspect ia 

112 THE author's daughter. 

my wooing, and in my circomstanoes it is neoes* 
sary. It is all very well for a yoimg fellow like 
you ' to come, to see, and to conquer,' but as this 
is my own affidr you must let me conduct it in 
my own way. It may be difficult for you to be 
cordial to your sister, but I must insist on your 
being civil to the future Countess of Darlington. 
I must insist on your being honourable, and allow- 
ing her the sole possession of letters addressed to 
hersel£ Of all the difficulties in my way the 
most immanageable are your suspicious temper 
and your mean disposition." 

The earl spoke with a concentrated bitterness 
which Anthony had never seen in him before, 
and which was perhaps rather imreasonable, for 
he had only been too glad of Anthony's temper 
sometimes when it made himself appear amiable. 
It was a relief to him to express for once his 
contempt for Anthony Derrick at a moment when 
Anthony felt vulnerable, for having opened a 
letter intended for another person's eyes was a 
palpable act of meanness which he could not de- 
fend. It was evident that without an alliance 
with Amy the Darlington interest and friendship 
was lost to him for ever. But if she did become 
countess, as the earl so confidently affirmed she 
should be, she would be able to turn her old hus- 
band round her thimib, and in that case, as the 


cause of offence had ceased, Anthony would again 
be her dear brother, and he could talk her over 
at once. She had been always so submissive, so 
ready to apologize to him — his good opinion was 
of such value to her that he had no doubt they 
would resume their old relations to each other, 
and that his position in the world would be per- 
manently improved through her means. 

Had Lord Darlington himself no curiosity to 
read the letter he put into his pocket 'if Very 
little; Allan Lindsay's sentiments he knew or 
guessed at sufficiently for his purpose, and the 
letter would serve him better unread than read. 
He had paid a short unexpected visit to Olivia on 
his way to the rectory, and returned by Thrush 
Grove to bid her good-by before he took his de- 
parture for Paris. He seemed to be in good 
spirits, and promised to come again when Mr. 
Derrick was married, for he had been invited 
to take a prominent part in the pageant. In the 
meantime he was going to Paris : what could he 
get for Olivia there ? He took down her com- 
missions carefully in his note-book. 

" You look a* little dull, Olivia. I wish you 
could prevail on our Mend Miss Staunton to stay 
with you while I am in Paris, She might be as 
much at her uhcle's as she pleased, and see how 
all the marriage preparations are getting on. 

VOL. lu. 8 

114 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

Though she refuses to make Tne happy," said the 
earl, sofUy, ** I should be glad if you can prevail 
on her to enliven your life a little while I am 
out of the way. It was not altogether selfishness 
on my part; I did wish to give you so affec- 
tionate a Mend and companion for Ufe, Olivia. 
But although that may not be, we shall try for 
a month of happiness for you; write a note 
by me, and I shall do what I can to persuade 

OUvia wrote an earnest invitation to her friend ; 
and Lord Darlington, with his two letters in his 
pocket, presented himself at Gower's Court. Amy 
was very grateful to him for her recovered letter, 
and for a somewhat penitent one she received 
from Anthony by post about the same time. The 
generosity and confidence the earl showed de- 
served a better reward than she felt she could 
pay to him. 

" Now for obedience to the rest of your instruc- 
tions, Amy," said the earL " I shall now go to 
Paris till it is time for your brother's marriage, 
which is really drawing pretty close now. In 
the meantime will you remain with Lady Gower, 
or will you take poor Olivia's request into con- 
sideration ? I know it is rather too much to ask, 
but at the same time, though it is* dull, you are 
of so much use there." 



" I shall go to Thrush Grove," said Amy, recol- 
lecting that Miss Pennithome was the only person 
who had given her any strength or encourage- 
ment. " I like to be of use, as you say." 

"Then it must be good-by. Amy," said the 
earl, smiling a little sadly. " I am to drive you 
out of my head with Parisian gaieties if I can, at 
least I shall try. When the next Australian mail 
arrives, if you do not get your letter apply to 
me, and if your brother makes himself disagree- 
able to you again, or Miss Evans shows any airs, 
they shall not have Darlington Castle for their 

It was not a bad idea of Lord Darlington's to 
remove Amy from Lady Gower's, where she might 
attract attention, and to place her with his daugh- 
ter, thereby lending countenance to the impres- 
sion that was abroad of her engagement to him. 
He did not write to Amy herself fix)m Paris, 
but he wrote to Olivia three times a week, and 
he knew that her friend saw or heard all his 
letters. Miss Pennithome was now much fonder 
of her than she had been before Lord Darlington 
had awakened her fears, and felt flattered when 
Amy told her why she had decided to come to 
Thrush Grove. 

When Mrs. Hammond and her daughter called 
after Amy's arrival. Miss Pennithome looked 


116 THE author's DAUGHTEK. 

radmnt, and asked kindly after the health of the 
&mily, and especially that of Mr. Lotiis. 

"He was better, much better — ^indeed quite 
well; the change had done wonders for him/' 
Mrs. Hammond saJd^ 

"We do feel it so dull without papa and 
Louis/' said Clara Hiamnuxid, " in spite of all the 
gay doings at the rectory^ And they will not be 
home again till the marriage is over^ They have 
such interesting accoimts to send us of all the 
curious places they see, and I have nothing so 
pleasant to send in return; for you know, Miss 
Staimton, that whatever interest young ladies 
take in trouaseaux and bridal arrangements 
generally young gentlemen take none, unless 
they are immediately concerned, and then it is 
wonderftil how th^ go into it. Your brother 
has talked over and over again about the order 
of the procession, and who is to sit by whom at 
breakfast, although it is so far off; and the 
curiosity he shows about every article of dress 
or ornament Miss Evans wears or purchases is 
far beyond what I had expected. Last night, 
when we were in the middle of a duet, a parcel 
arrived per railway, and Mr. Derrick rushed off 
to superintend the unpacking, to criticise, and 
generally to admire everything, leaving me in 
-solitary state at the piano." 



*' It is very flattering to Miss Evans certainly," 
said Miss Pennithome; ''let us hope that your 
turn will come soon, Miss Hammond" 

Mrs. Hammond remarked dryly that it must be 
veiy pleasant to Mrs. Evans to have a daughter 
80 well and comfortably settled, though at some 
distance from her, no doubt. 

" I have no cousins," said Miss Hammond. " If 
I had I should like very much if my brother 
married one of them; and Miss Evans being 
really no relation of Mr. Derrick's does away 
with the objection some people have to cousins' 
marriages. But I waa rather surprised to see 
you here. I thought you would have gone to 
the rectory. Miss Evans must want to consult 
your taste and judgment now and then.'' 

"But I want her always," said Lady Olivia, 
" and more than she can be wanted at the 
rectory, I am sure ; besides, she sees her brother 
every day, I think. It was such a good thought 
of papa's to have Amy here when he was at 

"Oh I I daresay it was an excellent arrange- 
ment," said Clara, " but I was surprised at first" 
Mrs. Hammond gave her daughter a look which 
checked her, and she took refuge in the safe 
subject of the weather, about which Miss Penni- 
thome was always eloquent, for she watched the 


thermometer and the barometer on Olivia's ac- 
count, who was very sensitive to all changes of 

It might look strange in the world's eyes, but 
Amy felt happier and safer with Miss Pennithome 
than at the rectory. Although Lord Darlington 
had insisted on civility being shown towards his 
future wife, he had not required cordiality ; and 
it was not likely that Anthony's love or affection 
for Amy could be increased by the humiliating 
result of the conversation between her lover and 
her brother. It was gall and wormwood to him that 
he had been forced to confess to a dishonourable 
action, in which Lucy had been impUcated, with- 
out any consideration having been shown to the 
temptation and the provocation ; and that Lord 
Darlington had, in point of fact, bullied and 
insulted him without his having been able to 
retaliate. He was glad that his sister was at 
Thrush Grove, and not at the rectory; he was 
civil to her when they met, but her opinion was 
never asked or her taste consulted as to any of 
the arrangements which he and Lucy delighted 
to expatiate upon. 

Mrs. Evans took it upon herself to give her niece 
some good advice on the subject of her headstrong 
opposition to her brother's fond wishes on her 
behalf, and even the rector himself was so dazzled 


by the thought of the great alliance which she 
might make that he spoke to her of the obliga- 
tions which she lay under to her brother, and 
cautioned her against allowing girlish fancies 
and caprices to interfere, with her duty to him, 
Anthony tried to believe that his sister's going 
to stay with Lady Olivia committed her to the 
acceptance of the earl's offers, and the absence of 
the frequent censure and bhe constant watching 
was a relief to Amy. If she could only have 
forgotten that this could not last, and that her 
home for the future must be with her brother 
and his wife, she would have felt happy. Olivia's 
love was perhaps a little exacting, but it was 
neither jealous nor capricious, and aunt Sophy's 
affection and regard was something for Amy to 
rest in and rejoice over continually. The homely 
little woman grew quite pretty in Amy's eyes ; 
she seemed to have lost all her nervous fidgety 
ways, and to have grown more kindly to all the 
world from having her affections divided between 
two instead of being engrossed by one. 

Often in the evenings, after Lady Olivia had 
gone to bed. Miss Pennithome would sit with 
Amy over the fire and talk of old times-^-of her 
cousin Elizabeth; of her good old uncle and 
aunt; of the appearance of Mr. Herbert Dar- 
lington in the quiet city household; of how she 

120 THE author's daughter. 

had heard he was intended for Lady Eveline, but 
how Elizabeth had won him ; of her being taken 
quite away; of her poor children, Frederick Lord 
Boulton, whom Miss Pennithome had never seen, 
and Lady Olivia; of the great fortune which 
Elizabeth first and last had brought to the earl ; 
of the competence which her uncle and aunt had 
left to herself; of the solitude in which she lived 
until Lord Darlington had trusted her with 
Olivia ; of her fear lest her treasure should be 
taken from her; and her chronic awe of her 
noble relative or rather connection. 

All this discourse naturally and freely given 
out, without any apparent motive except the 
wish to reUeve her own mind by talkhig on 
subjects which could scarcely be told to Olivia, 
gave Amy Staunton a much less favourable 
impression of Lord Darlington than his own 
words and manner. There seemed to be a hard- 
ness about him, different indeed from Anthony's, 
but still egotistic and self-centred. Satisfied 
with himself and his position, which Anthony 
was not thoroughly, he seemed to expect every- 
body and everything to bend to him, and in a 
general way they did. Amy knew how great 
his power and influence was over herself, over 
her brother, over Miss Pennithome, and over 
Lady Gower. 


"I am surprised. Amy, my dear/' said Miss 
Pennithome one night, when they had talked a 
long time on these subjects, " that Lord Darling- 
ton has taken your refusal so well, and been 
altogether so kind and generous about it, as 
you say ; because I have always considered him 
a man whom it is dangerous to thwart; and, 
that he should take this more quietly than your 
brother, who has not half his pride and deter- 
^lination, puzzles me. It is all very well that he 
stands between you and Mr. Derrick, but unless 
he goes off at a tangent, and marries some one 
else at Paris or elsewhere, I cannot believe that 
you have come to the end of it. And it is 
strange that the only person to whom I could 
trust my darling should be the person who, for 
her own sake, I should least wish to see take the 
place of her mother. And now, though the end 
of it may be that some worldly scheming woman 
may be chosen instead, I shall always be glad 
that I have helped you just a little to' be firm. 
But dear me; who is that driving up at this 
time of night, and stopping at the gate. It must 
be Lord Darlington — it can be no one else." 

But it was not Lord Darlington, it was Mrs. 
^ammond, looking pale and agitated. 

"I am on my way to the Grand Junction 
Station ; I think I can catch the night express, 


and 80 save some hours to cross over to France/' 
and Mrs. Hammond could say no more. 

"What bad news have you heard T asked 
Miss Fennithome. 

" Louis has taken an epidemic fever, and the 
case is very critical. Not hopeless, thank God, 
but very serious. I have been telegraphed for. 
I called round, as I thought I had time, because 
I want my warm shawl that I lent to Miss 
Staunton on Thursday night. I shall want it to 
sit up in, if it please God I am in time to be 
needed to sit up." 

" Let me fetch the shawl," said Amy, " I'll get 
it in a minute." 

"Are you quite sure," said Mrs. Hammond, 
when Amy was out of the room, " in spite of all 
the talk I hear from the Evanses, that Miss 
Staunton has refused Lord Darlington V 

" I told you so as plainly as possible, and her 
mind is made up on the subject; we were just 
talking dbout it when you stopped us." 

" Then why is she here V asked Mrs. Ham- 

" Because we both like her very much, and she 
likes us, and she says I am the only person who 
gives her any sJngth or Wort for when 
every one said she was cruel and ungrateful 
I said she was rights said Miss Pennithorne, 


feeling the importance of her position, "But 
hush ! here she is with the shawl." 

^^J^y g^^6 the shawl into the hands of its 
owner^ and for the first time in her life Mrs. 
Hanmiond felt the beauty of the girl's face, 
voice, and manner. She had steeled herself 
against all her charms before, but now she saw 
that the eyes were lovely that turned to her 
fuU of tender concern; and the faltering voice 
was sweet that said kindly, ''Let us hope for 
the best, Mrs. Hammond; no doubt you have 
heard the very worst account of Mr. Louis's ill- 
ness." She took Amy's hand with something very 
different from the cold mechanical touch neces- 
sary in society to those you meet, but for whom 
you care nothing or less than nothing, and 
wrung it warmly. 

"Thank you. Miss Staunton, I shall be the 
better for the shawl ; yes, I hope I shall be the 
better for ihia" Amy and Miss Pennithome saw 
her into the carriage and heard her tell the 
coachman to drive as fast as possible to the 

" She really had no time to spare," said Miss 
Pennithome, consulting Bradshaw, "and this 
was a good mile out of her direct way." 

"Strange, to lose time about an old shawl," 
said Amy, "and she so rich, and with a great 

124 THE authob's daughter. 

many shawls surely not too good to sit up to 
watch a dear son's sick bed in. But perhaps the 
visit wafi a little relief to her excitement." 

"Very likely it was, poor woman; she is so 
wrapped up in her son, and she cannot reach him 
in less than thirty-six hours, with all the speed 
she can make." 

'' It is a great comfort he is not alone, that his 
father is with him," said Amy. " The girls will 
be very anxious till they hear from her, for they 
are all so fond of Louis." 

"He is a good lad, too, and deserves to be 
cared for," said Miss Pennithome. 

" A very good lad," said Amy. " We all liked 
Lotus very much when he used to ride over to 
Branxholm. I think he cannot be so very ill 
after aU ; Mr. Hammond is just the sort of man 
to be alarmed when he is away from his wife, 
and to use the strongest expressions in the tele- 
gram. They will telegraph to the girls as soon 
as Mrs. Hammond can see and judge for herself; 
and I shall go over to Thornton House as soon as 
they can have received it." 

"I don't think this climate ever suited Mr. 
Louis, poor fellow," said Miss Pennithome. 

" Mrs. Hammond will be forced to let him have 
his own way and let him go back to Aralewin," 
said Amy. 


"There is a great deal of property there, I 
suppose T 

" Yes : Mr. Lindsay used to say that Mr. Ham- 
mond wL made a rilh man agist his wiU-at 
least he was forced into buying land — ^and it has 
become a very valuable estate." 

" More valuable than Mr. Lindsay's ?" 

" Oh ! the Branxholm property cannot compare 
with it as to extent. I should tliink Mr. Ham- 
mond must have fifty thousand acres of land of 
his own at the least — and as poor Mr. Louis used 
to say, it was worth looking after." 

Miss Pennithome could not tell how Amy was 
affected to Louis Hammond ; she expressed her 
concern and her apprehension; she went over 
daily to Thornton House to get the daily bulletin 
which his mother sent to the family; and she 
grew friendly with Clara, who felt the sincerity 
of her sympathy. All these symptoms were of 
fair promise, if the poor lad recovered; if Pro- 
vidence ordered otherwise, it was, perhaps, 
well that Amy was not yet deeply impli- 
cated. But Miss Pennithome was satisfied 
with the determination Amy expressed that no 
persuasion could make her marry the earl, and 
heard her idea about going out as a governess 
in case her brother continued to press it, with 

126 THE authob's daughter. 

At present there appeared to be a lull, a space 
for Amy to gather up her strength in ; the con- 
stant dropping that wears away the stone had 
almost ceased, and the earl's letters, although 
they kept him in view, were not written to her- 

It was, indeed, thirty-six hours before Mrs. 
Hammond reached her son's sick-bed, to find 
him certainly dangerously, but not by any means 
hopelessly ill. He did not know her when she 
came in, although he retained a dim recognition 
of his father, who had never left him since he 
was first seized. His mind wandered very much 
to Australian scenes and Australian life ; to sheep 
and cattle, dogs and horses, stockmen and shep- 
herds. He was taking long journeys on horse- 
backf his horse was knocked up or had gone 
astray, and he was wearily pursuing his way on 
foot. He was lost in the bush and perishing of 
thirst — every draught of water which was offered 
to his fevered lips was exclaimed against as being 
too salt or bitter to drink, or looked upon as the 
very last drop in their store, and that there could 
not be another drop obtained till he had perished. 
Then he had got a simstroke, his head was so bad 
and so confused ; but still in the midst of his 
wanderings Mrs. Hammond, as she sat up night 
after night in the shawl which Amy had restored 

— 1 


to her, felt relieved to think that he had not once 
mentioned her name, nor any of the later scenes 
of his life in which he had suffered so much from 
love and jealousy. She knew she could not have 
borne that well, and was thankful that she was 
spared it, and that the fitful treacherous memory 
of fever went back so many years. 

She asked Mr. Hammond, on an early oppor- 
tunity, if he thought Louis had got over his dis- 
appointment with regard to Miss Staunton, and 
if he was really as cheerful as his letters had 
given out that he seemed to be. Mr. Hammond 
scarcely thought so. He had taken the whole 
affair much more to heart than was at all reason- 
able. When he had heard that Amy had gone to 
Miss Pennithome's to live, instead of staying at 
her aunt's, and how strange Clara thought it 
looked, although of course there were reasons for 
all things, he had been low and moody. He had 
expected that the two marriages would take place 
on the same day, and had read the letters curi- 
ously, always with a sense of relief at the thing 
not being announced, and yet still with a desire 
to hear the last and the worst of it. When the 
medical .man had asked about the constitution 
and habits of the yotmg man, his father had 
told in his imperfect French to the best of his 
power all he knew, and the doctor l^ad shaken 

128 THE author's daughter. 

his head significantly when he seemed to appre- 
hend his meaning as to Louis's disappointment 
in love, as if he thought that might have some- 
thing ii do with the Ler. 

But the father augured well from his silence 
on the subject in his deUrious wanderings ; he 
had read somewhere that a good sharp fever cures 
love in many cases, and he hoped Louis might 
recover from both distempers at once. If he had 
been excessively alarmed before Mrs. Hammond's 
arrival, he was now disposed to be extravagantly 
hopefuL He had such overweening confidence in 
her powers of nursing and in aU her general ca- 
pabilities. Perhaps husband and wife never 
loved each other more than they did now. Mrs. 
Hammond's heart smote her that she had ac- 
cepted this kind, upright, generous man, as a sort 
of jyis aller long ago, and had looked on herself 
as his superior, whereas in many cases his in- 
stincts had been wiser than her prejudices. She 
felt now that she would not have been so happy 
a woman as John Derrick's wife as she had been 
as George Hammond's. The conduct of the for- 
mer had received from her a new reading lately, 
for, although Anthony was not in all respects like 
his father, there was sufiicient resemblance be- 
tween them to show her much that she had been 
blind to when she was Clarissa Hope. Lord Dar- 


lington could not despise Anthony Derrick more 
heartily than Mrs. Hammond did now, and when 
she looked at her good husband, who was so 
anxious she should not be over-fatigued or over- 
taxed, who brought her all the food she could 
take, and watched anxiously while she ate it, 
and thought of the affectionate loving family 
whom they had been blessed with, she felt that 
she never had been half grateful enough for all 
the bounty God had showed her. There were 
Anthony, Edith, and Amy, all at variance — quar- 
rels, piques, and differences separating three whom 
nature had meant to be joined in the strong family 
bond of love. 

How shadowy and unreal a thing seemed now 
that old love to a man whose character she had 
mistaken! — and for that shadowy memory she 
had been unjust and prejudiced against an inno- 
cent child. K Louis were only spared to her, 
and if he still retained his affection to Amy 
Staimton, she should act very differently for the 
future ; but she was not so hopeful as his father 
wafi, she had not the confidence in her own 
powers of arresting disease that Mr. Hammond 
had for her. Still youth and a naturally good 
constitution — ^for she thought the better for his 
constitution on account of his taking this fever 

VOL. III. . 9 

130 THE author's daughter. 

— might bring him safely through in answer to 
her many prayers. 

She did not allow herself to hope till the crisis 
was past, and Louis turned on her an intelligent 
look and fully recognised her. All her pent-up 
feelings gave way at once, and •she wept tears 
that relieved her. 

" Mother, where am I V said Louis. " Surely 
T am not home V and he looked round on the 
unfamiliar French apartment. 

" No, my boy ; you have been travelling on the 
continent with your father, and you have had a 
little attack of fever, but you are better now." 

"Weak, however," said Louis, raising one Ian- 
guid arm, and letting it fall suddenly as if it was 
too much of an eflTort to keep it up. 

" Yes, very weak, of course ; but we shall soon 
get you over that now that you will be allowed 
to eat something," and Mrs. Hammond hastened 
to get the food prescribed after the crisis had 
been turned, and administered it carefully to him. 

" I suppose I have been a long while here in 
this queer state, and you beside me ? Where is 
my father V 

" He has gone out for half-an-hour's walk ; he 
got so anxious I made him go, but he will be in 
presently. Oh ! Louis, what a good father you 
have got." 


'' So he is, so he is. Mr. Derrick is married by 
this time, I suppose ?" 

" Yes, Louis, he is." 

" Lord Darlington, is he married too V asked 
Louis, wistfully. It was not the ease that the 
love had gone with the fever. 

" No, Louis, Lord Darlington is not married." 

" Not yet, mamma." 

" Not yet, nor at all likely to be, so far as I 

"Not likely to be," said Louis, raising him- 
self a little in bed, and then falling back. " I 
thought — " 

" Don't think anything at all about the matter, 
just now, Louis, my dear boy," said his mother, 
" until you are stronger, but when you are well 
enough I will tell you all I know. I shall not 
oppose you any more, but help you all I can, and 
so will your father, so forgive me if I have ap- 
peared unreasonable." 

" Dear, good mother," said Louis, kissing her 
face, which was bent over his. " I have nothing 
to forgive you ; and you will really help me in 

this r 

" Not unless you keep quiet, you delay every- 
thing by rash, foolish impatience. Here is your 
father! will he not be delighted to see you 
taking food again ? but you must be quiet. 


132 THE author's DAUaHTEB. 

Every liberty you take will delay our return to 
England a day or a week." 

In spite of Louis's youths it was some weeks 
before he gained strength enough to undertake 
the journey home. He was naturally a. little 
impatient and hard to induce to be sufficiently 
careful. The news firom his sisters was not so 
interesting as it had been when he was ilL The 
wedding at the rectory was over; Mr. and Mrs. 
Derrick had gone to Darlington Cafitle for the 
honeymoon ; Amy Staunton had left Miss Penni- 
thome's shortly after the marriage, and had gone 
to Stanmore, where she was quite alone. Miss 
Edith Derrick had not been at the marriage, she 
had not been invited and would not have gone if 
she had been asked ; but she and her aunt, the 
elder Miss Derrick, had set up housekeeping to- 
gether, and never meant to have anything to do 
with Mr. or Mrs. Derrick. It must be very soli- 
tary for Miss Staunton to be at Stanmore by her- 
Si^lf, Clara Hammond thought, and she seemed to 
feel leaving her friends at Belton very much. 

It was not for some time after his mother's 
communication, not, indeed, till they were about 
to start on their homeward journey, that Louis, 
after appearing very thoughtful for a while, 
asked her how she came to know that Lord Dar- 
lington was not likely to marry Miss Staunton ? 


" Because he asked her, and she refused him, 
very much to her brother's disappointment." 

'' And how did you learn that, mamma f ' 

" Miss Pennithome told me, Louis." 

" And how did Miss Pennithome know T* asked 
Louis, with that curious sensitiveness as to the 
manner in which these things became pubUc 
which is natural to a lover who means to make a 
proposal and is not quite confident of success. 
" Did Miss Staunton tell her ?" 

" I believe Miss Pennithome had it from the 
best authority. His Lordship made no secret of 
it ; and I suppose wished his daughter to use a 
litUe influence with her friend." 

" What a curious idea ! Lady Olivia might be 
ten years older than Amy. But when did you 
learn this yourself, mother f* 

" Miss Pennithome told me of it some time 
ago, indeed, just before you started for the conti- 

^' And you did not tell me, mother," said Louis, 
looking not angry, but deeply grieved. 

''It cannot make much difference, Louis. 
There is very little time lost, and you are really 
a pair of children to think of being married." 

" It is not our being married, mother, that may 
be as far off as ever ; but when I thought she 
was selling herself for money and rank, I felt 


distrustful of everybody and everything. You 
should have told me that she was not so base as 
that as soon as you knew it. It might hare 
altered our plans, I might not have gone on the 
continent if I had thought she was free, and 
then I might not have had this illness. But I 
have been thinking over this affiiir, and I cannot 
help seeing that you have had a dislike to Miss 
Staunton always. You said when I first came 
to myself that you would oppose me no longer, 
but would try to further my wishes, which was 
very kind of you ; but now that I am quite well 
and likely to live, do you feel the old disUke ? 
It would be very hard for poor Amy that if I 
should be so happy as to win her love she must 
displease all her family and not be received cor- 
dially into mine. It would be very selfish and 
presumptuous to ask such a thing. And yet, 
mother, I love her more I think than ever, for if 
she has had the courage to withstand all the 
temptations and the pressure which must have 
been put upon her, she is a noble girl. But I 
should have been told this, I really should have 
been told it before." 

It was not Mrs. Hammond's custom, as her 
husband had said to Louis, to acknowledge her- 
self to have been in the wrong, but on this occa- 
sion she did it handsomely. She did not tell 


Louis the palliatives with which she had quieted 
her conscience; she said merely, that she had 
done wrong, and that she was very sorry for it, 
and that now she would make all the atonement 
possible to her by promising to receive Miss 
Staunton afi a daughter if Louis could win her. 

" I dislike her no longer, though I own I have 
done so. Indeed I feel really kindly to her, not 
only for your sake, but because I feel she de- 
serves to be loved. You may rely on my loving 
her, Louis." 

"That is satisfactory," said Louis, and he 
rested on the assurance for a few minutes. With 
his mother's help he felt stronger and safer. 
'' And Clara has learned to like her too," said he. 
" But there is one thing I want you and my 
father clearly to understand. I don't think that 
there is any chance of a fortune with Miss Staun- 
ton ; for, although her brother is so wealthy, she 
is altogether dependent on him, and he dislikes 
me, and will not consent to her marrying me." 

" Never mind," said Mrs. Hammond, " we shall 
run that risk. Your father naturally looked to 
your doing well in a worldly point of view, and, 
of course, if Mr. Derrick is not very unreasonable. 
Miss Staunton ought to have quite as much as 
you have any right to expect. I do not think 
highly of Mr. Derrick ; but after inviting his sis- 


ter to leave Australia, he can scarcely for shame 
refuse her a modest dowry when she makes a 
marriage that is respectable and sidtable, to say 
the least of it." 

" Do not build on that, mamma. It is a family 
in which quarrels and piques are strong and last- 
ing. See how Mr. Derrick's own sister has 
turned against him on account of a marriage that 
he considers respectable and suitable; and he 
was his own master. Now Mr. Derrick has 
always claimed great power over Amy, and the 
power of the purse is one that he is welcome to 
use for me. I know that the poor girl is not 
happy with him,, and that makes me the more 
anxious that I can promise that she shall be 
happy with me." 

