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A new series of FICTION FOR GIRLS containing the best books 
of the most popul ar writers of girls' books, of the same interesting, high 
class as the Alger Books for Boys, of which we sold a million and a half 
copies in 1909. 

The following books are ready to deliver : 

A Girl from America • . . 
A Sweet Girl Graduate . . . 
A World of Girls . . . . 

Daddy's Girl ...... 

Polly— A New»Fashioned Girl 
Sue —A Little Heroine . . . 

By Meade 
" Meade 
" Meade 
" Meade 
" Meade 
" Meade 

The Princess of the Revels 
The School Queens . • 
Wild Kitty. 

Faith Gartney's Girlhood 
Grimm's Tales . . . 
Fairy Tales and Legends 

By Meade 
" Meade 
** Meade 
" Whitney 
" Grhnm 
" Perrault 

These will be followed by other titles until the series contains sixty 
volumes of the best literature for girls. 

Famous Fiction Library 


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greatest novelists, in distin ctively good-looking cloth-bound volumes, 
with attractive new features. 

The following books are ready to deliver : 

Ten Nights in a Bar Rodui 

Golden Gates 

Two Years Before the Mast 
Cast Up by the Tide . . 
Great Expectations, Vol. 1 
Great Expectations, Vol. 2 
Beulah .... 


The Baronet's Bride 
Who Wins . . . 
Staunch as a Woman 

By Arthur 
" Clay 
" Dana 
" Delmar 
" Dickens 
" Dickens 
" Evans 
" Evans 
" Fleming 
" Fleming 
" Garvice 

Led by Love . By Garvice 

Aikenside , 

Dora Deane . . . . 

Lena Rivers . . . , 

Soldiers Three . . , 
The Light That Failed 

The Rifle Rangers . 

Ishmael, Vol. 1 . . 

Ishmael, Vol. 2 . . 

Self-Raised, Vol. 1 . 

Self-Raised, Vol. 2 . 


South won h 
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Other books of the same high class will follow these until the Library 
contains one hundred titles. 

The size of Oar Girls Books series and the Famous Fiction series is 
five by seven and a quarter inches ; they are printed from new plates, 
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Sold by Dealers Everywhere, Ask for the N. Y. Book Co.'s Our 
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Publishers, 1 47 Fourth Avenue 





Author of " Daddy's Girl," " A World of Girls,' 
"A Madcap," "A Girl in Ten Thousand," 
" Polly, a New-Fashioned Girl," etc. 



L. T. Meade (Mrs. Elizabeth Thomasina Smith), 
English novelist, was born at Bandon, County Cork, 
Ireland, 1854, the daughter of Rev. R. T. Meade, 
Rector of Novohal, County Cork, and married Toul- 
min Smith in 1879. She wrote her first book, Lettie's 
Last Home, at the age of seventeen and since then has 
been an unusually prolific writer, her stories attain- 
ing wide popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. 

She worked in the British Museum, living in Bish- 
opsgate Without, making special studies of East 
London life which she incorporated in her stories. 
She edited Atlanta for six years. Her pictures of 
girls, especially in the influence they exert on their 
elders, are drawn with intuitive fidelity; pathos, 
love, and humor, as in Daddy's Girl, flowing easily 
from her pen. She has traveled extensively, being 
devoted to motoring and other outdoor sports. 

Among more than fifty novels she has written, deal- 
ing largely with questions of home life, are: David's 
Little Lad; Great St. Benedict's; A Knight of To-day 
(1877) ; Miss Toosey's Mission; Bel-Marjory (1878) ; 
Laddie; Outcast Bobbin, or, Your Brother and Mine; A 
Cry from the Great City; White Lillie and Other Tales; 
Scamp and I; The Floating Light of Ringfinnan; Dot 
and Her Treasures; The Children's Kingdom: the Story 
of Great Endeavor; The Water Gipsies; A Dweller in 
Tents; Andrew Harvey's Wife; Mou-setse: A Negro 
Hero (1880); Mother Herring's Chickens (1881); A 
London Baby : the Story of King Roy (1883) ; Hermie's 
Rose-Buds and Other Stories; How it all Came Round; 
Two Sisters ( 1884) ; Autocrat of the Nursery ; Tip Cat ; 
Scarlet Anemones ; The Band of Three; A Little Silver 
Trumpet; Our Little Ann; The Angel of Love ( 1885) ; A 
World of Girls (1886) ; Beforehand; Daddy's Boy; The 
O'Donnells of Inchfawn; The Palace Beautiful; Sweet 
Nancy (1887); Deb and the Duchess (1888) ; Nobody's 
Neighbors; Pen (1888) ; A Girl from America (1907). 




Patty and Curly Falkland had never gone to school. They 
were the only daughters of a rich City merchant. Their 
mother had died when they were quite little children. From 
the time of her death until the present hour, when the girls 
were, one of them fourteen and the other fifteen years of 
age, they had been brought up and, with the aid of masters, 
instructed by their excellent governess and friend, Miss 

Mr. Falkland went to town every day, returning again late 
in the evening. The Falklands' house was between three 
and four miles from the railway station; Mr. Falkland, when 
the girls were very young, rode the distance on the quick- 
est horse that money could buy, but of late years he had 
used a motor-car for the same purpose. 

Mr. Falkland was essentially a man of the world— capable, 
high-principled, kind, but very much occupied with his own 
special business, and, in consequence, not able to give much 
time to his two little daughters, who adored him neverthe- 
less, made him a sort of king in their own hearts, and thought 
all he did and said the best in the world. 

Patty was a pretty girl, with bright brown eyes, a clear and 
yet rosy complexion, hair of a curly, fuzzy nature to match 
her eyes, and a neat little figure. Curly, whose real name 
was Charlotte, was called Curly from the fact that she had 
wept very piteously as a little child because of her straight 
locks. She had exclaimed with sudden passion that if she 
was not curly-headed like Patty, she would at least be called 
Curly. Her angry remark had been received with shouts of 
laughter, and the nickname had clung to her ever since. 

She was a nice child, in her way, with more thought in 
her eyes and more character in her nature than her very 
pretty sister. 

When this story opens it happened to be Midsummer Day, 
the 24th of June; and June was June in all its glory on this 
occasion. There was still the soft, delicious freshness of 
spring in the air, and the birds were still in full song, and 
some of the most beautiful of the flowering trees had not 
quite shed all their blossoms. 

Mr. Falkland's place was called Tamaresk. This somewhat 


quaint title had been given to it by the late owner. The 
house was old and the grounds well matured. There were 
acres and acres of land; and here the little Falklands lived 
in close contact with the great world of London, and yet in 
the very depth and heart of the country. 

It was their father's wish that they should live thus in 
this innocent and healthy fashion until they grew up. He 
provided them with masters for every accomplishment that 
good-natured Miss Dawson did not possess, and gave the gov- 
erness abundant money for their clothes. Each girl had her 
own horse to ride, and they had, besides, a beautiful little 
low carriage which was drawn by a pair of Shetland ponies, 
in which they went about the country. 

They were particularly happy to-day, for they were ex- 
pecting visitors. 

" I wonder what she will be like," said Curly, turning and 
looking at her sister as she spoke. 

" Oh, we'll soon know. Where is the good of thinking 
about it beforehand? " was Patty's answer. 

" But I do so love to dream about things — to make an im- 
aginary person in my own mind, and then afterwards to 
find out if the real person is the least like," was Curly's an- 
swer. " Now this Selma — hasn't she a quaint name? — must 
be totally different from other girls." 

" Selma Dudley," was Patty's reply, " and her uncle, Mr. 
Seymour — it is so queer. This morning, at breakfast, we 
didn't know such people existed; then a telegram arrived 
from father to say that he was bringing them both to Tam- 
aresk to lunch. Oh, there's dear old Dawson! I'll just fly 
to her and ask her to give me the telegram to read over 

Patty ran across the garden. Miss Dawson, in a soft gray 
dress, with gray hair to match, a faded complexion, and eyes 
a very little darker than her hair, paused as the bright, pretty 
girl approached her side. 

" I was thinking," she said, " that cutlets and mayonnaise 
of lobster and fried potatoes, with a savory, and " 

" Oh, don't, dear Dawson! " said Patty. u What do we care 
about lunch? We are so pleased; we so seldom have visitors 
here. I wonder what these people can be like. And father 
coming back also in the middle of the day — it's enough to 
excite us, isn't it, dear Miss Dawson? " 

" You are looking very neat, Patty," said Miss Dawson. 
" Your white frock is quite correct, and I can always trust 
Charlotte to put on the right things. Now, my dear, you will 
please restrain your feelings. I own that a new girl, whom 
you have never seen before, coming to visit here is some- 
what of an event; but well-brought-up children take these 
occurrences with composure. Show your excellent breeding 
on this occasion, Patty, and tell Charlotte from me that I 
expect the same of her." 

"Let me see the telegram, please," was Patty's reply; and 


as Miss Dawson, notwithstanding her words, was a wee bit 
excited herself, and as telegrams did not come to her every 
day and she had this particular one carefully stowed away 
in her pocket, she gave it, without any more ado, to Patty, 
who ran back with it to her sister. 

• "Here," she said. 41 Here it is. I will read it to you: 
4 Expect me to lunch with Mr. Seymour and his niece, Selma 
Dudley, by the twelve fifty train. Send motor to station.' " 

44 The niece may be grown up, after all," said Curly, a note 
of disappointment in her voice. 

" I don't think she is," answered Patty. " I feel, somehow, 
that she is young — about our age. It would be nice to have 
a girl friend of our own age." 

" Perhaps so," said Curly. " Not that I am dissatisfied," 
she continued. " I think dear old Dawson is so wise. She 
says that two only sisters can have such a very close and 
perfect friendship, and that while we are so busy with our 
lessons it is really best for us not to know outsiders. That 
is what she says, and I'm sure she is right." 

44 Well, I don't think so," said Patty. " I love you with all 
my heart and soul, but I do want to know other people." 

44 We shall know plenty of people when we go out into the 
world," said Curly. 

Patty did not answer. She was gazing expectantly in the 
direction of the avenue. 

44 1 hear the motor," she said. 44 They're coming! Oh, 
Curly, aren't you trembling just a very little bit? " 

44 Nonsense!" said Curly. 44 But we can go round to the 
front entrance to meet them. Father will wish that, as he 
sent a telegram to announce their arrival." 

The girls went hand-in-hand across the beautiful lawns 
of Tamaresk until they found themselves close to the main 
entrance of the old house. A lady and gentleman had stepped 
out of the automobile, and Mr. Falkland himself was leading 
them in the direction of the girls. 

44 Here they are," said Mr. Falkland in his pleasant, gen- 
tlemanly voice. — 44 Come here, my dears. — Miss Dudley, may 
I introduce you to my daughters, Patty and Curly? Curly's 
real name, I may say, is Charlotte. — Mr. Seymour, my daugh- 

The girls looked eagerly into the faces of the two visitors. 
A great deal depended on this crucial moment. They saw a 
large, loosely made man, with side-whiskers and a somewhat 
fat face. He was dressed in what might be described as a 
truly prosperous man's fashion. His waistcoat was made of 
a large black-and-white check, his trousers were light gray, 
and his frock-coat owed its existence to one of the most 
fashionable London tailors. He also wore a very large and 
heavily made watch-chain, to which was attached a ponder- 
ous bunch of seals, and several quaint, old-fashioned rings. 

44 1 am much obliged, Squire," he said, turning as he spoke, 
and addressing Mr. Falkland. 44 It is lovely to be presented 


to your two young ladies. I hail from New York, my dears, 
and I trust you won't think me any the worse for that. — 
Come, Selma; make friends with our new acquaintances.— 
This is my niece, young ladies — American born and bred; 
Selma Dudley by name, and none the worse for that." 

A girl with a wonderfully dark face and magnificent hair, 
which she wore in two very long, thick plaits reaching far 
below her waist, now extended her hand. 

" I am delighted to make your acquaintance," she said. — 
14 Say, Uncle Joe, isn't this just quite too delicious? An Eng- 
lish home — such lawns, too!— I guess we both feel just in 
the seventh heaven. May I walk with you a bit, and will you 
show me round? " 

Selma's manner appeared both to Patty and Curly alto- 
gether fresh and charming. She had no shyness, and yet she 
was not intentionally forward. She was an altogether new 
type to them, and when, a moment later, she laid a frank, 
confiding hand within Patty's arm, and another frank, con- 
fiding hand within Curly's arm, the three girls found them- 
selves chatting to their hearts' content. 

" I am so glad that you came," said Patty. 

"I guess I'm glad too," answered Selma; "you do seem 
interested. Is your life a monotonous one? I should have 
thought that in a charming place like this you would have 
too many acquaintances to care about a mere American girl." 

" But that is wrong," said Patty. " We haven't any ac- 
quaintances — at least, of course," she added, correcting her- 
self, " very few. We shall have plenty by and by; but we 
are busy with our lessons now." 

"Good land!" said Miss Selma. "How dull! I couldn't 
stand that. That style wouldn't suit Selma Dudley; no, nor 
Consuelo Seymour either. I guess you'll jump when you see 
Consuelo; she is worth knowing. Say now, can you guess 
that we are, to be your nearest neighbors?" 

"Our nearest neighbors?" said Patty, her face coloring 
crimson and her eyes dancing with excitement. "You 
haven't " 

" Yes, we have. Uncle Joe has bought Castle Rocco. It's 
only a stone's throw from your estate, so that delightful man, 
Mr. Falkland, told us on our way here. Do say — aren't you 
pleased? We can be the loveliest friends." 

" Yes, I am quite delighted," said Patty. But Curly was 
silent. She was not less pleased than her sister, but she felt 
so overcome by this sudden excitement which had, so to 
speak, swept itself without a moment's warning into their 
lives that she had no ready words at hand. 

" There's the luncheon-gong," she said, suddenly. " You 
must be hungry, Miss Dudley." 

"Miss — what?" answered the girl. "Why, I am only a 
chjld, like yourselves. You don't suppose now, for one single 
instant, that I'm going to " Miss Falkland " either of you. So 
now you are Patty, and you are Curly. I like these names. 


Well, then, I am Selma. Say out at once Selma, and never 
call me anything else, or I'll fret myself to a decline." 

"Selma," said Patty; and Curly also pronounced the name 
slowly and with a sense of wonder. 



When the three girls entered the large and beautiful din- 
ing-room at Tamaresk, Miss Dawson had already taken her 
place at the head of the table, while Mr. Falkland and Mr. 
Seymour had begun to partake of the excellent meal provided 
for them. 

"You are late, Patty," said Mr. Falkland, glancing with 
some slight annoyance at his eldest daughter. 

44 Oh, please," exclaimed Selma, " it was my fault. I was 
just making a little arrangement with these two dear young 
people that in future I was to be 4 Selma ' to them, and they 
4 Patty ' and 4 Curly ' to me. But will no one introduce me to 
the kind lady at the head of the board? I feel somehow, 
down in my heart, that she and I will be i;eal friends." 

Patty colored, and introduced Selma to Miss Dawson, who 
bowed somewhat stiffly, and evidently regarded her guest 
with small favor. 

"Will you have the goodness to sit here, Miss Dudley?" 
she said;, and her gentle, refined English voice formed a 
marked contrast to Selma's more pronounced accent. 

Without a word the young lady dropped into her place. 
As she did so her bright, black eyes took in her surroundings 
at a glance. Those same eyes were soon sparkling with ir- 
resistible fun and mischief. She labelled Miss Dawson " the 
superior person," and Patty and Curly " the poor innocents." 
She decided that Mr. Falkland could be easily managed, for 
Uncle Joe could twist the Squire, as she called him, round his 
little finger. Uncle Joe was clever enough to twist any per- 
son round that same finger, and Mr. Falkland, at the first 
glance, did not seem to Selma a victim hard to capture. 

Selma, born in New York, had travelled in her fifteen years 
over a large part of the world. Nature had given her as 
sharp an intellect as any young girl could possess, and be- 
fore she had consumed, her first course at that luncheon- 
table she had made her plans. 

It was glorious to have a castle all one's own in ancient, 
beautiful, aristocratic England. She and Consuelo need not 
live there long, but while they were there they must have 
friends. Patty looked nice. Curly, or Charlotte, or what- 
ever her ridiculous name was, was also worth cultivating. 

44 All the same," thought Miss Selma, 44 1 guess that Curly 
has a will of her own. But so much the better. Consuelo 
and I will soon mold her. Fd like to prophesy that, before 


a week is out, these good people will just be doing what 
Gonsuelo and I wish; for they don't know a bit of the world; 
and we, I guess, are acquainted with a considerable portion. 
What fun it will all be! — something new and fresh. Dear 
old England! England forever! Castle Rocco, the most de- 
sirable residence on earth, and Patty and Curly Falkland 
typical English girls to experiment upon, to be kind to, and 
thoroughly exploit." 

As Selma came to the termination of these reflections she 
glanced again at Miss Dawson. 

" The superior person," she said to herself, " will require 
a little management; but I just reckon that Consuelo and I 
can act up to her role too." 

At this moment Patty's voice was heard breaking in on 
the conversation. 

" Oh, Miss Dawson," she said, " such news! Selma Dudley 
is going to live at Castle Rocco. Isn't it just delightful?" 

" Yes, I guess that we have done a good bargain in secur- - 
ing that antiquated house," cried Mr. Seymour from his end 
of the table. " Going dirt cheap, too. — One of those ancient 
piles that you never can secure in our country, sir." Here 
he turned and looked at his host. " I am everlastingly 
obliged to you, Mr. Falkland, for having put me in the way 
of purchasing it, and also for the favor of introducing my 
niece and me into the bosom of your family." 

" One reason why we bought Castle Rocco," cried Selma in 
her pert, clear voice, "was just because of you, Patty, and 
you, Curly. Consuelo and I made up our minds that there 
must be young folks for us to fraternize with; and when we 
heard of you we said that the notion of taking up with you 
was altogether lovely. Wasn't it nice of us? Say, now." 

" I should think it rather peculiar," remarked Miss Daw- 
son, coldly. " My dear," she added, turning to Selma, " how 
could you feel anxious to know young ladies whom you have 
never seen? " 

" Guess that's our American way," said Selma. " Consuelo 
and I are guided by intuition. We felt certain that the Misses 
Falkland would be charming — as they are." 

Miss Dawson looked her disapproval. Her eyes said 
plainly, " I dislike flattery," and Selma, quick to perceive 
this, changed the subject. 

" Well," she said, " whatever our reasons may have been, 
Uncle Joe has bought the castle, and we are going to live 
there. We shall all sleep there to-night, for my aunt and 
Consuelo are coming down on the very next train. You will 
be friends with us, won't you, Patty — won't you, Curly? " 

" Forgive me," said Miss Dawson again; " it is not the cus- 
tom in England for young ladies to call each other by their 
Christian names on first acquaintance." 

" Oh, now, you use me up when you talk like that," re- 
plied Selma; "but I am -not English," she added; "I am 
cosmo " 


" Selma means that she is cosmopolitan," interrupted Patty. 
" I will explain to you afterwards, Miss Dawson." Then she 
added, "We are so glad, Selma, to have found a friend in 

" If we can help you, Miss Dudley, in any way, we shall 
be pleased," said Miss Dawson. " But my girls are very much 
occupied; they have their lessons to attend to. Don't mis- 
take me for a moment, but English people are slow to make 
rapid friendships." 

Selma smiled. The " superior person " would have to be 
snubbed. She put on a meek expression, however, and said 
nothing at all for a moment. When lunch was over she 
danced round to the side of the table where Mr. Seymour 
was talking to Mr. Falkland. 

" Say, uncle, when is that train due? Aunt Amy and Con- 
suelo will arrive before we are there to meet them if we don't 

Mr. Seymour took out his watch. 

" You are right, Selma," he replied. " We must be at the 
station in less than a quarter of an hour. — I am afraid, 
Squire, my niece and I must go at once. I am real vexed, 
but my wife and daughter must be my excuse. See, though, 
Squire: a straight word is enough. I want my girls and 
your nice young ladies to be tip-top, special friends, and to 
start right away at their friendship from the very beginning. 
That is my notion — come, now — let them come right in — 
that's the American way. That is this girl's way; and I 
guess it's Gonsuelo's way, too. And what I want to say is 
this: that we look for you, Squire, and your young ladies 
round at our place this evening. There's nothing against 
that; is there, Selma?" 

"Against it!" cried Selma. "Nothing at all; but every- 
thing for it. Why, Uncle Joe, you're just too quaint. And 
Patty and Curly are my biggest friends already. As to Gon- 
suelo, she'll be just on tenter-hooks to hug them. — Now, 
of course, you'll come to-night; won't you, Patty? — you and 
Curly and the Squire — you'll all take us as we are?" 

" You forget, young ladies," said Miss Dawson, " that your 
dancing-master is coming this evening,, We cannot put Mr. 
Ford off; therefore you must remain at home." 

"Oh, but why not put him off?" said Selma, pouting. 
" The occasion is so very special — two American girls settling 
down to spend their first night in an English ancestral hall. 
Oh, my! I feel like crying." 

Mr. Falkland could not help laughing. 

"We could send Ford a telegram," he said, glancing at 
Miss Dawson. 

Both Patty and Curly laughed and skipped with glee. 
"Oh, then it's all right," said Curly. "What fun!— what 

" Your cousin Roger is also coming this evening," said Miss 



u My!" ejaculated Selma. "Do say at once, and quickly — s 
is Mr. — Mr. — Roger — young or old?" 

" He is quite young; he is our cousin; he is twenty," said 

" Well now, I call that real lovely," answered Selma. 
"Bring him along, of course; the more the merrier. Con- 
suelo will like a young man to come with you." 

The motor-car now drew up at the front door, and a mo- 
ment later Patty, Curly, and Miss Dawson found themselves 
alone. It seemed to the two Falkland girls that they had 
been lifted into a wonderful and interesting world. Miss 
Dawson was nowhere in sight. As the motor-car turned 
the corner of the avenue they clasped each other's hands, 
looked into each other's faces, and then, without a word, 
rushed upstairs to examine their wardrobes. 

" Jane," said Patty to their special maid, " we are going 
to have such fun to-night." 

" No more dull times," said Curly. " The castle is taken — 
Castle Rocco — and by such jolly people! One of the girls 
lunched here to-day, Jane. She is American — and so nice! 
Miss Dawson, I'm afraid, doesn't like her much, but I think 
we can bring her round. Aren't you glad, Jane? Isn't it 
nice for us to have a friend at last — a real friend?" 

Jane was an old woman. She had been with the Falk- 
lands almost from their birth. They loved her dearly — 
better, even, than Miss Dawson. 

"It's I that am glad for you to have your fun," she said, 
" and that it's to begin at once. I never held with keeping 
you out of things the way Miss Dawson does. Not that I 
have anything to say against her; but she's a little too prim 
for the ways of the present world. She is a bit old-fash- 
ioned; that's what ails her." 

"Oh, no," said loyal Patty; "she is just perfect. I don't 
want really to vex her, although I do wish to go to Castle 

" I'm afraid," said Curly, " that I am not so good. If I 
were asked to-night to give up going to Castle B.occo because 
of Miss Dawson, I am afraid I should refuse, I am naughty, 
I know; but that is simply what I should do." 

" Well, as the master has given leave," said Jane, " there's 
no necessity to discuss the matter. Miss Dawson always 
agrees with what the master wishes. And now I'll prepare! 
your very prettiest frocks, my darlings. What do you say 
to the pink silks that you wore on Miss Curly's last birth- 

" Oh, yes, they will do beautifully," replied both girls. 
" Please get them in order for us, Jane." 

"I will, my loves; I will. And now will you go down and! 
pick some flowers for the dinner-table? Mr. Roger's room 
has to be got ready for him, and there's a sight of other 
things to attend to." 

The next minute Curly and Patty were in the garden, 


Diffv felt that she could 9 ever stop talking, but Curly was 
a t her silent. They had both brought out baskets and scis- 
sors and were picking quantities of roses and sweet-peas, 
when they saw Miss Dawson going toward the bCruse with 
her eyes suspiciously red. 

Patty touched Curly on the arm. 

" What can be the matter with the dear old thing? " shs 

said " I na(i Dest £° to ner and fln(1 out " 

14 No, no, Patty," replied Curly. 44 1 will go to her. I can 
manage her better than you can. I won't be away a second." 

She° laid down her basket of flowers, and running swiftly 
across the lawn, reached her governess. 

"Aren't you very glad that we're going to be so happy 
this evening?" said Curly 

Miss Dawson turned and faced the child. 

" If you only would be guided by me, darling," she said, 
"you would not make friends with that queer, vulgar girl 
so rapidly. To tell you the truth, my love, I am not at all 
taken with her. The whole thing seems to me, if I may ven- 
ture to say so, undignified, and not what I should expect from 
your father." 

"But father approves," said Curly. 

" Yes," replied Miss Dawson; " and as that is the case, and 
as he is going with you, I have, of course, nothing to say. I 
am only sorry and disappointed, that is all." 

Miss Dawson disappeared into the house. Curly stood for 
a moment in meditation. She then ran back to her sister. 

" What is up? " asked Patty. 

"It's only that Miss Dawson doesn't like Selma Dudley; 
but, of course, she knows that we must go to Castle Rocco 
to-night, as father wishes it. She'll be all right to-morrow; 
don't let us fuss about it, Patty." 

" I never should have supposed," said Patty, " that Selma 
was fn Miss Dawson's style. For my part, I like her im- 
mensely; she is so fresh and interesting. I am glad we are 
going to have a real change at last." 

She went on picking the flowers. When she had gath- 
ered enough, the two girls took them into the house and 
spent some time arranging them.. 

Soon after tea Roger Wareham arrived. He was a tall, 
good-looking young fellow, a lieutenant in a regiment which 
was quartered at Dovedale, the nearest town. The girls re- 
garded him as an elder brother, and he often came over to 
Tamaresk for a few days. 

"Oh, Roger!" said Curly, "what do you think has hap- 
pened? Oh, it is just too delicious!" 

" How can I possibly tell, Curly? What a state of excite- 
ment you are in ! " 

"The most wonderful thing has occurred," said Patty. 
" Castle Rocco is taken at last, and oh, Roger " 

" It is taken by the very funniest people," interrupted 
Curly — "Americans; and, oh! so wonderfully jolly. Two of 

2 b 


them were here to lunch: a Mr. Seymour — quite a funny- 
looking old gentleman! — father took to him awfully — and 
the very jolliest girl you ever looked at. Mr. Seymour is a 
little bit of everything, I should imagine; but as to Selma, 
his niece — oh! she is just wonderful; she has a sort of magic 
about her." 
" She is so pretty," said Patty." 

" We have both fallen* in love with her," interrupted Curly; 
" and so will you too, Roger — that is, unless you prefer Con- 

Roger Wareham laughed. 
, 44 How you do bewilder me, kiddies!" he said. "Selma, 
and Mr, Seymour, and Castle Rocco — and now Consuelo. 
Who in the name of fortune is Consuelo? " 

44 Mr. Seymour's daughter," laughed Curly. 44 Selma says 
she is lovely; and, oh, isn't it fun? You'll never complain 
of being dull again when you come to see us at Tamaresk. 
We shall have ever such a jolly time now that Castle Rocco 
is let. But sit down in this cool corner, and we'll pour out 
your tea and tell you just everything." 

Wareham was quite pleased to comply. The day was sul- 
try, and he was hot. The girls were as his own sisters. He 
had just got leave of absence from his regiment for two days, 
and the thought of a little excitement at Tamaresk was ex- 

Curly told her story with much gusto. 

44 We are all going up to Castle Rocco to-night," she said. 
"We are dining early on purpose, and afterwards we will 
drive up in the motor." 

44 But we could so easily walk," said the young man. 
"Much more fun than driving, wouldn't it be? Why," he 
continued, 44 the grounds of Castle Rocco join the grounds of 
Tamaresk. We have only to walk to the end of the next 
meadow and cross the stile, and there we are." 

44 We can't," said Curly, shaking her head very wisely. 
" Dad, I suppose, wants to make an impression. He has or- 
dered the motor to be in readiness, and we are to drive 
round by the road." 

44 Very well," answered Roger; " it's all the same to me. 
You do look pleased, you two. I never saw you, Curly, with 
such a flush on your cheeks before." 

44 It's because of Selma," exclaimed Curly. 

44 What! " cried Roger; 44 you don't mean to tell me that you 
call that girl by her Christian name already?" 

44 But indeed we do," said Curly; 44 and she calls us by ours. 
As likely as not, she'll speak to you as 4 Roger ' before the 
night is over." 

44 She had better not," replied Wareham. 

" Oh, Roger," said Patty, "don't be stuck up and proud. 
Just forget you're grown up. Selma is only a girl; and we 
are only girls; and Consuelo, of course, is only a girl. Let's 
have fun all together. Don't let's give ourselves airs." 


" I mean to have plenty of fun, little girls, but I disap- 
prove of Christian names on such short acquaintance. There, 
you needn't look so downcast. I am glad that old Castle 
Rocco is inhabited again. The Coverdales were a terrible 
loss to the neighborhood." 

" Were they? " said Curly. " I don't remember them." 

" Well, I do, How old are you, Curly — fourteen? Well, 
I am twenty. I was only a very little fellow when last I 
saw Lord Coverdale. He was very kind to me. It was sad. 
When he and old Lady Coverdale died, the place was left 
unoccupied for such a long time " 

"But why — why? It is such a loyely place," said Patty. 

"Well, you see, the heir has not been discovered. I be- 
lieve the lawyers are still searching for him. There is a 
Lord Coverdale somewhere in the world, but neither adver- 
tisements nor efforts made by the cleverest people who could 
be put on his track have led to the smallest clue to his where- 
abouts. That is why the place has been unlet for so long. 
It has been waiting for the heir. Now, the solicitors, I sup- 
pose, think it best to rent the dear old house and grounds." 

" Well, never mind about the Coverdales," said Patty. 
i Let's think of all the fun we shall have this evening." 

Soon after dinner the little party drove away to Castle 
Rocco. The castle stood on high ground, giving a magnifi- 
cent view of the surrounding country. 

"How delightful to see them to-night!" said Curly. "I 
don't suppose they will have a single thing unpacked. Dear, 
dear! I hope we are not dressed too grandly." She looked 
almost with dismay at her pretty, pink silk frock. " It would 
be awkward," she continued, glancing at Patty, " if you and 
I and father and Roger were the only people in dinner- 

" Oh, I dare say things will pass all right," said Mr. Falk- 
land. " We won't stay long, of course. — Now, Roger, tell me 
how you managed about that dispute with Captain Jenkins." 

Roger and Mr. Falkland immediately entered into an ani- 
mated conversation, and the girls had to curb their impa- 
tience as best they could. Whatever their father might say 
to the contrary, they would feel uncomfortable in their din- 
ner-dresses if Selma and Consuelo were in a state of con- 
fusion—nothing unpacked, nothing smart or pretty for them 
to wear. But Curly quickly found all her fears lulled to 
rest. A powdered and liveried servant flung open the wide 
doors of Castle Rocco, and the party were conducted by a 
second man in livery into one of the great drawing-rooms, 
where Mrs. Seymour, a stout, dark woman wearing purple 
velvet and diamonds, advanced to meet them. 

She had a nervous manner, notwithstanding the pomposity 
of her dress, and looked with great eagerness, first at the 
girls, then at the Squire and Roger. 

" I call this real kind," she said. " I don't know when I 
was treated in so neighborly a fashion. — Welcome, Mr. Falk- 


land! — Welcome, my dear young ladies; and you also, sir — 
forgive me if I have not the pleasure of knowing your name." 

u My cousin, Mr. Wareham,'" said Patty. 

A gay young laugh sounded at that moment behind them, 
and turning, the girls saw their friend Selma skimming 
across the room to meet them, dressed as though she were 
a butterfly. 

Her dinner-dress was of the palest pink. Her hair was 
arranged in the height of the fashion, and her little pink 
shoes and delicate pink stockings, which peeped just below 
her short skirt, seemed to the Falkland girls the most fas- 
cinating things they had ever beheld. There was a certain 
chic about Selma, and they knew at once that their poor, 
pretty pink frocks and they themselves, however smartly 
dressed, could never come up to her. 

"Say, you darlings!" cried Selma. "Welcome, Patty I 
Welcome, Curly! — Aunt Coralie, have you done your duty? 
Yes, I see you have. — Curly, present me, will you? to the 
gentleman. — Sir, I ought to be introduced, ought I not? " 

Here Selma raised her roguish black eyes and fixed them 
on Wareham's face. 

" My cousin, Mr. Wareham : Miss Dudley,*" said Patty again. 

" I am quite charmed to make your acquaintance, Mr. 
Wareham," said Selma. " I am not an English girl — oh, no 
— I am a little bit of everybody else, I think, but not English 
— not a scrap English. I hail from New York; but, all the 
same, I am a bit Irish, and a bit Spanish, and a bit Russian, 
too, I think. I guess you'll think I'm funny. I guess you're 
all laughing at me in your sleeves." 

" Of course we're not, Selma," said Patty. " We couldn't 
be so rude." 

"And we admire you like anything," said Curly; "but we 
do just want to see your cousin." 

"Consuelo? Good land! she's raging with the desire to 
acquaint herself with you all. Come this minute, and I'll 
take you to her. — You will come too, of course, Mr. Ware- 
ham; you are not going to immolate yourself on the altar 
of the old people." 

Here Selma cast an audacious glance at Mr. Falkland, who 
was talking to Mrs. Seymour. Mr. Seymour had not yet ap- 

" I'll send Uncle Joe spinning in here as fast as possible to 
keep you company, aunt," said the incorrigible Selma. " Un- 
til he arrives, ta-ta. The rest of us are off to Consuelo." 

Wareham could not help laughing. His laughter was in- 

Selma led her little party across several splendidly fur- 
nished rooms, and at last up a few stairs, and then into a 
boudoir where the light of day was rigorously excluded, and 
where a tall, very slim girl was standing, her head slightly 
thrown back and her slim figure brought into strong relief 
against a velvet curtain. The girl's dress may have been 


white — there is no saying — but the pink, artificial light of 
the room gave it a sort of rainbow tint. She was very 
statuesque, and as different from Selma in appearance as one 
girl could differ from another. 

" Consuelo! " exclaimed Selma, as she flung open the door. 
" Here they all are. These are my two English pearls. This 
is Curly, otherwise Charlotte; this is Patty, otherwise I don't 
know what. Here they are, and they mean to take us right 
up, and polish us a bit, and show us what is correct by the 
English standard, and what is wrong by the English stand- 
ard. They have been just dying to see you, Consuelo; and 
so has this charming young man, who holds a commission 
in His Majesty's army. This young man's name is Mr. Ware- 
ham. Now, Consuelo, for goodness' sake come forward, and 
stop being a carven image." 

Consuelo moved into the center of the room with a swift 
and sudden grace. 

"I am very glad indeed to see you all," she said; u and if 
you will really inform me about English manners, and what 
is done amongst the people you consider good society, I 
shall be vastly entertained. I am very ignorant at present; 
but I am willing to learn, and so is Selma. Selma has man- 
ners of her own, and so have I; but I guess they're about 
wrong from your point of view. I guess you do things dif- 
ferent. Sit down, won't you? all three of you, and let's talk." 

The graceful creature flung herself as she spoke into a 
low chair, and motioned td the Falkland girls and to Ware- 
ham to find places for themselves. 

" But, Consuelo," exclaimed Selma, " your way of going on 
isn't a bit the English way. Notwithstanding your grand airs, 
you are not a princess. You should. keep standing until 
your guests have found seats." 

" I divine they won't mind," answered Consuelo. " These 
two English young ladies and the English gentleman must 
take me as I am until I am trained. I am untrained now, and 
I just guess I can't begin anything new until I see my way. 
Now, which of you two girls will begin to work the spell on 
me? Will you all try? I am quite ready to learn." 

Wareham laughed. 

" Would it be an impertinence to ask your age, Miss Con- 
suelo? " he said. 

" I am fifteen and a half," replied Consuelo. u Quite old for 

" Well, then, if I may say what I think, you don't want 
any training; it would be a sad pity to alter you." 

" Those are my sentiments," exclaimed Selma. " Isn't 
Consuelo just too lovely? Don't you imagine that she'll make 
a sensation wherever she goes?" 

" I have no doubt you are right," said Wareham, smiling 
at the younger girl, and then looking again at Consuelo. 

" But I don't understand English ways," said Consuelo in 
her languid voice; 44 and my opinion is that there is no^jnan- 


ner of use in crossing the herring-pond to learn nothing at 
all. I guess I have come here to learn. In Japan I did what 
the Japanese ladies did; and in China — oh, good land! I 
imitated the ladies also. Now, you may all be sure that if 
your English ways don't suit me I won't adopt them. But I 
take it that it's a bit fair that I should see for myself, and 
form my own resolutions when I clearly understand what 
English folks expect of me." 

" Very well," said Wareham, suddenly. " Then perhaps 
you won't mind beginning at once. An English girl, exactly 
in your position, would take her friends into a room that is 
not quite so hot, and on the longest day in the year would 
not use artificial light." 

" In that case, Mr. Wareham," interrupted Consuelo, using 
her most languid drawl, " I thank you very much, but I won't 
begin training to-night. I hope you will all excuse me, but 
nothing would induce me to step out of my rose-colored 
boudoir except to retire to my bedroom. — Selma, you may 
take the English people away, and do what you can for them 
until they think fit to take their departure. I wish you 
adieu, ladies; and you, sir." 

She lay back in her chair, folded her long white hands, 
and closed her eyes. 

Selma immediately jumped up. " Come," she said to the 

A minute later, to their intense relief, they found them- 
selves in one of the corridors. 

" You mustn't mind Consuelo," began Selma. " She'll catch 
it from me to-morrow morning for her conduct. But she is 
just dead-tired to-night; and really, Mr. Wareham, you did 
put her out immensely by asking her to come into the broad 
light of day. Couldn't you guess that she was got up for 
effect? She considers herself statuesque; and she made, oh! 
such a fuss about that rose-colored light. You have just put 
your foot into it, Mr. Wareham; and I guess you had best 
take your foot out, or you'll have a bad time. But now let's 
return to the drawing-room, or would you rather I took you 
over the house?" 

Patty and Curly much preferred this, and Selma was in 
her element as she took her friends from room to room, up- 
stairs and downstairs, and all over the beautiful old place. 
Soon, to her great surprise, she found that she was changing 
places with Wareham. 

Wareham knew much more of Castle Rocco than did Selma 
herself. He had often been there as a little boy, and was 
able to tell the young American girl and his own two cousins 
a great deal about the pictures, and some interesting stories 
relating to the old Coverdales. 

Selma cried, "Do say!" and "I guess that's queer," and 
"Wouldn't I like to stand in his shoes!" and sundry other 
remarks of a like nature, while Patty and Curly, standing 
close together, were somewhat silent, and did not speak at all. 


By-and-by the tour of the house had been taken, and 
they all returned to the drawing-room. There Mr. Falkland 
immediately told them it was time for them to leave, and, 
with a warm invitation from Selma that they should both 
come up on the following day, the little girls parted from 
their new friends. 



" If I were you, Uncle Edward," said Roger Wareham, " I 
would not allow Patty and Curly to spend too much time 
with those young American girls. I have no doubt they are 
absolutely harmless; but their ways are not our ways, and 
Mr. Seymour's own daughter seems a very extraordinary 
creature." / 

Mr. Falkland was one of the most particular people in the 
world. He had always been most exclusive with regard to 
Patty's and Curly's friends. Wareham, therefore, supposed 
that he would immediately agree with his remarks, and say 
that it would be his object to use caution with regard to the 
intimacy likely to spring up between the family at Castle 
Rocco and the girls at Tamaresk. But, to his surprise, the 
elder man laid his hand on Wareham's shoulder and said 
quietly, " There are circumstances which make it necessary 
for me to be friendly with Joseph Seymour. He has come 
here to give his own daughter and niece an opportunity of 
knowing English people; in fact, the whole family wish to 
be introduced into English society, and I must help them to 
the best of my power." 

" But why? " asked the young man. 

Falkland looked hard at him. 

" You are young, Roger, and, I trust, commercially sound. 
Now, at the present moment I am receiving considerable 
benefit from Seymour's money. Don't ask me any more. I 
trust I shall weather the storm, and, that my little girls will 
be none the worse for this intimacy'." 

Wareham was about to make a remark, but Falkland sud- 
denly turned on his heel as much as to intimate that their 
conversation had come to an end. The young man was 
obliged to return to his regiment early in the day. He felt 
not a little disturbed in his mind. He could not understand 
his uncle, and, although he had nothing whatever to say 
against Selma, he felt that he did not like Consuelo, nor did 
he think her a good companion for his innocent young 

Meanwhile Consuelo and Selma were spending an animated 
morning together. 

" Say, Connie," cried her cousin, " what did you think of 
those two English girls?" 

"I thought nothing at all about them," said Consuelo. " It 


is good for us to learn all we can about England and the 
ways of England, but I am not especially attracted by the 
two first specimens we have seen. I guess they'd be thought 
dowdy in New York City." 

"But that's just what I like about them," said Selma. 
u England is the old country, and they are old-fashioned. I 
guess we'll have to see a lot of 'em. Uncle Joe wishes it." 

"Yes; that's the worry," said Gonsuelo. "If they were 
grown up I shouldn't mind so much; but they're just children. 
They did look ridiculous last night. I suppose they had their 
best party frocks on. My! weren't they queer?" 

" They are brought up by a very old-fashioned governess," 
said Selma; "and I tell you what it is, Connie, she doesn't 
like us a bit." 

"What fun!" said Consuelo, languidly. "I should dearly 
like to inspire hatred in some one; it would be such a relief. 
I do hope that Miss — Miss — what's her name?" 

" Dawson is her name." 

" I hope that I may get her to hate me, and to make a 
fuss about the girls coming to Castle Rocco; only it will be 
precious dull unless we get to know all the county people." 

" Your father means to manage that by the aid of the Falk- 
lands," said Selma. 

Consuelo shrugged her shoulders. 

"There is no use," she said; "we are not in their set. I 
might be, it is true, for I can drawl to any extent, and put 
en languid, fine-lady airs. But there's mother, for instance, 
and father himself — and you, too, S&lma; you haven't got 
repose of manner. Now, I take it that repose of manner is 
the sign manual of good breeding. I have it — you haven't; 
therefore I cannot see that you have much chance of achiev- 
ing a success." 

"I'll do my best, anyhow," said Selma; "and, to begin 
with, let's go this very minute to Tamaresk and pay a call 
on the Misses Falkland." 

"Oh, we can't do it so early in the morning," said Con- 
suelo. " It wouldn't be considered good style." 

" Then say; we can lunch early and go immediately after- 
wards. And now let's see all over the place." 

Consuelo, young as she was, had quite the airs of a grown- 
up girl. Selma, however, although but a few months younger 
than her cousin, was quite a child. Consuelo liked to wear 
long dresses with trains. She had a particularly slim figure, 
and in these quaint garments she imagined that she looked 
exactly like one of Burne Jones's heroines. She arranged 
her hair in sweeping waves back from an almost colorless 
face. Her eyes were large. They were pretty eyes in them- 
selves. Nothing ever brought color to her cheeks. She had 
somewhat full lips and a very drawling voice. 

Selma, however, who was the very soul of activity, dragged 
her cousin along. 

" We must see the place; we must be spirited; we must 


do our very best to have a good time. Oh, do come along, 
Consuelo! Just forget you're an American girl and one of 
the greatest heiresses in New York, and be your natural and 
jolly self for the time being." 

"Right you are, girls! " said a hearty voice; and the girls, 
who had been wandering along the terrace in front of the 
house, suddenly came face to face with Mr. Seymour. " I 
overheard you, Selma; and I applaud every word you say. 
Now, I am glad to take this opportunity to have a little talk 
with you both. I don't mean anything shabby, mind you; 
but I have taken Castle Rocco with a purpose. I want to 
get to know the peojU all around, and I can be helped in this 
endeavor of mine by my friend Falkland of Tamaresk. I'll 
make it worth Falklamd's while to help me, and you must 
make it worth his daughters' while to help you. A great deal 
hangs on this — more than I can explain at the present mo- 
ment. But what I mean to say is this: there must be no 
shyness or hanging back, or not endeavoring to get all the 
good you can out of those girls. Selma, you are on the right 
tack; but you, Consuelo, are on the wrong. You think that 
you are so rich that you can dare anything; but let me tell 
you that fortunes are lost as quickly as they are made in New 
York City. Now you know what I am hinting at, and if you 
don't do your utmost to fall in with my plans — why, you'll 
rue the day." 

Joseph P. Seymour, as he was generally called, waved his 
hand to the girls with these last words. A moment later they 
saw him stepping into the motor en route for the railway 

" That's always the way," said Consuelo. 
" What? " said Selma. 

"Joseph P. Seymour has his schemes, and he expects me 
to fall in with them. Now, of course, I want to have my 
fun, and I wish to make as good an appearance as possible; 
but I don't choose to be treated as a little girl when I feel 
grown up. I hate doing things from ulterior motives. When 
we were at Newport a few years ago, and I was much younger 
than I am now, I had to look graceful in the drawing-room 
when mother was giving her strawberry teas in late October, 
and her chrysanthemum entertainments in May. Oh, the 
money we spent! It was the fashion in Newport that year 
to turn everything topsy-turvy, and what good did it do in 
the end? I was taken away from my lessons just when I 
was beginning to enjoy them, and all to lounge about and 
look like a chrysanthemum, or wear a pink dress, the color 
of a strawberry, with a green frill round my neck." Selma 
laughed. " Now it seems I am to do the same thing over 
again. It is true you are with me now, so things won't be 
quite so bad; but if Joseph P. Seymour means for a moment 
to go too far with me, he will find his mistake. There! I 
am going to whisper something dreadful to you, Selma. I 
don't care one dollar — no, not one — whether I am a great 


heiress or not. I want to lie about and lounge, and never 
exert myself at all, and have a right good time. If I can 
have it in the English way, well and good; but if not, I guess 
I'll have it in the American way; and I guess, what's more, 
that the American way is good enough for me. Oh, there's 
momma calling. Now I ask you, Selma Dudley, if there's any 
one in creation clever enough to put style into momma? — 
Coming, momma," exclaimed Consuelo. 

She went slowly forward, trailing her long skirt of straw- 
berry-colored Liberty silk. It clung round her lissome young 
figure. Her hair was arranged as fashionably as the very 
best lady's-maid straight from Paris could manage it. Con- 
suelo's hair had a sort of tawny glow about it. It was neither 
red nor golden, but nevertheless it was remarkable. In look- 
ing at Consuelo, the very first thing the eye rested on was 
her hair. It looked natural, and yet not natural. It ac- 
centuated the grace of a singularly graceful head that was 
set in a very perfect way on slim and yet broad young shoul- 
ders. In addition to this glowing, wonderful hair, Consuelo 
had a white neck like a swan; her complexion was pale but 
creamy, her eyes large and languorous. They were of a 
bright and yet light blue — china eyes, as people were fond 
of calling them. 

"Well, momma?" she said, coming up to her parent. 

Mrs. Joseph P. Seymour had by no means become accus- 
tomed to the wealth which her rich husband lavished on her. 
She was a very stout woman of about five-and-forty years 
of age. She had rosy cheeks, a round face, and very staring, 
bright brown eyes. Her eyes were extraordinarily vivid in 
expression, so that at the first glance one would almost be 
tempted to say that Mrs. Seymour had a great soul. But as 
the eyes always wore that expression, that eager, inquisitive 
look, people soon got tired of them. 

It was partly on account of her mother's eyes and their ' 
peculiar wide-awake glance that Consuelo was so languorous, j 
that the heavy lids seldom opened to the fullest. It was cn 
account of her mother's brisk voice that Consuelo drawled 
her words. 

41 Well, momma?" she said now, and she made a pause, 
standing in the center of the beautiful lawn. 

I guess," said Mrs. Joseph P. Seymour, " that this place 
is just what will suit you and Selma and poppa; but it doesn't 
suit me one bit. It is lonely; and I don't like loneliness. I 
don't see the use of being the wife of one of the richest men 
in New York if I have got to molder here. I don't like the 
process of moldering, and that's flat." 

" You'll have to stay here all the same, momma," said Con-^ 
suelo, " for poppa wishes it. We all bow to the dictates of 
poppa; don't we, Selma?" 

Selma shrugged her shoulders. Mrs. Seymour uttered a 

" Your father wants those girls asked over to spend the 


afternoon. Now shall I send a messenger, or will you two 
go right along to their place and take an invitation from me? " 

u I will go if you like, Aunt Coralie," said Selma. 

" Do, now; that's a good girl," replied Mrs. Seymour, her 
eyes looking more wide-awake than ever. I guess we'll have 
to show them round and give them a right good time; and 
if only Gonsuelo would wake, it could be done." 

" I am wide-awake," said Gonsuelo. Then she laughed. " I 
hate the whole thing from first to last," she added; "but I 
am wide-awake. 'Tisn't in me to sleep when there are mys- 
teries in the air, and when poppa's on the war-path." 

"Oh, hush, Gonsuelo; hush!" said Mrs. Seymour. "You 
have no right to animadvert on your poppa. I am sure he 
is a very good man." 

" He's just a money-grubber," said Gonsuelo. 

"Well," said Mrs. Seymour; "and what is better than 
money? You tell me that." 

" Oh, lots of things," said Consuelo. " Thoughts, for in- 

She laughed a little. Her laughter was quite musical. 
Her eyes opened wide for a flash of time, then resumed 
their sleepy expression. 

"Almost everything is better than money," she continued; 
" above all things, that which I won't mention." She gave 
a quick sigh, and, turning impatiently, trailed her long dress 
across the flower garden. 

" If there is one person who would try a parent to the 
point of distraction, it is Gonsuelo," said Mrs. Seymour, look- 
ing at Selma for support. "Now, what is she going to do? 
Does she mean to thwart poppa? He won't stand it; she 
knows that well enough." 

" You had better let her alone, Aunt Coralie." 

"Let her alone, Selma?" replied the lady. "Am I not 
always letting her alone? Haven't I given way to her until 
my friends laugh — yes, laugh at me? There's her ridiculous 
dress, for instance. She, a girl scarcely sixteen years of 
age, trailing a gown like that over the grass; and her hair, 
instead of hanging down her back as it ought, looped up in 
all those bows and curves! Why, she isn't a year older than 
you, Selma, and yet from the way she dresses you would 
suppose she was out and in the world. It vexes poppa not 
a little." 

Selma was silent for a minute. Then she laid a pretty, 
little white hand on Mrs. Seymour's shoulder. 

"You have a lot to do, haven't you, Aunt Coralie?" 

"To do?" answered the good woman. "I'm just fairly 
distracted with doing, what with English servants, and Eng- 
lish ways, and this great lonely house, every room in it called 
by a different name — the blue room, the pink room, the white 
room, the red room — and no light to speak of on the land- 
ings upstairs, and lamps everywhere to light the place in- 
stead of what I am accustomed to — electric burners. I want 


to ask you, Selma, if it isn't enough to turn the head of a 
poor woman? " 

" If I were you," said Selma, " I'd leave things to the 

But here Mrs. Seymour, like the proverbial worm, thought 
it well to turn. < 

" And who are you, Selma Dudley," she said, " to dictate 
to me? Do you suppose for a minute that my Gonsuelo's 
poppa would have amassed the fortune he has if I had not 
saved for him, and looked into the consumption of the scraps, 
and saw that not a quarter of a dollar's worth of anything 
was wasted? That is all you know. I am going on saving 
as long as I live, for I wasn't put into the world for anything 

Selma smiled. 

" Very well, auntie," she said. " Save to your heart's con- 
tent. Would you like me to run over to Tamaresk and invite 
the young Falklands to lunch? " 

" Do; and I guess, if you could manage it, you might take 
Gonsuelo with you." 

44 1 am not going, momma," said Gonsuelo, who managed 
from her distant point of observation to hear this last re- 
mark of her mother's. 

Mrs. Seymour sighed profoundly and entered the house. 
Selma ran up to her cousin. 

"Why do you vex your momma?" she said. "There is 
no sense in it; I call it small-minded." 

" Why does she vex me? " said Gonsuelo. " Run off, Selma, 
and do what you promised to do. Bring those girls back with 
you, if you can; but I guess they've got spirit, and won't yield 
to all poppa's designs." 

" There's no use talking to you," said Selma. " You are 
just in one of your unmanageable moods. But I'll be off." 

"Are you going to walk?" called out Gonsuelo. 

"Yes; there's a short cut which will take me to Tamaresk 
in a quarter of an hour. It is all downhill, too. I'll get the 
girls to walk back with me the same way. Be sure you are 
ready to receive them, and for goodness' sake look nice." 

" Send Ronsard out to me," said Consuelo; " I want to talk 
to her about my dress." 

Ronsard was the name of the Parisian maid. As Gonsuelo 
spoke she sank into a garden-chair, arranged her Liberty 
draperies so as to fall effectively round her, and smiled at 
her cousin. 

" I can resist her except when she smiles," thought the 
young girl; "but then it is impossible." 

Selma ran into the house. She found the French maid, 
who was busily occupied in Mademoiselle Gonsuelo's room. 

" You are to go to your mistress in the garden," said Selma, 
and then, without waiting for the maid's reply, left her. 

Ronsard was a black-eyed, typical Frenchwoman, but as 
she had been in several English families, she could speak the 


lingo with tolerable accuracy. She was well pleased to wait 
on the young American heiress, from whom she hoped to reap 
rich spoils. She was by no means conscientious, or a spe- 
cially good woman; but she was an admirable hairdresser, 
and had an eye to effect. Gonsuelo was remarkable, and 
completely out of the common. Ronsard did not in the least 
mind what Selma wore. It is true, she was supposed to 
look a little after her as well as after Mademoiselle Gon- 
suelo. But Selma hated being waited on, so that in reality 
she did little or nothing for the young girl. Now, uttering 
a sigh and looking with discontent at the outside world, she 
shrugged her shoulders and went daintily downstairs. 

Her appearance was, of course, very chic, and her own 
hair was most beautifully arranged. 

"But mademoiselle," she exclaimed, when she saw Gon- 
suelo waiting like a picture in the middle of the green lawn, 
"you have the effect the most admirable! " Gonsuelo raised 
her eyes. " The tout ensemble of mademoiselle is to the eye 
the most ravishing." 

" I don't want you to flatter me," said Gonsuelo. " I want 
to talk about my dress. Have the gowns we ordered come 
from Paris? " 

"But just now, at this moment, mademoiselle, I am ar- 
ranging them. They are of the most beautiful. They are 
chic; they are, in one word, magnifiques! " 

" Describe them," said Consuelo. 

This was a pleasing task to Ronsard. 

