Page images




boy-driving," said the lady, and sank "I hope you're a steady driver!" said deeper in her furs; and for a mile they she, quite pertly, snuggling beside him drove through the night in silence. He in her furs.

wondered who she was and why she "Middling, middling!" replied Sir An

to the Schawfield Arms-a drew, clicking to his horses. "But I'll stranger-in such weather. There was be better able to say when the jour- something pleasant be found in her ney's ended." He expected some nat propinquity, and he was glad she had ural feminine apprehension at a speech not taken her place inside. Only an enso sinister, but his companion seemed gaging touch of devilry he concluded in no way put about.

would have sent her up beside him. “You're not a very punctual one at Now and then as the carriage swept any rate," she pointed out with a mis- round corner her shoulder came chievous little laugh. “I was almost softly up against his side and rested starving, waiting on that quay."

there a moment. Her furs, her hair, I'm sorry," he said, "the road for or her clothes exhaled at times a faint, part of the way's a sheet of ice, and it sweet, alien perfume, more like a memtook me longer than I calculated. The ory of the East he had seen than an horses have been out to-day already; actual scent; he hated common perMrs. Nish makes the most of them!" fumes! Against the radiance of the

"Mrs. Nish?" said the lady, wonder- carriage-lamps he saw his breath and ing.

hers commingle in a vapor. Heavens! Of the inn, you know; they're hers. what a world of silly social barriers, She's mistress," explained Sir Andrew. that breathing the same air and alone

“Oh!" said the lady, after a little in the vast night-vault they should com. pause. “Then-then you'll be Mr. port themselves like poor dumb creatNish?"

ures apprehensive of each other. For He laughed. “Not I," he answered. himself, he could have chattered like a "Husbands in these parts are not so brook, but he realized that upon him ready to play second fiddle. Mr. Nish, depended a post-boy's reputation. poor soul! has lost his interest in The rumor of the tide on the shores horses; he's dead these twenty years." of the long sea-arm they had left be“Then you—then you

” she began hind had died away before she spoke and hesitated.

again. "I'm thinking of Miss Skene," “I'm her post-boy; just Tam Dunn," said she reflectively, "and if she isn't replied Sir Andrew quickly, deter sorry now she made up her mind to mined to play his part in the farce to stay on the steamer." the evening's end, and a movement of "I beg your pardon," said Sir Anhis companion's shoulder, which was drew, baffled by this irrelevance. close against his elbow, showed him “Miss Skene; you know I was with she received the news with some sur- her?" explained his companion. “I prise.

was going with her to Schawfield, but "Do you know?" she remarked with a is so dark a night, and she didn't ripple of amusement, "I-I took you, know how the roads might be, and as just for a little, for a gentleman." there's no inn at Duntryne, she deter

"It's possible—in the dark!" he said. mined to remain upon the steamer and “There's often very little difference be drive to Schawfield from the next pier tween a post-boy and a gentleman in

in the morning." the dark."

"I'm sorry," began Sir Andrew, and “I feel much safer with a post- his companion quietly laughed.

"Not I," she said. "She's perfectly time felt that a practical joke was apt comfortable; she'll see to that! If to have an embarrassing termination. she'd been here I wouldn't have got to A second's reflection on her tone consit outside. And I love I love-I love vinced him she had asked the question to be out in the night!" she exclaimed in innocence, and he answered that with a feeling of almost childish rap- everyone in Schawfield naturally knew ture.