" I think you may, Louis. Money or no money, 
I think I can promise that your father and I will 
Welcome her to our hearts if she loves yoiL" 

" Then that is all right," said Louis, and he re- 
sumed the train of his hopes and fears and diffi- 
culties very much in the manner usual to him 
before Lord Darlington crossed his path at Bel- 
ton, thought of letters he might write, speeches 
he might make, circumstances that might happen, 
opportunities that ought to offer themselves to 
favour his cause, and then rushed off to pack his 
portmanteau in a hurry, and did it in such a 


hurry that his mother had to take everything 
out, and repack it, so as to make it hold the 
miscellaneous articles which he had omitted On 
the following day they turned their steps home- 
ward, and meeting with no disaster or delay, 
th§y reached Thornton House in health and 


KB. derrick's marriage-DAT. 

It was not till the occasion of her brother's mar- 
riage that Amy Staunton fully woke up to feel 
the peculiarity and the awkwardness of her 
situation with Lord Darlington. The earl had 
come forward in the handsomest manner, as Mrs. 
Evans said. Perhaps Lucy thought he put him- 
self forward a little too much, but the number 
and the magnificence of his presents to herself 
made her forgive him for disturbing the arrange- 
ments which had been made by Mr. Derrick and 
herself. Lucy had set her heart on Lord Dar- 
lington's giving her away at the altar, as her 
own father intended to perform the marriage 
ceremony; but the earl was not willing to act 
as a parent, or to bestow a bride on Anthony, 
from whom he expected soon to receive one. 
Lord Darlington suggested that a High Church 
dignitary, who was under obligations to himself, 

^B. derrick's marriage-DAT. 139 

might relieve Mr. Evans from his priestly duties, 
and allow him to discharge his parental obUga- 

For himself, Lord Darlington elected the post 
of groomsman, and, although Lucy told her lover 
that it was strange and incongruous that a 
widower should act in that capacity, and that it 
might be supposed to cast a gloom over the 
whole proceedings, the earl's determination to go 
as groomsman, or not at all, carried his point. It 
was true, as Anthony said to Lucy, that the 
earl's widowhood had never been of the disconso- 
late order ; that it had been of very long stand- 
ing, and was probably very near its close; and 
that small objections should bow to great people, 
particularly as Lord Darlington's appearance and 
manner were anything but gloomy ; and his rela- 
tionship at present and his intention of making 
that relationship still closer, made his presence at 
the marriage, even on his own terms, indispensa- 
ble. Lucy felt that the Bishop's presence was a 
positive advantage, and had just begun to re- 
condle herself to the earl's acting aa groomsman 
as the very best arrangement possible when he 
stipulated in addition that he should be the only 
groomsman, and made it a sine qua non that 
Miss Staunton should be the only bridesmaid. 

''As many young ladies as you please," he 

140 THE author's daughter. 

wrote to Miss Evans, " but let them not be brides- 
maids. It is a mere mockery to say that you 
elect six bridesmaids when there is only need for 
one, and all this stream of youthful beauty in 
uniform can only have the effect of making the 
bridegroom look insignificant. Besides, you can 
choose one bridesmaid without its being at all in- 
vidious. There is no one who stands to you and 
Mr. Derrick in the same position as Miss Staun- 
ton, there is no one perhaps of your acquaintance 
who could be placed in juxtaposition with myself 
pleasantly and suitably, whereas if you choose six 
of your friends, there are probably six others 
who think they too might have had the honour." 
It was evident to Lucy that if Lord Darling- 
ton did not have things arranged as he pleased 
he would not come at all; and, as that would 
never do, Lucy and Anthony gave in, and tried 
to persuade themselves that a small select party 
was infinitely better than a crowd The earl had 
offered them Darlington Castle for a month or 
six weeks, or indeed as long as they liked, and no 
concession appeared too great to gratify him, 
especially as the Beresfords and Lady . Qower 
were disposed to be a little shy of the obscure 
person whom Anthony had chosen to share his 
fortunes. Lord Darlington's final present to the 
bride on her wedding morning was a set of 

MR. derrick's MARRUQE-DAY. 141 

sapphires that eclipsed even her husband's lavish 
gifts. She wore as many of her ornaments as she 
possibly could on the great occasion^ because, as 
they were all presents, she thought it right, she 
said But she enjoyed her own magnificence to 
the full; and though she showed the proper 
amount of emotion and behaved beautifully — ^as 
her mother expressed it— crying at the right 
time, and smiling at the right time, and blushing 
at the right time, it was more the sense of her 
own importance, and the consciousness of the 
position she took in the world on that day, than 
any sense of her responsibility or her duties that 
overcame her. She liked Anthony as much as 
she could like anybody, and he looked very happy, 
although he was more nervous and less graceful 
in his happiness than she was. 

Next to her daughter's appearance ajid ad- 
mirable behaviour, and the impressive manner in 
which the Bishop performed the important cere- 
mony, Mrs. Evans was especially delighted with 
Lord Darlington's conduct on that important day. 
He was the life of the party ; he made small 
jokes at the church door, was most happy in his 
congratulatory remarks after the ceremony had 
taken place, and made the most brilliant speeches 
at the wedding breakfast, and he was particularly 
attentive, as was to be expected, to his young 


cousin the bridesmaid When the carriage had 
rolled off, bearing the happy pair to the station 
where they were to start on their way to Dar- 
lington Castle, the earl became livelier than ever, 
and all the guests, many of whom had never 
before seen a nobleman in private life, were most 
favourably impressed with this representative of 
the British aristocracy. Lord Darlington had 
had in his youth his full share of the family good 
looks, and even now was very handsome for his 
time of life. He never dressed too youthfully, 
but with perfect taste and good judgment ; and, 
but for the correct register kept in the peerage of 
Great Britain and Ireland, and the grown-up 
sickly daughter whom every one knew, he might 
have been supposed to be ten years yoimger than 
he really was. But wedding breakfasts come to- 
an end at last, although they are usually pro- 
longed a fiill hour after people are tired of them. 
The earl was the last to take leave. 

" You return with me to Miss Pennithome's, I 
suppose. Miss Staunton V 

" No, my lord ; I thought you understood that 
I am to stay here with my aunt till I return to 
Stanmore. That is the arrangement which An- 
thony and my uncle here have made for me," 
said Amy, quietly and firmly. 

" Indeed ; I am sorry to hear it, for Olivia has 

MR. derrick's marriage-day. 143 

not at all reconciled herself to the idea of losing 
you so soon. But I am sure you do not know 
what to do with yourself this long afternoon. I 
always feel as if a breakfast party was the most 
preposterous thing in the world. You seem to 
have ended the day before it has rightly begun. 
Olivia and Miss Pennithome will be most anxious 
to hear your account of the ceremony, and your 
description of the dresses, so come with me to 
talk it over — ^that will get rid of an hour or two 
for both of us." 

" You are quite competent, Lord Darlington, to 
tell everything about it yourself," said Amy. 

" I appeal to Mrs. Evans to tell me candidly if 
I have not been too busily engaged in talking to 
have had any time for observing ?" 

"Indeed, my lord, you have been delightful 
company. Mr. Evans and I feel greatly obliged 
to you for exerting yourself so much." 

" Whereas Amy has been as quiet as a mouse, 
and I know she has taken notes of everything 
for Olivia. Don*t you think that she had better 
go to Thrush Grove and give the freshest intelli- 
gence of this most interesting day, Mrs. Evans ? 
And, somehow, I feel as if Miss Staunton belonged 
to me for the day. After our arduous duties, so 
admirably performed this morning in concert, I 
think our partnership should not be dissolved at 

144 THE author's daughter. 

once, but might contmue in force at least till 
evening. Don't you think so, Mrs. Evans f 

" Oh ! yes ; you are quite right, my lord, and I 
am sure Amy will be very glad to go. Only I 
suppose she should change her dress." 

" That would be a pity when Olivia wishes to 
see her exactly as she looked ; but as you would 
not like to walk to Thrush Grove in this attire. 
Amy, I shall order Barnes to bring round the 
carriage. Tou can change your dress at Miss 

Lord Darlington's private carriage, conveyed to 
Belton to grace the occasion, was soon brought 
round, and Amy stepped into it, not sure whether 
she was right or wrong, but following the natural 
instinct she had to do what was expected of her. 
The earl proposed, as the afternoon was lovely, to 
take a drive before going to Thrush Grove, and 
so 'to get quit of a little more superfluous time, 
and he was about to give orders to drive round 
by Thornton House and HoUingford when Amy 
stopped him. " I should prefer to go straight to 
Miss Pennithome's," said she. 

''Just as you please," said the earl, as he 
stepped into the carriage, saying the words : 
" Thrush Grove," and sat down beside her. She 
looked grave, almost sad; the emotions, the 
doubts, the fears which Lucy had not felt for her- 

MR derrick's ICARRIAQE-DAT. 145 

self Amy had felt for her; and besides that, her 
own fate was pressing itself upon her hardly 

''Now, my dear little cousin/' said the earl, 
" now that we are away from all those tiresome 
fools," and he paased his handkerchief over his 
forehead with a sense of relief, " now that we 
have uttered all the insincere twaddle appro- 
priate to the occasion, and made proper congratu- 
lations, and paid hollow compliments, let me just 
say that I condole with you. This new sister 
will not add to your happiness. There is a dan- 
gerous flash in her eye, an imperiousness that 
/ will sway your brother in the direction which 
appears to her small mind to be most advan- 
tageous or agreeable to herself — ^to Mrs. Derrick, 
of Stanmore Park — who is now the centre of the 

How true this was ; but why had Lord Dar- 
lington gone through so much insincerity before 
hand; and, with his ready flattery and his 
happily-turned phrases, made Amy appear cold 
and unfeeling ? 

" How has Mr. Derrick behaved to you lately, 
since he has been so much under this influence V* 
asked the earl gently. 

" He is colder to me than he used to be, but he 
does not find so much fault with me." 

VOL. ni. 10 

146 THE author's daughter. 

" For that I must take some credit. Did you 
get your letter all right by the mail this month T 

"Yes, all right," said Amy. "I wish. Lord 
Darlington — I wish — that I had never left 

" Oh ! you must not say that. ' Whatever is, 
is right, that truth is clear,' as Pope says." 

" It may be true," said Amy, " but I am sure 
it is not at all clear." 

" A very correct criticism, Miss Staunton ; but 
I see the truth clearer as I grow older. Yes, I 
repeat it, as I grow older. Strange that I should 
not be sensitive as to my age," said the earl, 
smiling and bowing, " even in this company. You 
see that we of the aristocracy cannot possibly 
conceal our age, so we do better, we laugh at it. 
I was, however, younger than your brother when 
I was married. I suppose you know that it was 
intended that I should be married to your mother 
long ago." 

Poor Amy felt inclined to come out with " I 
wish you had," but she thought better of it, and 
said she had heard that there had been some such 
family arrangement. 

" Yes, it was talked of, and at one time I was 
very much inclined to go in for it, but your re- 
spected grandfather was altogether too dictatorial 
for me. I was heir to the title and to what re- 

MB. debbick's mabbiage-dat. 147 

mained of the estates — ^that was clear enough. 
Your mother was then a very lovely girl, but I 
did not feel sufficient interest in her or affection 
for her to make me submit to the old earl's ca- 
prices and bad tamper, so I preferred pleasing my- 
self and being independent. Of course the old 
earl never forgave me ; he had a veiy hard unfor- 
giving temper. They say that your brother is a 
Derrick, and not a Darlington; but, though I 
cannot trace the family features, I can trace the 
Darlington temper. You have the family beauty, 
but, as is proper for a young lady, you have not 
that little spice of the devil in you that all the 
Darlingtons are said to possess, at least it has not 
made its appearance yet." 

" All," said Amy ; " not mamma, surely ?" 
"Oh! yes — I beg your pardon — mamma too; 
at least when she married your father in such a 
hurry the world said that it was a little of the 
old leaven cropping out. As for myself, I do not 
pretend to have escaped the taint altogether. 
You look often at me gravely and reproachfully 
because you fancy I say things that I do not 
think. As a man of the world, I cannot wear my 
heart on my sleeve, and tell my likes and dis- 
likes, my loves and my contempts, to those with 
whom I come in contact. To you I have always 



been sincere, and I hope I may always continue 
to be so." 

" I have no right to reproach you, my lord, I 
did not mean to do so." 

" You cannot help telling your thoughts in your 
countenance, at least to one Who studies it as I 
do. But although I put in no claim to being 
faultless, and although I am aware that the world 
may criticise my character, I only stipulate that 
whatever they say of me they shall say nothing 
disagreeable or offensive to me, and I act on the 
same principle to the world. I wished a long 
talk with you, but here we are at Thrush Grove. 
I shall send away the carriage, for if you will 
go back to the rectory, I shall see you home. 
Now, lady fair, let Olivia see you looking your 

Lady Olivia Darlington admired her friend as 
much as the earl expected, but she was evidently 
satisfied with the sight of the groomsman and 
bridesmaid, for instead of the conversation turn- 
ing, as Mrs. Evans had supposed, on the marriage 
and the dresses and the arrangements and the 
speeches, after one or two languid enquiries were 
answered, the friends chatted on more congenial 
and interesting subjects. Tennyson's new poems, 
which Lord Darlington had brought out with 
him, were intrusted to Amy to read aloud. 



She sat in her white robes on her old low seat 
at Olivia's side^ and, in the exquisite melody of her 
voice, the deep poetical feeling which she threw 
into the words, and the little pauses she made at 
every passage of peculiar beauty, the marriage 
and Anthony and Lucy were forgotten. They 
were all apparently in fairy land; even Miss 
Pennithome, who fancied that she was the most 
prosaic of mortds, paid the tribute of her tears to 
what she called Amy's wonderful reading. 

" I cannot understand why Amy cannot sing," 
said Lady Olivia ; " her talking and reading voice 
is so sweet, so flexible, and so varied. Miss Ham- 
mond's, on the contrary, is rather unpleasant to 
me except when she sings." 

" Amy could sing a few things very sweetly 
if she tried, but her voice has not strength or 
compass enough to master the fashionable songs 
which Mr. Derrick thought the only things 
worth learning," said the earl. "Don't you 
recollect singing a little song your father wrote 
the words of to me once \mder that elm at Dar- 
lington Castle ? I think you could always sing 
to please me." 

"And me, too," said Lady Olivia; "but Amy 
would never allow to me that she could sing a 
note. I shall be jealous if you sing to papa and 
not to me, Amy." 

150 THE author's daughter. 

" It was only once," said Amy. " It was be- 
cause the song was about mamma that I did it ; 
but I know what I can do and what I cannot, 
and I agree with Anthony as to the singing. I 
prefer to do what I can do tolerably welL" 

" Now you are th-ed/' said the earl, " we must 
have some compassion; let me read a little to 
relieve you, although I know I cannot do the 
poet so much justice ;*' and he took the book and 
read for haJf-an-hour with an articulation dis- 
tinct enough, but somewhat too like prose even 
for his own taste. 

'* Now," said Amy, " I must go home." 

" I hate the soimd of those words," said Lady 
Olivia. " I think it is very cross of Amy to go to 
the Evanses, who do not care the himdredth part 
for her that I do." 

" But it is settled that I should go there," said 

" There is a note I got from your brother on 
this subject, which he desired me to give to you," 
said Lord Darlington. 

It was as follows : — 

'*Dear Amy, 

"If you prefer staying at Miss Penni- 
thome's to going to the rectory, you are quite 
welcome to do so. There is no occasion why you 

MR. derrick's marriaqe-dat. 151 

should leave Lady Olivia till you join Lucy and 
myself at Stanmore Park, and you can see your 
aunt and cousins when you please. 

" Yours affectionately, 

" A, Derrick," 

" Olivia wrote Mr. Derrick a petition this morn- 
ing which he could scarcely refuse on such a 
happy day, so there need be no separation of 
friends. I believe Mrs. Evans also understands 
the arrangement/' said Lord Darlington. 

" Then you can stay, Amy," said Olivia. 

"I think not/' said Amy^ shaking her head. 
" I shall come to see you as often as I can, but I 
ought to stay at my aunt's." 

" It looks so odd to stay here while your bro- 
ther was at the rectory, and then to go as soon as 
he leaves." 

" Perhaps it does look odd. I daresay much 
that I do for the best does look odd. But they 
may suppose the rectory was crowded before, and 
that now there is room for me. If I don't come 
to see you to-morrow I shall write to you, Olivia, 
but I must bid you good-by now. I really do 
not need any escort, Lord Darlington. I should 
prefer going home alone." 

" I cannot allow that ; — ^Mrs. Evans would not 
forgive me such neglect as that/' said the earl. 

152 THE author's daughter. 

The hand shook a little that touched his arm 
lightly. It was evident that the poetry was for- 
gotten, and that Amy was living her own life 
again, and finding it hard. 

" This day has been rather too much for you, 
Amy," said he, softly. 

" Yes, it has," and Amy paused a few seconds ; 
" but I wish to come to some explanation with 
you before it ends." 

" So do I, Amy ; I cannot bear the shadow of a 
coolness to come between you and myself. You 
seem to be displeased with me, I know not why X' 

" Because, my lord, you are hemming me in ; 
because I feel that between you and Anthony 
and Lucy and Olivia and my aunt at Gower's 
Court and my aunt here I am getting into an en- 
tanglement that I cannot see my way out of 
You get your own way with them all, and I can- 
not get any indulgence except through you. You 
said that you were going to try to forget your old 
foolish thoughts about me when you were in Paris, 
but I do not think you have." 

"How can I change my feelings towards you. 
Amy ? Are you less lovely, less amiable, less be- 
^^tching than you were ? Have you conquered 
poor aunt Sophy; and do you think I can set 
myself free because I wish it ? Wherever you 
go you win all hearts." 

MB. derrick's marriaqe-dat.. 153 

"I have not won a single friend who is of any 
use to me," said Amy, bitterly. " I want some- 
body to protect me — ^from you." 

"From me I I think you judge me harshly. 
Are my attentions to you so painful or so ob- 
trusive that you wish them warded off ? Protect 
yourself, Amy ; tell me when and where I offend 
you, and depend upon it, I shall take care not to 
repeat the offence." 

*' But your attentions are never obtrusive, they 
are only constant and insidious ; and although you 
are so gentle and so considerate when we are 
alone that I sometimes feel as if I could almost 
love you, when we are in company you are so 
cheerful, so confident, so confidential that I know 
everybody thinks " and here Amy stopped. 

'' Thinks me a much happier man than I really 
am. Well, I suppose they do. Whatever I may 
feel, the outer world shall not know it, unless you 
particularly wish it. In that case I shall obey 
you, and teU how much love I have lavished 
without the prospect of a return." 

"No, not that eicactly; but you know you 
should not look so very happy as you did to-day; 
— and then I feel that you order me to do this and 
to do that, and it is always easy and pleasant to 
obey you." 

" Because what I wish is always reasonable." 

154 THE author's daughter. 

" Perhaps so, but then other people fancy that 
I am bound to obey you," 

" That you can never be. But I was happy to- 
day. In spite of my want of sympathy with 
bride and bridegroom and bridal party, you were 
near me for the first time for weeks, and I could 
not help wishing, almost hoping, that from your 
exacting brother and his selfish wife you would 
turn to one for refuge who has always been your 
friend, and may be more." 

" Or less," said Amy. 

" Recollect also in excuse for me that when I 
am in company or society with you I feel all 
the advantages of my position. Undoubtedly I 
may have been a good deal spoiled by worldly 
prosperity ; but I am greatly mistaken if even in 
your eyes there was any one as agreeable as my- 
self in the party this morning. I feel the posi- 
tion I could give to you if you would only accept 
it, and I also feel that your present relations with 
your brother are false and uncomfortable. But 
when we are alone together, as we are now, I feel 
that I ask and hope for too much. Can you for- 
give me ? '* 

" I can — I do. I wish I could love you." 

" Then you would find repose. Amy," and the 
earl took her hand quietly. 

" I am not uiu*easonable with any one but you ; 

MR. derrick's marriage-DAT. 155 

I wonder that you think me amiable at alL Why 
do you not hate me ? " said Amy. 

''Because I cannot; because so long as there 
is the thousandth part of a chance of winning 
you I cannot relinquish the hope, and there is 
more than that, I think/' said Lord Darlington, 
laying a slight but still a perceptible stress on 
the word Tnore, which made Amy feel how true 
it was. 

There was indeed much more than that It is 
hard for a woman to be displeased at a man's find- 
ing it difficult or impossible to give up loving her. 
Although Amy had been greatly embarrassed by 
Lord Darlington's addresses, and persecuted by 
her brother for her rejection of them, she could 
not help admiring his constancy and perseverance. 
She hesitated. She had been angry, but he always 
managed to get the better of her in any little quar- 
rel Three several efforts she had made, and at the 
end of each struggle he had strengthened his posi- 
tion with her. Supposing he was really to abandon 
his suit and try to hate her, would not Anthony 
and his wife be embittered against her beyond for- 
giveness? She began to think again about taking 
a situation, and again about Allan Lindsay, and 
how he would reply to the cruel letter she had 
written to him. 

" You expect rather an interesting letter firom 

156 THE author's DAUGHTEB. 

Australia/' said Lord Daxlington, who seemed to 
have some wonderful key to her thoughts. " I 
have often regretted that you chose me for an 
adviser. But if I had really been disinterested 
— if you had been no more to me than Miss 
Evans or Miss Hammond — I should still have 
given you the same advice. You may sometimes 
regret that you ever entered the charmed circle of 
fashion and culture and refinement, although it is 
your natural atmosphere; but there can be no 
doubt that it has imfitted you for making that 
worthy young man happy. I know, too, that 
your liking for him never amounted to love, 
although it might have grown to it by habit and 
by your gratitude for kind offices done to you. I 
know the signs of the real passion, and you were 
no more in love with Allan Lindsay than you 
were with me on the day you consulted me. And 
as I would not have you marry me to escape 
from your brother's importunities, I cannot think 
it right that you should marry this young man to 
escape from mine. But, Amy, my dearest life, 
forgive me for calling you so, with me you would 
find repose ; there is not a friend you have who 
would not rejoice in our union; all the conflicting 
difficulties with your brother would disappear, 
and you could teach his wife her proper place. I 
do not say marry me whether you love me or not, 

MB. debbick's MABBIAQE-DAT. 157 

but I believe that you really love me quite well 
enough to make it right. I do not think you 
know how dear I am to you, and perhaps you 
never can until you allow me to be open with you. 
You would be happier if our fates were united 
than if I went away and you never saw me more/' 

** You can try that," said Amy, " it is not irre- 
vocable like marriage. Indeed you have tried 
it. I was very happy while you were in 

" You heard of me three times a week and you 
knew I was to be here now. You were interested 
in my letters ; you were glad to see me again ; 
and, although I have come in for a severe scold- 
ing, I have been forgiven." 

" You mean to make some stay at Thrush 
Grove ? " said Amy, abruptly. 

" Yes, Olivia wishes it, and I have promised to 

" Then I shall go to Stanmore Park." 

"What! alone?" 

" So much the better. You canTiot go to visit 
me there because I shall be quite alone." 

" But you will be so imcomfortable." 

'* Mrs. Harrison will take good care of me. I 
must have a little quiet to study in, for if the 
worst comes to the worst, I shall take a situation. 
I also wish to receive Allan*s letter and to know 

158 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

how he took my dismissal. You need not ques- 
tion me, I am not disposed to conceal anything 
from you ; I have not written to him since that 
letter that you know so well about. I have 
written to his sister, but not to him." 

" I do not think Mr. Derrick would allow of 
such a thing as your going to live by yourself at 
Stanmore. There is your aunt Lady Gower's 
house open to you." 

"Yes, a house where you are a privileged 
visitor, as you are at the rectory. My aunt Lady 
Gower does not scold me as Anthony does, or 
lecture me as my aunt Evans does ; but when I 
try to make her understand my feelings she only 
laughs at me, and says I don't know what I am 
talking about. I can get no help whatever from 
her. You are not to drive me up into a corner, 
my lord. You can do what you like with An- 
thony ; obtain this concession for me, that I may 
stay at Stanmore till he returns to it." 

" You try my influence with your brother very 
hai'd, for it is always to be used against myself; 
but to please you I would do anything. And I 
am not to see you ? " 

" You cannot, you will not dare go to Stanmore 
contrary to my express wish. I don't want you 
to write to me, or to come to me, or to speak to 
my aunts or to Anthony about me. Don't make 



MR. derrick's marriage-DAT. 159 

matters so terribly difficult for me by constantly 
hovering about me ; take back the presents you 
sent me this morning which I cannot accept ; if 
I am to be won it is not by such means. If any 
one speaks about me to you tell the truth, at 
least don't let it be thought that I am compro- 

"Well," said the earl with a sigh, "your terms 
are hard, but I accept them ; only I must plead 
for one thing — let me write to you sometimes ; 
answer me or not as you please, but let me write 
a note now and then. It shall be a very dis- 
creet one." 

" Then you agree to everything else ; and you 
will arrange that Anthony will not object to my 
staying at Stanmore. It is very hard that I must 
apply to you. Oh ! if Lucy had been different 
she might have helped me in my perplexities, 
whereas she only adds to them. And Editli, 
although she objects to everything else Anthony 
has done, agrees with him entirely as to how I 
should be disposed of, so that even if she would 
receive me she would not protect me." 

Amy spoke in such a forlorn way that her lover 
felt for her ; he half wished she was not so deso- 
late, but it was only a half wish. But he ex- 
pressed the partial feeling as strongly as if it 
had fully possessed his mind ; a species of hypo- 

160 THE author's daughter. 

crisy not at all uncommon in the world, even 
amongst very worthy people. 

It cost him some trouble and diplomacy to gain 
the favour that Amy wished, but he succeeded at 
last. Her aunt and cousins were very much sur- 
prised at her determination; she said she did 
not wish to see Lord Darlington, and that was 
her reason. The earl himself made excuses for her, 
and, as he had gone in for success on this point, 
he began to think that it was really desirable. 
Solitude and seclusion might help his cause as well 
as solicitation and opportunity. She would weary 
for his letters, she would miss his attentions, she 
would look forward to her brother's return with 
apprehension, and by the time Derrick and his 
bride appeared at Stanmore Park, when he too 
might present himself, her heart would be softened 
towards him, and she would confess that she would 
be happy with him. 

He was often astonished at his own steadiness 
and perseverance, and his friends were also sur- 
prised at it. He had had many slight love pas- 
sages in his long widowhood ; but he had been 
inconstant, fastidious, and unwilling to sacrifice 
time and ease for sake of any one woman. Now 
he felt that if he were to marry at all it must be 
done soon. His next heir, failing his imbecile 
son, who had hitherto given him little or no 

MR. derbick's harruoe-day. 161 

trouble, had grown somewhat presumpti^ous on 
his presumptive inheritance, and had been ex- 
ceeding the allowance which the earl had made 
him. Lord Darlington had decreed that he ought 
to make choice of a partner for life about the 
time when Amy came out, and her beauty and 
confiding maoner had charmed him into a love 
that taught him patience and submission and in- 
sight and courage. His conscience was not alto- 
gether asleep; he had had some premonitory 
signs that he was growing an old man, if not in 
appearance, at least in constitution ; but his love 
made him more careful, and he had not been so 
well or felt so young for years as he did when he 
was at Amy Staunton's side. No, he was good 
for twenty years* life yet, and perhaps for more, 
he said to himself; he did not mean to leave her 
a young widow to make a second choice; he 
would live a regular quiet life, and she would 
take good care of him, for, once married to him, 
he knew that he could depend upon her. All 
her conscientious hesitation, both about Allan 
Lindsay and himself, showed that she meant to 
give a great deal of love to the man she mar- 

The only thing he dreaded at present was the 
letter from her Australian lover. Passionate 
appeals even from the other side of the world, to 

VOL. III. 11 

162 THE author's daughter. 

old friendship and old tenderness might undo the 
work he had so carefully elaborated for so many 
months. And to fail now, when all the world 
knew that he had gone in so heavily for this girl 
— ^to have her snatched from him by an Austra- 
lian boor, who could not half admire or compre- 
hend her — ^would place him in a position at once 
humiliating and ridiculous. Besides he more 
than half believed that Amy did not really like 
Allan so much as she liked himself, and that if 
she married him it would be because her brother 
was unreasonable and unkind, rather than be- 
cause Allan Lindsay was loved. 