" There is the robe of green," she said — sea-green, like the 
wave when it breaks into foam. It is of the texture of the 
cobweb. The train is long, and the sleeves fall back so as 
to show mademoiselle's white arms." 

" My arms are very thin," said Gonsuelo, " something like 
sticks. Do they look pretty when they are seen?" 

"Ah, mademoiselle! but are they not the arms of slender 

"I know," said Consuelo; "but slender youth can be very 
ugly, all elbows and angles." 

" Say not so," answered Ronsard. " With the hair of made- 
moiselle, and the eyes so sleepy and yet so alert, she can 
well afford to disregard the angles which the time will make 
to disappear." 

Consuelo laughed. 

" You are too funny, Ronsard," she said. " Well, there is 
the sea-green dress with the bell sleeves. What else?" 

"The cream velvet, mademoiselle; the velvet which one 
calls 4 velour,' so light, and yet so elegant. There are spangles 
on the neck, and lace on the sleeves which would make your 
heart ache with the desire to wear it. Then there is a robe 
of turquoise blue, soft and cloudy; and there is a robe like 
the sunset cloud, with a touch of pink and a touch of opal; 
and there are also white dresses innumerable for made- 
moiselle's wear in the mornings." 


" That's enough," said Gonsuelo. " I am tired of this dress. 
I will get you to put me into one of the new dresses — one 
of the Parisian gowns. Which shall it be?" 

Ronsard fixed her keen, black eyes on Consuelo's young 

" Is not mademoiselle of the sort that no sun can burn and 
no harsh wind cause to flush? Is it not that mademoiselle 
is serious beyond her years? But the hour is morning. Will 
mademoiselle not wear a dress which in England one calls 
' comme il faut? ' " 

Gonsuelo sprang upright. 

"No!" she said. " I will never resemble an English miss. 
I will not have a short, stiff, starched white frock with a belt, 
and what we call a waist, but what English people call a 
blouse, on my body. I will wear the sea-green dress with 
the foamy appearance. I like the sound of it. I want to 
be a sort of siren. Oh, I have my ambitions." 

" Mademoiselle is too wonderful," said Ronsard; " and the 
dress can be worn both in the morning and afternoon, for it 
closes at the throat when desirable, but for evening weac 
the neck piece can be removed." 

" Gome and dress me in it," said Gonsuelo. 

She swept restlessly across the grass, and, followed by 
Ronsard, went up to her bedroom. There she surveyed her 
finery with but small interest. To a girl who from her 
earliest days had secured every single thing that took her 
fancy, dress was a mere nothing. It was the slight diversion 
of a minute, no more. 

When Consuelo was attired in the green, foamy dress she 
scarcely glanced at her appearance, but snatched up a book 
of poetry and returned to her seat in the garden. 

The sun was shining with great power, for the day was 
even hotter than the day before. Consuelo scorned to wear 
a hat. She liked the heat. She would not shade her tawny 
locks by any parasol. 

" I guess I am about weary," she said to herself after a 
time. " There seems nothing to live for. .Guess money isn't 
worth so much after all. Guess that man I once heard preach 
in New York City was in the right. He said that money 
stunted the soul. Now, here am I, learned in one sense, but 
ignorant in another; and I'm just about full of the world. I 
have been mostly all round it. I know something of Japan, 
of China, and of India; and as to America — well, I am an 
American girl, and J adore the Stars and Stripes; and what's 
more, I am never going to be ashamed of my country, but 
I will uphold America and American freedom to the end of 
all time. But what I'm no good at all at is just diplomacy. 
There's poppa, with his schemes. I hate them. There's 
momma with her savings : I call that sort of thing splitting 
hairs. Selma's a good sort, but she's of the accommodating 
species, and will settle down to anything that is wanted of 
her; whereas I — there's rebellion in my heart. I don't know 


what I'll do or how I'll do it; but it's pretty bad for an 
American girl to be deprived of her freedom, and I shall 
be sure to do something desperate. I keep sleepy-looking, 
and I dress in this queer, outlandish fashion, showing my 
hideous thin arms and my shallow face — for it is shallow, 
when all's said and done — just to kill time and to get people 
to think me an oddity; but inside of me there is something 
living, and crying at me, and I guess that if it cries loud 
enough, Gonsuelo Seymour will break away from Joseph P. 
Seymour and from the momma as well. I wouldn't be an 
English miss for creation, and yet we have been brought 
here to study the ways of the English misses and to make 
an entry into English society. I guess they'll talk about me. 
Let them; I want them to." 

She sat on, her long, thin fingers interlaced and clasped 
round one knee, her head bent slightly forward as though 
she were arguing a problem with some one, although that 
some one was her own conscience, which resisted its tram- 
mels and fought hard for a different life. 

" I am ignorant, too," she said to herself. "I know the 
world on the surface, but I don't know the beautiful things 
of the world — not one little bit. I have never come bang 
up with goodness, for instance; or with real love, for in- 
stance. Heigh-ho! I suppose I am too young to be think- 
ing like this; but it's my firm impression the daughters of 
American millionaires are born/ old. Ah, and here comes 
Selma and those two prim little misses, Patty and Curly. 
Simple names enough, and simple maids; but they have noth- 
ing in common with me." 



Selma came briskly across the lawn, Patty and Curly walk- 
ing one at each side of her. The little English misses were 
wearing the sort of frocks that Consuelo despised. They 
were dressed very ileatly in brown holland skirts and little 
tussore silk blouses to match. Their hair floated freely about 
their shoulders. They had sailor-hats on their heads. Each 
girl, in her way, was the very essence of prim propriety; 
at least, so it seemed to the queer American girl who was 
waiting for them. 

She did not move as they approached, but sat quite still 
in that utter calm which she so admired in herself. Selma's 
voice sounded fresh and cheerful. 

"Hallo, Connie!" she cried. "I guess you're real lovely. 
Where did you get that confection from?" 

Consuelo raised her eyes slowly. 

" It's not manners to talk about dress when one has vis- 
itors, is it? " she said, turning to Patty. " Please, Miss Patty 


Falkland, will you correct our American ways? Please tell 
Selma when she shows her origin too freely." 

44 1 think," said Curly, 44 that English girls of our age can 
talk about anything that takes their fancy — dress as well as 
anything else; and," she added, lowering her voice a trifle r 
44 your dress is most beautiful ! It is so — so uncommon." 

Consuelo smiled very faintly. 

44 Jump up, Connie," said Selma. 44 Put off those ridiculous, 
languid airs of yours, and let's be cheerful. I call it rea! 
fine of these girls to come over like this; and, I can tell you, 
I had hard work to get them. Miss Dawson did not approve, 
and she would only let them come by saying that she would 
follow in a quarter of an hour." 

44 Oh," said Consuelo, with real interest coming into her 
voice. 44 Your strict English governess — is she coming to 
guard you? " 

44 No," said Patty; 44 certainly not. But it is the fashion 
in this country for girls like Curly and me to go out chap- 
eroned by some one." 

Consuelo laughed. 

44 Sit down and talk," she said. 44 I'm real glad the chaperon 
is coming. I guess I'll find her very entertaining. I have 
never seen a chaperon — never, in the whole course of my 

44 1 will bring chairs," said Selma. 44 Lunch won't be ready 
for quite an hour." 

She ran off as she spoke, and presently a footman appeared 
from the house bearing two or three deck-chairs. Consuelo 
had risen, and continued to talk vaguely, evidently with her 
thoughts far away. Now and then she glanced in the direc- 
tion of the avenue. 

44 Henry," she said to the man as he placed the chairs 
on the grass, 44 we want another chair, please." 

44 Yes, miss," he answered. 

44 A comfortable chair, please, Henry." 

44 Yes, miss," he said again. 

44 We must make the chaperon real happy, anyway," said 
Consuelo, just smiling, with a peculiar expression on her 
face, at Curly, who could not make out whether she was 
laughing at dear Miss Dawson or not. 

The extra chair was brought. Selma, Curly, and Patty 
sat round Consuelo. Consuelo lay back in her own chair. 
She crossed her hands lightly on her lap, and leaned hec 
head against the back of the chair. 

44 Is this the English way?" she said, glancing at Patty. 

44 Oh, no," said Patty. 

44 Say now, what is the English way," continued Consuelo. 
44 May I really?" said Patty, glancing at Selma as she 

44 Why, yes; I guess you may, and must," said Selma. 
44 When Consuelo says a thing she means it; don't you, Con- 


"Guess so," replied Gonsuelo. "But it don't matter a bit; 
if Patty would rather not speak, she needn't." 

" I will tell you, if I may," said Curly. " I will tell you 
what we do at this hour every ordinary day." 

Consuelo again looked up the avenue, and, putting her 
hand to her mouth, suppressed a yawn. 

" Begin at the very beginning, please, Curly," said Selma. 
" Tell us how early you wake, when you rise, how you 
breakfast, what you have for breakfast, and every single 
thing. Connie may pretend she's not interested, but I guess 
that isn't true. Connie's just mad with interest. Now then, 
begin. We're all dying to listen." 

" We wake at seven," said Curly, " and get up immediate- 
ly. We have breakfast at eight; I can't exactly tell you what 
we have — coffee, rolls, porridge, bacon, fish — oh, different 
things every day." 

" Guess you haven't the American girl's love for eating," 
said Selma. " Haven't you dough-nuts — Pfannkuchen — and 
haven't you candy afterwards, and chocolates full of liqueurs? 
Oh, my! I shouldn't like your breakfasts if you hadn't all 
those sort of things." 

" Well, we never have them," said Curly stoutly. 

"That's not the English way," interrupted Patty. 

"Go on," said Gonsuelo; " I'm so glad there is a difference. 
When breakfast is over, what do you do?" 

" We have lessons, of course. Patty and I are in the 
schoolroom at nine. Miss Dawson teaches us." 

" I guess you're learned; I guess you're blue-stockings," 
said Consuelo. 

"No, indeed," answered Curly; "we're rather ignorant for 
our age. Father sometimes says that we ought to know twice 
as much; but Miss Dawson has her own ideas on the subject." 

" I am glad of that, said Consuelo. 44 1 am glad she has 
the courage of her opinions." 

" She is awfully nice," said Patty. " We love her most 

" Is she prim?" asked Consuelo. 
" You might call her so." 

"Oh, I hope she is," said Consuelo; 44 1 should love her to 
be prim." 

"How queer you are!" said Curly suddenly. 

Consuelo laughed. 44 1 want to be queer," she said. 

" Then I am sure you are, Connie," said Selma — 44 the 
queerest thing on earth : an American heiress who won't try 
to please anybody." 

Consuelo roused herself; a slight flush of color came into 
her cheeks. This was a very uncommon occurrence, and 
excited Selma's wonder. 

" I ask you two young English girls," said Consuelo, 44 if 
it is good manners or bad manners to mention the fact pub- 
licly that I have got money at my back. I ask you to reply, 
and to speak the truth." 
36 u 


" We don't do it in England," said Patty. 

" But perhaps," added Curly, " it's the American way." 

Consuelo stamped a small foot which was clothed in a 
green satin shoe. 

" I don't do it," she said. " I despise money." 

" Oh, my! " said Selma. " You are queer, Consuelo Joseph- 
ine Seymour; you are too odd for anything. Where would 
you be, I'd like to know, without money?" 

" Go on," said Consuelo, turning to Curly. " When your 
lessons are finished, what else do you do?" 

" We have lessons of different sorts until lunchtime," said 
Curly. 44 Not always with Miss Dawson, for generally a mas- 
ter or mistress comes from town and teaches us." 

" Now I call that real cunning," said Consuelo. " It must 
make a pleasant change." 

44 It does, very. We have some one nearly every day. This 
is the only day in the week that we are free; otherwise, of 
€Ourse, we couldn't have come to you." 

44 1 like that," said Consuelo. 44 1 am glad you are deter- 
mined. I like people who inflict discipline on themselves. 
I have never exercised any on myself, but I admire others 
who do." 

44 1 never heard you talk quite so queerly before," said 

44 Never mind what she says," interrupted Consuelo, " but 
go on telling me about the English way. After lunch, what 
happens? " 

44 We amuse ourselves," said Curly. " We have nothing at 
all to do except to go out and walk in the grounds, or drive 
in our pony-carriage, or ride, between lunch and tea. After ; 
tea we have an hour and a half in which we prepare lessons 
for the next day, and then Patty practices on the piano and 
I do some sketching. Then there comes late dinner, and 

father Of course, when father comes back all the rest 

of the time is — is — heaven." 

44 1 guess that's not the American way," said Consuelo. She 
gave a great sigh. Selma stared at her. 

44 Selma," said Consuelo, 44 tell me, as an honest girl should: 
does heaven begin for us when Joseph P. Seymour returns 

44 1 don't suppose it does," said Selma; "but there are dif-. 
f erent sorts of fathers in the world." 

'"I take it," said Consuelo, very gravely, "that he is a 
poppa, not a father, and that there's a wide difference be- 
tween the terms." 

Just then Patty uttered an exclamation. 

14 There's Miss Dawson! " she said. 44 May I run to meet 

44 Certainly you may," said Selma. 44 1 conclude," she added, 
" that Miss Dawson must be hungry after her walk." 

44 You had best go in and tell my momma that the English 
chaperon is going to lunch with us," said Consuelo to Selma. 


Selma rushed off to the house. Gonsuelo fixed her eyes on 

" Guess I shall be glad to know your chaperon," she said. 
"How queer you are!" was Curly's answer. 
"That's so; but then, I like to be." 

Miss Dawson was always exceedingly particular with re- 
gard to her dress. She was not fashionable; she prided her- 
self on that fact. She wore gray in summer and black in 
winter. This was the time of summer, the time of roses 
for the young and of cool garments for those in middle life. 

Miss Dawson was between forty and fifty years of age. 
She was as slim as Mrs. Joseph P. Seymour was stout. She 
had a long face, which was rather pale. Her eyes were 
dark, and her hair, black once, was now a sort of iron-gray. 
She wore it parted simply on her brow and folded back in 
a coil round her head. It looked the essence of neatness, 
and had not a scrap of style about it. Miss Dawson's dresses 
just touched the ground, and no more. She had boots with 
broad toes and low heels; she had a horror of pointed toes 
and high heels. Round her shoulders she wore a little cape 
which just reached to her waist, and was of the same ma- 
terial as her gray dress. Her bonnet was also gray, very neat, 
close fitting, and tied with gray silk strings. 

If Consuelo did not feel the heat in the least, Miss Daw- 
son felt it intensely, and held over her head a parasol, black 
outside, and lined with green silk. 

She came forward very slowly. She was much annoyed 
at having to appear at Castle Rocco at all, and nothing would 
have induced her to allow her precious young charges to 
visit the American girls at what she considered such an 
unearthly hour had not Mr. Falkland given her a very de- 
cided hint on the subject that morning. Mr. Falkland had 
said that the intimacy between the families was not only to 
be allowed but encouraged. Miss Dawson knew well that 
when her beloved friend Mr. Falkland assumed that tone, 
there was nothing whatever for her to do but to comply. 
She made up her mind, however, that her darlings should 
not go alone, that she herself would look after them. In her 
heart of hearts she strongly disapproved of Selma; but her 
feeling of horror when she saw what she called " that Merry 
Andrew" on the lawn — namely, Consuelo — very nearly ex- 
ceeded bounds. When Miss Dawson was mentally affected 
by any strong emotion she . invariably turned white. The 
girls used to call it her " cold look." This look now spread 
over her face, masking all her real kindliness, and causing 
her to assume an appearance almost repellent. 

Consuelo, however, rose with some eagerness. 

"You are the chaperon?" she said. "I bid you welcome. 
It is truly kind of you to take this walk in the sun. Will 
you sit in this chair? It's real comfortable." 

" No, thank you," answered Miss Dawson. " May I ask your 
name? Miss — Miss " 


Consuelo's blue eyes flashed again for a second. 

44 1 am called in America, and by my friends, Consuelo 
Josephine Persis Seymour. I guess you'd find all that some- 
what of a mouthful, so Consuelo will do." 

44 May I sit in the shade, Miss — Seymour? " said Miss Daw- 

44 You do beat the Dutch," said Gonsuelo; 44 won't you shiver, 
just! I hate the shade. But come now, how can we manage? 
— Patty, move this lounge under the beech-tree. The dear, 
kind chaperon will rest her weary limbs under the beech- 
tree, and we'll stay close to her in the sun." 

44 1 should like to get into the shade, too," said Patty. 

44 And so should I," said Curly. 

Miss Dawson went with firm steps across the lawn into 
the shady place indicated by Consuelo. She sank on the 
easy-chair provided, and lowered her parasol. Consuelo 
dropped into her own chair. The sun's rays fell full upon 

44 1 wonder you don't have sunstroke," said Miss Dawson. 

44 1 guess the sun only warms me," said Consuelo. 44 1 am 
an American, you know." 

44 1 do know it," said Miss Dawson. 

Consuelo looked suddenly round at Patty and Curly. 

44 Wouldn't you like to walk about and examine things?" 
she said. 44 1 will take care of madame the chaperon." 

44 1 should prefer your calling me by my name," said Miss 

44 1 will take care of Miss Dawson." 

44 Keep in the shade, dears," said Miss Dawson, feeling a 
sense of relief that her darlings should go away, even for a 
short time, from the presence of this pernicious and most 
extraordinary young person. 

Patty and Curly were delighted. Selma was in the house 
expostulating with 44 momma," who dreaded the English 
chaperon immensely. The girls were alone. Patty linked 
her hand inside Curly's arm, and they walked off together. 

44 Keep in the shade," called Miss Dawson. 

44 1 guess you take precious good care of 'em," said Con- 

44 Naturally," said Miss Dawson. 44 They are my charges." 
44 1 guess you love them," said Consuelo. 
44 Naturally," said Miss Dawson again. 
44 Have you had to do with them long? " 
44 1 have been with them most of their lives." 
Consuelo sat very still, her eyes fixed on Miss Dawson. 
44 Guess something," she said at last. 
44 What is it?" said Miss Dawson. 
44 You're just real mad with me, ain't you? " 
44 No," said Miss Dawson; 44 1 am not mad with anybody." 
44 You don't approve of me — truth, now? " 
44 As you ask me a very blunt question, Miss Consuelo Sey- 
mour, I do not approve of you." 


"And, pray," said Gonsuelo, "is that just? For you don't 
know me." 

There was something in her tone which all of a sudden 
roused a new sensation in Miss Dawson. The coldness left 
her face as quickly as it had come. She bent a little forward, 
and said: 

44 My dear, you do right to reprove me. I do not know you; 
but, surely, appearances are against you." 

44 And why? " said Consuelo. 44 What is the matter? " 

44 For instance, your extraordinary dress." 

Gonsuelo glanced down at her sea-foam costume. 

44 1 did think I looked dandy," she said. 44 What can be 
wrong with my toilet? Doesn't it remind you of the sea — 
the sea-nymphs, the mermaids, coolness, freshness, beauty? 
I call it cunning. It is made by a Parisian modiste, and is 
most expensive." 

44 It is horrible!" said Miss Dawson. 

"Why?" asked Consuelo. 

44 To say the least, it resembles a dress that an actress 
might wear. Don't ask me any more." 

44 But I do ask you," said Consuelo. 44 It is most refreshing 
to get the simple truth. Tell me all you think about my 
foam dress " 

44 All I think?" said Miss Dawson. 44 That would take 
some time; but as you really wish it, I will say a little about 
my sentiments with regard to it. It is exceedingly unlady- 
like, exceedingly unsuitable. Such a dress might be per- 
mitted in a London ball-room in the evening, but for any 
girl in the heart of the country to attire herself as you are 
now attired is inadmissible." 

"Not your English style?" said Consuelo. 

44 It is certainly not our English way." 

" I live for this sort of thing," said Consuelo languidly. 

"You — what, my dear? You live for your dress?" 

44 Yes," said Gonsuelo. 44 It's deadly dull, but I've nothing 
better to live for." 

44 Oh, you poor child! " 

44 1 am quite young, too," said Gonsuelo, a hungry look 
coming into her eyes. 44 Guess, now, how old am I?" 

44 Really, my dear, I cannot say. Twenty-two, perhaps." 
Gonsuelo laughed very musically. 

44 1 said I was born old, but in years I am much younger 
than you think. I shall be sixteen at Christmas." 
Miss Dawson held up her hands. 

44 Impossible! " she said. 44 The same age as my Patty." 

44 You are sorry for me," said Consuelo. 

44 1 cannot say that," answered Miss Dawson. 44 If one had 
room in one's heart to be sorry for all the silly fads of silly 
girls, one couldn't live. You choose to appear grown up 
when you are only a child. But perhaps it is because you 
are so very young that you are wearing that dress." 

Consuelo rose languidly from her chair. 


" Would you like to come indoors," she said, " and be in- 
troduced to momma?" 

" Thank you; but I had better first find my little charges." 

" They are quite safe, I assure you. Neither momma nor 
Selma nor I will eat them." 

" I will bring them into the house, if you have no ob- 
jection," said Miss Dawson. 

" I will go and tell momma. You are very kind to come, 
and I thank you for what you have said with regard to my 
sea-foam costume." 

Gonsuelo walked languidly across the lawn. Miss Dawson 
watched her until she had disappeared into the house; then 
she clasped her hands tightly together, and said to herself: 

" How am I to stand this? What a girl! And to feel that 
she must be friendly with my Patty and Curly! And yet, 
poor thing! there was something a little pathetic about her. 
I felt touched just for a minute. But, oh, dear! I am silly 
to be touched by anything of that sort. That girl would 
drive me wild. Give me the English way." 

Meanwhile, Consuelo floated upstairs — there is no other 
possible manner in which to describe her movements — and 
reached the great luxurious bedroom which had been set 
apart for her use. Ronsard was busily putting away the last 
of the new dresses. 

"Ah, mademoiselle!" she said when the girl came in. "I 
have just completed my work. You are now furnished with 
gowns of the most ravishing for many long weeks to come." 

"I want a gown that is not ravishing," said Consuelo. 
"Quick, Ronsard! Take this thing off." 

" The so beautiful dress of mademoiselle?" 

" Take it off, and be quick," said Consuelo. " I want some- 
thing ugly, harsh, ungraceful; get me into it." 

" There are mademoiselle's white embroidered dresses." 

" Too fine," said Consuelo. " I won't have anything fine. 
I have a new idea — it is interesting — I am pleased. I will 
see the effect of looking ugly." 

"But, mademoiselle— has the dear mademoiselle taken 
leave of her reason? " 

" Obey me, Ronsard, and don't talk," said Consuelo. 

Ronsard looked hastily through the new dresses. 

" Too fine — too fine," said Consuelo as each one was brought 
out for her inspection. "Where are my old frocks? Have 
I nothing ugly?" 

" Mademoiselle, I do so assure you that not one ugly dress 
has ever been permitted into your wardrobe since I had the 
so great felicity of attiring you." 

" Then get something of Selma's." 

"But Mademoiselle Selma " 

" Get something, or I will go myself. I'd best choose for 
myself." ' 

Consuelo suited the action to the word. She left her own 
room, and presently reached Selma's. Selma was nothing 


like so tall as Consuelo, and was decidedly stouter. Amongst 
her many frocks was one made of pink cotton. It was the 
simplest which she possessed. It had the "waist" which 
Consuelo so despised. It had the leather belt which Consuelo 
abhorred. Nevertheless, she gathered up skirt, waist, and 
belt now in her arms and returned with them to her bed- 

" These will do," she said. " Quick — quick! " 

Ronsard gave glances of serious alarm. 

" It is the so great heat of the sun," she said. " It has 
affected the poor dear mademoiselle; it is her brain that has 

Consuelo was soon out of the foam dress, and a minute 
later she stood before the glass in the simple pink frock. 

" Oh — my green shoes!" she said. 44 1 must have some- 
thing black. Get me some black stockings and shoes. Oh! 
do hurry — hurry, Ronsard, and don't stare anyway." 

Ronsard selected the most delicate black silk stockings and 
a pair of small black, pointed shoes. 

44 Have you nothing plain? " said Consuelo. " These heels 
are so high. She won't like them." 

" But, mademoiselle " 

" No more 4 buts,' please, Ronsard. Help me into my shoes 
and stockings." 

The change was effected. 
Now, how do I look? " said Consuelo. 

She gazed at herself in the glass. She burst out laughing. 

" I wanted to be queer," she said; 14 and I am queer, with 
a vengeance." 

44 It does not suit the elegance so distinguee of mademoi- 
selle," said the French maid. 44 It is — oh, a changement most 
horrible! If mademoiselle will but be guided by me, there 
is the white embroidered dress with the sash of cerulean 
blue — simple, dignified, most chaste." 

44 No, no, no!" said Consuelo. 44 1 want something ugly; 
and this is ugly. The frock only reaches to my ankles. How 
stimulating! I feel, somehow, that I can walk. Still, I look 
— oh, no, of course, it's my hair." 

Ronsard removed the pins. 

44 Mademoiselle will not wear the hair falling on the 

44 Yes, but I will; combed out, and hanging on my shoulders. 
There's the gong for lunch. Be quick, be quick, Ronsard! " 

Consuelo seated herself, and Ronsard, in secret dismay, 
removed the pins which kept those long and, glowing locks 
in their place. Down in thick waves they fell over the girl's 
shoulders, reaching far below her waist. She swept the 
thick hair back from her low forehead. 

44 Now I look— oh, I can't say how, but different," she said. 

4 Like a jeune mademoiselle " said Ronsard. " Mais, qa ne 
va pas a mademoiselle." 

Consuelo laughed. 


" I can walk," she said. " Some of the languor has gone. 
I| is the English chaperon. I somehow like the English 



Momma was rather flushed. She sat at the head of a long 
table. If poppa had been at the other end she would have 
been quite comfortable. Poppa always knew the right thing 
to say, and how to say it. Nothing ever put poppa out. But 
it was quite different with momma. Momma was easily agi- 
tated; and that flush which rose to her cheeks on the slight- 
est provocation was a great annoyance to the poor woman. 
It was the chaperon who was causing her to feel so very 
uncomfortable; for never had she met a chaperon before. 
She had, of course, heard of such beings, but had never come 
across them. They were, in her opinion, very awful, and 
this specimen of the special race of chaperons appalled Mrs. 
Joseph P. Seymour. How she did long for the old home in 
California that was hers before Joseph P. had made his pile! 
She had never been shy or uncomfortable then. She was 
a very jolly woman in those days, laughing and talking with 
the best, ajid receiving numerous compliments from the 
rough miners, her husband's friends. 

But Joseph P. had struck " ile," as he expressed it, and 
from the moment he had done this apparently desirable 
thing his poor wife's happiness had vanished. 

The chaperon was very stiff to Mrs. Seymour, but Mrs. 
Seymour was exceedingly flattering, not to say almost cring- 
ing, to her. 'The ladies were seated round the luncheon- 
table, and the grand, liveried servants were handing round 
numerous refreshments. Mrs. Seymour had just ventured 
to remark, " I wonder where Consuelo can be," when that 
young lady entered the room. 

It is quite true that just for a moment no one recognized 
in the pink-frocked, almost untidy girl the spotless and 
graceful Consuelo of half-an-hour ago. Mrs. Joseph P. 
dropped her knife and fork with a clatter. 

" Good land! " she cried. 44 Consuelo, have you gone mad? " 

" I guess not, momma," replied that young lady. " Will 
some one oblige me by letting me have a seat near Miss Daw- 
son? — Ah, thanks, Patty, so much; you may put yourself 
at my other side. — Miss Dawson, I feel quite comfortable; 
I am real obliged to you. I like the English way very much." 

Miss Dawson gave Consuelo a penetrating glance. 

" You have changed your dress." she said after a minute. 

" Consuelo," exclaimed her mother, turning almost purple 
in the face with rage and annoyance, " you are an absolute 

" Never mind, momma; it's all in the day's work. Fact is, 
I'm tired of being a beauty; I'm going to be a fright for a 


change. You may all laugh as much as ever you please; the 
laughter is in the day's work, too. This is the English way 
to dress, momma, and we've come to Castle Rocco to learn 
the English ways." 

Here she helped herself to a cutlet from a dish which was 
presented to her. As she began to use her knife and fork 
she turned toward Miss Dawson. 

" You like me better now, don't you? " she said. 

" If," said Miss Dawson very slowly, " I could feel sure 
that you had made this change in the right spirit and not 
with the object of laughing at me." 

" Honest now, I never thought of laughing at you," said 
Consuelo. " Your words were very sharp, and they hurt; 
and I just went straight upstairs and did what you wanted 
— heigh-ho! — and I know I am ugly, but I feel rather pleas- 
ant all the same. I don't look twenty-two now, do I, Miss 
Dawson? " 

" Your face," said Miss Dawson, " looks much older than 
the faces of my Patty and my Curly, but I suppose that is 
accounted for by the fact that you are an American girl. I 
have always heard that iVmerican girls Jkeep very late hours 
and eat quantities of unwholesome sweetmeats." 

" Candies and cookies of all sorts," said Consuelo. " Well, 
I guess you take us right in there." 

44 Then you must endure the consequences," said Miss Daw- 
son. 44 People who live unwholesomely cannot expect to keep 
the freshness of their youth." 

44 Say, Miss Dawson," remarked Consuelo, laying her small, 
white hand on the governess's arm, to the intense annoyance 
of the reserved Englishwoman — 44 say, now, will you turn me 
into an English girl?" 

" I cannot do the impossible, Miss Consuelo." 

Consuelo sighed. Selma's black eyes were fixed on her, 
intense merriment in their gaze. Curly and Patty were 
severely proper. Mrs. Seymour ceased to eat, but fanned 
herself continuously, and remarked on the great heat of the 

44 Oh, land!" she cried. 44 Give me America and cool ver- 
andas and punkas and ices. I don't like the English way." 

44 It is a very good way when you really understand it," 
remarked Miss Dawson. 

44 Momma," said Consuelo, very calmly, 44 if we have fin- 
ished, can't we have ices and coffee and candies on the lawn? 
— Now, girls, wouldn't you like that? " 

The girls' eyes sparkled. 

44 1 will lead the way," said Consuelo, springing to her feet. 
" Oh, my, but can't I walk, just! No more clinging robes for 
me. I like the English way of dressing." 

Momma excused herself, and did not join the party on the 
lawn. Miss Dawson just for a moment hesitated as to 
whether she would stay with this profoundly uninteresting 
woman — for so she considered her — or look after her poor 


lambs, as she called Patty and Curly. But Consuelo managed 
the situation with much adroitness. 

" Come," she said, " I have changed my dress for you, 
and I expect you to approve — if not of me, still of my dress." 

They all went out into the garden. 

" This dress is very baggy," said Consuelo when they got 
there. " It is really one of Selma's dresses, and she is much 
stouter than I am. But I suppose you like it baggy and un- 

" You are vastly mistaken," said Miss Dawson; " I like a 
dress to fit properly. I like it to be absolutely neat. Yours 
is untidy; it doesn't fit, and, to be frank with you, I hate 
pink for morning wear." 

"But not for evening," said Consuelo, with a smile, re- 
membering the stiff pink silks in which' Patty and Curly 
had been dressed on the previous evening. 

" No; it is a suitable color for night; so is blue." 

" Please tell me what colors an English girl may wear in 
the morning." 

Now Miss Dawson had made a study of dress, but not 1 at 
all from the fashionable point of view. 

" Certain blues are allowable," she said, " but not too pale 
a shade. Grays are always nice and lady-like, and so are 
browns and drabs." 

" Oh, my! " said Consuelo. " I guess — I do guess " 

"What?" asked Miss Dawson. 

" Look at me, please, Miss Dawson," said Consuelo. 

" I will, if you wish me to," said Miss Dawson; " but really, 
to tell you the truth, I don't think young girls should wish 
to be stared at. There is nothing remarkable about you, 
now that you are properly dressed." 

" I thought you were not satisfied." 

" Not quite; but compared to what you were, you are now, 
I consider, a respectable human being." 
" Ugly, eh? " said Consuelo. 

" I really don't know. It doesn't matter, does it? " 

"Good land!" said Consuelo; "I thought that was the 
whole thing that mattered in life." 

" Poor child, where have you been brought up?" 

"All over the world," said Consuelo, spreading out her 
hands. " There's a little bit of every place in me, I guess 
— Japan, China, Europe generally, even Africa, and, of course, 
America. Now I'm going to have a bit of English grafted 
on to me; and you're going to do it, please. It is interesting, 
you know. English girls are best ugly. They mayn't wear 
pretty things, and they must have dull colors in the morning 
whatever their complexions. Think of me in drab; do just 
think of me for a minute, with my pale face and my — my 
want of color." 

Miss Dawson drew herself up. 

" I don't think of you in drab," she said, " or in white, or 
in any color. I think of you, Consuelo Seymour, as a young 


girl who has got to prepare herself for life. You are not 
yet sixteen, and yet you talk in a more frivolous way than 
any other girl I have ever met. I don't know anything about 
your intellectual training, but I should not imagine that you 
knew much. Your cousin, Selma Dudley, is, in my opinion, 
more sensible than you; but I really don't pretend to know 
her either. As to appearance: outward appearance is noth- 
ing at all compared to the appearance of the heart. Think 
how your heart shows itself before God Almighty; and, for 
heaven's sake! cease to be frivolous.' 1 ' 

Gonsuelo turned very white. The afternoon was so in- 
tensely hot that even she felt it a little; her thick hair, no 
longer confined round her head, but falling loosely about her 
neck and shoulders, caused her discomfort. 

She said in a low tone, " Thank you," and went slowly 
toward the shady spot where the other girls were congre- 
gated. There she offered a chair to Miss Dawson, and sat 
down on one herself. Miss Dawson looked at her, and, to 
her astonishment, saw that the china-blue eyes were full 
of tears. 

" My dear," said the good woman, her own tone imme- 
diately softening, "have I been too hard on you?" 

"Perhaps not," said Gonsuelo; "but you have been very 
hard." Then she added, winking away the tears, " But I like 
it; you're sort of bracing. Since I was born every one has 
pandered to me, and made the way smooth for me, and 
fussed over me, and spoilt me. I am sick to death of being 
petted and spoilt and fussed about. I am sick to death of 
the cringing ways of servants and ladies'-maids, and even 
of poor momma. I am not quite sick of poppa, because, 
although he pets me worse than all the others put together, 
there's something strong about him. But no one has ever, 
in all my life, spoken to me as you have spoken to me to- 
day. It hurts — it hurt awfully before lunch, and I ran away 
and put on this hideous dress just to please you. I thotight 
you'd be pleased; but you are not. You have hurt me just 
now even worse than you did before lunch. You have made 
me feel, not like Gonsuelo Josephine Persis Seymour, but 
like a mite or a midge floating about in the air — a thing — of 
no account to anybody; a creature, not worth even a glance. 
It hurts — it does hurt; and yet I like it." 

Miss Daw T son was quite silent for a minute. She was the 
soul of sincerity. She could not even pretend at that mo- 
ment that she liked the girl. The American girl was to her 
all that was detestable, and yet she recognized an absolutely 
sincere note in the girl's voice. She looked full at her, and 

" If you are really hurt, it is, I know, for your good. Flat- 
terers are the ruin of all those with whom they come in 
contact. I see one thing to approve of in you : you respect 
the truth." 





It was in the cool of the evening that the Falkland girls and 
Miss Dawson went home, and almost immediately afterwards 
Joseph P. Seymour drove at a spanking pace up to the house 
in his fine carriage. 

Consuelo was still on the lawn, and still wearing Selma's 
pink frock. Selma had expostulated and laughed, and done 
.everything in her power to induce Consuelo to put on a dif- 
ferent dress before her poppa returned. But Consuelo did 
not pay the smallest attention to her cousin's entreaties. 

" I have learnt a lesson," she said, " and I am going to stick 
to it. If I have been spoilt all my life and have had my 
own way from the time I was a little child, I mean to have 
my own way now. It's a sort of topsy-turvy way, I can 
tell you; it's a sort of twisting-and-twirling-right-round 
way. If you don't like it, you needn't join me; but if you 
think well of your own future interests, you'll do what I do." 

44 Hallo, girls!" called Mr. Seymour, as he descended from 
his carriage. 

He had had a very successful day in town, and was, in 
consequence, in high spirits. He was busy just then pro- 
moting a huge company, which would mean, if it was well 
floated, that his own enormous wealth would probably be 
quadrupled, and that people would talk of him as one of 
the richest of the many rich American millionaires. 

*It was necessary for his purpose that Mr. Falkland should 
help him. It was further necessary that certain men of 
high position in the neighborhood should be drawn into the 
scheme. Mr. Falkland could achieve this purpose for him 
if he chose. In short, Mr. Seymour felt certain of success, 
and was consequently inclined to do anything in his power 
for Consuelo, whom he worshipped, and for Selma, whom 
he also loved very dearly. 

On his way home that evening he had stopped at a Bond 
Street jeweler's, and bought a diamond brooch for each girl. 
He was fond of expending his money in really good jewelry, 
looking upon such purchases as investments, for he was 
too shrewd a business man ever to waste a penny. Consuelo 
might be as extravagant as she liked with regard to her 
dress, but then she was the one exception for whom no 
amount of money was to be spared. 

As he approached the girls now as they were standing on 
the lawn, he raised his pince-nez and gazed with a puzzled 
expression at Consuelo's little figure. He was accustomed to 
her as a tall, willowy creature, who meant to him the soul 
of grace and the perfection of elegance and beauty. He im- 
agined in his heart that when Consuelo trailed about the 
place in her long gowns of velvet or satin she showed high 


breeding. She might have belonged at such times, in his 
opinion, to the proudest family in England. He hoped that 
by-and-by she would marry a great English duke; but that 
time was far off. He was not in the slightest hurry to part 
with her. Still, who was this creature on the lawn— a girl 
without any grace, in a dowdy frock of cotton? He hated 
cotton. He could not bear to see it even on Selma. It was 
cheap. He loathed cheap clothes. And what was the matter 
with her hair? It was hanging down her back, and her face 
was turned to him with a new expression; there was very 
little dignity or repose about it. It was quite an agitated 
face for Consuelo to wear. 

"Well," he said, "what in the name of fortune is this? 
Why, Consuelo, are you masquerading for a play?" 

" No, poppa," said Consuelo; " only I took the whim to wear 
these things to-day. They belong to Selma. She hasn't 
been at all generous with regard to lending them to me." 

" She took them without leave, Uncle Joe," said Selma. 

"Remove them, for the land's sake!" said Mr. Seymour. 
" You are a positive fright, Connie." 

" I like being a fright for a change," said Consuelo very 

Mr. Seymour looked in a puzzled way from one girl to the 
other. Consuelo put her hand through his arm. 

" Poppa," she said, " we must go indoors now to get dressed 
for dinner; so I shall take off Selma's pink frock and put on 
something else. After dinner, poppa, I want to have a talk 
with you — a real straight talk, all by our two selves. Will 
you promise that I shall?" 

" Well, now," said the millionaire, " I don't like to refuse 
you things, Consuelo, and that's flat; but I shall be precious 
busy this evening, and Falkland's coming along to have a 
smoke with me." 

" My talk," said Consuelo, determinedly, " will only take 
about half-an-hour, and we can have it while you are 
smoking after dinner. I'll stay behind in the dining-room 
with you, and we'll send momma and Selma into the garden. 
Won't that do?" 

" Have your way, child; have your way. You always bowl 
me over, Consuelo. But I don't like you in your present dress, 
and that's honest. Here, now, what do you say to this? Here's 
a keepsake for you, and here's another for Selma." 

Mr. Seymour thrust a little morocco case into each girl's 
hand. Consuelo did not even open her case; her fin- 
gers closed round it indifferently. Selma, on the contrary, 
pressed the spring of the little case, and when she saw the 
diamond star which lay on its bed of satin she uttered a cry 
of delight. 

"Say, uncle!" she exclaimed, "you are good — you're just 
lovely! How I shall adore to wear this! — Connie, let me look 
at yours." 

"No," said Connie; "I'll open mine upstairs." 


She turned away as she spoke. Mr. Seymour looked at 

"In the name of fortune," he said, "what is up? What 
ails the child?" 

" She has only a fad in her head," replied Selma. " She is 
taken with the English way." 

" But that dress, Selma." 

" It is one of mine, uncle. You don't mind my wearing it." 

" It's cotton," said the millionaire, turning away with a 
look of disgust. Then a thought came to him, arid he turned 
back suddenly: 

" Say, have the Falklands been here this afternoon? " 

"Have the Falklands been here?" echoed Selma. "We 
have lived on the Falklands; we have lunched on them, and 
teaed on them; we have, so to speak, absorbed them. Oh! 
must we see so much of them? I am sick to death already 
of their very names." 

Mr. Seymour looked much displeased. 

" You talk in a very extravagant way," he said; " and, I 
must add, you forget yourself. I wish you to be friends with 
the Falklands. You will see a great deal more of them, let 
me tell you, in the future; and what is also to the point, you 
are not to laugh at them or be disrespectful. I won't have it." 

"Good land!" said Selma. "No, uncle; not if you take it 
like that"; and she vanished into the house, tossing back 
her heavy plaits of hair as she did so. 

Gonsuelo came down to dinner in one of the pretty muslin 
frocks which she had so scorned on the morning of that day. 
In vain Ronsard expostulated, pleaded, almost cried; Gon- 
suelo would continue her role of a little girl, a child who 
wore short frocks and had her hair down her back. It is 
true, the embroidered frock she put on just reached to the 
ground, but Ronsard had directions to put tucks into all the 
said frocks, and to have one of them ready for wear on the 
following* morning. She further received orders to write to 
town for brown holland skirts and brown tussore " waists." 
Ronsard felt inclined to resign her situation on the spot. The 
effect, however, of Gonsuelo in a lovely white dress made of 
the coolest muslin and richly embroidered, with a soft blue 
silk sash round her waist and her hair falling over her 
shoulders, was so altogether charming that even poppa for- 
gave her when she took her place by his side. 

Selma was very much dressed for the evening, and Mrs. 
Seymour had a magnificent dress of flame-colored velvet, 
worn low and covered with a profusion of diamonds. Mrs. 
Seymour raised her voice during the course of the meal in 

" Now, poppa," she said, " you see for yourself what your 
spoiling has done for this girl. Did you ever in all your 
life know anything so extraordinary as Gonsuelo's behavior? " 

"Let her alone, Goralie," was Joseph P. Seymour's reply. 
" She has a fad on, but as it happens to coincide with my 


order of mind, I am just as well pleased as not that she 
should carry it to the bitter end." 

Gonsuelo smiled. She had not for many years felt alto- 
gether so stimulated and excited. Life had suddenly ap- 
peared to her under a new aspect. There was something 
in it beyond money. There was something in it beyond mere 
beauty and outward display. In short, there was character; 
there was the power of doing good and of being good. There 
was that fair and lovely goodness of heart which was more 
precious than any outside beauty. 



"Now, Consuelo," said her father, "I have just half-an- 
hour, and no more, to give you. Time is precious with me, 
my girl, and cannot be wasted. So out with your request, 
whatever it may be." 

" But I want you to understand it, poppa," said the girl, 
" and if I bounce it out in your face you won't understand. 
I can say everything I want to say in half-an-hour if you 
don't fluster me, poppa." 

44 All right, child," answered Joseph P., leaning back in his 
chair and puffing out great spiral rings of smoke from his 
pipe. 44 You always have had it your own way, Consuelo, and 
you will, I make no doubt, to the end." 

44 Then that's cozy and proper," answered Consuelo. She 
drew a very low chair forward, seated herself, and laid her 
arm on her father's knee. She could have done nothing in 
all the world to soften the hard, money-loving man more. 
As he looked down at her he remembered the time when he 
was inordinately proud of a little blue-eyed girl, when his 
first thought after a long day of toil was to see her cherubic 
face, to feel the pressure of the little fat arms round his 
neck, and the soft baby kisses on his cheek. 

The girl had grown up. She had grown long and thin and 
ale. He regarded her as quite grown up, and loved her 
or her elegant, appearance. But somehow, to-night, she 
seemed to be a child again. He laid his hand with an af- 
fectionate gesture on hers, and said in quite a soft tone: 

44 1 ain't afraid of anybody slighting you, Connie, my pet. 
But I don't understand your present whim; if it pleases you 
to wfear sort of baby clothes, I am not the one to interfere. 
You'll be toddling round next in short frocks and little socks 
and shoes. Good land! so you will. Your momma will be 
pleased with that, I guess. Ah, Connie! you were a rampa- 
geous infant, but the darling of my heart all the same." 

44 1 am rampageous enough now," said Connie. 

"You?" said Joseph P. "You might call Selma rampa- 
geous, if you like; but you, my girl — you are so still, and so 
grave, and so languid. Wonderful, I call it. You take to the 


high life of the aristocracy as though you were to the man- 
ner born." 

" Oh, no, I don't, poppa," said Gonsuelo. " You think I do, 
but I don't. The way I used to go on, the way I went on 
this very morning, isn't a scrap the way the English aris- 
tocracy live their life. And, to tell you the truth, poppa, I'm 
sick of it. I am just sick to death of being dull, and still, 
and languid. Why, poppa, you know you gave Ronsard 
carte-blanche to get me any number of fine clothes from the 
best people in Paris." 

41 So I did, my girl; and I'll give you as many more if you 
want 'em." 

44 But I don't; I'm sick of 'em." 

44 So it seems, to judge from the figure of fun you were 
when I came back to-day. You in a pink cotton — a pink cot- 
ton not your own! You, the daughter of a millionaire, the 
daughter of Joseph P. Seymour! I tell you what, Consuelo; 
I am likely to be much more than a millionaire before all's 
said and done. No need for you to wear cotton, my pet." 

44 No need, perhaps, in one sense," answered Gonsuelo. 
44 But then, suppose I like it. Now listen, poppa. I know you 
are in a hurry, so I'll soon wind up my discourse. It is just 
this way, poppa. Ronsard was ever so pleased when the fine 
things came from Paris, and she got me to wear what she 
called a most elegant garment. It was green and soft; and 
it was — oh, I needn't describe it to you; but I looked like 
a s.ort of sea-nymph in it. She called it my sea-foam dress. 
I can tell you, I was proud." 

44 Very suitable, I should say," answered Joseph P., patting 
his daughter's hand appreciatively. 

44 Oh, you poor, ignorant old poppa!" said Consuelo. 
44 There, don't be offended; I know I can say what I like to 
you. Well, there was I in my dress, and up came the Falk- 
land girls." 

44 Quite right; very proper indeed," said Mr. Seymour. 

44 And afterwards their governess followed them. I like 
their governess." 

44 That stiff woman I lunched with only yesterday? " 

44 She is a lady, poppa. She just knows a few things that 
we don't know with all our money; and she said that I was 
like a popinjay and an actress in my sea-foam gown." 

44 She dared to — impertinent woman!" said Joseph, his 
face turning scarlet. 

44 She was not impertinent — not a bit," said Consuelo. 44 1 
liked her; I like her. She is the one person at the present 
moment I am interested in; and I will tell you why, poppa. 
Because she doesn't flatter me. I am just sick of being flat- 
tered. I am sick of being petted, too, except by you. I don't 
mind your petting, for you are a strong man and have a will 
of your own. But I don't want Selma to yield to me every 
minute, and the servants to bow down to me, and Ronsard 
to go into raptures over me; and even poor, dear momma 


— she doesn't stimulate me a bit by her pretty words. I 
want a good, honest, rough time, father; and what is more,. 
I mean to have it." 

"Are you quite well, Connie?" asked her parent. 

He tried to put his hand on Connie's brow, but she had 
risen to her feet now, and stood before him. 

" I am well enough," she said; " and Til be better still if 
you'll let me have my way. I want a down-right rough old 
time — that's what I want. I am sick of the smooth side; I 
want to taste the seamy side. The only person on earth who- 
will give it to me is those girls' English governess, Miss Daw- 
son; and I want to go to her, and to live with her for a 
bit, and to dress as she wishes, and be snubbed, snubbed, 
snubbed— every hour and minute of the day. There I that's 
my wish; and I want you to see that it's carried out." 

"Well," said Joseph P., "you are in earnest, Connie?" 

" Sure and certain," answered Connie. 

" You are the queerest girl I ever came across." 

"Guess I am," answered Connie; "but I am in earnest, 
all the same." Then she added in a strangled sort of voice, 
" Oh, it is good to be in earnest about anything. I am so 
i sick of just posing as what I am not — a beauty — and wearing 
ridiculous dresses that no English young girl who is properly 
trained would show her face in. Leave me to Miss Dawson, 
dad. She is true, if you like. She has a rough tongue, per- 
haps, and her speech is plain, and I just want her to hurt 
1 me. It's good for me; I like it. You know, daddy, you have 
never denied your little Connie anything — never — never since 
she was born; so you won't deny her this." 

" But I don't understand you," said the bewildered million- 
aire. '"That woman — Dawson, you call her — is engaged by 
Falkland to look after his daughters. She won't have any- 
thing to do with you even if you wish it." 

" Oh, yes; she will have lots to do with me if you arrange 
it ; dad. Now then, poppa, that is my wish, and I want it to 
begin just right away; so you can settle it up with Mr. Falk- 
land when he comes here this evening." 

" I take it you want to go away from your momma and 

" That's about it," said Consuelo, nodding her head. 
" It ? s a bit hard on us, ain't it? " 

"No, poppa; it's the best thing for you, too. You'll have 
a daughter to be proud of when I come back to you again. 
Fact is, poppa, I don't want to be grown up, not for another 
year or two. Why, Miss Dawson took me for two-and-twen- 
ty, and I am not sixteen yet." 

"Bless my heart!" said the millionaire. "I forgot you 
were so young." 

"And why should I part with what is left of my child- 
hood?" said Consuelo. "Guess I never had any; but guess 
I want it badly now. You'll do what I want, won't you? " 

" I never did refuse you anything, my girl." 
46 15 


" That you didn't; and I am going to give you a right 
hearty kiss. I never eould kiss you properly when I was in 
my trailing garments, with my hair all pinned up, I felt 
afraid to move, because, you see, I was a study, an effect — 
something to be gazed at. Now there is no one to gaze, and I 
can kiss the dear old man, and I will." 

Connie flung her arms tightly round Joseph P. Seymour's 
neck, and pressed her young lips to his cheek. The next 
minute she had rushed out of the room. 

Left alone, he sat very still. His eyes were full of a sort 
of dazed wonder. After a second or so he put up his hand 
softly to feel something on his cheek — something wet. 

44 Bless her heart! " he said to himself. 41 She is the queer- 
est creature. But she was crying, my little ponnie." 

Joseph P. Seymour had finished his pipe when Mr. Falk- 
land was announced. Seymour got up to welcome his guest. 
Wine and cigars were brought, and the two men began to 
talk. Joseph was very keen about his great scheme — that 
scheme which was to revolutionize a certain industry both 
in England and America. It was a great scheme, and a sound 
one. There was no humbug about it. There was nothing 
whatever dishonorable about it. It simply wanted Eng- 
lish support, and Joseph P. saw his way to getting the neces- 
sary English influence through Mr. Falkland. 

They talked long, Joseph letting the Englishman see that 
he himself would derive very considerable benefit if the com- 
pany was formed and the scheme carried through. But, 
eager as Seymour was over this darling project of his brain 
— the greatest thing he, the great financier, had ever yet 
projected — the memory of Connie kept returning to him 
again and again. It slid into his heart with the feeling of 
that passionate kiss she had given him. It was a long time 
— years, in fact — since Connie had kissed her father like 
that. She, Consuelo, was, in his opinion, a very grand young 
lady — languid, grave, effective; some one to be intensely 
proud of; a girl who had truly sprung from the people, and 
yet had all the instincts of the high-born. 

So he fondly believed. But to-night she had been his old 
Connie — simple, eager, enthusiastic, determined. In his heart 
of hearts he liked her much better as Connie than he did 
as Consuelo; and yet he regretted Consuelo, for she was, he 
considered, such a very proud possession. She gave, he be- 
lieved, tone to his* whole establishment. 

When the two men had talked for some little time, their 
conversation was interrupted by the appearance of a girl 
who came and stood outside the window. The window was 
open, because the evening was so warm. The girl just 
peeped in and said: 

44 Joseph P., don't forget what I want." 

There was a flash of bright hair and the vanishing of a 
white dress, and Mr. Falkland turned in some bewilderment 
to his companion. 


"Was that your daughter?" he said. 

"Yes, bless her! That is my Connie," said the father. 

" What a pretty girl! I haven't seen her before." 

44 No more you have; no more you have, Mr. Falkland* 
Well, you have seen her now." 

" I am surprised," said Falkland. 44 My children — my two 
girls have talked a great deal about her. Somehow they gave 
me quite a wrong impression. I imagined that she was — 
grown up." 

" Well, sir, she was until this afternoon." 

44 1 don't understand," said Mr. Falkland. 

44 1 have something to say to you, Mr. Falkland, and I want 
you to listen to me. We have arranged pretty well who the 
directors are to be of the new company, and I can assure 
them that their shares will, one and all, be considerable. 
You leave that to Joseph P.; and you, sir, who introduce 
these gentlemen, will find yourself considerably the better." 

44 Thank you," said Mr. Falkland rather coldly. 44 The 
money I rightly earn I shall be glad to claim." 

Joseph could not help winking very slightly. He felt im- 
patient of what he considered English prudence. It was his 
fashion to allow his fortune to accumulate by leaps and 
bounds. The caution of the Englishman annoyed him. 

44 1 am doing something for you, sir," he said. 44 1 suppose 
you will admit that? " 

44 You certainly are doing a vast deal for me," answered 
Mr. Falkland, 44 and I will say frankly that I am exceedingly 
obliged. You are helping me, in fact, round a tight corner* 
In our mercantile trade, sir, we are often face to face with 
a problem which steeds just the assistance you are now ren- 
dering to me to enable us to stem the tide." 

44 In another word, Mr. Falkland, consider me your banker, 
sir, to any extent. The help you give me is so invaluable, 
so necessary to the furtherance of my plans, that I could 
not possibly complete them without that help. I am proud 
to feel, at the same time, that I have to deal with a man of 
principle and an English gentleman." 

44 Thank you," said Falkland. 

44 And now, sir, there is just one little matter I should like 
to arrange. It is a personal, private matter; but as you 
have daughters of your own, I guess you will see some of 
my meaning. I have one child, and only one. Selma is my 
poor sister's child; she is my adopted child, for my sister is 
dead. But she ain't my own, and there's a wide difference 
between your own flesh and blood and anybody else's flesh 
and blood, I take it." 

44 Quite so," answered Mr. Falkland. 

44 They are good girls, both of them," said Seymour. 

Falkland nodded. 