Sir Andrew very well. Her mood infected him a little, though "A little-little eccentric, they say," every nerve had to be at the service of she ventured, as if she had substituted his horses. He, too, loved the night, on second thoughts the adjective for and no longer rued his bargain with another not so delicate, and there she Tam Dunn. Her frankness manifestly opened for Captain Cutlass the very came from a wholesome simple heart, source of fun. and for the first time he began to build “Daft!" said he, with his chuckle. up to his inner vision something of a “Positively daft! I see you have heard portrait made of the hurried glimpse he of him. But I warn you we'll listen to had got of her at the quay. She was nothing worse than that to his discredit as tall as Norah, with an open and ex- here in Schawfield"-this last to warn pectant countenance, that doubtless her from any confidence she might rewould be pretty in a friendlier air; gret, rather than from any fear of his quick, fearless, sparkling eyes, with a hearing things unflattering. hint of banter in them; a definite "I know nothing to his discredit," she chin; and a confident stretch of a yard retorted somewhat sharply, as if she from the ground to the nave of the resented the suspicion that she might wheel by which she had climbed to the discuss a baronet's failings with a postseat she occupied. All else wraps and boy. “But one hears so many stories furs, that are more than clothing, of his eccentricities. They say he that are masks behind which women courted his first wife by telegraph," conceal the caste and soul. No, stay,- and her hearer felt the pang of a senthere was her mouth, sharing a little of sitive heart that finds its sanctuaries the mockery of her eyes; and a voice invaded by the mob. most pleasantly modulated. If he had "His first wife!" he repeated. actually been Tam Dunn he would "There has not, you know, been a sechave put to the test-for in that he had ond." some experience a slight suspicion of "Oh, I know!" said the lady. “Not the gay coquette, due to her free-and yet; but it's as good as settled that easy manner.

there's to be another Lady Schaw; isn't Away from the coast the frosty he busy looking for her?” and Sir An. night-baze l'essened; in the east a patch drew realized that he had been sinof stars extended: Orion seemed to gularly ingenuous in his estimate of poise upon the hills; the fervor of the the public interest in his affairs. "It's Bull glowed in its eye, Aldebaran. what an eccentric man like Sir Andrew Slyly lifting her head, the lady tried to Schaw requires before he's very much scan the profile dimly now revealed older, or he'll get into stupid ruts from against the celestial squadrons. Her which he'll never escape, and every next remark was to startle him.

year be more unlike his neigh"I suppose,” she said agreeably, “you bors." know Sir Andrew ?"

"You're all for uniformity, I can see!" “Good Lord!" he thought, "can she remarked Sir Andrew, with no thought have discovered?” and not for the first of irony, and she quickly turned her

head again to look at him in the in- "And don't you think so now?" she adequate light of the star Aldebaran: asked him sharply. the remark was somewhat bookish, No,” he answered, with profound coming from a post-boy.

conviction. “Meantime, at least, I'm “Always!" she confessed, like one back to the Shorter Catchism. I'm left who has thought a good deal of the to the freedom of my will; if I didn't point before. "It would save a lot of know it, if I wasn't sure of it, I would trouble if you knew that men were kill myself to-morrow.” all the same, like the hats they wear. "For goodness sake!" cried the lady I don't much care for oddities, and I'm anxiously, “don't begin to preach; I sure they don't get as much enjoy- simply can't stand preaching." ment as if they were like other people. "Neither can I,” said Captain Cutlass. If Sir Andrew wasn't odd he wouldn't “I preach so much to myself all have very much trouble to find a wife: week that I grudge the minister's turn Lord knows there's plenty of women to on Sunday.” pick and choose from!"

"And am I left to the freedom of my “I daresay he's too particular," said own will?” asked the lady. the driver.

"No," said Captain Cutlass; "nobody "No doubt that's his own idea.

but me. Do you think you are?" That's men all over! They flatter them- Of course I don't,” she admitted. selves that they're very cautious, and “I'm the creature of instinct just as have a choice even in picking wives much as your horses.". and—” She broke off the sentence "It's a pity, madam, you should think with a titter of amusement. “Excuse so," said Sir Andrew gravely. “We me," she added, “but may I ask if you should all of us be sure of our own are married ?"

freedom and responsibility, though con“I'm not so fortunate," said Sir An- vinced that every one else is the drew with sincerity.