Lord Darlington had guessed pretty correctly; 
it was the case that Amy did feel lonely. Her 
studies did not interest her as she had expected, 
for it was a preoccupied and anxious mind that 
she broiight to bear upon them. She was angry 
at herself for the pleasant excitement that Lord 
Darlington's letters brought to her. At first they 
were short, but they became gradually longer and 
more frequent. They were discreet so far ; but 
the pleasant gossiping with regard to himself, to 
Olivia and Miss Pennithome and the Evans 
family; the notes about books, the remarks 
about people, kept him always favourably be- 
fore her. She felt always after reading them as 
if she should like to answer them, and it cost her 
an effort to refrain from doing so. 
Anthony and Lucy were so much engrossed 



with themselves that they did not write much to 
Amy, so that she was left very much to the con- 
templation of Lord Darlington's letters. The 
Australian mail had met with some accident, 
and when it did arrive there was no letter for 
Amy, not a line. Allan, then, had accepted 
her rejection without a protest — without an 
appeal; how different from the earl, who 
hoped against hope, and who persevered in spite 
of repeated refusals. Was it out of sight, out of 
mind ? Amy forgot how hardly she had written, 
and only recollected how tenderly she had felt 
towards Allan, He could not let her go so easily 
if he cared much about her. After an hour or 
two's suffering from the disappointment and mor- 
tification she felt on this score she put on her hat 
and cloak, and walked to MiUmount. Allan 
might have enclosed a letter to his sister, to be 
forwarded to Amy's address ; but Jessie had had 
no letter either, and was in a state of wonder and 
consternation at the imprecedented occurrence. 

"Since we are all disappointed," said Amy, 
cheering up a little, " it is clear that there has 
been some mistake about posting the letters." 

" I am always afraid that something may have 
happened to my father," said Jessie, " and, 
strangely enough, I never open a letter without 
a dim sort of fear and a sense of relief when I 


find all is well; bnt getting no letter at all is 
far worse." 

" Bad news is sure to come, Jessie," said Amy, 
"and to come soon. I recollect how provoked 
they all were at Branxholm, because the mail that 
brought my brother's letter came in two days 
before it was due ; and I fancied as this mail was 
so late there must be good news in it. Not but 
that I feel as much disappointed as yourself, that 
there is no letter at alL" 

" It's very hard not to hear a word about any 
of them," said Jessie. " But when is your brother, 
the sqmre, coming bax^k with his lady r 

" I don't know ; not for some time, I think." 

"It must be very dull for you to be all by 
yourself. Come oftener to see us. Amy, my 
dear. George would be delighted if you would 


"Jessie," said Amy, "supposing I were in 
trouble again, and wanted a home as I did on that 
terrible day you recollect so well, would I be as 
welcome at Millmount as you made me at 
Branxholm ?" 

" No doubt. Amy, no doubt of it." 

" Even if my brother, the squire, were displeased 
with me ?" 

" Yes, even then," said Jessie, eagerly. 

" I don't know that I'll call on you for help,'* 


166 THE axtthob's dauohteb. 

said Amy, wearily, "but it is very good of you 
to offer it." 

" Then you don't look to get on well with the 
new wife, although Ae is your cousin," said Jessie. 
" If she is like her mother she can scarcely be a 
girl you can care for. I suppose she thought it 
was a great mamage.'' 

" She is really very fond of Anthony and An- 
thony of her ; it is a love marriage on both sides. 
And when you see her you will acknowledge how 
handsome she is, only I was surprised at it at 
first, and she rather felt disappointed at my re- 
ception of the news.** 

"I suppose the wedding was a very grand 
affair," said Mrs. Copeland, who just at this mo- 
ment came into the room and joined the friends, 
" at least the account in the papers was a fine 
one ; but we had very gay doings on the estate 
here too." 

" Oh ! I believe it was considered a quiet mar- 
riage for one in my brothei^s position," said Amy. 
" We want very much to know when Mr. Der- 
rick comes home," said Mrs. Copeland, " for we 
can get no assurance about the lease from Mr. 
Dixon, who says these matters must all be re- 
ferred to the squire himself, and Mr. Copeland ia 
very anxious about it indeed, because he would 
alter his arrangements for the crops if we were 


sure of it I don't think we are favourites with 
Mr. Dixon, at least he gives us very short 
answers, and I think he wishes MiUmount for a 
nephew of his own, so that we depend very much 
on the squire's goodwill" 

" Oh ! Mrs. Copeland," said Jessie, " I think 
that if we can afford to give the rent that is the 
main thing, and I am sure that we can outbid 
such as young Staples." 

"The rent is not everything, Jessie; has not 
Tallboys got Brocklehurst over old Mr. Healey's 
head, and pays seventy-five pounds a year less 
for it. It is the goodwill of the agent and the 
squire that does it. And we have been thinking 
that Mr. Derrick being newly married would be 
disposed to be in good-humour and to consider 
old tenants. My husband would take it very 
hard to leave Millmount." 

Jessie felt very sorry that Mrs. Copeland 
brought forward her reasons for wishing to stand 
well at this particular time with the squire. Amy 
felt even this slender plank, by which she might 
have escaped, giving way under her, like every- 
thing else. 

" I am sure if I had any influence with my 
brother I should exert it in your favour,*' said 
Amy, " but I think I have already told you I 
have none in these matters." 


" And you would not like to ask his wife, who 
may be supposed to have some, and she your own 
cousin too," said Mrs. Copeland. 

" Perhaps I could," said Amy, languidly. The 
idea passed through her mind that Lord Darling- 
ton could do it, perhaps ; and if fate went against 
her, as it appeared likely it would do, she might 
ask for "that one substantial benefit for the Cope- 
lands as part of the price of her compliance. 

" Or Lord Darlington could speak a word for 
us," said the old lady. " He was very polite and 
kind when he was here, and I hear that all the 
farmers on his estate have leases. If the squires 
knew their own interests and the interest of the 
land, they would not boggle about giving 

" Oh ! don't ask Miss Staunton for Lord Dar- 
lington's interest. How can you do such a 
thing ?" said Jessie, indignantly. It was the first 
time that she had ever shown any temper to her 
mother-in-law, and the old lady was surprised at it 

" Oh ! it does not signify, Jessie," said Amy. 
" But I am disappointed about the letters ; I must 
go home now." 

"Cannot you stop and see George when he 
comes in ?" said Jessie. 

" No, not to-day," said Amy, " I think I had 
better go home." 



Jessie followed her to the door. 

" Never mind what Mrs. Copeland says, Amy, 
if you really are in trouble, come to us just as if 
we were at Branxholm.'' 

" It is very good of you, but I must not injure 
you all, Jessie. It is very likely I may not need 
any refuge. Perhaps I may be sorry that I ever 
said such a thing to you ; but sometimes my 
heart is heavy, and I speak without thinking," 
and Amy sighed. 

"You are not going to marry that old lord 
surely," said Jessie, eagerly. 

" I think not ; indeed, I would say I am sure, 
only that things seem to be taken out of our own 
hands sometimes. Perhaps I might make him a 
good enough wife after all." 

" Oh ! Amy, my dear, do not even yourself 
to such a thing, he's nearly three times as old as 
you. It would be no maiage of God's maJdng. 
and you could not expect His blessing. It was 
an evil day when Mr. Derrick first came to Mill- 
mount, after George and I had settled here, and 
saw those unlucky photographs and asked all 
about you, if it is to come to this. Oh I Amy, 
have you forgotten poor Allan ?" 

" He seems to have forgotten me," said Amy, 
doggedly. " It is evident that that was not to 
be, only I wish that I was not so dependent on 



Amy walked home^ dull and dispirited, to re- 
ceive a pleasant gossiping letter from her old 
lover and a few cold lines from her brother, to 
look at books without reading them, and to play 
mechanically music that she scarcely heard her- 

" I don't think I was meant to stand alone/' she 
said to herself, contemptuously. '' I have made a 
great mistake in coming to Stanmore for quiet 
and serious thought. I wonder if Lord Darling- 
ton had any idea of the eflTect it would have on 
me when he consented. He is very clever and 
seems to understand me better than I do myself. 
I eeem to be drifting, drifting, in the diriion 
which he wishes, and cannot turn round to stem 
the current." 

On the following day she felt strengthened by 
a letter from Miss Pennithome, telling her that 
the earl had tired of Thrush Grove, and had gone 
to London suddenly ; and expressing her confi- 
dence that all would go well yet with Amy, for 
God would never desert her when she kept so 
clearly in the right path. He would make some 
way of escape for her, and surely with such talents 
and accomplishments as Amy possessed, she could 
earn her own livelihood, and might hold out 
against her brother. She asked about the studies 
and the practice which Amy had gone into, and 


hoped that she might soon receive an account of 
all she had done and was doing. 

It was the element of human interest thrown 
into her present life and pursuits; Miss Penni- 
thome's enquiries must be answered, and her 
recommendations attended to; and Amy resumed 
her avocations with more spirit, and looked for. 
ward to her brother^s return with a little more 



It was earlier than Amy expected when Mr, and 
Mrs. Derrick returned to their ancestral halls of 
Staninore. They did not spend the whole of 
their honeymoon at Darlington Castle, still less 
did they take advantage of the earFs permission 
to extend their stay to six weeks or longer. 
Darlington Castle was all very well in its way, 
at least they liked the ^lat of being there ; but 
after all there were attractions at Stanmore, 
which was their own, which no borrowed house, 
however splendid, could possess. Besides, although 
they were very happy in each other^s company, 
they would be still happier if they could show to 
the world how very happy they were. Lucy had 
not yet seen Stanmore, and her husband was 
eager to reveal it to her enthusiastic admiration. 
She was in ecstacies with everything, and An- 
thony was careful that she should miss no point, 


however trifling, that showed his wealth, his 
taste, or his cleverness. Amy thought that the 
pair were almost chUdish in their complacency 
and enthusiasm over their own possessions ; but 
thenAmy waa at this time cynicaUy disposed, 
and as she did not go into raptures with every- 
thing that appeared to the newly-married pair to 
be Elysium, she was looked on as a sort of wet 
blanket, and the old complaint of her want of 
sympathy was revived with variations. 

It was soon known that the Derricks were at 
home and willing to receive visitors, and as the 
neighbours were rather curious to see the ob- 
scure and penniless bride whom he had promoted, 
they came forward very readily, and Lucy thought 
this about the best part of the whole business. 
In a pause between the relays of callers, on the 
first day of reception, Anthony said to his sister 

"I suppose you know that Lord Darlington 
will be here to-night." 

" Indeed I did not know," said Amy. 

" Does he not write to you ? he gave me to 
understand that he kept up a very close corre- 
spondence with you." 

" Yes, he does write very frequently ; but he 
has not mentioned his intention of coming to 
Stanmore. I thought the understanding was 

174 THE author's daughter. 

that he was not to come without letting me 

" He has let me know," said Anthony, " and 
as it happens to be my house I should fancy that 
to be sufficient." 

" He has done more than that," said Mrs. Der- 
rick, " for he has written to me also on the sub- 

" I suppose he wishes to bring the affidr be- 
tween himself and you to a point. Amy, and I 
thoroughly agree with him," said Anthony. " It 
has been hanging off and on a great deal too 
long, and I must say. Amy, that if you refuse so 
exceUent an offer on such frivolous grounds as 
you have given, I shall wash my hands of you. 
I have done everything in my power for you, 
and you have constantly thwarted and disobliged 
me. That Darlington has continued his suit in 
spite of your airs, has always astonished me ; 
no man could have been more patient, more soli- 
citous, more indulgent to your every whim and 
fancy, than he has been. I think, indeed, he has 
spoiled you by so much adulation, at least, I 
think you are less amenable to my control since 
he made such a goddess of you ; but I have only 
this to say, that if you do not choose to accept 
him, you may find a home for yourself. Lucy 
quite agrees with me in this opinion, for I am 



sure, after being at Darlington Castle and seeing 
what you might have, and what you might be, if 
you were only reasonable and decently grateful, 
we cannot think it right to encourage your ab- 
surd objections. Here come the Claridges ; what 
a pair of horses they drive, to be sure I I should 
be ashamed of such a turn out ; is not that very 
diflFerent from our spanking greys, Lucy f 

Amy rose to go out ; she did not feel equal to 
seeing strangers after Anthony's cruel speech. 

"Don't go out. Amy," said her brother; "I 
choose that you should stay and assist Lucy in 
the reception of her visitors, whom you know, 
and she does not." 

As if Lucy needed any relief or any assistance ! 
she was in the full plenitude of her power, at the 
very acme of happiness. She was tasting the 
sweetest draught that had ever been presented 
to her lips even by Anthony. To sit magnifi- 
cently dressed in a superb drawing-room, looking 
out on a prospect which so far as she could see 
belonged to the Stanmore estate^ and to receive 
real county people in company with the husband 
of her choice, was to be in a state of bliss and 
exaltation which she had scarcely dreamed of as 
a girl. She had none of the graceful diffidence 
of a youthful bride, to whom these things were 
new and unaccustomed. As Anthony saw with 

176 THE author's daughter. 

satisfaction^ she fell into her place at once^ and 
had an amount of self-possession that showed the 
wisdom of his choice. 

Instead of showing by her manner the timidity 
that Amy had displayed when she first came to 
Stanmore, Lucy rather patronised her visitors, 
and endeavoured by graceful condescension to set 
them at their ease. She sent her callers away in 
high indignation at the airs which the portionless 
curate's daughter (as they called her) gave her- 
self, but of this Anthony was as unconscious as 
Lucy herself; he admired her ease and her skill, 
and her grace, and felt that every one must con- 
gratulate him on his good fortune. As each party 
departed, the bride and bridegroom quizzed them 
to their heart's content; Amy had blushed for 
them and had timidly tried to soften a Uttle her 
sister-in-law's manner, until she heard the fatal 
news from Anthony of the earl's threatened arri- 
val and his own determination. After that she 
went through the necessary formalities like one 
in a dream. What was she to do ? Where was 
she to go ? How was she to escape ? 

When her brother spoke so harshly and cruelly 
to her it was &x from having the effect he in- 
tended. He thought it would make her glad to 
accept of Lord Darlington, whereas, her heart, 
which had been rather softening in her lover's 


absence^ rose up against the coarse threats which 
Anthony held out. She would take no husband 
on compulsion. 

" I shall appeal to his generosity before An- 
thony/' said she to herself. ''I will make him let 
me go. But he will not come without my leave 
— surely he will not come." 

Anthony was right, however. The earl ap- 
peared that night, and on the next morning she 
determined to make her appeal. 

Lord Darlington opened the subject in his very 
blandest tones. 

" It is perhaps premature in me after our ar* 
rangement to come here again on the old errand, 
but your brother seems to think I am trifling 
with you and does not like my continued ab- 
sence. Besides, as you never wrote to me, I could 
not tell exactly how you felt." 

" Will you ask Anthony to come here and hear 
what I have got to say to you ?" said Amy. 

" I did not think a third party at all necessary 
or agreeable in these cases," said the earl, hesita- 

" I must speak to you both together," said 
Amy, in a strange, hoarse, unnatural voice. 

" If you really wish it, let it be so. I shall 
bring Mr. Derrick." 

Anthony came in looking sheepish enough ; he 

VOL. in. 12 

178 THE author's daughter. 

was always a good deal overborne by Lord Dar- 

" Well, Amy, and what is aU this about T said 

"Anthony,** said Amy with difficulty, "Lord 
Darlingtcm is not trifling with me, I wish to God 
that he were less in earnest than he is, but as I 
have said often to you and to him, I do not think 
I ought to marry him. I know what I forfeit, 
but I have earned my own living before this 
time, and I can do it again. I have to thank 
you for the advantages you have given me, and 
if this is the condition on which alone I am to be 
considered as your sister, I shall biurden you no 

" What absurd nonsense are you talking ?" said 
Anthony, to whom the threat of her taking a 
situation was a strong one. 

" My Lord Darlington, you would not have a 
girl to marry you because her brother threatened 
to turn her out of doors if she refused T 

"No, certainly not," said Lord Darlington, 
with an expression of horror ; " but because you 
love me a little." 

"Of course she does," said Anthony. "Any 
one can see -that she does. She and you will 
settle things in an amicable way. I was only 
joking when I spoke yesterday. Amy, as you are 


to-day about earning your own living. Darling- 
ton Castle and a governess's situation in some 
dismal school-room is a contrast indeed !'' 

" I honour Miss Staunton for her scruples," said 
the earl. " When I attain her consent, I know 
that her heart will go with her hand. I have 
always trusted her, always believed in her. I 
have disguised nothing of my character fix>m her, 
and I do not believe that there is such a radical 
difference between friendship and love, tiiat a 
disengaged heart like hers would not allow one 
to merge into the other." 

"Of course it will; Lucy says she could see 
how anxious Amy was for your arrival last night. 
Lucy understands these things." 

" Oh ! yes, in the light of recent events Mrs. 
Derrick ought to Understand tiiem. But, Mr. 
Derrick, I must beg that no threats are held 
out to Miss Staunton. As I have always said, 
I have no desire to hurry her." 

"You have not much time to lose," said 
Anthony, in an undertone, but it was audible to 
Amy, and it incensed the earl. 

" If you would only allow me to conduct my 
own affairs in my own way, and not thrust in 
your oar, I should be very much obliged to you." 

"Then why did you bring me here?" said 
Anthony, not imxeasonably. 


180 THE author's daughter. 

" It was an idea of your sister's, but I fancy 
she has had enough of it. I suppose you will 
excuse Mr. Derrick now, Amy T 

It was no matter how Amy began her tactics ; 
Lord Darlington always got the better of her. 
His coolness, his watchfulness and his deter- 
mination, baffled her at all points. So that now 
she consented to let Anthony go away without 
saying half of what she had intended to say to 
the earl in his presence. Now she felt rather 
relieved when he went out and she was left 
with the earl, who did not speak to her for 
a few minutes, evidently wishing her to collect 

"You are not looking very well. Amy," he 
said at last. " It was rather cruel in you not to 
give me a hint about how you were getting on. 
I am a&aid you have been ill V 

" No, my lord, I have been qidte well, as well 
as usual." 

" Only duU then, I suppose ?" 

" Not very dull either." 

" Solitude is rather trying to a young creature 
like you. I must say that I myself do not 
like it" 

"Oh! solitude is ts^ more bearable than this 
is,"- said Amy. 

"I am sure I wish you had a pleasanter 


brother and sister-in-law, Amy. I really think 
if I were an angel Derrick's advocacy would 
prejudice any one against me; and his threats 
are as coarse as his soul. Forget what he says 
altogether, and speak openly to me, as you used 
to do." 

" There is .one thing I want to tell you without 
being questioned. I have had no letter from 

" Then the poor fellow has accepted your 
dismissal without remonstrance or appeal,'^ said 
the earl, with a slight accent of contempt. 
" I had scarcely expected that you had made so 
faint an impression on his heart, although, I 
daresay he has good sense enough to see the 
reasonableness of the thing. I know how gently 
and kindly you can say even painful things," and 
the earl paused a minute. 

" But there is no letter from any of the family ; 
there may be some mistake," said Amy. 

" Do you think it likely that if the poor 
fellow had written there would be a mistake 
about his letter being forwarded ? I have some 
confidence in the General Post-Office, and had so 
much faith in your friend that when a letter was 
missing before, I asked your brother for it and 
got it. People in earnest do not make mistakes 

182 THE authob's daughter, 

at critical periods, Amy. Fancy me forgetting 
or neglecting to post a letter to you r 

All the methodical, careful habits of Allan 
Lindsay came back to Amy ; it really was very 
imlikely that if he had written at all, she should 
not receive the letter when she was alone at 
home to get it, 

"Do you know how the worid fancies you 
were employed when you were alone at Stan- 
more ? It is supposed that you are writing a 
book, but whether it is to be in poetry or prose 
no one can rightly determine. You have some 
Hterary antecedents^ and have seen a good deal 
of the world. I let it be said, for it locked very 

" I have not really seen much of the world, 
although poor Olivia fancied I have. As to the 
fashionable world of England my experience has 
been very small, for more than a year was occu- 
pied with school- work, and after the short season 
every one has taken care that I should not see 
too much of any body but ," and she stopped. 

" But me. I believe it is the case,** said the 
earl, laughing. " I wish we could come to a com- 
fortable arrangement, for in that case you could 
see the world to your heart's content. When 
I see how enchanted your cousin Lucy is with 
all the glory and importance and gratification 


which her maxriage has brought to her, and 
imagine how much I could open to you, I do 
feel chafed at her manner to one so immeasurably 
her superior. But you did not tell me if you 
had not thoughts of writing something." 

" I wish I could, but it did not occur to me, 
and besides, I am sure I could not write what 
was worth reading. I wonder if Anthony would 
be pleased with me if I took the world by istorm 
and was a successful author." 

" I fear there is only one thing you can do that 
will please Derrick. I fe^ neither poetry nor 
prose will soften him." 

" But success might." 

"Not every kind of success. You observed 
how irritated he was about the picture, although 
yours would have been pronounced the loveliest 
portrait of the season. By-the-by, it is finished, 
and I have got it now at Darlington Castle. 
You can have it when you ask for it. Mr. 
Hubbard was disappointed and mortified at its 
not being for exhibition, for he is so much satis- 
fied with it." 

" That was a foolish thing I did, and I thought 
so at the time, but I cannot help it now. Are 
you going to stay here then on my brother's 
invitation ?" 

"Yes, because I see how he can make you 


suffer. I must stay to teach him and his wife' 
reasonable courtesy to one whom I have a 
regard for." 

" And for how long will you stay T 

"As long as you need my services, if Mr. 
Derrick will allow me to avail myself of his 

"And how long may that be ? Oh ! my lord, 
cannot you say to Anthony that you give me up. 
I am not really worth all the trouble and patience 
you take with me. I am not suited to you, not 
fit for the station you offer me. Why cannot 
you give me up f* 

" I have no intention of giving you up. Amy. 
I do not imitate the pusillanimity of your friend 
at the antipodes, who withdraws his claims at 
the first discouraging word. I have withstood a 
few refusals, and I mean to go in for the pre- 
scribed number of nineteen, which I do not think 
we have reached yet." 

" I suppose I cannot send you away, the house 
is not mine." 

" I look on it as yours ; but I am sure that if 
you ordered me away Mr. Derrick's temper would 
not make it a pleasant home for you. How did 
your brother and his bride like Darlington Castle 
in winter t" 

" Very much indeed, I think." 


" I had those trees cut down that shut out the 
lovely view to the eaat, shortly after you left. 
You recollect our agreeing that it would be an 
improvement. I hope, however, that Mr. and 
Mrs. Derrick found the weather too cold and 
boisterous to admit of their going much out of 
doors in our walks, and especially I hope they 
never sat under our elm ; it seems too sacred a 
spot for their honeymooning in." 

" They have not said much to me of what they 
did or did not do. I gather more of 'their expe- 
rience from their talk with each other than from 
their conversation with me, and much of that 
I cannot understand. I think lovers and very 
intimate friends," said Amy, trying to shake off 
her oppressed feeling and to speak as she had 
been used to do, ''are often rather rude in general 
society, because they constantly allude to things 
that other people are not in the secret of, and, 
while they appear to be quite open and commu- 
nicative, they in reality teU the company nothing 
at all" 

"Oh yes, they are very tiresome, as I have 
very often said to you. No one could possibly 
mistake us for lovers, for we are so invariably 
well-bred and attentive to other people, and all 
our explanations and hints we get over in 
private. Now you are looking more like your 

186 THE authob's daughter. 

old self, Amy, I feel in good-humour with every- 
body, even with your brother, so I shall chal- 
lenge him to a game of biUiards and he shall 

And the earl was as good as his word. Lucy 
looked on and admired her husband's play, and 
then asked to be taught the game. She was as 
clever at billiards as she had been at croquet, 
and in a short time excelled Amy. 

Day succeeded day and week succeeded week, 
and the possibilities of escape for Amy became 
smaller and smaller. And yet Amy did not like 
Lord Darlington so much as she had done on her 
first acquaintance. She felt the hardness which 
Miss Pennithome had indicated to her, although 
it was disguised beneath the most polished and 
courtly manner. In all that related to herself he 
appeared to be so pUant and so forbearing that 
she was ashamed of herself for trying him so 
much, but yet she felt that he did not lose an 
inch of ground. He often carried his manage- 
ment of Lucy and Anthony beyond the fair 
bounds of dissimulation to the verge of down- 
right hypocrisy. Amy knew his real opinion of 
them, and she shrank from the fair words which 
she heard. To his inferiors, he was distant, or 
loftily condescending unless he had a purpose to 
serve ; of those who waited on him he appeared 


to be sublimely unconscious. He exacted defer- 
ence ; he was surprised if it was not paid. The 
strain upon him had been somewhat hard, and now 
he was becoming so sure of success that he now 
and then relaxed the check he had kept on his 
worse self. There were cynical remarks that fell 
from him on many subjects that showed that in 
political matters he considered that every man has 
his price, and in other matters every woman has 
hers. An approaching general election brought 
out singularly low views of thought, not only in 
Anthony Derrick, but in the man she had con- 
sidered so greatly his superior. The manner in 
which they both talked of the legitimate in- 
fluence of wealth in the abstract, and of 
their own influence in particular, struck Amy 

And there was an absolute absence in Lord 
Darlington of anything at all like religion, a 
secularism which could give no response to her 
natural feelings of devotion. He admired — ^half 
pityingly, half envyingly — her freshness and en- 
thusiasm, but he could not look back to a time 
when he had been otherwise than a man very 
wise after the fashion of this world, who picked 
as many of its roses and was pricked by as few of 
the thorns as possible. 

Never in his life had he taken as much trouble 

188 THE author's DAUQHTEK. 

to win a woman, and he valued Amy Staunton 
very much at the price she had cost him. Her 
youth and beauty might perhaps have been 
matched elsewhere, but it was her simplicity of 
cliaracter, her original ideas, and her charmingly 
clinging and dependent manner that especially 
fascinated him at first. But now every weary 
hour he spent with Mr. Derrick, every civil 
speech he made to Lucy, every alleviation of 
Amy's uncomfortable situation which his influence 
procured, was set down to the credit side of his 
account; and he felt that he deserved all and 
more than all Miss Staunton could give him, es- 
pecially as the world would only ridicule his 
failure. A young man disappointed may be 
pitied and respected — an old man thwarted is 
only laughed at. 

He, however, was determined not to be 
thwarted. The constant dropping which wears 
away stone had had its effect. Amy did not seem 
to avoid him or to fear him now ; they had long in- 
terviews together, and they seemed to have arrived 
at a thoroughly good understanding. True the 
earl did not press the point, but then neither did 
he relinquish it. Amy knew his wishes, and 
negatively encouraged them. 

"When do you think y<yii are going to be 
turned off?" said Anthony Derrick to the earl 


one day, when he had observed that things were 
going well 

'' In about six weeks, I should say. All things 
on my side are ready, and I should like to have 
it over before the London season comes on. I 
have not put it to Amy, but I think there is no 
doubt she will agree. She was rather cheated 
out of last season, and I should like no curtail- 
ment of this. I wish to show you the settlements 
I can make on your sister. I think they are 
sufficiently handsome, but if you suggest any- 
thing it will be attended to." 

" I am afraid that my modest dowry will appear 
scarcely worth a co\mtess's acceptance," said 

" I do not wish to have a portionless bride," 
said the earl. 

" You are not used to that sort of thing," said 
Anthony, with an almost imperceptible sneer. 

" It is not that I care about it or need it, but 
that Amy will feel that the world will know that 
she does not marry for money, which is perfectly 
true if she brings me a portion suitable to your 
fortime, and your affection for her. Of course her 
fortune is to be settled on herself, and on her 
second son, if we are blessed with two." The earl 
really thought he ought to have some money 

190 THE author's daughter. 

with his wife, and enjoyed getting as large a stun 
from Anthony as possible. 

" Oh ! that seems fair enough, but Lucy thought 
you would despise it, as I did the sum that was 
hers by right." 

" And very properly too, for there were several 
brothers and sisters who would benefit by the 
sacrifice, but in your case you would be the only 
gainer by my relinquishing what would justify 
your sister's motives to the world." 

" Then I wish you would settle all this between 
you. I am going to take Lucy for a run up to 
London, we will be back in two days at furthest. 
There are some things we ought to see to in the 

house in Square. We leave Amy and you 

to arrange your own affidrs, and I hope you will 
have the day fixed by the time we come back. I 
suppose I may show these papers to my owh 
fiunily solicitor T 



Amy thought it very strange and very unkind 
in her brother and his wife going to London 
without her; but up to the last moment she 
fancied that the earl was going with them, for 
he spoke of business in town. He certainly 
went with them to the railway station, but to 
her astonishment he returned in time for luncheon, 
«nd said he had never intended to go to London 
at that time. 