44 In especial is Consuelo good," continued the proud father* 
44 You wouldn't see anywhere a girl of more character than 
my Consuelo. From her birth it was the same. Her mother 


tells me that she took notice long before the time when or- 
dinary babies are supposed to make observations. And from 
the time she was a little tot she had a queer, masterful way; 
a climbing-round-your-heart way, sir; a clinging-up-close- 
to-you way, sir. She is strong, too, as the ivy is strong; and 
she wound herself round and round me, so that all that I 
did was done for her. She was my world; she is my world 
still. It is a queer thing, when you come to think of it, to 
have to acknowledge that all your thoughts are centered on 
one bit of a girl. But that's the way with me. My money 
is for her; my labors are made for her sake. I want her to 
have the best and be the best. There is nothing mean or 
low in her. She has character through and through. That's 
what my Gonsuelo Josephine Persis is." 

" Very interesting," said Mr. Falkland, feeling inclined to 
yawn all the same, and almost wishing that he might go 
back to his own Curly and Patty. 

" I see you are a bit tired of the subject, sir," continued 
Joseph — his eye was quick to detect any motion of his vis- 
itor's face — 44 but I take it that you'll have to restrain your 
impatience, Mr. Falkland, for I ain't done yet. We've trav- 
eled right round the world, and my Con has seen a good 
bit; she knows a thing or two about men and manners, I 
take it. And now we are settled in our English home; and 
I tell you, sir, such a home as this has been the longing of 
my life " 

44 A beautiful place," interrupted Mr. Falkland; "a place 

any man would be proud of. The late owners I beg your 

pardon! " 

44 Ybu will excuse me, sir, but I am n:>t thinking of the 
late owners, or of the house itself, just now. Connie came 
to me after dinner to-day and made a request. I have never 
refused her anything." 

44 1 have no doubt of that." Mr. Falkland rose from his 

44 Sit on a bit longer, Mr. Falkland. I'll have my say out 
in a minute or two. I want her request to be granted; and 
it lies in your power, and in your power alone, to oblige me 
in the matter." 

44 What do you mean? I am sure anything that I can 
do " 

44 You can do this," said the millionaire. " Connie has 
taken it into her head to turn right round. She is sick of 
being a fine, grown-up young lady, and wants to romp a bit 
and be a child." 

44 Very wise; a most excellent resolution," said the other 

44 And it is your governess who has done the deed, sir." 

44 Miss — Dawson! " exclaimed the astonished Mr. Falkland. 

44 Well, yes— I suppose that is her name. Anyhow, the 
lady who has the honor of conducting the education of your 
two young ladies came here to-day and upset my apple-cart." 


"Miss Dawson? Oh, surely — impossible!" 

44 It is true, sir; and I cannot say, to be frank with you, 
whether I am obliged to her or not. Time will prove what 
my feelings will eventually be. She is a pretty straight per- 
son, I take it; and, somehow, she gave my little girl some 

44 Oh, I must speak to her," said Mr. Falkland, with some 
annoyance. 44 Miss Dawson is very truthful, and an excellent 
woman; she is perhaps apt to forget that all young girls are 
not her pupils. I apologize for her, Seymour. Please don't 
think of her again." 

"But, good land, sir! I want to think of her again; and 
what is more, I must think of her again. For some extraor- 
dinary reason, my girl liked what she said, and, what is 
more, acted on it. And, now, this is her request — that she, 
and perhaps Selma, should join forces with your two young 
ladies, and that Miss Dawson should tell the truth to them 
all. That is what Connie wishes. She has put it strong; 
she has pointed it out plainly; and what is more, sir, it has 
got to be done. I have never coerced my girl, and I am 
not going to coerce her now. It's middling hot weather, I 
take it, at present — of course, nothing to the States — but I 
notice you all seem to feel it. Suppose I, Joseph P. Seymour, 
take a house by the seaside, and put your Miss Dawson there 
as commander-in-chief; and your girls, sir, and my girls, go 
there under the proviso that Miss Dawson looks after them. 
They could stay for a couple of months — the whole of July 
and the whole of August, and a bit longer if they fancied 
it. I guess, sir, that would about tide us over. The child 
would be pleased, and we could attend to business. What 
say you, Mr. Falkland?" 

"Say?" answered Mr. Falkland. 44 1 am bewildered. I 
never was more astounded in the whole course of my life. 
Miss Dawson is a very peculiar person, and I could not dream 
of assenting to anything without consulting her. I must think 
this over, and let you know in the morning." 

44 Thanks," answered Joseph. Then he added, 44 1 help you; 
you help me. There are other men who would jump at the 
proposal I have made to you with regard to the company. 
Fact is this, Mr. Falkland, I don't think one quarter as much 
about making my pile as I do about pleasing my girl; and I 
don't want her to be in suspense. There, sir, I think that is 
enough, and you will let me know in the morning." 



John Falkland spent a restless night. He arrived home 
late after that very important interview with Mr. Seymour. 
The girls had both gone to bed. He was rather glad than 
otherwise at this. Miss Dawson might be up. She often did 


sit up late in her private sitting-room. But he did not want 
to interview Miss Dawson just then. All the same, his mind 
was full of the extraordinary, wonderful thing she had done. 
She, the inconspicuous, retiring, rather cold woman, had sud- 
denly assumed immense proportions in his eyes. She was 
so important for the time being that on her hung John 
Falkland's own success or failure. 

He did not like the position. He had been very glad when 
first the American millionaire was introduced to him through 
a mutual friend. He had decided to help Joseph P. as much 
as possible, and, aided by the American's own determination, 
had taken steps in that direction without delay. 

Castle Rocco was rented at an enormous yearly sum. It 
was furnished extravagantly and well by the Seymours, 
those exceedingly wealthy Americans, when they had taken 
possession of it. Falkland himself held the proud position 
of one of the merchant princes of England. He belonged to 
an exceedingly good old family, and knew every person of 
importance in the neighborhood. Those people who owned 
country-seats near Tamaresk and Castle Rocco were exclu- 
sive of the exclusive, and proud of the proud. But they 
were, one and all, friendly with him. His people had be- 
longed to the place before him. The fact that he himself 
was engaged in trade could not possibly affect those well- 
to-do and intellectual English people who lived in the begin- 
ning of the twentieth century. A hundred years ago things 
would have been different, but Falkland was a man of his 
own day. 

Now, while commercially sound, he was at the same time 
approaching a grave crisis in his affairs. Some specula- 
tions had gone singularly wrong in the West Indies, , and 
without help his great name might suffer; and although he 
was very far from bankruptcy, he might find it difficult to 
fulfill all his obligations. 

Seymour, at this juncture, was just the man he needed 
to put him on his feet. It would never, never do for him 
to quarrel with Seymour. He saw his way to give the 
American just what he desired. Falkland was by no means* 
too proud to interview on Seymour's behalf his titled neigh- 
bors and those squires of the soil who had lived on their 
own land for many generations. 

But now something quite different from this was expected 
of him, and, although he wished his little girls to be on a 
friendly footing with the two American girls, he did not 
like the proposal made to him by Joseph P. It was a sine 
qua non. It meant his own success, or failure. If he ac- 
ceded to Seymour's queer request, Seymour's purse would be 
at his command for a time, and Seymour's vast influence 
would raise him high on the tide of commercial success. 
If, on the other hand, he said " No," he would have to face 
a grave crisis; he would be obliged to retrench; he might 
have to go under. These being the conditions, this busy man, 


who spent his life in a rush of work and ceaseless commer- 
cial enterprise, found himself unable to sleep. 

In the morning he awoke early, got up, and went to the 
little town of Arnside to send off a few telegrams. These 
were to the effect that he could not be in the City until noon; 
he would have to take a later train than usual, for Miss 
Dawson must be interviewed, and perhaps also his own two 
children, Patty and Curly. 

Falkland, being an Englishman, could ill understand Jo- 
seph P. Seymour's rush and dash, Seymour thought out a 
thing, and, lo and behold! the thing was done. There was 
no delay, no hesitation. The thing was on immediately, or 
off immediately. There was no waste of nerve tissue, no 
waste of mental power in the agonies of indecision. Joseph 
decided at once; his fiat went forth — yes or no — without an 
instant's hesitation; and he never changed: what he decided 
to do, he did. He had an enormous force about him, and 
that force was his mighty, unalterable will. 

John Falkland was a strong man himself, but he felt as 
a puppet in the hands of Joseph Seymour. He walked rest- 
lessly about his beautiful grounds, and again his thoughts 
wandered to Miss Dawson. She really was an excellent crea- 
ture, and, as the trainer of his children, was invaluable. She 
was always true, always faithful. She had never shirked 
her duties. There was no guile about her; she was a good 
woman. But to the master of Tamaresk this elderly, plain 
human being was profoundly uninteresting. She filled an 
important niche in his establishment, and he was glad to 
know that his own two dear children were fond of her. But, 
beyond that fact, he seldom or never gave Miss Dawson a 
thought. She was one of the pillars of the house, of course 
< — a little more necessary than the cook, a little more neces- 
sary than the girls' faithful nurse — but still, just a sub- 
ordinate in his establishment. It was amazing to him, and 
distasteful also, to feel that at the present moment she held 
the reins of power; that on her depended a decision which 
must mar or make his future. Falkland was proud, and, 
truth to tell, disliked the whole position immensely. 

" Hallo, dad! " called a cheerful voice, followed immediate- 
ly by another cheerful voice also crying, "Hallo, daddy I"" 
and two girls came bounding out of the house to meet him. 

"Why didn't you call us?" exclaimed Patty. "We might 
have gone for a walk with you. Oh, dad, you were unkind! " 

" I was thinking, my pets, and did not want to be dis- 
turbed," said Mr. Falkland. 

But he felt, as he walked across the lawn, that he was 
very glad to be disturbed by his two children. If Seymour 
lived for Consuelo, he lived for his Patty and his Curly — his 
nice, sweet, fresh, wholesome young girls, so childish, so 
innocent, so brisk, so active. 

Patty now took one of his arms, and Curly hung upon the 
other. Thus they paced up and down the lawn, waiting until 


the moment when the gong would sound for breakfast. It 
occurred to Falkland that this was a good opportunity to 
talk to his children. Of course he would not tell them 
what had really occurred, but he might sound them on the 

" You were in bed, my pets, when I got home last night," 
lie said. 

44 Oh, yes, dad," answered Patty. 44 We waited up as long 
as we possibly could. Dear Miss Dawson was so kind, and 
allowed us both to sit up for half-an-hour longer than usual. 
But you never came. I'm afraid I fell asleep before you did 
come in, daddy." 

44 1 didn't," said Curly. 44 1 was awake. I heard when dad 
arrived home." 

44 If you had whistled to me, Curly, I'd have come up to 
you," said her father. 

She turned and looked at him gravely. He noticed, with 
a keener observation than he had hitherto bestowed upon 
her, how much character Curly had in her face. He pressed 
her little hand affectionately. 

44 Now," he said, after a pause, 44 let's talk about what you 
did yesterday. I am not going to town quite as early as usual 
this morning, as I have some matters to attend to here first. 
Tell me, both of you, how you like Castle Rocco." 

44 Oh, pretty well, father," said Patty. 

i4 And why pretty well?" asked her father impatiently. 

44 It's not a very easily understood sort of place," was 
Curly's remark. 

44 My dear children," said their father, 44 whatever you do, 
you must not be narrow. You must, once and for all, clearly 
understand that you and your governess only represent a 
Tery small portion of life. It is good for you to see other 
sides; it is very good for you." 

44 Is it? " said Curly. But she spoke dubiously. 

Mr. Falkland looked at her again and knit his brow. He 
noticed the determination of her mouth. He had just such 
a determined mouth himself, and felt that he had no right 
to blame his child for exhibiting some of that character in 
which he also rejoiced. 

"It's just this, dad," said Curly: "you want us to like the 

44 Of course I do," said Mr. Falkland. 

44 Selma isn't so bad," said Patty. 44 She is quite merry, 
and — oh, we don't mind Selma, do we, Curly?" 
44 No; we quite like her," said Curly. 

44 But," said Patty, 44 she's not the least like the Earnshaws 
or the Selwyns." 

44 The Earnshaws belong to the nobility, my dear." 

44 1 thought ladies were the same everywhere," said the 
astute Curly. 

Mr. Falkland felt more annoyed than ever, 

44 In one sense you are right," he said after a pause. " But 


there's a certain polish that has nothing to do with the good- 
ness of the heart." 

"No," said Curly; "and I think Selma is quite good. 

It's " then she added with a rush, " it's Consuelo we don't 

quite like. Neither does Roger like Consuelo. She " 

" What, Curly? Speak out." 

" Well, father, we think — oh, please, don't frown — we think 
Consuelo vulgar." 

"You little goose!" said Mr. Falkland. "It shows how 
very little you know." 

" No, it doesn't," said Curly, reddening. " It shows that 
what you have been brought up to expect, you do expect. 
Father, please don't be angry, but you know you have been 
careful about us, and we have always lived in this darling 
house, and as long as ever we could remember, dear Miss 
Dawson has been with us, and Miss Dawson is such a lady." 

" Oh, Miss Dawson," said Mr. Falkland. He would have 
dearly likeu to add, "Bother Miss Dawson!" but restrained 

" Well," he said, after a pause, " go on." 

"You see, father, it just depends on the point of view, 
doesn't it? " continued Curly, bringing a touch of depth un- 
usual in so young a girl into her conversation. " It is true, 
Consuelo has seen the world, and we haven't; and it is true 
that she is enormously rich, and I don't suppose we are; 
and what is more, I don't care. But if you had seen her 
when we arrived yesterday — why, father, she wore a sort of 
evening-dress; but it wasn't her dress, it was her manner 
and — well, of course, she did nothing wrong exactly, but she 
didn't seem to us to be a lady. She was queer altogether; 
she wasn't really uninteresting, but she was queer. Patty and 
I felt at once that we could never be friends with her; and 
she was very, very funny about Miss Dawson." 

" Miss Dawson again," thought Mr. Falkland. 

"Just as though she were half-laughing at her all the 
time, and we felt, of course, inclined to fly at her for that. 
Then, do you know, she came down to lunch in the queerest, 
most untidy frock, with all her hair hanging down her back. 
She had taken off the queer dress which she had put on 
(I suppose to greet us when we arrived), and she wore a 
queerer dress, but it was so fearfully untidy and ill-fitting. 
Selma was very nice. We could do with Selma, though per- 
haps she is not exactly our kind. But Consuelo — oh, dad, 
darling! we don't want to be friends with Consuelo." 

"No, dad," continued Patty. "We don't want to a bit. 
Need we, daddy?" 

" There's the breakfast gong. My early rise has given me 
an appetite," said Mr. Falkland. " Come indoors, girls. I 
will talk to you about this later on." 

They all entered the dining room. Of course Miss Daw- 
son was present. She was already seated opposite the steam- 
ing, hissing urn. 


The breakfast table was a model of English neatness and 
comfort. There were rows of hot dishes, and many cold 
meats on the sideboard, and different kinds of bread, and 
hot cakes, and, in fact, all sorts of good things. 

The two girls and Mr. Falkland sat down to their excellent 
meal without giving it a thought. They were accustomed 
to this sort of breakfast every day of their lives. Mr. Falk- 
land, as he ate, however, on this special morning, looked 
more than once with an inquiring sense of wonder at Miss 

She was really quite a plain woman — insignificant, he 
called her. She was dressed in a dull sort of brown to-day, 
and the day was a magnificent one. The primmest of women 
might, at least, have a flower in her belt or a bit of color at 
her throat; but Miss Dawson considered it wrong to wear 
cut flowers; and as to a piece of bright color at her throat, 
she would have shuddered at the bare notion, 

Mr. Falkland gazed at her with growing apprehension. 
What if his womenkind — his two little, innocent, frank Eng- 
lish girls and their admirable English governess — should 
frustrate his dearest plans? But they must not. He had 
but to exercise his authority, and that sine qua non of Jo- 
seph P. Seymour's would be carried into effect. 

When breakfast had come to an end the servants were 
assembled for prayers, and immediately afterwards Mr. Falk-« 
land said some astonishing words. 

" Girls, I want you to go out and amuse yourselves for an 
hour or so while I have a chat with Miss Dawson." 

Miss Dawson found an unwonted color visiting her wintry 
cheeks. This was accompanied by a slight sense of chill. 
Had she done anything wrong? What could Mr. Falkland 
want to say to her, and at this hour of the morning, too, 
when he was generally in such frantic haste to get to town? 

" Perhaps, Miss Dawson," said Mr. Falkland, " you wouldn't 
mind coming with me to my study. I have a little matter 
to discuss with you. — Now, girls, run off. Don't be curious." 

" Curly," said her governess, " you can go to the school- 
room to practice, and Patty may take her Shakespeare into 
the garden. Go on reading 1 Measure for Measure,' Patty; 
you will find a mark in the place where we left off the day 
before yesterday." 

The girls obeyed. They were quite good girls. They, 
never dreamed of disputing Miss Dawson's dictum. A min- 
ute or two later Mr. Falkland and Miss Dawson were com- 
fortably seated in the study. 

" Now," said Mr. Falkland, " I have a rather amazing piece 
of information to give you." 

Miss Dawson folded her hands sedately in her lap. She 
sat with her back to the light, and Mr. Falkland faced the 
window. He almost wished that their positions might be 
reversed, but could not see his way to bringing it about. 

" Yes, Mr. Falkland," said Miss Dawson. 


"It has to do with the Americans," said Mr. Falkland. 

" Ah, yes," said Miss Dawson. Then she added, " You 
wished us to be on friendly relations. In accordance with 
t your desire, when young Miss Dudley called here yesterday 
morning and invited Patty and Curly to lunch, I allowed 
them to go." 

" Quite so. You did right," said Mr. Falkland. 

" The day happened to be fortunate, or I should have been 
obliged to withhold my permission," said the governess. 

" I don't understand." 

44 The children's masters were not coming from London 

" Oh— ah! said Mr. Falkland. " Well, if such a thing 
should occur again, you can wire or telephone to town." 
Miss Dawson opened her eyes. 
" Their education, sir " — she began. 

44 Is of no moment compared to this matter," said Mr. 

Miss Dawson now perceived that something very serious 
indeed had occurred. She became interested, and, in conse- 
quence, much less stiff. 

" Tell me exactly what did happen yesterday," said Mr. 

" Miss Dudley came to invite the girls to lunch and to 
spend the afternoon. As I said — acting on your desires — I 
gave permission. But I 'could not let such young girls go 
from home alone. I followed them as soon as I conveniently 
1 could." 
I "Well?" 

" We returned home soon after six o'clock." 
" That has nothing to do with the matter. What did you 
do between one and six? " 

44 1 had a little conversation with Mr. Seymour's daughter, 
1 Consuelo." 

44 Ah ! " said Mr. Falkland. 44 Now we are coming to the 
point. It seems, Miss Dawson, that you have had a very 
marvelous influence on that young American girl." 

44 Oh no," said Miss Dawson in a deprecating voice. " Noth- 
ing of the sort, I can assure you; nothing of the sort. I know 
the American character — or, at least, I have studied it in 
books. Any words that I may have said were doubtless 
evanescent, and are forgotten by now." 

44 My dear friend, you are highly mistaken. I have a won- 
I derful piece of information to give you." 

Miss Dawson sat very still, her eyes fixed on John Falk- 
land's face. 

44 You and I have been friends for years, my dear Miss 

44 Most truly," said Miss Dawson. " I have your interests 
i at heart." 

44 1 know it. I trust most sincerely that you will have my 
interests at heart at the present juncture." N 


" What do you mean? " 

" I will explain. Please have patience with me, and don't 
interrupt until I have finished my story." 

Miss Dawson was the soul of patience. She had been 
patient all her life. She was always waiting for a better 
thing than had yet occurred to her. She meant to wait till 
the end. At the very end of life, when the curtain was 
lifted, she might find that for which she longed. She did 
not look for it in this present world. She was, therefore, 
well prepared to sit quiet now and to hear Mr. Falkland as 
long as he chose to speak. 

" This is what has happened," said that gentleman. " It 
seems that you said some remarkable words to Gonsuelo Sey- 
mour yesterday. I don't know what they were. I am alto- 
gether in the dark as to what has occurred; but you have 
managed in an extraordinary manner to touch that young 
girl's heart." 

"Ah!" said Miss Dawson. Her eyes softened. She bent 
forward, her hands tightly locked together on her knee. 

44 She wishes for something very strange, and her father 
intends her to have her desire; and he has put the matter 
to me in such a way that if that desire is not granted serious 
consequences will arise, about which I hope it may never 
be necessary to trouble you." 

44 He — he dares to threaten?" said Miss Dawson. 

John Falkland got very red. 

44 We will not use ugly words, if you please, Miss Dawson." 
44 No, sir; I regret my mistake." 

44 Well," continued Mr. Falkland, 44 the matter lies so. Gon- 
suelo likes you, and she wishes to see more of you. She is 
one of the richest American heiresses of the day, and she has 
been treated like a grown-up girl. But her wish now is to 
turn back, and to cease to be a woman. She wants to be a 
child, and she wishes for discipline, and her desire is that 
you, Miss Dawson, should give her that discipline." 

Miss Dawson half rose from her chair, but, putting great 
restraint on herself, remained seated. 

44 She wants to join forces with Patty and Curly " 

44 Imposs " began Miss Dawson. 

44 Just don't speak for a minute or two, dear friend. She 
and Selma Dudley wish to join my two girls, and Seymour 
proposes to take a house by the seaside. He further pro- 
poses that you shall control that household, and shall bring 
your influence to bear on four girls instead of two. It is, 
in short, an experiment which Consuelo wishes to make, and 
which her father is determined she shall make just because 
she wishes it. The experiment would last at the furthest for 
three months, and perhaps only for two. It rests for you to 
say — yes or no." 

44 1 say 4 No,' " answered Miss Dawson. 44 1 say 4 No ' with- 
out an instant's hesitation. I have to think of my own two 
girls — yes, Mr. Falkland, I call them my own; for have I not 


brought them up from their earliest years? Consuelo Sey- 
mour is a mass of contradictions. I know there are some 
attractive points about her; but she is the very last girl I 
should wish to be in the same compaily with Patty and 
Curly. I regret it extremely, Mr. Falkland; but if you have 
set your mind on this, and if Mr. Seymour and Consuelo have 
set their minds on it, I must very firmly decline." 


Mr. Falkland sat quite still for a minute. Miss Dawson's 
astonishing attitude, her amazing firmness, the strength 
which suddenly spread itself all over her face, caused him 
to look at her in a new light. She really was a very im- 
portant person. Her words and her attitude took his breath 
away. He and Seymour — he, her master; Seymour, at the 
present juncture to a certain extent his master — desired a 
certain thing; but Miss Dawson said " No." 

Now, to Mr. Falkland's credit be it spoken, he did not use 
the one weapon which he knew would mean immediate suc- 
cess. He did not again revert to that terrible problem which 
would assuredly face him if Joseph P. Seymour was refused 
his heart's desire. On the contrary, an inspiration came to 
him. He said slowly: 

" I believe you are a good woman." 

"Ahl" said Miss Dawson; "I have many faults, but I try 
hard for Divine guidance in all things." 

" I am glad to hear that," said Mr. Falkland. " I should 
like you to seek that guidance just now, and I think the very 
best possible plan is for you to talk the matter over with 
Curly and Patty, and then to see Consuelo herself. I will not 
plead with you, Miss Dawson. There are reasons why I con- 
sider such a course of action degrading. I only ask you to 
believe that when a trust is offered to you — a great and tre- 
mendous trust — you may be wrong to refuse it. As to its 
being distasteful, that I can well believe, for we all of us, 
my dear friend, are brought face to face with distasteful 
things from time to time. Now, I think I have said my say. 
I wish for this thing; you decline to have anything to do 
with it. That is the present position. Nevertheless, I ask 
you to talk to the girls, and to see Consuelo." 

Miss Dawson rose. She was feeling weak and trembling. 
Some of her courage had deserted her; but her resolution 
was as firm as ever. 

" You will excuse me," she said. " In all things, since I 
came to this house, I have endeavored to carry out your 
wishes,- and never until the day before yesterday has any- 
thing occurred which could make those wishes difficult of 
accomplishment. But when Mr. Seymour called here, and 
brought Miss Dudley with him, I did feel some qualms. Not 


only were my natural inclinations violated by the conduct 
of the Americans, but also my conscience was alarmed. 
Nevertheless, I tried to obey you, Mr. Falkland, and even now 
could make no objection to my dear children occasionally 
visiting at Castle Rocco; but what you ask — the close in- 
timacy of a home, the constant companionship of girls 
brought up so differently from either Patty or Curly — I can- 
not agree to." 

" Nevertheless, they are my children," said Mr. Falkland, 
regretting the words after he had spoken them. 

" Yes," said Miss Dawson; " and if necessary, and it is 
really your wish to have this close companionship between 
the two Americans and your children, I — I " — she trembled 
exceedingly — " I must give up my darlings — I must resign 
them to the charge of another." 

Mr. Falkland was touched. 

" You will never be asked to do that, I promise you," ho 
said. "But now, as you will not speak to Curly or Patty, 
will you write a letter to Consuelo? She is in suspense; 
write and put her out of her misery." 

" I will do so," said Miss Dawson. 

"And," continued Mr. Falkland, "will you do something 
else? Will you prepare her, first by letter, and then go to 
see her?" 

" Must I? " 

" It would certainly please me if you did." 
" But I shall never change." 

" I hope you may; I sincerely hope you may. And now, 
I have something more to say. The girl is at heart a good 
girl. Why should she be balked in her first serious efforts 
after what is best and noblest? And are Patty's principles 
so weak, and Curly's desires for right so feeble, that girls 
who have not had your training in the past can so easily in- 
fluence them? There, I will say no more; I must hurry to 
town. Write to Consuelo immediately, please, and go to 
see her either after or before lunch." 

Mr. Falkland did not even wait for the governess's reply. 
He left the library, rang his bell sharply, desired a carriage 
to be sent round, and drove off to town. 

He was more distressed, and even alarmed, than he cared 
to own. 

" I could not have believed that Miss Dawson could act as 
she has done," he could not help saying to himself. " And 
yet, and yet— is Consuelo stronger? My last and only chance 
of success now rests with Consuelo Seymour herself." 

When Miss Dawson found herself alone she paced briskly 
up and down the library several times. Then she rang the 
bell. The servant appeared. 

" Henry," said the governess, " tell the young ladies that I 
shall be altogether engaged this morning, and that I wish 
them to spend the time in the garden; and, please, I want a 
messenger to go in half-an-hour to Castle Rocco." 


The man withdrew. Miss Dawson retired to her own room, 
where she wrote a letter. She wrote it in haste, dreading the 
words as they formed themselves on the paper: 

"Dear Miss Seymour, — Mr. Falkland has just made an astonishing 
proposition to me; what can you possibly be thinking of? I have told Mr. 
Falkland that your wishes cannot for a moment be acceded to; but, accord- 
ing to his desire, I am coming over to see you, and will follow this note in 
half-an-hour. — Yours sincerely, Emma Dawson." 

Gonsuelo, restless, impatient, her darling scheme burning 
a hole in her breast, was pacing restlessly up and down the 
lawn in front of the beautiful old house, when she saw the 
messenger from Tamaresk coming up the avenue. The man 
carried a letter, and Gonsuelo flew to meet him. She was 
again dressed in one of Selma's frocks, for her own white 
embroidered ones were much too grand, according to her 
new ideas, for morning wear. She had been planning, ever 
since she saw her father, how her new life was to be pro- 
ceeded with. Like the child she really was, the thought of 
so complete and absolute a change delighted her. She was 
all agog to be disciplined, to be, as she expressed it, re- 
formed. She was keenly desirous to put character first, to 
banish luxuries, to think nothing at all of such ephemeral 
things as mere youth and mere beauty. Even wealth, that 
all-absorbing power, should sink out of sight when she, 
Selma, Patty, and Curly were under Miss Dawson's rule at 
the seaside. 

She wished for a plain house and plain food. She won- 
dered how it would feel to be a little hungry once or twice. 
Her whole horizon was widening out, and she could, not help 
thinking of matters which had never hitherto dawned on 
her mind. In consequence of this, she was gentler than she 

j had been for some time. For instance, when she was dress- 
ing that morning, and Ronsard showed almost temper at her 

1 young lady's aberrations with regard to dress, she (Gon- 
suelo) did not reply pertly, but even observed that Ronsard 
looked tired. 

! 44 Are you tired, Ronsard? " she said. 44 Guess you must 
be; the shadows under your eyes are so black." 

' 44 1 have a migraine the most unfortunate," replied the 
maid; 44 and I desire so much my beloved Paris and the gay 
life of La belle France" 

44 Poor Ronsard!" said Gonsuelo. 

It occurred to her that in the immediate future she would 
not need Ronsard, so she said in a cheerful tone: 

44 Perhaps you will soon return to your country. I guess 
if I were you I'd cheer up." 

44 Oh, mademoiselle ! " cried the Frenchwoman. " Is it in- 
deed within the possible that mademoiselle will soon visit 
our gay Paris?" 

Gonsuelo laughed, shook her head, and ran downstairs. 
Her mother rebuked her for her hideous dress; but Con- 


suelo wore her most determined air, shut her lips firmly, 
and declined to discuss the subject, Selma came to the con- 
clusion that her cousin had gone a little off her head. 

"What is the matter with you?" she said. "You have 
been so queer ever since the English girls and their gov- 
erness came here yesterday. What can have happened? I 
don't know you a bit." 

" Of course you don't, Selma." said Consuelo. " Is it likely 
you would? I have never shown you any of my real, real 
self up to the present; but I shall in future, I guess. I guess 
you'll be surprised. I wonder what you'll say when you 
know what is going to happen. Oh, what fun, what fun! " 
continued Consuelo, dancing merrily up and down the lawn. 
"I feel a child for the first time in my life. It is so good; 
it is so what you call delectable! Selma, don't you want to 
be a child too? " 

"I must go to your momma; she wants me," said Selma. 
44 1 don't understand you a bit." 

Consuelo longed to enlighten Selma; for half the fun of 
the great experiment would be the talking it over before- 
hand. But she had some of her father's caution, and would 
not broach a scheme until that scheme was finally settled on. 
That it would be settled, and almost immediately, her father 
had whispered into her ear before he went to town that day. 

" I will look out for a house," he said to her. " You would 
like Westbourne as well as any other place. I will just tele- 
phone round to an agent and get him to bring me a list of 
suitable houses." 

44 We want a small, plain house," said Consuelo. 44 No 
riches, mind, poppa; I want to do without all that sort of 

Joseph P. Seymour frowned. 

44 You are the queerest girl," he said. But the next minute 
he smiled to himself. 44 Bless her little heart! " he murmured 
as he got into his comfortable carriage. "Bless her! It's 
just a whim she has. She'll soon tire of it, my pretty, sweet 
pet. But while it is on her, she shall be gratified up to the 
top of her bent." 

It was, therefore, a perfectly happy Consuelo who paced 
Up and down the lawn, and who suddenly flew, almost like 
" an arrow from a bow, to receive Miss Dawson's letter. 

" From the governess at Tamaresk, miss," said the mes- 
senger; "and there is not any answer." 

He turned at once to go back, and Consuelo took her treas- 
ured letter into a summer-house, which happened to be 
close by, in order to read it in peace. She did not open it 
for a minute or two, but let it lie on her lap while her eager 
china-blue eyes scanned the writing. 

Miss Dawson's writing was a little stiff, and belonged to 
that now ancient form of calligraphy which has a consider- 
able slope. It sloped in long, even lines, and each letter was 
perfectly formed. 


" I will learn to write like that," thought Consuelo. 

She thought of her own enormous writing, each small let- 
ter as big as an ordinary capital; of her adored twists and 
flourishes; of her crested paper, which was also highly per- 
fumed. This little, neat letter was written on pale-gray 
paper, and had not even an address on the top. 

Consuelo took it tenderly and reverently from its envelope. 
She read the contents. She was quite a spoilt child, one of 
the darlings of circumstance; and the first time she read it 
a smart blow was dealt to her pride, her self-esteem, her 
immense self-importance. It was so sharp and direct that 
it very nearly stunned her. She read the letter a second 
time, and now her eyes filled with tears. But there was no 
anger whatever in her heart. She thought that she ought 
to be furious. She wished to be magnificently angry, to scorn 
the daring woman who opposed the richest girl in America. 

But somehow, try as she would, the anger would not come 
at her bidding. However, something else came — an immense 
sorrow, a troubled sense of failure. She was not to have 
her two years of childhood. She was not to undergo the 
delight of discipline. The simple joys of life were never to 
be hers. She was to go on forever and ever posing. The 
narrowness of her intellectual outlook would get yet nar- 
rower. In short, this petted child of fortune felt that she 
had nothing whatever to live for. 

She crushed the letter hotly in her young hand — crushed 
it into a ball. Then taking her handkerchief from her pocket, 
she burst into a fierce torrent of weeping. 

Consuelo had not cried for years. It was the one desire 
of the Seymour household to keep tears from Consuelo's 
eyes. Whoever else suffered, she never did. When they 
traveled, the best and most comfortable seats were secured 
for Consuelo. On boa^rd the steamers her state-rooms were 
the most costly and the largest. At the hotels, even Mrs. 
J. P. Seymour consulted Consuelo first with regard to her 
choice of bedrooms. Consuelo's favorite dishes were sup- 
plied at every meal. Consuelo's clothes, Consuelo's amuse- 
ments, were the first considerations in the minds of all those 
belonging to her. She had never been denied anything before. 

She cried for her vanished dream. Her tears hurt her. 
Depths of existence which she had never suspected were sud- 
denly revealed to her. 

There was one part of Miss Dawson's letter, however, 
which, in her transport of grief, Consuelo had overlooked, 
and that was the fact that the governess, having dealt her 
cruel blow, meant to call and see her victim. Had Consuelo 
realized this part of the letter, she would have taken special- 
ly good care to be well out of the way when Miss Dawson 
came. But she was so overcome by the fact that the gov- 
erness had said " No " to her request, that Consuelo over- 
looked the other fact that she was coming to see her. Her 
tears fell faster and faster. The summer sun, traveling on 

56 16 


his accustomed path of glory, shed long, hot rays into the 
summer-house. These rays of light fell upon the young 
American girl as she crouched in a corner, sobbing, writhing 
in her sorrow; but it so happened that, luckily for Gonsuelo, 
Miss Dawson passed that very summer-house on her way to 
Castle Rocco, and, passing it, heard a sound which caused 
her to pause and look in. 

She had prepared herself for abuse from the spoilt child, 
indignation on the part of the rich family; but she certainly 
had not prepared herself for this prostration of intense grief. 
It was just a little girl — a little, everyday, human girl — who 
was crouching up in the summer-house, crying her heart 
out. It might be Patty; it might be Curly; it might be any 
other child who needed comfort. This sobbing, sorrowing 
child was as far removed from the languid, overdressed 
maiden of the day before as light is removed from darkness. 

Miss Dawson looked at Consuelo with new eyes. 

" Well? " she said. Her tone was quite quiet, and even sad. 
Consuelo looked up. Her eyelids were swollen, and her blue 
eyes were hardly recognizable. Her poor little face was all 
blotted and blotched with the violence of the tears she had 

When she saw Miss Dawson standing in the doorway of 
the summer-house she stared at her, and then, slowly open- 
ing her right hand, revealed the pulp-like letter which lay 

" You sent it," she said, and she proffered it to the gov- 

Miss Dawson entered the summer-house and sat down. 
" Yes, my dear," she said gently. 

Consuelo remained very still. She did not attempt to ex- 
postulate; she did not attempt to argue. She did not venture 
to plead, even by one word. She still held the letter on her 
open palm and looked at it, while tears flowed more and 
more freely from her eyes. 

" Is it because of that letter you are crying? " said Miss 

Consuelo nodded. She had literally not power to speak. 
Miss Dawson, impelled by something she could not under- 
stand, found her arm slipping round the waist of the child, 
and she found herself drawing Consuelo close to her. 

"You see," she then said, altering her whole tone and 
speaking as though she were addressing a grown-up per- 
son, " I could not do anything else, could I? " 

" Yes, you could," said Consuelo. 

" I have to think of Patty and Curly." 

" They'd have helped," said Consuelo, giving another big 

Then she rose with a great effort, tried to mop her face 
with her drenched handkerchief, and said sorrowfully: 

" I am going into the house. There is nothing left to say, 
is there?" 


Miss Dawson murmured to herself, "There is certainly 
nothing left to say. I am not likely to change, and yet — 
oh, poor child! — poor child!" 

Consuelo waited for a minute, hesitating. That elderly, 
faded face appealed to her as no face had ever appealed to 
her before. It seemed to her that she was going away from 
a strong rock against which she ought to be leaning. Hither- 
to she had stood alone; no one had ever attempted to guide 
her. She had brought herself up after her own impetuous 
fashion. Now that she had found one altogether different 
from herself, some one who thought nothing whatsoever 
about riches or what the world called greatness, some one 
who disliked fine clothes and who had only a contempt for 
luxuries, she felt that that one person was the only creature 
whom she could thoroughly respect and obey. 

While she kept looking at Miss Dawson, Miss Dawson 
looked on the ground. Some of Mr. Falkland's last words 
returned to her : " Is it right for you to cast aside a great 
responsibility or a great trust?" Then she recalled other 
words: "Are Patty's principles so weak and Curly's desires 
for right so feeble that girls who have not had your training 
in the past can so easily influence them?" Impelled by the 
memory of these two speeches, and by something also in 
the little girl's own exceedingly forlorn attitude, she said 
very gently: 

" I am terribly sorry. I see by your manner that you meant 
your proposal — that you wanted me to help you. I would 
have helped you but for Patty and Curly." 

" Oh," said Consuelo, sitting down again at once close to 
the governess, taking her unwilling hand, and drawing that 
hand and arm confidently round her waist — 44 oh," she said, 
and she laid her head of bright hair on the prim, stiff shoul- 
der, " that is just a little better. If you are sorry for me, 
why shouldn't you do what I want, even .though . Patty and 
Curly are there? " 

" It seems to me impossible, my dear," said Miss Dawson. 
" All your ideas, all your tastes, all your desires, are abso- 
lutely opposed to the wishes and desires of my pupils." 

44 1 can learn," said Consuelo. 44 Won't you try me? " 

Miss Dawson shook her head. Consuelo then again rose 
from her seat. She did not cry any more, but she let the 
letter, which was truly pulp, fall to the floor of the summer- 
house. Then, without glancing at Miss Dawson, she turned 

Miss Dawson wondered where she was going, and her first 
impulse was to follow. On second thoughts, however, she 
sat still. She believed that Consuelo was going back to the 
house. Had she had any idea that the impetuous girl was 
going straight to Tamaresk, she would certainly not have 
let her go alone. Consuelo, however, impelled by a strength 
of purpose which had never visited her before, went quickly 
down the steep avenue, and reached the turnstile which 


communicated with the two estates. In less than a quarter of 
an hour she found herself at Tamaresk. She looked the most 
forlorn little object: no hat on her head, her untidy hair 
falling partly over her shoulders and partly shadowing her 
face, that same face flushed by tears, the eyes dim from 

But Gonsuelo, for the first time in her life, was abso- 
lutely oblivious to all sense of personal appearance. Her 
strength of will, her determination to conquer at any cost, 
was carrying her right forward. The grand obstacle to 
her scheme was not Miss Dawson herself; it was Patty and 

She would visit them. She would put the case before 
them. She would win them over to her side. If all the rest 
of her world was on her side, surely she must get her heart's 

Now, it so happened that Patty, busily engaged over her 
Shakespeare reading, was seated cosily on the lawn, and 
Curly had just come from the house. It would be idle to 
say that the girls were not more than curious with regard 
to Miss Dawson's extraordinary behavior that morning. They 
sat down close together, and began to talk it over. What 
did it mean? What could have occurred? Why was their 
father so queer at breakfast, and what did his request of 
Miss Dawson that she should have a private interview with 
him mean? Then there were Miss Dawson's strangest of 
strange directions that they were to amuse themselves that 
morning — in short, that they were to have a holiday, she 
being unable to attend to them. 

"What can things mean?" said Patty; and just at that 
moment Consuelo herself appeared close at their side. 

It took both the little Falkland girls a minute or two of 
hard staring before they recognized her. 

" Why, it's you! " they both exclaimed impulsively. " What 
• — what can have happened?" 

"I want you to help me," said Consuelo. "You can do 
it; it rests with you both." 

"To help you? Why, of course," said Patty. "Do sit 
down, please. How hot and tired and queer you look! " 

"Do I?" said Consuelo. "But that doesn't matter; ap- 
pearances don't matter a bit, do they?" 

" Oh, I don't know," said Curly. " I must say I like to 
look nice." 

"You like to look nice?" repeated Consuelo, opening her 
swollen eyes. " And yet she has trained you." 

" You mean Miss Dawson? " 

"Yes; I mean your governess, Miss Dawson." 

" Do sit down," said Patty. She sprang out of her own 
chair. " Here, take this; I will kneel by you. Now, what is 
the matter? You look so sad." 

Consuelo's eyes filled with tears. 

"You are so different from what you were yesterday," 


said Curly. " I can hardly believe that you are the same 

44 Guess I look forlorn," said Consuelo. " Guess I have 

u Poor Consuelo!" said Patty. 

" I'm the sort of child you'd pity, am I not? " said the 
American girl. 

44 We do pity you; we are ever so sorry," said Curly. 

" Then you will help me. You know, of course? " 
. "Know?" said Curly. 

44 We don't know anything," said Patty. 

44 Well, it's just this: I want something to be done, and 
Miss Dawson won't do it." 

44 Oh," said Curly, opening her brown eyes, 44 Miss Dawson 
won't do it? But what can she have to say to you, Consuelo? " 

44 Everything," said Consuelo, flinging out her arms with 
a gesture of despair. 44 Everything! I want her to do all 
things for me— to guide me, to help me. I — I — sort of love 
her." She choked over the words. 44 She sort of hates me; 
no one ever hated me before — never, never." 

She began to cry again, covering her face. Her sobs were 
low and very tired. She was feeling quite exhausted, quite 
spent with emotion. So forlorn did she look that Patty put 
her arm round Consuelo's neck, and Curly caressed her, try- 
ing to pat her cheek and take down her trembling hands. 

44 Connie!" she said. 44 Connie, Connie — donlt, don't!" 

44 You don't hate me, do you? " said Consuelo. 

44 Of course we don't," said Patty. 

44 Certainly we don't hate you," said Curly. 

44 Then, if that is the case, you will just move the obstacle 

44 We don't understand," said Curly. 

44 1 will tell you; it is this. I want poppa to take a house 
at the seaside, and I want you, and Patty, and Selma, and 
I myself to go there; and I want Miss Dawson to teach 
Selma and me just the sort of things she teaches you and 
Patty. Poppa wants it done, and so does your poppa. Every 
one wants it done who knows about it except Miss Dawson. 
But she says 4 No.' " 

Curly could not quite explain why she felt a sense of 
relief. This scheme at the first unfolding did not present 
itself to her as specially attractive, but Patty, strange to say, 
understood Consuelo better than her sister did. 

44 It would be quite nice," she said. 

44 Only that we can't go, of course," said Curly. 

At these words Consuelo sprang to her feet. 

44 And why can't you? Do you suppose that I'd do you 
any harm? Miss Dawson would look after me and do what 
I want but for you two. Are you so weak, both of you; is 
your English way so poor, that I, a poor little ignorant girl, 
could hurt you? Am I likely to? " 

44 Of course you couldn't hurt us, Consuelo," said Patty. 


" And you might help me." 
44 Could we?" 

u Oh, you could — you could! I want you to talk to Miss 
Dawson. I want you to get her to change her mind. Won't 
you?" Consuelo now knelt on the grass, pushed Patty into 
her seat, and began to plead. 44 I'll just be as good as any- 
thing," she said; 44 and it's only for three months. We needn't 
look further than three months. All the things that follow 
after need not be thought of now. Won't you make her do 
it? Won't you — won't you?" 

While she pleaded some of that charm which she undoubt- 
edly possessed began to exercise itself over both the girls 
— so much so that Patty said : 

44 1 will talk to Miss Dawson. I should — I should like to 
make you happy." 

And Curly said gravely, 44 Yes; I, too, will talk to Miss Daw- 
son " 

44 My dears, what is it? " said the governess's voice at that 
moment. — 44 Consuelo — you here?" 

44 They don't mind a bit," said Consuelo, springing to her 
feet. She took Miss Dawson's hand. 44 They are quite will- 
ing — willing to help me. You will help me, and they will 
help me. If you don't I — oh! I can't be good. If you don't, 
I will go back to the hideous dresses and the grown-up ways 
and the vanities of life." 

"Don't — oh, don't let her, Miss Dawson!" said Curly, her 
eyes filling with tears. 

44 Oh, my dears!" said Miss Dawson, 44 you distract me, all 
of you." 

41 But she is going to yield, the old darling! " said Consuelo. 
She flung her arms round Miss Dawson's neck. 44 Yes— yes — 
she is going to yield; and I will be good, and Selma will be 
good, and everything will be just splendid! " 

What Miss Dawson said she never quite knew; but whether 
it was that she only smiled, or whether it was that she only 
pressed Consuelo to her breast and kissed her — really kissed 
her on her lips — no one could ever afterwards quite tell. 
But certain it is that a few minutes later a girl, with a glad 
face, left the two Falkland girls and their governess, and 
returned briskly to Castle Rocco. 



Miss Dawson had yielded. She certainly never meant to. 
She disapproved of the scheme, although she no longer op- 
posed it. But. as she was slow to yield, so, having yielded, 
she made no further conditions of any sort. On the con- 
trary, she said abruptly: 

44 We are not going for two or three days; until then we 


will continue our usual life. — Curly, bring your Roman his- 
tory; you shall read aloud to me till lunch- time." 

Meanwhile Consuelo went home. After all, she had won 
her case. Her victory almost frightened her. Having found 
it so hard to attain what she desired, she valued the curious 
life which lay before her far more than she would otherwise 
have done. She found Selma and Mrs. Seymour seated on 
the veranda which ran round a considerable portion of the 
old house. 

Mrs. Seymour was in mauve satin, trimmed with a great 
deal of white lace. She looked fat and terribly bored. Selma 
was doing some fancy needle-work, and was seated at some 
little distance from the good lady. 

" I take it," said Mrs. Seymour, " that England is about the 
dullest place in creation; and I must say, plump, that I am 
in no way taken with old castles and monumental remains. 
I like a new country best. This house is horribly lonely. 
I don't like it one bit; and as to Consuelo, it seems that the 
place is driving her out of her mind. I never met any one 
so queer as she has just become." 

Mrs. Seymour had scarcely uttered the words before there 
was a little whoop and cry, and Consuelo danced on to the 
veranda and flung herself at her mother's knee. ( 

" Say, momma, you are bored to death, ain't you?" 

Mrs. Seymour looked down at the eager and altogether 
strange face of her child. 

"What has come to you, Consuelo Josephine Persis?" she 
said. "You are as mad as a March hare. Have you taken 
leave of your senses?" 

"No; I have got them," said Consuelo — "pretty tight, too; 
and what is more, I am not going to let them go. — Say now, 
Selma, ain't things just splendid? We are off, you and I, to 
Discipline House next week, most likely." 

"Discipline House?" cried Mrs. Seymour. "Good land! 
what awful place is that? " 

"It is a small house," said Consuelo; "not a bit fine. — 
I can wear all your old frocks, Selma." 

" But I shall want them myself," said Selma rather crossly. 

"There are plenty for both of us," said Consuelo; "but, 
anyhow, I have ordered some ugly things from town. Ron- 
sard has sent for them. She was very cross — not that that 
matters. — Momma, you can give her notice to leave to-day, 
if you like." 

" You distract me," said Mrs. Seymour. " You talk wilder 
than ever. Oh, that I should have a child — and she my only 
one — who has lost her head! " 

Consuelo was so happy that she patted her mother's very 
fat hands with a touch of affection which she had not shown 
for a long time. 

" I will try to explain, momma," she said. " Poor momma! 
Oh, why do you wear so many diamond rings? They do hurt 
so when I try to stroke your hand. Long, long, very long 


ago, momma, I remember I was ill, and nothing would quiet 
me but that you should sit alongside of me and let me stroke 
your hand. You had only a wedding-ring on then, and, 
somehow, it was much nicer." 

Mrs. Seymour stared at her child. Then all of a sudden 
her round, red, fat face softened. 

"Guess I. recall it," she said, "You were only four years 
old. We were on the ranch in California. You had fever, 
and your poppa and I were so frightened we didn't know 
what to do. You are right, Connie; I didn't wear many rings 
at that time." 

" But when I got well again you were quite happy, weren't 
you, momma? " 

" Happy? I should think so. I had a lot to do at those 
times. I was not fat, as I am now. Yes, I was happy." She 
sighed faintly. 

" That was your golden time, momma," said her daughter. 
" Now I want to have my golden time. It's all settled, and 
there is no use talking. Poppa settled it with me last night; 
and Patty and Gurly's poppa tried to settle it with Miss Daw- 
son this morning. Miss Dawson was very hard to win over, 
but Patty, Curly, and I have conquered her at last. It is 
going to begin next week; and you, Selma, are coming with 
us. We four girls and Miss Dawson are off to Discipline 
House next week. It's a real fine idea, I call it. We're going 
just as poor people, and I mean to be a child again, and that's 
the long and the short of it. Poppa wishes it, and so do I. - 
It is all settled. — You can talk to me about it as much as you 
please, Selma; there is no other subject in all the wide world 
that interests me now. You and I, we have never been dis- 
ciplined. We are going to begin. Guess we'll find it hard, 
but it will be the saving of us, all the same. Guess Miss 
Dawson will lay it on pretty thick. I mean her to, for my 
part. When I do a thing of this sort, I don't do it by halves." 

Mrs. Seymour rose suddenly. 

" You must be real mad, Consuelo," she said. " I never 
heard of anything so detrimental in the whole course of my 
life; but if you suppose for a single minute* that my girl is 
going to be under the thumb of that old-fashioned woman 
who lunched at Castle Rocco yesterday, you are greatly mis- 
taken. I will speak to your poppa when he comes home." 

" Do, momma," said Consuelo in her softest and most pur- 
ring tone. — " Selma, come out into the garden; I want to 
talk to you." 

The girls paced about arm-in-arm. Mrs. Seymour went 
into the house. Really, one unmanageable daughter who in- 
sisted on having her own way in everything was something 
of a trial. Of course she was proud of Consuelo, but she was 
only proud of the girl in her own fashion. She liked to 
consider her grown up. She was proud of her taste, as she 
called it, and her distinguished bearing. As to Consuelo's 
character, her morals, her sense of right and wrong, the poor 


woman never gave these things a thought. The girl was 
rich — very rich. What was the use of her living at all un- 
less she enjoyed her wealth? 

Mrs. Seymour resolved to say a sharp word or two to 
Joseph P. She would nip this queer, mad device in the bud, 
Consuelo, who had her way in most things, should certainly 
not have her way in this. But when Joseph P. returned 
home, and Mrs. Seymour almost flung herself into his arms 
and said eagerly, " Say, Joe, did you ever in all your life 
hear of anybody quite so mad as Consuelo? She has set her 
heart on being poor and going away somewhere with the 
Falklands' governess. You tell her it cannot be, Joseph; 
that she must give it right up." To her astonishment Joseph 
P.'s response to this was: 

' " It's just my wish, Coralie, that Consuelo Josephine Persis 
should have her way in this matter. I am arranging for a 
house already at Westbourne, and I guess the party will move 
there within a day or two; for Connie's just the sort that 
must not be balked. You and I, old girl, we've got to please 
Connie through thick and thin. Why, bless you, Coralie, 
my girl, if the child wants a taste of the seamy side, why 
shouldn't she have it? She is a fine girl — the best in crea- 
tion. It will do her no harm." 

" It will ruin her," said Mrs. Seymour, beginning to sob. 

" Ruin her or not," said Seymour, " she is going to have 
her way. And now, cheer up. See, I have brought you this 
diamond bangle." 

Mrs. Seymour did mop her eyes, and did smile when the 
bangle was slipped over her fat wrist. 

"It looks very well," she* said. "Guess it suits me"; and 
she held out her short arm in order to watch the sparkling 
lights leap up in the many gems which encircled the bangle. 
Joseph P., with his arm round her stout waist, led her into 
the house; and, somehow or other, when momma next met 
Consuelo she was silent with regard to what was about to 

As to Consuelo, she was in wild spirits. When she saw 
her father she rushed to him, tucked her hand inside his 
arm, and said: 

"Have you taken the house?" 

4 Practically, yes," said Joseph P. "Why, you are in a 
hurry to leave me, Connie." 

"Yes," said Connie; "I want to begin." 

" Well, you can have your house when you please. I 
have got particulars of three, and you can choose. There is 
one facing the sea, on the cliff. It is a big sort of house 
with grounds, and plenty of nice bedrooms. I will send 
down servants to-morrow. I can telephone to the agent 
to-night to close with the offer, and you may all be off on 

"But that house is much too big," said Consuelo. "What 
about the others? " 


" There is another facing the sea, without any grounds. 
It is a nice house, too; quite large enough for your small 

" But you said there was a third." 

" The third won't do, I am sure. It is inland a bit — in 
the middle of a street, too. I guess you wouldn't like that. 
And the rooms are small, and there are only two sitting- 

" We'll settle on the third house, please, poppa. Listen, 
my dear poppa. If I do this thing, I do it thoroughly. I 
shall call the house Discipline House; and what is the good 
of giving it a name of that sort if it is not to be Discipline 

When Connie said this her father looked very hard at her. 
He suddenly removed her hand from his arm, and turned 
her round so that she could face him. He gazed into her 
eyes, which had lost all trace of tears now, and were far 
brighter and bluer than he had seen them for a long time. 

" You are not going to balk me in the end, Consuelo 
Josephine Persis?" 

" I want to be a real downright help to you, poppa," replied 
his daughter. Then she added, "But I must know things; 
I must see for myself. There's a lot in me, father, that has 
to be pruned and got rid of. Guess Miss Dawson will do the 
pruning; guess I want her to." 

"Guess you're a fine girl — bless me if you're not!" said 
Joseph. He stooped and kissed her on her forehead. u I'll 
miss you, Connie, when you are away." 

She winked her eyes hard at this. 

" I'll be worth something, perhaps, when I come back to 
you," she said. 

" Goodness ! " he exclaimed. u Worth something? You are 
worth a thousand times your weight in gold to me now. In 
a measure, you are all I have got, my girl — all I live for — . 
all your momma and I live for. Don't forget that." 

Consuelo kissed him very gravely in reply. 



Discipline House was quite in order, and the four girls and 
Miss Dawson took possession of it — not on Saturday, but on 
the following Monday. They arrived about the middle of the 
day. They traveled third class: this was Consuelo's wish, 
and Miss Dawson saw no reason why she should be thwarted 
in her desire. 

Miss Dawson, in her heart of hearts, hoped that the whole 
scheme would come to an end in a week or a fortnight. She 
did not believe for a moment that the spoilt child of luxury 
would put up with disagreeables. In forming this idea she 


failed to read Consuelo's character, as she was afterwards to 

Miss Dawson liked things plain and simple. She had been 
brought up in a very quiet way. While her mother lived, 
she and that mother occupied a small house in a village 
street. They had one servant, and did many things for them- 
selves. They were both of them essentially ladies in all 
particulars; and because they were ladies, they lived well 
within their means, and owed no man anything but to love 
one another. When the mother died, however, Emma Daw- 
son found that she had to earn her living. 

Mr. Falkland required just such a capable, sensible woman 
to look after his motherless girls. She went to Tamaresk, 
and had been there ever since. Still, she had an affection for 
the old simple life. She quite liked traveling third class 
and saving money. It seemed to bring back the days of her 
vanished youth. 

The whole party arrived at No. 5 Fairfax Street between 
two and three in the afternoon. The door was opened for 
them by a servant who had been sent down from a registry 
office in town. The four girls immediately dispersed them- 
selves over the rooms. The house was certainly very small. 
The minute size of the bedrooms and of the two hot little 
sitting-rooms made Selma gasp. 

" I guess we might be on board ship," she said; " and how 
.the sun does pour in! " 

Gonsuelo was silent and very grave. She had made up her 
mind, whatever happened, not to grumble. She was the 
originator of this expedition, and was second in all things 
to Miss Dawson. Miss Dawson was captain of their little 
ship, but she (Gonsuelo) felt herself in honor bound to take 
up the position of first mate. She must make the best of 
things. Accordingly, she said that for her part no room 
could ever be hot enough to please her; and, secondly, that 
she liked small bedrooms, because they were very convenient, 
and you need not tire yourself fetching things from a distant 
recess of the room, when you could have them quite handy 
close by. 

Miss Dawson walked quickly through the house, perceived 
at a glance all its disadvantages, and in her own mind gave 
Gonsuelo within a week to return to the luxuries of Castle 
Rocco. She went upstairs to the very small room which 
Curly and Patty were to share together. 
'* " We'll be suffocated here," said Curly. 

" I don't think so," said Miss Dawson. " The weather is 
fine, and you can have the window open. But I will see the 
other bedrooms before I decide whether you occupy this 
chamber or not." 

She went from room to room. There were only four bed- 
rooms, with the exception of the one in the attics which the 
two servants were to sleep in. There was one fairly good- 
sized room over the little drawing-room. This faced the 


front. It is true, it had the afternoon sun on it, and was, 
for the present, very hot; but Miss Dawson saw that it was 
a far more convenient room for her own two girls to occupy 
than the one they were now using. Gonsuelo was there. She 
had selected this room for herself. She meant, of course, to 
be extremely unselfish and obliging in every way, but it was 
second nature to her to occupy the best room, and she went 
into it without a moment's hesitation. 

She was kneeling by her small trunk, unpacking her plain 
clothes with considerable energy, when Miss Dawson's sharp 
tap was heard on the door. 

" May I come in? " 

" Oh, yes, please," said Gonsuelo, rising, and holding an 
ugly brown holland skirt in her hand. 
44 1 want to speak to you, Gonsuelo." 
" Certainly, dear Miss Dawson." 

" I prefer you not calling me 4 dear ' whenever you speak 
to me," said Miss Dawson. 

" I guess I'll try to remember," said Consuelo. 

44 You will have to. In England we never give way to 
superlative modes of expression." 

44 Thank you," said Gonsuelo. 

"You chose this house, didn't you? " said Miss Dawson. 
41 In a way — yes," said Gonsuelo; 44 that is, poppa did." 
44 1 find it very small." 

44 Do you mind the house being small?" asked Gonsuelo, 

44 Yes, and no. I am willing to stay in a small house for 
the present, but as it was perfectly within your right to 
choose a large one, you are the person who must suffer. I 
wish, therefore, to give this room, which is decidedly the 
largest of the four bedrooms, to Patty and Curly. You and 
I will take the two small back-rooms, and Selma will have 
the next largest room looking to the front. That is what I 
wish, but you can retain this room if you prefer it." 

Gonsuelo felt herself coloring. An angry feeling rose in 
her heart; but she quickly suppressed it. 

44 Of course," she said; 44 1 did not think. Forgive me." 

44 We'll move your trunks at once," said Miss Dawson. 

44 Shall I ring?" said Gonsuelo. 

44 Ring? No; you and I will do it. There are only two 
servants, remember. Alice, the parlor-maid, is getting tea, 
which we badly require; and the cook is doubtless occupied 
in her kitchen. Have you put anything yet into your 
drawers? " 

44 Oh, no." 

44 That is right. Well, catch hold of this handle, I'll take 
the other one, and we'll move you at once into the room 
you will occupy." 

Gonsuelo obeyed. Her heart was beating rather fast, and 
there was a flush on her cheeks. But Miss Dawson did not 
take the slightest notice. Discipline House was certainly 


small, and Consuelo's present room was very little more than 
what would be called a closet in America. Gonsuelo never 
remembered in the whole course of her life occupying such 
a tiny chamber. In addition to its being small, it was poorly 
furnished. There was a little iron bedstead, on which was 
laid a small, flat, hard mattress. The springs of the bed- 
stead were by no means perfect. The sheets were of dingy 

The arrangements of this seaside dwelling left much to be 

" There is no place to put my things in," said Gonsuelo. 

" There are two drawers where you can stow some of your 
smaller articles," said Miss Dawson, " and there are pegs on 
the door to hang your skirts. The other things must remain 
in your trunk. Just get tidy, please, and come down to tea." 

Miss Dawson now returned to her own charges. 

" This room is too small for you, dears," she said. " You 
go into the room at the front. Selma will have this room." 

" But where does Gonsuelo sleep? " asked the girls. 

" She and I have arranged it, my loves. Gome down as 
soon as you have unpacked." 

Curly and Patty wondered not a little. Miss Dawson went 
downstairs with her lips compressed. 

" I have firmly made up my mind on one thing," she said 
to herself : " that what few comforts this small house con- 
tains shall be given to my own two little girls. Consuelo 
wanted discipline, and she shall have her way." 

Meanwhile Gonsuelo, up in her room, stood for a minute 
at her small window looking down at an unwonted sight. 
How tired she had been of the best of things! But did she 
really care for what suddenly seemed to her the worst? For 
the little back bedroom at Discipline House looked out on 
ugly roofs of houses, on back-yards, on the undesirable, and 
almost on the squalid. Consuelo had certainly to struggle 
with herself. But she was proud, and would not give in. 
After a time she became almost cheerful. She was Joseph 
P. Seymour's daughter after all. If Joseph P. had struggled, 
so surely would she. She would not give in at the first little 
breath of discomfort. 

She ran downstairs, to find the three girls in the dining- 
room before her. Compared to the bedroom which she was 
to occupy, their rooms were almost luxurious. The little 
dining-room, too, seemed quite spacious. They sat down to 
tea, and some one suggested shrimps. 

u Oh, lovely!" said Consuelo. "I always did dream of 
shrimps with tea at an English seaside place. Can't we have 
some? " 

" If you like, my dear," said Miss Dawson. 
" Shall I run and tell Alice to fetch some? " asked Consuelo. 
" Certainly not. You can go out to fetch them yourself, if 
you wish. You have some money, haven't you?" 
" I am to go to fetch them?" said Consuelo. 


" If you wish for them, my dear; I see no other way of 
getting them. I noticed a fishmonger's a little way down the 
street as we drove up. You might get a pint of shrimps — . 
the red ones, I think, are the best." 

Consuelo looked at the others. Three pairs of eyes were 
fixed on her face. 

" I'll go," said Selma. 

" Certainly not, Selma," said Miss Dawson. " Consuelo is 
the one who wishes for shrimps; if she wants them, she can 
get them.". 

" All right," said Consuelo. 

She left the room and ran upstairs. She put on the plain 
sailor-hat which had been bought for the occasion, drew 
gloves over her hands, and, with a dainty parasol over her 
head, went down the street. She had asked poppa to give 
her very little money. He had presented her with ten pounds, 
and she had promptly returned all but one. 

" I must have the privations I am going for," she had an- 
swered: and he had pocketed nine golden sovereigns sorrow- 

"Any minute you want to come back, you can do so, 
Connie," he said. " Remember that." 

" I won't want to come back," she replied. " I expect to 
enjoy this as I never enjoyed anything in my life before." 

But Consuelo Josephine Persis, as she went down the hot 
street now, tired from her journey, her head slightly aching, 
to fetch her own shrimps for her own tea, began to doubt 
if the ways of Discipline House were altogether so very 
agreeable. She bought a pint of shrimps, and brought them 
back rather disdainfully in a brown-paper bag. She entered 
the little dining-room, holding the bag in her hand. 

" Here they are," she said. 

" Will you kindly," said Miss Dawson, " go to the pantry 
and ask Alice for a plate to put them on? " 
" Mayn't I ring? " said Consuelo. 

" I should prefer your fetching the plate. Alice has brought 
everything in for tea, and is probably busy over something 
else. There are five of us to attend to, and I think we must 
help her all we can." 

" Very well," gaid Consuelo, meekly. 

She went to the pantry, found Alice, asked for a plate, and 
returned carrying the shrimps. As she sat down at last to 
her belated meal she felt hungry, as she had not felt for many 
a long day. In short, she had earned her fresh bread and 
butter, tea, and shrimps, and enjoyed them accordingly. 

After tea Miss Dawson told the girls that they might all 
go out with the exception of Consuelo. Consuelo opened her 
eyes very wide. 

" But I do want some fresh air," she said. u I should like 
to get to the front; I want to watch the waves." 

" You and I will follow later," said Miss Dawson, " when 
we have made some little arrangements. — Girls, if you have 


unpacked and put things in order, pray go out at once. We'll 
find you somewhere on the beach." 

44 But mayn't I stay to help Consuelo?" said Selma. 

44 No, Selma. What I order I expect to be done without 
any comment. If you have finished your unpacking, go out. 
Consuelo and I will join you in a few minutes." 

The three girls left the room. Miss Dawson now rang. 
Alice appeared. 

44 Alice," said Miss Dawson, 44 take away, please. We will 
have dinner at half -past seven. Do you know what cook 
has ordered? " 

44 Cook hasn't ordered anything, miss. She was waiting to 
see you." 

44 Then I will go to the shops and send in what is neces- 
sary," said Miss Dawson. 44 Tell her so, please. — Consuelo, 
come with me into the drawing-room." 

Consuelo and Miss Dawson crossed the narrow hall. The 
drawing-room belonged to that most hideous class of sea- 
side lodgings which is fortunately getting more and more 
obsolete. It was the sort of room to make one shudder. There 
were th& conventional six chairs of the cheapest rosewood, 
their seats covered with' faded rep. There were two arm- 
chairs to match, a table in the center of the room with wool 
mats on it, and a large glass case containing wax flowers. 
There were little -antimacassars on the sofa and on the back 
of the arm-chairs, and there were very coarse and by no 
means over clean white curtains completely hiding the view 
at each small window. The carpet was very threadbare, and 
not too clean. Hot as the day was, the room felt almost 
damp, and Consuelo's first thought was to wish for a fire. 
Miss Dawson looked at her. 

44 Now," said the governess, 44 straight from your heart, 
Consuelo, how do you think you will like this?" 

44 Not at all," said Consuelo. 

44 Have you any reason for wishing to go on with it? " 

Consuelo was silent for a time. Then she said firmly: 

44 Every reason; for I guess that poppa's daughter never 
spelt failure yet." 

44 Give me your hand," said Miss Dawson. 

She took the girl's hand and wrung it hard. 

44 Now we know where we stand," said Miss Dawson. 44 This 
is your own scheme. You have disturbed two very happy 
girls in a very happy home. You have disturbed me, their 
governess. You have disturbed your cousin, Selma, who 
would certainly not have thought of this thing but for you. 
We have come here practically at your bidding. It is there- 
fore fair that you should rough it more than the others. 
Are you agreeable?" 

"What is fair must be done," said Consuelo/ "You will 
forgive me if sometimes I don't understand. I have come 
here to be with you. I have called this house Discipline 
House, and I mean to go through with the discipline." 


"Very well; you will expect me to treat you with more 
severity than I treat my own little pupils, and with more 
severity than I treat your cousin Selma." 

"All the same," said Consuelo, "fair-play is fair-play." 

" In this case," said Miss Dawson, " it is fair-play to give 
you the worst." 

" Yes. Thank you," said Gonsuelo. 

She went to the dingy window and tried to look out. There 
was a great lump in her throat. All that luxurious nature 
which had been so fostered by her training rose in sudden 
wild rebellion. She could so easily put an end to this scheme 
— just by a wire to poppa. Or she could make things not 
quite so pleasant as at home, and yet pleasant enough by 
wiring to poppa to take a larger house, to send down plenty 
of servants, to give the little party at the seaside the luxuries 
they had at home. But then where would the discipline come 
in? After a time she turned. 

" I'll stick to my guns," she said. 

" That is right," said Miss Dawson. " But I thought I'd 
make it plain to you. I thought I'd let you see once and 
for all that I don't mean to spare you. I will do nothing to 
injure your health but, short of that, you will learn some 
life lessons which you cannot possibly learn at Gastle Rocco. 
You will see for yourself how those who have very small 
means live, and perhaps you will value money all the more 
in the future by this discovery. Your father, for instance, 
has sent two servants here. Now, I have been upstairs to 
the attic where these two women sleep, and it is so minute 
that it is physically impossible for them to enjoy health if 
they spend their nights there. I propose therefore, with 
your consent, Gonsuelo, to dismiss Alice to-morrow, and to 
ask cook to undertake all the work of this establishment; 
she can do this with a certain amount of help from you and 
from me. Are you agreeable? " 

" What do you mean? " said Consuelo. 

" We can make the beds, for instance," said Miss Dawson, 
" and dust the rooms." 

" But won't the others do it, too? " 

" I see no necessity. They didn't want to come here." 

" Oh," said Gonsuelo. " Very well — if you think it right." 

" We can, of course, go to a larger house." 

"Oh, no; we'll stay here," said Gonsuelo. 

" Very well, I will dismiss the servant called Alice. I must 
interview cook. If she doesn't wish to do all the work, I 
can easily get a good general servant to-morrow. Now run 
upstairs, put on your hat, and come out with me. We must 
immediately do the marketing." 

This, at least, was a shade better. Gonsuelo flew from the 
room. She entered her little bedroom. There she clasped 
her hands tightly before her, and shut her eyes for a minute. 

" Why is it that I put up with this? " she thought. " Why 
is it that, all the time, while she is quite harsh with me, I 


care more for her than for any one else except my own 

Then she hastily looked round her untidy room. She had 
taken her things from her trunk, but did not know where 
to put them. Miss Dawson, on her way downstairs, tapped 
at the door. 

44 Are you ready? " she said. 

44 Yes; oh, yes." 

44 May I come in? " 

44 Yes." 

44 Gonsuelo," said Miss Dawson, 44 you must not leave your 
things about like this. In so small a room the most perfect 
neatness is indispensable. Please fold them all up carefully 
and put them away." 

44 But I have nowhere to put them." 

44 My dear, you must learn to contrive. If I take you in 
hand, I do it thoroughly. Now, be as quick as you can, or 
we shall have no dinner. I will wait for you downstairs." 

Gonsuelo certainly felt inclined to rebel. She remembered 
poppa's temper, and that people had said she possessed it. 
It would be truly awful if it got the upper hand. She 
thought of Ronsard, ready to obey her smallest whim; of 
her luxurious bedroom at Castle Rocco; of her Parisian 
frocks. But she also thought — and that thought helped her 
— of the stimulating, arresting, breeze-like quality of inde- 
pendence — a quality which she, an American girl, must es- 
timate at its full worth. Never, never, to her knowledge, 
had she been independent before. There had been people to 
do her bidding at every turn. Now there was no one. She 
must contrive; she must put up with discomforts. Truth 
to tell, she put up with them all very badly. She hung hen 
ugly skirts one over the other on the two or three pegs which 
were fastened into the room door. She stuffed her blouses 
and ribbons into the shaky little drawers which were all the 
room contained for their accommodation. When she came 
downstairs her face looked quite tired. In short, she had 
not been so weary for many long days. 

Miss Dawson and Gonsuelo went out shopping. Miss Daw- 
son chose a very simple dinner : a little piece of mutton for 
roasting, a few potatoes, a simple green vegetable, and some 
fruit which could be stewed. She bought several other neces- 
sary things at the grocer's, and finally, when her shopping 
was over, turned her steps in the direction of the sparkling 
* sea. Here, at least, was luxury, peace, sustaining rest for 
the rich and poor alike. 

44 You will enjoy this," said Miss Dawson, turning to the girl. 

44 Yes," she answered, her eyes beginning to shine. 

44 You*are put on your trial," said Miss Dawson, suddenly* 
44 and the longer you sustain the ordeal the greater will be 
my respect for you. But please remember that it is an or- 
deal, and that I have no intention of lightening it for you.'*' 

44 1 don't wish you to," said Gonsuelo. 
1 66 17 


Her voice was very low. Her eyes had a dazed looK in 
them. The widening of Consuelo Josephine Persis Seymour's 
horizon was to be accomplished, but only through pain. 



Miss Dawson was the most orderly woman in the world. 
She was the very soul of method. The four girls and their 
governess had not been two days at Westbourne before their 
lives were marked out for them after such a fashion that 
there was not an unemployed minute. There was none of 
that graceful leisure that Consuelo had hitherto thought 
essential to well-being. Every little thing was done by 
clockwork, and the clock which ticked out Consuelo's day 
was set to more disagreeable hours than any one else's clock 
in that little establishment. For instance, she hated getting 
up early; but this had to be done, because Miss Dawson in- 
sisted on her going downstairs to help the " general," as she 
Was called — the fine London cook having departed — to lay 
the breakfast-things and to dust both parlor and drawing- 
room. Consuelo found that dusting was a most disagreeable 
occupation. Her first experience caused her to become the 
author of several bad breakages. She whisked her duster 
about, and in consequence knocked down a hideous blue vase 
from the mantelpiece in the drawing-room. 

Miss Dawson said calmly that the vase must be replaced. 

" Have you any money? " she asked. 

" Yes," said Consuelo. " Poppa gave me a pound. I spent 
a little of it on shrimps, but I have a good deal of change 

41 We must see to matching that vase," said Miss Dawson. 
" If you can't get one exactly like it, you must get the best 
you can." 

" I hate dusting," said Consuelo. 

" I do not allow the girls whom I am training," was Miss 
Dawson's response, " to say the words 4 1 hate ' in my pres- 
ence. Now sit down, please, and pour out tea. You will be 
more careful with your duster to-morrow." 

Consuelo felt again inclined to say " I hate," but restrained 
herself. She had never before sat in front of the tea-tray, 
and she disliked her position immensely. She had to help 
every one else before herself, and in consequence her tea, 
which she liked very strong, had to be watered. She pushed 
her cup away with a discontented air, while Miss Dawson 
raised a quiet face and glanced at it. 

" Is anything the matter?" she asked. 

" I dislike my tea weak," said Consuelo. 

" You can have my cup, Connie," exclaimed Selma. " Mine's 
beautifully strong. Here, change." 


Gonsuelo was about to do so, when Miss Dawson raised a 
warning hand. 

44 Keep your own tea, Selma. — Gonsuelo, I desire that the 
meat and drink provided for us be partaken of without 

Gonsuelo swallowed her weak tea, but a resentful feeling 
began to grow in her heart. When breakfast was over she 
had to busy herself with household cares, while the other 
three girls went out. Selma was quite unhappy about her. 

44 Connie will never stand this," she said. 44 1 wonder what 
her poppa would say if he saw his jewel of a girl drinking 
her tea too weak for her taste." 

44 But then she wanted to come here," said Patty; 44 and she 
might have known that Miss Dawson would carry out what 
was required of her." 

44 1 don't care," said Selma, in an angry tone. 44 1 will say 
it, whether you like it or not, Patty and Curly Falkland— 
that Miss Dawson is just beastly to Consuelo. She does her 
very best to make Connie feel wicked. I know Consuelo, and 
you don't; and I say that this sort of thing can't go on." 

44 We know Miss Dawson," said Patty. 44 She is very, very 
kind, really. She didn't want to come here a bit; she only 
did it to oblige Consuelo." 

44 1 don't think Miss Dawson ought to be blamed," said 
Curly. 44 She is always like this until she has broken you 
well in; then she is all right." 

44 Dear me!" said Selma. 44 You are a priminy little pair! 
Now, do you suppose for a single moment that a woman like 
that will crush Consuelo's spirit out of her as she has crushed 
the spirit out of you?" 

44 We have plenty of spirit," said Curly. 44 It is not at all 
nice to be told that because we do things in a lady-like way 
we have no spirit." 

44 Well, I didn't mean to annoy you," said Selma. 44 Oh, 
there's the sea! How glorious it looks! Shall we go for a 

"What!" exclaimed Curly; "without leave?" 
44 Must we ask permission for every single thing we want 
to do?" 

44 Oh, no," said Curly, 44 not for little things; but bathing 
is a big thing. I have no doubt Miss Dawson will allow us 
to have a bathe in the sea presently, when she and Consuelo 
come along." 

Selma stood and looked at the waves. The tide was ex- 
actly in the right state for perfect bathing. Selma knew 
how to go about in the water as though she were a veritable 
fish. She could swim and dive, and do anything, in short, 
but sink. 

44 Can you swim? " she said, looking at Patty. 
44 No," answered Patty Falkland; 44 1 never learnt. Is it 
very difficult? " 

44 It's not difficult a bit," said Selma. 


The three girls sat down on the beach. Curly took out 
a French exercise-book, and began to go over some work 
which Miss Dawson meant to correct in the afternoon. She 
began repeating French verbs under her breath. Selma 
looked at her with almost aversion. After a time Curly- 
turned and spoke to Patty. 

" Do you greatly mind if I leave you for a little? I must 
go home to fetch my French dictionary. Of course, if you 
like, you can come with me; but I don't think dear Miss 
Dawson will object to my going alone." 

" And we don't mind staying a bit," said Selma, her bright 
eyes dancing. 

Patty said nothing. Curly got up in her resolute way and 
left the beach. To reach Discipline House she had to go 
right through the town; but that did not matter, for she 
knew her way perfectly. When she was well out of sight 
Selma turned and caught Patty by the arm. 

" Now let's have a dip," she said. "She is out of the way. 
What a dreadful cross-patch she is, and as narrow as they 
make 'em! " 

" You must not abuse my sister," said Patty, getting very 

" You're not a bit like her," said the artful Selma. " And 
look you here, Patty, or Patience, or whatever your name 
may happen to be> I can't live in this place unless I can speak 
out to some one. I daren't say a word to poor, darling Con- 
nie at present, so you'll have to be my safety-valve. Now, 
this is the position. We are sent here by Uncle Joseph to 
have a good time, I guess. He thinks — poor, dear, deluded 
man! — that we're scampering about all day on the seashore, 
and running in and out of the waves, and lying afterwards 
on the beach with the sun pouring on us until we're dry, 
and inclined to have another dip; and if we're not doing that, 
I guess he supposes that we are having ponies and riding 
away across the Downs toward Rocky Head over there. And 
I guess he believes that the house is a pretty nice one, instead 
of being the shabbiest, horridest place I have ever been in; 
and I guess he thinks that we have enough servants to do 
our work for us, and that his Connie — his Consuelo Josephine 
Persis — is not soiling her pretty hands, or being scolded be- 
cause she breaks a thing when she is dusting. Think of the 
richest heiress in New York dusting! It is too ludicrous 
for anything; I guess Uncle Joe would pretty well tear his 
hair out if he knew; and if you don't help me, I'll just have 
to write and tell him the truth." 

" It would be a pity for you to do that," answered Patty, 
" without consulting your Consuelo; for she is the one who 
wished for discipline and who wished to understand the 
hardships of poverty. I am quite sure we don't want to be 
in that small house. Curly and I would much, much rather 
wait until August, and go away with our own father to the 
Highlands or some other beautiful place. We came here to 


please Consuelo, and I don't think you ought to talk like 

44 That's the rub," said Selma. 44 1 guess it's beastly hard, 
I guess I hate it all." 

44 So do I," said Patty, suddenly. 44 1 hate it with all my 
heart and soul." 

44 Well, that's some comfort," answered Selma, suddenly 
taking Patty's hand and clasping it. 44 1 say, Patience, you 
are quite a good-looking girl. By-and-by you'll be very 

44 Shall I?" replied Patty, the color filling her cheeks. 

44 Of course you will; more especially if you don't allow 
yourself to be crushed flat." 

"Crushed flat! What do you mean?" 

44 What I say," replied Selma. 44 You'll be crushed to a 
mummy, and worse, if you go on obeying every single word 
that old-fashioned Miss Dawson says. Of course, as to your 
sister Curly, she's made that way. Mark my words; she'll 
be an old maid — she'll never marry. She'll be a second Miss 
Dawson. Think of it! " 

44 At any rate," said Patty, 44 your Consuelo, whom you are 
so proud of, adores Miss Dawson." 

44 Oh, I guess that won't last," said Selma. 44 But come 
along, Patty — do. Assert your independence. You were 
never told not to bathe this morning, were you?" 

44 That is true," answered Patty. 44 There was nothing said 
about bathing at all." 

44 Then, of course, you'll come with me this minute. I 
have plenty of money, and we can hire bathing-dresses and 
get a bathing-box, too. Let's be quick before Curly returns. 
Come, Patty; do be plucky for once." 

Now, Patty was always considered the weak-minded mem- 
ber of the Falkland household. She was easily influenced, 
- whereas Curly was not. She was a very good-natured, hap- 
py, high-spirited girl, and there suddenly rose within her 
breast an intense longing to do what Selma wished. The 
desire to be naughty, also, absolutely to disobey Miss Daw- 
son, seemed most attractive. Selma was right when she said 
that Patty was disobeying no rule when she bathed, for she 
had never been told not to bathe. Selma did not think of 
the unspoken rules of conduct which Patty was well aware 
of. She dragged her young companion along, and soon 
Patty's whole heart and soul were absorbed in the fun of 
the stolen enterprise. 

44 You must help me when I am in the water," she said. 
44 1 can't swim — not really." 

44 But you're not a coward," said Selma. 44 All you want 
is to have confidence. I'll soon teach you. You will come 
out with me, and I'll show you the first strokes, and keep 
my hand under your chin. You can't sink if I do that. Now 
then, all you want is pluck. What a pretty little bathing- 
costume! Oh, this is real fun!" 


The bathing-boxes stood in a long row facing the sea. 
Any ladies coming on the beach could not possibly distinguish 
the people who were getting ready for their dip; and when 
Selma presently danced rather than ran down to the shore, 
her black hair coiled up round her head, with a little oil- 
skin cap of somewhat fantastic appearance placed over it; 
and Patty, in a very pretty sky-blue costume, followed her 
example, no two girls felt more wildly delighted. Patty was 
quite certain that Selma could teach her to swim in no time. 
Selma did manage to show her some of the first elements of 
the art of swimming. But, alack and alas! Patty Falkland 
was by no means the bravest of the brave, and after a short 
time she gave up all attempts at swimming, and, getting 
into shallow water, contented herself with splashing about 
and occasionally allowing a wave to wash right over her. 

Selma, now left to her own devices, performed prodigious 
feats in the way of swimming and diving. An admiring 
crowd of spectators quickly singled out the graceful and splen- 
did young swimmer, and amongst these spectators, had she 
but known it, were Miss Dawson, Consuelo, and Curly. 

It was Consuelo who first recognized her cousin. 

" Oh," she said, "if that isn't Selma! Do look, please, 
Miss Dawson. She is swimming so splendidly!" 

" You mean to tell me," said Miss Dawson, her face turn- 
ing very white — " you mean to inform me that your cousin 
has gone into the water alone and without leave? " 

" I suppose she has," answered Consuelo. " Selma can 
swim like a duck, and so can I. May I go and have a swim 
now, please? " 

"You may not. Your cousin has forfeited your right." 

Consuelo felt herself turning red and then white. With 
a great effort she restrained the torrent of rage which was 
rising to her lips. 

" Where can Patty be? " asked Curly. 

It was an unfortunate question, for just at that moment 
a little, dripping figure in pale blue was seen emerging from 
the waves, and Patty — unmistakably Patty — ran toward the 
bathing-box. Miss Dawson, without a word, marched in 
the same direction. Consuelo and Curly were left alone. 

" Oh," said Curly, " isn't it a shame? I do think your 
Selma is too bad. Poor Patty! How could she disobey? She 
knew perfectly well she had no right to go into the water. 
But she'll catch it — they'll both catch it. You'll see what a 
severe punishment Miss Dawson will inflict on them both." 

" Is it necessary to punish for what is not wrong? " said 
Consuelo then. 

" I don't understand you," replied Curly. " It is always 
wrong to disobey." 

She sat down as she spoke, and took out her French exer- 
cise-book once again. Consuelo looked at her with the great- 
est contempt, and then marched in the direction of the 
bathing-box. Her darling scheme had come off. She was 


truly in the land of discipline. How ugly was her dress! 
She hated brown holland. She was not even allowed to wear 
a little brown silk blouse, but a harsh " waist," as she called 
it, of brown holland on her slim young body. 

Miss Dawson approved of linen collars, and Consuelo hated 
them. A linen collar now rasped her neck. White linen 
cuffs hurt her wrists. She felt in a furious temper. Poppa's 
own terrible temper was aroused within her. 

When she reached the bathing-box, she opened the door, 
without permission, and went in. Patty was standing there, 
crying very hard. Miss Dawson was herself rubbing Patty's 
hair, having first washed out the salt water in a basin brought 
for the purpose. Miss Dawson did not even glance at Con- 
suelo. Consuelo came forward. 

" She meant no harm," she said, after a pause. " Bathing 
is so good for one. Say, please, that you will forgive her." 

44 1 must request you, Consuelo, not to interfere," said Miss 
Dawson. 44 Go out of this box at once." 

44 1 won't," said Consuelo. 

44 You won't? What do you mean?" 

Miss Dawson turned and looked at the girl. 

44 You are tired already," she added. 44 It is only the third 

44 No, no! " said Consuelo, struggling. 44 1 never spelt 4 fail- 
ure ' yet." 

She turned at once and went out. She went down to the 
seashore, and, making a trumpet of her hand, shouted to 
Selma : 

44 Come in, Selma Dudley! You are causing ructions. Be 
quick; come in! " 

Selma heard Consuelo's voice, and immediately swam to 
the shore. 

44 You'll catch it," said Consuelo, 44 even worse than poor 
Patty has caught it. There's no help for it; you must obey 
while we are here. I suppose it'll do you good in the long- 

44 1 don't wish to be done good to," said Selma. 44 1 don't 
see, if I dislike this plan of yours, why I should stick to it." 

44 Well, don't stand with all your things dripping about 
you, looking so ridiculous," said Consuelo. 

"Aren't you going to have a swim yourself, Connie? It's 
a perfect morning; the sea is quite warm." 

44 No." 

44 No? What does that mean? " 

44 It means that I have got — got to — obey." 

44 Oh, you are a goose! " said Selma. 

She wrapped her bathing-cloak round her and ran off to 
the bathing-box. Miss Dawson had now got Patty into her 

44 You disobeyed me," she said, when the other girl came 
in. 44 1 had arranged a picnic for this afternoon, as I want 
you all to lead as happy a life as possible. But you and 


Patience must stay at home. People never do wrong who 
are under my charge without being punished. You will, in 
future, bathe when you have permission; not otherwise." 

" Thanks so much," said Selma, in an impertinent voice. 

She began to put on her things, and Miss Dawson, holding 
Patty's hand, led her from the bathing-box. Selma presently 
joined the group. She was defiant, and sat down deliberately 
close to Gonsuelo. She could talk the deaf-and-dumb lan- 
guage on her fingers very well, for she and Consuelo had 
amused themselves with this mode of conversation over and 
over again during their many long journeyings. Now she' 
began to talk in this fashion to her cousin. 

44 She is an old horror," were the first words. 

Consuelo did nothing. She kept her two hands firmly in 
her lap. 

44 How long are you going to stick to this?" was Selma's 
next inquiry. 

Consuelo immediately replied, 44 As long as I think well." 
Miss Dawson looked up. 

44 Girls, don't be silly," she said. 44 It is against the rules 
for you to talk on your fingers. Now, if you like, we will 
walk from one end of the beach to the other. That will 
just get us home in time for early dinner. — Consuelo, you 
and I together; Patty walks by herself in front, Selma and 
Curly behind." 

44 1 don't want to walk by myself," said Patty. 44 Mayn't I 
walk with Selma and Curly?" 

44 You will do what you are told, Patience." . 

Patty knew that tone; there was no disobeying it. She 
walked on, a forlorn little object. She had not worn a 
bathing-cap, and her hair was still damp. It hung down her 
back in heavy masses. Curly, thoroughly unsympathetic 
with Selma, made her walk very dull. Consuelo, out of sym- 
pathy with every one, maintained an ominous silence. Miss 
Dawson tried to make herself agreeable. It was one of her 
ways, even when she punished — and she did punish a great 
deal when necessary — not to show the slightest ill-will to- 
ward those under her displeasure. They must take their 
punishment, of course, but they need not have anything else 
unpleasant added to it. 

Miss Dawson, therefore, tried to make the walk agreeable 
to Consuelo. 

44 You should read the works of nature," she said. 44 What 
sort of books have you been studying lately? " 

44 What sort of books?" said Consuelo. 44 Oh, novels; I 
never read anything else." 

44 Novels are exceedingly weakening to the mind," said 
Miss Dawson. 44 1 do not altogether prohibit Scott, or even 
Dickens, if carefully chosen. Some of the old writers, too, 
are quite harmless. Miss Yonge teaches very valuable les- 
sons. Have you ever read The Daisy Chain? " 

44 No. What is it?" said Consuelo. 


" My dear girl, do you really tell me to my face that you 
never read The Daisy Chain? " 

" I never heard of it," said Consuelo. 

M You ought to be ashamed to say so. I did not think any 
one of ordinary intellect now lived who did not know that 
fine story." 

Consuelo shrugged her shoulders. 

" I read Gertrude Atherton," she* said, " and — and Amelia 
Rives. I adore Amelie Rives." 

" I never heard of her," said Miss Dawson, in her turn. 

"What! you never heard of Virginia of Virginia?" 

" No. I am sure the writer in question is objectionable." 

"She is not; she's splendid," said Consuelo. 

"Consuelo, may I request you not to contradict me?" 

"I'll try not to," said Consuelo; "but it's very difficult." 

" Would it be worth your while to go on with this if the 
thing were easy? " asked the governess. 

" I suppose not. I guess I'll die of it, all the same." 

" We'll turn now, please, girls," said Miss Dawson, rais- 
ing her voice; and the little party wheeled round and went 

Dinner was a dull repast, and decidedly badly cooked. The 
meat was hard and the gravy watery. The potatoes were 
too much done; the peas were old. Consuelo pushed her 
plate away, but Miss Dawson immediately desired her to eat 
what was put before her. 

" One of the very first lessons in discipline," she said, " is 
to eat with thankfulness what one is given." 

" Not if you have a pain afterwards," said Selma. 

Miss Dawson glanced at the girl as though she would an- 
nihilate her. When the early dinner had come to an end 
Miss Dawson propounded her plans for the afternoon. 

" I have ordered a wagonette," she said, " from the livery 
stables, thinking that we should be a party of five; but I think 
it would be better to countermand the wagonette and have 
a phaeton; for we shall, I regret to say, be only three." 

" And why three? " said Consuelo. " What becomes of the 
other two? " 

" Selma and Patty stay at home. They have disobeyed me. 
Their punishment is to stay in the house." 

Selma sprang from her chair, then with a great effort 
seated herself again. Patty looked submissive and dull. 

" You can have a trap that holds two," said Consuelo. 
" If Selma and Patty stay, I stay with them." 

" You are coming with me, Consuelo; no more words. Go 
upstairs at once and get ready." 

" I — I guess I won't." 

Miss Dawson sat very still. 

" I give you five minutes," she said, after a pause. " You 
know our compact; it can be broken at any moment. You 
are the one to break it. An act of insubordination closes 
this arrangement at once, and — why, what is the matter?" 


Miss Dawson felt herself coloring, for some one had just 
passed the windows — no less a person than Mr. Falkland. 
"Oh, father!" cried Patty. 

Nothing could keep her in at that moment; no one could 
suppress her. She was out of the dingy little house and in 
Mr. Falkland's arms before Miss Dawson had time to utter a 
word. Mr. Falkland entered, looking hot and tired. Patty 
was clinging to his arm. Her face was radiant. Curly also 
flew to him, flung her arms round his neck, and kissed him 
over and over again. 

" Oh, father! it is good to see you," she cried. 

Consuelo felt a lump in her throat. There was no doubt 
whatever that had Joseph P. Seymour arrived on the scene 
at that moment, Consuelo's grand scheme for teaching her- 
self discipline would have come to an end there and then. 
But Joseph P., following his daughter's own implicit direc- 
tions, had not dared to run down to Westbourne. Mr. Falk- 
land, on the contrary, felt quite at liberty to visit his little 
daughters as often as he pleased. 

"Why, what is the matter?" he said, looking round. 
"What a terribly ugly, poky room! — How do you do, Con- 
suelo? — How do you do, Selma?" 

He shook hands with both girls, then came up to Miss 
Dawson, whom he treated with great respect. 

" This is a very small house," he said. 

" I chose it," said Consuelo then. 

It was one thing to hate her own scheme, to feel that 
she could no longer go on with it, and it was quite another; 
thing for Mr. Falkland to come down and abuse it. 

" Oh, well," he said, cheerfully, " if you are all content, it 
is you who have got to live here; but I must say, if I had 
imagined that your father, Consuelo, had hired a house of 
this quality " 

" He didn't want to," said Consuelo. " Poppa would have 
put us into the biggest mansion at Westbourne. It was I 
who chose this house; it is called Discipline House, and it is 
full — full to the brim — of discipline." 

"I guess so, indeed!" said Selma. 

" Please, Miss Dawson," said Patty, turning eloquent eyes 
toward the governess, " you will forgive Selma and me now 
that father has come? Please, you will?" 

" Why," said Mr. Falkland, " has there been anything un- 
pleasant going on? Aren't you all good girls? I trust Miss 
Dawson, you know; but " 

"We are quite good, really — really," said Patty. "We 
just " 

" I was teaching Patty to swim this morning," said Selma, 
" but I unfortunately had not asked permission beforehand. 
That is the sum and substance of our offending." 

" It is a rather grave thing," said Miss Dawson. " I thought 
it well to exercise my authority, and Selma and Patty were 
to have been punished by staying in this afternoon " 


"Another time — another time," said Mr. Falkland. 44 Not 
to-day, please — by no manner of means to-day. I have come 
down to have a bit of fun, and we're all going to have a 
jolly time — discipline relaxed, if you please, for the present. 
Discipline can begin her iron rule to-morrow morning, if 
necessary; but I want us all to go and have a huge tea at 
the finest shop in Westbourne, and then we'll go to the 
theater, and have a hot supper afterwards." 

44 Oh, father! " said each of his own girls in tones of rap- 

44 You must do what you like, of course, Mr. Falkland," 
said Miss Dawson. 

44 Yes; we must all do what I wish," said Mr. Falkland. " I 
am in authority when I appear on the scene, and, dear Miss 
Dawson, you will be as jolly as any of us. — Gonsuelo, my 
dear, I mustn't go back to your father reporting such a long 
face. — Now then, all of you into your best frocks, and off 
we go for our fun." 

It was during the walk which followed that Patty and 
Curly really enjoyed themselves, for Miss Dawson was one of 
those wise women who know when they are beaten. Con- 
suelo was also to have the day off. Miss Dawson went to 
the girl in her bedroom. 

44 You were angry and impertinent just now," she said, 
" and I certainly should have kept my word if you had dared 
to oppose me, but Mr. Falkland arrived just in time to save 
the situation. For the rest of to-day, therefore, you are 
free. You and Selma can go out with the Falklands and 
enjoy yourselves to the top of your bent. Mr. Falkland 
has just gone on with his two daughters, but will meet you 
both at one of the shelters near the band-stand. Put on 
any dress you like. Discipline is relaxed until to-morrow 

44 Thank you," said Consuelo. After a pause she said, 
" Aren't you coming? " 

44 No; I have letters to write, and there are many things 
to attend to here." 

Consuelo made a great effort to say, 44 Oughtn't I to— to — 
stay and — wash up?" 

44 Not to-day," said Miss Dawson, smiling. She laid her 
hand for a brief moment on the girl's shoulder. 44 But thank 
you for reminding me," she added. Then she left the room. 

The moment she had done so Consuelo proceeded to stand 
on her head. She made one or two somersaults across the 
room. It was difficult to do more, having regard to its mi- 
nute proportions. She then rubbed her face with both hands, 
and, sitting down on the foot of her bed, burst into a peal 
of merry laughter. 

Selma came running in. 

44 Consuelo Josephine Persis!" she said. 44 Have you gone 
stark, staring mad?" 

44 1 guess I have," answered Consuelo. 44 1 never was so 


happy in all my life. We're free till to-morrow morning! 
Let's make the most of it, Selma. We may enjoy ourselves; 
we may eat nice things. Ton my word, I am hungry. Aren't 
you, Selma?" 

" Starving," said Selma. *' It's a hateful life altogether." 

" Gome now," said Gonsuelo, " we are not going to abuse 
it. We'll just put it right out of our minds until to-morrow 
morning. Oh, what a glorious, free time we'll have! " 

44 1 guess we'll have a jolly meal," said Selma. 44 I've got 
a little money. I am going to buy chocolates and cookies of 
all sorts." 

44 Oh, chocolats fondants! " said Gonsuelo. 44 How just too 
delicious they are! Selma, what frock will you wear?" 

44 1 don't know. I haven't brought anything very pretty 
with me." 

44 There's an old pink muslin of yours that I am going to 
put on," said Gonsuelo. 44 Oh, this collar I It nearly cuts my 

44 Poor Connie! You certainly are the most perfect frighfi 
I ever looked at. Get into something pretty — do. You can 
have my pink muslin, and welcome. I believe I can furbish 
up something white for myself." 



While Gonsuelo and Selma were decking themselves in the 
very best finery they had brought with them to Westbourne, 
Mr. Falkland and his two young daughters were waiting fop 
them on comfortable chairs facing the sea. The girls drew 
their chairs very close to their father. They were those 
delicious chairs with covers overhead which shelter you 
completely from the rays of the sun. 

The day was a perfect one. The sea was of azure blue, 
fading away into a misty horizon. The sky above was blue 
also, and cloudless. There was very little wind. 

Mr. Falkland drew a long breath of satisfaction. 

44 Well, girls," he said, 44 to put it frankly to you, I don't 
understand the position. Do you think that little girl Gon- 
suelo — that child with a queer name and almost wild ex- 
pression in her eyes — is — is — quite all there? " He tapped 
his forehead. 

44 Why, father," said Patty, with a laugh, 44 Gonsuelo is 
cleverer than any of us. She learns a lesson while we, Curly 
and I, are thinking about beginning it. I don't believe she 
is especially well educated, but she is quite a splendid girl; 
and as to brains — she has the brains of two or three ordinary 

44 Very well, my dear; I only wanted to know. Still, I can- 
not conceive why a girl brought up in the lap of luxury 


should choose such an unpleasant house. I only trust it is 

"That's the fun of it, father," said Patty. "She chose 
the house because it is ugly and — and — rather comfortless." 

" It's very hard on us, though," said Curly. 

"You don't like it?" said her father, turning and facing 

" No," said Curly; " I don't like it at all. Why should I? " 

"You don't like it either, do you, Patty?" 

" I liked it awfully when I was in the water this morning," 
said Patty. " Oh, I say, father! I wish you could see Selma 
Dudley swim. It is perfectly magnificent. She has got that 
side-stroke which is so splendid. She tried to teach me to 
swim " 

"And a very good thing, too," said Mr. Falkland. "All 
girls should know how to swim." 

" Well, that is what I think, father," said Patty; " but Miss 
Dawson turned so cross. She was in a rage with me, and 
also with Selma, and she meant to punish us by keeping us 
in that awful little house all the afternoon. Miss Dawson 
is never like that at Tamaresk." 

" No, never," said Curly. "But, you know, you did disobey 
her, Patty. I warned you. If you had been guided by me 
you wouldn't have got into that trouble." 

" I will speak to her," said Mr. Falkland. " This is a splen- 
did opportunity for you both to learn to swim. Miss Daw- 
son will give you leave after I have talked the matter over 
with her." 

"And may Selma and Consuelo teach us, father?" 

" Certainly — certainly. An excellent thing for them to do. 
You say they both swim beautifully?" 

" Consuelo says she can swim; and if she is even half as 
good as Selma, she is first rate," said Patty with enthusiasm. 

"Very well; I am glad to hear it." 

" But all the same, father," said Curly, nestling up close 
to him, " we don't like the life a bit. There's something 
about it — I can't tell what — that makes poor Miss Dawson 
so cross. We'd much, much rather go home again. Why 
should we stay down in that poky little house by the seaside 
because Consuelo Seymour wishes it?" 

Mr. Falkland turned gravely and looked at his girls. 

" Tell me," he said, quickly; " is Miss Dawson cross to Con- 

" Well, we think she is very cross. I suppose she hates 
her," said Curly, "very much — as I do myself," she added. 

Mr. Falkland laid his hand emphatically on Curly's arm. 

" Do you know, children," he said, " I had a prompting that 
I must come to pay you all a visit to-day. I was certain 
that if I did not come something would occur. It was most 
inconvenient to me to come, I can assure you; nevertheless, 
I am glad that I have appeared on the scene." 

" Oh, and so are we, father," said Patty. 


" So are we, father," echoed Curly. 

" I perceive," continued Mr. Falkland, " that I am only just 
in time. Your way of talking of Consuelo is, to say the least 
of it, unkind. Now, my dears, I mean to confide in you. On 
this scheme of Consuelo's depends something which means 
— children, which means so much to me that were it to fall 
through I should, my dear little girls, be obliged to keep you 
in dingy houses all your lives." 

"Father! " said Curly. 

" Yes. I don't want to explain; but, in a few words, I may 
tell you this. Joseph P. Seymour is an enormously rich man. 
He has got a horrible temper, and he is devoured with pride 
in his only child. If, for any possible reason, Miss Dawson 
or you two girls were to offend Consuelo now, Consuelo's 
father would withdraw his support from me. Were that 
support withdrawn I should — suffer. I need not go into 
particulars. I should have a bad time. In short, I came down 
to-day to tell you that you have got to put up with Consuelo, 
and that you have to make her life here sufficiently agree- 
able to her to prevent her throwing the scheme up." 

Curly and Patty both felt frightened, they scarcely knew 
why. They were immensely proud of their father's con- 
fidence. He had never given them any such confidence be- 
fore, and they were at once astonished and gratified. But 
it is certain that they were also frightened. It seemed to 
them that on their young shoulders had suddenly been laid 
some of the burden of life. It was Curly who spoke first. 

" I think, father," she said, " you ought to speak to Miss 
Dawson and tell her what you have told us. You know how 
Miss Dawson is always actuated by a sense of duty. She 
does not approve of Consuelo or of Selma. She wants to 
mold them. They are not really nice, father," continued 
Curly — " I mean, not according to our ideas." 

" Oh, yes, they are, both nice," said Patty, astonishing 
Curly as she made this remark. " They are, after a fashion, 
quite splendid girls. I think it is quite magnificent the way 
Consuelo takes her discipline. Only, of course, she can't be 
strained too far." 

" Father, you are right. You just came in the nick of 
time. I was watching Consuelo just at the very moment when 
you passed the window. She was about to burst out into 
something — something desperate. She has got, she says, her 
father's temper." 

"Good heavens!" said Mr. Falkland. "If there were to 
be a disturbance now, I cannot tell what would happen. Con- 
suelo, and Selma, and Joseph P. Seymour would be all right; 
but what about me? What about my children?" 

It was at this moment that eager steps were heard ap- 
proaching, and, looking round, the two Falkland girls saw 
Connie and Selma coming to meet them. Consuelo's face 
was wreathed in smiles. It was impossible to recognize the 
languid sort of girl of Castle Rocco in this animated young 


person, her eyes bright, her magnificent hair falling thickly 
over her shoulders. 

"When are we to have tea?" she said, eagerly. 

" I guess I am starving," said Selma. 

The interruption was most welcome. Mr. Falkland took 
Consuelo's hand and walked on in front with her; the three 
other girls followed behind. When they reached a very large 
and fashionable restaurant he ordered a private room, and 
then gave Consuelo carte-blanche with regard to the meal. 
She looked at him in a puzzled way. 

"You're not going to act poppa with me, are you?" she 

He laughed, and just for a minute felt slightly confused. 
Those clear blue eyes of Connie's seemed to read through 
motives. Mr. Falkland felt half afraid of her. 

" You have no discipline to-day," he said. " We have 
banished all discipline out of sight until to-morrow morning. 
Please, will you and Selma order the sort of tea which you 
would have in New York City? " 

u Guess we can't," said Selma, with a sigh. " There is 
nothing here like there is in New York." 

" But we are hungry," said Consuelo. 44 May Selma and I 
go into the shop and choose? But, then," she added suddenly, 
44 have I got to pay? For if I have, I have very little money. 
I told poppa only to give me one pound; and I have spent 
a little of it, and more has to go to replace a hideous blue 

44 The tea is my affair," said Mr. Falkland. 44 Order it, my 
dears. Surprise us now with your American tastes." 

Selma took Consuelo's hand and dragged her into the shop. 

44 Let's be quick," she said. 44 1 am perfectly ravenous: 
just like a wolf. Oh, that dinner! Consuelo, let's have 
fondants of every sort and description." 

44 We can't begin on fondants, you silly," said Consuelo. 
44 Now, let me think." 

A young woman came forward, and Consuelo gave elaborate 
orders. In a short time the meal she wished to partake of 
graced the board. 

44 We'll begin with iced drinks," she said. 

A tray of glasses filled with pink liquid stuff, quantities 
of ice, and some straws for sucking through appeared. The 
girls hailed them with rapture. 

44 These drinks cool one," said Selma. 44 Guess we'll want 
filling after we're well cooled. You try yours, Mr. Falkland. 
This is a sort of shandygaff, but not what we should treat 
you with were you in New York City." 

Poor Mr. Falkland anything but appreciated the so-called 
shandygaff. It was followed by ices and little, delicate cakes. 
•"I shall get quite a chill," he said, 44 if you treat me to 
much more of this sort of thing." 

44 And ices don't take away one's appetite," said Curly. 
"Can't we have something English at our tea?" 


" I was going to propose," said Consuelo, speaking in the 
languid voice she used when she was a fine young lady at 
Castle Rocco, 44 that we proceed to sample different sorts of 
chocolate and fondants'" 

44 My dears," said Mr. Falkland, 44 1 am most anxious to 
oblige you all, but if I have many more courses of this de- 
scription I shall be ill, and shall be obliged to stay at West- 
bourne for a few days, and that would never do." 

Consuelo smiled. 44 We'll have coffee afterwards," ,she said; 
" and after coffee, rich chocolate with cream. I guess that's 
about the best we can do in this outlandish town." 

Patty and Curly pretended to enjoy their tea. Consuelo 
and Selma enjoyed theirs without any pretense. Mr. Falk- 
land felt that there was a heavy price to pay even for the 
goodwill of Joseph P. Seymour, and they all went out of the 
shop, the American girls satisfied, the English girls and their 
father chilled to the bone. 

44 1 propose a quick walk," said Mr. Falkland, 44 if you young 
ladies have no objection; and I further propose," he added, 
44 that I choose the sort of supper we have after the theater: 

44 Yes," said Consuelo, 44 that is fair-play. But now, say, 
didn't you find those ices and fondants and that chocolate 
just maddeningly grateful?" 

44 1 found them very maddening," said Mr. Falkland; 44 but 
grateful — well, to be frank with you, no." 

44 How funny!" said Consuelo. 44 It takes a lot of training 
to understand the ways of New York City." 

The rest of the day was passed in a state of rapture on 
the part of the four girls. They laughed until they cried 
over the funny piece being performed in the theater. They 
enjoyed the recherche supper which Mr. Falkland gave them 
at one of the most expensive restaurants at Westbourne, and 
when he brought them home they were all sleepy and tired, 
and glad to go to bed. 

It was just before he left for the night that Mr. Falkland 
had a word with Miss Dawson. 

44 1 know your position is a trying one," he said, 44 and I 
don't want to say much. All I beg of you is this : manage 
matters with such tact that Consuelo Seymour does not re- 
turn to her father until the three months are up." 

Now, all might have been well, and no unpleasant circum- 
stances might have occurred, and the whole of this strange 
experiment might scarcely have been worth recording at all, 
had not Mr. Falkland made a grave mistake. He trusted his 
daughters sufficiently to make them see the importance of 
keeping well in with the Seymour family; but something — 
was it pride, or what* — prevented his telling Miss Dawson 
as much as he ought to have done of the real situation. 

Miss Dawson replied rather stiffly, telling him at once that 
she was not leaving a stone unturned to perform her duty 
according to her own lights, and he went away satisfied that 


such was . the case, and telling the governess that he would 
return to London by the first train in the morning. Little-, 
did he guess what serious complications were immediately 
to arise. 



Miss Dawson spent an almost sleepless night. The scheme 
which she had never approved of was, in her opinion, turn- 
ing put badly. She disliked the shabby little house more 
and more each day. She cordially detested the task she had 
undertaken. Consuelo, somehow or other, failed to appeal 
to her. Miss Dawson was not blessed with any great per- 
ception of character, and, although she did recognize the hon- 
esty' and integrity of purpose which had made the rich 
young American girl propose such a plan for her own morti- 
fication, she could not see deeply enough into that same girl's 
character to appreciate in the least the work of training 
her. Mr. Falkland's words, too, made her feel uncomfort- 
able. How was she to perform her duty, that duty which 
was as the breath of life to her, and yet use tact with regard 
to Consuelo Seymour? Above all things, must this most 
disagreeable state of affairs go on for three whole months? 

Mr. Falkland was in earnest when he spoke, there was no 
doubt of that, and, what was far more to the purpose, he was, 
for some reason, worried. If Miss Dawson did not care for 
Consuelo, she would lay down her life willingly for any mem- 
ber of the Falkland family, and had she known what Patty 
and Curly knew; she would, at any personal inconvenience, 
have adjusted herself to the present position. But not know- 
ing, not being confided in, she could not adapt herself to 
things as they were. 