Amy's alarmed look at his re-appearance made 
Lord Darlington delay what he had to say till 
the following day. He asked her to read to him 
and to play to him, and evidently felt the simple 
absence of Mr. and Mrs. Derrick so great a relief 
that he cared for nothing further. But Amy 
turned over her position in her own mind, and 
felt that all things were against her, and that she 
must give in sooner or later. 

192 THE authoe's daughter. 

Aid, however, came to her from a most unex- 
pected quarter. On the foUowing morning she 
received a letter bearing the Belton postmark, 
but addressed in an imfamiliar hand Anything 
new was interesting and hopeful, for she knew 
no old correspondent had the power and the 
will to help her, so she took the letter into her 
own room before it was seen either by Lord Dar- 
lington or her maid Parkes, who she knew was 
strong in his intereste, and she beUeved was deep 
in his pay. 


The letter was from Mrs. Hammond, and ran 
thus: — 

" My Deab Miss Staunton, 

" I have just returned from the continent 
with Mr. Ebmmond and my son, and took the 
earliest opportunity of calling oji Miss Penni- 
thome. I learn from her that you are now being 
subjected to the most unjustifiable pressure in 
order to induce you to accept of what to Miss 
Pennithome and to me, and probably also to 
yourself, appears a most unsuitable alliance ; that 
all your friends are so resolved on the marriage 
that you have no place to go to ; and that even 
your very proper proposal to take a situation has 
been frxistrated by your knowing no one who 
would recommend you, or who would be likely 

ESCAPE. 193 

to receive you when your brother seriously ob- 
jects to such a step. Miss Pennithome is so de- 
pendent on Lord Darlington's good will, through 
her attachment to Lady Olivia, that she can give 
you no available help in this crisis ; and I learn 
from her that your old friend (Miss Lindsay that 
was) is so boTind to your brother, through her 
father-in-law being his tenant, that you cannot* 
go to her ; besides that she lives too near to Stan- 
more. Although you may think that I have been 
cold and unkind to you, and I believe I have 
given you some cause to think so, I cannot bear 
to see an innocent young girl sacrificed to an old 
man of the world, however rich he may be and 
however great his position may be. It is what I 
could not wish for my own daughters, so I write 
to you to offer you a home and any advice and 
encouragement you may need. 

" Come at once, without hesitation. If you 
can come openly, do so; if not, come without 
letting it be known. Even if you have not quite 
made up your mind, you can do so more freely 
here, relieved from the surveillance and the in- 
fluence that are all so favourable to Lord Dar- 
lington's pretensions. We are not miUionaires 
like your brother, but we are in such circum- 
stances that we do not need to care for his dis- 
pleasure, or the earl's either, when we are satisfied 

VOL. III. 13 

194 THE author's daughter. 

that we are doing right. Mr. Hammond unites 
with me cordially in this invitation, and sympa- 
thises with me in aU I say. 

"Do not hesitate to avail yourself of this 
offer, which comes from the heart of yours, very 

"Clarissa Hammond." 

Amy's astonishment at this letter was so great, 
that she was glad there was no witness of her 
agitation; she had locked her door so that no 
one could intrude on her, and she now gave free 
vent to her feelings of relief and thankfulness. 

" I can go, I shall go," she said to herself; 
" how kind, how very good of Mrs. Hammond. 
She will help me to obtain a situation, or perhaps 
to make Anthony reasonable with me. Perhaps 
if this idea were fairly driven out of Anthony's 
head he might learn to love me a little. I am 
sure that Lord Darlington's presence and sway 
must be oppressive to him as it is to me. I 
should not wonder that he wishes to hand me 
over to Lord Darlington in order to get quit of 
him as much as to get quit of me. And now 
that I know I can escape, I am sure that I do not 
like the earl at all. As for going openly, I don't 
think it can be done ; Lord Darlington seems able 
to persuade me out of my own judgment, and 

ESCAPE. 196 

would have fifty excellent reasons to give why I 
should not accept of this kind oflFer; and Anthony, 
who has so cruelly left me alone with him as if 
to drive me into acquiescence with his wishes, 
has no right to be consulted. I must make a 
secret flight of it, and how ? It is not easy ; but 
still, in these days of post-offices and railways, no 
one can be kept in a house against her will if she 
has anywhere to go to and money for the expenses 
necessary. It seems such a strange thing to be 
eloping alone, but it can be done, and it must be 
done before Anthony's return, because I have less 
chance of being observed, and I have good cause 
for my flight. I have no time to appoint with 
Mr. Hammond to meet me anywhere, but Mrs. 
Hammond will excuse that, I think. Who 
would have dreamt of such kindness coming from 

Amy took out her purse and counted the crisp 
bank-notes and the yellow sovereigns with a 
satisfaction which money had never given her 
before. There could be no difficulty in that 
direction. She was a little remorseful about 
using Anthony's money to enable her to escape 
from him, but she would take little or nothing 
besides. All the ornaments and jewels he had 
presented her with should be left for Lucy, and 
only a small portmanteau, with a few necessary 


196 THE author's daughter. 

articles of dress> should accompany her in her 

She went out of the house by a side door, 
and, walking towards the stables, she saw a good- 
natured soft-hearted-looking under-groom, whom 
her brother had often been impatient with be- 
cause he thought him slow and stupid He 
touched his hat to the yo\mg lady, and looked at 
her awaiting orders. 

''Knowles," she said, "I want to ask you a 
great favour/' 

" Name it, Miss, and 111 be obliged to you.'* 

" I want you to keep it a secret, but I Tmiat 
get to London before Mr. Derrick comes back to 

" By yourself. Miss ? " 

" Yes, by myself I cannot stay here any more. 
I am going to a friend, a lady who writes 
to me that she will give me a home. Mr. 
and Mrs. Derrick have left me here \mpro- 
tected. Do, Knowles, help me to get away; if 
you do not, I must walk to the station somehow." 

" You shan't walk, Miss, if I can help it. But 
when do you mean to go ? " 

" At a time when I cannot be seen or watched. 
I cannot put any trust in Parkes, for I know that 
she would betray me to Lord Darlington." 

" Then it ain't with your own will that you 

ESCAPE. 197 

was going to marry Lord Darlington, Miss, as 
everybody says you are ? " 

" No, not with my own will at all." 

" Well, so much the better ; I never thought no 
great shakes of Lord Darlington or his grdom 
neither. You know that there's nobody up in the 
hall when the parliamentary train passes the 
station close by here, but you might be seen by 
some of the work-people, and them parliamenta- 
ries are so slow that the express would catch it up 
before you got as far as London. It's the night 
train as is the thing for you, and, though the 

P Station is fifteen miles off, we could do 

that in a couple of hours in the dark. I ain't 
very quick, but Tm safe ; and you will have a 
good start before they can work the telegraph ; 
you will be safe in London before the earl has 
come down to breakfast. And once in London a 
body is lost, as one may say." 

" My room is very near the small side-door," 
said Amy, " but I don't want you to drive close 
up, nor even you yourself to come to the door. 
I'll meet you at the end of the avenue rather, 
lest the sound of the wheels should awake any 
one. I think the earl is a light sleeper." 

" But how about your luggage. Miss ? That's 
always the difficulty with ladies travelling ; there 
is always no end of boxes." 

198 THE authoe's daughter. 

" I shall have only a small portmanteau that I 
can carry myself, and I shall get out so quietly 
that no one can hear me. In case of accidents, 
allow two hours and a half or even more for the 
fifteen miles, and I shall be ready at the end of 
the avenue." 

" Depend upon me, Miss." 

" I hope you will not get into trouble about it, 
but I am so much in want of a friend, that I am 
forced to risk that." 

" Never mind if I do lose my place. I'd do as 
much to help any woman in trouble, and twice as 
much for you, Miss." 

This matter being settled. Amy returned to the 
breakfast-room where Lord Darlington was still 
lingering over his chocolate and the morning 

" You have not got that new set of waltzes 
that every one is raving about," said the earL 
"I never doubted that it was in the last packet of 
music, but I looked it over last night and it is 
not there. How very careless of your music- 
seller. All that he has sent appears to be 

" So I think too, but if one orders all the new 
music, a large proportion must be trash." 

"But not the whole, certainly. You should 

ESCAPE. 199 

have, commissioned Mr. Derrick to fetch that 
particular piece out." 

" I wonder you do not offer to set off for it 
yourself, since it appears so indispensable that I 
should have it," said Amy. 

" If there were no other means of procuring it 
I might be tempted, but I shall telegraph for it 
to be sent by post immediately, and that will be 
even more rapid. We will have it before your 
brother's return, and astonish him by my prompti- 

" I think it was very unkind of Anthony and 
Lucy to leave me here," said Amy. 

"Certainly it was, particularly as they are 
intending to make purchases in which your 
correct taste might assist them. The secondary 
place which they give you is very absurd. You 
can turn the tables on them by-and-by." 

"It is not their not taking me to town, but 
their leaving me alone with you that I feel so 

"You could not be left in better care," said 
the earl kindly. " For my part, you cannot con- 
ceive the relief I felt when I returned to the hall 
yesterday, and found only my little mouse sitting 
quietly by herself. It is so easy to converse 
with you, so easy to sit quiet with you; you 
make none of those severe claims on my polite- 

200 THE AUTHOE'S daughter. 

ness or my sincerity that Mr. and Mrs. Derrick 
constantly do. I must own that the past fort- 
night has been immensely fatiguing." 

"I daresay Anthony and Lucy are quite as 
glad to get quit of you," said Amy. 

" I daresay they are," said the earl, laughing. 
" I have no doubt I am a trial to them. Tit for 
tat. Do you recollect how wearisome they were 
to us at Darlington Castle ? I wonder if every 
little incident of that visit is fixed in your memory 
as it is in mine." 

" My memory is a pretty fair one. I never 
forget any kindness or any unkindness," said 
Amy, " and this conduct of my brother's I con- 
sider very unkind." 

" But, my dear Amy, on the footing in which 
we stand, and the general opinion which the 
world holds as to our relation to each other, there 
is a peculiar fitness in my being left in charge of 
the young lady beside me." 

"Is there?" said Amy. "I don't think so. 
Even if we were engaged, which we are not, 
I don't think it at all a common or a proper 

" Which we are not," said the earl ; " perhaps 
not precisely in words, but I think you must feel 
that you cannot draw back now. You know that 
rightly you belong to me. Have not I been a 

ESCAPE. 201 

faithful and a patient lover ? and have you any 
fault to find with me except my age, which I do 
not think you mind vei^ much now ? I wish I 
could be younger for your sake, but at all events 
I shall be all the more indulgent to your every 
wish from my consciousness of that drawback, I 
do not deny that your brother expects all this to 
be arranged, and that he left us for that very pur- 
pose. I have told him what settlements I can 
make on you, and he is perfectly satisfied. On 
his part he gives you a fortune little less than 
that of your sister Edith. I mention this be- 
cause you may be satisfied that the world will 
know that you marry me from real regard. No 
one with such a dowry could be suspected of 
marrying me for any other reason. And you 
know, my dearest Amy, that I have never once 
tried to dazzle you with my fortune or my rank. 
Only I have loved you, that is all." 

Amy looked strangely at her lover. A curious 
mixture of feelings overpowered her. This man 
really loved her very much, and he had strange 
influence over her. 

" I see, my dear Amy, that you understand 
me. I am not exacting, I do not require you to 
state in words what would please m*e so much. 
But Mr. Derrick thinks, and I think too, that 
about six weeks at furthest might terminate my 

202 THE author's daughter.' 

long probatioiL I should not like you to lose the 
height of the season this year, and as I shall have 
no alteration made in either town or country- 
house without your special sanction^ there need 
be no delay." 

Why was Amy silent ? She felt she ought to 
speak, but yet it would be better to throw the 
earl off his guard. This settled plan that her 
brother had made with him, this studied com- 
promise of herself, made her feel resolute that she 
must escape, but all the more convinced that it 
must be secretly done. 

" As for trousseaux, and all that sort of thing, 
let as much of it be done as other people can do 
for you, but do not waste your precious time 
over all that nonsensical shopping. I think I 
have heard you say that girls when they get 
married, buy clothes as if they never expected 
their husbands to get them any more; very 
absurd that would be in your case. My taste is 
different from your brother's ; I only require 
elegance and simplicity, a-nd tolerable fashion. 
And I am always satisfied with your appearance 
when you are dressed to please yourself, as you 
are this morning. Now, dear, you have been shy 
long enough. I really think you owe me a smile 
and a kind word now." 

" My lord," said Amy. 

ESCAPE. 203 

" Don't you think you could learn to call me 
by my Christian name. It is so long since I 
heard it. I suppose your mother always talked 
of me as Herbert." 

" Yes, she did ; but do be good enough in An- 
thony's absence to let me feel that you are a 
protector — ^a friend, and not a lover. When he 
returns you may settle matters as you may then 
see best." 

" Then shall I telegraph for the music ? I like 
to do things at once." 

" As you please." 

'* Say ' if you please, Herbert,' that is all I ask 
for the present." 

" Then ' if you please, Herbert,' if that will 
satisfy you," said Amy, so full of remorse and 
pity that the accents sounded as affectionate as 
her lover could wish. 

Lord Darlington sent off his telegram for the 
music, and also one for Anthony — "All right; 
six weeks agreed to ; better return to-morrow as 
soon as possible to make arrangements, as your 
absence is felf awkward." 

The day passed away slowly for Amy; she 
took a long ride with the earl, she played to him 
and read to him as she had done before, but with 
her heart full of the new life that was before 
her. When the time came for bidding him good- 

204 THE author's daughter. 

night she showed an agitation that the earl mis- 
took, and was flattered hy. In all prohahility 
they never would meet again; if they did it 
would be as strangers. She had a remorse for 
her treachery, but yet it was necessary that the 
parting should be friendly. It was more than 
friendly, he took her in his arms and kissed her 
passionately, and she wept to think how he mis- 
understood her emotion. She could not be so 
deceitful, even though she had been so cruelly 
trapped she must say something. 

" My lord, I thought you were to be generous 
and spare me. If I ever become your wife it 
is the result of circumstances and not of inclina- 
tion. If I let you speak out without checking 
you, it was because I felt I was in your power. 
I must not deceive you, I dare not. • Let me take 
a situation. I might learn to love you there." 

" Cannot you learn to love me here ?" said 
Lord Darlington, laying her head again on his 
breast. " Trust me, it is the better place for the 
lesson. I know the cause of your annoyance ; I 
telegraphed to your brother to return as soon as 
possible, and I have more than half expected him 
this evening, but anything is of more importance 
to him and to Mrs. Derrick than your comfort 
At all events they will be here early to-morrow. 
I feel assured that if it had not been for the 

ESCAPE. 205 

feeling that you had been a little drawn in you 
would have accepted your new position with me 
pleasantly. I have seen little lights and shadows 
playing over your face as if you were not alto- 
gether dissatisfied with your resolution. Now, 
my dear love, good-night." 

"Good-night, and may God bless you, Lord 
Darlington, and forgive us both if we are wrong." 
She took his hand and kissed it ; a strange re- 
turn for the kisses she had received, but yet she 
felt this was the last time they should stand to- 
gether as Mends. It was the first willing caress 
she had given to him since his declaration, and 
was it surprising that her lover should prize it ? 


MBS. LUFTON'S news. 

Allan Lindsay had worked very hard at the 
new station. It had been rather an adventurous 
undertaking for Hugh Lindsay, and if it had not 
been for the thorough reliance he had on his 
eldest son, he might have called himself rash. 
But the old man was satisfied that it was going 
to pay well, and when he went to Billabong he 
used to rub his hands and congratulate himself 
on the speculation. 

"And where would you like your house to 
stand, Allan, supposing our bonnie bird comes 
from across the sea in the three years' time. It's 
time ye fixed on the stance of it, I'm thinking," 
said the father on one occasion when he was par- 
ticularly pleased with matters at Billabong. 

"Oh! I would never wish her to live here, 
father, even if she were to come. I would 
rather have a house near Branxholm, and I could 

MRS. lufton's news. 207 

come and go as I had business at Billabong as I 
have done hitherto. But 111 not trouble about 
the house till I feel more confidence. It is a wild 
thing of me to look for such a one as her, and all 
the news I hear of her being among great people 
and visiting here and there makes me more 

" Never fear, Allan ; does she ever miss writing 
to you ? As long as she keeps doing that I 
think you are safe enough, and well make as fine 
a place at Branxholm as she can see on any 
summer day in England if you are no inclined 
to settle at Billabong, and Td like the bit lassie 
near us no doubt. It is queer, isn't it, that she 
should have met with Louis Hammond in Lon- 
don r 

"And did you not notice that she said her 
brother was far from civil to him, and thinks all 
Australians must be beneath his notice f* 

" No doubt he may, for Louis Hammond is a 
poor shilpit thing, not to be compared to you." 

" I don't suppose it is his looks that Mr. Der- 
rick means, but his position, and that you know 
is better than mine." 

" I*m not so sure of that, Allan. No, for Louis 
has been of the spending kind, and you, Allan, 
have been always helpful and hard-working. 
Youll be the richer man, if you're both spared 

208 THE author's daughter. 

to live as long as I have been. It is the master's 
eye that makes the beasts fat, and the crops 
thrive, and that you are always ready to give." 

" Well, I wish I was as well satisfied with my- 
self as you are with me, or rather I wish I could 
please Amy as well," said Allan. 

Shortly after this conversation took place, 
Allan received the letter that had been written 
according to Lord Darlington's views. It was, 
of course, more distressing to Allan than to any 
other member of the family, but his fathel* was 
disappointed and angry to find that things had 
gone so differently jfrom what he had planned. 
He indeed thought Allan had been ill-used, for 
after writing so constantly, it was very shameful 
to turn round now and say that everything was 
to be at an end. Allan saw that there were great 
dilBSculties that Amy had to contend with, that 
fought against his suit — her brother, her sister, 
her great relations ; and he did not know if he 
really was worth her quarrelling with everybody 
for his sake. Still there was a tenderness in the 
dismissal, an eager wish for his happiness, a diffi- 
dence in her powers to make him happy now she 
had been spoiled so much, that showed she still 
had a regard for him. If he could only see her 
and speak to her once, to know if these were 
real feelings, or only her kind way of doing pain- 

MRS. lufton's news. 209 

fill things, it would be a comfort ; but even his 
prosperity made it impossible for him to get 
away for so long a time. All he could do would 
be to write a strong appeal, and to beg her to 
reconsider her verdict. 

He was carrying on this train of thoughts in 
his head, whUe busied in his ordinary avocations, 
when Mrs. Lufton called with her husband one 
day, brimful of news. 

" My dear Mrs. Lindsay, so there is great news 
of poor Mr. Luffcon's old flame. Miss Staimton. 
You know I always told you she would marry a 

" A title," said Mrs. Lindsay. 

" Yes, she is going to be a countess — ^no less. 
The earl is old, no doubt, but he is a fine man, 
and the most devoted lover that ever was seen." 

"You don't mean Lord Darlington?" said 

" Yes ; her own cousin. Lord Darlington." 

" Nonsense," said Mrs. Lindsay. " Amy has 
not written that she was going to marry him to 
you surely V 

She was angry at the news, and angry at the 
idea that Amy had told a mere acquaintance like 
Mrs. Lufton what she had said nothing of to any 
of the Lindsays. 

" No, Amy has not written about it herself, 

VOL. III. 14 


but I have a long letter from Clara Hammond, 
and she tells me all about it. You know the 
Hammonds have bought a nice property that 
happens to be in the parish where Amy's uncle is 
rector, and Louis was very desperate about Miss 
Staunton, but this earl came down upon him, and 
cut him completely out. Louis had not the least 
chance with her against such a great man as this 
Itord Darlington." 

" You don't mean to say this is a settled thing ?" 
said Mra Lindsay. 

"Well, I think it must be, for Amy was 
staying at Darlington House, the earl's town 
house, you know, in London, when Clara wrote, 
and was going from there to Darlington Castle, 
and that is his principal country seat, along with 
the earl's sickly daughter." 

" She's very fond of the daughter," said Mrs. 
Lindsay, " and that's the way stories get made 
up. I don't believe a word of it." 

" Well, there is never smoke but there is some 
fire," said Mrs. Lufbon, "and all I can say is 
that Clara tells me Louis is heart-broken because 
he thinks her brother is selling her, and her 
mother (Mrs. Hanmiond), who never liked the 
poor girl, thinks she is selling herself. Surely 
Louis Hammond would not be jealous of Amy 
being fond of the sickly daughter, and Mrs. 

MRS. lupton's news. 211 

Hammond knows the world as well as most 

" She was aye a cauld*hearted unfeeling woman 
with regard to Amy," said Mrs. Lindsay. " I'd 
no value her opinion high." 

" Well," said Mrs. Lufton, " you have my news 
as I got it." 

"And I hope you're satisfied now with the 
work ye did in helping to persuade the lassie to 
gang away, Mrs. Lufton," said Mrs. Lindsay, but 
her eyes did not seek Mrs. Lufton, but Hugh 
Lindsay himself, who had said nothing, but who 
had felt none the less. 

Mrs. Lufton disclaimed any concern in the 
matter. " It must be rather a fine thing to be a 
coimtess, and Amy is free to please herself. I 
suppose it will be all over now, for at his age the 
earl has no time to lose. You have hosi^d of this 
earl, surely, Mrs. Lindsay ?" 

" Yes, I'll no deny that Amy has written about 
him being an old friend of her mother's and a 
very good Mend of hers, but not a word of any- 
thing else. Allan, it's not Darlington House that 
her last letter is dated from, surely ?" said the 
mother anxiously. 

" Yes, mother, that is the place, but she does 
not say anything about what takes her there," 
answered Allan. 


212 THE AUTHOB's daughter. 

" I dare say she is a little awkward about it, 
because after all she said about objecting to old 
fogies like my poor old man, it is humbling to 
announce an engagement to one so much older. 
But Clara says he is very well preserved and 
very clever ; even Louis owns that he is amaz- 
ingly clever. I'm very sorry for you, Allan," 
said Mrs. Lufbon, who could not help seeing that 
Allan's interest in Amy was a very different 
thing from what Mr. Lufton's had been; "but 
you know I never thought you had any chance. 
She was so completely taken out of our sphere." 

Allan's dignity was rather wounded by being 
thus publicly pitied by a well-meaning woman 
like Mrs, Luffeon, but he bore it like a hero. 

" Your news is both strange and painful to me, 
but I hope I may be permitted to doubt it imtil 
Miss Staunton herself announces it to her oldest 
friends here. I can only say that if it turns out 
to be true, I am sure neither Louis Hammond nor 
his mother is right. Amy is not being sold by 
herself or her brother. She has a great regard 
for her mother^s old Mend, and that alone may 
induce her to take such a step." 

" Oh ! of course, yes, that is understood, and 
then he is amazingly clever; that goes a long 
way with Gerald Staimton's daughter, I know. 
Clara is a Jdrst-rate musician now, and says that 

MBS. lufton's news. 218 

Mr. Derrick is an excellent singer. That is 
where Amy Staunton fails, you know she cannot 

''I did not know that Miss Hammond cor- 
responded with Mrs. Lufton, Mr. Lufton," said 

" No, but she wrote a congratulatory letter on 
our marriage," said Mrs. Lufton, " and as she had 
so much news to give of an old friend, it was a 
particularly interesting letter." 

" I'm sure I wish she had let it alone," said 
Mrs. Lindsay, who was impatient of the presence 
of strangers so much better informed than herself 
on so sacred a subject 

Mrs. Lufton, however, could not relinquish her 
position as the dispenser of news, and she dis- 
cussed the subjects of Miss Hammond's letter 
over and over again. She had been accustomed 
to have a night's quarters at Branxholm, and 
Mrs. Lindsay's hospitable feelings were sorely 
tried to stretch them to a welcoming point, but 
the day and the evening came to an end at last, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Lufton were disposed of in bed. 
Allan sat alone in the best parlour, when the 
visitors had retired, with his head on the table 
and his hands pressed on his eyes. Isabel had 
not ventured to speak to him, and Hugh Lindsay 
had left the room before his guests. 

214 THE author's daughter 

"Allan, my son," said his mother, as she took 
his hand, " do you believe this news V 

" I don't know, mother, it may be true. At 
any rate, her letter to me rather confirms it than 

" But there's a deal of smoke with very little 
fire. It's like enough her brother would be glad 
to see her make such a grand marriage, for he's all 
for the world. But, Allan, the pen is an uncer- 
tain thing, as I said to your father when he said 
you could write every month. Wouldn't you 
like to go and to get speech with Amy, and if 
the thing is still open, to plead your own cause, 
and stand up for yoursel' against all the brothers 
and earls in England." 

" Yes, if I could be spared ; it is what I could 
not venture to ask my father to consent to, 
although it is what my heart is set on." 

" You maun be spared for this, Allan. I'll see 
that your father will agree to it."' 

" It may be too late." 

" So it may, but you will be none the worse for 
a trip to England, and I'll be bound you'll no 
gang there without learning something. You 
see, AUan, although you say boldly that Amy 
will no be sold, ye canna tell what straits she 
micht be driven to, for that brother and sister are 
hard to deal wi', and she has nae Mends there to 

MRS. LUFTON's news. 215 

help her ; just think o' the bit lassie with nane to 
watch her or to help her but that brother an' 
sister, an' that English aunt that she's been 
visiting that would ane and a' be ready to loup 
out o' their skin wi' joy to see her a countess. 
As for the lord, he may be good or he may be 
bad, but Louis Hammond wouldna be disquieted 
about an old man like that, if he was not some- 
thing particular in the way of courting Amy. 
But I am clear that you should go and see for 

" I meant to write as strongly as I could ; but 
if poor Amy is married, and perhaps not alto- 
gether with her own wiU, my letter would only 
vex her ; whereas if I am too late I'll not cross 
her path or vex her with the sight of my face or 
the stroke of my pen. I did not think you 
could have made up your mind to send me away, 
mother ; it is so good of you." 

" I'll never repent of it, Allan. You've been a 
good and a dutiful son to your father an' me, an' 
the duty should na be a' on ae side. It was nae 
wish o' yours to be brocht into this world o' 
trouble, and after doing you sic a doubtful 
service as that, I think we hae nae right for our 
ain worldly ends to cross you in a thing that is 
dearer to you at this present time than life itsel'. 
I thought your father was wrang in the view he 

216 THE author's daughter. 

took when Amy left us, and I'll make him see 
wi' my spectacles now. An' so set your mind at 
rest about that, for you behove to have your 
English visit like the lave o' the sheep-farmers. 
To hear them speaking o' having earned a 
holiday and you to have nane." 

Hugh Lindsay was not at all so clear about 
Allan's going away. He depended so much on 
him that he did not see his way for the coming 
year without him, and why would not a letter do 
as well without such a loss of time and money ? 
But Mrs. Lindsay very rarely exerted her power, 
and never did so without carrying her point; 
Allan should not only go, but his father should 
ask him as a personal favour to go. Every 
young man was the better for a change, and 
even if he did not succeed in his main object it 
would be a satisfaction to think that they had 
done aU in their power to further it. 

Hugh Lindsay gave way handsomely, and 
asked his son on the following day, what his 
views were about this visit to England. He 
spoke of stock and implements that Allan was 
to be sure to see, and to purchase if he approved 
of, as if it were on that account alone that he 
wished him to go, and gave him some Scotch ad- 
dresses of old friends whom Allan was to seek 
out. The only point on which he stickled was 

MRS. lufton's news. 217 

that he thought the overland route by the mail 
steamers was too costly^ but Allan might sail 
before the mail in a clipper wool ship, and be in 
England nearly as soon, maybe quite as soon. If 
he could get ready to go in three days he might 
go. This was more than Allan had expected and 
he wrung his father's hand gratefully. 

It was to be a surprise to Jessie, and the letters 
which would have been sent by the mail, were 
intrusted to Allan, so that she should have no 
inkling of his intention till he walked into her 
house. Hugh Lindsay pictured to himself the 
meeting, and sighed to think that it was not pos- 
sible for him too to astonish Jessie. 