When morning came she fell into an uneasy sleep, in 
which she endured horrible nightmares. Consuelo had taken 
Patty and Curly out to sea. The tide was too strong, and, 
battle as they would, they could not reach the shore. Miss 
Dawson saw her beloved pupils drowning before her eyes. 
With a shriek, she flung herself, dressed as she was, into 
the waves to go to their rescue. Too late. As she was 
stretching out her anguished hand to grasp Patty's long hair, 
the girl sank out of sight. With another cry, the terrified 
governess awoke. . She awoke to find Consuelo in the room 
and looking down at her. 

Consuelo had certainly brought very ugly dresses to West- 
bourne, but the magnificent dressing-gown which was now 
wrapped round her slim young person was out of keeping 
with the rest of her garments. 

"What is the matter with you?" said Consuelo. "Have 
you had a bad dream?" 

" Oh, yes," said Miss Dawson, rubbing her eyes. " I — are 
they really safe? Did I really only dream it? " 
76 18 


Gonsuelo could not help laughing. 

" You dreamt something that made you cry out. Were 
you having a nightmare?" 

" I suppose so; I think so," said Miss Dawson, with a sigh. 
" Thank God it was only a nightmare! " 

"Are you subject to that sort of thing?" said Gonsuelo, 
sitting down on the side of the bed. 

" No," said the governess; " I never had nightmares until 
I knew you." 

Gonsuelo was silent for a minute. Then she said: 

" I guess that's rather a hard thing to say to me, isn't it? " 

" It is true, all the same," said Miss Dawson. 

Consuelo uttered another sigh. 

44 Discipline begins again to-day, doesn't it? " she said, after 
a minute's pause. 

44 Yes," said Miss Dawson. 

She lay still for a minute, recovering her shattered nerves. 
Then she took up her daily cross with her wonted firmness. 

44 You ought not to come into my room like this, Gonsuelo, 
and in that — that magnificent garment, all lace and ribbons 
#nd satin. Disgusting, I call it." 

44 It's one of my home dressing-gowns," said Gonsuelo, 
stroking the satin surface with one of her white little hands. 
" I have no other, so it had to go into my trunk." 

44 Well," said Miss Dawson, 44 get dressed now. Take it off 
and put it away; you have your dusting to do." . 

44 It is too early even for dusting," said Gonsuelo. " It 
isn't much more than six o'clock." 

44 Oh, dear! " said Miss Dawson. 44 Then why did you wake 

44 It was a good thing I did," answered the girl; 44 that is, 
to judge from the expression of your face." 

44 Consuelo," said Miss Dawson, 44 1 am having a very hard 

44 Guess I know," said Consuelo. 44 Guess you don't like me 
a bit." 

44 1 must be true, at any cost," said Miss Dawson. 44 You 
are in no way the sort of girl who suits me." 

Consuelo's lips suddenly quivered. She looked down on 
the ground. Her eyelashes were long and thick, and of the 
same color as her hair. Her features were delicate and re- 
fined. Her little face looked pale in the morning light. She 
looked very young, quite a child. 

41 1 thought," she said, after a minute's reflection, 44 that 
those people — who — set themselves up as Guides, Teachers 
* — those people who profess to help others over the stones 
and the briars and the roughnesses of life — were too high up 
to have likes or dislikes." 

" I don't understand you, my dear," said Miss Dawson. 

Nor did she. Consuelo's blue eyes were now fixed on the 
governess's face. 

44 1 have, perhaps," she said, very slowly, " put a glamour 


over you. I have, perhaps, seen you in a false light. You 
are, perhaps, neither a guide, nor a real teacher. You per- 
haps don't preach the best life." 

Miss Dawson felt herself coloring. After a minute she 
said : 

" I have just undergone an awful nightmare, and now it 
seems I am to listen to a lecture. I should be glad if you 
would go to your room and stay in bed until it is time for 
you to rise." 

" Thanks so much. I will after I have spoken." 

" There is no reason why you should speak, Gonsuelo. 
You have come at your own request. You are my pupil. I 
am your governess. You are in my charge. I act to you as 
one who has authority. I desire you to go to your room." 

" Yes," said Gonsuelo, " I will go; but there is just one thing 
to be said first. You understand that you are at liberty to 
throw the whole thing up, as I also am at liberty to seek 
another guide and another teacher." 

" Manage matters with such tact that Consuelo Seymour 
does not return to her father until the thre§ months are 
up," Mr. Falkland had said to Miss Dawson on the previous 
night. The words came back to her — insistent words. They 
rang in her ears, and at the same time she had a very dis- 
tinct vision of the harassed, anxious, almost pathetic face 
of the speaker. How gladly would she have replied to Gon- 
suelo had she only to choose for herself, " My dear, I shall 
be glad to resign my responsibility with regard to you!" 
But, thinking of Mr. Falkland, she could not do this. Gon- 
suelo was watching her face. 

"You don't want me to go?" she said. 

" Not if you will stay," said Miss Dawson, in a choked 

" That is all right," said Gonsuelo. " I will stay with you 
if you will try, even a very little, to understand me. If 

not " She paused, then added hurriedly, " Miss Dawson, 

I thought it all out in the night. You have been — perhaps 
because you don't understand me — just a bit cruel. You 
have made me, not a favorite, but a drudge. If you really 
think such discipline good for me, and will explain your 
reasons, I will put up with even that; but I want you to un- 
derstand that I have got poppa's temper, and that yesterday 
that temper very nearly exploded. Momma and I know 
poppa's temper well. It goes off with a bang — no warning; 
one minute his face quite smiling and jolly, the next — well, 
I guess he's terrible the next minute, and that is the way 
with me, too. Only for the fact that Mr. Falkland came 
yesterday, Gonsuelo Josephine Persis would not be in this 
house now, sitting on your bedside and telling you a bit of 
her mind. Do all you will with me, only give me your rea- 
sons; that is what I ask." 

Miss Dawson, still remembering Mr. Falkland's words, said 
gently : 


" If you are not prepared for punishment when you de- 
serve it, I do not understand how I am to educate you." 

"Punish me to any extent," said Consuelo, " but please 
don't punish my friends when they don't deserve it." 

44 What do you mean? " 

44 Well, I guess that Selma was not to blame for having a 
swim in the briny yesterday morning. Selma has never yet 
in the whole course of her life been acquainted with the fact 
that it is wrong to swim. It's as natural to Selma to plunge 
into the salt sea waves when she is in their vicinity as it 
is for her to wash her face. As to her taking Patty — you 
didn't tell Patty that she was not to swim. Selma thought 
it unfair that you should render the remainder of their day 
miserable for an act which could not seem to her wrong; 
and I tell you what it is, Miss Dawson: Selma doesn't care 
for this scheme. She only came to oblige me. So will you 
do this in future : if Selma unknowingly annoys you, punish 
me, not her? " 

"Vicarious punishment!" said Miss Dawson, suddenly. 

44 Gall it what you like, only do it. Promise." 

44 1 will do my best, Gonsuelo. My task is really one of 
great difficulty. Now leave me." 

Consuelo went back to her room. By-and-by she was 
heard going downstairs. She ,w T ent down early that morn- 
ing. She was agitated and annoyed. Discipline was galling 
her very much. The thought that she must go through it, 
and that not the first week had yet gone by, weighed on her 
spirit. She would have her victory, but it would cost her 
something. The glamour was going off Miss Dawson. She 
was really not a guide. What was to be done? Consuelo 
had enjoyed her few hours of freedom on the previous day, 
and the discipline seemed a little more annoying this morn- 
ing. Her linen collar, too, would not fasten comfortably 
round her throat; she ended by discarding it, and coming 
down with a hideous red handkerchief tied round her neck. 

Her dusting, too, was a failure. She proceeded to dust 
both drawing-room and dining-room before the 44 general " 
had time to do out the rooms. When that young woman 
— a buxom girl of four or five and twenty — appeared with 
brushes and a dish of tea-leaves, she exclaimed over Con- 
suelo's work. 

44 1 ain't brushed up yet," she said. " You'll have the dust 
as thick as ever in a minute or two." 

44 Oh," said Consuelo, 44 you had best not brush the place 
this morning." 

44 Now that's a good notion," said the 44 general." 44 But, 
bless yer 'eart! she'll see. She 'ave the eye o' a hawk." 

44 If Miss Dawson notices," said Gonsuelo, 44 1 will tell her 
that I suggested your not brushing the rooms." 

44 Thankee kindly, miss." The 44 general " flopped about, 
glancing now and then at Consuelo. 

44 You ain't well, be you miss? " 


" I have a slight headache," said Consttelo. " I think I will 
go and have a dip before breakfast." 

"Lor, miss! yer ain't goin' into the waves with a empty 

" Well, give me something to eat," said Gonsuelo — " a 
piece of dry bread — anything will do." 

44 Gome 'long with me to the kitchen, then, missie. I'll 
wet the tea and pour out a cup for you. You're looking 
quite pingy." 

44 1 don't know what that is," said Gonsuelo. 

44 Is it true, miss," said the 44 general," 44 as you comes across 
the herrin'-pond? " 

44 1 hail from the States," said Consuelo, flinging back her 

44 Lor, now! To think o' that! " 

Gonsuelo sank on a chair in the little kitchen, which was 
not kept at all too clean. 

44 What is your name, 4 general ' ? " she said, after a pause. 

44 Lor, now!" said the 44 general." 44 1 hates not being 
called by it. I'm Maud Emily Dora. I'm most times called 
Maud — or Maudie; it sounds sort o' home-like." 

44 I'll call you Maudie in, the future," said Gonsuelo at once. 

44 Thank you, miss; I'd like that." 

Gonsuelo drank her tea, and snatching her hat from a 
peg in the hall, went out. She went down to the seashore. 
There were a good many people already bathing, and she 
quickly joined the group. She enjoyed herself mightily, for- 
getting her incipient headache, her low spirits, and the fact 
that Miss Dawson was not really a guide. She also forgot 
another thing, and that was the flight of time. She came in 
half-an-hour late for breakfast. 

Miss Dawson was occupying Gonsuelo's place in front of 
the breakfast- tray. She did not say a word when the girl 
sat down to table, but the expression of her face was om- 

The tea was particularly bad and weak, so much so that 
Consuelo found she could not drink it. She sat still for a. 
minute; then, without asking leave, got up and rang the bell. 
The two Falkland girls glanced at her in astonishment and 
a slight sense of fear. The 44 general " poked in her head. 

44 Please make some fresh tea, Maudie," said Consuelo, 
44 and be as quick as you can." 

44 What did I hear you call Sykes?" asked Miss Dawson, 
suddenly finding her voice. 

44 1 called her by her name," said Consuelo. 44 Her name 
is Maud Emily Dora, and she hates being spoken to as Sykes 1 
or as the 4 general.' She explained to me that she likes Maudia 
best, so I mean to call her by that name." 

44 Don't do it again; it is most unsuitable and vulgar." 

Gonsuelo colored, and with difficulty kept back a retort. 
44 Maudie " brought in the tea, which she put on the table 
with a bang. 


"Water ain't boilin'," she said; "s'pose yer don't mind." 

Consuelo poured out a cup for herself. Maudie left the 
room. The breakfast proceeded. Immediately after break- 
fast Consuelo, without waiting for permission, went upstairs. 
Selma followed her. Miss Dawson uttered a sigh of relief, 
looked toward the door almost wildly, and then, all of a 
sudden, burst into tears. 

Instantly Patty and Curly flung themselves on her neck. 

"Oh, darling!" said Patty. 

44 Oh, dearest, sweet Miss Dawson!" said Curly. 

44 My loves — my dear children!" said the poor woman. 
44 Oh, Curly! I had such an awful time last night. It was 
about you and Patty. My chHdren, how are we to endure 
this? I really do not think I can go on with it. That dread- 
ful, abominable girl! And to think of your sweet minds 
being contaminated! Oh, Curly, my pet! kiss me again; it 
is so sweet to feel your arms round me. Why, what is the 
matter, Curly? How you are trembling!" 

44 It's just because I am so fearfully sorry," said Curly. 
44 But surely father told you last night?" 

44 Your father? Was there anything to say?" 

44 But he did tell you, didn't he? Please; do speak." 

44 He said very little, my loves. He hoped that I would use 
tact with that creature — as if she could know the meaning 
of the word, or as if any tact would have the slightest effect 
on her. She is impossible — impossible, my loves; and yet 
your father does not want u£ to come back under the three 
months. I shall be worn ou£ by then. I really shall." 

44 But you mustn't be worn out, dear Miss Dawson. Oh, 
why didn't father tell you more? He said a lot to us — of 
course in the greatest confidence. Neither Patty nor I can 
make out what he means, but as far as we can gather, it 
seems that something — something will happen if Consuelo 
gets offended and goes back to her father." 

44 Nothing can happen, my loves, except that you will no 
longer have the disadvantage of this most undesirable friend- 
ship; that is the very worst that could possibly occur." 

44 But father — father didn't speak like that." 

44 Then what did he say, Patty?— What did dear Mr. Falk- 
land say, Curly? " 

44 We must not tell you," said Curly; 44 for if father wished 
you to know he'd have spoken to you himself. But he has 
given us his confidence in full, and we'll just have to make 
the best of Consuelo and Selma." 



Miss Dawson felt more annoyed than ever. The next three 
months seemed to spread themselves before her with a 
length and tediousness and a sense of dismay which she 


could scarcely endure. On consideration she found that it 
was not the discomfort of the little house or the bad cooking 
of the " general " — alias Maudie — that so distressed her. It 
was the thought of Consuelo, with her queer, china-blue 
eyes and acute, watchful face. She did not mind Selma. It 
was Consuelo Josephine Persis who was getting on her nerves. 
Should she leave the girl alone, let her go her own sweet 
way, cease to discipline her? It suddenly occurred to Miss 
Dawson that this would be a good idea. Consuelo for a day 
or two might do as she liked. The poor lady quite bright- 
ened up as this notion visited her mind. After all, when 
people were at the seaside they had holidays. Why should 
she not give her four pupils — alas that she should be bur- 
dened with four! — a few days' grace? 

She felt almost cheerful. It was her custom to assemble 
the young people in the dreary dining-room soon after nine 
o'clock, and there to set them tasks according to what she 
considered their relative abilities. Consuelo and Selma, who 
knew the geography of the earth, as it seemed to the Falk- 
land girls, by heart, were sadly deficient in historical knowl- 
edge. They knew much of the present day history, and 
could rattle off long stories with regard to the folks wha 
now lived on the earth; but as regarded English history, 
American history, and history generally speaking, Patty and 
Curly could put them to instant shame. On the other hand, 
the girls were both, for their ages, good linguists. Their 
French was by no means grammatically perfect, but they 
could chatter to their hearts' content- in the language, and 
understood at once what was said to them. They knew Ger- 
man in much the same fashion. In short, they were well 
equipped for the necessities of daily life; but as to real 
mental training, according to Miss Dawson's ideas, they had 
none. Lessons, therefore, were exceedingly disagreeable ta 
the governess. Consuelo had a sad habit of putting her elders 
and betters right when those elders and betters made a 
mistake. Miss Dawson quite dreaded to hear her American 
voice and the slight drawl with which she would remark: 

" I guess that's not quite correct. We explain it like this 
in the States," or similar utterances. 

Miss Dawson felt, in short, that the Americans made her 
look small in the eyes of her own pupils, and no woman 
living can endure such a position. But during the holiday- 
time lesson-books would be shut up and freedom would be 
the order of the hour. 

Accordingly, when the four girls entered the little sitting- 
room with books in their hands and prepared to take their 
places at the table, Miss Dawson stood at one end and de- 
livered her soul. 

" It -is a beautiful day," she began. 

" Yes," said Curly, gently and expectantly, while the other 
three hung breathless on Miss Dawson's next words. 

" I propose," said the governess, " that we take advantage 


of this lovely weather. To-day is Thursday. There will 
be no lessons until Monday next." 
"What?" said Patty. 

Selma was seated next to Patty, and Patty, in her great 
excitement, squeezed that young lady's hand. 

"And," said Miss Dawson, not taking any notice of the 
-excitement on the young faces, " that being the case, I mean 
you all to have a certain amount of freedom. There are 
four of you, and there will be four days' holiday. Now, I 
propose that each girl in turn plans one day to be spent by 
herself and her companions as she likes best. Who will 
take the first turn? Which of you four will be the queen 
of the day? " 

The three other girls looked at Gonsuelo, expectancy on 
their faces. Gonsuelo said slowly: 

" I guess that I'll take Saturday, and Selma can have Sun- 
day. Suppose Patty's queen of to-day, and Gurly queen of 
to-morrow. How will that do? " 

" You can arrange the matter amongst yourselves," said 
Miss Dawson. 

"And are we at liberty, really, Miss Dawson," said Gon- 
suelo, her voice full of great animation, "to do what we 
please during these days?" 

"Yes," said Miss Damson, slowly; "always provided that 
I go with you and you do nothing wrong." 

Gonsuelo's eyes grew brighter than ever; but it was now 
Selma's turn to interpose. 

" I don't like. Sunday to be my day at all," she said. " We 
can't really have our fun on Sunday, and the last day of 
the holiday ought to mean the greatest fun of all." 

" Your remark is quite wise, Selma," said Miss Dawson. 
"I will, therefore, in. order to accommodate you four, extend 
the time of holiday so that it shall include Monday." 

" Thanks," said Selma. 

" And I, if you please, Miss Dawson," said Gonsuelo, " will 
take Monday for my day. — You don't mind, do you, Selma?" 

" No," answered Selma; " I should much prefer it." 

" Well, then, that is settled," said Miss Dawson. " You 
may all go on the beach. You can let me know at lunch- 
time how Patty proposes that the afternoon should be spent. 
I trust you all four girls, and I hope you will be worthy of 
my trust." 

" Of course, darling Miss Dawson," said Gurly. 
Miss Dawson smiled pit her favorite. 

" One question before we part," said Gonsuelo, getting up 
and speaking with great alacrity. " Is money to be thought 
of during these days?" 

" There is plenty of money to give you innocent amuse- 
ment," said Miss Dawson. 

" Thank you," said Consuelo again. 

They all went out. When they got on the sands Consuelo 
said : 


U I had a jolly dip in the briny before breakfast. Who 
wants to bathe now? " 

" I don't," said Curly. " Patty and Selma got into trouble 
about bathing the other day, and we can't bathe without 
leave " 

"Well, it's Patty's day; Patty has the arrangement of 
things. What do you say about another lesson in swimming, 
Patty Falkland?" 

Patty looked up. She was really longing for a dip. 

44 It isn't really wrong, Curly," she said. 44 You remember 
what father said." 

44 That is true," said Curly; 44 but all the same I shan't 
bathe without dear Miss Dawson knowing." 

44 I'm game for a dip," said Patty. 

44 Come along," said Consuelo. 

The three girls all moved toward a bathing-box, and soon 
afterwards were disporting themselves in the waves. Patty 
was less nervous than she had been on the former occasion. 
She was beginning to feel her powers, and, with the aid of 
her two young companions, managed to swim a few strokes. 
She was exceedingly pleased and elated. 

The four girls came back to lunch with excellent appetites. 
They expected Miss Dawson to question them with regard 
to their morning'^ amusement, but the governess did not 
make a single remark. The dinner was extra good; in fact, 
the poor woman had mostly cooked it herself. She was 
quite determined that the four days' holiday should be as 
pleasant as she could make it. 

When the meal had come to an end — and the hungry girls 
much enjoyed it — Miss Dawson said: 

44 And now, what are your plans for the afternoon?" 

44 Donkey-rides," said Patty at once. 44 1 saw a donkey- 
man on the shore, and he can bring us a donkey apiece. We 
might ride toward Rocky Head." 

44 1 must come, too," said Miss Dawson. 

44 Yes, dear Miss Dawson," said Patty; 44 we ordered five 
donkeys, knowing, of course, that you could not possibly 

44 Very well," said Miss Dawson, shuddering a little. After 
another pause she said, 44 When are we to go? " 

44 At three o'clock," said Patty. 44 The donkeys will be all 
waiting for us on the parade. It will be fun!" she added. 
" What do you say about taking tea with us, girls? We could, 
couldn't we? And the donkey-man, who has his own donkey, 
could carry the basket." 

44 That's an excellent idea," said Miss Dawson. 

Patty, as queen of the day, went out immediately after 
lunch to buy the necessary things for a really sumptuous tea. 
Cups and saucers were packed into a basket; a little tea-pot 
and a kettle followed suit. The eatables were further packed, 
and then the party started for the beach. 

They found a bevy of donkeys waiting for them, an ex- 


cited crowd of little boys watching to see them mount, and 
the donkey-pnan in the height of good humor. All the 
ladies got on their steeds, and off they went, poor Miss Daw- 
son feeling more miserable than she had done for many 
years. She was not a rider in any sense of the word, and 
she felt it almost impossible to keep her seat. But she 
would not complain. The four girls were enjoying them- 
selves. Patty was really a very good queen of the day, and 
the expedition went off well. 

The picnic was a grand success, and they all returned 
home pleasantly tired in the evening, and in the best of good 

" How are we to entertain ourselves to-night? " said Con- 
suelo, turning to Patty. " It is your day, you know; you 
must end it up with a flourish." 

" But I thought it was ended," said Patty. " I am sure I 
am tired enough," she added. 

"Ended?" answered Gonsuelo. "Good gracious! it isn't 
more than seven o'clock. We can't think of going to bed 
until ten. What shall we do?" 

Miss Daw y son made no suggestion of any sort, but sat quite 
still, patiently waiting. In all probability the girls would 
go out; in that case she would have to go with them. She 
was feeling so stiff that she could scarcely move. Patty, 
however, who read her governess's face, was not so un- 

u We'll sit in the dark and tell stories," she said. 
Miss Dawson fidgeted. 

" I have one remark to make." she said. " I have made 
up my mind not to interfere with you during your four 
days of holiday. As long as you keep out of personal dan- 
ger, and do nothing really wrong, I — so to speak — lay down 
my scepter. But now, I forbid ghost stories, do you 

u I suppose you believe in ghosts?" said Gonsuelo. 

"Certainly not. What do you mean?" 

" Then why should you be afraid of them? " 

" I consider the subject of ghosts morbid and unhealthy. 1 ' 

"All right," said Consuelo; "we'll leave ghosts out of the 
„ running. Shall I tell that story about the very naughtiest 
girl at Newport, who cost her mother three hundred and 
fifty pounds for one dress?" 

" It sounds an exceedingly silly tale," said Miss Dawson; 
" but you have, of course, carte-blanched 

"Then I'll tell it," said Consuelo; and she began a very 
racy description of a friend of hers in America. Miss Daw- 
son quite shuddered as she listened, more particularly as 
she saw that Patty's eyes were sparkling with fun, and that 
even Curly could not repress peals of laughter. 

" I call it real 4 cute,' " said Consuelo, as she came to the end 
of her description. 

" It's Patty's turn to tell a story now," said Miss Dawson. 


" Patience, dear, do you remember that little tale about the 
suffering child in East London." 

Patty's story, which she did not tell at all well, was lis- 
tened to with scant attention. Curly said she was not good 
at story-telling; but Selma capped the evening's entertain- 
ment by a vigorous account of a bull-fight in Spain. The 
girls quite shuddered as they listened, and Miss Dawson 
could not make out which story was the worse, that of the 
extravagant and silly American or that of the cruelty of the 
Spanish people. 

She was glad when the evening came to an end, and won- 
dered how her dear Curly would conduct herself as queen 
of the next day. 

At breakfast Curly propounded her scheme. She would 
have, she said, an improvement day. They would work a 
little bit in the morning, and in the evening have a sort of 

" Bees are very American, are they not? " she asked, turn- 
ing to Consuelo. 

Consuelo replied that bees were out of date, but that mom- 
ma used to tell her about them. She did not mind going 
back, she said, thirty years or so, if it pleased Curly. 

A bee, then, it should be, and they would enjoy themselves 
on the beach. 

During the morning Selma was seen to approach Consuelo 
and say something to her which caused that young lady to 
brighten up very considerably. 

" Yes," she said — " yes." 
? Selma's eyes looked black and sparkling, with mischief 
when she sat down again. Consuelo concealed a yawn, and 
applied herself to her book. 

" Curly," she said, suddenly, " I never did think it of my- 
self, but it's coming fast, and you're doing it." 

The girls were all seated in tt|e stuffy little parlor, busy 
over some books which Curly said would form the staple of 
their discourse in the afternoon. 

"You ought not to interrupt," said Curly. "But what is 
it you want to say?" 

u Only this," said Consuelo : " I did think I should be fond 
of learning. I adore our great Longfellow; I feel like crying 
'Excelsior!' again and again and again; and 'Evangeline' is 
so beautiful that I could weep as I read it. You have got 
your great writers, too, only I guess they are not so smart 
as ours." 

"Oh, my dear!" interrupted Miss Dawson, "you forget 
our Milton, our Tennyson, our Shelley." 

" I come to my conclusions according to the old adage, 
* By their fruits ye shall know them,' " said Consuelo. " You 
English girls, although you have been brought up on Milton 
and Tennyson, haven't half the go that we have with our 
Emerson and Howells and, James and Hawthorne and dear 
Mark Twain. I guess we know a thing or two that you don't. 


And what I want to say now is this : that if you are to go 
on teaching me, Curly, I shall hate learning for evermore.'* 
Curly sighed. 

" I am queen to-day," she said, after a pause, speaking in 
her rather prim little voice, " and I have to manage things 
according to my own lights." » 

" Yes," said Miss Dawson; " and, my dear girls, I must 
remind you that fair-play is fair-play. — You, Selma, will 
have your turn to-morrow, and Consuelo, hers on Monday. 
If we don't interfere with you, you ought not to interfere 
with us." 

"Pax!" said Consuelo, frankly, holding out her hand to 
Curly. Then she added, " I know I was wrong, and I won't 
say anything more." 

, Nevertheless, with all the goodwill in the world, Curly's 
day was a dull one. It was even a duller day than when 
Miss Dawson was giving severe lessons and marching the 
girls up and down the beach. Consuelo thought that she 
preferred dusting, and having surreptitious cups of tea with 

But the longest day will have an end. At the 44 bee " the 
two Americans were sadly beaten, and the two English girls 
scored a distinct triumph. But, after all, what mattered it? 
The Americans were going to have their turn, when surely 
the tables would be completely reversed. 

Saturday morning dawned on a glorious day. There was 
not a cloud in the sky, and Selma came joyfully into Con- 
suelo's room. 

" I have everything planned," she said, " and the wagonette 
will be at the door at nine o'clock." 

" Have you arranged," said Consuelo, just raising her head 
from her hard pillow and looking at her cousin, " that Maudie 
comes too? " 

44 Yes, of course. She is nearly off her head with delight." 

44 Have all the things arrived? " asked Consuelo. 

44 Yes," said Selma; 44 Maudie has them in the kitchen. She 
stowed them away in a cupboard, fearing Miss Dawson might 
see them. She says there are heaps of black beetles in the 
cupboard, so I do hope they won't get at anything." 

44 Have you a rare pile of cookies? I guess I feel as though 
I'd like to live on fondants for all the rest of my days," said 

44 1 have ordered a whole pound of fondants for each of 
us," said Selma. 44 1 don't think," she added, 44 that more 
would be wholesome." Then she continued, 44 Even Maudie 
is satisfied; she says that more than a pound of sweeties, 
as she terms them, would give her a bad pain in her stum- 

44 And the cakes — are they all right? " asked Consuelo. 

44 Yes — oh, yes! And every one of them frosted, too, and 
colored in different ways. The cakes, and fondants, and 
chocolates, and marrons glaces are all well to the fore." 


"And the bottles of fizzy lemonade?" asked Consuelo. 
" Yes. I ordered three dozto." 

"Goodness! I'd like to add some sweet champagne," said 
Consuelo; "but I suppose Fd better not." 
"No, no; lemonade must do." 

" The main thing is this," said Consuelo : " have we got 
one single thing that is wholesome?" 
" I think not," said Selma. 

" Then that is all right. You must go along now, Selma 
Dudley; and I guess I'll rise. There'll be fun to-day. We'll 
open the eves of Dawson & Co., and have a rare old time. 
But you listen to me. However good that time may be, it 
will be nothing to what I shall do when I am queen of the 

" Oh, I guess that," said Selma; " you needn't tell me." 

She marched out of the room, and Consuelo, with a light 
laugh, sprang out of bed. She discarded her discipline 
clothes, and put on the one smart frock which, unknown to 
herself, had been packed away at the bottom of her trunk. 
It was not very smart, but, compared to her hideous brown 
hollands, it seemed to the young girl to assume quite a lovely 
appearance. It was a little, pale-blue muslin, very simply 
made, but the lace was real, and the embroidery that deco- 
rated it of the finest. 

As Consuelo looked at her small face in the cracked square 
of glass with which alone her bedroom was provided, she 
could not keep back the smile from her lips or the light of 
joyful anticipation from her eyes. 

Sharp at eight o'clock the little party found themselves in 
the dining-room. Miss Dawson was feeling decidedly nerv- 
ous. In her heart of hearts she was wondering what mad- 
ness had possessed her when she had given the four girls 
leave to have a day apiece to be spent according to the in- 
dividual will of the reigning queen. The moment Miss Daw- 
son saw Consuelo's pale-blue dress, her dainty blue shoes, 
and open-work blue stockings, her heart misgave her more 
than ever. Her own girls, looking neat and trim as usual, 
took their places at the table. Miss Dawson rang the bell. 
After a short time this was answered by Maudie. Maudie 
was dressed for the occasion. She was wearing her very 
best Sunday-go-to-meeting frock. Her skirt was of green 
cotton, her blouse of pink, and she had a high hat stuck 
on the back of her head, adorned with artificial cherries and 
bunches of green gauze. Maudie's face was deeply flushed 
as she entered the room bearing a plate of cakes and a jug- 
ful of chocolate. 

" Tea, please. What do you . mean by bringing these 
things?" said Miss Dawson. 

Maudie did not take any notice of Miss Dawson, but turned 
toward Selma. 

" We thought you'd like a real American breakfast for a 
change," said Selma. — "Maudie, are the dough-cakes done?" 


"They're a bit tough and 'ard, miss; but I done 'em ac- 
cording to your directions." 

"Bring them in at once, then," said Selma. 

The dough-cakes, when they did appear, were as unlike 
the real succulent morsels of sweetmeat as dough-cakes 
could be. 

" I cannot take this breakfast," said Miss Dawson. " I must 
have tea and bread and butter." 
" Very well," said Selma. 

She gave directions to Maudie, who reappeared with some 
simple food for Miss Dawson; but the four girls drank their 
sweet chocolate and sampled their cakes with considerable 
appetite and appreciation. 

Selma was dressed almost smartly. She wore a deep- 
crimson frock, which suited her dark skin, her black eyes, 
and black hair. Miss Dawson regarded both Selma and Con- 
suelo as figures of fun. She had, of course, determined not 
to interfere, but she really trembled at the manner in which 
the day had begun. As Maudie was leaving the room poor 
Miss Dawson could contain herself no longer. 

44 Put on your proper dress, Sykes," she said, " and do not 
dare to come into the room again in that attire." 

" If you please, miss," said Maudie, dropping a curtsy and 
rolling her eyes anxiously toward Gonsuelo, " I'm agoin', too. 
I'm goin' on the picnic, miss." 

" Yes," said Selma, calmly; " Maudie is quite right." 

Miss Dawson was speechless. Maudie whisked out of the 
room, banging the door after her. 

"Ain't I goin' to have fun!" she said to herself as she 
reached the kitchen. "My word, ain't the old un cross! 
I'll cotch it after the fun's over; but I means to enjoy myself, 
that I does, to-day." 

selma's day. 

"What are the arrangements for to-day, Selma?" said 
Miss Dawson as soon as the door had closed behind the " gen- 
eral." 44 1 have given you all carte-blanche to do ' as you 
please, but it is only due to me that I should be acquainted 
with your plans. What are your plans for to-day? " 

44 1 guess," said Selma, 44 that they're real jolly. We mean 
to be out in the heavenly air from morning till night. We 
are going in a wagonette across the Downs, and we'll just 
go as far as we please and no farther; and we are taking 
food with us, so that Maudie need not be troubled to cook 
anything; and when we come back to-night, what I wish 
to propose is this-^that we take Maudie to the theater, for 
she's never been in it once since she was a little child, and 
then she only saw the pantomime. There's a very good piece 
on indeed, and we think it would elevate Maudie to see it. 


It's about a young girl in her class of life marrying a lord. 
Maudie'll be very much interested, and think, perhaps, that 
she'll come to have a similar stroke of good fortune. After 
the theater we'll have supper out, so Maudie will have a 
complete holiday." 

" And do you really think," said Miss Dawson, now nearly 
purple with anger, "that Mr. Falkland or your father, Con- 
suelo, would wish you four young ladies to associate on 
equal terms with a servant-girl all day long, by so doing 
not only putting yourselves into a wrong position, but en- 
couraging in that poor girl's mind all kinds of wrong ideas? 
A play, indeed, where a servant-girl marries a lord! I can- 
not allow any of you to go to it." 

" But, please," said Selma, " there is nothing wrong in the 
play, for Patty and Gurly's father took us all to it the other 
night, and we did enjoy it so much only Gonsuelo and I 
thought of Maudie, and so wished that Maudie was the 

" Yes, we did," said Gonsuelo; "and it was the thought of 
that play that gave us both the notion how we'd spend Satur- 
day. It cannot be wrong, can it, to go, when Mr. Falkland 
took us all the other day?" 

This was such a poser to Miss Dawson that she was quite 
silent, and Selma sprang from her seat, saying briskly : 

" The wagonette will be at the door in a minute, and, dear 
Miss Dawson, we will try to be good." 

"Yes, we will, really," said Gonsuelo; "and, of course, you 
can revenge yourself on us when Tuesday comes and our 
discipline begins once more. Only it's half the fun to have 
Maudie, for she'll like everything just six times as much as 
we like things, because, you see, in her life she has only 
jam once a week, or perhaps once or twice a year, whereas 
we have it every day." 

" That's nonsense! " said Miss Dawson. " I allow the serv- 
ant jam in the kitchen." 

" Oh, we meant metaphorically," said Selma. " It's a 
metaphorical jam we want to give poor Maudie to-day; and 
as to her not being our equal," she continued, " in America 
we consider every human being to have the same rights as 
every other human being. We have all souls, haven't we? 
and hungry bodies, and a great craving for fondants and for, 

" Your conversation is beyond me, girls," said Miss Daw- 
son. " I believe I have acted with a great want of wisdom 
in giving you these holidays. But I stick to my word now; 
only don't try me too far." 

In a quarter of an hour the entire party had started on 
their picnic. They were all, with the exception of Miss Daw- 
son, in high spirits; but she, poor woman, felt more shocked 
and distressed moment by moment. 

Maudie, in her excess of glee, had invited her brothers and 
sisters from the next street to come and see her off. They 


shouted with delight at her appearance, and said, "Go it, 
Maudie — good old girl! I say, Maudie, you are having a time 
of it! " and made other such-like remarks. 

Consuelo insisted on Maudie sitting between her and 
Selma, and she began to ply the former with fondants c[uite 
early in the day. They drove on for several miles, and pres- 
ently found a delightful dell with shady trees, and a little 
stream running through its midst. Here Selma elected that 
the picnic was to take place. 

The cloth was laid on the grass, and the different viands 
produced. Miss Dawson looked at the frosted cakes and the 
piles of unwholesome sweetmeats with a sickly smil^. 

44 Do you mean to tell me, Selma," she said, " that you in- 
tend to feed on those things, and on those alone? Didn't it 
occur to you to get some cold chicken or ham or beef, or 
anything whatever substantial and wholesome?" 

" Guess these'll do," said Selma. 

" They won't do for me." 

" I thought of you," said Consuelo, " and I have brought 
something special." Here she produced from her pocket a 
little packet of meat-lozenges. " Guess you'll find these sup- 
porting," she said. " Momma always takes them on her jour- 
neys. She says that they don't bring on the gout as the 
marrons glaces do." 

But Miss Dawson pushed them aside. 

" I shall not touch them,""she said. 44 We passed a village 
a mile back. I shall drive there and have some food at the 
hotel. I suppose, girls, you can look after one another while 
I am gone. I suppose I can trust you not to be up to any 
special mischief." 

44 Of course you can, Miss Dawson," said Curly. — 44 It is too 
bad," she added. 44 1 think you are very unkind indeed, Sel- 
ma; you know that dear Miss Dawson cannot eat things of 
that sort." 

44 Nor can you either, Curly, for the matter of that," said 
Miss Dawson. 44 Do you mind coming back with me, dear, 
and having a little wholesome food at the 4 Red Lion ' ? We 
can return and join the rest of you girls within an hour's 

This plan was carried out. The wagonette was brought 
forward again, and Miss Dawson and Curly returned to the 
small village through which they had passed. 

44 Now then, the rest of us can enjoy ourselves," said Selma. 
— 44 Maudie, you sit here; you are to have the place of honor. 
You are our guest, you know." 

44 Lor, miss!" said Maudie. 44 Now, be I? I do 'joy my-* 
self like anything, most partic'lar since old Cross-patch has 

44 You mustn't speak of my governess in that way, Sykes," 
said Patty. 

44 1 forgot you, miss," said Maudie, coloring; crimson. 44 You 
won't go for to tell on me, now, will you, Miss Patty? " 


"No; but you must behave yourself. There are limits to 
all things, and I won't have dear Miss Dawson abused." 

"She ain't a kindly body, though, miss," said Maudie. 
" Now, true — she ain't. She treats me real erool, I call it — 
Callin' me Sykes, when she had the choice o' Maudie or Emily 
or Dora. I don't want to be called Sykes. I heard o' a book 
once, and the man wot committed the murder and killed his 
sweetheart was Sykes. It makes me sort o' shiver when I 
hear the name." 

"Well, don't think of it now," said Consuelo. "Have a 
marron glace. Aren't they good? " 

"Derlicious, miss, they be," said Maudie. "Oh, my, 
though! Don't my stummik ache a bit already!" 

" It's plain to be seen," said Selma, " that you are not an 
American girl. We can eat sweetmeats to any amount." 

"Guess that's why we're pasty, though," said Consuelo. 
" I wonder," she added, " who that picturesque old body is 
who is coming down through the glade." 

Maudie, who was in the act of sucking a marron glace; 
sprang to her feet. 

" Oh, my word! " she said in great excitement, " don't you 
'ave nothin' to do with her. That's old Mother Jeremy. She's 
a sort o' witch, no less. She tells fortunes — and mostly bad 
uns. She's a real old terror. There ain't one o' us at West- 
bourne 'ud be seen with her for all you could give us. Don't 
you 'ave nothin' to do with her, young ladies. She'll come 
up to you a-whimperin' and a-beggin' you to cross her hand 
with silver. But don't you go and do it. — Don't 'e now, Miss 
Connie. — Don't 'e now, Miss Selma. — Don't 'e, Miss Patty. — 
Oh, my word! I am that frightened of her, I don't know what 
to do. Ef she was to stare at me I'd be took with a sort o' 

" You are very silly, Maudie," said Connie. " It's plain to 
be seen you know very little of the world. Why, a fortune- 
teller — a real, genuine fortune-teller — is the very person of 
all others we'd like to talk to. She shall tell our fortunes, 
that she shall. Now, I call that real fun; I guess I'm just 

" And so am I," said Selma. 

Maudie began to cry. She said the pain in her " stummik '* 
got. worse, and that she could not "eat any more o' them 
fondies." She remarked further that they weren't " fond o' 
her," and sobbed, and pressed her hand to her side, and al- 
together went on in a most uncomfortable manner. 

The three girls looked at her with dismay. This wonder- 
ful, precious day had been mainly planned to give Maudie a 
treat, and yet here she was breaking down on the very first 
occasion, and showing the most unreasonable terror because 
a gipsy woman was approaching her. 

" Now, look here," said Consuelo. " You must control your- 
self, Maudie. You needn't have any more sweets if you feel 
ill, and you needn't talk to Mother Jeremy if you are afraid 
8 6 19 


of her. But the rest of us mean to talk to her; don't we, 
Selma? " 

" Of course we do," said Selma. 

" We'll go to her one by one," said Consuelo, " so that two 
of us can stay with you turn and turn about. Now do be 
sensible, Maudie. I didn't know you were quite such a silly 

Maud wiped her eyes,, tried to recover her valor, tried to 
say that she really did love the " f ondies," and that she never 
had been so happy in the whole course of her " mortial life." 
But her evident terror of Mother Jeremy could not be re- 
pressed, and in the end Consuelo and Selma had to take her 
away, while Patty remained, quivering with excitement, to 
meet Mother Jeremy. 

Patty decided that when her fortune was told she would 
whistle to the other girls; that one of them would come back 
to take her place; and sh& (Patty), when this girl appeared, 
would run off to join the suffering Maudie and the other girl. 

Maudie left the scene doubled up with pain and uttering 
piteous groans, and Patty sat down to await Mother Jeremy's 

Mother Jeremy was a tall old woman with a toothless 
mouth, a nose very like a beak, and glittering black eyes. 
One needed but to glance at her to discover her gipsy origin. 
Her dress was very poor and ragged, but showed signs of 
past splendor; for the old shawl which was pinned round her 
head and which partly concealed her face was woven in many 
fantastic colors and was made of the richest silk. Round her 
breast she wore crossed a somewhat tattered fichu of coarse, 
tawdry muslin. She also wore a white apron, but her feet 
were bare. 

She came toward Patty now, dropping a succession of swift 

" Will my pretty little lady have her fortune told by good 
old Mother Jeremy? " she asked. 

Patty immediately responded in the affirmative. The sun 
was shining brightly; the place was gay; there were flowers 
growing in profusion around her. Butterflies of various hues 
and colors were darting here and there. A dragon-fly swept 
past with a quick swoop, on brilliant wings. Patty had cer- 
tainly no call to be alarmed. Mother Jeremy stood and 
looked down at her. 

" My exceedingly pretty little lady," she said, fixing her 
bold eyes on Patty. " Will my lady cross the hand of a poor 
old woman with a bit of silver, and may the old woman roll 
back the curtains of the future and show the pretty lady 
what is about to take place? " 

"Oh, yes, please!" said Patty, eagerly. "Only you must 
be quick, please, for there are two other girls waiting to have 
their fortunes told, and our governess will be back before 
long, and I don't think, perhaps, that she'd quite like it." 

" You does what she don't like, pretty dear? " said the old 


gipsy woman. " That is as it should be. We needs courage, 
and we don't want to be held in leading-strings. That's wot 
I like. I can see the courage in the pretty lady's eyes. I 
admire courage. Now then, cross my hand with the silver, 
dear, and I won't keep you long." 

Patty produced a shilling from her pocket. The old wom- 
an looked at her suspiciously. 

" There ain't much of a fortune in a shilling," she said. 
44 Ain't yer got 'alf-a-crown, now — nor a five-shilling-bit? " 

44 No, I haven't," said Patty. 44 This is all the money I have 
about me." Then she added, 44 1 don't see how the size of the 
silver can make any difference in my fortune— that is, if 
you speak the truth." 

The old woman glared at Patty. 

44 Whoever yet said that Mother Jeremy told lies?" was 
her remark. 44 It's truth, and the whole truth, and noth- 
ing but the truth that I'm a-telling you, my dear. And 
why shouldn't I tell the truth? A small bit o' silver like a 
shilling only opens the doors of the future a very little way, 
whereas a five-shilling-piece throws 'em wide. But there f 
I'll do my best for the shilling; only 'twon't be much I'll be 
able to say." | 

Patty gave the shilling. Mother Jeremy crossed the little 
girl's palm with it, and then, staring down into the little 
hand, prophesied a rather ridiculous future, in which Patty 
was to have an equal share of sorrow and joy, in which she 
was to break away from her present shackles, and was to 
suffer grief by means of a young lady from foreign parts. 

Patty thought this very strange and exciting; in fact, it 
made a much deeper impression on her than Mother Jeremy's 
further prophecy that eventually Patty would marry a tall, 
fafr young man who would take her to live in a castle with 
him and give her every possible luxury. 

She thanked Mother Jeremy for her words, and made the 
necessary signal for another girl to approach. 

44 Maybe you are hungry?" said Patty, suddenly noting 
how the keen old eyes watched the food. 

Mother Jeremy immediately produced an old bag, and Patty 
shoveled into it a vast number of fondants and marrons 
glaces; also some little cakes. Mother Jeremy did not seem 
at all excited at the prospect of eating these dainties, but 
inquired with anxiety if the little bottles which stood in rows 
on the ground contained gin or whisky. On hearing that they 
were only full of lemonade, she uttered an angry exclamation 
and said that they were mere trash. 

It was Gonsuelo who now appeared in view. She walked 
quickly, excitement quite perceptible in her manner. Patty 
immediately ran off to join the others, and Gonsuelo found 
herself alone with the gipsy. 

Her manner was quite different from Patty's, and Mother 
Jeremy evidently discovered this at once, for she treated her 
with marked consideration, and even with respect. 


" You be a young foreign lady from over the wide, lone 

seas," was her first remark. 

" How can you possibly tell that? " inquired Gonsuelo. 

" Ah, my pretty one," remarked the gipsy, " the good 
fairies tell me all I want to know." 

44 Are you speaking truth?" said Gonsuelo. 

44 And why should I lie to you, my dear? " 

44 1 don't know why you should," replied the girl. 44 There 
are fortune-tellers in England — I have read about them; and 
the gipsies, the real, true gipsies, know wonderful things. 
I have read about them, too. I am glad to meet a real gipsy. 
You can read signs in the stars, can't you; and you can tell 
a lot about the future?" 

44 There be times when I can," said the gipsy. 

44 But," said Consuelo, fixing her bright eyes on the old, 
wrinkled face, 44 you don't tell those things to every one?" 

The keen black eyes looked hard into the blue ones. Moth- 
er Jeremy altered her tone. 

44 And why should I? " she answered. 44 Why should I cast 
my pearls afore swine?" 

Consuelo looked at her long and attentively. 

44 1 think I understand you," she said, in a slow, meditative 
voice. 44 What you mean is this : you talk nonsense to most 
people; but it is possible — just possible— for you to speak 
the truth." 

44 Listen to me, my pretty lady," said the old gipsy woman. 
44 1 speak the truth to all just as they are able to bear it. 
Why, bless you, my dear! there are some folks with, so to 
speak, no future; and there are others — my dear young lady, 
my exceedingly pretty young lady from over the distant seas, 
there are others on whom destiny falls." * 

These words sounded most exciting to Consuelo. 

44 Am I one of those? " she asked, in a low tone. 

It was now the gipsy's turn to be silent for a minute, but 
during this silence her watchful, keen black eyes were fixed 
on the girl's face. 

44 1 am an old woman," she said. 44 1 ha' lived long; I ha 1 
lived hard. There ain't nothing, so to speak, that I ain't 
seen. I ha' seen sorrow and joy; and the bride with her 
husband, and the widow beside her dead; and the children 
with their mother, and the children again motherless. I ha' 
seen crime, too — bitter, dark crime; and I ha' seen the noble- 
ness o' self-sacrifice; and I ha' seen the power o' the bonny 
red gold — the blessing o' it and also the curse o' it! Yes; I'm 
an old woman, and I've lived through much. It has been 
given to me to read signs and to read faces, and, mayhap, to 
look into hearts. There never was yet blue eyes like yours, 
and a face small and fine and pale, and an eager look like 
yours, that didn't have some mighty work to do. And there 
never yet was a voice sort o' thrillin'-like as your voice be, 
that didn't have much power over its fellow-men." 

41 This is very exciting," said Consuelo. 44 Please tell me 


my fortune without a minute's delay. I want the truth — 
you understand? — the truth." 

The old woman stood and reflected. 

" You want a deal, it seems to me," she said, after a pause; 
" more nor I give to most. Now, be you the sort o' young 
lady to give the old gipsy silver to cross your bonny hand 
with, or gold? It all depends on that." 

" I will give you what you really wish," said Consuelo; and 
then she remembered with a pang that she had no gold about 

" It's this way," said the gipsy. " You cross my hand with 
silver. Give me a shillin' — one shillin' — my pretty dear, and 
I'll tell you sort o' truth and sort o' nonsense. I'll tell you 
wot you know already: that you come from foreign parts, 
and that you're rich, and that there'll be a many wantin' 
to marry you for the sake o' your riches. And I'll tell you 
that you'll have pain, because all human beings have pain 
— r-and pleasure, because it's the lot of few not to have some 
pleasure in life; and I'll prophesy for you a middlin' long 
life; for, although you're pale, you look kind o' healthy. 
That's wot I'll do for a shillin'." 

" In fact, you'll do nothing at all," said Consuelo, with 
scorn. " You have found out doubtless from some neighbors 
that I am a rich American girl, and you made up all the rest, 
just as I should make it up if I chose." 

" True for you, missie," said the old woman, fixing her 
intensely bright eyes on Consuelo with a look of admiration. 

" Then your silver fortune is worth nothing," said Consuelo. 

" I can go a bit further," said the woman. " Give me five 
shillin' now, and the door of the future will open wide. I'll 
read your palm, and your palm will tell me that which is 
to come." 

" I can certainly give you five shillings," said Consuelo. 
44 But you said something about a gold fortune. I want the 
very, very best you can give me." 

As Consuelo uttered the last words the gipsy's whole man- 
ner changed. 

14 1 can do," she said, 44 for a gold sovereign — a real gold 
sovereign — I can do wonders. I can consult the stars, and 
the face of the moon, and the old books that I have in my 
hut 'long by the Head." 

44 In fact, you can really tell me the future? " 

44 1 swear it, my beautiful lady." 

44 And you are a real, real, true gipsy? " 

44 The daughter o' Enoch," said Mother Jeremy at once, 
44 who was the son o' Hezekiah, who was the son o' Jonah. 
There's no doubt about my havin' the real blood o' the true 
Romanies in my veins." 

"Very well," said Consuelo. 44 1 believe you. You look 
like it, and I believe you. I don't want you to tell me any- 
thing false. I want my real future, and my real fortune, 
and my real fate in life explained to me. You shall have 


gold, old gipsy woman; yes — gold. But I haven't it with me 

" That's all right, my lovey," said the old woman; " nor 
•could I tell it to yer now, for such a fortune as you want 
told must be uttered by the light of the moon and by the 
twinkling of the stars. You must come to me to the Head, 
my dear — yes, and at midnight; then I will tell you that" 
which I have to say." 

Gonsuelo thought for a moment. The wildness and ro- 
mance of the thing fascinated her. She was in the mood 
for adventure, and she longed beyond anything to have her 
fortune told. She felt half-stranded at present. Miss Daw- 
son proved, on nearer acquaintance, the reverse of satis- 
factory; her chosen plan for self-discipline was turning out 
a failure. The gipsy might give her a clue. Yes, she would 
go to the gipsy. 

" Til manage it," she said. 

"And when, my pretty lady — when? When may Mother 
Jeremy see your bonny face at the door of her house? It's 
welcome you'll be, my bonny lady." 

" I can't come to you to-night," said Consuelo, " or to- 
morrow night; but I'll try and come on Monday night." 

" Be with me at twelve o' the clock. The moon will be 
at the full then, and the stars propitious. I'll be ready; and 
be sure, my bonny missie, that you bring plenty o' gold. One 
gold sovereign will do much, but two will do better, and 
three better still. The more gold there is, the kinder is the 
stars and the sweeter does the moon shine down. 'Tain't 
covetousness as makes me speak, pretty lady; but it's solemn 
truth. Why, I has to melt some o' the money to get the real 
true blaze which brings out the lines on yer bonny hands." 

Gonsuelo's American common-sense inclined her to say, 
*" You're an old humbug"; but something stronger than com- 
mon-sense impelled her now. She had a curious vein of 
romanticism in her nature. This same vein is very strongly 
marked in many Americans. It is an inheritance from their 
English ancestors, handed down from father to son, and from 
mother to daughter — a -passionate love for old places where 
all are new, for old ideas and old superstitions in a land 
where these things cannot of themselves exist. 

" Expect me on Monday night." said Gonsuelo; " and here's 
a shilling for what you said. And now go, please — go." 

"But ain't there another young lady?" 

"There is; but you are not to see her. Prepare yourself 
for me. I want you to tell me the absolute truth." 

" Yes, yes, my pretty. Yes, yes." 

"And go now, please, Mother Jeremy," continued Gon- 
suelo, 44 for I hear the sound of wheels, and the lady who 
has charge of me and my friends is returning. If she were 
to see your face she might manage to prevent my meeting 
you in your house on Monday night." 

44 Well, then, I'll be off," said the old gipsy. "Don't you 


fail to come. It's at the sea side of the Head, just where 
the cliff is steepest. But Til meet you on the brow; then 
I can lead you to my hut." 

Consuelo nodded, and the woman hastily turned down the 
glade and disappeared the way she had come. 

Selma felt annoyed at not having her fortune told; but in 
Miss Dawson's and Gurly's presence she could not attempt 
to say anything. She looked anxiously at Consuelo, who 
seemed excited, but did not utter a word. 

Miss Dawson felt a keen sense of triumph in Maudie's 
illness. She could not refrain from the aggravating 44 1 told 
you so " as she administered some peppermint-drops to the 
" general." Miss Dawson invariably took these restoratives 
about in her pocket, and they came in handily on the present 
occasion. Maudie's indisposition made the rest of the day 
fall somewhat flat. Even the theater in the evening was not 
quite so exciting as the girls had expected, for in the most 
crucial scenes, and in that grand moment of victory when 
the lord in the play proposes to the servant-girl, Maudie 
was discovered to be fast asleep. She was tired after her 
day, and not even this rapturous performance at the theater 
could keep her eyelids from closing over her sleepy eyes. 

In the privacy of her room that night Consuelo informed 
Selma that she had given Maudie up. 

44 She is one of those young women who are meant always 
to remain in their own class," said Consuelo. 44 1 shall not 
take her out on any more picnics, and I really don't greatly 
care whether she is called Maudie or Sykes." 

44 She was very disappointing," said Selma; 44 but we did 
our duty by her." 

44 Yes, we certainly did," said Consuelo. 

44 And now, please, Connie," said Selma, 44 do tell me what 
the old gipsy said to you. Maudie and Patty and I were 
watching you from behind a privet-hedge, and you did talk 
so earnestly and the gipsy seemed so excited; but, although 
we were fairly near, we could not observe that she took your 
hand or crossed it with silver. Patty said that she gave her 
rather a commonplace fortune — just the ordinary sort of 
thing — and the only remarkable statement was to the effect 
that Patty would get into trouble through a young foreign 
lady. I conclude she meant you or me. I wonder which of 
us will get poor Patty into trouble. I am sure I don't want 
to; she is a good little soul, and worth twenty of that horrid 
Curly. But there! I am keeping you up, and you look quite 
fagged. What sort of fortune did Mother Jeremy give you, 
Consuelo? " 

44 None whatsoever," answered Consuelo. 

44 None? Then what were you talking about? " 

44 My fortune is yet to be told," said Consuelo. 44 It will be 
real, not sham. The old gipsy is to cross my hand with gold. 
I mean to take her two whole sovereigns, and no more, and 
I've got to meet her on Monday night, just on the brow of 


t 'i!\ , . : - ; ■ ■ < . y\/ v !*\ ■ .' : : ; •' :c^'^M\ 

Rocky Head. She lives in a hut down the cliff. I've got to 
meet her at midnight, and she'll tell my fortune by the stars, 
and by the light of a full moon. It will be a real fortune, 
Selma. Think of it! " 

Selma was very much excited. 

" You don't mean " 

" Yes, I do mean to go, if that is what you are trying to 
say. I have arranged it with Mother Jeremy.^. I shall be 
there at twelve o'clock on Monday night." 

" Connie, you can't! How can you?" 

" That is just what I intend to do." 

"But, Connie, it is impossible! Why, Rocky Head is some 
miles from here, and you can't go there alone at midnight." 

" I have thought it all out," said Consuelo, " and I will tell 
you now in as few words as possible. They none of them 
know what my day is to be." 

" I thought you had planned it out." 

"Yes; but I've altered my plans. I am going to do some- 
thing really adventurous. I am going to have a midiiight 
picnic. Think of that! Of course Miss Dawson will object, 
but I shall manage to overrule her. We'll go off for our 
picnic, which shall be near the Head; and I am going to have 
tea, or some sort of meal, by moonlight; and then, just at 
twelve, or a little before, I'll creep away all by myself. Miss 
Dawson won't miss me until I am gone; and even if she is 
terribly angry afterwards, that won't matter, for I'll have 
got the information I want. Oh, I'll manage well. I thought 
it out as you were driving home while Maudie's head was 
resting on my shoulder." 

" Horrid girl! " said Selma. 

41 She couldn't help being ill; she isn't trained with regard 
to candies as we Americans are," said Consuelo. " Don't 
let's think of her any more now. Oh, this is exciting! I 
never felt so pleased in all my life! " 

"And so you really believe in the gipsy?" 

" I don't believe in the sort of nonsense she told poor Patty, 
but I do firmly believe in what she means to say to me. 
She can read the palm of the hand; she is a real palmist, 
and, of course, she has secrets which have been handed down 
to her from her ancestors. She is a real gipsy, Selma. Her 
father was Enoch, who was the son of Hezekiah, who was the 
son of Jonah." 

" It sounds quite biblical," said Selma. 

" It's as old as the Bible," said Consuelo. " The only thing 
that I have left to arrange is the money part. I don't want 
to write to father, for that would spoil my plans and render 
the dear old man suspicious. He'd come, perhaps, on Mon- 
day to see me, and then everything would be at loggerheads. 
Have you got any money you can lend me, Selma? " 

"I?" said Selma. "I've got exactly three shillings. You 
know you wouldn't let me bring any of my savings. I had 
quite a lot put away in a bag at Castle Rocco." 


u I must borrow from Miss Dawson, that's all," said Con- 
suelo. 44 1 daren't write to poppa, and I mustn't write to 
momma, for I could never trust her not to tell. Two sov- 
ereigns I must and will have. Now, Selma, do go to bed. I 
am fairly worn out after all the excitement of to-day." 

Selma went to her room. She presently lay down in bed, 
but for a time she did hot sleep. Consuelo's plan was ? in 
her opinion, working itself out in the dullest way. Even the 
days allotted to the four queens were, when all was said and 
done, very triste days. There was no order about them. 
Selma almost thought that she preferred the discipline days, 
for they at least had a sort of moral tonic in their action. 
Monday would be Gonsuelo's day. Selma thought of the 
gipsy. She believed fully in gipsies, even more so than Con- 
suelo did. She would like to have her own fortune told. 
The hand crossed with gold evidently produced a true for- 
tune, the hand crossed with silver a false one. How Selma 
did wish that she had her little money-bag with her at 

" I might have known," she said to herself, " that Connie 
wouldn't do for three whole months without money. We 
have only been here a little over a week, and already she 
wants two sovereigns. I doift believe for a single moment 
Miss Dawson will give her the money; but if she does, why 
should she not give me some also? After all, my future is 
just as important as Gonsuelo's. Oh, dear! oh, dear! I wonder 
how this escapade is going to end." 

Connie was already fast asleep in her tiny bedroom, and 
Selma soon after followed her example. 

Sunday dawned on a happy world. The weather was as 
perfect as ever. The little party went to church. To tell 
the truth, they were all rather relieved to have normal con- 
ditions existing once more. 

It was Miss Dawson who arranged the food to-day; who 
ordered Maud, who was exceedingly penitent and shamefaced; 
who sat by the girls in church, and walked with them after- 
wards on the beach. It was Miss Dawson at her best, too, 
wearing that soft, gray costume which became her so well. 
'Even Consuelo felt drawn toward the Falklands' governess 
on this peaceful Sabbath-day. Some of the fascination which 
she had exercised over the girl when first Consuelo had 
made her acquaintance returned, although faintly. Consuelo 
kept glancing at her from time to time, and thinking, with a 
puzzled sense of soreness at her heart, how earnestly she 
wished Miss Dawson to be a true Guide — a true Leader. For 
Consuelo was looking for something which she had not yet 
found, and her queer, impulsive, and yet most faithful heart 
was aching because of that something. She was possessed, 
in reality, with a most earnest and passionate desire to do 
something with her life. Perhaps the gipsy woman could 
help her. Perhaps, after all, she was the Guide. Perhaps, 
through her means, she might discover her true Leader. 


" Oh, how I'd follow! " thought Consuelo. " How I'd climb! 
How I'd struggle! Gould I meet the right person, there is 
nothing I would despair of achieving." 

Then she looked again at Miss Dawson, and the sadness 
of her thoughts filled her eyes. 

The Sabbath-day was regarded by all this queerly assorted 
little party as a sort of resting stage, during which nothing 
very particular could occur. But every one, just out of re- 
spect for Sunday, would try to do and be her very best. 

Miss Dawson was a very strict Sabbatarian. She never al- 
lowed Curly or Patty to read novels on Sunday. She insisted 
on church at least twice a day. She approved of Sunday- 
school teaching, and at Tamaresk each girl had her own little 
class of very tiny girls to instruct. On Sunday, too, Miss 
Dawson prohibited silly gossip, as she said she liked the 
girls to remember what a very special and holy day Sunday 
was, and to act as though they remembered it. But Con- 
suelo and Selma had been brought up with very different 
ideas. Sunday was to them, as a rule, much like Monday, and 
to find that they must act quite differently on Sunday puzzled, 
but at the same time pleased, them. 

Consuelo, however, although she was quite willing to go 
to church, and not to do any lessons, and not to read novels, 
and not to talk gossip, could not forget her great scheme for 
the morrow. She must have money to carry out that scheme. 
She must get it somehow or other. 

It so happened that after early dinner Consuelo found her- 
self alone with Miss Dawson. They were both in the hideous 
little drawing-room at Discipline House. The other three 
girls had gone out for a walk; but Consuelo, pleading a slight 
headache, stayed indoors. Miss Dawson, occupying herself 
with a book of sermons, sat near the window. She sat in the 
only easy-chair the room afforded. She was very quiet; her 
eyes slowly followed the words she was reading. Often 
they turned back to read a sentence once more. Consuelo 
found herself watching the governess, and as she watched a 
sense of irritation arose in her mind. 

Consuelo had, when she pleased, the quickness of thought, 
the flashes of intuition, which characterize her nation. It 
had been her pose, for a short time, to assume the languid 
in life. But now she had cast this, as it were, behind her 
forever, and was all spirit and eager action. How could Miss 
Dawson read so slowly? Why didn't she move? Could she 
not tell that there was an eager, inquisitive, questioning girl 
in the room with her? Had she forgotten Consuelo's pres- 
ence? What was there in that stupid, dull book to occupy 
all her thoughts? I 

Miss Dawson, quite unaware of Consuelo's reflections, read 
on. She felt peaceful and happy. She was a sincerely good 
woman, and loved her Sundays and her books of sermons. 
She was reading a sermon now by her favorite divine, and 
was endeavoring to take in some very lofty thoughts with 


all the intellect she possessed. Gonsuelo, who had found an 
old volume of The Leisure Hour on a side-table, flung it from 
her with an impatient movement. The book missed its hold 
of the table and fell to the floor. 

" Quietly, my dear," said Miss Dawson, without raising 
her eyes from the page which was occupying her. 

" I can't sit quiet much longer," said Gonsuelo. " I won- 
der how you can." 

" It is Sunday," said Miss Dawson. 

" Yes," said Consuelo. " I know that; but our muscles and 
nerves are the same on Sunday and Monday, aren't they? " 

" I don't wish to argue, dear. Just take your book and 
read it quietly. We'll have tea presently; and then we can 
go for a walk, if your head is better." 

" I tl ink I will go now," said Gonsuelo, " if you won't talk 
to me." 

" You cannot go by yourself on Sunday. You chose to stay 
at home when the rest of the girls went out, and you must 
now wait until after tea." 

" Oh, bothfer! " said Gonsuelo, kicking a footstool away with 
much viciousness. 

Miss Dawson went on with her sermon. Gonsuelo sat and 
watched her. 

" Can I get two sovereigns out of her? " thought the girl. 
"She looks quite nice, and that dress of her suits her; but 
she is as hard as a rock. She is not a bit what I thought 

"Oh, dear me!" said Consuelo aloud. 

She stretched up her arms and gave vent to a mighty yawn. 

Miss Dawson gently closed her book. 

" Why are you so troublesome? " she said. " Have you no 
consideration for others?" 

" I don't think I have," answered Consuelo. 

" I am glad you are truthful enough to acknowledge the 
fact; but aren't you ashamed of it? " 

" No," said Consuelo. 

Miss Dawson looked very hard at her. After a long pause 
she said: 

" Your object in coming away with me, your object in up- 
setting all my life and the lives of my dear little pupils, was 
to improve your own character. Do you think you are im- 
proving it? " 

" I was under the supposition when I came away," said 
Consuelo, " that you'd do that." 
" And am I doing it, Consuelo? " 

"No, Miss Dawson; to be frank with you, you are not." 

" And yet," said Miss Dawson, sadly, u I have endeavored, 
as far as possible, to fall in with your views. You wished 
for discipline, and I have endeavored to apply it." 

Consuelo got up swiftly. 

" I had an imagination," she said. " I dreamt a dream. I 
built a dastle in the air. Imagination, dream, castle, have 


vanished into space. 'Tisn't your fault." She came eagerly 
forward. " Those who cannot understand are not to be 
blamed," she continued, "and those who have strongly fixed 
limitations cannot go beyond them." 
" My dear, how queerly you speak!" 

" Oh, Miss Dawson! " said Gonsuelo, " I feel queer. Some-« 
times I feel wild, just — just for what I cannot get." 
"And that, my poor child?" 

" I want a Guide," said Gonsuelo, " a Leader. I thought 
you would guide me and lead me. But you don't because 
you can't." 

" Then," said Miss Dawson, eagerly, " believing that — and 
I must honestly say I think you are right: I fear I don't 
understand you; and if I do not understand you now, I shall 
certainly never be able to do so — believing that, had we not 
better bring this ridiculous scheme to an end? " 

Gonsuelo thought. 

" I will let you know presently," she said. " Not to-day, 
or — or to-morrow. Perhaps the day after — I am not quite 
sure. And please, Miss Dawson, may I have two sovereigns? " 

Now, had Gonsuelo made this request in an ordinary tone, 
without that sudden flashing of her eyes and that swift, 
beautiful color rushing into her cheeks, and without trem- 
bling of her lips, Miss Dawson might have acceded to her 
request. But as it was, she became instantly suspicious. In 
short, it had been, up to the present, one of her great com- 
forts that she unquestionably held the money. She was, 
therefore, in a position of power. Give Gonsuelo money to 
spend as she wished, and there was no saying what the wild ( 
girl would do with it. 

" My dear," she said at once, " your father is the person to 
supply you with funds. I haven't got two sovereigns to give 

"But I only want to borrow. Please, please!" 

" I am sorry, but I cannot lend." 

" You cannot? That means you will not." 

" Put it so, dear, if you like. I will not lend." 

" Miss Dawson, you drive me nearly mad! " 

" Will you get up, please, Gonsuelo, and ring the bell? 
Sykes had better bring in tea early, as she will like to go 
out to visit her people." 

Gonsuelo very sulkily complied. 



Gonsuelo Josephine Persis was completely foiled. It was 
not often in her hitherto successful life that defeat had 
stared her in the face. Nevertheless, it did so now; and so 
resolute was Miss Dawson's tone, so absolutely did she make 
Gonsuelo realize her authority, that the girl knew it would 


be useless to plead with her any longer. She could not bor- 
row money from the governess; she must find it in some 
other way. How? This was the question. 

Gonsuelo thought; and the more she thought, the more 
puzzled did she get. Here she was, one of the richest 
heiresses in New York City, pining for the use of ten dollars; 
for that was pretty nearly what two sovereigns would mean 
in American money. Ten dollars! How often had she flung 
'away four times that sum on boxes of bonbons and useless 
toys, on the momentary desire of a momentary whim! 
And yet now, when she wanted that tiny sum of money to 
enable her to pass the turning-point of her life, she was 
refused it. 

She could have laughed aloud at the irony of the situation. 
But she did not laugh, for she had an uncomfortable feel- 
ing that Miss Dawson suspected her; that Miss Dawson's 
eyes were opened; and that, in consequence, she would find 
it very difficult to carry out her whim, even supposing she 
had the money to do so. This would never do. She must 
dissemble; she must appear indifferent to .the subject of 
money. In short, she must put Miss Dawson off her guard. 

At tea-time, therefore, when the other girls returned, Con- 
suelo was cheerful enough. It was during that meal that 
the idea of consulting Maudie occurred to her. Selma had 
no money to give her; and most assuredly neither Curly nor 
Patty could help her. But Maudie could. Maudie might 
even lend it to her. Maudie's money was not tied up in any 
mysterious bags in distant castles. Nor had Maudie a poppa 
who would upset all her plans, nor a momma who would 
betray her confidence. Maudie's life was above-board, simple, 
direct. She had been in service for some time — for she had 
told Consuelo as much — and she must have saved two sov- 
f &reigns over and over and over again. Two sovereigns! They 
were but a drop in the ocean of Consuelo's real wealth, and 
jShe did not suppose there was a human being in this wide 
pvorld with perfect liberty of action who could not find access 
tto so minute a sum. 

Yes, Maudie was the appointed deliverer. She would sup- 
[ply the funds. Consuelo therefore became cheerful. She 
took her tea with appetite, ate heartily of the excellent 
bread and butter and cake which were provided, and pres- 
ently went out with the others in a state of suppressed high 
spirits. Selma said to her: 

"Have you arranged things? Have you asked for the 
money? " 

" Never mind," said Consuelo. " I'll manage." 

" You must have arranged it," said Selma, " or you wouldn't 
look so awfully jolly. I always know when you are fidgeting 
about something, Consuelo. Guess you're real happy now, 
so, of course, that little matter is fixed up." 

" Practically it is," said Consuelo. 

The Walk came to an end. The little party went to even- 


ing church. When they came back there was a cold supper 
on the table. This had been laid by Maudie before she went 
out. According to the invariable custom of " generals," she 
would not be back until ten o'clock. Then she would go 
straight to bed. 

Miss Dawson asked Consuelo to wash up the supper-things 
when the meal had come to an end, and Consuelo quite 
willingly went into the kitchen to do so. Patty soon joined 
her, eager and anxious to help. 

"Oh. Consuelo! let me," she pleaded. "I do so want to 
share your discipline with you." 

"Thank you, Patty," said Consuelo. "Well, all right; I'll 
wash and you'll wipe. I do hate touching greasy things, 
though; don't you?" 

" I never have touched them — in that sense; I don't know 
what it means," said Patty. 

" You look so good, Patty," said Consuelo, as the little girls 
proceeded with their work. " Does being good make you feel 
awfully happy?" 

" I am not good, really," said Patty. 

"That proves you are," answered Consuelo; "for all good 
people say they're bad; I never met one yet who didn't. I 
can't imagine why they put themselves out to tell so many 
lies, for, of course, they know they are good; they'd be sort 
of idiots if they didn't." 

" You don't understand," said Patty. " When you begin to 
try to be good yourself, you'll begin at the same time to see 
your faults as vou don't see them now." 

"Goody! " said Consuelo. "Then I don't think I'll try." 

The washing-up came to an end. As the girls were hang- 
ing up the cloths which they had used Patty said to Consuelo : 

M We are all dying with curiosity about to-morrow. It's 
to be your day. You are the last of the queens. Don't you 
feel excited at the thought of wearing your crown? " 

Consuelo considered. 

" Perhaps I am," she said. " I can't quite tell. A good 
deal will certainly happen to-morrow." 

"Oh! won't you tell me?" pleaded Patty. 

" Certainly not. You must wait until the morning." 

Patty came close to Consuelo and laid her hand on her 

" You are not going to make it too hard for Miss Dawson, 
are you, Consuelo?" 

" I am going to have a right good time," said Consuelo. 
" Miss Dawson must be made of poor stuff if she can't stand 
my day as well as she has borne your day, and Curly's day, 
and Selma's day." 

"Poor Miss Dawson!" said Patty. "The only day she 
really enjoyed was Curly's. Curly is the only one of us who^ 
is really good." 

"I hate Curly!" said Consuelo. 

" Connie! You hate my sister? " 


" Awfully. There, don't tell. She is just the sort of girl 
that doesn't appeal to me. She does just the sort of things 
I don't like. Why, you — poor little Patience! — are worth 
fifty of her." 

" I am not, and you know it," said Patience. 

" I can't argue about it," replied Gonsuelo, " only I know 
what I know; and you may as well understand once and for 
all, Patience Falkland, that we are going to have a royal 
time to-morrow." 

Patty, her curiosity unsatisfied, was obliged to retire to 
bed. In their bedroom she and Curly had a conversation to- 
gether, in which Curly spoke in just as unflattering terms of 
Consuelo as Consuelo had done with regard to her. Patty, 
who was really a very nice child, would not on any account 
make mischief. Curly's last wish as she dropped asleep was 
that Consuelo Josephine Persis's awful day was over. But 
Patty could not help feeling a sense of curiosity with regard 
to how that day would be spent. 

Meanwhile, Consuelo had made her plans. She was de- 
prived of saying a single word to Maudie during Sunday, for 
Maudie. true to the arrangement universal amongst her class, 
went straight to her room and to bed when she came in. 
Consuelo did not dare to leave so important a matter unde- 
cided until the morning. She, therefore, made up her mind 
to creep upstairs to Maudie's attic when every one else was 
sound asleep, and arrange about the loan of the sovereigns 
before she herself retired to rest. 

She wrapped herself, therefore, in her long, loose, luxurious 
dressing-gown, turned the key in her room door in order 
to avoid any chance encounters with Miss Dawson, and sat 

By-and-by stillness fell over the whole house, and Con- 
suelo very carefully unlocked her door, opened it very gently, 
and, in her slippered feet, glided up the attic stairs. Her 
dressing-gown, with its rich folds, fell with a long train be- 
hind her. It was belted round her waist by a heavy gold 
girdle with long gold tassels. It was altogether a most showy 
and striking robe. Holding a candle in her hand, Consuelo 
managed to open the door of the tiny attic where Maudie 
was reposing. She set the candle down on a small wooden 
box, shut the door after her, and stood for a minute looking 
down at the sleeping girl. 

Maudie was not a pretty sight in her sleep. She lay on 
her back with her mouth wide open. She was snoring loudly. 
Connie, as she watched her, felt inclined to laugh. Maudie's 
hair hung in dark, untidy masses over her cheeks and round 
her forehead. Her cheeks were flushed, and, to judge by 
certain groans and sighs which she made at intervals, she 
was still thinking of those " fondies " that were not fond of 

Consuelo smothered a laugh, and bending slightly for- 
ward, touched the girl on her shoulder. 


" Leave go, now! " said Maudie. " I ain't goin' to no more; 
not ef yer coaxes me ever so." 

She turned partly on her side, and went on snoring and 
sleeping. Gonsuelo did not want to be deprived of her own 
rest, and accordingly had recourse to more vigorous meas- 
ures. By-and-by she roused Maudie sufficiently to cause 
that young woman to sit up in bed, exhibit two round, 
startled eyes, and to ejaculate: 

"Oh, my word! Oh, mercy, dearie me! Whatever is that 
dazzlin' himage?" 

44 It's only me, you silly girl," said Consuelo. " Do wake 
up, please, Maudie. You must admit, Maudie, that I have 
been very kind to you." 

" So you 'as, miss," said Maudie, now coming to full con- 
sciousness and recognizing Gonsuelo with a sort of gasp of 
wonder. " So you 'as, missie," she repeated. " No one in all 
the world meant it kinder — nor did it crooller!" 

" What do you mean? " said Gonsuelo. 

"The pyne, missie! It ain't gone quite yet. Niver, niver 
no more will fondies be sucked by me." 

" You can't help being an English girl, poor Maudie! " said 
Consuelo. " They're made that way. Now, as to us Ameri- 
cans, we never suffer pain when we eat candies. But now 
let me talk to you. I want you to do something for me; and 
I — oh! I'll do so much for you when my three months here 
are up." 

" You couldn't git me to live with yer in the carstle place, 
could yer now?" said Maudie. 

"Yes; you shall come as scullery-maid. I'll get momma 
to hire you." 

" I ain't wantin' to go as no scullery-maid," said Maudie. 
"They's the lowest sort. Fs wantin' to go as cook or 
own maid to yerself, with yer fine dresses thrown in as 

Consuelo could not help smiling. 

"We'll see about that presently," she said. "But I can 
do nothing unless you'll do something for me." 

" I'm willin' to, miss. Wot I said afore I means. You 
meant it kind, though you did it crool." 

" Well, now, will you mean something kind for me with-* 
out doing it cruel? " 

" Ef I can, miss. It's awful late, though, and I'm drenched 
with sleep." 

Connie knelt down by the bed. " Maudie," she said, " I 
want you to lend me two sovereigns; please, Maudie." 

41 Two yeller boys! " said Maudie. " My word! " 

She gave a slight laugh, and looked up at Consuelo as 
though she believed that young lady had taken leave of her 

"Please, Maudie," said the girl, "I can't tell you what I 
want them for; but you don't know how richly you'll be 
rewarded if you will only help me. Now, listen to me. I'll 


give you back — not two sovereigns but — but eight sovereigns, 
whj^Lpeturn^tp , Ca^tle^Rocco^ .^That'll jfye iri three! monthsV>v 
time. Think what splendid , interest-, you'll get <on your money 
—three, hundred per cent no less ! " i 

Doift know wot that means,'* said Maudie; u only I does 
kiittw-^V, Q ihjjBM blc;a ".no wad uov iow em ovhg uoY 

" Oh, don't stop to consider! You probably hav® the money 
in a drawer in your room. Let me open the drawer and 
give you your purse. Please lend it me! " 

But here Maudie burst into a shrill laugh. Consuelo was 
so terrified lest she should be discovered that she put her 
hand over Maudie's mouth. 

"Oh, don't — don't go on like that!" she said. 

" Missie, you be so droll! " said Maudie. " I give you two 
suvvereign! .Why, I ain't got at the present moment two 
shullin' to 6'all my own. I ain't got it, miss. What little I 
earns I takes 'ome to fayther. I ain't got no money. We're 
all very poor folk, miss, f can't give yer wot I ain't got; 

Maudie spoke with intense earnestness, and with such a 
firm assurance Of the truth of her own words that Connie 
believed her on the spot. It seemed to poor Connie that her , 
castle in the air was tumbling to pieces already at her feet. 
She' felt for the moment as though she must clutch at some- 
thing to keep herself from falling. Give up hearing her for- 
tune! Give up meeting the gipsy on the brow of Rocky Head, 
and all because she could not obtain two sovereigns! It 
was, not to be thought of. 

41 It seems a sight o' money," s^id Maudie, who, wide-awake 
now, kept gazing at Consuelo and wondering. 

" It's Very little money," said Consuelo. u It's , a d^rop of 
money; it's hardly any money at all." 

Maudie again felt inclined to scream with laughter, and 
after a time she said, " It takes a sight o' earnin', all the 

saifte.^ > f n < oa J .°ir A'K^-l, y \: \ nf l . nL»\ m ob r l f * 7 Wl f nl> iuaa I riolriw 

" What is to be done? " said Consuelo. " Maudie, I must 
have it; can't you help me somehow? " 

" There's Jones's plyce," said Maudie, after a time. " 'E 
miMii { '%W J '^Wr \ \w r dp r» r 1f mi\a at 'rurrf hi'ii' ( >i h * or ri) nv/ob 
" What do you mean? ^'W^'j^^^-^f^ aiW oiii lo mo 
"We puts things up the spout at Jones's," said Maudie. 
'^Up the spout? Maud, ytfii nitfsfrbe ill!" ' * iU o bw^sq 

" I ain't, rmiss^ n 4 r knQw #11 ^bout Jones., 'J£'s the pawnr- 
bT(M$} hr e l migh\ *aoHt im'' : jfer, miss.- 'As yei? npthing you 
can. put up tha spout? 'E'd lend yer, p'r'aps, as much as that 
on something I could tike to int. K A ateijgnoO-bifle 

Consuelo stared in amazepjQnt., 

Pawnbroker ! She had, , jf^t \h!,ea;rd of such people. She 
: thought of poppa and momhaa*,. and of their magnificent house 
; in N^w' York City," arid ^e ! |r;ml^ce at Newport, and their 
villa $t,Nice, .and their, lovkty; E'plgfish home; and then she ' 
remembered that under existing conditions v $he was just a 


very poor little girl who, in order to keep an important en-< 
gagement, must have recourse to the pawnbroker. 

"What can I do?" she asked. "Oh, Maudie, do manage 
it for me! " 

" You give me wot you have on," said Maudie, " an' I'll 
tike it first thing in the mornin', and most likely you'll get 
the money on it as you want." 



Maudie and Consuelo had some further conversation to- 
gether, during which it was briefly arranged that Maudie was 
to get up very early in the morning, and go downstairs and get 
through her work in order to reach Jones's sign of the three 
balls sharp at eight o'clock. In vain Consuelo tried to per- 
suade her to go to Jones earlier than that; but Maud, though 
thoroughly ignorant with regard to the ways of the big 
world, was absolutely conversant with the manners and do- 
ings of pawnbrokers. She thought the pawnbroker a most 
valuable person. She had often been to his shop. She had 
gone sometimes for her mother, and sometimes for her father, 
and occasionally for herself. She had put things up the 
spout, and taken them down the spout again. She knew all 
about the system of pawning and the necessary pawn-tickets, 
and the more she looked at the dazzling dressing-gown with 
its gold girdle and long gold tassels, the more sure she was 
that Jones would rise to the dazzling height of lending two 
yellow boys on the garment. 

" You can have it back again, missie, when you please," 
said Maudie; " and it won't cost you nothing like so much 
as you promised to pay to me ef I'd lent yer the money — 
which I couldn't niver do, missie; not ef I was to try ever so." 

So the matter was arranged; and Connie, now quite at rest 
in her mind, left Maudie to renew her interrupted slumbers, 
and went downstairs. She was certainly more careless going 
down than she had been in coming up. She slipped, too, on 
one of the attic stairs, and made so much noise that Miss 
Dawson, ever on the alert, opened the door of her room and 
peeped out. 

" Consuelo! " she said. " What are you doing? Why aren't 
you in bed and asleep?" 

" I shall be in bed and asleep in a moment or two now," 
said Consuelo. 

" But what have you been doing? " 

" I wanted to say something to Maudie." 

" You woke that poor, tired girl just for your own selfish 
pleasure! I am surprised and annoyed." 

" She doesn't mind," said Consuelo. " I wished to tell heis 
something, and had not an opportunity earlier in the day." 

" Well, go to bed now, and don't disturb the house again." 


Miss Dawson returned to her own room, and Gonsuelo 
went to hers. She took off the dressing-gown, and folded 
it up tenderly. Never before had she admired this rich gar- 
ment, but now she examined it all over with extreme care. 
Could it be possible that by means of her dressing-gown she 
could attain her heart's desire? Would the pawnbroker — 
the great man who put things up the spout, whatever that 
extraordinary term might mean — really relinquish two sov- 
ereigns for this article of dress? 

As Consuelo laid, her head on her pillow, she found herself 
respecting that small sum of forty shillings more than she 
had ever done in her whole life before. She fell asleep at 
last, to dream of encounters with pawnbrokers and strange, 
wild-looking gypsy women. In short, her sleep was restless 
and unrefreshing, and when she awoke it was with a start. 

She jumped out of bed to look eagerly at the time. She 
had scarcely done so before there came a very low tap at 
her door, and Maudie, fully dressed, came in. 

" I'll tike it downstairs," she said,/" and wrop it up. My 
word, ain't it helegant!" 

Maudie felt the rich velvet of which a great part of the 
dressing-gown was made. She looked with wonder and lack 
of appreciation at the priceless lace, but the gold cord and 
tassels filled her with hope. 

" That 'ull do the business. Now, you leave it to me, missie. 
I'll run out when you're all at yer breakfusses, and Miss 
Dawson 'ull never be the wiser." 

"Be sure you are very careful, Maudie," said Consuelo. 
" If you were seen going with my dressing-gown to put it 
up the spout, I don't think my poppa would ever forgive me." 

"Lor, missie! there ain't no crime in it." 

" He'd think it a most awful crime," said Consuelo. " I 
don't know what he wouldn't say." 

"But he ain't here, be he, miss?" 

"No; that is quite true. But if any one else were to dis- 
cover that you had done this thing the consequences might 
be — oh! terrible for me. You will be very, very, very care- 
ful, won't you^ Maudie?" 

" Trust me, Miss Connie. 'Ere now, I'll run downstairs 
with it. It is a helQgant article, and no mistike! " 

Consuelo slowly dressed herself. The day was not quite 
so fine as those days which had preceded it. Banks of cloud 
were already gathering on the distant horizon, and there was 
a slight wind. 

When Consuelo and the rest of the girls and Miss Dawson 
assembled at the breakfast-table, Miss Dawson immediately 
announced that the wind was due east. 

" I always feel it," she said, " in my teeth. Whenever the 
wind is east I suffer from a sort of neuralgia — no, not tooth- 
ache; neuralgia is the word. — Now, my dear Consuelo, I sin- 
cerely trust that you will not try my nerves too much to- 


U I thought you might rest during the earlier part 
day," said Gonsuelo. " Make it a sort of Liberty Hall— each 

;.-$6'ej^ ;/ ( | /.^h *[Ut??oa &d ii hluoV ' 

Miss Dawson looked relieved. 
Explain yourself more fully," she said. " But before you 
say anything further, allow me, to remark that I shall suffer 
" from illness, and bo will my two pupils, if we are treated to 
the same sort of food as Selma gave us on Saturday," 

" Oh, by no means," said Gonsuelo, " Now, listen,"l^he 
added, after a pause. "You , may choose the picnic— I mean 
you may choose the eatables. You know much better than 
I do what English girls like, Vand what elderly English ladies 
require. I am sure neither Selma nor I wish any of youVto 

be ill." 

u "A picnic!" said Miss Uawson, looking slightly agjxa^t. 
" I thought we said that you girls were to do what you liked 

^to-day; that seemed to me quite sensible. You would sit on 
the seashore, and those of you who wished to read would 
read, and those who wished to chat or sketch would do 
so. But now you contradict yourself, and speak of . , a 

rfpjcmM^ ^''^ J *rr* iv[ ?k<)krSiia ©ill is no\l&ioA%{& lo 
14 Dear Miss Dawson," said Coftsiielo, . " a picnic at the end 

l&t .the .§M." is f . , of ' mrr w .7 'p-\a\'<>.<i& nrit oh tin* 

"The end of the day?" said Miss Dawson, looking* qui^te 
terrified. *' "W heft w A e a^e all tired'?'',''.';: ; noav/fiCl 

"That's it," said Gonsuelo. "if we rest during. the ^aorn- 
ing we won't be tired. I'll be aV good , as gold during; rthe 
pearlier part of the day, but I want— there! the f un's . oiitgr- 

I must say it— —I want a midnight picnic." . '','['• 1 

> Miss Dawson , gasped. The three girls looked interested. 
1 Even Curly was moved to change color, and her eyes spark^fl. 
As to Selma, she clapped her hand^u ^ { 

"Well done, Consuelo Josephine Persis!" she said. "Now 
that is what I call doing thelhing in style." 

" We'll have a carriage which will hold us all comfortably," 
said Gonsuelo, " and wfe'll take our food with us, and— not 
very far from Rocky Head we'll enjoy ourselves. It's to be 
a midnight pipnic, and I want the girls to — to crowm^me 
queen of the night. I don't want a grand crown; it can be 
made of oak-leaves — or anything; and' I'll sit on a throne, 
and perhaps tell stories. Oh, it will be fun!— Miss Dawson, 
you agreed to do what I wish. You won't go back now, will 
you, dear Miss Dawson? V , . . 

Miss Dawson looked around her. Her appearance really 
was that of a creature who was driven to bay. She couljd not 
quite control her emotion. After a minute's pause she? said, 
with a great gasp: ;;' m ^ i J t j 3r p f/ 

" If ever there was a woman in this world who has ab- 
solutely repented of her folly, that woman is myself." 

"Well, it "will soon "he over, said Gonsuelo, in' her genye 
voice. u To-morrow, at this hour, Discipline resumed her 
sway. Discipline House will be Discipline House once more 


You can't refuse me my request. A midnight picnic is whaii* 
I want. You will give it to me, won't you? " 

" I — oh, my child, how you torture "the I " 

" I am ever so sorry, but it will soon be over." 

" You must give it, Miss Dawson," said Patty, suddenly. 
" It would be awfully unfair not to allow Consuelo to have 
her fun when all the rest of us have had ours." 

" Put ihe lateness of the hour— the chill— the dew on the 
gr^sl! 0J sara the poor governess. " We shall probably be< kl\ 
victims to rheumatic fever," 

" Not at all," said Consuelo. " We'll take rugs arid Wraps. 
You don't suppose," she continued, " that this is the very first 
midnight picnic that has ever been thought of ; &nd, ;oh, it 
will make me so happy, and I'll be so awfully gopd rto-inor- 
row! Just think what it will mean! " Then she added as 
an* Afterthought: "And if you would but trust us, perhaps 
— you need 'hot come at ali:;V; (nH %' \ -u $ \ " 

Here, Miss Pawson rose to her feet. 

" What is Sykes doing but at this hour?" she ^EtM,! / \$»e n 
has gane; past the window with a bundle under her arm." 

Miss Diawsori went to the window and tapped : loudly on 
the pape. But Maud, instead pf replying, put wings to her 

" Really, that girl is more than impertinent," said Miss 
Dawson. A Ws my opinion she isn't honest taking a large 
parcel from the house at this hour, when we are all at break- 
fast. . There never was such an unhappy woman as I am. — 
Well, Consuelo, I suppose you must have your way. I have 
made you a promise, and I will fulfill it whatever the con- 
sequences. I was mad to make the promise; there are girls 1 
in 'the world who would not put an elderly person like my- 
self 'through such a terrible ordeal. But as to not going with 
you— I would rather cut my head off, so we won't speak of 
thdfi^tfgSM/ ? " bm & lo.ii jo en i .srooa b w ---^m ^.y^ ll " 

Here Miss Dawson marched put of the room, , Consuelo 
clasped her hands softly. 

" I wonder what Maudie was doing," said Selma. " Do you 
know, Consuelo," she added, " that f really do think Miss 
Dawson was right, because I caught a peep through that 
parcel of a gold tassel — at least I think it was a gold tassel. 
It might have been one of your gold' tassels." 

"Oh, nonsense!" said Consuelo. "How can you talk such 
rubbish ? I do \yish," she added, " that people' would not 
watch that poor girl the way they do and imagine all sorts 
of things about her." >Lli W^v^'H:?^^*^ 

Maudie was presently ^fefaf returning with empty hands. 
And now Consuelo was all agog to meet the * general." But 
this was not quite so easy as she had hoped, for Miss Daw- 
son, taking advantage of Consuelo's permission to arrange the 
food for that day, was in the kitchen, where she spent some 
little time. 

" WJhiy did .you. go; out? " she said when Maudie, a, good 

i)-9flOJ591 GfieJ XIDn // AlloO t -Jilt _ * .»r.> \,» v Olft uj/< )IU 


deal blown — for she had run all the way back — noisily en- 
■j^Q rod. 

Now Maudie had many faults, but to tell lies was not one 
of them. She would not betray Miss Gonsuelo for the world, 
but her manner of hiding the object of her errand abroad 
was, to say the least of it, clumsy. 

" I " — she took up a corner of her apron — " I 'ad to go, 

" Don't speak in that ridiculous, silly way," said Miss Daw- 
son; " and don't twist your apron; and do put your cap on 
straight, Sykes: you are a positive object. Well, please un- 
derstand in future that while you are employed in my ser- 
vice you do not go out in the morning on errands of your 
own. I saw you with a bundle under your arm, and I rapped 
to you oh the window to stop. Why didn't you stop?" 

" I tuk to me heels," said Maudie. 

" So I saw. Now I want to know what you were carrying 
in that bundle." 

" Oh, lor, miss!" said Maudie; "nothing, miss — that is, 
so to speak, nothing." 

" Ridiculous," said Miss Dawson. "You know very well that a 
large parcel could not possibly hold nothing. What was in it?" 

" It belonged to Miss Connie," said the desperate Maud. 

" Miss Consuelo?" • 

" 'Es. I can't come round that long name." 

" Did she tell you to take the parcel out at this hour?" 

" 'Es. 'Adn't I better begin to wash up and git the place 
ship-shape? " 

Miss Dawson stood very still in deep reflection. To Maud's 
infinite relief, she did not question her further, but presently 
went into the drawing-room where Consuelo was languidly 
turning over the pages of a boo,k. The other girls were also 
in the room. 

" This is Liberty Hall," said Consuelo, with a big yawn, 
when the governess appeared. " We can each of us do ex- 
actly what we like; therefore we each of us seem to wish 
to do nothing." , 

" That is an exceedingly bad way of passing the time," 
said Miss Dawson. " Consuelo, I wish to ask you a question." 

" Certainly," said Consuelo. 

" Sykes tells me that she went out with a parcel of yours." 
Consuelo's pale face went a decided red. Her little Amer- 
ican heart at that moment cordially hated Maudie. 
14 Can you deny it? " said Miss Dawson. 
" Well, no, I don't mean to. She did take a parcel for me." 
" What was in it? " 
" I don't mean to say." 
" You refuse to enlighten me? " 

" Perhaps I'll tell you to-morrow," said Consuelo, " when 
we're under discipline again; but not to-day." 

She moved slowly across the room. When she reached 
1ftie door she turned to the three other girls. 


" I am going to order our carriage to take us on our picnic 
exactly at half -past ten." 

Miss Dawson shivered. Gonsuelo shut the door behind her* 
She went straight to the kitchen. When Maudie saw her she 
made a rush towards the young lady. 

" 'Ere they be — two on 'em! 'E said 'twas the finest thing 
Vd put into his shop for many a long day- 'E said 'e'd give 
you more than that on similar things ef you 'ad 'em." 

" It really is put up the spout, then? " said Gonsuelo, " I 
can't imagine what that expression means. The spout can't 
belong to a teapot." 

"No, miss; it belongs to a pawnshop." 

Consuelo slipped the sovereigns into her pocket. 

" 'Ere's yer pawn-ticket, miss," said Maud. 

" Oh, I don't want that." 

" But yer must 'ave it, miss, or yer'll niver git the beau- 
tiful, dazzlin' thing out no more. I've pawned it for yer for 
a fortnight, and ef at the end o' that time yer ain't redeemed 
it, 'e'll sell it for wot 'e can git. 'E says 'e'll send it to Lon- 
don, for there's no one at Westbourne as could afford to 
wear it." 

Gonsuelo took the pawn-ticket, and slipped it abstractedly 
into her pocket. 

"Why did you tell Miss Dawson that you were taking a 
parcel for me? " 

" Oh miss! I am sorry; but she come a-questionin', and I 
niver was no good at lies." 

" It's all right," said Gonsuelo, carelessly; " you have done 
your part, and I won't forget you by-and-by. You're a very 
good girl on the whole, Maudie; and I respect you all the 
more for not telling lies. Now I must run away." 

As Gonsuelo was coming out of the kitchen she met Miss 
Dawson. That lady gave her pupil a very suspicious glance; 
but Consuelo rushed upstairs to put her treasured money 
out of sight. Two whole sovereigns! How valuable they 
were! She gazed at them with a new expression in her blue 
eyes. Then, wrapping them tenderly in paper, and forget- 
ting all about the pawn-ticket, which, in her excitement, she 
left on the floor — for she had taken it from her pocket with 
the sovereigns — she put on her hat and went out. 

She was safe now. They would have their picnic. She 
would steal away at the crucial moment. Oh yes, she could 
manage everything; and she had the money, no matter how 
obtained, to satisfy the cravings of Mother Jeremy. 



At the appointed hour the four girls, accompanied by Miss 
Dawson, who had wrapped herself well up not only in a long 


winter cloak, but, in some furs which, as she reflected, ^heliad 
mdst luckily brought' with' fter, stepped into the Wagonette. 
! €o^suelo was in high spirits,Malth0ugh it could not be said 
that the night was, exactly propitious. The east wind. Which 
had been blowing all day, had now become almost a gale. 
There were clouds of dust too, owing to the weather having 
so long been dry without a keen wind. 

When they were aboht; half-way (o thd spot which Con- 
" suelo had arranged for ft®r picnic f Mfss 1 B^wson ventured on a 
timid remonstrance. & J^r ° ° ^'5°^ 

44 Might we not go, rr she said, u in a less windy direction? 
Rocky Head is the most exposed spot on the whole coast. 
Why should we go there? " 

44 We are not going there," said Consuelo. " We are going 
to that little, sheltered wood Just below Rocky Head. We 
can't change now, can we? Oh! I am so sorry you are earn." 

As Gonsuelo spoke she changed seats with Patty, and going 
close to the well-wrapped-up governess, tried to take her 

" It will soon be over," she could not help saying. " This 
; is the very last, the very last of troublesome me." 

Miss Dawson resented the words at the time, although She 
. was to think of them with much poignancy of grief later on. 

44 1 am glad, Gonsuelo," she said; 44 1 count the 1 minutes un- 
til to-morrow morning. It is the thought that my great 
imprudence in giving you four girls a day apiece will ■ so 
soon be over which alone sustains me through the ordeal you 
are making me suffer." 

44 1 Will explain kit about it to you some day," said Gon- 
suelo. 44 You are not cold really, are you? " 

14 1 assure yoti ^I am intensely cold. The raw night— ^mid- 
night— this keen wind, and my precious children, who dre 
unaccustomed to being out after nine— — " 

44 Oh, we are all rights said Patty. 1 

44 And the picnic is great fun. I know we shall enjoy it," 

nlz As tO 'Selina, her opinion was not required; 5 ' She : was ! 'an 
If American, and therefore she would naturally take' CohMkjb's 
part. ( Juo\Uiovf him hni terf mjuq &ds—sn'gimovos orO 

By^and^-by they arrived* at a v^ry sheltered /frqdd'behind 
Rocky Head, donsideMbly below the spot where they °iyad 
picnicked a few days ago. Gonsuelo, who was measuring J her 
distance,{^ar^ry "to pte(^Wth&t sWe'woiild 4ia^Mb (> w9lk 
a long way to reach the gypsy's hut; but she was in such 
high spirits now that no difficulty seemed to daunt her. 

When they got out of the c^rr^age, they proceeded to light 
some Chinese lanternsrwhidh s ffiiy Imng on the boughs of the 
neighboring trees. There was the moonlight also shining in 
full radiance over them. The whole scjene was wild, and 
beautiful: there were the eager faces of the children ; ;iJie 
ahxious f&ee j tif Miss Bavfsoh, the ^torcal eiprBs^idri'w'TOe 
coachman's stolid countenance, and there were the patient 


horses eating their oats from hags which were fastened over 
their hoses. 

The wind had died away in this little dell, and no, longer 
troubled them. A seat was provided for Miss Dawson made 
of innumerable rugs, and Consuelo selected a large stone, 
which was to be turned into a sort of throne for herself. A 
crimson rug Was put over it, and when the feast was all 
arranged— and. on this occasion the food was wholesome, and 
of a kind which even Miss Dawson might venture to partake 
of — Gonsuelo turned and addressed her companions. 

It was not yet much after eleven o'clock, but she must 
leave them, in order to keep her tryst with the gypsy in less 
than half-an-hour. She must make an excuse now for her 
proposed absence. Selma alone was in her secret, and Selma 
must help her. 

" We'll light a fire," she said. 

'" I object to a fire," said Miss Dawson. "It is highly dan- 
gerous with a high wind of this sort." 

" But there isn't a breath of wind here," said Selma. 
" And," she added, " we put on woolen frocks on purpose; 
there isn't the slightest fear." 

" I assure you there isn't," said Consuelo. "And you 
must have your hot soup; you'll catch a dreadful chill with- 
out it." : <<x mC w k -•ioX'^V jV T '"i r ' MM^ ;f .(( V : >V frail 

" I should like a cup of hot soup just awfully," said Curly. 

" I will light the fire myself, then," said Miss Dawson. 
" Not for worlds would I imperil any of your lives, my dears; 
but I, in my thick clothes, am fairly safe." 

" Very well," said Gonsuelo. " If it makes you less ner- 
vous, perhaps you may as well do it. In the meantime we'll 
all collect wood for the fire; then, while you are lighting it, 
we will choose oak-leaves for my crown. — Gome along, girls, 
we haven't a minute to spare." f 

She was all bustle and activity, and the three girls fol- 
lowed her into the heart of the wood. With a clever move- 
ment Consuelo now. managed to find herself close to Selma. 

" Selma," she said, "you have got to help me. It will take 
me from ten to twelve minutes to run to the top. of the cliff, 
and from ten to twelve minutes to listen to my fortune being 
told, and at least seven or eight minutes to get back. Al- 
together! must give myself a little over half-an-hour. Dur- 
ing £hat time you can keep Miss Dawson busily employed. 
She will have to boil the kettle and put the Bovril into the 
cups, and then she will have to put all the cups in their 
right places, and Patty and Curly can be decorating the 
throne. You brought those colored papers, didn't you? " . 

" Yes," said Selma. ; > J 

" Well, keep them busy; and if the worst conies to t ;the 
worst and Patty makes a remark about me, tell her ho^ly 
that she rriu$t keep her suspicions to herself. It's Curjt$, I 
dread; Patty will do what you tell her. If Miss DawsOri' asks 
where I am, you must suggest that you go to look for me; 


but I really don't think I shall be missed if I am only Just 
absent half-an-hour." 

"You have left a frightful responsibility on me," said 
Selma, " and I do think I ought to get one reward." 

" What is that? " 

" That you tell me what the old gypsy woman, old Mother; 
Jeremy, says to you." 

" I will just tell you as much as I think right and no more. 
Now, Selma, you must go back; the time is flying. I am 
sure it is past half-past eleven, and I want to be there sharp 
at twelve." 

" But you forget that Miss Dawson expects us to sit down 
to our feast at twelve." 

"Begin to eat, for goodness' sake, if she wishes you to; 
but try to postpone the thing for a little if you can manage 
it. See, now, these sticks are quite damp; they will hinder 
the kettle boiling quickly. Oh, you can manage, Selma; 
you've got a head on your shoulders and a brain inside your 
head. Surely I needn't tell an American girl how she is^to 
help a comrade at a moment of crisis." 

Selma gave utterance to something between a sigh and a 
groan. Gonsuelo was all very fine, and, in her heart of 
hearts, Selma loved her dearly; but there were times when 
it was almost impossible to get on with her. Such a time 
was the present. The girl wanted to carry out a mad scheme, 
and Miss Dawson, about as sharp a woman as could be found 
in England, was to be hoodwinked. Selma promised to do 
her best, and the four girls returned to the scene of the picnic 
carrying supplies of undergrowth, small sticks, and other 
materials for lighting the fire. 

" How long you have been! " said Miss Dawson. — " Harris " 
■ — here she spoke of the coachman — " thinks that it will rain 
before we get back." 

" There's a great bank of cloud coming up from the south- 
west," said Harris. 

"Well, the wind being in the east, they can't do much 
harm," said Selma. 

" Ah, but the wind is veering," said Harris. 

" We'll have our picnic all the same," said Selma. " Now, 
Miss Dawson, do please let me help you with the fire. You 
don't know what lots of picnics we have in America — just 
like this, only — only ten times as large. Why, Miss Daw- 
son, I've sat by a camp-fire all night; and it has been jolly, 
too, I can tell you. I have even done it in winter, and I think 
that has been the best fun of all; and I've heard the wolves 
howling in the distance, and seen the snow round everything." 

"Have you really, my dear?" said Miss Dawson. "What 
part of America were you in?" 

Selma, seeing that she had struck an interesting note, pro- 
ceeded to relate her experiences. Patty and Curly ceased 
decorating the throne, and Consuelo, with a smile, glided 
away. Even Harris lent an attentive ear to the young girl's 


recitations, and no one saw the slim young figure of the real 
mistress of the ceremonies as she glided out of the wood. 

Gonsuelo felt sure that she Was late. How she longed to 
get those fat horses of Harris's to pull her up the steep hill 
which approached the brow of Rocky Head! But she was 
too thankful to get away on any terms to waste a thought 
over the impossible. 

As soon as she was far out of the wood, and therefore be- 
yond recall, she walked with swift, sure steps in the direc- 
tion which the gypsy had pointed out. She did not know 
what the hour was, but she felt certain that she was in time. 

At last she reached the very top of the Head. Here, to her 
relief, she found that the wind had dropped. In fact, Harris 
was right; it was veering to the south-west, and that heavy 
bank of ©loud was getting nearer. Gonsuelo took no notice 
of it, however. Her eyes were fixed alternately on the bril- 
liant moon, now at the full, and at the silver sea which lay 
far down below. Oh, if only she could get help! if only she 
could find what her passionate heart needed — a Guide! 

This midnight expedition was no child's-play to Gonsuelo. 
She felt even more earnest about it than she had when she 
begged of her father to let her go with Miss Dawson to Dis- 
cipline House. Alack and alas! Discipline House had turned 
out a failure; but this — this midnight scene, the words of 
hoary wisdom uttered by an ancient sage, might give to the 
young American girl the light she needed. Her heart beat 
high. She had not a scrap of fear. She went boldly forward. 
Suddenly she stood still. True to her promise, Mother Jeremy 
had come to meet her. 

Mother Jeremy was standing very near the edge of the cliff. 
Consuelo saw her, and began to run. Mother Jeremy held up 
a warning hand, then, putting speed to her feet, came tow- 
ards the girl. 

" Don't you," she said. " The grass is slippery, and short 
on the brow. Many a body afore now has tumbled over. The 
water below is deep and cold. You ain't the first who has 
tumbled over." 

" I have come," said Gonsuelo with a gasp of delight, " and 
you are fcere to meet me." 
" I am true to my word." 

The moonlight fell all over the queer, fantastic gypsy fig- 
ure; for the gypsy, in preparation for this interview, had 
arrayed herself in every scrap of finery she possessed. Quaint 
beads of every shape and size and color dangled from her 
neck. She had queer rows of odd-looking bracelets jangling 
on her withered arms, and round her head she had twisted 
the silk scarf which she had worn when Gonsuelo met her 
in the glade down below. Her feet on this occasion were 
clothed with sandals, and she wore colored stockings of vari- 
ous hues. Her short but heavy skirt reached only slightly 
below the knees, and this was covered with cabbalistic writ- 
ings. The skirt was bright red; the writings were in black. 


Altogether, the figure of the gypsy was one tb command at- 
tention. She looked far wilder than she had when Consuelo 
met her a couple of days ago. Her eyes were gleaming with 
excitement, and when she grasped Consuelo's young hand her 
own was hot as though it burned in a furnace. 

ft Gome, my pretty 6ne," she said. " The gypsy bids yer 
real welcome. I has the feast prepared. The stars are in 
the ascendant, and the moon at the full. Come, my pretty, 
and I will take you to my hut." 

Gonsuelo, h£r courage as high as ever, followed the gypsy 
until they reached a zigzag path which wound round and 
round the cliff, going down lower and lower with each curi- 
ous convolution. At last, however, it became so steep that 
the gypsy could only manage the descent by crouching to a 
sitting position and then propelling herself forward by means 
of her hands as well as her feet. Gonsuelo followed her ex- 
ample, and all of a sudden, when she least expected it, saw 
a faint light which seemed to proceed from the very heart 
of the great cliff. As to any appearance of an ordinary house, 
there was none; but there was a tiny plateau about three feet 
square, on which the gypsy stood. Below them was a sheer 
drop of seventy or eighty feet into the boiling, raging sea; 
for the black clouds from the south-west were coming nearer, 
and rapidly but surely would shut Out the moon arid the 
light of the stars. 

" This is my house," said the gypsy woman, " and into it no 
one dares to enter who does not cross the threshold with the 
magic power of gold. Have you brought the money with you 
that you said you'd bring, my pretty, wandering bird from 
over the distant seas? For if you ain't brought it, arid if 
you've come here to mock at Mother Jeremy, it's easy to give 
you one swift push, and no one ever sees yer bonny bit face 

" It's very cruel of you to speak like that," said Consuelo, 
whom no angry words could daunt. "And do you really 
think," she added, " that I, a girl from the great United States 
of America— I, who proudly hail from the land of freedom- 
would break my Word to a hapless old woman like yourself, 
and drag you out of your bed at this hour for nothing? I 
want some of your wisdom, old Romany queen; and if I must 
pay for it, I must. I have got the money you demanded." 

"Three sovereigns, then," said the old woman at once. 

" No," said Gonsuelo, firmly; " our bargain was for two. I 
have got two sovereigns, and nothing more. I will cross the 
threshold of your house with the bonny gold, and then go 
inside with you; and you will tell me my fortune, gypsy, and 
let me go back to my people." 

Mother Jeremy who in reality would not hurt Consuelo for 
the world, and who had not expected a penny more than one 
sovereign, pretended, with some growls, to submit. Gonsuelo 
took the sovereigns from her pocket. The gypsy stood on 
the threshold of the tiny hut, or rather cave, in the heart of 


the cliff, and Consuelo crossed her palm with one piece of 
gold, and then crossed it with a second piece of gold; where- 
upon the gypsy made room for her to enter. 

" Oh, what a strange place! ." said the girl. 