The clipper wool ship sailed punctually to the 
day, but Allan was disappointed that there was 
such an immense difference between the length 
of her passage and that of the mail steamers. 
He had not written to Amy partly on principle 
and partly because he was terribly busy those 
three days, but during the fourteen weeks of the 
voyage, he often regretted that he had not enclosed 
a letter to Amy in one to his sister to be delivered 
at Jessie's discretion. 

On the very night when Amy Staunton made 
her escape from Stanmore Park, Jessie Copeland 
was astonished to see her brother walk in. 

" Allan," said she. " What has brought you 

218 THE author's daughter. 

here ? who could have dreamed oi seeing you at 
MiUmount ?* 

" Nobody less than myself four months ago." 

" And I had no letters last mail" 

" I have all your letters, but my father thought 
it would be a surprise to you and George." 

" So it is, but it would have been better to have 

" I want to know if I am not too late. Is Amy 

" No, AUan, not yet." 

" Is she likely to be married ?" 

" I misdoubt it greatly, Allan." 

" And to her great cousin, Lord Darlington, is it 

not r 

" Yes, it's him she is always with, and every- 
body says it is to be soon, but oh ! Allan, I don't 
think it is with her own free wilL She looks 
pale and anxious, and she once said to me, would 
I take her in if she displeased her brother and 
everybody ; and of course I said yes, but Mrs. 
Copeland, she said something about the lease they 
want for Millmount, and poor Amy looked sadly 
cast down. I have not seen her since ; but they 
have it all for gospel that they are engaged, and 
there wiU be no end of settlements and pm- 
money and jewels, and all the rest of that glit- 
tering trash ; but oh ! Allan, I think poor Amy 

MRS. lufton's news. 219 

is greatly to be pitied, and I have often mourned 
over the day when I put it into her brother^s 
head to send for her. But how came you here 
at this time V 

Allan then explained about his own unwelcome 
letter, and Mrs. Lufbon's stiU more unwelcome 
news, and his mother's determination that he 
should go and judge for himself. 

" So I am not altogether too late, I hope." 
" Mr. and Mrs. Derrick (by-the-by you maybe 
don't know that Mr. Perrick married Amy's 
cousin, Miss Evans ; she had not a penny, Allan, 
but he took a fancy to her and she to him, just 
as you and Amy might do), well Mr. and Mrs. 
Derrick are in London, and there will be more 
chance of getting a quiet word with Amy when 
they are away ; but I know Lord Darlington is 
there, for he and Amy were out riding to-day ; 
George saw them." 

" Can I go to see Amy, now ? I want to see 
that old earl too." 

" It is too late, wait till the morning." 
It was hard for Allan to keep quiet at his 
sister's that night, but still he was glad to think 
that he had not been too late. 



Amy's maid was the first to miss her, but as her 
young mistress had sometimes taken long mom^ 
ing walks during Mr. Derrick's absence at Dar- 
lington Castle, and as she missed nothing of any 
consequence, she concluded that Miss Staunton 
would appear in good time for Lord Darlington's 
late breakfast. But when his lordship came 
downstairs at his usual hour, and asked for her, 
Parkes could only say she supposed that Miss 
Staunton had taken a longer walk than usual, for 
she had not yet returned. 

''It is quite possible that she has walked to 
Millmount, and is taking breakfast there, as Mr. 
and Mrs. Derrick are from home, and she has 
rather over-estimated my powers of lying in bed 
in the morning. I shall not wait for Miss Staun- 
ton, however, but I shall take breakfast and then 
go out to meet her." 


Paxkes lingered in the breakfast-room a few 
minutes, and saw that the earl was a little dis- 
composed, aad taking breakfast in a less leisurely 
way than usual. 

" When did you go into Miss Staunton's room 
this morning, Parkes V 

" At my usual hour, a little before nine, but 
Miss Staunton often rises before I come in ; she 
is very independent in her ways." 

'' But she said nothing to you last night about 
taking a morning walk/' 

" No, not a word, but the morning was fine, 
and I suppose it tempted her out." 

" I have no doubt that she is at Millmount, but 
I wish she had said so last night I hope at all 
events that she will return before Mr. and Mrs. 
Derrick come, and I expect them early. I think 
I shall go at once and fetch her home;" and 
Lord Darlington threw down the Times that he 
had tried to fix his attention on, and had just 
put on his boots, when a loud ring was heard at 
the hall-door. " She comes with a little noise at 
least to make up for my quiet breakfast," said he, 
with an expression of relief But it was not 
Amy, but Allan Lindsay, who rung the beU. 

A superb footman opened the door. Allan had 
had no experience of that description of animal, 
but stood his ground before him very fairly. 

222 THE author's daughter. 

" Is Miss Staunton at home f ' said he. 

'' I think not/' said the footman, care- 

" When will she be at home ?" 

" I'm sure I don't know." 

" My business with Miss Staunton is urgent," 
said Allan. " I should be obliged to you if you 
would enquire as to when she is to be expected 
at home." 

" Will you send up your card ? and then Miss 
Staunton may be able to tell whether she will 
see you or not when she comes home." 

AUan had never had a card in his life, and had 
never needed one, but he wrote his name and 
address on an envelope that he took out of his 
pocket-book. Dawson eyed the proceeding su- 
perciliously. It is not to be supposed that Amy's 
past history and future prospects were ignored in 
the servants' hall ; Dawson believed her likely to 
be a countess in a month or two, but still there 
were many scrubs in London and elsewhere, who 
might claim acquaintance with the young lady, 
who were quite beneath his notice. 

" That will do, I suppose," said Dawson, " for 
want of a better. You may go now, and call 
again when Miss Staunton is at home." 

" I shall wait," said Allan, " till you enquire as 
to the time of Miss Staunton's probable return. If 

Missmo. 223 

she is at home, as is possible, she will scarcely 
refuse to receive me." 

" Then you may wait outside," said Dawson, 
shutting the door in Allan's face, but the appear- 
ance of Lord Darlington, who had wondered at 
Amy's delay, caused him to open it for him. The 
earFs eyes, although not so young as they had 
been, were quick enough to observe the enve- 
lope in Dawson's hand, and to read the name 
of " Allan Lindsay, Branxholm," written on it 

He had also taken good note of a likeness of 
the young Australian in Mrs. George Copeland's 
possession, and he recognised at once the man 
whom he fancied to be twelve thousand miles 

Amy had never done justice to the personal 
appearance of her lover ; the earl could not help 
acknowledging that he was as handsome a yoimg 
man as he had seen for many a day. Handsome 
in his own style, which was not that of fashion- 
able society, but so far as good features, intelli- 
gent expression, and a powerful and well-formed 
bodily frame went, he was to the earl a noticeable 
man. It was for the footman to observe the cut 
of his clothes, and the size of his hands, and the 
want of savoir-faire, betokened by his having no 
card, and not saying that he had forgotten it to 
excuse the deficiency. Lord Darlington felt that 

224 THE author's daughter 

this visitor was a more alanning person than 
Dawson could imagine. 

" Mr. Lindsay, I presume," said the earl, with a 
l)ow. " You have come to see Miss Staunton, I 
suppose, but I am sorry to say she is out this 
morning, and has not yet returned. I am on 
my way to Millmount to see if she is there." 

" I have just come direct from Millmount, and 
Miss Staunton certainly is not there," said 

" Indeed V said the earl, " then she must have 
taken a longer round than usual in the other 
direction. I wonder at Amy going so far without 
me, for I am her usual escort, but I prefer my 
walks when the day is well aired. Amy learned 
a habit of early rising in Australia, which I admire, 
but cannot emulate." 

" You are Lord Darlington, I suppose ?" said 
Allan, bowing in his turn with as little real good 
will as had been bestowed on him by his rival, 
and with less courtly grace. 

" Yes ; it appears we need no introduction to 
each other. Amy did not send you my photo- 
graph, did she ? I gave her a packet some 
months ago to do what she liked with, and I 
suppose some of them found their way to Aus- 
tralia. Amy has told me all about you, and of 
your great kindness to her when she needed 


kindness so much, and I think you had some 
right to see what I am like." 

'' Indeed !" said Allan, '' if such a thing was 
sent, it was after I left Australia. I only sup- 
posed you to be Lord Darlington, because my 
sister told me you were at Stanmoi-e HalL" 

" Yes ; left in charge of the hall and of Mr. 
Derrick's sister, during his absence in town to 
see to some preUminaiy arrangements in which 
I am somewhat interested. You know, of course, 
that Mr. Derrick is married ?" 

" So my sister tells me," said Allan, " and to 
Miss Staunton's cousin." 

" Amy's visit to her aunt produced results not 
at all anticipated by herself. She was rather re- 
luctant to go, for we had been all enjoying Lon- 
don so much together ; but I suppose all things 
are for the best. It was a great pleasure to my 
Olivia to make Amy's acquaintance. The only 
person who suffered much in the visit was poor 
young Hammond ; you know him, don't you ?" 

" Yes, I knew him very well as a lad," said 

''Well, the Hammonds had no claim on my 
consideration, for Amy tells me that they behaved 
very unkindly to her in Australia. Your excel- 
lent parents have, on the contrary, a right to my 
gratitude ; for any service done to Amy is, in fact, 

VOL. ITT. 15 


a service done to me," and the earl smiled conde- 
scendingly on the tall strong bushman, who would 
have liked to knock him down, and was quite able 
to do it. 

" Let us walk together to Millmount," resumed 
Lord Darlington. " I wish to see your sister s 
dahy, which Amy tells me is something superb 
in its way. Amy's simple country tastes are very 

" My lord/' said AHan, " you must excuse me. 
K you mean to go to Millmount you may go 
aIone> but I mean to stay here until Miss Staun- 
ton comes back, for I wish to ask her if this let- 
ter," and he took out the last he had received 
from her, "was written from her heart. You 
must know, if you know anything at all about 
me, that Amy Staunton is dearer to me than my 
own life. If she really loves another man better, 
I will give her up and pray for her happiness, 
but I must have an answer from her own lips, 
and if you try to prevent me from having that 
you will repent it. I have come half round the 
world for the sake of asking a plain question, 
and receiving an honest answer. I have a right 
—the right of past services and of present 
friendship — for that even this letter does not 
deny, to see Amy once more. I am a strong 
man and a desperate one. If you do not let 


me into the house, which, by-the-bye, is not 
yours, I shall stand here outside till Amy Staun- 
ton returns ; let it be an hour hence or a week 
hence, but see her I shall and must." 

" I do not think you know much about English 
laws and customs, Mr. Lindsay," said the earl, " if 
you think you can prowl about an English gentle- 
man's house, and demand admittance." 

" I believe I know this much, that I am neither 
thief nor vagrant, and have no dishonest purpose. 
I think I could satisfy any justice of the peace 
of my harmless intentions. But I laid Gerald 
Staunton in the grave, and I promised then to 
be a true friend to his daughter. And, notwith- 
standing all your wealth and grandeur, your 
young kinswoman might have perished of want 
in a strange land, if our doors had been closed 
against her. As you say, I may know little of 
English laws and customs, but I know what I 
came all this long way for, and what I am deter- 
mined not to go away without. And if you, or 
Mr. Derrick, have any gratitude for past services, 
as you say you have " 

" Certainly we have, but neither Mr. Derrick 
nor myself like to be bullied on the strength of 
them. You speak as if I were refusing your 
reasonable request. I have never denied you 
admittance to this house, which you politely re- 


228 THE author's daughter. 

mind me is not mine, I only say that hanging 
about the house is not to be allowed. Come in 
with me." 

Lord Darlington expected that Allan would be 
struck with awe and admiration at the magni- 
ficence of the house and its appointments, as 
Amy had told him she had been when she first 
went to Stanmore, and he endeavoured to show 
him as much of it a^ he could without being 
suspected of a desire to make a display. He 
first took him to the breakfast room, where the 
display of silver and of Sevres china for' two 
might strike his eye, on the ground of wanting 
the Times; then into the library, that AUan 
might see the array of books, which wealth felt 
itself bound to provide as a sort of furniture, if 
for no otiber purpose ; then into the billiard-room, 
that he might observe how sumptuously its 
amusements were provided for ; and, crossing the 
great hall, he landed Allan in the vast drawing- 
room, with the organ at one end, and the hori- 
zontal grand piano at the other, strewed with 
couches, lounges, easy-chairs and tables covered 
with knick-knacks, and hung round with costly 
mirrors and magnificently framed paintings and 
engravings. It was so large that the whole of the 
old house at Branxholm could have been put into 
it, and yet it was only one of the many apartments 

Missixa. 229 

of this great mansion. Perhaps Amy's letters had 
prepared Allan's mind for this magnificence ; — at 
all events he would not flatter the earl by any 
expression of awe. He sat down on a luxurious 
chair, pointed out by Lord Darlington, as if he 
had been accustomed to such things from his 

"This is a very good modem mansion," said 
Lord Darlington, "and tolerably well situated. 
Amy, however, greatly prefers Darlington Castle, 
for it is an ancient baronial hall with modem 
improvements, and the woods there are the 
growth of centuries." 

" Has Amy then been there ?" asked Allan. 

"Oh I yes; she visited me with her brother 
last autumn, and indeed enjoyed her stay so 
much that I expect she will prefer it as a 
country residence to Boulton Park, which is 
more in this style. Of course her wishes wiU 
influence my movements, for when an old fellow 
like myself wins the heart of a lovely little girl 
like Amy the least he can do is to give her all 
her own way." 

"Then you are positively engaged to Miss 
Staunton," said Allan. 

"Positively engaged, the day all but fixed 
some six weeks hence. You can see the cor- 
roboration of the fact in my being left to take 

230 THE author's daughter. 

care of Amy. I am very sorry to give you pain, 
my young friend, but as Amy has been perfectly 
frank with me, as it was with my knowledge and 
indeed concurrence that she wrote the letter that 
has disquieted you so much, I can only say that 
I regret your finitless errand. If Amy had not 
been open with me, I might have been alarmed 
at seeing so determined a young fellow bent on 
an interview with her; but I have so long 
known the state of her heart — so long known 
that the kindly feelings which led to the condi- 
tional sort of engagement she entered into with 
you were understood in their true light by her — 
that, except for the disappointment to yourself, 
I cannot regret your journey. It may cost poor 
Amy considerable pain to think of youi* having 
travelled half round the world on so wild an 
idea, but it cannot make the least change in my 
position with my dear little girl. Have you 
seen the Saturday Review, Mr. Lindsay, or 
should you prefer the Pall Mall Gazetted I 
shall ring for them." 

Allan was about to say that he did not come 
to Stanmore to read newspapers, but checked 
himseK The Saturday Review or the Pall 
Mall Gazette could not be so unpleasant as the 
earl's conversation, and under cover of a news- 
paper sheet he could speculate on the news he 

Missmo. 231 

had heard, and consider if it would be kind or 
wise to come forward to disturb Amy's mind 
with his apparently forgotten love. 

The earFs ease, his confidence, his frankness, 
were not at all of a piece with Jessie's idea of its 
being an unwilling engagement on Amy's port; 
but in that case, if it was a voluntary thing, the 
single interview he asked for could give Amy 
little pain. He would not make any parade of 
his suffering, but simply state his doubts aa to 
what she had meant and abide quietly by her 
decision. That satisfaction he was surely not 
ungenerous in seeking. 

He sat silent for some time, and Lord Dar- 
Ungton's uneasiness increased. He walked across 
the drawing-room several times, and then looked 
at his watch. " I expect Mr. and Mrs. Derrick 
here every minute, Mr. Lindsay, and although 
you complained of my reception, I am quite 
certain that you will be still more unwelcome 
to Mr. Derrick, who is strongly prejudiced against 
everything that is Australian. I think if you 
would take advice from one whom you naturally 
feel somewhat suspicious of, it would be well for 
you to return to Millmount and write a few 
lines to Miss Staunton. If her answer does not 
satisfy you, you can see her at your sister's 
house. I feel for your disappointment, but 

232 THE authob's daughter. 

you could scarcely have hoped for any other 

Allan rose slowly from his seat. "I think 
that I prefer to stay in the house until the 
master of it arrives. I am not aware of any-* 
thing that I have done that should make me 
ashamed or afraid' to meet Mr. Derrick; but 
if I am in your way here, I can sit alone in 
another room." 

"Oh! no, not on my account, Mr. Lindsay, 
it is all the same to me, I only thought it might 
be unpleasant to yourself" 

Dawson at this moment opened the door softly. 
" My lord, if you please, Parkes wants to speak 
to you about her young lady." 

" She has returned then," said Lord Darlington, 
hastening to the door, followed closely by Allan 

"No, my lord; Parkes thinks she has gone 

" Gone away !" said the earl, hurrying to speak 
to the waiting-maid. " Is there any note or 
message left, Parkes ?" 

" No, my lord ; but I see that there is a small 
portmanteau missing, and a few articles of dress." 

"She must have gone to Clifton, to Miss 
Derrick's ; Miss Staunton told me yesterday that 
she wished for a talk with her sister, and I 

Missmo. 238 

daresay I shall have a note in the course of 
the day." 

'' She must have taken an early train, for she 
was gone before nine to my certain knowledge, 
and no one about the Hall or on the grounds saw 
Miss Staimton go/' said Parkes, dubiously, and 
lowering her voice to a whisper. " She cannot 
have eloped with any one, my lord." 

" There is no one to elope with that I know 
of," said the earl. " I know how it is, Parkes, 
Miss Staunton was a little piqued at Mr. and 
Mrs. Derrick going to London without her, and 
I suppose she has gone off to show what a poor 
guardian I am, and to astonish us all. But I am 
sure we shall find some note explaining the 
matter. Well, Mr. Lindsay," continued Lord 
Darlington, turning to Allan, "it appears that 
you cannot see Miss Staunton at Stanmore Park 
to-day. When I hear from her as to her 
whereabouts, I shall let you know and you 
can see her." 

" My lord," said Allan, " I believe she has fled 
from this house rather than marry you, and for 
all your smooth words you believe it too. Thank 
God for that." 

" Nothing of the kind," said Lord Darlington. 
"I daresay she is now sitting at Millmoimt, 
expecting to see you, and not fancying that you 

234 THE author's daughter. 

would find my conversation so very interesting 
as to keep you here for an hour or more. But 
here come Mr. and Mrs. Derrick, I daresay she 
has come round by the railway station, and that 
she is now in the carriage with them. Parkes is 
a fool to fancy her yoimg lady gone because she 
does not see an old portmanteau." 

The carriage drove up, but the eager eyes of 
the old man and of the young man were not 
gratified by* the sight of Amy — ^Anthony and 
Lucy sat alone in it. Mr. Derrick looked sus- 
piciously on the stranger. 

"Allow me to introduce you to Mr. Allan 
Lindsay, from Branxholm, is it not? in Australia. 
Mrs. Derrick, Mr. Derrick. Mr. Lindsay has 
called this morning somewhat early to pay his 
respects to Miss Staunton." 

Mr. Derrick gave Allan one of his ugUest looks, 
and looked enquiringly at Lord Darlington. 

"Mr. Lindsay has not seen Miss Staunton," 
said the earl. 

" I think after the letter which I wrote to you, 
Mr. Lindsay, you might have known better than 
to intrude into my house." 

" If you did me the honour of writing to me, 
Mr. Derrick, I had not received the letter when 
I left Australia," said Allan. " I have not been 
fortunate enough to see Miss Staunton, for the 

MissmG. 235 

best of reasons, because she is not in the 

" Oh yes, of course, she is not at home," said 

"Not at home in real earnest, she has left 
Stanmore," said Allan. 

" On a visit to her sister. Miss Edith Derrick," 
said Lord DaxUngfon, " it is rather unlucky for 
poor Mr. Lindsay." 

" Oh ! certainly," said Anthony, " very unlucky. 
Then I must wish you good morning, Mr. Lindsay. 
If Miss Staunton is not at home, of course she 
cannot see you. Lucy, have you got Dawson to 
take out those packages carefully. You had 
better come in out of the cold air." 

" If this were a mere shift or excuse to prevent 
me from seeing your sister," said Allan, " I should 
not leave the house till I did it ; but it is a real 
fact, and Lord DarHngton is more distressed and 
alarmed at Miss Staunton's flight than I am. 
Your sister has fled from your house, to which 
you invited her from my father's, where you 
have treated her with unkindness and suspicion, 
and where you would have disposed of her to 
suit your own worldly Und ambitious ends. 
Thank God if she has escaped from such a fate, 
even, although she is as far away from me 
as ever." 

236 THE author's daughter. 

" You shall not stay here to insult me on my 
own property, and alarm my wife," said Anthony. 
*' Dawson, Palmer, Cartwright, Roberts, turn this 
fellow off my grounds." 

Allan Lindsay cooUy turned on his heel. 

" I should like to see one of these fellows lay a 
finger on me," he said ; and, indeed, they looked 
as if he would like it better than they would. 
" I am perfectly satisfied that Miss Staimton is 
not here, and so I have no further interest in the 
place, and I wish you all a very good morning." 

Allan Lindsay walked deliberately down the 
avenue, and went home to MiUmount to teU the 
surprising news to Jessie and George, and to 
consult as to the best mode to adopt to find 

" If she had been lost in the bush, I could have 
tracked her. You recoUect, Jessie, when Isabel 
and Phemie strayed in the scrub, and were lost 
for twenty-four hours, and Luath and I found 
them. Amy has not been gone long; the girl 
said she missed her at nine o'clock, and she might 
have been gone two or three hours before that, 
and it is not one o'clock in the day yet. People 
can go a long way in d short time in this country, 

''She might have got off by the early train 
before they were up. She's well known at the 


station, and we could hear there where she went 
to. But I would not wonder she took the night 

express that stops at P , fifteen miles off, that 

is to say, if she was really flying for fear of that 
old earl," said Jessie. " George, go at once to the 
station and enquire." 

" But what friends has she got to go to T 
asked Allan. 

" I wish mother had said nothing about the 
lease," said George, "for then she would have 
come here, as waa natural and fitting, and we 
could have been a protection to her even against 
the squire, and you could have seen her at once." 

" Well, but the names of other friends 1" said 

"There's her sister, that seems most natural, 
but they are not great friends ; and Miss Edith 
was so angry at her brother, both because he 
made Amy such beautiful presents and at last 
because he married Amy's cousin, that she went 
away, and has not spoken to Amy or the squire 
since," said Jessie. " But it is not unlikely that 
she is there." 

" I might believe that if the old man had not 
said she was there," said Allan. 

"Then there's Lady Gower her great-aunt," 
said Jessie. 

" It was at her house she met this earl, and it 

238 THE author's daughter. 

was her that made Amy's mother many her first 
husband. I scarcely think she would go there," 
said Allan. 

" Then there's the Evanses ; but they are Mrs. 
Derrick's father and mother, and would be sure 
to side with the squire. You recollect that 
aunt's letter, Allan," said Jessie. 

" Yes, I recollect it very well ; and I don't like 
Mrs. Derrick's looks, either. I scarcely think 
that Amy would go there." 

" There's Miss Pennithome, that I know Amy 
looks on as a true friend ; but as she has got the 
care of the earl's daughter, it is an open house to 
him, and if Amy was fleeing from a marriage 
with that old man it would not be there that she 
could take refuge. Then there are the Ham- 
monds; but although Lord Darlington * joked 
Amy about Louis when he was here with us, 
I don't think it is likely she can go to them, 
because the poor lad is laid up with a bad fever 
somewhere in France, and Amy says that his 
mother was always very distant to her. No; 
I think her sister's is the place." 

" What will they do to get her back T asked 
Allan, "will they advertise her as lost or 
missing r 

"No; they will work the telegraph with all 
their acquaintances, but orcourse everybody will 


be glad to give them information; but nobody 
will mind our enquiries. They will say it is no 
business of ours," said Jessie. 

"It is my only business in England," said 
Allan, " Then I should go first to her sister's." 

"And that's a hundred-and- twenty miles off," 
said Jessie ; " but wait till George comes back 
before you start." 

George Copeland returned with the news that 
Miss Staunton had not been seen at the station, 
and that Lord Darlington had been before him 
in making enquiries there. Allan only stopped 
to inform himself of the proper route for Miss 
Derrick's house, and went off to catch the train. 



Lord Darlington was in extremely bad humour 
with all the world, and especially with Anthony 
Derrick, for it had been his very unjustifiable 
conduct in leaving Amy that had made her take 
fright. On returning from the railway station he 
instituted enquiries in the stable-yard and dis- 
covered that one of the horses looked as if he had 
had a long journey. His keen eye sought out 
Kjiowles from among the grooms and helpers, 
because he was so oflSciously ready with his 
opinions and surmises ; and a little judicious cross- 
questioning elicited that he knew something 
about Miss Staunton's flight. 

It was now far on in the dayr and Knowles 
felt sure that Miss Staunton must be safe with 
her friends by this time, so that if by confession 
he could save his place it might serve himself and 
do her no harm. 


" Well, my lord, to tell the trut&, and make a 
clean breast of it, I did drive Miss Staunton to 

P station, to take the night express for 

London. She said a friend had written to her — 
a lady she told me ; I think the lady was ill, 
leastways Miss Staunton was very anxious to get 
to her." 

" Was the lady in London, Knowles V asked 
the earl. 

" Why, it never came into my head to think of 
anything else, leastways. Miss Staunton took her 
ticket for King's Cross or Euston-square, I forget 
which, but it was one of the two. She did not 
mean to stay long, I suppose, for she had only a 
very small poiimanteau. She carried it herself to 
the end of the avenue. There would be a letter 
no doubt, explaining it all. Had they not found 
any letter?" 

" Not yet, but I don't think there has been any 
proper search made." 

'' Miss Staunton never told me to make no 
secret of it," said Knowles. 

" Did she not mention the name of the friend 
she was going to ?" 

" Perhaps she did, but if-so-be as she did men- 
tion it, it has gone clear out of my head. I never 
could keep mind of names." 

" It was not to Miss Derrick ?" 

VOL. III. 16 

242 THE author's daughter. 

" No, surely I could not forget that name, be- 
sides there was no use going to London to get to 
Miss Derrick's." 

" Was it Hubbard ? " asked the earl. 

" No ; I think I could take my oath it wam't 
Mother Hubbard." 

" Was it Evans ? " 

" No ; that is the squire's lady's name. Td sure 
keep mind of that name.'* 

" Was it Miss Pennithome, or Lady Go wer, or 
Lady Beresford ? " 

Knowles shook his head. " I don't think I heard 
hernameone of them names, but I'd not swear toit." 

"Was it Porter?" asked Anthony, who now 
joined the earl in his enquiries on hearing that 
there was some clue to Amy's flight. 

" Well, it might be Mrs. Porter, that is one of 
the names I never can be sure of." 

" Not Mrs. Porter, Miss Porter," said Anthony. 

" Well, Mrs. or Miss ; one is as likely as the 

" It was not Hammond ?" said the earl. 

" No, it was more like Porter, I think," said 

Anthony drew Lord Darlington aside, satisfied 
with his own acuteness. 

" She never would go to the Hammonds, for Mrs* 
Hammond cou^l not bear her, and besides, it is so 



close to Lucy's mother and your daughter, that, if 
she really wants to keep out of sight, it would be 
impossible there. No, the Porters with whom she 
sailed from Australia, are the most likely people, 
and they are living somewhere in London. I know 
Amy wanted to visit them, and I objected because 
she had so many Australian partialities, and she 
had one of her sulky fits on the head of it ; but 
I cannot recollect where they lived. We must 
turn to the London Directory." 

" Among so many Porters," said Lord Darling- 
ton, " we cannot expect to find the one we look 
for, especially as you are as ignorant of hiu 
Christian name as I am. Our best plan is to 
find out the name of an Australian merchant re- 
siding in London, and telegraph to him for the 
address of Mr. Porter, an eminent Sydney mer- 
chant, who came to England on a visit by th 
March mail of 186—." 

" You are right," said Anthony. " I shall also 
telegraph to Edith and to my aunt ; or stop, as I 
am on such bad terms with Edith, you had better 
do that for me ; Lucy can communicate with her 
mother, and you with Miss Pennithorne. But my 
own idea is, that she is either with Mr. Hubbard 
or with the Porters, and most probably with the 

" Has not Louis Hammond returned ?" said the 



earL '* I can put that question to Miss Fenni- 

In due time the answers returned. None of the 
people telegraphed to knew anything about Miss 
Staunton, but Miss Pennithomegave the required 
information about her neighbours. Louis Ham- 
mond had returned with his father and mother a 
few days ago. 

The Australian merchant telegraphed that Mr. 
Porter had Kved for the last year at 17, York- 
terrace, Regent's Park, but that he was about to 
return to Australia very shortly. He might be 
gone by this time ; at least this was about the 
time fixed. 

Anthony Derrick was so convinced that this 
was the place where Amy had gone to, that he 
nearly convinced Lord Darlington as well. 

Not long after Allan staited for Clifton, they 
took out their tickets for London, and went direct 
to the house on York-terrace. But the house was 
empty, and on enquiry from the house agent they 
learned that the Porters had left the house when 
their year was out, and had been visiting among 
their friends lately. He supposed they had sailed 

What ships had sailed and what ships were 
sailing about this time was the next object of 
enquiry, for of cotirse if the Porters had sailed 


before Amy left Stanmore she could not have gone 
with them. They were obKged to wait till the 
following day to make enquiries from the Austra- 
lian merchant. In the meantime they looked up 
Mr. Hubbard, and asked him if he had ever heard 
anything from Amy Staunton lately. He was 
surprised and shocked, but Lord Darlington ex- 
onerated him of any complicity in Amy's flight, 
although Anthony still had his suspicions. 

It was intolerable for Lord Darlington to have 
no company but that of Anthony Derrick for the 
evening. He felt that it had been his conduct to 
his sister rather than his own pertinacity that had 
driven Amy to this rash step, and when he ac- 
companied Anthony to his London house, and 
heard his complacent recital of what had been 
bought and planned by him and Lucy during 
their recent visit, in order that their first parties 
should go off with ^lat, he proposed to go to the 
theatre or anywhere as an escape. It was cer- 
tainly not to be expected that Amy should be 
there, but yet her lover's eyes looked for her in 
every crowd, and he had lately been so accus- 
tomed to her company that he missed her as much 
at the theatre as at square. 

On the following day they called on the Aus- 
tralian merchant, who informed them that he 
had just learned that the Porters were sailing in 

246 THE author's batjghteil 

the Old England from Liverpool to Melbourne, 
that was advertised to leave on that very day. 
It was possible that if they went to Liverpool, 
they might see^Mr. Porter before he sailed. 

"We have been sent to London on a false 
scent," said Anthony to the earL " Knowles was 
deceiving us. She has gone off to Australia with 
them. Let her go. I'U not trouble to whistle 
her back." 

" No, do not be so sure," said the earL " Let 
us ascertain by further enquiry before we con- 
clude that she has gone to Australia. I think it 
impossible she could have arranged to take, such 
a voyage ; for her departure seemed to me to be a 
sudden freak, consequent on your rather unwar- 
rantable conduct in leaving her at Stanmore with 
me, upon which, however, I put the best construc- 
tion that I could. No, up to your departure for 
London I am satisfied that she had no purpose 
of flight. A departure for Australia was a despe- 
rate step certainly, but still it could not be taken 
at a moment's warning." 

" She had enough money to pay her passage, for 
she received her quarter's allowance from me the 
other day, and she never was behind hand with 
her income. Australian people think very differ- 
ently of such a voyage compared to English people, 
and take it on very short notice. Look at that young 


fellow coming all this way for the mere chance of 
speaking to her. She is gone, and I only hope 
that she will marry some one else on the voyage 
or in Melbourne, so that his journey may be as 
fruitless as ours has been. I shall go back to 
Stanmore Park, and I advise you to do the 

" Not just yet," said Lord Darlington. " I must 
go to Liverpool to enquire further, and I need 
your company. We must see the vessel if she has 
not gone, and at all events enquire at the agents 
if any young lady accompanied the Porters. If 
she is with them, which I greatly doubt, we may 
be in time to see her, and remonstrate with her, 
and I dare say to bring her back. I do not con- 
sider myself justified in giving her up because I 
have not found her in London. My own opinion 
is that she has taken a situation, for that is what 
she had talked of doing for months." 

" I should never forgive her if she took a situa- 
tion," said Anthony. 

"But I should," said the earl; "and I have 
little doubt three months of a dependent life with 
strangers would wonderfully reconcile Amy to 
being a countess. I only wish I had yielded to 
her wishes and let her try it before, and been 
able to come in now. This Liverpool expedition 
I have no opinion of, but still if you believe she 


has gone in that direction I shall accompany you 

Anthony somewhat reluctantly agreed to go 
with the earL The step his sister had taken was 
so underhand and so imgratefiil after all the kind- 
ness he had showered upon her^ that he con- 
sidered himself absolved from all care for her 
future. It showed, too, such a resolute deter- 
mination against the noble and advantageous 
marriage he had wished her to contract, that he 
was sure no coercion or persuasion would induce 
her to yield; and if she was not prepared to 
marry Lord Darlington, it was of no use trying 
to bring her back. 

Still it would be a satisfaction to know that 
she was gone, and gone to Sydney with those 
Porters, to prove himself in the right with Lord 
Darlington, who was always so overbearing, 
and to disappoint Allan Lindsay of the oppor- 
tunity of seeing Amy, for which he had travelled 
so far. 

When they reached Liverpool they learned 
from the agent that the Old England was just 
about to sail, and that Mr. and Miss Porter, and 
a young lady who was going to Sydney under 
their charge, had taken their passage and were 
now on board 

"I told you so," said Anthony. "I knew it 


was of no use mfl,king further enquiries, Lord 

" Will you be good enough to tell us the young 
lady's name V said the earl. 

" Miss Seymour," answered the agent. 

** Of course she would take another name/' said 

" Have you seen her f' asked the earl of the 

" I just had a glance of her as she called with 
Mr. and Miss Porter the morning when Mr. Porter 
settled for the passage money of the party." 

" Could you tell us what the yoimg lady was 
like ? Was she young and slight and pretty ?" 
said the earL 

"Rather pretty and lady-like, but I did not 
think her slender. She had a large shawl on, 

" There is no doubt of its being her," said An- 
thony. " Is it worth our while to go on board to 
see her V 

" There is just a bare chance, if you lose no 
time," said the agent. 

" But will she come back if we do see her ?" 
said Anthony. 

"The passage-money will be forfeited," said 
the agent. 

" That is nothing/' said Lord Darlington, " but 

250 THE author's daughter. 

it is not our friend I am pretty sure. Your des- 
cription does not agree with ours, and the name 
is different ; and when was this young lady's pas- 
sage taken out, Mr. Black." 

" With the Porters', a fortnight ago." 

" It is not Amy," said the earl, " it cannot be 
Amy. But we must go on board and satisfy you. 

They drove as rapidly as they could through 
the crowded streets of the busy commercial town, 
took a boat, and rowed for dear life to the Old 
England, which was just getting up her steam. 
They signalled for her to stop, for had she once 
fairly started, no boat rowed with human hands 
could make up with her. The captain was very 
Uttle disposed to stop, for his paasenger-list was 
full, and all were on board, and there was no 
policeman in the boat to threaten the abstraction 
of any of them. The two gentlemen might have 
some important business connected with the Old 
England. Lord Darlington handed the com- 
mander of the vessel the hurried note from the 
agent, empowering Mr. Derrick to see if his sister 
was on board. 

" We have no one of that name," said the cap- 
tain abruptly. 

" My sister's name is not mine," said Anthony. 
" She is Miss Staimton." 



" There is no one of that name either here." 

" There is a young lady accompanying Mr. 
and Miss Porter under the name of Seymour, 
who I have reason to believe is my sister. She 
is under age, and goes on board without my con- 
sent. I have only to beg that I may see her for 
five minutes." 

Mr. and Miss Porter and their friend were 
called on deck. Mr. Porter gave the stiffest of 
bows to Anthony Derrick, who had been barely 
civil to him when they had met at Southamp- 
ton, and of whom he had seen and heard nothing 
since. Indeed both father and daughter had 
some reason to think Amy Staunton ungrateful 
for their kindness to her on board the P. and 0. 

" I beg your pardon," said Anthony, " for this 
interruption, Mr. Poi-ter, but have you got my 
sister on board with you V 

" I know nothing whatever of your sister. I 
have not seen her since I gave her to your care 
at Southampton, and I don't think Leonora has 
had a line from her for twelve months back. 
Miss Seymour, are you supposed to be the lady ? 
I think Mr. Derrick may be quite satisfied at a 
glance that you are not our old fellow pas- 
Miss Seymour was certainly not slender> and 


could not be mistaken for Amy. Anthony, who 
thought her rather plain-looking, and quite thirty, 
was amazed at Mr. Black, the agent's, stupidity 
in describing her as he did. 

" I hope you axe satisfied," said the captain, 
" and that you will now allow the Old England 
to go off." 

" I am quite satisfied," said Lord DarUngton. 
but Anthony looked disappointed, both because 
he had been proved in the wrong, and because 
he had lost the chance of getting rid of Amy 
altogether, which was about the next best thing 
that could happen when she would not marry 
Lord Darlington. 

"I think I shall give out that Amy has 
sailed for Australia," said Anthony to Lord ©ax- 
lington as they returned to take the train from 
Liverpool. " I suppose you give her up now, my 

" Not yet," said the earl thoughtfully. " She 
has no doubt gone to take a situation, and al- 
though that is not altogether to be desired, I 
shall let her do so, and step in in the course of a 
month or two. But it is not a bad idea to give 
it out that she is on her way to Australia, for it 
wiU stop all enquiry on the part of others, and 
this Mr. Lindsay will probably take his depar- 
ture without delay for his accustomed latitudes 


when he heaxs it. As for Amy's retreat, I shall 
find that out ere long, and I have little doubt 
that I shall succeed better when I am not ham- 
pered by your clumsy aid, and that of Mrs. Der- 
rick. Here we part ; I go to London to make 
enquiries quietly, and you return i» you wish 
to Stanmore Park. We have spent two days in 
enquiries very vainly, and, what is worse, we 
have made the matter rather too public, but I 
have gone into this aJSair a little too deeply to 
give it up yet." 

And so they parted, without any liking on 
either side, but with a regret on Anthony's part 
that owing to his sister's perversenoss and 
wilfulness, the friendship of the head of the 
house was lost to him. He felt out of humour 
with everything and with everybody; he felt 
even almost inclined to be out of humour with 
his wife. 

He went round by Millmount as he drove 
home from the station, and found somewhat to 
his relief that Allan was not there, but as he 
had determined on the ingenious lie or subter- 
fuge which he meant to give out to the world, 
he thought this was the first place in which to 
try its effect. 

" Have you heard anything about Miss Amy ?' 

254 THE author's daughter. 

asked Jessie Copeland eagerly, for she could 
imagine no other cause for the visit. 

" I made enquiries in London, and was there 
directed to Liverpool. I have had good reason to 
believe that Miss Sta\mton has sailed for Mel- 
bourne, in the Old England." 

" Did you not go to see if it was really her ?** 
asked Jessie, who felt rather incredulous as to 
this news. 

" The ship had put on steam, and there was no 
making up to her, but the description satisfied 
me. The young lady accompanied the Porters, 
who, you recollect, were Miss Staunton's fellow- 
passengers in her homeward voyage two years 
ago. She was reported to be young and pretty 
by the agent of the Old England." 

" But did she give her name V asked Jessie. 

" No, I suppose she feared identification. Her 
passage was taken out under the name of Sey- 
mour, but there was no doubt in my mind that it 
was she. Lord Darlington and myself are so 
much satisfied on the subject that we are making 
no further enquiries. Of course if Miss Staunton 
prefers Australia to England, it is her own affair, 
but I have nothing further to do with her. I 
thought I should call here and set your mind at 
rest, and also request you to tell your brother 
that I have not forgotten his insolent language. 


T have been hesitating about giving Mr. Copeland 
a lease of Millmount, for Dixon tells me applic5a- 
tion has been made, but this aflTair has determined 
me. I never could endure to have a family with 
whom so many unpleasant associations have 
arisen, settled, close to Stanmore for nineteen 
years. I am sorry for the sake of old tenants 
whom I have great respect for to come to such a 
determination, but your conduct, and that of your 
husband, and especially that of your brother, have 
put it out of my power to act otherwise. I wish 
you a very good morning, Mrs. George," and 
the squire bowed stiffly, and drove away, leaving 
Jessie with nothing but bad news for old and 

Old Mr. and Mrs. Copeland took the intelli- 
gence better than she had expected, but Jessie 
was veiy sorry that her brother had done so much 
mischief, and all for no good, for if Amy had gone 
to Australia she was sure to find her way to 
Branxholm, and it would have been better for 
Allan to have been at home. 

Still it was very remarkable that Amy should 
have gone away with the Porters without drop- 
ping the slightest hint of it to Jessie. She had 
never spoken of the Porters at all after the first 
arrival, except to say that her brother would not 
let her visit them. But Anthonys story was 

256 THE authob's dauohteb. 

told as if he believed in it, and the cessation of 
all enquiry looked as if they were satisfied. It 
was very perverse that Allan and Amy should 
be making the complete circuit of the globe after 
each other, but yet things often do happen very 
perversely, Jessie thought. 

When Allan Lindsay returned from making 
further enquiries in houses where he was not at 
all civilly received, without finding the least 
clue to the fugitive, Jessie told him Mr. Derrick's 
news very softly and kindly. 

" If she has gone, Allan, it is to go to you." 
" Then I don't think she has gone. I'd have 
liked to have heard Mr. Derrick tell it, for I 
think I could have found out if he was speaking 
the truth. But if she has gone, there is no doubt 
you will get a letter explaining about it after all 
fear of pursuit is over. If you get no letter I 
will be satisfied that the young lady with the 
Porters was not Amy. And I am rather tired 
of making enquiries from people who think I 
have no business in the matter, so I think that 
this is the place to wait at. Amy is sure to 
write to you sooner or later. But I am very 
sorry that Mr. Copeland is to lose his farm 
through me. I never thought of such a result 
as that, Jessie, but when I thought of my dar- 
ling being driven away by that heartless brother 


and that hypocritical old man, I could not keep 
my temper." 

Many were the surmises as to the disappear- 
ance of Amy Staunton from her brother's house, 
and in fashionable circles there was as little 
charity shown towards the runaway as in hum- 
ble society. It was not the question whither 
had she gone ? but with whom had she gone ? 
for it seemed impossible for such a step to be 
taken alone, and each of the possible lovers 
whom Miss Staimton might have met with was 
suggested by one friend or another as the com- 
panion of her flight. It was hard for Lord 
Darlington to preserve his usual complacent 
smile when he met the questioning looks and 
the rallying remarks of his Mends and acquaint- 

If he had been altogether beaten, he thought 
the task would have been easier, he would have 
pooh-poohed the thing, and said that the girl 
was not worth having, that the pleasure was 
in the purstut, and that he was too old a bird 
to be caught with chaff. But he had not given 
up the game, there were still some moves on 
the board, and though he was sorry that every- 
body saw how very nearly he was checkmated, 
he could only say that he believed the young 
lady had gone to Australia with some friends, 

VOL. m. 17 


and had not even the satisfaction of abusing 
her for doing it. 

He trosted to the effects of the situation she 
was going to take ; he said to himself that he 
would not be surprised if she wrote to him ex- 
plaining all about it before she wrote to An- 
thony, because when she was lonely she always 
missed him, and wearied for his letters, if not 
for himself. In the meantime, as he could do 
nothing farther in the matter, the earl deter- 
mined to enjoy himself. The last two days had 
been extremely fatiguing, and he determined to 
rest in the first place, and then cross over to 
the Continent, where he could find people to 
associate with who had not seen his devotion 
-to Amy Staunton and who would not remind 
him of her flight. 

It was at a later hour than usual that Lord 
Darlington rose for breakfast on the day after 
his return to London. He found a letter from 
Anthony Derrick, marked "immediate," among 
the heap that awaited his perusal. 

"Dear Lord Darlington, 

"After all our trouble and fatigue in 
going to London and Liverpool, we might have 
spared ourselves the trouble, for Lucy has had 
a letter from her mother, saying she foimd Amy 


comfortably established at Mrs. Hammond's 
when she went to call. Lucy telegraphed to 
us, but we had left no address when we left 
London in such haste for Liverpool, and we had 
all that ridiculous journey there and back again 
for nothing. 

" Mrs. Hammond seemed very fond of Amy, 
Mrs. Evans says; and you know how very 
spooney the young man always was about h^, 
so I suppose that is the attraction. But they 
made no secret of it at all, only that Mrs. 
Hammond had invited Amy, and that she had 
gone at once. Mrs. Evans gave the young lady 
a bit of her mind about the impropriety of 
which she had been guilty and the state of 
alarm she had put us all in, and Amy cried a 
little, but the old woman, Mrs. Hammond I 
mean, defended her. You may do as you please, 
but for my part I should advise you to trouble 
yourself no further. I wash my hands of her 
completely, and I only write this to prevent you 
making any absurd enquiiies. I tried to stop 
that young fellow's proceedings by telling them 
at Millmount that she had gone off in the Old 
England ; but if young Hammond stands to win, 
he will be none the better for her staying in 
England. After the way in which Amy has 
behaved I have nothing whatever to say to any 


260 THE authobIs daughteb. 

of her suitors. Believe me, my dear lord, yours 
very iaruly, 

"A. Debbick/' 

"Very clever, Mr. Derrick,** said the earL 
" You think, and of course Lucy thinks, that 
after this, you need give no fortune with your 
sister, but I can tell you that if she marries 
me, you shall. A» for Louis Hammond, Amy 
does not care for him, and unless he is more in- 
teresting as an invalid than he was as a healthy 
you^gl., I d»'t fee. -Wd of hi^ It ™ 
all Derrick's conduct that drove her away from 
me. I have a better chance even in that house 
of £[ammonds than at Stanmore. Well, it is 
rather hard to be obliged to go joff again just 
as I had resolved to take it easy, but I must 
go off to Belton at once, and see Amy, and 
lean) how the land lies." 



It was not a half welcome that Mrs. Hammond 
gave to Amy Staunton when the frightened, tired, 
little traveller, who had never before arranged a 
railway journey for herself, oud who had been 
apprehensive all the way that she would be 
pursued and discovered before she came to her 
journey's end, came to the door of Thornton 
House. Mrs. Hammond had not expected quite 
so prompt an acceptance of the invitation, but 
she judged from it that the girl's need had 
been great. She took Amy in her arms and let 
her sob out her thanks on her bosom. Her heart 
was opened to see the girl's beauty, and to admire 
her winning ways — she felt that she loved her 


" The worst of my being here, dear Mrs. Ham- 
mond, is that they will so soon find it out unless 
you could hide me somewhere." 

262 THE authoe's daughter. 

*' There is no occasion to hide yon, Miss Staun- 
ton. You are my guest for the present, you 
choose to be here, and Mr. Hammond and I choose 
to keep you. No one can take you away from 
us against your will." 

" Not my brother, not the earl ?" 

" Certainly not, my dear." 

" I am not of age, you know." 

" Still it is impossible that your brother can 
take you away from a safe shelter like this to 
force you into mairiage agaimfc your wiU, and 
that is all he wishes from you, I believe." 

" He certainly threatened to turn me out if I 
would not marry Lord Darlington, and I had no 
place to go to till you were so good as to offer me 
a home." 

" I think you are perfectly justified in leaving 
a protection that you could only keep on such 
terms— every one must think so." 

*' And he left me in the house alone with Lord 
Darlington ! and I did not like it." 
, '' Lord Darlington did not presume on that, did 
he, my dear ?" 

*' No, not exactly; only he said that of course 
I could not draw back after such a thing. Now 
I assure you, my dear Mrs. Hammond, that I 
never, either to himself or to Anthony, said a 
word that could be interpreted into acceptance." 



*' It was unjustifiable, it was disgraceful/' said 
Mrs. Hammond. " We have done nothing to be 
ashamed of, we need use no secrecy." 

" I left in the night, because I could not go 
away unobserved in the day. I hope you do not 
think it very dreadful, but I could not trust my- 
self to tell anything about it to the earl." 

" Of course not." 

" Not altogether of course, Mrs. Hammond. I 
do so wish that I could have told him ; but then, 
he would have persuaded me that I should not do 
it at all. And Parkes, that is my maid, watched 
me in his interests, so I was forced to keep my 
flight from her. I know that for months she has 
got money and handsome presents from Lord 
Darlington ; and Mrs. Harrison, the housekeeper, 
got them too, so I could not trust her in the least. 
I left no note, for I feared it might be foimd tco 
soon, and I might be pursued. I am sure they 
are all looking everywhere for me. Should not I 
write that I am here ? " 

'^ Oh I I think there is no occasion to do that 
till your nerves are quieted down. The Evanses 
are sure to be here to-day I think, and they will 
see you, or learn that you are here, and send oft' 
the news to Stanmore. Don't fret about letting 
Mr. Derrick and Lord Darlington know at 

264 THE author's daughter. 

onoe. I think they deserve to be a little put 

'' What I wish to do is to take a situation^ 
because I know that Anthony will never forgive 
jne, or make any terms with me now. If you 
could help me to get a situation in some quiet 
family, I should be so grateful to you. You 
know I taught at Branxholm, and I have improved 

" The proposal is very proper and very spirited 
of you, and by-and-by we shall talk it over, but 
what you want is rest at present." 

" I hope I have not been spoiled by having had 
so much money and living in such luxury ; but 
I mean to try to forget the last two years and 
a half, and to think of myself as Amy Staunton 
the governess at Branxholm, and nothing more 

" Well, dear, get off your wrappings and refiresh 
yourself with a bath. We Australians understand 
ihat comfort ; and I shall give you the old bush 
refreshment of a cup of tea, and something to 
eat, for I dare say you have had no breakfast, and 
no sleep last night either." 

Amy felt this kind personal attention from Mrs. 
Hanmiond something far beyond her expecta- 
tions. She reaUy felt exhausted by the excite- 
ment and the journey and the want of food; 

A BEFUOe. 265 

there was no one near her to tell her to attend 
to herself, and, singularly enough, though she 
was flying from Lord Darlington, and rejoicing 
in her escape, she could not help recollecting 
several journeys which she had taken with him, 
in which he had been so attentive and so 
thoughtful of her comfort ; and without ever ask- . 
ing her what she would like, always brought her 
the very thing that she could eat or drink. She 
was angry at herself for missing him, and at the 
same time she could not help it. She recollected 
too Allan's kind cares for her comfort long ago ; the 
long ride he had taken to Gundabook to procure 
supper that night when she was so foolish and 
unreasonable, and his watchfulness and solicitude 
on the last journey they took together to Ade- 
laide before she sailed for England. Of all the 
things that she had left at Stanmore, her old riding- 
habit, which was too bidky to be crammed into 
her portmanteau, was most regretted; and she 
was delighted that Hugh Lindsay's watch, which 
she had wound up every night and kept in her 
bed-room, had by that means been kept in such 
good order that she could rely upon it in this 
strange journey. As she took frequent glances at 
it to see how time wore away, she recollected 
the words that had been spoken when she re- 
ceived it, that at the other end of the world there 

266 THE authob's daughteb. 

was an old man and a young man too that would 
think long till they saw her face again. Why 
had not Allan written ? K it had only been to 
scold and reproach her, it would have been better 
—far better— than this indifferent silence. 

So her mind had wandered between the old 
lover who would take no rejection, and the young 
lover who took it only far too easily, with a 
troubled, remorseful, regretful recollection during 
the long hours of her soUtary journey. 

Now, however, she felt she could breathe freely. 
The house she was in seemed like a home, and 
Mrs. Hammond was as kind and thoughtful as 
possible. After the most delicious cup of tea 
that was ever offered to a traveller, and a refresh* 
ing bath, Mrs. Hammond, saying there was 
nowhere so good as bed to rest in, made her lie 
down, closed the shutters, kissed her, and drew 
the curtains, saying that she hoped she might 
have some sleep, as she stood in need of it. 

Was this the woman who had looked on her so 
coldly six years ago when her father lay dead in 
the house at Branxholm? What had wrought 
such a change on Mrs. Hammond ? It was not 
prosperity; for she had been as cold to Amy 
when she was Anthony's favourite sister as when 
she first saw her, and now certainly she was as 
friendless as ever. But whatever had caused the 

A BEFUGE. 267 

change it did not seem like a whim or a caprice ; 
Amy felt that her new friend was to be relied 
on. She did not sleep, she was too much ex- 
cited to sleep, but she rested for some hours luxu- 

When she got up in the evening and joined the 
family circle she wa^ aatonished to find herself so. 
much at home. Louis was quietly happy, but he 
did not put himself forward at all obtrusively ; 
he was desirous that Amy should find Thornton 
House a place of refuge, and she did. Clara 
and her sister sang their prettiest songs. Mr. 
Hammond got into his favourite vein of Australian 
talk, and Mrs. Hammond looked like a benevo- 
lent genius rejoicing over the happiness she had 

It was not till the following day that the 
Evanses called. It had been somewhat difficult 
for Mrs. Hammond to be civil to Mrs. Evans 
lately, but when she broke forth with violent 
invectives against her niece for leaving her home 
in the clandestine manner she did, and alarming 
the family and the neighbourhood, recapitulating 
the benefits which Mr. Derrick had conferred on 
her, and the affection which Lucy had bestowed 
on her, Mrs. Hammond could not help interrupt* 
ing her visitor by saying, 

'' I invited Miss Staunton to visit me, and she 

268 THE author's daxjohteb. 

came at once. Some of the benefits with which 
Mr. Derrick favoured her were rather question- 
able. He told her that if she did not marry 
Lord Darlington she must seek another home for 
herself, and Miss Staunton under these circum- 
stances was right to accept the first offer of a 
refuge that she received." 

"But why go off at night, Mra Hammond, 
and alarm eyerybody ?' 

" My young friend left Stanmore at the only 
time when she could do so unobserved. When a 
girl's natural protectors leave her for their own 
pleasure, and she is surrounded by spies, she 
must not stand upon the manner of her going, 
but go at once. I can only say that she was 
welcome here when she did arrive, and she 
means to stay here imtil she can meet with a 

" But consider what people will say," said Mrs. 

" I do not care for what people will say who do 
not know the circumstances, Mrs. Evans. Those 
who are aware of them will do justice to your 
niece's conduct." 

"Have you written to your brother. Amy?' 
said Mrs. Evans, turning to the culprit herself. 

" Not yet I meant to do so to-day." 

" I think you may save yourself the trouble. 


for I shall inform him by telegram and write the 
particulars to Lucy. I only want to stop all 
further enquiry, for they have been working the 
telegraphs in all directions to discover you. I 
don't suppose you have anything to say in your 
own justification." 

" I have a great deal to say, if you would only 
listen," said Amy. 

But Mrs. Evans showed no disposition to listen, 
and hurried off to relieve herself by dispatching 
a telegram in the first place, and by sitting down 
to write a long letter to Lucy, explaining the 
position which Amy held at Thornton House, and 
supposing that Lord Darlington would be cured 
now, for no doubt Amy was throwing herself 
fairly into Louis Hanrnxond's arms. 

Amy thought it due to herself to write a jus- 
tification of her conduct to her brother ; nay, she 
would have wished to do the same to Lord Dar- 
lington, only it would have been mismterpreted. 
On the following day she saw Miss Pennithome, 
who called at Thornton House as soon as she 
heard that Amy's arrival there must reach Mr. 
Derrick and the earl through other channels. 
Miss Pennithome rejoiced in the result of her 
persevering appeals to Mrs. Hammond, and 
although she would have been better pleased to 
hear of a marriage than a situation as being con- 


templated, she had little doubt that Louis would 
be successful Olivia sent her dearest love and 
hoped Amy would come to see her, and she 
would try to forgive her from her heart for disap- 
pointing her papa. 

It was not till Miss Pennithome had called 
that Amy recollected that she ought to write to 
Jessie CopelanA She would hear what every- 
body said, and Anthony would never take the 
trouble to let Jessie see her justification. 

So, while Jessie and Allan were debating the 
chances as to her having gone to Melbourne with 
the Porters, they received a letter explaining 
that she had gone to Mrs. Hammond's, and that 
everyone there was very kind to her ; that she 
meant to take a situation, for she knew her 
brother would never receive her again ; and that 
Mrs. Hammond had written to her, offering her 
assistance and advice in that direction, at a time 
when she was sorely beset. In the meantime she 
escaped importunities that were very painful to 
her, for although Lord Darlington had many 
good qualities and had been very kind to her, she 
never could feel to him as she ought to do to the 
man she meant to marry, and it would not be 
right to allow him to persuade her contrary to 
her own judgment and feelings. "So you see, 
Jessie, through God's providence and Mrs. Ham- 

A REFUGE. 271 

mond's kindness," concluded Amy, " I have got 
a safe refuge, and have not brought you or Mr. 
Copeland into any trouble with Anthony." 