It was, truly. It was bare of the bare, with no furn&tuFe, 
except a very old deal table and an equally old rickety chair, 
and something on a distant part of the floor which might 
be a bed or might not. On the table, however, lay an ancient 
book which stood open, and the leaves of which were cov- 
ered with the same cabbalistic writing as covered the gypsy's 
red dress. There were a pair: of candles in two old wine- 
' bottles standing on the table, and it was these which had 
made the illumination which Consuelo had seen shining, as 
it were, out of the heart of the great/ cliff* 

" Please be quick," said Consuelo. " I will show you my 
palm, and you will cross it with the gold of one sovereign; 
and you will melt the other in the fire, as you said, in ordfer 
to get the right light. But you have no fire." 

" 'Tain't needed," said the gypsy. " I ha' thought o'; somp- 
thip' better. I cross your hand with the two sovereigns held 
together, . and it makes a cross as no gypsy queen ever yet 
failed to read the future by. Eh! I ha' been readin' up the 
ancient words, and ef you'll stand just where the light o' the 
moon falls on yer bonny face, I'll tell you all about your 
present, your past, and your future." 

Consuelo was now silent. She felt as one under a spell. 
The gypsy bent over the book, muttering words in a language 
which the girl could not distinguish, 

u What a strange dress you are wearing! " said Consuelo. 

u Aye." was the answer; "this robe is Egyptian, and it be- 
longed 10 him who was, the son o' Hezekiah, who was the son 
o' Jonah. To him who was my father was this robe given; 
and I keep it buried in the earth, only to wear when the spirit 
of true prophecy moves me." 

" Well, begin — begin," said Consuelo. " Time is passing." 

u Eh ? " said the gypsy, raising her sunken eyes and look- 
ing full at the girl. " The spirit is comin' over me, and I 
must speak as the spirit moves me. Time isn't for toe like 
me at moments such as this; for I can see all time, as it 
were, and know that it will be rolled up as a scroll and be 
less than naught. But come into the moonlight, and let me 
cross yer bonny palm and speak as the spirit moves. n] Only 
interrupt me by no questions, for I can't brook 'em." 

The gypsy now led Consuelo out of the cave. They both 
stood on the little plateau, where the moon, as yet undimmed 
by the fast-hurrying clouds, shone upon them. 

" Lady Moon," said the gypsy as she crossed the girl's palm 
two or three times with the magic gold, " give your secret 
to me, and tell me what is in your bonny heart about thjis 
young maid who has come: to me for counsel." , 

The gypsy looked, with a queer, freakish expression in her 
face, full up at the bright moon. She then began to mumble 


something rapidly. At first her language was in that tongue 
which Gonsuelo could not understand. It was as though she 
were talking direct to the moon and the moon were replying 
to her. After a little, however, she seemed satisfied, drew 
herself up erect, and turned to the girl. 

" The whole thing is clearer than the light o' day," she 
said. " You are one o' those who has a great work laid upon 
her to fulfill." 

These words, uttered in the slow, majestic old voice, so 
exactly suited the mood of the romantic, enthusiastic girl 
that she felt herself thrilling all over. 

" The power o' the bonny gold is yours," said the gypsy. 
" You can use it for ill, and bitter will be your curse — the 
curse o' the poor as they shiver in the cold o' winter, and as 
they die o' hunger while you fill yourself with dainties; and 
the curse o' all those who have been led by you into sin, who 
have been tempted as gold can tempt. Or you can have the 
blessin' o* gold, and give food to the hungry and clothes to 
the naked. It's a mighty load laid upon you; and you can 
take it up, for you are strong, and you has good health, and 
you has them that love you. And in the future I see you, 
oh! fallin' many and many a time, but always a-risin' up 
again and goin' a bit forrarder; and though you stumble once 
more, up you get again, and you reach some day, at the top 
o' the way, a golden gate, and that golden gate leads straight 
into the pathway o' the stars o' heaven." 

The gypsy paused. 

" I see what you were in the past." She began changing 
her tone. " No comfort too much for yer; you, who ought to 
be last, put first; you, who ought to be least, made the great- 
est. And I see the ugly growth o' selfishness like a weed 
clinging to yer, and you blind to it all the time. I see you at 
present; and something has happened. You ain't happy." 

" No," said Gonsuelo; " I want — oh, Mother Jeremy, I want 
what I can't get! Mother Jeremy, I am an awfully rich girl, 
and I hate to be rich; and I am a selfish girl, and I hate to 
be selfish. I want just to be a good girl — good, and to get 
happiness that way. Oh, if you — if you and Lady Moon 
would help me! " 

Mother Jeremy was so astonished at Gonsuelo's words that 
she remained quite silent for the space of a minute. Then 
she said abruptly : 

" It lies with yourself. But there's Paul the hermit; and 
he lives away to Gasterton, and that's ten mile as the crow 
flies from here. When we gypsies want what you call Faith 
and Light and Leading we go to Paul, the gypsy hermit. 
Mayhap he'd tell yer a thing or two; mayhap he wouldn't. 
You might say that Mother Jeremy, the daughter o' Enoch, 
who was the son of Hezekiah, who was the son o' Jonah, sent 
yer. He don't want no gold, nor silver, nor even a copper- 
piece; but he's a holy man. Now, missie, by the light o' the 
stars, I say to you that you ha' got the power, and you ha* 


got the fair face that'll win hearts, and you ha' got the gold 
that all men and women love. It may be red gold to you, 
and then it will all be wickedness; but if it is gold like the 
sunshine, then it will be blessedness. Have I not been told 
by Lady Moon herself to warn you not to turn the gold red, 
for red is the color o' blood?, Therel She has said good- 
night to you, my bonny dear. She has put on her night-cap 
has Lady Moon; and, by the same token, the rain's a-comin' 

So it was— such rain as Consuelo had never heard before. 
It began by a sweeping blast of angry and terrific wind, and 
then a great scud of rain swept across the cliff, and the sea 
rose into great mountains of white foam; and the gypsy and 
the girl went for shelter into the little cave. 

The gypsy, having delivered herself of her prophetic utter- 
ances, now completely changed her manner. She put out 
one candle, and arew a bottle from its hiding-place in a cor- 
ner of the cave. She took a copious draught from the mouth 
of the bottle, and then offered it to Consuelo, saying that it 
was fine, warming stuff. At the same time she retired into 
a dark part of the cave to divest herself of her red-and- 
black skirt, returning presently in the same garments that 
Consuelo had seen a couple of days before. 

As to the girl herself, she was in a highly nervous state, 
and, although she refused the gypsy's cordial, could not for 
several minutes quite realize her position. At the end of that 
time she remembered that poor Miss Dawson must be in a 
transport of agony with regard to her. What should she do? 

" I must go back," she said to the gypsy. 

But scarcely had the words passed her lips before a flash 
of vivid lightning lit up the little cave, followed immediately 
by a crashing peal of thunder. 

" We're safe here," said the gypsy. " No lightning will 
strike me in my cozy house in the rock. You must keep me 
company, missie, willy-nilly, for home you can't go. Why, 
you might be struck on the road." 

" But I really ought to go," said poor Consuelo, " for we 
are all having a picnic down in a wood about a mile off. I 
had to slip away from the others to come to you. They will 
be nearly frantic about me. I ought to go back whatever 

" Not if you value your life, missie," said Mother Jeremy. 
" They must take care o' theirselves. Silly they were not to 
watch the way o' the clouds; for that bank comin' up so 
quickly against the wind foretold a thunderstorm, if any- 
thing ever did. My word, there's a blaze for you! " 

Consuelo was silent. She was not afraid; but she did Jaiow 
that to leave the gypsy's hut at the present moment was to 
court unnecessary danger. She stood, therefore, near the 
entrance, very silent, watching the magnificent sea which lay 
far below. Never had she, beheld such a thunderstorm. Ifi 
lasted for about an hour and a half; then the clouds rolled 


by^tfie sky became^bftie ted tlrahquil otieti move; but Lady 
Moon had gpne far on her way towards the distant horizpn, 
Cahsuelo looked full up at the bright thing with quivering 

"The fed gold, and the gold like sunshine," she kept lay- 
ing to herself. 

Suddenly she turned to the gypsy. 

"The rain is over. I thank you with all my heart. It is 
ten miles from here, is it, where Paul the hermit lives? " 

u Bless yer, missie, yes; and he is a good man — a saint, no 
less. It's over to Gasterton. He'll mayhap tell yer somethin' 
to cure yer "eart's hunger." 

u Good-by. Let me kiss you, Mother Jeremy," said Con- 
suelo. 0111 ^o'j.-jb U\ ! y?i* riHi'i 

The old gypsy was seated on the floor of her hut, her knees 
drawn up to her chin. The girl bent, gave her one light kiss, 
and fled from the spot. 



The grass was dripping wet, the cliff was slippery, but 
Consuelo knew no fear. She soon reached the summit. She 
was stimulated through all her being as she had never been 
stimulated before. Any one might have told her such a for- 
tune as the gypsy had uttered, but from no other lips would 
she have believed it. The impressiveness of the scene, the 
strange old figure, the pure light of the moon reflected on 
Consuelo's own face and on the gypsy's face, had engraved 
each uttered word deep on the girl's heart. 

She was singularly absorbed with herself, however, and 
her greatest desire was not to see Selma, or Miss Dawson, or 
the ^Falkland girls, but to find Paul the hermit. She had got 
definite information at last of that which was laid upon her. 
She had been told of the greatness of the trust which rested 
on her slim shoulders. But she did not know in what pos- 
sible way she could carry her burden. The gypsy, however, 
saifl that Paul the hermit could tell her. 

Gonsuelo presently reached the place where the fairy lan- 
terns had burned under the trees and Where the midnight 
supper had been laid. The stone which had been converted 
into a sort of throne for the queen of the night was still in 
its place. There were; Some scattered papers, also, about; but 
all other signs of the picnic and all trace of the people who 
had composed the picnic had completely vanished. ' The grass 
was dripping wet. The trees made a Sighing sound, for the 
west wind was bringing up further clouds, and before long 
there would be more rain. 

Gonsuelo stood like a forsaken creature, leaning against the 
stem-of one of the trees. She did not Ipio^ Wiiat she had 


expected, but she scarcely thought that they would have all 
left before she arrived, that they would have tired of waiting 
for her, that they would have gone home. She could follow 
them, of course. It was the right thing, perhaps, to do. She 
would be very severely scolded, but the thought of any pos- 
sible scolding scarcely weighed with her. She felt like one 
who had got a chart in her hand which gave directions how 
she was to proceed on her way. She felt imbued, through 
and through her being, with the spirit of the pilgrim. 

When she had started on that picnic she was neither a 
pilgrim nor did she possess a map of the road. Now, meta- 
phorically, she did. She thought for a little, and it seemed 
to her that the guiding Finger pointed her direct, not to 
Westbpurne and Discipline House, but to Paul the hermit. 
She would go to him. She could occupy herself walking in 
his direction during the remainder of the night, for she- 
could not possibly keep still. 

The gypsy had said that he lived at a town called Casterton, 
and that it was, as the crow flies, ten miles away; and ten 
miles was a much greater walk than she had ever under- 
taken. Still, that mattered little. It was worth her while to 
make a great effort when so much was at stake. 

She began, therefore, to walk through the wood until she 
reached the farther end. There the rain overtook her, 
drenching her so badly that she had to take shelter in the 
porch of a cottage. A dog began to bark, and presently a 
head was poked out of an upper window. 

" Is any one there? " called a voice. 

" Yes. I will go on when the rain is over," said Consuelo 

" Mercy! A young gel out at this hour o' the night! Who 
be you, dear? " 

" I am an American girl," called Gonsuelo back. " I have 
been caught in the rain. I am on my way to Casterton." 

" The voice o' one o' the quality! " thought the woman to 
herself. Aloud she said, " It's a pity for you to stand out in 
the cold, dear. I'll let you in % and welcome. Bide a bit, and 
I'll be down. I'll just put something on." 

Gonsuelo waited. In a very few moments the door was 
opened, and she was invited to enter. An elderly woman with 
gray hair was holding a candle in her hand. 

" Now, to be sure," she said; " why, you're dripping through 
and through. Whatever is a young lady like you out for at 
this hour o' the night; and so far from every one, too, for 
there ain't another cottage, so to speak, for miles round? " 

" I am all right," said Gonsuelo. " Thank you very much 
indeed for letting me in. I was waylaid by the thunderstorm, 
and missed my party, and then I thought I'd like to walk to 
Casterton. I want to see Paul the hermit. Do you know 
him? " 

" Know 'im! " said the woman. " I wouldn't be Merey Per- 
kins without knowing 'im. Now, look here, my dear. Lady; 
106 21 


you be by birth, and lady by nature, and I'm right glad as 
my dog Snap barked at you, for you might ha' stood in my 
porch till morning, and got your death. I'm going to light a 
bit o' fire here to dry your clothes, and you'll put on one o' 
my bed-gowns and get into my warm bed, and then in the 
morning I'll put you on your way to Casterton. But it's a 
good bit off, my love; and mighty tough walking, too. Oh, 
lor, there's more lightning! It's a rare wild night, and no 

While Consuelo was safely ensconced under the guiding 
care of the kindest old woman in the neighborhood — for 
Mercy Perkins was well known for her deeds of charity far 
and near — poor Miss Dawson was undergoing almost inde- 
scribable agony. She began to be alarmed about Consuelo 
when half-an-hour had gone by, when the soup had been 
poured into the cups ready for it, and when the rest of the 
little party had assembled to partake of their good food. 
Selma had done her best to blind the others with regard to 
Consuelo's whereabouts, declaring that that young lady was 
probably roaming about the wood. When all these subter- 
fuges failed she resorted to silence, and then declared 
that she knew nothing whatever about Consuelo, but that, 
if Miss Dawson was wise, she would not fret herself into 
a fever about one who was so well able to take care of 

Miss Dawson reproved Selma very sharply, and Selm$ 
again became mute. 

By this time the heavy clouds hid all moonlight from view, 
and the coachman, Harris, declared his intention of going 
back to Westbourne, requesting the ladies to get into the 

" Wherever young miss be," he said, " she is under shel- 
ter, for sure; and the rest of you may be killed with the trees 
all round you. There's a flash for you. I can drive back 
again to look for her when the storm is over; but get away 
from here we must." 

"You are right, Harris," said Miss Dawson; "and the 
sooner we start the better. Oh, what misery am I not liv- 
ing through! But come, girls, come. We have no time even 
to grumble. I am simply terrified of lightning; we may all 
be dead if we don't hurry. Put cups and saucers and every- 
thing anyhow into the basket, and get into the wagonette." 
t The girls, much subdued — for really the storm was a ter- 
rific one — obeyed, and huddled together, shaking, trembling, 
and getting soaked to the skin. In this condition the un- 
fortunate little party drove back to Westbourne. 

Maudie was up to receive them. When Maudie saw no 
Miss Connie she uttered a shriek of horror. 

" Why, now, to think on it! " she said. " And you ha' left 
the best o' the bunch all by her lonesome in the storm. It's 
myself 'ull go and look for her, ef I have to walk every yard 
o' the way." 


" There's no good in acting in a foolish fashion," said Har- 
ris. 44 The young lady has taken shelter, and we'll go search- 
ing for her at an early hour in the morning." 

44 Yes," said Miss Dawson; 44 there is nothing whatever else 
to be done. Gonsuelo has strayed from her party, and I am 
deeply sorry; but you three have to be attended to. Into 
bed, my dears, you must all get — Sykes, do be reasonable. — 
Good-night, Harris. Be here at eight in the morning with a 
carriage, and I will go myself to look for that troublesome 
girl. — Sykes, boil some hot water, and bring it upstairs. Each 
of the young ladies must have a hot drink." 

Miss Dawson helped her pupils off with their wet things 
and got them into their beds, and took off her own wet things, 
and trusted sincerely that neither her beloved Patty nor her 
precious Curly would suffer from this awful expedition. 
Selma certainly might have a bad cold if it would teach her 
a lesson. As to €onsuelo, Miss Dawson made up her mind 
definitely that she would have nothing further to do with 
such a desperate specimen of humanity. As this thought 
came to her she happened to be passing the girl's room. 

44 It's as likely as not," she said to herself, 44 that Sykes has 
left the window open, and that the rain will have blown in. 
I had better go and see." 

She opened the door. The window was shut, but on the 
floor lay the pawn-ticket. Miss Dawson stooped and picked 
it up. Her face grew first red, and then pale. She carried 
the ticket into her own room. What did this mean? 

Sykes was not yet in bed, although it was two in the morn- 
ing. Perhaps never in her life before had Miss Dawson been 
up at this hour. She felt absolutely bewildered. She left 
her door a little ajar, and, as the tired little servant was. 
going upstairs, called her into her room. 

44 Now," she said, 44 you will have the goodness to explain. 
What does this mean? " 

She held the little green ticket between her finger and 

44 Yes, 'um," said Maudie. She dropped a curtsy, turned a 
dull red, and twirled her apron. 

44 1 found this in Miss Consuelo's room, on the floor. Does 
it belong to you?" 

44 Ye-s, 'um — no, 'um." 

44 What do you mean by 4 Yes, um — no, 'um'?" 
44 1 means," said Maudie, 44 that it don't, so a-speak, 'long o* 

44 You are unintelligible! Talk of Board School education: 
when it produces creatures of your caliber! " 

44 Please, 'um, is those words curses? I don't understand 
'em, not I?" 

44 Stop your impertinence, girl, and tell me the truth about 
this ticket." 

44 Well, 'um, it's Miss Connie's; I'll keep it for her, ef you'll 
ef you don't mind, 'um." 


" I do mind very much. I hold this ticket. So Miss Con* 
suelo Seymour has recourse to pawnshops!" 

" Two suvs I got for it," whispered Maudie. 

" Two what? Speak out." 

" Two suvveranes, miss." 

" What did you get two sovereigns for? " 

" The dressin'-gownd. It was the tassels as done it." 

"You mean that you pawned Miss Seymour's dressing- 
gown — that hideous thing which I have seen her wear since 
she came here? " 

" 'Tain't 'ideous," said Maudie. " Jones said — an' I s'pose 
'e ought to know — that it was the most beauteous garment 
Vd ever sot eyes on. He fair screamed out when he seen it. 
But it wor the tassels an' the cord as drew the money from 

"Did you steal the dressing-gown?" 

"Me— steal!" 

" How did you get it?" 

" Miss Connie — she guv' it to me her own self! She niver 
meant to be crool when she guv' me the stummik-ache. 
She's a reel good 'eart, an' I loves her. She wanted the 
money, an' you wouldn't guv' it to her; so she sent me with 
the dressin'-gownd — an' beauteous it be." 

" You can go to bed," said Miss Dawson. 

Maudie retired up the narrow staircase, sobbing as she 
went. Miss Dawson stood still in the middle of the room. 
She remembered Connie's request for two sovereigns on the 
previous day. She sat down in a low chair. She felt a 
strange mixture of fear and self-reproach. 

During the rest of that night Miss Dawson did not sleep, 
but in addition to that fact she lay with thoughts visiting 
her heart which had not come to it for a very long time. She 
began to be frightened about the queer girl who had been 
put under her care, and she began dimly and afar off to un- 
derstand a little bit of that girl's character, of her tenacity 
of purpose, and her resolve to carry out her schemes, what- 
ever they might be, in the face of almost impracticable diffi- 
culties. Miss Dawson recalled Consuelo as she had been that 
day when she saw her sobbing in the little arbor at Castle 
Rocco — the pathetic little figure, the tear-stained face, the 
imploring voice, the earnestness of the child's desire, her 
wish to get away from a false position in order to live a 
better life, and Miss Dawson's own very unwilling assent to 
Consuelo's proposition. 

She recalled now how little she had really desired to help 
the girl. She had made no allowance for the difference of 
her bringing up. She had not even tried to realize how 
strange it was for Consuelo to begin to deny herself. She 
reflected on her grim resolve that if Consuelo needed dis- 
cipline, discipline she should have. She had, therefore, given 
her the worst bedroom, the roughest time generally. The 
girl had submitted, but with a bad grace; and Miss Dawsou 


knew that in her heart of hearts she was glad of this, for 
she hoped that Gonsuelo would tire of her project, would 
elect to go back to her life of luxury, and that she (Miss 
Dawson) would have got rid of her. 

So far nothing of the sort had occurred. Miss Dawson re- 
membered Consuelo's request of Sunday — the request so 
modest, really, from her, and yet so unheard of from the 
governess's point of view. The girl wanted the money, and 
asked for it; she begged for it quite prettily. Miss Dawson 
refused it with asperity. But Gonsuelo was not to be baffled, 
any more than when she was at Gastle Rocco, of her desire. 
She made Maudie her accomplice, and got the money in an- 
other way. Now, where was the child? While the rest of 
the girls were sleeping in their warm beds, where was the 
richest young American from New York Gity sheltering her 
pretty head? 



The stormy night was succeeded by a day of mingled 
showers and sunshine. A very tired girl lay sound asleep on 
Mercy Perkins's hard but clean bed. Mercy Perkins stood 
and looked down at her. 

44 Ain't she a pretty un! " thought the woman. " Ain't her 
'air lovely, and ain't her face pale and genteel! What long 
eyelashes she do have, to be sure — same color as her 'ai?, 
for all the world; and how pretty be her lips — small, like 
those o' a baby; and what a little face it be! I've took to 
her, that I have. She come to me like a poor, tired angel in 
the middle o' the stormy night, and I took her in. I'd do it 
again, and yet again, for one like she. Ain't she sweet to 
look at! It's a real treat for an old body like me to look 
down on a face o' that sort. — Here, Snap!" 

Mercy Perkins stooped and picked up a mongrel specimen 
of an Irish terrier. 

"There now, you barked; by the same token you saved 
her life. See here, Snap. You must love her like anything, 
for I love her already." 

The dog raised those wonderfully expressive eyes that all 
his special breed possess to the gnarled but kindly face of 
the old woman. He licked her hand, and when she had put 
her own rough hand timidly on Consuelo's, which lay outside 
the bedclothes, Snap bent forward and also licked the little, 
white, slim hand. 

" There now, you ha' done it," said Mercy. 44 You are her 
friend, her protector, if necessary, from this hour out. Ain't 
yer a good un, and a wise un too! Never did I see your like 
for intellect. I wouldn't part with you, Snap, for your 
weight in gold." 

Just then Gonsuelo started, opened her sleepy, bright-blue 
eyes, and fixed them, first on Mercy, and then on Snap. 


" Where am I? " she asked in a tone of astonishment. 

" With me, my darling, in my little cot; and nice and warm 
you feel — as warm as a toast. I saved you — or, rather, Snap 
did — from a cold, and maybe worse. See you here now, my 
honey; Snap is waiting to make friends with you. Ain't he 
a real cunning little dog? " 

Gonsuelo held out her hand to Snap, who licked it again. 

" Thank you, kind Snap," she said. — " And thank you — oh I 
thank you, still kinder Mercy. Where should I be now but 
for you both?" 

"The Lord only knows!" said Mercy Perkins. "But He 
led you here, so He has a loving feel for you in His heart. 
Now then, what will you have to breakfast on? I ain't got 
much, my dear; but what I have is at your disposal. I take 
it you are accustomed to dainties." 

" I hate dainties," said Gonsuelo, sitting up and pushing 
back her thick hair. 

" Now, ain't that wonderful! " exclaimed Mercy; " and your 
clothes are most delicate in make, more particular yer under- 
garments — real lace on 'em all, and as fine as the cambric 
you make babies' shirts o'. Why, you were soaked to the 
skin, my dear; but your pretty things are dry as a toast, and 
warm too, by now. I can bring you up a cup o' tea and some 
bread; but I don't have no butter, love; and the milkman, he 
only comes every second day. The milk I had in the house 
was turned by the thunder; so it's but a poor breakfast I 
can offer you, my dearie dear." 

" Oh, it will do beautifully," said Gonsuelo. " I remember 
every single thing now," she added, " and I want to go as fast 
as ever I can to Paul the hermit." 

"Well, now, and what do you want with him, if I may 
make bold enough to ask? " 

" He is a Guide, and I want one." 

" You mean you want a sort o' preacher — some one to tell 
yer things." 

" Yes; I want him to tell me a great many things." 

" He will, and no mistake. He is plain with his words, is 
Paul; no humbug 'bout 'im. It's a good eleven and three- 
quarter mile from this house to Gasterton, and Paul's hovel — 
and 'tain't no more — is at the further side o' the town, out 
and away up a mountain-path. I misdoubt me that you'd 
find it, my dearie jdear." 

" Oh, but I can ask," said Gonsuelo. 

" So you can. But you are a pretty young lady, and quite 
out o' the common in these parts; and there's them that'll 
stare at you, and there's them who might be rude to you. I 
tell you what it is, now. I have a thought in my head. You 
take Snap along with you. Bless you! you'll be safe enough 
then. Snap could walk blindfold to Casterton; and if you 
tell him, 4 Paul the hermit,' why, he'll take you there straight, 
straight to the very door, for he and I have gone there scores 
and scores o' times." 


"And will you really lend me your dog?" said Consuelo, 
looking very much excited. 

" To be sure I will, if you'll promise to bring him back 

"Yes, I'll do that; I'll make you a faithful promise." 
' " Aye, my dear," said the old woman, " there's only one sort 
o' promise worth having, and that's a promise that you keep. 
I don't look for false words from your young lips; you prom- 
ise — that is enough." 

" I promise," answered Consuelo, looking at the old woman 
with intense respect. 

"Very well; now I'll hurry with your breakfast, for the 
sooner you are off the better. It's a weary long way to Cas- 
terton, and the days ain't as long as they were a month ago." 

Mercy hurried downstairs, returning in the space of a few 
minutes with a little toasted bread and a cup of tea, minus 
sugar and milk. Never in all her life had Consuelo eaten 
such a plain meal. But, in the first place, she was keenly 
hungry, and that fact gave the dry toast a delicious taste; she 
was also thirsty. So the bitter tea was swallowed with a 
certain amount of appreciation. Then her dry, warm clothes, 
being brought to her, she put them on, and went downstairs. 

" Now then," said Mercy, " off you go. You look nicely, and 
that I will say — a bit pale, to be sure, but then that is your 
nature, I expect." 

" Yes," said Consuelo; " I never have color." 

" I have told Snap everything that is necessary; and here's 
your leading-rein — you must hold on to that and just follow 
him. He'll take you the best and the safest way. It's a bit 
lonely on the great moors, and you have to cross two or three 
to get to Casterton. But you're safe enough with Snap, for 
he'd have his teeth into the legs o' any one who came along 
to worrit you. With Snap it's never 4 let go '; he'd die first.— 
Now then, Snap, my boy." 

Snap cocked an ear, looked intelligently from Mercy to 
Consuelo, and wagged a very short stump of a tail. 

" You are to go for a walk," said Mercy. 

Snap began to caper about and express his satisfaction by 
a series of short barks or yaps. 

" But I stay at home," said Mercy. 

Snap did not like this, and running up to Mercy, caught 
hold of her apron and tried to pull her towards the door. 

" No, my poor boy; it's no use," said Mercy. " I couldn't 
walk that far, for if I could I would. It's laid on me to help 
this young lady, but I can't walk to Casterton even for her. 
But you can, being a young, strong dog and fond of exercise. 
Now then, you listen. Don't you let man or woman touch 
her. Do you understand me? Bark twice if you do." Snap 
flashed his bright eyes at Consuelo and gave two expressive 
barks. "And go through Casterton to Paul the hermit." 
Snap quivered with excitement and his eyes beamed with 


" He knows; he will take you," said Mercy. 44 There ain't a 
scrap o' fear; not a scrap. You go with the dog, and bring 
him back to me, if not to-day, to-morrow. Here, now; this 
is his leading-chain.— Snap, my boy, we must all submit to 
discipline; you walk on in front, and missie will follow you 
behind. — You had best start immediate, missie, for there are 
more clouds coming up. — Snap, if it rains get under the 
best shelter you can." 

44 Yap ! " answered the dog. 

44 Oh, Mercy," said Gonsuelo, 44 1 don't know in what way to 
thank you. I know I ought to pay you, but I haven't a penny 
with me. But I'll bring it to you — indeed I will, Mercy. I'll 
write to poppa for it. My poppa is very rich, and he will 
give you plenty of money." 

44 Now hark to the child! " said Mercy. 44 Do I do what I do 
for filthy lucre? That indeed would be far from me. Why, 
my love, you ha' paid me by cheering me up, and I look to 
get fine news o' you when you come back to-night. But now 
go, my dear, for it is getting on — a quarter to eight o' the 
clock — and you'll never get your journey done if you don't 
hurry up." 

44 Then I'll kiss you, Mercy," said Gonsuelo, which she pro- 
ceeded to do. 

The day was very fresh and yet balmy, and Gonsuelo 
walked for the first two or three miles with a springy step 
and a wonderfully lightened heart. She was still, however, 
intensely self-absorbed, and it did not occur to her to try 
to realize what agony of terror Miss Dawson and her com- 
panions might be enduring. Selma had often been present 
when Gonsuelo played pranks at home. Selma would at least 
know that she had gone to the gypsy, and would probably 
enlighten the others if she thought it necessary. 

Oh, there was no real cause to be in the least anxious about 
Miss Dawson and her companions. She would be back with 
them all in good time, and what a changed, what a totally 
different, Gonsuelo they would find her! 

Snap, true to his directions, kept straight on, bearing ever 
towards the left, and leading poor Consuelo through many 
rough paths. After an hour's hard walking the girl began 
to feel tired. She suggested to Snap that they should rest, 
and the dog immediately squatted down on a bed of springy 
heather. Gonsuelo sat by his side, and began to stroke his 
rough head. 

44 Why, Snap," she said, 44 dear little Snappy, I have got a 
sort of guide already in you." 

She smiled to herself, but the heather on which she was 
seated was damp, and the clouds were still coming up from 
the west, and presently a great shower of cold rain came 
down, shutting away all sunshine and thoroughly wetting 
poor Gonsuelo. Snap, true to his directions, tugged at the 
chain and set off at a brisk trot, until they presently found 
themselves under the shelter of some old trees. But by this 


time the girl was wet through, and it was better to walk on 
than to stay still. 

The shower cleared away, and fresh sunshine filled the 
world. Consuelo walked fast, but somehow the spring and 
elasticity which had supported her were now absent. She 
felt strangely tired, and did not trace the fact to the very in- 
sufficient breakfast she had eaten, and to the intense excite- 
ment she had lived through on the previous evening. She 
had had no supper either, having gone to find the gypsy be- 
fore that meal. She was really now very hungry, and, rich 
little girl that she was, had not one farthing in her posses- 
sion. There was nothing for it but to walk on; but her head 
began to ache badly, and she disliked the sun as much as the 
rain. In short, it took Consuelo several long and weary hours 
to reach the straggling little town of Casterton. By that 
time she had encountered more showers than one. Her feet 
were sopping, for her shoes were quite unfit for a long ram- 
ble over the moors, and she was absolutely faint with hunger. 

Snap, on the contrary, had not felt his walk in the least — 
unless, indeed, the chain which Consuelo held in her hand 
annoyed him. But he was a well-trained dog, and looked for 
restrictions to his liberty as some of the laws of life. 

Straight through the village, the queer-looking pair passed, 
more than one person turning to gaze at the remarkable but 
now draggled-looking girl and the small, sharp-set, clever 
dog. Consuelo now felt that she was nearing her goal, but 
she was not prepared for the very steep climb which came 
at the end of her journey. She found herself catching her 
breath from time to time, and wondering dizzily when her 
sufferings would be over. There was surely nobody living 
on this bleak mountainside. 

All of a sudden, however, she saw a thin curl of blue smoke 
ascending through the air, and the next minute a roughly- 
made house, without door or window, came into view. Con- 
suelo hesitated. Truly no one who was worthy the name of 
Guide could live in such a place. Snap, however, had no 
doubts whatever on the subject. Paul the hermit was just 
Paul the hermit to him. He had to take Consuelo to Paul, 
and then his immediate task would be over. A bone would 
have been grateful, and a lap of water refreshing; but if he 
could not get them, why, somehow or other, it would not 
greatly matter. It was the law of life to Snap to endure dis- 
cipline without a grumble. 

He turned and looked at Consuelo when they reached the 
open door, and then, suddenly perceiving that she was 
speechless, and that her face looked as he had never seen face 
look before, he uttered two or three ringing barks by way of 
drawing attention to their arrival. 

Consuelo leaned up against the wall of the hovel. She 
closed her eyes. For a minute all was dim and faint before 
her. When she opened them again she saw the kindest eyes 
she had ever looked at gazing into hers. A very quiet, el- 


derly, gentlemanly man had taken one of her cold hands, and 
a voice, quite charming in its culture and refinement, said: 

" Gome in, my dear; you are very tired, and you want food 
and drink." 

44 Oh, I am so terribly hungry! " said Gonsuelo. 

Then the kind face seemed to grow luminous and to recede 
from her vision until she only saw it a very long way off, and 
the very next thing that happened was this, poor Consuelo 
Josephine Persis, the richest girl in New York, fainted dead 



Consuelo was seated by the hermit's fire. Snap was lying 
in the full comfort of its blaze. The hovel, which looked so 
strange from the outside view, was fairly comfortable with- 
in. There was a table covered with a check red cloth; there 
was a lamp on the table with a shade made of delicate blue 
china. The lamp was lighted, and Consuelo thought she 
never saw anything so cheery as the circle of light it made. 
She herself was supported by pillows in a deep old wicker- 
work chair. Her feet were stretched out towards the grate- 
ful fire, and she had just finished drinking a cup of hot and 
most excellent soup. Snap had between his fore-paws a 
bone of large dimensions, and he had lapped up as much 
water as he thought necessary to assuage his thirst. 

The walls of the little hut were papered, and there were a 
few good photographs (noticeably one of Holman Hunt's 
"Light of the World") hung on them. There was a shelf 
also which contained books — a dozen or more. In one corner 
of the hovel was a curtain, behind which, doubtless, the 
hermit's bed was to be found. 

Consuelo looked drowsily round the little apartment. Never 
before in all her life had she found herself in so quaint and 
yet so charming a room. Here, surely, was no wealth at all. 
Here was the very extreme of poverty; and yet how strangely 
peaceful was the place! 

The hermit, who had kept himself very much in the back- 
ground while Consuelo was recovering and was drinking her 
soup and eating her delicious fresh bread, now came for- 
ward, and seating himself on the hard chair which he drew 
from its place by the wall, looked full at the girl. 

" You are better," he said. 

" Yes," said Consuelo, " oh, yes, I am quite well." 

" That is right. You were very poorly when you arrived 
here. Did you come from far?" 

" I don't exactly know from where I came," answered Con- 
suelo; "but last night, at midnight, I was on Rocky Head. I 
wandered afterwards to the house of the — the — lady whose 
dog this is. She lent me the dog to guide me to you." 


"I see that you have discernment," said the hermit. 
" Mercy Perkins is one of the truest ladies I know. I have 
met people who call themselves by that sacred title in the 
houses of the great, but I never came across any one in any 
class of life so imbued with the true spirit of the lady as 
Mercy Perkins." 

" And you," said Consuelo — " you are a — gentleman." 

Paul the hermit smiled very gently. 

" I am one of the King's messengers, my dear; so it be- 
hooves me to act as He would wish." 

Consuelo looked down. She found herself trembling. All 
of a sudden she said: 

" Why do you live here? Is it necessary? " 

" It is entirely a matter of choice," was the reply. " I live 
in this hut because I like to have plenty of time to myself, 
but I also like to be within reach of those who need my 
services. It is astonishing, young lady, how many people 
will come to consult me because I live here who would not 
dream of approaching me were I the owner of an ordinary 
house with an ordinary hall-door and an ordinary bell. I 
should diminish my work to an extent which would astonish 
you were I to live as ordinary people live. Besides, the sil- 
ver and gold belong to the King. I should consider myself 
an unfaithful servant if I spent a penny more on myself than 
I need." 

"Oh!" said Consuelo. "Oh! Then Mother Jeremy was 
right, and you are the very person for me. May I speak to 
you, and may I tell you my story? " 

" Most assuredly. I am here to listen." 

Then Consuelo, the proud, the shy, opened up her heart of 
hearts. She did not know until that moment the depths of 
that same heart. She did not know the anguish of her own 
sorrow until she began to explain it. But she did know that 
she was a desolate little girl who hated her present life and 
longed for a better. 

She told Paul everything, drawn on by the kind expression 
in his eyes, by the certainty that he was listening to each 
word she uttered, and by his blessed and most restful si- 
lence. When she had finished he said: "I quite understand 
you. I judge that you want to turn straight round." 

" Yes " 

" It will be difficult." 
" I don't mind." 

" Forgive me," said Paul, " but you are minding very 

" What do you mean? " 

" You dislike your life in the house you call Discipline 
House. You dislike the lady who is doing her best to help 

Consuelo stammered, and found herself coloring. "That 
scheme has failed," she said. 

" But why has it failed? What is the matter with it? " 


"It is terrible," said the girl; "it is irksome to the last 

" It strikes me," said Paul, " that what you call irksome, 
what you call terrible, ought to be spoken of by other names. 
You elected to put yourself under discipline. When you 
found yourself under it you were sorry. It is just because 
you dislike this thing that you ought to go on with it." 

" Oh, but — " said Gonsuelo. 

"There is no 4 but.' Believe me, there is no possible way 
of winning the crown that you aspire to without wearing the 
cross that you despise. You may leave Westbourne, and go 
back to your father and mother, and think out some other 
scheme for self-mortification; but each scheme, as you think 
of it, will fail, just as this has failed, if you don't recognize 
the fact that by wearing the cross you secure the crown. 
There is no other way. I cannot live your life for you; you 
must live it for yourself. All I would say to you is this : bear 
the cross patiently; bear it willingly. By-and-by you would 
not do without it for all creation. And remember, too, that 
the gold and the silver belong to the Lord of Hosts. And now 
I must set you on your way, for it is getting late. Farewell! " 

Gonsuelo rose to her feet. She was dazzled. Had the her- 
mit helped her, or had he too failed her? She looked full up 
into his eyes. 

" I do long to be good," she said then. 

" The God above will help thee, child," was his answer. He 
touched her bright head for an instant with his hand, then 
turned and entered the cottage. 

Gonsuelo and Snap turned back by the way they had come; 



If poor Consuelo had found it difficult to reach the hermit's 
house, she found it far more toilsome to get back again to 
Mercy Perkins's cottage. It is true, she had been refreshed 
by the hospitality of the hermit but her cup of soup and 
piece of bread were, after all, not as sustaining as the meals 
she were accustomed to. Her limbs ached badly, and her 
clothes were still so far from dry that long shivers passed 
through her frame. 

Before she was half-way back over the moors her inclina- 
tion was to fling herself down, to court sleep at any cost, and 
not to start until the morning. But when this temptation 
assailed Gonsuelo, Snaip had something to say. There were 
limits to Snap's devotion. He had done his duty, barely his 
duty, by taking the strange girl to visit Paul. He had been 
unexpectedly rewarded by a good and delicious bone. He 
was therefore quite strong and well, and able to return to 
Mercy without the least discomfort. If he could have left 


Consuelo, he might have been inclined to do so, for then he 
could have scampered back to the cottage, getting there in 
less than no time. But Snap knew better than that. His 
mistress's orders were clear, very clear, to his doggy brain. 
He w r as to take this girl out, and he was to bring her back. 
But although he faithfully intended to do what was required 
of him, he did not mean to spend the night out. 

Accordingly, when Consuelo flagged in her walking Snap 
began to pull at the chain, and to look at her with imploring 
and yet commanding eyes. Whatever happened, Consuelo 
must walk on. 

There came more showers of heavy rain, and the poor 
child was now in serious pain. Every bone in her body 
ached. She could scarcely see. Her breath came with diffi- 
culty. She was conscious of pain in her side when she tried 
to draw that breath. She wondered dimly what poppa would 
say could he see her now, what momma would feel, what 
Selma would do; and then, as she neared the end of her jour- 
ney, she found herself forgetting her own people and Miss 
Dawson and the Falkland girls, and thinking only of Mercy 
in her cottage, and Paul in his hovel. Was it indeed true 
that these two people — these very poor, very simple folks — ■ 
held the secret of all secrets, the grand secret of Content- 
ment and Usefulness and Happiness? 

It was past midnight when poor little Consuelo staggered 
across the threshold of Mercy Perkins's house. 

"Oh, Mercy!" she said, with a sob. 

Mercy caught her in her kind arms. 

" Why, you are drenched, my lamb! " she said; " and fear it 
I did when I saw them angry clouds empty theirselves. But 
I've warmed the bed, and I got a bit o' meat, and have made 
soup. You shall soon have something hot to drink; and I 
have a new loaf o' crusty bread, and you shall have a good 
hunk o' it; and what's more, Snap — dear Snap — shall have 
his mutton-bone. — The butcher he give it to me for nothing 
'cause he has took a fancy to you, Snap. — Now then, up we 
go, darling, and you'll be popped into your hot bed." 

Consuelo followed the old woman up the steep ladder which' 
led into the little bedroom. Very soon she was lying between 
the warm sheets, and a hot cup of beef -tea was held to her 
thirsty lips. But she found she could drink very little and 
eat nothing at all. Mercy put her hand on the girl's hot fore- 
head and felt her fluttering, rapid pulse, and quickly made 
up her mind what to do. 

" There ain't no bed for me to-night," was her thought of 
thoughts. " But I'll set on some o' them fever-herbs which 
I keep handy, and get her to drink a good long drink, which 
will put her into a rare perspiration and bring down the 
fever." ' 

Mercy bustled about and prepared the potion, and tried to 
get Consuelo to take it. But long before that stage was 
reached the poor little girl was quite unconscious. She was 


raving in wild delirium, and Mercy sat staring at her, an3 
wondering much what was to happen. 

" She's a petted young un, and the darling o' some people's 
hearts, and I don't even know her name," thought Mercy. 
" And now she is ill— very ill — and I must fetch the doctor. 
Oh, not me — I won't 'let her die — not if I can help it. There's 
my bit o' a hoard; I must dig out a half o' a sovereign when 
the daylight breaks." 

When the summer morning did break all the clouds had 
vanished, and the sky was as clear and blue as ever, and the 
summer sun shone with power. But Gonsuelo's eyes were 
unable to understand sunshine; in her fevered world all 
things strange, unreal, and dreadful seemed to exist. The 
tired girl dropped into troubled slumber. 

When this happened Mercy stepped very softly from the 
room. She opened the cottage door and went out. There 
was a well at the bottom of her little garden. The well had 
a bucket and windlass. Mercy removed the stone which cov- 
ered the mouth of the well, and went down in the bucket 
about five to six feet. There she poked about with her fin- 
gers until she found a loosened brick. This she removed, 
thrust in her old hand, and took from out of a hole at the 
back of the brick a little leather wallet. This contained a 
few scant savings — the treasures of her hard life. She had 
put this money by against her burying. 

There were three pounds altogether in the little wallet. 
Three pounds, Mercy calculated, would lay her comfortably 
in the ground. She would not be beholden to the parish for 
her last narrow home. She removed half-a-sovereign, put 
the wallet back into its hiding-place, pulled at the rope, and 
again ascended to the top of the well. 

Having covered up all trace of her descent, she returned to 
the house. She must act immediately. She called Snap to 
her side. 

41 You sit down there," she said to the dog, motioning as she 
spoke to a little knitted mat which lay outside her door. 
44 You lie there and keep the young lady in her bed. I'll be 
back as soon as possible." 

Snap looked full of intelligence and comprehension, and 
Mercy Perkins went abroad on her errand. She reached a 
small village called Ghatley, and there made some purchases. 
She then went to the doctor's house. The doctor's name was 
Hayward. He was a young man who had not long come to 
the place. He came downstairs in a hurry, and Mercy told 
her errand quickly. 

44 Gome along at once, doctor," she said. 44 There's a young 
maid at my house, and she's took rare and bad. She's in high 
fever, no less, and don'Jt know a word she's saying. I never 
thought to ask her name. She come to me for shelter the 
night before last, and come back again last night very bad 
indeed. She's a rare, sweet young maid, and somebody's 
darling, I take it; so you and me have got, one o' us, to nurse 


her, and the other to doctor her back to health and strength, 
That's about what we've got to do, and there ain't a minute 
to lose." 

44 I will come with you, of course, Mrs. Perkins," said Dr. 
Hayward, and he followed the poor woman back to her cot- 

A very brief examination of Gonsuelo showed the doctor 
that the girl was dangerously ill. 

" She has every symptom of pleurisy, and I shouldn't be 
the least surprised if pneumonia intervened," he said. " She 
ought to be moved to the hospital at Westbourne without any 

" Now that she won't be," said Mercy, stoutly. " The good 
Lord put her into my house, and I mean to tend her." 

44 Very well," said the doctor. 44 1 cannot insist, of course; 
but I may as well tell you that the child is very ill; in short, 
she is in danger, and her friends ought to be told." 

44 You are right about that, doctor," said old Mercy. 44 She 
is somebody's darling, and that somebody ought to know. She 
spoke of one she called poppa — never did I hear the word 

44 1 wonder if she is American," said the doctor. " That is 
the American way of speaking of one's father." 

44 Be it, now? I know nothing about her, except that she is 
sweet, and come to me to help her; and help her I will, if I 
die for it. She said that her poppa was rich. She wanted to 
pay me, poor lamb! " 

44 Well, Mrs. Perkins," said the doctor, 44 you can't possibly 
do what is necessary without money, and certainly the father 
ought to be found; and as the child has taken to you, you 
may perhaps be able to get her to confide in you during her 
calmer moments. You must do your best." 

44 That I will, doctor; and you won't spare your services, 
will you? The poppa, when he turns up, will pay you; and 
if he don't, why, the Lord above will." 

44 1 will do my best, of course," said the doctor; 44 but the 
child ought to have a nurse." 

44 A nurse! " almost screamed old Mercy. 44 No, now; that is 
more than I can stand. Ain't I her nurse?" 

44 But this is a case for day and night nursing." 

44 To be sure; and didn't I nurse my own father through 
thick and thin, through ups and downs, during his last ill- 
ness, and never took the clothes from my back for six weeks?' 
I don't hold with your fashionable nurses. I believe in love 
nursing, not in the sort you talk on." 

44 Very well, Mrs. Perkins," said the doctor. 44 We'll do what 
we can for a day or so; but do try to get the names of the 
parents. Can you not see any markings on the girl's clothes 
which might guide us?" 

44 Beautiful linen they be," said old Mercy. 44 I'll look out 
and see if they're marked." 

Dr. Hayward went straight back to his house. Be was 


very much interested in Consuelo, knowing quite well that 
the poor child would have a terrible fight for her life. At 
breakfast he consulted his wife. 

" My dear, a strange thing has happened. A girl, name 
unknown, has been taken very ill at Mercy Perkins's remote 
cottage. You know there isn't a more lonely dwelling on the 
whole country-side. Well, this poor child seems to have 
wandered there, and went off to Gasterton yesterday and got 
drenched through, and came back again, and is now very ill 
indeed, and quite unconscious. She is suffering from pleu- 
risy, and is threatened with pneumonia. The poor old woman 
does not know her name, and the child is incapable in her 
present state of giving any information. You might step up 
to Mercy's cottage in the course of the day, and take some 
linen and a few comforts for the poor young creature. It is 
but to glance at her to know that she has been brought up in 
much luxury and is a lady by birth. She is quite a child, too. 
I should say she is not sixteen years of age. Altogether, I 
am most anxious about her. and wish we could discover who 
her relations are." 

" Then you think her in danger, Felix? " said his wife. 

" I certainly do. In any case, her disease is a severe one, 
and her present surroundings preclude the possibility of 

" Oh, I don't know," said young Mrs. Hayward. " Mercy is 
a dear old soul, and will certainly not neglect her." 

" Well, Annie," said her husband, " I have not the least 
doubt that eventually I shall discover the parents, but in any 
case the burden of this poor child must not be cast on old 
Mercy. Will you therefore, dear, have beef-tea made, and 
get milk and other things that I will order to be sent to 
Mercy's cottage? A messenger of some sort also should be 
at the old woman's disposal, so that she may send for me at 
any time, night or day, that I am required." 

But though Dr. and Mrs. Hayward did all that was in their 
power for Consuelo, and though old Mercy did venture to ask 
the child one or two questions when she was lying appar- 
ently conscious, with her eyes open, gazing straight before 
her, yet none of these good people could get any information 
which was of the slightest use with regard to Consuelo's past. 

"Now what be your pretty name, my love?" said Mercy, 
bending toward Consuelo, and trying to take one of the girl's 
small, hot hands. 

But Consuelo flung the old woman's hand aside and turned 
restlessly on her pillow. 

" Don't — don't touch me," she said. " The silver and the 
gold belong to the Lord — the silver and the gold." 

" To be sure, dear — to be sure." said old Mercy; " and that 
is a beautiful and true saying, and many a time it's kept me 
up when I've watched the rich in their selfishness. But now, 
darling, you'd like the one you call poppa to come to you, 
wouldn't you? " 


"Yes; and momma," said Consuelo; and her bright blue 
eyes grew brighter still with the fever \yhich was consuming 

" I ha' looked on your linen, my love," said old Mercy, " and 
I see that you call yourself C. J. P. S." 
Consuelo burst out laughing. 

44 Ha, ha!" she said. 44 Such a lot of names. Joey, after 
poppa. P — that's meant for Persis; she was a good woman, 
wasn't she? Why, who are you? Are you Persis?" 

44 Lord ha' mercy!" thought poor old Mrs. Perkins, "how 
am I to manage her? — No, no, dearie," she said; 44 I'm only 
old Mercy, and at your service, my own pet." 

Consuelo lay still. She seemed to forget Mercy the next 
minute, and began to ramble in a low, rapid tone. She kept 
addressing momma, calling her sometimes by endearing 
names, and then laughing at her. 

44 You shouldn't eat so much, momma; you'll be a roly-poly 
if you go on. Poppa will do what I want; I know he will. 
Poor old poppa! he thinks everything of money; but the silver 
and the gold belong — belong — Momma, what are the words? 
Tell me, momma." 

Here she fixed her eyes on Mercy. 44 Speak, speak!" she 

44 4 The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof,' " an- 
swered Mercy solemnly; 44 and the silver and the gold belong 
to the Almighty." 

Consuelo seemed soothed. She closed her weary eyes and 
dropped into troubled slumber. 

Dr. and Mrs. Hayward came often to the cottage, and 
brought every possible thing that the sick girl required to 
eat, but even they could not get the slightest clue to her 
identity. Beyond doubt, she did not belong to Westbourne. 
Where had she sprung from? The initials C. J. P. S. threw 
no light on the subject. 

44 She spoke of Persis, a worthy Bible woman," said old 
Mercy, 44 and thought that I were her, poor sweet young thing! 
I ain't exalted to that yet, and never will be." 

44 1 am sure you are just as good, Mercy," said young Mrs. 

. But her face was anxious, for she knew that her husband' 
thought badly of Consuelo, whose illness was a very, severe 
one, and was rendered more so by several complications, for 
the girl had a threatening of rheumatic fever as well as pneu- 
monia and pleurisy. The weather, however, was in her fa- 
vor, and the kind, unceasing nursing of the faithful old 
woman left nothing to be desired. 

, Thus a week and more went by, and no clue whatever had 
been obtained to Consuelo's identity. 

lib 22 





How it came to pass that a girl like Consuelo should have 
got absolutely lost when there were so many people anxious 
to find her might have been almost incredible but for the fact 
that no one at all thought of looking for her in Mercy Per- 
kins's cottage. The old gypsy woman, Mother Jeremy, had 
been sought for, and her queer little abode in the solid rock 
just below Rocky Head discovered; but the gypsy had gone 
away to visit a distant tribe immediately after Consuelo's 
visit. Her cave-dwelling was empty, and there was no one, 
therefore, to tell that she had advised the girl to visit Paul 
the hermit. Had she been there Consuelo could easily have 
been traced; for Paul would have been found, and would have 
told of her visit, and also explained that she had come from 
Mercy Perkins's cottage. 

On the morning after the picnic Miss Dawson spent a day 
which she was likely to remember as long as she lived. In 
vain did she drive from spot to spot all over that part of the 
country; in vain did she even visit the police courts; in vain 
did the police themselves search for Consuelo. Not a trace 
of her could be discovered, from the simple fact that no one 
ever saw Mercy's cottage. It was quite shut away by itself 
and hidden from ordinary view, and no one thought for a 
single moment of going across the great plains in the direc- 
tion of Casterton. If Consuelo could not be found the first 
day, she was still less likely to be discovered the second, and 
Miss Dawson knew at last that the terrible task lay before 
her of going to London and breaking the news of the poor 
girl's disappearance to Mr. Falkland and to Mr. Seymour. 
Her terror was that Consuelo had fallen from the top of the 
cliff, and that her body had been washed out to sea in that 
most terrible storm during which all their lives had been 
in danger. Miss Dawson was very subdued and meek during 
this time, and exercised no discipline over her own girls or 
over poor little Selma, whose very heart was breaking for the 
loss of Consuelo. 

" I think I will go back to Castle Rocco," said Selma. " I 
ought to tell her poor momma. I can't live any longer here, 
feeling all the time that neither her poppa nor her momma 
know. Oh, what is to be done? " 

" I have done all I could," said Miss Dawson. " I have no 
doubt I am to blame; and if I am, I am willing to take my full 
share of blame. I did not understand the child, and this 
thing should not have be£n put upon me. She crept away in 
the dark, and unknown to me; and I greatly fear that she is 
no longer alive." 

"Miss Dawson!" said Selma. She sprang forward attd 
grasped the governess's two thin hands. "Do you realize 


what you are saying — that — that if Gonsuelo is dead Joseph 
P. Seymour will go mad — yes, mad; and that Consuelo's mam- 
ma will die of a broken heart? Gonsuelo — dead! — the richest 
girl in New York City — the petted, the daring, the idolized 
child of Joseph P. Seymour!" 

V My dear," said Miss Dawson, " God is no respecter of per- 
sons. The child did wrong, and she may have been punished; 
but I blame myself bitterly for being so unsympathetic with 
her. I would give the world to see her face again now — yes, 
the world. Stay here, Selma, till to-morrow, for my own 
poor little girls must not be left. I will go to London to- 
morrow, and return here in the evening." 

"Very well," said Selma; "but, remember, I don't remain 
here another day unless Gonsuelo is found." 