" I have got you into trouble, notwithstanding 
all her care, poor dear girl," said Allan. " It is 
enough to make one's blood boil to hear how 
people speak of her as they do, and she so 
entangled and beset and spied on. They never 
think of what a hard fate she fled from, and can 
only think of an elopement with some one or 
other. And it was a lie that Mr. Derrick told 
you about Amy sailing for Australia. I always 
thought it was." 

" But Allan, what do you think of Mrs. Ham- 
mond now ?" said Jessie. 

"It is most astonishing, but then, what will 
not a mother do for the sake of her son ? Think 
of our mother sending me away on such a mere 
chance, because she thought it was a chance, and 
that it would ease my mind if I got it. And 
Mrs. Hammond, though very high and mighty 
with strangers, had a very warm heart to all her 
children, and to Mr. Louis in particular." 

"And the old lord said that Mr. Louis was 
farther gone than any one he ever saw in his life. 
To be sure you don't count him as any authority, 
but Amy never downright denied it," said Jessie. 

" Oh ! I know that is true, for his sister wrote 

272 THE authob's daxjqhteb. 

about it to Mrs. Lufton, but, be that as it may, I 
must have a few words with Amy, wherever she 
is. She may like Louis as she has gone to his 
mother's, but, to be stire, the poor dear girl was 
desperate. But Td far sooner give her up to 
Louis Hammond, that I have known him from a 
boy to be honest and true, than to that smiling 
old hypocrite, with his setUed day and his 
positive engagement and his castle that Amy 
thotight so much of. Now I have been poking 
myself into houses that I have not been welcome 
at, and here, where I have been welcome, I have 
only done mischief ; but I must lose no time in 
going to see Amy at Mrs. Hammond's, although I 
may have that lady's black looks for my pains. 
Amy says she has written to her brother, and 
that the Evanses saw her there at Thornton 
House, as they call the place ; but Mr. Derrick 
does not take the trouble to ride round and con- 
tradict the account he gave that she had sailed 
for Australia." 

" I dare say, Allan, he thought as that was all 
that had brought you here you would take ship 
at once and go back. He must think you have 
some chance surely." 

"Well, I would not say much about my 
chance, for this letter I keep of hers seems very 
true and very natural, only that old man said it 

A BEFUGE. 273 

was with his knowledge and concurrence that 
she wrote it, and everything that he had a hand 
in I feel suspicious of. Mr. Louis may be a 
lover, and he may be more welcome to Amy in 
her distress, but it was his mother that wrote to 
Amy and her protection that she offered, and I 
shall thank Mrs. Hammond for that kindness as 
long as I live. So, Jessie, I am off again ; I sup- 
pose I had better do as she did and take London 
first. It is an extraordinary coimtry for rail- 
ways, this England, but I have made no mis- 
take yet with what Amy called in her letters to 
me that bewildering book ' Bradshaw.' " 

VOL. IIL 18 



Although it was a relief to Lord Darlington 
that Anthony did not accompany him in his en- 
deavour to reclaim Amy, in one sense it was a 
disadvantage, for he had not her brother's au- 
thority, and this he seriously pondered as he 
drove up to Thornton House. 

Amy was sitting in the drawing-room with 
Mrs. Hammond when she saw the hansom cab 
drive up to the door and Lord Darlington alight. 

" Anthony is sure to be with him. Oh ! Mrs. 
Hammond, what shall I do ?" 

"Do nothing, my dear; leave it all to me, 
there is nothing to be afraid of, your brother is 
not with the earl — he is alone." 

Lord Darlington was quite familiar with the 
house, and, instead of asking for any one in par- 
ticular, said only, " The ladies are in the drawing- 
room, I suppose." And, as James had had no 


directions to the contrary, he announced, " The 
Earl of Darlington," as he had done several 
times before. 

Mrs. Hammond rose from her seat with dignity, 
coming between the earl and Amy, whom he was 
just about to greet. 

" May I ask your lordship what gives us the 
honour of this visit at this time T 

" I have come, Mrs. Hammond, to call on you 
and on Miss Staunton, who ha« given us aU a 
great deal of anxiety lately. Mr. Derrick 
deputes me to make some enquiries as to his 
sister s very singular conduct. Of course we can 
allow for persons from the antipodes not doing 
exactly like other people, but it is certainly not 
en rigle that a young lady should take a solitary 
midnight journey without telling her friends of 
it, thus exposing herself to the most injurious im- 
putations. I am sure that you did not know 
what you were doing, Amy, or what cruel anxiety 
you have made me (and your brother also) suffer. 
I have not slept since I heard of it until now a 
little in the railway carriage, when my mind 
was comparatively at rest, for fatigue and drowsi- 
ness came over me. But, in spite of all this," and 
the earl lowered his voice, "you are still the 
same to me. Amy. I do not think it is possible 
for you to offend me. Why did you not tell me 


276 THE author's daughter. 

of this invitation to Thornton House t Tou 
know I felt that Mr. Derrick had behaved badly 
to you in going away. If you had only told me, 
I could have arranged that you should go from 
Stanmore comfortably and respectably. I thought 
you had more confidence in me. Amy." 

Amy trembled with agitation. She had thought 
that if she were only out of her brother's house 
she would have courage to stand up against Lord 
Darlington, and to speak boldly and uncompro- 
misingly to him, but here, in Mrs. Hammond's 
drawing-room, was this pertinacious lover, who 
would ignore the fact that she had fled fix)m 
him, who would look on her as if she was his^ 
and as if she had not power to control her own 
actiona But Mrs. Hammond helped her in her 
difficulty . 

" I think, my Lord Darlington," said she, " that 
you altogether mistake, or at least misrepresent 
the ground on which you stand with this young 
lady. She left her brother's house at my urgent 
entreaty, because she feared she would be forced 
into a marriage with you. She travelled by night 
because she could not escape unobserved by day ; 
and when the whole truth comes to be known, 
as it must be ere long, it will be most discredit- 
able to you and Mr. Derrick, that she was forced 
into such a flight." 


** Amy," said Lord Darlington, *' I am sure you 
never said that I would have forced you into a 
marriage against your will. I can scarcely be 
accountable for Mr. Derrick's temper." 

Amy's lips moved as if to speak, but she could 
say nothing. It was true that, although her 
lover had been unscrupulous in some things, 
he had been gentle and forbearing. She was so 
sorry for him that she half forgot to be sorry 
for herself. 

" This is the house of an independent English 
gentleman, whose wife I have the honour to be," 
said Mrs. Hammond. " Here I have promised 
Miss Staunton a refuge from solicitations that 
have made her miserable ; and, however you and 
Mr. Derrick may divide the blame and the dis- 
grace of the affair between you, my duty is 
clear. You have not the shadow of a claim on 
Miss Staimton, and you have no right to be 
in my house without my consent. You will 
please to leave this house and not to enter it 

" Amy," said Lord Darlington, " I do not take 
my dismissal from this woman. Have you really 
thought what you were doing when you put 
yourself under the protection of one who can 
insult the dearest friend you have ? — for we 
Jiave been friends — ^we are friends still, are we 

278 THE author's daughteb. 

not?" He looked strangely sad as he turned 
from Mrs. Hammond to Amy. ''It was your 
brother that made you leave Stanmore so 
rashly; but /did not offend you, /did not ter- 
rify you. Mra. Hammond, I must have five 
minutes' conversation with the girl I have 
looked on as my promised wife. You may at 
least grant me that. Think how I have loved 
her, how I have all but won her, and then fancy 
how I can bear to be ordered out of her presence 
by another than herself. Amy — ^Amy— just ten 
minutes !" 

Mrs. Hanmiond left the room with a warning 
glance to Amy. She was disappointed at seeing 
so much agitation and so little anger. But then, 
it was not Mrs. Hammond whom Lord Darlington 

" You have not said a word yet to me, Amy, 
you have not even shaken hands with me." 

Amy stretched out her hand, which was taken 
and not relinquished. 

" You are going, I suppose, to try to take a situ- 
ation r 

" Yes, Mrs. Hammond has promised to help me 
to one." 

" If you tire of it. Amy, wiU you recollect 
me r 

" I shall never forget you, never ; only I shall 


never recollect you in the way you wish. Once 
for all, my lord, I never can be your wife. You 
did not think it would be good for Allan if I 
married him upon so little love, and I feel far less 
for you." 

" But then / feel far more. Are you sorry for 
me, Amy ?" 

" Yes ; but I cannot help it," said Amy, with a 
torrent of tears. " I wish you did not feel what 
I must say so painful." 

** I do not threaten to shoot myself, Amy, that 
is an idiotic proceeding ; but there are other ways 
of going to the devil than that." 

" Oh ! my lord, live ; — live well for the sake of 
your children." 

" My children 1 an idiot and a cripple ! Oh ! 
yes ; become virtuous, and devote myself to them. 
Why, I never cared about Olivia till you taught 
me, and now I can never bear to see her ; and as 
for Boulton, he is a more painful subject still, 
and, what is more, he cannot live for many 
months. No, dearest Amy ; think of the empti- 
ness of the heart which you have filled, think of 
what a good man you might make me, think of 
the good you can do in the world in the position 
I can give you. I don't speak of wealth, rank, 
indulgence for yourself, but where and how could 
you do as much good ?" 

280 THE author's DAUOHTEB. 

" My lord^ it cannot be ; I conld do no good if 
I began by doing evil" 

" That is nonsense, and besides there is no evil 
in it at alL Amy, you have talked to that 
woman till she has blinded your excellent judg- 
ment. Why, even if it were a little of a sacrifice, 
are you not capable of making a sacrifice for a 
good object, and in return for a love which I 
think you believe in. I can only say that no 
one can love you as I do ; no one would forgive 
your wild escapade as I have done, for I forgive 
you everything, and take you by the hand as my 
wife, and then no one will dare to breathe a word 
against you. Would any other forgive you thus ? 
Do you know what your brother, and what 
everyone else thinks of it, that it was an invi- 
tation from the son and not from the mother; 
but I do not believe anything but what you 
choose to tell. Am I not an old fool V said the 
earl, bitterly. 

*' My lord," said Amy, " you are giving me a 
great deal of pain, a cruel amount of pain. If I 
could blot this last year from your memory, as 
well as from myown,Iwould thankfully and gladly 
do it. But though you grieve me, and though 
you frighten me, and though you mortify me, 
you do not make me love you by what you say. 
Do not think so meanly of yourself, and of your 


great love (which I know is far beyond my de- 
serts) as to try to win me over by such arguments. 
I do so want to think kindly of you, to forget all 
that would offend me, and to recollect all for 
which I ought to be gratefiil. How much I have 
Hked you, how much I have confided in you, you 
know as well as I do, but that is all over now. 
I wish you weU for jour own sake, and for that 
of poor Olivia, whom I have lost too, and whom 
I may never see again. Cannot you bear disap- 
pointment more bravely ? You might have known 
from the first that it could not be." 

" I never knew it, and I do not know it now," 
said the earl, resolutely. 

" We have had our ten minutes* talk, my lord ; 
and I have said all I can honestly say to you, and 
it only distresses us both. Farewell, my lord ; 
may God bless you, and guide you, but let me 
never see your face again." 

He took the little hand, kissed it, and drew 
the tearful &ce close to his. *' It is for the last 
time. Amy," he muttered, as he kissed her cheek. 
He took no farewell of the other members of the 
household, but got into his carriage and drove 
rapidly to the station, without looking in at 
Thrush Qrove, although Miss Pennithome and 
Olivia were expecting him and watching at the 

282 THE author's DAuaHTBaa. 

" Well, my dear," said Mrs. Hammond to Amy, 
who was crying very sadly when she returned to 
the room. " This is very painful work for you, 
but I suppose it is over now." 

" I suppose so ; but he did like me so much, 
and it seems most ungrateful in me not to re- 
turn it, but I cannot. I wish I had something 
to do to drive this out of my head, for it appears 
that people are all talking about me. If I had 
only left a note behind ine, or written as soon as 
I arrived here, it might have justified my conduct 
in the eyes of the world ; but I did so want to be 
able to breathe free, and to delay this last terrible 

" No one here believes any harm of you," said 
Mrs. Hammond, gravely. " If Lord Darlington 
himself believed anything of the kind, he would 
not have followed you here. As for your brother 
and his wife " 

" They are both irrevocably offended, I know 
that. I have known that Anthony's love has 
been lost for a long time. After his engagement 
to Lucy he never seemed to need me, and, al- 
though I must say that Lord Darlington shielded 
me from much unkindness, I am sure that he 
only separated us more widely. Anthony chooses 
to put his own construction on my flight, and I 
think I shall never see him more." 


" Mr. Derrick of course looks down on us. I 
could perceive that when he visited here last 

"A little of • that, no doubt; but his deep 
offence will be taken at your interfering with 
his plans for me. But it is sad to think that I 
shall not see Anthony again, I hoped so much 
when I came back to England, and for a long 
time afterwards, from my brother's love. I have 
taken away none of his costly presents, because, 
when I feel that his love is dead, I cannot bear 
to keep the gifts. But do you think that what 
people say of me will hinder me &om getting a 
situation 1 for Lord Darlington implied that it 
would. I have no one to recommend me but 
you, Mrs. Hammond. I fear I may give you 
some trouble." 

" Not at all, not at all," said Mrs. Hammond ; 
" we shall get you comfortably placed ere long, I 
do not doubt. Little would your mother have 
thought of your being reduced to take a situa- 
tion when you have such a wealthy brother." 

" Mamma never depended on my brother, but 
then mamma did not know how ill papa was 
when she died. I have been as friendless before, 
and did not apply to Anthony. Now I am older 
and more capable of earning my livelihood ; but 
people are so much more fastidious here than 

284 THE authob's daughter, 

they were at Branxholm, and if my own brother 
beUeves and spreads unkind reports against me 
it will be difficult for me to be admitted into a 
respectable family. Don't think that I regret 
what I have done," said Amy eagerly, seeing a 
cloud on Mrs. Hammond's face. " Only I don't 
like giving you trouble." 

"I wish, my dear, you could give me three 
times the trouble I am likely to have with you. 
I wish to atone for the way in which I steeled 
my heart to you when you were desolate in a far 
land. It ought to cost me something to obtain 
your forgiveness ;" and the woman whom Amy 
Staunton had thought so hard wound her arms 
round her neck, and two tears dropped from her 

*' Don't speak of it, Mrs. Hammond ; it was all 
wisely ordered I have no doubt. Those were very 
happy years at Branxholm," and Amy sighed, 
"and perhaps dear mamma would feel more 
grateful to you for the timely help you give me 
now than for any help then. You know, per- 
haps Miss Pennithome told you, that my poor 
mother was persuaded into a reluctant marriage 
when she was very young." 

" And when she liked another better than Mr. 
Derrick's father. I know the story." 

"Yes, that made it aU the worse. But she 


had no friend to stand by her, and help her as 
you and Miss Pennithome have helped me. I 
recollect so well her warning to me before she 
died that I should not marry any one unless I 
felt such love as she felt for papa, but without 
your help I am sure that I should have pven 
way. Oh ! Mrs. Hammond, don't regret what is 
past, for no service you could have ever done 
me is equal to what you have done now." 

" And there was no one to help your mamma 
in that way ; no, of course not," said Mrs. Ham- 
mond, thoughtfully. 

" You know she was very young — much 
younger than I am, and she had not seen so 
much, and had never tried to do anything for 
herself, and she wished to please everybody; 
and, indeed, that has been the rock I nearly 
split upon myself. It is impossible to please 
everybody, and, through trying after the unat- 
tainable, I have been only a cause of trouble and 
vexation to all my friends, and I fear I may be 
the same to you, Mrs. Hammond ; but if you 
find any sort of satisfaction in it I ought to be 

How the girl won upon Mrs. Hammond with 
her simplicity and her desire to please. Like 
her mother! no, she was ten times handsomer, 
and a great deal better than even the softened 

286 THE author's daughter. 

recollection of Laxly Eveline which Mrs. Ham- 
mond now entertained It was nothing now to 
the mother's heart that she would be a por- 
tionless bride; that there would be no advan- 
tage whatever to be derived from her wealthy 
or aristocratic relatives; that the world even 
spoke falsely or unkindly of the girL All these 
things only made her the more precious, and 
she felt a strange swelling of the heart that 
Providence had fought against her, and secured 
such a wife for Louis against her will. She had 
been graciously dealt with, far beyond her deserts. 

A letter arrived by post from Anthony simply 
casting Amy off, and desiring that he should hear 
no further from her. She acquainted Mrs. Ham- 
mond with its contents, and then tried to busy 
herself in one of those feminine avocations that 
only occupy the hands and let the mind wander 
as it will through the sweet and bitter of life. 

" I told you, mother," said Louis, " that her 
brother would never forgive her ; you recollect 
your promise." 

" I do, my boy, I do. She is none the less 
welcome to me on that account, indeed, I think 
she is all the dearer. I don't think you could 
find any one who is in more utter need of your 
love; but don't be too precipitate, Louis. Let 
her feel that this is a haven of rest." 


" Mother, trust me for that. It is enough hap- 
piness for me to feel her so near me, and so safe 
as she is with you." 

There was but short space for poor Louis to 
feel so happy and so hopeful, or for Amy to feel 
at rest, for on the following day Allan Lindsay 
found his way to Thornton House, and asked for 
Miss Staunton. 

James was a little puzzled about Miss Staun- 
ton's visitors, for he had received orders from his 
mistress to the effect that if Lord Darlington 
called again neither Miss Staunton nor herself 
would be at home to him, and he asked for the 
name of this caller. Allan had provided himself 
with a written card, alid sent it in, awaiting 
Miss Staunton's decision as to seeing him. 

Amy looked on the card with astonishment, 
she knew the name and handwriting very well, 
but she could not conceive how it had come. 

" Please, Miss, the young man — ^the young gen- 
tleman, I mean — ^is at the door, he wants to see 
you," said James. 

" Who is it. Amy ?" asked Clara Hammond. 

" It seems to be Allan Lindsay," said Amy ; 
"but how can he possibly be in England now, 
and none of us know anything about it? I 
must go to speak to him, Mrs. Hammond ; if 
you have no objection I will see him in the 

288 THE author's daughter. 

library," said Amy, recollecting how stiff and 
haughty her hostess used to be to the Lind- 

"Oh! yes, the library, certainly," said Mrs. 
Hammond, and she looked at her son, who looked 
veiy pale. 

"We are very old friends, you know." said 
Amy. " I daresay he could recommend me to a 
situation, for I taught his sisters, you know," 
and she went out of the room. 

"And Allan himself, too," said Louis, bury- 
ing his face in his hands. 

" Don't take this so much to heart, my boy," 
said his mother, fondly, in a low voice. " She 
never could prefer a clown like young Lindsay, 
to you, now that she has seen the world and 
knows what a gentleman is." 

" Allan Lindsay is no clown, mother, he never 
was, even before Amy taught him so much. He 
was the best rider and the best shot of his age 
in the colony ; he was the cleverest fellow with 
both hands and head in the district. Mr. Luf- 
ton says he might have made his fortune as an 
engineer, if he had been bred to it, but he chose 
to help his father, and to help him welL And 
then he was so kind to Amy when I could do 
nothing for her; and even you cannot say but 
that he is good-looking and good-tempered. 


But who was to think of his coming all this 
way for her, just when I had some chance ?" 

" My dear Louis, how can you give up hope at 
the mere name of Allan Lindsay/' said Mrs. 
Hammond. "Your fever has weakened you 
strangely, or you ought surely to know that a 
fine, good, dear fellow, Uke yourself, with better 
education, better connections, and better pros- 
pects than Lindsay, is far more likely to win 
Amy Staunton than he is. As for riding and 
shooting, you are his equal there, and in other 
respects I feel quite hurt at your comparing him 
to yourself," and she looked on her son with real 
maternal pride. 

" Perhaps so ; but think of all the kind things 
Allan has done for her in old times. It seems 
but yesterday that he made her a netting-needle 
in place of one I broke." 

" Pooh ! pooh I what is making a netting- 
needle 1 You are getting quite morbid, Louis, 
my boy. Come, let us play a game of chess, I 
have not played with you for a long time, and I 
think you have improved." 

It was a long game, but Amy did not re- 
turn to the pleasant morning-room where Louis 
awaited her with feverish impatience. He got 
up and paced restlessly round the room, then 
he threw up the game unfinished, and walked 

VOL. III. 19 

290 THE authob's dauohteb. 

out into the garden, and his mother followed him 
with an anxious, soUcitons glanca "Itisimpos- 
sib V she said to herself, over and over again, 
** that the girl can make such a choice. There is 
no comparison between the two young men." 



"Amy," said Allan, taking her hand when she 
entered the library into which James had shoi^im 
the visitor, " when Jessie got your letter I deter- 
mined to come here at once, because I have come 
all this way &om Australia just to get speech 
with you. I went first to your brother's, and 
there I found only your great friend Lord Dar- 
lington, and he would fain have put me off by 
saying that you were bound to him, as all the 
world gave out ; but I told him I would stay at 
Stanmore Hall till I saw you, and as it turned 
out, you were gone — ^more to his disappointment 
than to mine. Your brother and his wife came 
home just as your disisLppearance was found out, 
and I think I never saw greater anger on a man's 
face than there was on Mr. Derrick's at the sight 
of mine. He wanted his flunkeys to turn me off 
the grounds; but for all his anger I could see 


292 THE attthor's daughter. 

that your going away put him terribly out. I 
have been looking for you until Jessie got your 
letter, and now you see I am here/' 

*^ I am very glad to see you, Allan, but it is 
veiy wonderful." 

"Not so very wonderful when you recollect 
everything. Now, Amy, my dearest, it is likely 
enough that this letter (and he took it out of his 
pocket) is what you mean to stand by, because 
now that I have seen the splendour that you are 
accustomed to, you may think it presumptuous 
and selfish in me to ask you to share my humble 
home in Australia ; but I heard at the same time 
from Mrs. Lufton that you were being led on to 
marry that old man, your great cousin, the earl, 
and I felt it was not right that you should do 
that. If it had been all over, and you had been 
married to him, I would never have come near 
you, you should never have heard what it cost 
me to lose you. No, your cup was likely to be 
bitter enough without my pressing one drop out 
of the gall of mine into it. But now I know that 
it was out of terror of this marriage that you fled 
from your brother's house, and I am glad and 
proud that you had the courage to do it, and 
I thank Mrs. Hammond from my heart for giving 
you a refuge when you were a second time in 
extremity. I scarcely expected it of her, be- 


cause I heard she thought you were selling 

" When she knew me better she was very kind 
to me. Oh ! Allan, it is such a relief to be with 
her here after all I have had to go through." 

" Lord Darlington told me that this letter was 
written with his knowledge and concurrence, 
Amy. Did he speak the truth in that f* 

"Yes; I asked his advice, for I thought he 
was the best friend I had." 

" You asked advice," said Allan, thoughtfully. 
" You know. Amy, that I do not mean to bind 
you by what you said to me before you sailed 
from Australia. You never felt as I did, and 
you have been in such different scenes that even 
what you felt then may have changed. If you 
like this lad Hammond better than me — and 
I hear nothing but good of him — you have only 
to say so. Amy, and I will not trouble you more. 
But if you don't — ^if you think you could go back 
to the old life — ^if you could trust yourself to me 
now — ^Amy — ^Amy, my life — ^my life, is it indeed 
so ?" and he drew her in his arms and let her 
head fall on his shoulder. 

" I believe I love you, Allan, I Tctiow I do ; 
I think you are the truest gentleman I ever 
saw — ^the noblest man of God's making who has 
ever crossed my path. How shall I thank Qod 

294 THE authob's dauqhteb. 

enough for aUowing me to win such a heart as 
yours? Tell me again, tell me over and over 
again, that you love me as much as you did when 
we parted Oh! Allan, I have hungered for a 
love that would not sting me^ for that calm, 
resolute, truthful nature of yours to depend on. 
I don't think I knew what I was doing when 
I sent you that letter, but after I wrote it I was 
sure I was wrong, and when you did not answer 
it I thought you did not care. Give me the 
letter and let me destroy it." 

*' Don't, dear Amy, for it brought me to you." 

"You see I don't ask why you came. It 
seems so natural that now when I need you you 
should come to me." 

'' And you won't mind going back to Australia 
with me ?" 

" I shall be glad to go. I have no home and 
no Mends to give up for you. I (Hily stay here 
till I can get a situation as governess through 
Mrs. Hammond's good offices." 

" She will be saved that trouble," said 

" Yes, she will, but I don't think she would 
have felt it a trouble. She has been so very 
good to me. So you see, though Stanmore is so 
magnificent, I don't give it up for you, I am no 
fine lady now. Anthony has given me up on 


account of what he calls my disreputable flight. 
You don't think it disreputable, Allan ?" 

" I think it was the grandest thing you ever 
did/' said Allan, who took the accepted lover^s 
view of Amy's conduct. 

" Say that over again, Allan, for Lord Darling- 
ton sayB nobody could forgive me that but him." 

" Then you have seen Lord Darlington here ?" 

" Yesterday I saw him ; but you must not look 
so gloomy about it, for I am never to see him 
more. And though he did torment me so, there 
was a great deal in him that I Uked very much, 
and I want to be able to talk about him to you 
at all times, and tell you the clever things he 
said, and the pleasant things he did, and all 
about Lady Olivia, and that beautiful Darlington 
Castle, and the woods there. There was a great 
deal very pleasant about my English life, and 
you must not draw down your brows when 
I speak of it, as Anthony used, to do when I said 
anything about Branxholm and Australia." 

" How can I when you give them all up for 
me 1" said Allan. 

" I did not quite think you would do it, but 
that was one of Lord Darlington's ideas." 

" Perhaps he judged me by himself." 

"No, not exactly. He did not shrink from 
speaking about you, and he always used to know 

296 THE attthob's daughter. 

when I was thinking about you. He is very 

" Do you know, Amy, that I seem to be in a 
dream, I can scarcely believe my own eyes and 
cars. That I should be making love to you with 
your full permission, and having my love frankly 
returned by you, the admired of the greatest 
circles in England, is astonishing, but that I 
should be doing this under Mrs. Hammond's roof 
is the most surprising thing of alL" 

" It is certainly strange, but nevertheless quite 
true, Allan. And now tell me how you came to 
travel all this way to speak to me." 

Allan narrated the news he had heard from 
Mrs. Lufton with a few interrupting comments 
on Amy's part. 

" Mrs. Hammond thought I was selling myself 
— ^that is the reason why she disliked me, and 
Mr. Louis thought I was being sold and he pitied 
me ; I am sure I wish somebody had spoken to 
me then, for I know I was behaving absurdly 
imder the impression that the earl was my uncle, 
or grandfather, or something of the kind. But 
go on, Allan." 

Allan went on to tell of his mother's deter- 
mination, and his father's kindness, and aU the 
family rather urging him to go than otherwise, 
and then they went on to speak of the household 


at Branxholm^ and the improvemeiits made and 
contemplated, and the garden, and the horses; 
they then returned to the personal talk which is 
especially lovers' talk, and time ran on and the 
dressing-beU for dinner nmg before they had 
finished half of what they had to say. 

" Oh ! Allan, you must go, I suppose. What a 
time we have been ! What will Mrs. Hammond 

" I shall only go to Belton, and you must drop 
me a note to let me know how the good people 
here are affected towards me, for I must not 
come to visit you in this house if it is impleasant 
to them. But, be that as it may, it can make no 
difference to us in the end, and the end is not far 
off now. Good-by, my dearest, good-by." 

As Allan passed out of the library door through 
the hall he met Mrs. Hammond. She read her 
son's fate in his eyes and in Amy's flushed face 
and downcast look. It was very hard for her to 
be civil. 

"Will you not stay and dine with us, Mr. 
Lindsay V said she. 

" I am much obliged to you, Mrs. Hammond, 
but I hope you will excuse me for to-day. I'm 
just off a long journey, and it would be better 
that I took dinner at my inn at Belton." It 

298 THE axtthob's daughteb. 

was rather awkwardly done, but anything was 
less awkward than stayinfi:. 

Amy went U> dress for dinner in a sort of 
dream. Her life was marked out for her now 
and she rejoiced in it. If she had been long in 
discovering the state of her heart she was now 
very sure about it, and felt that Allan might 
safely trust his happiness in her care. 

It was a quiet dinner party at Thornton House. 
Mrs. Hammond and Louis were very silent. 

" Surely I saw some one like a bushman meet 
me as I returned from Thrush Grove just in time 
for dinner," said Madeline Hammond. 

" It is very likely you did," said her mother ; 
" it was Mr. Allan Lindsay." 

" Oh ! Indeed, I thought I had seen him be- 
fore, but it is many years ago. I suppose he 
came to see you. Amy ?" 

" We are very old friends, you know." 

" He would not stay to dinner although your 
mamma asked him," said Mr. Hammond, with 
some satisfaction in his tone. " Something about 
his dress, he said—" 

" Oh ! No one cares about a bushman's dress," 
said Clara; "Pd have liked to talk with him 
about dear Aralewin." 

" I have no doubt you will have several oppor- 
tunities of doing that," said Louis. 


" He seems to me to have grown," said Mrs. 
Hammond. '' Do you think him changed at all, 
Miss Staunton ?'' 

" Not at all changed." 

" And they are all well at Branxholm 1" 

" All weU when Allan left." 

" What years they have had there, and I must 
say the manag^ement has deserved them. What 
Jth their tais aad the green feed for the ewes 
and young lambs, and the stations working into 
each other, I hear that they are making money 
hand over hand. I dare say Allan Lindsay de- 
serves a holiday, but I cannot think how they 
spare him," said Mr. Hammond, praising his son's 
rival rather against his will. 

When dinner was over, and the family had 
gone into the drawing-room, Louis got Amy for a 
few minutes to himself in a quiet comer. 

" Am I to congratulate you and Allan ?" said 
he, in a low agitated voice. 

" I should be very happy indeed if you would 
congratulate us." 

" It is rather hard to do, but I will try to do it." 

" You know what dear friends we were in Aus- 
tralia, and he has never forgotten me nor I him. 
I am sure that I should have given in to Anthony 
and Lord Darlington but for the recollection of 

300 THE author's daughter. 

" It is very natural and right that you should 
like him ; but I thought, I hoped, when you came 
here that things would have been different." 

" It seems that I only give trouble and vexation 
wherever I go. Mrs. Hammond looks grieved, 
too. I had better go away somewhere." 

" Oh ! mamma is sorry for my sake — ^poor 
mamma — ^but I must bear up as well as I can, 
and not cloud your happiness any more than I 
can help. But I think it would be comfortable 
and respectable for you to be married from our 
house, as you have not got your brother's to go 
to. If I cannot bear it I can go away for a while. 
I dare say a little change will do me good." 

" Oh ! Mr. Louis, you are too good, far too good. 
I wish I could do anjrfching for you to show how 
much I feel your generosity." 

" I suppose, under the circumstances, the court- 
ship wiU not be long ?" said Louis, biting his Up 
and looking very, very pale. 

" I don't know ; we have said nothing about 
that. But you know that Mrs. Hammond never 
liked the Branxholm family. I really think that 
we should arrange for ourselves." 

'* I shall speak to mamma about it. I think 
she will agree with me that you should stay here, 
and that my father should give you away. No 
one will be able to say that we offered you a 


home for our own ends. Tell Allan that I don't 
hate him^ and that is a great deal for me to say/' 

The mother and son decided that this was the 
best arrangement, and Louis started early on the 
following morning for a long journey. He was 
going to cross over to Ireland and have a tour 
through the most picturesque part of it ; while 
Allan and Amy, relieved of his presence, conducted 
the rest of their courtship imder Mrs. Hammond's 
roof, and with her approval Her repentance 
cost Mrs. Hammond something, but she paid the 
price heroically. 

Mrs. Hammond did not see anything less to 
regret in her son's disappointment during the 
time that Amy was an inmate at Thornton House. 
There was nothing of the egotism and self-absorp- 
tion which Lucy Evans had shown during her 
engagement in Allan Lindsay's betrothed bride. 
She showed a delicate perception of Mrs. Ham- 
mond's feelings, and made no parade of the hap- 
piness she felt in Allan's devotion; but yet on 
one occasion she spoke to her generous hostess of 
the momentous step she was about to take with 
a simplicity and confidence, and, at the same time, 
with a religious earnestness, which made the 
mother feel what a daughter she might have 
found in her. Nor could she have the satisfaction 
of feeling that Amy was throwing herself away. 

802 THE author's daughteb. 

Mra. Hammond was now capable of seeing that 
though Allan's manners were not pc^hed, he was 
a gentleman in mind and feeling, and that there 
was nothing small or mean about him. 

When the marriage was over, and Allan and 
Amy had left Thornton House to go to see the 
world together, Louis returned looking jaded and 
ilL His mother's watchful tenderness was on the 

" It was not to be, Louis ; it was never to be. 
I reproach myBelf the less for the coldness I 
showed and the concealment I used, for nothing 
that I could have done would have changed the 
result, and in your disappointment I fully share." 

"No; it was not to be," said Louis. "Of course, 
if Amy had been brought up in our house as she 
was at Branxholm, and had learned to come to me 
in all her troubles as she went to Allan, things 
would have been different. How she would have 
turned to me when she was persecuted by Lord 
Darlington and her brother !" 

" And that was my fault," said Mrs. Hammond. 
" She might have been taken to Aralewin, and 
ought to have been taken there when her father 
died. You cannot reproach me more for my 
conduct than I reproach myself. But I have 
talked it over with your father, and explained 
some things that justified me at the time; and I 


can only hope that you will put the kindest con- 
struction on the mistake I made. 1 would not 
have her in the house because I felt that I dis- 
liked and suspected her ; and I now am punished 
by seeing her carried away when I loved her, and 
would have trusted her with my dear boy's happi- 
ness." Mrs. Hammond spoke so sadly that Louis 
was sorry he had said so much. 

** I shall never speak of it again, mother, and I 
suppose in time I shall get over it. What do you 
think is the proper time to recover such a dis- 
appointment ?" 

" I have had experience, Louis, and I can only 
say that I am glad now that I was disappointed. 
It should not take you very long, because you 
have nothing to reproach yourself with or to feel 
mortified about. But I think the less you speak 
of it, even to me, the better." 

Allan and Amy took their mamage jaunt 
through Scotland, and looked in upon old humble 
friends of Hugh Lindsay's whom they had been 
desired to see. The newly-married pair enjoyed 
their tour all the more because of the degree of 
constraint which necessarily pressed upon them 
at Thornton House, in spite of Mrs. Hammond's 
great forbearance and the good-nature of all the 
rest of the family. Amy rejoiced in the absolute 
liberty of speech and thought which she felt with 

304 THE authob's dauqhteh. 

Allan — she certainly felt that she would never be 
misunderstood or giye any offence to him. The 
old brother-and-sister attachment which she had 
thought far too slight and common-place a thing 
to dignify with the name of love — ^that wonderful 
unknown irresistible passion which could never 
be mistaken for anything else — she found was an 
excellent foundation for building love upon. How 
many pleasant memories were associated with 
Allan ; how many old scenes did they recall as 
they looked upon new ones. And the freshness 
and origmaJity of his impressions and opinions 
were delightful to the young girl, who had had 
no better companions than her dull brother and 
the worn-out man of the world, Lord Darlington, 
for so long a time. Her spirit regained its elss- 
ticity ; she seemed to breathe a new and invigor- 
ating atmosphere as she rode or walked by her 
husband's side, and felt that he admired what she 
admired, and loved what she loved. She had not 
believed that he could be so poetical, or so enthu- 
siastic as he showed himself now to be ; but such 
a nature as his is slow in developing, and perhaps 
the loveliest features in it took their rise in the 
deep love which Amy had awakened in the long 
years of absence and lessening hope which had now 
been crowned with happiness almost despaired of, 
and in the sunshine of the perfect confidence which 


subsisted between them. They paid a very quiet 
visit at Millmount ; but quiet as it was Mr. and 
Mrs. Derrick were aware of it, and greatly an- 
noyed about it; but they could not order the 
Copelands off the farm till the year was out. 
Amy was surprised to find that her sister Edith 
and Miss Derrick were at Stanmore on a visit at 
the HaU when she was staying at the farmhouse. 
The quarrel with Amy had led to a reconciliation 
between Anthony and his other relatives; and 
although Edith was rather provoking in the way 
of reminding her brother that she had always 
said he was polishing a wife for a Ooth of a Lind- 
say in the Australian bush, there was otherwise 
sucli unanimity of opinion respecting Amy Staun- 
ton amongst them that the four got on much 
better than could be expected. 

It was disadvantageous to all of them to keep 
up the femily quarrel, and Lucy had sense enough 
to perceive that the Derrick family ought to be 
propitiated. Lord Darlington and Lady Gower 
blamed their management for the failure of the 
great maxriage for Amy, and were disposed to 
be very cool ; and the Beresfords had used rather 
strong language with regard to the pressure that 
had been put upon Amy, which, being unsuccess- 
ful, could not altogether escape censure. On the 
other hand. Miss Derrick and her niece wished 

VOL. III. 20 

306 THE authoe's daughter. 

for a renewal of friendly relations with Stanmore; 
and even although Anthony had made a fool of 
himself by his marriage, there were many advan- 
tages to be derived from him still. Lucy im- 
proved upon their acquaintance, and although 
there were a few jealousies and heartburnings 
between the ladies, they managed to exchange 
visits, and to go out together witliout coming to 
any quarrel 

In order to avoid Mr. and Mrs. Allan Lindsay, 
the Derricks took refuge in London, and Lucy 
had the supreme enjoyment of going through a 
very gay season, and of acquitting herself to An- 
thony's perfect satisfaction. Amy and her hus- 
band went also to town shortly after. She de- 
lighted in seeing as much as she could in his 
company, and thus having a common recollection 
of English life. They visited Mr. Hubbard, and 
were introduced by him to a number of authors, 
artists, and actors, some of them famous and suc- 
cessful, others struggling hard for bread and 
cheese. Some of their brightest days were spent 
in that untidy studio, where Allan was always 
willing to stand for anything that the artist 
thought he would suit, at the same time confess- 
ing that the hardest work in the harvest field or 
at the plough was easy compared to sitting or 
standing stilL 


Then they often went to the theatres, and 
there Amy sometimes saw old friends in con- 
spicuous places ; but no one recognised her— she 
had gone down in the world. Lady Gower's eye- 
glass once scanned her over, but ehe did not ac- 
knowledge any acquaintance. Anthony and his 
wife once caught a sight of her, and they studi- 
ously averted their eyes till the close of the per- 
formance. Lord Darlington was said to be in 
Paris, so they did not meet with him till one 
night when to Amy's astonishment she saw him 
sitting very near her in the stalls at Covent Gar- 
den, where she had taken Allan for one sight of 
the Italian Opera. He looked ill, and had a 
somewhat wild and confused expression and man- 
ner ; but whether he had been drinking harder 
than usual, or was reaUy ill. Amy could not tell. 
He saw her, and his lips moved as if to speak ; 
but she could not heax the words, and she crept 
closer to her husband with a sense of safety and 
protection in her heart. At the end of the per- 
formances, which had been very much marred to 
her by the appearance of her old frie^d, as they 
were going out Lord Darlington came close to her, 
and the strange look appeared more strange and 
terrible than before, "Amy," said he, and he 
took her hand. His hand was as cold as lead. 

" You are not well, my lord. Let us get him 



out of this crowd, Allan, I don't think he is able 
to make his way. Let us get him into the fresh 

Allan's strong arms were making a pathway 
for the earl, and he was hdping him out, when 
suddenly he fell down in a fit. 

''Clear the way,** said Allan, lifting the insen- 
sible body in his arms ; " let me get him into the 
fresh air. Amy, keep close behind me ; don't 
lose nerve in the crowd." 

It is no easy matter to get space to work in, 
when public curiosity is excited in a crowd ; but 
Allan pressed on, and at last got out to the 
entrance. " Now, Amy, what directions ?" said he. 

" Call for the Earl of Darlington's carriage and 

attendants, and send for Dr. James, of street, 

at once, and loosen his cravat, and let me chafe 
his hands ; but I wish we had a doctor 


A young suigeon made his way through the 
crowd, and pronounced the words ** Paralysis ; a 
very likely subject." 

" Can he be taken home ?' said Amy. 

" In a little while. You have done well to 
convey him through the crowd as you have 
done. We will take him home when he shows 
some sign of consciousness." 

He applied the lancet, and procured ice to lay 


on tbe head, and in a few minutes a groan told of 
returning life. 

" Now gently into the carriage ; we can take 
him home.'' And Allan and Amy drove to Dar- 
lington House with its master. 

The earl's own>jnedical adviser was soon on 
the spot. ''At the opera T said he; "what 
madness took him there 1 He came from Paris 
yesterday in very poor health, and I told him 
that nothing but quiet and regular living could 
save him. But it was the restlessness of the 
coming disease that was in his veins, I suppose." 

" Do you think he will die V said Amy. She 
stood at the earl's head, keeping fresh ice-cloths 
on it. 

" No,. I think not. This is only a first attack, 
but he will never recover this, I am sure. There 
is an end of his gay life of fashion now, I think. 
I have often warned him, and I think he was at 
one time pretty strongly impressed with the 
necessity of care ; but these three months at 
Paris have played the mischief with him alto- 
gether. We should have his relatives here, but^ 
poor man, he is very solitary. His daughter is so 

helpless, as you know, Mrs. . I forget your 

present name, although I saw you here as Miss 

" Lindsay," said Amy. 

810 THE author's daughter. 

" But there's Miss Pennithome ; she is rather 
nervous and fussy, but she might do some good, 
and perhaps you will be good enough to stay till 
she can come. I am sure there is no one so 
likely to recall him to consciousness and to me- 
mory. I cannot help thinking that he recognises 
you a little." 

" Allan, may I stay, and you with me ? I wish 
to do all I can do for him, if you do not object." 

" Certainly, I do not object. Amy," said Allan. 

" It is a painful duty ; but on the care taken 
now a great deal may depend. I should like to 
get as much of him out of this as I can ; but I 
fear there will be a sad change. I think you may 
be very glad that you had your own way, and 
was not persuaded or threatened into his," said 
Dr. James, who was fully cognizant of the earl's 
persevering suit, and of his bitter disappointment 
when Amy married Allan Lindsay. 

It was a long and weary watching before con- 
sciousness and recollection partially returned; 
and though there were several physicians in the 
room the only persons he seemed to see were 
Amy and her husband. " My dear little girl " 
were the first words that he uttered that could 
be understood at all. He followed her slowly 
and painfully with his duUed eyes ; he tried to 
hear if she spoke, but his faculties were be- 


numbed, and the gay and brilliant Lord Darling- 
ton was no more, although a feeble invalid still 
lives that goes by his name and wears his 

It was like watching by a death-bed without 
its sublime hopes to sit as Amy did, day after 
day; to see the intelligence departed from tlie 
shrewd eye, the readiness from the fluent tongue, 
and all the promptitude and diplomacy and tact 
which had so distinguished her poor friend in 
society, exchanged for the slow movements and 
the inaccurate apprehension of one whose brain 
had received a blow, and who could never more 
think out a subject logically, or put two and two 

Although Miss Pennithome and Olivia has- 
tened to the sick room with all possible speed 
(Olivia, indeed, could not have believed she was 
capable of such exertion as she made), Dr. James 
would not let Amy go, because he hoped more 
from her nursing and presence than from any- 
thing else. 

Anthony Derrick heard the news from popular 
rumour ; and although a little shocked, he com- 
forted himself with the idea that the earl was 
going to die, and what a position Amy had lost 
for herself by her obstinacy. 

In some vague time of half recollection the 

312 THE author's DAXTOHTER. 

earl asked for Mr. Derrick; and the doctor, 
thinking that every whim of the patient ought 
to be gratified, sent an urpnt message for him 
to come speedily. He did not hesitate a mo* 
ment, but only thought it right and proper that 
the head of the house should wish to see him at 
such a moment. 

But although Anthony had heard that Amy 
and her husband had been with the earl at the 
time of his seizure, he had no idea that they had 
remained with him, and he felt rather embar- 
rassed at the rencontre. 

" You here still ?" said he. " You are the last 
person I should have thought of keeping by this 
poor creature." 

" This was the place you destined for me, An- 
thony," said Amy, who was bathing the head of 
her old lover ; " and I am the only person whom 
he recognizes rightly, so the doctor asked me to 
stay, and Allan allows it." 

"I suppose he is dying fast," said Anthony, 

" Oh, no, he is a great deal better now ; he may 
live for many years; the body is wonderfully 
strong yet ; it is only the head that is affected." 

"Yes, it is the head," said the earl; "don't 
leave off, Amy. Don't leave off bathing my — 
my — my — ^to speak to that idiot there." In 

coKCLUSioir. 313 

spite of the slow aiid thickened articulation there 
was no mistaking the imperiousness of the com- 

" We must get a nurse, but he cannot bear the 
sight of one, or of Miss Pennithome either. We 
have tried it over and over again, but he cannot 
bear me out of his sight He suffers dreadfully, 
I know, to think he cannot make me understand 
what he meana He does not seem to recollect 


"Not a bit ; and if I had not been told I could 
scarcely have recognised him either. . How ter- 
ribly changed he is.** 

'' The earl does not know you, then,'' said Dr. 
James, who came in to see the effect of this 
visitor, and who drew Mr. Derrick aside to speak 
to him. 

" No, not at alL I suppose he took my sister's 
conduct very much to heart, doctor, and that 
brought on the illness," said Anthony. 

" Probably it hastened it, Mr. Derrick. I have 
little doubt that if Lord Darlington had married, 
and settled down quietly, and taken very good 
care of himself, this might have been staved off 
for a little while. But an old man marrying a 
young wife rarely will take as much care as is 
needed. It is an unnatural alliance, and both 
parties suffer from it. I am very certain that 

314 THE author's daughter. 

he would have wished to display what he had 
won, and excitement of all kinds was trying to 
him. Upon the whole, Mr. Derrick, you ought 
to be very glad that Miss Staunton chose a 
husband for herself," continued the physician, 
looking at the individual spoken of with very 
undisguised admiration. " You must have known 
what a hard life Lord Darlington has led. The 
year he was taken so much up with his present 
nurse was certainly beneficial to him, but he 
broke out pretty strong in Paris." 

Anthony was touched as he had never been 
before by the pitiful spectacle, and he felt some- 
thing like remorse for the fate which he had 
intended for his young sister — ^this chaining of 
the living to the dead. It vexed him to see the 
cares which she bestowed, and which the old 
man exacted, and when he found that on being 
recognised slightly, it was only to be sent away 
because he was a fool and a blunderer, and had 
always come between him and Amy, he turned 
to take leave : — 

" I assure you. Amy, I had no idea of any- 
thing like this. Shake hands, and forget some 
things that are past ; and 111 try to forget some 
things that are present. I'll even shake hands 
with your husband, if you wish it." 

Allan offered his hand frankly. He was glad 


that there was some grace in Anthony Der- 

" And Amy, why did you leave all your things 
behind? — all your jewels, and trinkets, and 
clothes ? K I send them to you, will you take 
them back ?" 

" K you really wish to give me them again ; 
but I thought I might leave them for Lucy." 

" Lucy I No, I can get new things for Lucy. 
They are lumber in my house, and vexatious 
lumber too. You'll take them back then ?" 

" But there is something that I would rather 
ask than these gifts, which are perhaps not very 
fit for my position in life now. You are turning 
the Copelands away from Millmoimt on account 
of me and Allan." 

" Now don't ask that. Amy. I'd do anything 
rather than that. I'll make money compensa- 
tion, for I daresay I was rather hard as I was 
angry at the time ; but I cannot have the Cope- 
lands at my elbow at Stanmore. Tell me what 
is fair to give them, but I won't have them at 
Millmount after the crops are off the ground; 
and what is more, another man has got the lease 
of the farm. But why should not they realise 
all they have got, and go to your paradise of 
Australia ? That would suit me and all of you. 
Could not you go all together ?" 

316 THE authob's daughter. 

"We must go very soon, for Allan's fkther 
wants him at home, and our passage is taken out 
for next month." 

" I shall see you before you go, Amy. Good- 
bye for the present." 

Amy drew a long breath when he had gone. 
" Thank God, Allan, that Anthony begins to see 
he was wrong, even though he does not see that 
I was right. But then poor Anthony does not 
know you," and she looked proudly on her hus- 

By degrees Lord Darlington grew accustomed 
to Miss Pennithome, whom Amy associated with 
her cares. He recovered his speech in a great 
measure, and his intellect partially. He could 
scarcely be made to understand that his son Lord 
Boulton died during the time he was ill, and he 
had great objections to seeing the distant relative 
who was now the heir to his title and property. 

Amy rejoiced in the fetct that Miss Pennithome 
and Olivia were always to be with him, and that 
the earl took some notice of his daughter. 
Olivia felt her own afflictions were light com- 
pared to those of her father, .and found that in 
some things she could be of a little service to 
him. He grew fond of hearing her talk and 
read, although he forgot all he heard immediately ; 
and she was glad that even in her horizontal 


position she could give her poor father a transient 

When Mr. and Mrs. Allan Lindsay left England 
for Australia, Lady Olivia and Miss Pennithome 
promised to write often, but Amy did not expect 
ever to hear from the earl again. However, it was 
his left side that had received the stroke, and his 
right arm was still fit for use, and about two 
months after Amy had sailed, when Miss Penni- 
thome was writing. Lord Darlington insisted on 
writing to his dear little girl himself What a 
contrast were the letters which he sent to Aus- 
tralia, full of unmeaning phrases and idle repeti- 
tions, to those brilliant notes which Amy had 
been so angry at herself for being pleased to 
receive. There seemed to be no spitejor anger at 
her for her rejection of him left in what remained 
of Lord Darlington's mind; he never alluded 
either by word of mouth or in his letters to 
Amy's husband, and always addressed to Miss 
Staunton. But he seemed to have an idea that 
she would be sent for from Australia, as she had 
been once before ; and that then she would come 
to Darlington Castle as its mistress, and take 
possession of the picture Mr. Hubbard had 
painted which be always called Amy's picture. 
Miss Pennithome managed, however, to get Mr. 
Hubbard to copy " Tlie Author's Daughter " for 

818 THE author's dauqhtee. 

Darlington Castle, and gave Amy the original 
painting to take with her to Australia. 

It would have been a relief to Anthony 
Derrick's mind if the earl had died at once ; but 
although several years have passed since. Lord 
Darlington continues in the same state, his 
general health being good, although his speech 
and memory and powers of moving about are so 
seriously impaired. Now that MiSs Pennithome 
is no longer afraid of him, she manages the earl 
exceedingly well, and she and Lady Olivia are 
constantly with him. He spends a few weeks in 
the year at Thrush Grove, and has been admitted 
into Mrs. Hammond's house under his altered 
circumstances. The Hammonds, as a family, are 
still resident at Thornton House ; but Clara has 
married, and gone to India ; and Louis went out 
to manage matters at Aralewin for his father 
about a year after Amy Staunton's marriage. 
Anthony bade his sister good-bye in a tolerably 
friendly manner, but Lucy did not see her. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hammond speculated upon the 
probabilities of Anthony giving his sister a suit- 
able dowry when they heard of the partial recon- 
ciliation; but Lucy's influence was exerted in 
the contrary direction, as she considered that 
anything given to Amy was lost to her. 
Anthony, however, sent to his sister every 


article of personal property that had been left 
at Stanmore, and felt happier that she had 
accepted it. So that Hugh Lindsay's scheme 
that Amy should go to England to ingratiate 
herself with her brother and then bring Allan a 
handsome fortune was not so successful as the 
shrewd old Scotchman's schemes usually were; for 
all that Amy brought were clothes and jewels 
far too fine for Branxholm, but yet no one would 
have been more indignant* at the idea of selling 
them than her father-in-law. They showed what 
Mrs. Allan had been ; it was for Allan himself, by 
his own efforts, to show what Mrs. Allan might he. 
The Copelands did not think the squire's 
advice very palatable at first, but a little per- 
suasion from George and Jessie and from Allan 
and Amy made them yield, and make up their 
minds to go to Australia. The old people are 
rather of opinion that such times as Hugh 
Lindsay had had are over in the colony, and 
they are not able to rough it as the young and 
vigorous Scottish emigrants had done so many 
years ago. But George is employing the family 
capital wisely, so that there is no doubt that 
they can make a comfortable living of it if they 
never make a fortune; and his father and mother 
confess that they might have come to worse 
places than South Australia. 

320 THE AUTHOB'S daughter. 

Mrs. Evans has not had another marriage in 
her family since the great affiiir with Mr. Der- 
rick. . She cannot bear to blame Lucy, but yet 
she feels she has not been so useful to her sisters 
as she ought to have been. Anthony writes to 
his sister on great occasions — such as the birth of 
a son or a daughter — ^and receives her congratu- 
lations civilly; so that Hugh Lindsay feuicies 
that something may be coming to Amy yet from 
that brother whom everybody calls so rich. 

It was with some feelings of honest triumph 
that Allan Lindsay brought back his dear little 
wife to Bnuixholm. and even Mm Lindsay con- 
fessed that she was the very same Amy that had 
gone away, and that she was wonderfully little 
spoiled considering. As for the girls, their ad- 
miration of her and aU her belongings were 

Mrs. Lufton always took great credit with 
Allan for the part she had played, for, as she 
said, nothing but the thorough fright she had 
given him about Lord Darlington could have 
made him go to England, and nothing less than 
Allan's appearance in person could have pre- 
vented Amy from marrying Louis Hammond 
after her flight to Thornton House. Amy's 
declaration that a letter from Allan would 
have had the same effect as his visit Mrs. 


Jlfufton never believed in, for she bad a greater 
contempt for the powers of the pen than even 
Mrs. hmd^y had. Her p^n powei:? in that way 
were littjle cultivated, for though she had taiked 
of Claxfb Hamjipciond's delightful letor «to every 
jCjae wbo would listen to bei> .she ,did not thii^l^ 
of answering it till Amy brought her an indig- 
naijit message for her remjl^sness from the young 
la<^y, and then she half fiUed hex .short letter 
with apologies for not .writing ibefoxe ; and made 
next to nothing of the splendid materials she had 
for a good jlett^r in the welcome ^of Amy to 

" Well I" said J4r. Lii^d^ay to his ^ughter-in- 
law^ishortly after her arrival, '' little did I think 
when I herded for Mt. Elliott, in Teviotdale — ^ye 
saw the very ,plp<5e, Ai^y— rthat I should come to 
such prosperity as the Almighty has blessed 
me with in this distant land, or that a son of 
mine should pick up a real lady firom an Earl's 
very nose. But Amy, my woman, all things are 
well ordered, and though you are no Countess 
I am sure you have no cause to repine; for 
though I say it that should not say it, Allan is 
worth his weight in gold ; and Tm no sure that 
there's many of your grand houses that will beat 
Branxholm now, take it overhead ; and in time 

VOL. III. 21 

322 THE author's daughter. 

as ye need it yell have the cottage, aa ye call it, 
no that &x behind Bnuoxhobn." 

It was one of the old man's cherished belie& 
that BnuQxholm was the best house in the colony, 
and that there were few better in Britain. The 
Queen's Palace might be finer and the Duke of 
Buccleugh's residence at Bowhill; but not many 
more. He never would take in the accounts he 
heard from Allan of the magnificence of the 
houses Amy had been in, or of which she might 
have been the mistress. 

''It's a gude house," said Mrs. Lindsay, who 
only partially acquiesced in her husband's over- 
weening opinion of Branxholm. " It's a far 
better house than Aralewin, that poor Mr. Louis 
is so keen to come back to. It is the queerest 
thing I ever heard tell of that my son Allan 
should have married his wife &ae Mrs. Hsun- 
mond's house in England, when they werena 
thocht fit to enter her house in Australia. But 
I maun keep up nae grudges against that poor 
woman, for I'm thinking that it gied her a sair 
heart at the end to part wi' Hugh Lindsay's 
guest to Hugh Lindsay's son." 

the end.