Miss Dawson started for London on the following day. 
There never was before, perhaps, a poor woman so bowed 
down with a weight of inexpressible misery. She did not 
altogether blame herself for the catastrophe which had oc- 
curred, but to a certain extent she felt that she was not 
without blame. She had certainly been wanting in sympathy. 
She had failed to understand the ardent, excitable, loving 
heart of the American girl. The girl could so easily have 
been won. Her sympathies could have so easily been en- 
listed. Miss Dawson neither tried to win her nor had felt 
any interest in her character. She kept on saying to herself, 
as the rapid express brought her nearer and nearer to Lon- 
don, " I am not to blame for this; I was never fitted for the 
post; the task ought not to have been laid upon me." And yet 
somehow, she felt she was to blame, and that Gonsuelo might 
now be a happy and contented girl if she had done her part. 

u But I couldn't do my part," thought the poor lady, " for 
the child and I never fitted each other in any way. If it had 
been Curly, now; if Curly had been in Consuelo's shoes, I 
could have sympathized with her and understood her at once. 
Oh dear! why does my heart beat so hard, and why am I 
troubled? Of course I am terribly distressed at the loss of the 
child, but why does something which I suppose I ought ta 
call my conscience keep on telling me that I am to blame?" 

When Miss Dawson got to London she drove straight to Mr. 
Falkland's very large and important offices in the City. Now, 
this happened to be an exceedingly anxious day for the great 
City merchant. He had to raise an exceptionally large sum 
of money to meet certain liabilities. If he failed to meet 
these liabilities his honorable and honored name would be 
tarnished. His difficulty was, after all, but a temporary one, 
and he had not felt it the least unreasonable to ask Joseph 
P. Seymour to assist him. He and Seymour had just had an 
interview together. Seymobr had promised to put a very 
large sum of money at his friend's disposal; for Seymour's 
own grand scheme, his great company, was floating right 
well. Shareholders were taking up shares in abundance. The 
value of the shares was risng rapidly, and Joseph was now 


absolutely sure of turning that vast pile of his round and 
round so as to make it much bigger than it had ever been 
before. A man with so much money and so many resources 
would in any case have succeeded. But Seymour knew well 
that the speed of his present success was greatly owing to 
Mr. Falkland's introductions, to his knowledge of the English 
markets, and, in short, to his advice. There was no one 
more generous than Seymour, and when he found that his 
friend, as he called Falkland, required a certain sum of 
money to tide him over a difficulty, he did not hesitate to 
give it. 

Mr. Falkland, therefore, much relieved, was seated in his 
own private room, Seymour having left him but a quarter of 
an hour previously, when Miss Dawson was announced. Mr. 
Falkland was naturally startled when he heard that his faith- 
ful governess and friend wanted to see him. 

When she got to the office, a place she had never visited 
before, and found herself surrounded by hurrying clerks, by 
typists innumerable, and by all the bustle and clatter *of a 
great place of business, she felt a certain sense of confusion, 
and thought it best, therefore, to ask for pen and paper and 
write a brief line to Mr. Falkland. 

" I must see you. I have bad news," were her words. 

This brief note was delivered to the chief by one of his 
clerks. He instantly desired a man to show Miss Dawson in, 
and not to allow any one to interrupt them. A premonition 
of some trouble ahead naturally visited him, and he came 
forward with the eagerness of ill-concealed suspense to meet 
the governess. 

44 Well, what is it? " he said . 44 What is wrong? Curly ill? 
Patty not well? An accident? " 

44 Oh! let me speak," said Miss Dawson; 44 and please let me 
sit down." 

Mr. Falkland pushed a chair toward her, 

44 What is it? " he said. 44 1 can bear anything, of course — 
anything except not knowing." 

44 You will know soon enough. Consuelo is lost " 

Mr. Falkland stared hard at the perplexed woman who 
faced him. 

44 Consuelo? " he said, after a pause. 44 1 — I beg your par- 
don. What is the matter?" 

44 She is lost — we can't find her." 

Mr. Falkland sank into a chair. Ten minutes ago and Sey- 
mour himself would have been present to listen to these tid- 
ings — Seymour, who had hurried away to help his friend 
over a crisis. Seymour's daughter, his idol, the girl for 
whom the vast pile was being made — lost! 

Mr. Falkland passed his hand over his forehead. 

44 Explain yourself, please," he said. 44 People aren't lost 
nowadays. You mean — do you — that she is dead?" 

44 1 cannot tell you," answered Miss Dawson. 44 She may be 
alive or dead. I can relate what happened; that is all." 

"Speak, then, please." 

Miss Dawson then proceeded to give as lucid an account as 
she possibly could of the recent occurrences at Discipline 
House. She described the picnic, the storm, Consuelo's dis- 
appearance. She spoke of how she had occupied herself 
during the last two days, of all the means she had employed 
to try to find the missing girl before she broke the distracting 
news to Mr. Falkland. Mr. Falkland listened with what pa- 
tience he could. At last he sprang to his feet. 

" Have yoji the least idea," he said, " what this means to 

The governess looked up with a frightened expression. 

" I have done my best! " she moaned. 

" You never did your best; you were against this scheme 
from the first. I did not want to be too much beholden to 
you; I thought you would throw yourself into this with all 
your heart and soul, because — because — you must have seen 
that I wished it. If that girl is never found I tremble to 
think of the result to her good father, to her poor mother; 
while, as to us, we — must face " — his voice dropped — " bank- 

Miss Dawson dropped into the nearest chair, for she had 
risen when Mr. Falkland began to speak. 

"But what of that?" he continued in great excitement. 
44 We must find the child; there isn't a moment — not one in- 
stant to be lost. Oh, Miss Dawson! you might have spared me 

The poor governess looked with amazement at the man 
who had hitherto been so kind and gentle to her. 

44 Why didn't you confide in me fully? " she said at last. 
44 But oh, I do know that I am to blame; I have fought against 
the voice of my own conscience; I am to blame! " 

44 Never mind that now; this is a moment for action. Girls 
aren't lost in these days — not girls like Gonsuelo. What are 
your fears with regard to her? " 

44 1 know she went to the top of the great cliff. There was a 
terrific storm. My terror beyond all terrors is that she felt 
over the cliff and was carried out to sea." 

Mr. Falkland's face turned very white. 

44 Even the police share my fears," continued the woman. - 

44 But you say she went to consult some one? " 

44 Yes; a gypsy fortune-telle^ — Mother Jeremy." 

44 Where is she? She must be discovered immediately." 

44 We went there at once," said Miss Dawson. 44 1 myself 
crept down to her cave under the cliff, but she had gone 
away. There was no one there," 

44 The child is probably with her," said Mr. Falkland, a 
momentary expression of relief crossing his face. 44 Now, 
please, keep your self-control. It does no manner of good to 
give way. This news must be immediately broken to Sey- 
mour, and I must do it. Take the next train back to West- 
bourne, and look after the rest of the poor children. Sey- 


mour, and I will follow as quickly as possible. Oh, the poor 
child's mother! But I have hopes that she will yet be found. 
SUe is, in all probability, with the gypsy." 

Miss Dawson left her employer's office with a feeling at 
her heart which she had never experienced before. Some 
scales had fallen away from her eyes, and she could see that 
in the matter of a great trust she had failed. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Falkland jumped into a hansom and went 
off to find Seymour. Seymour had taken large offices, and 
already the name of his great company was legible in huge 
characters across the front of his place of business. These 
rooms were newly and recklessly furnished. Everything was 
done regardless of expense. 

Falkland, without warning, burst into the man's private 
room. Seymour was standing by the window. He turned 
when he saw Falkland, and began to speak with great ex- 

" Applications for shares are pouring in," he said. " This 
will be the biggest thing of the day, and my little Connie — 
Why, what is it, Falkland? But cheer up; I'm the last sort 
of man to forsake one who has given me a helping hand. I 
have put the money that you require to your credit at the 
bank. I have just come from doing so. Oh, there are no 
thanks necessary. Why — but — what now? Do you want 
more? Well, Joseph P. has a heart big enough and a purse 
deep enough to satisfy all your requirements. The loan is 
but temporary, and I need no thanks. Now then, name the 

" There is no sum — none," gasped Falkland. " I can't bor- 
row — not a farthing." 

"Are you mad?" said the American, striding forward and 
putting his hand on the other man's shoulder. " You cannot 

and you can! Come, I like plain speaking. You want a 
temporary loan, and I am willing to give it to you. What is 

" I cannot touch your money. Your child — Gonsuelo " 

Before Falkland could finish his speech all the high color 
rushed from Joseph P. Seymour's face. It turned chalky- 
white. He stammered, struggled to speak, then said: 

" Out with it! What— what is up? " 

Still Mr. Falkland made no reply. He kept staring at the 
other man as though his tongue was paralyzed. 

"Is she — dead?" said Seymour. "Out with it — out with 
it! Man, I am — game. Joseph P., the father of Consuelo 
Josephine Persis, never failed yet. Come, out with it! " 

" Perhaps not dead," said Falkland then, 44 but nowhere to 
be found. Seymour, I cannot touch your money." 





When the girls found themselves alone on that special day,. 
Selma made up her mind to act. Neither Patty nor Curly wag 
at all clever in resource; but Selma was of different mettle. 
She had promised Miss Dawson not to go to Castle Rocco that 
day, but she had promised herself that the day should not be 
passed without very strong and individual efforts on her own 

Accordingly she went into Maudie's kitchen. 
" Maudie — " she said. 

That young person turned her face, quite blistered with 
tears, toward the young lady. 

"Don't 'e, miss," she said. "I can't, somehow, abear the 
word. I'd a sight rayther be Sykes in future. It was she 
wot called me Maudie — I can't abear it from no other lips." 

" Well," said Selma, with some impatience, " I will call you 
Sykes if you prefer it. But I think we've cried quite enough 
about Consuelo. Patty has been crying almost ever since that 
awful night, and Curly has refused to touch her food, and 
Miss Dawson — I can't imagine what does ail Miss Dawson; 
but I have no doubt she feels it just awfully. As to me, I 
haven't cried much, for it isn't our way in America. It's our 
way to bustle round and do things in our country; and that's 
what I think you and I had best set to work on to-day, Sykes." 

" Yes, miss," said Maudie, dropping the apron with which 
she had been mopping her eyes, and turning to gaze at Selma 
with great respect in her expression. 

" Suppose you and I find Consuelo to-day," said Selma. 

" Miss — miss — it's the sea 'ave her now. I pictor 'er jest 
as she be, lyin' calm and beautiful with 'er 'ands folded in the 
bottom o' the deep, deep sea. It 'aunts me, miss; it do. 
There never were 'er like. No one else niver, niver were so 
bitter crool kind to Maudie. I'd bear my pynes again, miss, if 
only I could look at 'er beauteous face." 

" Listen," said Selma. 44 There isn't the slightest doubt in 
my mind that Consuelo is not at the bottom of the sea. Why 
should she be there? I know her well. She never knew 
fright yet, anjl do you suppose a stupid old storm would 
make her lose her self-control? And as to her powers of 
climbing — why, she could climb anywhere since she was a 
little kid not the height of the table. I myself don't think 
for a single minute that Consuelo is out of the world." 

" Then, miss, why don't she come 'ome? " 

41 Ah," said Selma, t4 that I cannot tell you. She may bo 
ill; she may have got hurt; but killed — she is not. Now then, 
Maud, never mind washing up those stupid plates aad dishes, 
but put @n your hat and come along with me. I mean t© 
search for her." 


" I am willin'," replied Maud, who immediately left the 

Selma entered the dining-room. 

" I'm off to the scene of our picnic," she said to the two 

"What?" they replied. They looked at her vaguely. 
"What is the good of it, Selma? We have spent the last 
couple of days hunting every hole and corner round that hor- 
rible spot." 

" It strikes me," said Selma, " that we left out a few holes 
and some corners, and I guess I'm going to try for 'em to-day 
and penetrate their mysteries; and Maudie Sykes is coming 
along with me. What are you going to do? " 

"I don't know," said Curly. " My head aches s@ badly, I 
don't feel able for anything." 

" I'd love to go with you," said Patty. " May I? Do let me." 

44 Of course you may, if you like — that is, if Curly doesn't 

44 1 don't want to be left alone," said Curly, beginning to cry 
afresh. * 

Maudie at that moment opened the door and stepped in. 
She had put on her very showiest hat and the same costume 
she had worn at the picnic. Her face, blistered from tears, 
looked at the same time too comical for words. Curly burst 
into hysterical laughter. Patty took her sister's hand. 

44 Sykes will stay with you," she said. 44 Do — do let me go 
with Selma." 

44 But, please," said Selma, 44 1 prefer to take Sykes; she 
knows the neighborhood a lot better than you do. You two 
stay together. — Now then, Sykes; off we go. Are you game 
for a walk? 

" That I be, miss." 

Selma found her heart so sore, so anxious and troubled, 
that she preferred rapid exercise to staying quietly in a car- 
riage while she was being driven to the scene of the picnic. 

The day was very hot; there was no wind, and the two girls 
walked for some miles without addressing a word each to 
the other. Presently Maud began to groan. 

44 Now, what is it? " asked Selma. 

44 I'm took with a stitch in my side, miss. It's grief, I'm 
thinkin', and I have that pictor of 'er dear face and the folded 
arms of 'er lyin' so still at the bottom o' the sea." 

"You are silly!" said Selma. 44 1 tell you, Connie isn't at 
the bottom of the sea. Come, I have brought some choco- 
lates; have one." 

44 You're crool kind, miss." 

" Well, take it or leave it. We'll hurry on." 

Maud, who had eaten no breakfast, felt now very hungry, 
and yielded to the seduction of the large chocolate which Sel- 
ma presented to her. She sucked loudly and enjoyed it, and 
Selma hurried her steps. By-and-by they reached the scene 
of the picnic. This place had been well explored during the 


two past days, and there was nothing further to be done in 
that direction. Selma now suggested that Maud should go te 
the edge of the cliff and shout to Mother Jeremy, who, if she 
had returned home, would doubtless reply to her. Maud was 
inclined to object to this, but Selma was very firm. 

44 Have we come here for our own pleasure, or have we 
come here to find Gonsuelo? " she said. " Oh! do run along, 
Sykes; you are a country girl, and won't lose your footing. 
Think what joy will be ours if we are the ones to discover 
where she is ! " 

" Oh miss — the 'appiness — it would near blind me! " replied 
Sykes. 44 I'll go myself, and I'll shout to that old gypsy, so 
as she can't but 'ear." 

" If she doesn't hear," said Selma, " there is no earthly rea- 
son why you should not go down to her cave and look in." 

" Me look in there! But 'tain't a safe place." 

44 Oh," said Selma with scorn, " if you begin to think of 
safe places when the finding of Gonsuelo is involved, I don't 
think much of you." 

44 Very well, miss," said Maud. " I'll do it, though 'ope's low 
within me. The pictor in my brain is too vivid, miss, for me 
to be mistook. We won't niver find 'er — not till the sea gives 
up its dead." 

44 Oh dear!" said Selma. 44 1 feel as though I could slap 
you! I almost wish I had brought Patty with me. Now then, 
run off. I am going to the village. I mean to search every 
single house. I can't imagine why no one thought of the 
village before." 

44 There's no gentlefolks live in Ghatley," said Maudie in a 
voice of scorn, 44 'cept, indeed, the doctor. It's the poorest 
plyce round, and the houses ain't the sort as Miss Connie 'ud 
look at." 

44 Be off, now, and let me do my part," said Selma. 

Sykes accordingly went in the direction of Rocky Head, and 
Selma sat down to think. More and more did the conviction 
grow upon her that Consuelo — her darling cousin, the friend 
of all her life — was not far away. She rejected for ever poor 
Maudie's theory that Gonsuelo was lying at the bottom of the 
sea. Her foot was so sure, and her brain so clear, and her 
common-sense so strong that she would never submit to a 
fate of that sort, thought the girl. 

44 She is safe somewhere; I'd mightily like to know where. 
I guess I'll have a try for that village." 

The village of Ghatley was situated in a low valley com- 
pletely sheltered from all winds. An intensely hot place it 
was in the summer, whereas in winter it was warm and shel- 
tered. There were about half-a-dozen houses, for it was 
really nothing more than a tiny hamlet. People, however, 
lived at long intervals all round the surrounding moors, and 
Dr. Hayward had his work cut out for him, although that 
work took him to the poorest of the poor. To find one's self 
one hour in the gay and thriving town of Westbourne, and the 


next in that little, forsaken spot known as Chatley, was to 
realize one of those curious facts that England always reveals 
— viz. that the exceedingly poor and the well-to-do are never 
far asunder. 

Selma entered the village by its north side, walked down 
the tiny, straggling street, and looked into the cottages. Her 
appearance was sufficiently remarkable to cause people to 
come to their doors to watch her. The people were all of the 
poorest type, and there were many children amusing them- 
selves on the road. These children were mostly dressed in 
rags, had dirty faces, and the blue eyes which characterize all 
the natives of the place. 

The doctor's house was little better than the rest of the 
dwellings at Chatley. It was, in short, only two miserable 
cottages thrown into one. But it was neat, its steps clean, its 
hall-door painted a fresh white, its little knocker shining in 
the rays of the sun, and its narrow windows ornamented with 
neat white blinds and little curtains. 

Selma stood in front of this house, wondering whether she 
might go and make inquiries there. She was quite undecided 
on this point, when a tall, good-looking young man came 
quickly out. At the same time a young woman called after 
him : 

" Felix, I've put the fresh milk into that bottle, and the 
beef-tea I took up this morning. Will you take the milk 
with you, for Mercy will want some before the evening is 
out? Tell her I boiled it first, so it will keep quite sweet." 

" Yes, dear," answered the man. 

The lady, who looked young and pretty, thrust a basket 
into his hand. 

" Tell Mercy that I will be with her about six o'clock," she 
said, and then she re-entered the house, but not before she 
had taken a long stare at Selma. Selma, with her jet-black 
hair in two long plaits down her back, with her singularly 
dark face and great black eyes, made a striking contrast to 
the people around. 

A little group of boys and girls, natives of the place, came 
up to stare at her, but the man who had been addressed as 
Felix took off his hat courteously and hurried up the street. 

It was then that Selma recovered her self-possession. 
Something seemed to clutch at her heart. A great hope filled 
her. The milk — the little basket — that man must surely be 
a doctor. Sykes had said the only gentlefolks who lived at 
Chatley were the doctor and His wife. Where was the doctor 
going with the milk that had been boiled? Selma's breath 
cam© fast, but not too fast for her to run after Dr. Hayward. 

"Please — forgive me. I am Selma Dudley." 

Th« doctor again took off his hat, stood still for a minute, 
then said: 

" If y®u want me to help you, I must ask you to call again. 
I am oM mw to Mercy Perkins's cottage to see a girl who is 
exceedingly ill." 


"Oh!" said Selma, wth a gasp. " Oh — do you know the 
girl's name? " 

" I wish I did," said Dr. Hayward. 44 No one knows her 
name, and she is far too ill to tell us." 

" We have lost a — a girl," said Selma. 

The great heat of the day, the great excitement of the mo- 
ment, the hope which was realized, and yet only half realized 
— for Selma was wise enough to read aright the gravity in 
Dr.. Hayward's face — had such an effect upon the warm- 
hearted child that for a minute all the world seemed to 
rush round hefore her in one giddy whirl. She had to 
hold out her hand to steady herself, but that hand was 
grasped by the friendly one of Dr. Hayward. The sense of 
relief which visited his heart it would be difficult to 

44 One minute," he said. 44 Calm yourself; pull yourself to- 
gether. You may be able to tell us. We are in very great 
distress about this young girl. You say you have lost a — a 
friend. Can it be really this girl? Will you describe her to 

Selma, panting and excited, gave the necessary description. 
The doctor listened attentively. 

44 What are her initials?" he asked, suddenly. 

44 Her name," said Selma, 44 is Consuelo Josephine Persis 
Seymour. Oh doctor! she is the richest girl in New York 
City, and she is the one idol of Joseph P. Seymour's life." 

44 You don't mean to tell me," said Dr. Hayward, 44 that the 
child I am struggling to keep alive is the daughter of that 
great multi-millionaire, Seymour? Why, all the world knows 
his name." 

44 She is his only child," said Selma; 44 and I am her cousin, 
and I have lived with her all my life, and I love her better 
than any one else on earth; and oh — oh — you must save her — 
you must! " 

44 She is exceedingly ill," said Dr. Hayward. He put up his 
hand to wipe the moisture from his forehead. 44 She is so 
dangerously ill that she lies at the point of death. I cannot 
tell you anything about her story since she left you, except 
that she is being nursed day and night by the most faithful 
old woman I have ever met. There has been no thought of 
gold in the matter, but a great many^ thoughts of love. Will 
you come with me? We have long wished to communicate 
with her parents." 

44 1 will come with you," said Selma. 44 Oh, what is the 
matter? Who is that screaming?" 

44 There's a most strange-looking girl rushing wildly to 
meet us," said Dr. Hayward. 

44 Yes, of course, it is Maude," said Selma. 44 She is our 
servant at Westbourne. Oh, poor Maudie! you, after all, are 
not the one to discover Consuelo." 

Maud now came up panting. 

"Miss Selma! Miss Selma! I ha' got tidin's. Mother Jer-* 


emy's to home, and she says to go straight to Paul the hermit, 
that queer, mad gentleman at Casterton. She says that Miss 
Connie went straight to him. I'm off myself to Paul the her- 
mit. We'll get tidin's of her there." 

Selma took the girl's hand. She whispered a few words in 
her ear. 

" I am staying where I am," she said. " Go back as quickly 
as ever you can to Westbourne. Tell Miss Patty and Miss 
Curly that our Consuelo is found. Yes, of course, Sykes; you 
did your best, and we should have discovered her in any case 
now. But I am here. I am going to her. I mean to stay with 
her. Sykes — tell — tell the young ladies to send a telegram to 
their father's address in London. Tell them to be quick. Say 
she is, found." 

" Say also that she is dangerously ill," said Dr. Hayward. 

" Now, please, come with me, Miss " 

" Dudley is my name," said Selma. 

The girl and the doctor passed out of the village, and went 
up a side-road which led across a tiny bit of common and 
then through a copse of small trees, at the farther end of 
which Mercy Perkins's cottage lay concealed. 

" It is strange," said Dr. Hayward, " that no one thought of 
looking here. But the house is quite remote, and Mercy, as 
she expresses it, keeps herself to herself. How your young 
friend found the cottage unaided is a mystery to me. But it 
was a lucky thing for her that she did find it, for in the whole 
of England there is not a more faithful soul than Merc$ 



Selma had a vast amount of self-control. She was the only 
©ne of the girls who had not given way to endless weeping 
during the last two terrible days, and now that she had found 
Consuelo, now that she was really seated by her bedside, she 
looked as calm and cool and collected as though Consuelo was 
quite well — not lying at the point of death; as though they 
were both together in one of the spacious bedrooms at Castle 
Rocco, and not where they really were, in a little attic in the 
roof of the smallest cottage even outside Chatley. 

Mercy had given way to Selma at once. She had rejected 
the offices of a trained nurse; but she stood in awe of the 
young girl who was own cousin to her pretty white lamb, as 
she called Consuelo. It was a relief to her old mind to know 
that a real, bona fide relation of Consuelo's was in the little 
house, and that Consuelo herself took the presence of Selma 
as a matter of course. The girl was very ill, however; her 
fever ran high, and Dr. Hayward did not scruple to say that 
fee was anxious about her. 

• Selma suggested that one of the best doctors at Westbourne 


should be sent for in consultation. Dr. Hayward agreed, and 
a man from the village was sent post-haste to the town for 
the best advice. 

The doctor came in the course of the afternoon. He could 
do nothing, he said gravely; they must await events; the girl's 
illness must run its course; in short, he said that the next 
twenty-four hours would mean life or death to Consuelo. 

As to the girl herself, she recognized Selma in a dim sort of 
fashion. She said in a feeble, far-off voice: 

" Is that you, Selma Tell momma that I'll soon be better; 
and tell poppa — please tell poppa — that the silver and 
the- — " 

But she never finished her sentence, although Selma hung 
over her, listening attentively. 

It was about eight o'clock that evening when Mr. Seymour 
himself arrived on the scene. He came in a carriage, accom- 
panied by Mr. Falkland. Dr. Hayward was in the house. 
Poor Mercy, quite bewildered by the numerous relations and 
friends that Consuelo seemed to possess, stood patiently in 
her little kitchen. Snap, the best dog in the world, had been \ 
put into an outhouse for fear that he would disturb the sick 
girl by his barking. 

When Mr. Seymour arrived and found that Connie was still 
alive, he said, " Thank God! " with great fervor. Then he took 
off his hat and sank into a chair. Dr. Hayward came forward. 

"Are you the child's father?" he asked. 

" I am." 

" Has she a mother living? " 
" Yes." 

"I think," said Dr. Hayward, speaking slowly, "that it 
would be advisable to send for her mother." 

" I will go and fetch her if you wish," said Mr. Falkland. 

Seymour looked round in a dull sort of way. 

" Is there nobody in the whole of England," he said then, 
44 who can cure the fever of a slip of a girl like my Consuelo? f 
I tell you what it is, sir: money is no object in this matter. 
Your fortune is made if you cure my child. Why do you 
stand there doing nothing? " 

" I have done all that man can do," said Dr. Hayward; " and 
I have not worked for money." 

"That he ain't, poor dear!" suddenly cried Mercy's qua- 
vering old voice. "We never thought o' money, neither o' us; 
and what is more, we don't want it; and what is more still, we i 
wouldn't take it. There are times when money ain't needed, 
and this is one." 

The queer, shrill voice of the old woman roused the poor 
father from some of his numbness. 

"I thought — I thought that the money — " he began, and 
then he stopped. 

44 There is only one physician who can help your daughter," 
said Dr. Hayward then — u the Great Physician, God Almighty. 
I would remind you of an old verse: 4 Is there no balm in 


Gilead: is there no physician there?' You must cry to Him, 
sir. He can raise the child to life again, but no human being 
can aid her." 

Joseph P. Seymour staggered to his feet. He went toward 
the door, flung it open with a queer, rough movement, and 
found himself outside the cottage. 

Once he had been a poor man; he had lived in a house very 
little better than this, and round him had stretched the great 
white plains of Galfornia. Bit by bit, even then, he had ac- 
cumulated his gold, and day by day he had thought of his 
gold. It was the most precious thing in life to him. It was 
more precious even than Gonsuelo, that fairy of his heart, as 
she used to be called when she was a little girl. He had 
soothed what conscience he possessed by saying to himself 
that he was amassing his gold for her; that she should be his 
heiress; that all the delights of the world, and the glories 
thereof, should be hers. He had struggled and toiled and 
worked for his heart's desire, and he had attained it. Even 
now he was so much richer than he had been when last 
he saw Gonsuelo that he could not but tremble as the 
thought came to him. So rich was the man — so very rich — 
and yet so poor! A little girl dying in one of the humblest 
cottages in England — a little girl who had been nursed for 
love, not for gold — had the power to turn all his own gold 
to dross. 

He shivered; he trembled mightily; he fell on his knees. 

" Good and merciful God! " he cried — not aloud, but deep in 
his heart of hearts — " take the gold away if Thou dost will it, 
but leave me the love — the love of my child — the love of my 
only child! " 

He came back after a time into the house, and although the 
close air of the place almost sutfocated him, and mingled 
emotions made it difficult for him to breathe, he was more 
composed than when he went out. 

Dr. Hayward was there. Dr. Hayward went up and down at 
intervals to visit Gonsuelo, and Selma kept constant watch by 
the girl's sick-bed. But her father did not venture near her. 

" I am afraid," he said, " there is so much gold about me, I 
feel almost incrusted in it. I have no place by her — not — not 
just now." 

No one asked him to go up, and Selma continued her watch. 
. It was early in the morning when the girl appeared in the 
little kitchen. She went straight up to Joseph P. Seymour 
and touched him on the arm. He sprang to his feet. 

"Well," he said, "quick — tell me — is she — dead?" 

" No," said Selma. " She wants — Miss Dawson." * 

Seymour turned and looked at Falkland. 

"Your — governess?" he said. 

" She has asked for her; she wants her very badly indeed," 
said Selma. 

" I will fetch her," said Mr. Falkland. 

" Consuelo is awake," said Selma, turning now to Dr. Hay- 


ward, " and I think she is conscious — I am not sure. She 
talks rather wildly; still, I think she is perhaps a little bet- 

The doctor went upstairs at once. He administered restor- 
atives and nourishment, and presently came down again. 

" Has any one gone for the person whom Miss Seymour is 
so anxious to see? " he asked. 

" Falkland has gone," said Seymour. " The child asks for 
that woman — not for me! " 

44 Let her have her way, sir," said the doctor. " She is a lit- 
tle better. Her temperature has gone down; it has gone down 
to a considerable extent. She is very weak, but conscious. 
She seems, however, to have a weight on her mind. Let her 
have her way. Our one object now is to keep up her strength, 
for the crisis is so far past." 

44 Then there is hope?" said Seymour. 

44 There is considerably more hope than there was last 
night; but her life is reduced almost to a flicker. I dare not 
say anything further at present." 

How Mr. Falkland walked all the way to Westbourne; how 
he managed to rouse Miss Dawson, who was asleep from sheer 
exhaustion; how he fetched a carriage, and brought her back 
to Gonsuelo, he could only but dimly remember in the time to 
come. It was a time of intense and terrible feeling for them 
both. Miss Dawson had cried herself nearly sick; but when 
she reached the little cottage some of her old composure re- 
turned to her. She was, after all, at home in a poor sort of 
house, and the moment she looked at Mercy she liked her. 
Mercy also approved of Miss Dawson. 

44 She ain't got the glitter of gold about her," thought the 
old woman; 44 1 'ates them as shines with it. It's a sort ©' 
curse, to my way o' thinking." 

44 You will go up to her," said Dr. Hayward when he saw the 
governess. 44 You will go very quietly into the room, and sit 
down by her, and soothe her with all the love and sympathy 
of which you are capable. In short, madam, it now rests with 
you whether the child lives or dies." 

Mr. Seymour had scarcely noticed Miss Dawson until now, 
but at these words he rose to his feet, filling the little room 
with his great height, and stared down at the thin, pale, slen- 
der woman. 

44 You hold the key of the situation," said Falkland briefly. 

44 1 have failed hitherto," thought the governess as ske went 
quickly up the little ladder. 44 1 wonder if at last " — she 
paused to catch her breath — 44 God will help me t© under- 

The moment Miss Dawson entered the room Selma left her 
place by the bedside and went on to the tiny laadi&g. Sfe© 
would be within reach but not within sigfet. 

The day had dawned by now — the day whieh was t© see 
either the end of the young life or the turning back fr©m tfee 
shores of death of one whose feet had already t@«©fe«d tfe© 


cold waters. The sun shone in at the tiny lattice-window, 
and some golden bars lay across Consuelo's poor bed. 

The girl was wearing one of Mercy's coarse night-dresses. 
Her long hair had been plaited, and lay acrtfss the pillow. 
Her little face, always small for her height, looked now 
wasted and deadly pale. The thick, soft eyelashes lay against 
her cheeks. She was breathing quietly, and round her lips 
— those pretty, refined lips which had always been the pride 
of Joseph P. Seymour's life — there lingered a smile. 

Miss Dawson looked at the little sleeper, and there stirred 
within her withered heart a sort of glow which had never 
visited it since her own mother, a long time ago, had died. 
Even Curly, even Patty, had never brought that sense of real 
love to her nature. They belonged to her, and she truly loved 
them. But this pale child awakened an altogether new sen- 
sation. She felt as one who has been given power over a 
human being. She felt as one on whose shoulders had been 
laid the greatest trust of all: the redemption of a soul. All 
the hardness, the severity, the narrowness of her nature 
seemed to melt in the sunshine of that new emotion. 

The bars of gold from the real sun crept up and up the lit- 
tle bed until at last they kissed the eyelids of the sleeper, and 
as Miss Dawson stepped forward to shade Consuelo from the 
brightness of their light the girl opened her great blue eyes. 

When she saw Miss Dawson she smiled; and Miss Dawson, 
bending forward, said : 

44 1 understand you, Consuelo, at last; and I — love you — at 
last. Consuelo, because I love you, I shall be able to help you." 

Consuelo, weak as she was, managed to glide her hand into 
the hand of Miss Dawson. 

" I — want — to go back — to you — and to — Discipline House. 
I have been — shown — the right way. There is the bearing of 
the cross — before — you win — the — crown. Let me — go — 
back " 

" My darling! " said Miss Dawson. 

She did not add any more; and Consuelo, too weary to say 
another word, dropped asleep. 



The doctor said afterwards that it was undoubtedly owing 
to Miss Dawson that Consuelo's life was saved. He said this 
so emphatically, and with such manifest admiration for the 
lady, that Mr. Falkland quite restored her to his favor; while 
as to Joseph P. Seymour, he could not make enough fuss 
about her. 

As no one seemed to soothe Consuelo so much as the gov- 
epstees (hiring the first days of her recovery, it was deeided 
that Miss Dawson was to take up her abode altogether at 


Mercy Perkins's cottage, and was to look after Consuelo and 
help the old woman all she could. 

Selma, therefore, went back to Discipline House, and Jo- 
seph P. Seymour and Mrs. Seymour stayed for a time with Dr. 
Hayward and his wife. 

If Consuelo's illness had been very sudden and very rapid 
in its effect, bringing iier in a few short days from the prime 
of health and strength to the gate of death, her recovery was 
very nearly as rapid. In a few days she was completely out 
of danger, and in about a fortnight was able to be removed 
back to Discipline House. 

During her recovery she was very silent, saying little, but 
evidently thinking a great deal. All went well, and Consuelo's 
own plans for her future were quite clearly defined in her 
young mind, when there suddenly came an unlooked-for 
hitch. Joseph P P Seymour had been humble as man could be 
during the time of his daughter's danger; while as to poor 
momma, she did precisely what was required of her. But 
when Consuelo became better, and when her removal to Dis- 
cipline House was definitely decided on, Joseph thought it 
time to speak. He had, of course, seen his little girl several 
times now. He had sat holding her weak hand, and sometimes 
venturing to press the lightest of kisses on her forehead, and 
wondering as he looked at her how onQ so frail and, to him, 
so beautiful could be spared from the angel choirs of heaven. 

But as Consuelo grew better and stronger some of the old 
masterful and domineering spirit of the man returned to 
him, and he made up his mind on one point. 

44 Miss Dawson," he said on one of these occasions, and as he 
spoke he asked the governess to come to walk with him on 
that little strip of common just outside Mercy's cottage, " you 
have got the whip-hand of Connie." 

" Your dear child is good enough to be devoted to me," said 
Miss Dawson. " I can never feel grateful enough for her 
sweet and noble affection; and I will frankly say to you, sir, 
that I never deserved it." 

44 No more you did, my good friend. But you have got it, 
and that is the point. But now, see here. I guess that Joseph 
P. must have a voice in the affairs of young missie in the fu- 
ture, bless her! She can have anything in life she wants, 
except — and here I put down my foot — that 4 do without ' 
scheme of hers." 

44 What do you mean, sir? " 

44 Listen to me, Miss Dawson. Consuelo is not to do with- 
out money. She is not to do without comforts. She was born 
to have them, and whether she likes them or whether she 
don't, she will have to put up with them." 

44 She is very anxious herself, sir, on that point." 

44 1 mean to have a talk with her," said Joseph P. " She 
owes something to me, I guess." 

44 Most assuredly she does." 

44 And I want you to help me out. Now, she is keen on that 
12 J 23 


discipline dodge. Bless her heart, she might be going into a 
nunnery by the way she talks. She might be taking a vow of 
perpetual poverty. I declare, it makes me sick." 

" She wants to get back to Westbourne, and to learn life 
from the discipline point of view," said Miss Dawson. 

"And you uphold her in this?" said the millionaire. 

" Well — yes; I think she is right." 

" Your plan very nearly sent her to her grave." 

U I didn't treat her properly," said Miss Dawson; "I failed 
to understand her. Now I do understand her; things will 
never be the same again." 

44 My word, I should think not! " said Seymour. " The same 
again! I should think that I have a voice in this. The child 
may go back to Westbourne, but not to that poky abode where 
she endured that which nearly sent her to her grave. You 
can have a fine house to the front, if you please, with plenty 
of servants, and the comforts of life, to which my child is en- 
titled, owing to my toils. There is reason in it, Miss Dawson. 
I am going to talk to her, and you must talk to her. There is 
such a thing as losing your life to save it. Well, Gonsuelo 
must lose some of her ridiculous notions in order to save her 
father's reason. Come now, what do you say? " 

44 1 think I understand you," said Miss Dawson, " and if you 
will allow me to say a word to Gonsuelo first, perhaps your 
scheme may be managed." 

44 Well, do your best; but I say it shall be managed, whether 
the girl likes it or dislikes it." 

"god's lesson." 

Mr. Seymour was very restless during the remainder of the 
day, for Consuelo was to be moved to Westbourne on the fol- 
lowing day but one. During the short period which was to 
intervene between now and that time Miss Dawson had prom- 
ised to prepare the way for his own special pleading with his 
young daughter. He felt choking with indignation, and, at 
the same time, had a latent feeling that the girl was right in 
the main, and that there was something in her which partook 
of his own obstinacy, and which, try as he would, he could 
not possibly subdue. 

Miss Dawson told him that she would have to choose her 
own time to talk matters over with Consuelo; and he was ob- 
liged to submit. Miss Dawson, left to herself, selected the 
morning of the following day on which to prepare Consuelo 
for her father's views on the subject of wealth. 

The little girl was able now to be dressed, and some very 
pretty garments had arrived for her from Castle Rocco. An 
easy-chair had also been sent froni Westbourne, and this 
easy-chair found a place between Mercy's bed and the little 


The weather was still gloriously warm, and the doctor al- 
lowed Connie to sit hour after hour, while the sun was high 
in the meridian, by the open window, in order that she might 
inhale the fresh and balmy air. 

Miss Dawson came to her about eleven o'clock, just after 
she had rested nicely from the fatigue of dressing. Consuelo 
turned her sweet and pathetic eyes toward the governess as 
she entered. 

" I am going back to-morrow," she said. " In all probability 
I may never return here again. There are some people who 
belong to this place to whom I should much like to say good- 

" Yes, dear," said Miss Dawson, cheerfully. " Here is your 
beaf-tea. Take it, won't you, while I talk to you?" 

Consuelo took the cup and saucer into her weak little hands. 

"Oh, I am so hungry!" she said. "It is quite wonderful 
what an appetite it gives you to have been ill, and to be re- 
covering so fast. Do sit down, please, dear Miss Dawson, and 
let's talk. Shall I tell you the people to whom I want to say 
good-by? " 

Miss Dawson thought for a minute. 

" I think not," she answered. " The person for you really to 
confide in is your father." 

"Oh, dear old poppa! Of course," said Consuelo. "But 
perhaps he will disapprove." 

" And if he does, do you mean to oppose him? " asked Miss 

The girl looked at her with knitted brows. 

" What do you mean? " she said, anxiety in her tone. " Oh! 
I must lead my life in the right, the good, the just paths from 
this time forward." 

" Quite so," said Miss Dawson. " But the one grand thing 
to ascertain is, what are the right and the just paths?" 

"Well," said Consuelo, " I want to be poor, to begin with. 
I hate riches; I hate an idle, useless life. Poppa began at 
the bottom of the ladder, and he wants to put me on a pin- 
nacle. I want to begin at the bottom too. You know that 
verse, 4 The silver and the gold are the Lord's 1 ? " 

"I know the verse quite well," said Miss Dawson; "but it 
can be misinterpreted." 

" Oh," said Consuelo, " what do you mean? " 

" Well, now, for instance, what about having your own way 
— throwing aside, once and for all, your father's toil, and 
love and care of you, making his life-work quite useless; and, 
in short, because you won't rest content on that comfortable 
platform which he has made for you by the toils of a lifetime, 
sending him*also to the bottom of the ladder?" 

"How funny you are!" said Consuelo. "What do you 

" I will tell you what I mean, and in a very few words. It 
gives your father such intense pain that you should willingly 
deprive yourself of the comforts which he has by his toil se- 


cured for you that be is almost ill on the subject. In short, 
Consuelo, he wishes to speak to you, and I beg of you to learn 
God's lesson in God's way, not your own. There are many 
problems presented to us in life, and this is one which only 
the blind can fail to read." 

Consuelo's eyes filled with tears. She looked out of the 
window. Presently she clenched her little hand. 

" Am I to go back — to go back to the useless, the frivolous, 
the luxurious existence which never could, never would, 

"Good gracious!" said Miss Dawson; "are there none 
whom you can help? Is there no one you can succor? 
There, child, I will say no more. You must not excite your- 
self. Speak to your father himself. Remember that he is 
your father, and that he loves you- with a great and mighty 
love. Had you died, I believe that he would have died. I 
never in all my experience saw such anguish of grief on any 
face as I did on his when you were in danger of losing your 

Consuelo sat very still. The summer breeze came in and 
ruffled the soft hair round her forehead. After a minute she 

" Thank you. Send poppa here." 
Miss Dawson flew downstairs. 

" Mr. Seymour," she said, " I have paved the way for you; 
you must do the rest. But, remember, she is very weak. Try 
to oppose her as little as possible." 

Joseph nodded. He had not been to London for a fort- 
night. As far as he knew, that colossal scheme which had 
hitherto occupied almost all his thoughts might have been 
scattered to the four winds. He had refused to answer tele- 
grams; he had refused to read his letters. He had turned his 
back resolutely upon mere moneymaking. His thoughts were 
with his child. He remembered that moment when he had 
knelt in the moonlight and asked God to take away the gold, 
but to leave him the love. Now, stooping his tall head, he en- 
tered the little attic. 

"Hello, Connie!" he said. "I guess you're getting a bit 
spunky again." 

"Yes, poppa," she replied, very gravely. 

He looked at her attentively. He earnestly wished that the 
expression of her face was not quite so grave. Consuelo was 
always an ethereal-looking girl, but now she had the frail 
appearance of one whom a breath might blow away. Her 
little face seemed to be all eyes. But the eyes were very 
sweet, and pathetic with a new light in them which Seymour 
had never noticed before. 

" Hello! " he said, trying to speak cheerfully and dropping 
down on the side of the bed. " So here we are; and you're 
up, my pretty! Blessings on you, Connie! You'll get well 
like a house on fire when you have a bigger bedroom than 


" Oh, but I love this little room," said Consuelo. 

" And so do I too. It saw you at death's door, but it sees 
you now at the portals of life. Ton my word! I'm getting 
quite poetical. Fancy old Joseph P.! But you always did 
manage to bowl me over, Connie. You ever and always 
roused the sentimental side in me." 

" Poppa," said Consuelo, " you want to speak to me." 

" Well, now," said Joseph P., " that is so, but not to worrit 
you, my pet — by no means to worrit you. You can do what 
you like with the old man; he's here at your service." 

" Put one of your big hands over mine," said Consuelo. 

"Ah, bless those little hands!" said the millionaire. 

Consuelo's very white hands lay like two little flakes of 
snow under Joseph P. Seymour's big and horny palm. 

44 Won't you tell me, father, what you want? " she asked at 

"Well, now — well, now — reason. I want reason in all 

" Yes, father." 

"And look you here, Connie; I want my way for a bit." 
" Yes, father." 

" Hayward says that you can be moved to Westbourne to- 

44 Yes, father." 

44 And you want to get back to that unwholesome spot ydfii 
call Discipline House. I went to see it. I went all over it. I 
looked into the bedroom which Miss Dawson told me you oc- 
cupied, and — 'pon my word! — I'd rather have you here. Here, 
at least, you have fresh and wholesome air. 'Pon my word, 
Connie, I'd rather have you here." 

Connie was quite silent. 

" In short," said Joseph, 44 1 was so upset about that house 
that I have paid the landlord in full, and — don't stare at me — 
you're not going back there." 

44 Poppa!" 

44 Consuelo, I can't stand it. You have got to give way to 
me in this matter. I have taken another house at West- 
bourne, and that woman whom you find so much in, can read 
you moral lectures in that other house to your heart's con- 
tent; but — 'pon my word! — you shall have bodily comforts: a 
big bedroom, the best food, good servants. There, child, you 
don't want to make me ill, do you?" 

44 No, poppa." 

"And, perhaps," continued Joseph, "a little bit of self- 
denial on your part with regard to me may be just the bear- 
ing of that cross which you seem so mighty anxious to lift 
on to your young shoulders." 

" I would rather go to the other house," said Consuelo. 

44 And I would rather you didn't. Now, who is to win, you 
or I?" 

44 You," said Consuelo after a pause, and she bent her head 
and kissed the rough hand. 


Joseph was so delighted with his victory that for a minute 
he was silent with amazement. After a little pause he said : 

" As you have yielded to me in this, there is nothing under 
the sun that I won't do for you. It isn't to be supposed that a 
girl like you, Consuelo, should have struggled so hard as you 
have done, and gone through so much, without having many 
desires awakened within her. It strikes me, my child, that 
it is the will of the Almighty that you should accept your 
riches and turn them into a blessing." 

" But can I? " said Consuelo, her eyes shining. 

" Bless you, yes. You shall have as much money from me 
to play ducks and drakes with as ever you want." 

u Oh! oh!" said Consuelo. "But that is the old way. I 
cannot — oh, I cannot go back to the old way! " 

" And why should it be the old way? " said Joseph. " Is 
there no manner of disposing of money except in buying use- 
less finery and killing time?" 

" But," said Consuelo, her eyes growing bright as she fixed 
them on her father's face, " do you mean that I might help 
others? " 

" I didn't take it in that sense, but it's all the same to me. 
You can found a college for struggling girls or a home for 
homeless people, or you can give dinners to poor persons in 
London, or you can do a little of all three. As long as my pile 
holds out and there is enough put by to ward off the rainy day 
from you, Consuelo — from you and from your mother — -I 
don't mind how the gold is spent." 

" Oh! " said Consuelo — " oh! " Then she added, putting out 
her hand and softly patting Joseph P. Seymour's cheek, 
" Aren't you the very best poppa in the world! I have had so 
much on my mind, and I have so dreaded going back to the 
old 'do nothing' existence; for you see, father, somehow, 
when I was born, some of your spirit got into me, and I am 
naturally very active, and intensely keen to lead a full and 
busy life. You see, father dear, your life has been very full 
and busy, because you have been making all that pile of gold; 
but I have had to sit by and look on, and I, having your spirit, 
got tired of that — so tired that when I saw Miss Dawson, and 
she explained a little to me of what the simple life might be, 
it was like cold water to a thirsty soul. My whole spirit 
sighed for it, and you agreed that I might try the simple life 
of Discipline House for a time. Well, somehow, I failed over 
that, and I got ill and nearly died. But when I got better 
again I found Miss Dawson's true heart, and she found mine; 
and I know that in the future she can help me. But just be- 
fore I got ill, father, I saw a poor, very poor gypsy woman, 
and she read my fortune by means of the stars and the moon, 
and something or other told her that I was very rich, and 
that there was a great trust put upon me; and she said that I 
must not turn the gold into red gold, but into sunshine gold. 
She said very strong words, and they made a deep impression 
on me; and I wanted — oh, so dreadfully! — to find some one 


who would lead and guide me, for Miss Dawson didn't under- 
stand me at all then. So I went to see a man called Paul the 
hermit, and he said words very much the same, and told me 
that I could never hope to wear my crown until I had borne 
my cross, and he said, too, that the silver and the gold were 
the Lord's. 

" Father, dear, I am leaving here to-morrow; but before I 
go I should like to see Mother Jeremy, and Paul the hermit, 
and dear old Mercy all together. And I should like you to be 
with me when I see them, and I should like them to tell me 
how best I can make the silver and the gold the Lord's." 

"Ton my word!" said Joseph. "Well, now, you about 
stagger me; but you shall have your way. We don't leave 
here till the middle of the day to-morrow, and I dare say 
good old Mercy will find means to communicate with the peo- 
ple you want. There's money in plenty, and if you really 
think they know better how to spend it than your father, why, 
I won't say you nay." 



What steps Mercy took to secure the appearance of Mother 
Jeremy and of Paul the hermit on the following day were best 
known to herself. Certain it is that shortly before noon a 
gorgeously dressed gypsy woman was seen approaching the 
solitary cottage. She had on that brilliant red robe with its 
queer Egyptian hieroglyphics which she had worn when she 
met Consuelo outside her cave. Round her neck were rows 
upon rows of colored beads of all sorts and descriptions. In 
her ears were very long ear-rings, and round her head was 
twisted that old scarf of many colors which was at once truly 
oriental and picturesque. 

Mother Jeremy was very much excited when she was sum- 
moned by Mercy Perkins to appear at her little cottage. But, 
after all, it was arranged that Consuelo's visitors were to 
meet her out-of-doors. 

When they appeared on the scene, she was fully dressed for 
her journey to Westbourne. Miss Dawson was in the back- 
ground; so also were Dr. and Mrs. Hayward. But Joseph P. 
had drawn a chair close to the one where his little daughter 
was resting, and his face was flushed both with pride and 
pleasure. Paul the hermit, as he approached, presented a 
very different appearance from that of Mother Jeremy. Mercy 
herself motioned to the two to come forward, and was going 
into the background, when Consuelo called to her. 

" Please stand," she said, " between Mother Jeremy and Mr. 

Mercy immediately obeyed. 

" I want to ask you three a question," said Consuelo then. 
" This gentleman is my poppa, and he is very rich. Now, I 


want to please my poppa and to do right at the same time. — » 
Mother Jeremy, will you tell me in what manner I can use the 
silver and the gold so that the gold may never become red and 
the sunshine of love may always beautify it? " 

"Blessings on little missie!" said Mother Jeremy. She 
dropped on her knees and murmured some words in Egyp- 
tian. " Aye, now, to be sure," she continued, looking greedily 
from Gonsuelo to her father. " Aye, now, there are the poor 
gypsies need many a gold coin to keep tlie fires burning on a 
winter's night and to keep a bit o' shelter over their heads. 
They need their bite and sup, and those golden coins bestowed 
on them will reflect a beautiful glitter upon them as gives 
'em. Lady Moon ain't to be seen at this time o' day, but I 
guess if she could speak she'd say that little missie ought to . 
help the pore gypsies." 

Mercy turned and whispered something to Mother Jeremy, 
who murmured again in the Egyptian tongue, looked rather 
angry, .and then became silent. 

" Please, Mercy, you tell me what I shall do," said the girl. 

" My darling," said Mercy Perkins. " I can tell you nothing, * 
and less than nothing, for I never in all my life — and I am 
an old woman close on eighty years — had aught to do with 
money. The good Lord willed it that I should eat the bread 
of poverty all my days; but never did I mind, for it was won- 
derfully sweetened by love. When I had no human being to 
love, I had my dog Snap, and there was seldom a day that the 
good Lord didn't allow me to do a little kindness for others. 
That blessed day when you came will never be forgot by me. 
Oh! it wor' a blessed day, and happy did it make me. But as 
to money, my pretty pet — why, I don't understand nothing 
about it; only perhaps, as love sweetens poverty, it may 
sweeten the hard shining of money too. It may make it that 
blessed yellow gold, and not the hard red gold." 

" Please, Paul," said Gonsuelo, " will you now tell me how I 
am to spend my money? " 

" It is more blessed to give than to receive," was Paul the 
hermit's immediate answer. 44 There are those all over the 
world who want all sorts of things, and who can be helped 
wisely, not foolishly. There is great distress in all large 
towns, and that distress can be mitigated. There are a great 
many men and women who could be made useful and happy 
by the aid of money, given in the right way. It takes a lot of 
reading of books, and the advice of the wisest people of the 
day, to discover how to help the Lord's poor. But those who 
are rich and have the willing mind can do it, and in so doing 
they will be blessed. The silver and the gold are the Lord's, 
and those to whom He gives abundantly are His stewards. 
Their task is no light one, for they often find the burden of 
great wealth more severe than the burden of poverty. But 
those who spend wisely will themselves be blessed, and there 
is no cross bravely borne which does not win the Eternal 


As Paul spoke he wrapped his cloak round him and hurried 
swiftly back over the great plains. 
Gonsuelo turned to her father. : 
" I think I understand," she said. 

" And so do I," he answered; " and it shall be the yellow 
gold for you, my best child." 

" The gold with the love in it," said Consuelo, and she put 
her two arms round her father's neck, and kissed him with 
such a feeling of complete understanding that their hearts 
were drawn together as they had never been before. 




Won In The Ninth 



(Copyrighted, 1910, by the R. J. Bodmer Co.) 

The characters are college boys in everything but their ability to play 
baseball. Each represents one of the leading players who are now 
playing in the American and National Leagues with names slightly 
changed, but the reader will soon discover that he is reading the early 
exploits of one of his baseball favorites. 

The whole range of interesting features about a ball team and the 
game itself is covered in successive chapters. One of them contains 
the secrets of what is known as "inside baseball" and " signal work" 
with illustrations showing how to do it. 

Through the twenty chapters are interwoven many of the stories of 
actual plays, famous catches, thrilling episodes of games, tricks pulled 
off and some that did not work, which have come within the author's 

A good story of college life runs through the book. The hero gets 
into trouble and his friends get him out in the usual strenuous style 
of college life stories. 

It is a live book about baseball, with live characters, and written by the 
one man who knows more about the men who are playing it to-day and 
the methods by which games are won than anyone else in the sport. 

"EDITOR'S NOTE— The Daily News makes no apology for placing 
in this position of honor on the first page the opening chapters of a 
serial story pealing with baseball events and baseball heroes. 

"The Daily News believes in clean athletic sports, believes in encourag- 
ing them and in keeping them clean. Baseball is the national game . It 
is not only the most popular sport in the United States, but it is national 
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the typical American. Viewed in this light, baseball possesses a dignity 
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it cannot be trivial. What is elevating, what is interesting, and what is 
dignified cannot but make a strong appeal to the appreciation of every 
reader."— The Chicago News, March 21, 1910. 

"The best baseball story ever written."— The Evening World, 
New York, N. Y„ March 14, 1910. 

"I have read WON IN THE NINTH with much interest and it 
has been very entertaining." — Charles W. Murphy, President 
Chicago National League Baseball Club, Chicago, Aprils, 1910. 

"WON IN THE NINTH is a great book, and one that every lover 
of the game should read."—- Charles A. Comiskey, President 
Chicago White Sox American League Baseball Club, Chicago, 
April 7, 1910. 

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14. Julius the Street Boy 20. Tony the Tramp 

15. Tom the Bootblack 21. Joe's Luck 

16. Struggling Upward 22. Do and Dare 

17. Facing the World 23. Only an Irish Boy 

18. The Cash Boy 24. Sink or Swim 


25. A Cousin's Conspiracy 31. Sam's Chance 

26. Andy Gordon 32. The Telegraph Boy 

27. Bob Burton 33. The Young Adventurer 

28. Harry Vane 34. The Young Outlaw 

29. Hector's Inheritance 35. The Young Salesman 

30. Mark Mason's Triumph 36. Luke Walton 

- Ask tor The New York Book Company's Alger Books 

Publishers, 147 Fourth Avenue 
New York, N, Y.