slave of circumstance; it's the only “Very well, Tom Dunn," she pro- conclusion that will make us happy and ceeded with mock solemnity, "I'm glad courageous, and at the same time leave to hear it, and let me tell you this, us pity for others and no heart to judge I've travelled, and I've learned it: men and blame." never reason about anything that's of His words astonished her; she had the least importance to themselves; been under the impression that she was whatever they do, they do because they talking perhaps a little above a postmust. We're taught in the Shorter boy's head, and here he was talking Catechism that men are left to the just a little above hers. freedom of their own will, but you'll "You must be you must be fond of never make me believe it! Not when reading,” she ventured shyly. “It's it comes to choosing wives! Men's not every-man who thinks of these reasoning means no more than what we things,” and the baronet with some call an instinct in your horses; they chagrin remembered the reputahave learned to make doors to get out tion of Tam Dunn was to be considand into a house by, and so have ants, ered. but a world of human beings must be "Oh! I never got that from reading," as droll for God to look at as a skep he assured her. "I never got from of bees.”

books but what I brought to them, but "I used to think that too,” said Cap I'm like yourself: I have travelled, too; tain Cutlass, wondering who the mis- I have been a sailor." chief he had got.

"I was sure of it!" she cried trium

phantly. I knew at once from some- the moon to-night; he sought another thing in your manner at the quay that glimpse of his companion. you had seen the world; it's the only “Tell me," she said abruptly, seeing kind of education."

herself observed; "what is he like, Sir “And yet," said Sir Andrew, “almost Andrew ?" all that ever learned worth learning “In looks, or character ?” asked the was got in Schawfield. I have no driver, back to his jocular mood again. doubt you are fond of reading?"

"In looks, of course; it's the first con"I never read-except a lot of silly sideration for a woman." stories."

"Not so odd as his reputation.” “That's bad," said Sir Andrew; "one "And I was sure he would be!" she should never read any but the very said in a tone of disappointment none best."

the less. I told Miss Skene he was "You mean," said she quickly, “that likely to be a hunchback." it should always be Shakespeare or "Not so very!” he assured her. nothing. That's ridiculous, Tom Dunn. “There's always a touch of vanity Everybody has her own best; and mine about the Schaws that has made them is fairy tales and romantic novels. It's train like horses." just an appetite—the taste for reading He's quite accomplished too, I stories, a natural hunger of the mind. bear." Some of us are satisfied and healthy “That's news to me! He was beat fed with common steak and potatoes, this very afternoon at curling, andand others must bave fancy dishes and and you should hear him try to sing!" a lot of sauce. They're very silly if "Oh, but there are other accomplishthey're proud of it. There's Miss ments, Tom Dunn. I'm assured he's Skeneshe thinks because the cheap- quite poetical." est kind of little story can make me I've seen some of his poetry-trash, laugh and cry that I'm to be pitied for ma'am! just fair trash, as you might my taste. The only difference between expect from a baronet." us that I can see is that it takes a "H’m," she coughed; “perhaps you whole box of books from the library to are not a very good judge. It's plain make her laugh or cry, and I can be as that you don't very much admire him." merry as I like or sad enough to shed “I've no ill-will to the fellow, I assure buckets of tears for a penny."

you, but we're rather critical of poetry "She ought to envy you your un- in Schawfield, and I prefer Mr. Regijaded appetite,” agreed Sir Andrew, nald Maurice's." and chuckled to himself, this time, at “Who's he?" the havoc he played with Tam Dunn's “A friend of Sir Andrew's cousin, reputation.

Norah Grant." His eyes were often on the east, not The lady lapsed for a while in silence for Aldebaran and the hunter, but for which she was the first herself to break the moon, that should be now uprising with a remark that was more emover the farther hills, and in a little he barrassing than any that had gone saw her gild the ridge a while, and soar before. "You haven't told me yet,” at last to light the lands of Schaw- she said, "anything of Sir Andrew's field gladly as if she had been sad away character." from them. How often had he "The best that can be said for him is watched her rise, far down the world that he's quite inoffensive," said her in foreign harbors, and he home-sick? driver, and the words were no sooner But not for her own sake did he want uttered than the shying of one of his

horses threw the carriage across the “The inn!" she repeated; "oh, dear, road, and the lady was flung upon his no; I'm going to Fancy Farm." lap. With a jerk of the reins he barely He could hardly trust his ears! cleared the lip of the ditch; his fare re- "T0-to Sir Andrew Schaw's?” he covered herself, and he had jumped asked, and she laughed maliciously. to the bridles of bis plunging charges "You needn't worry," she assured him; and led them past the shadow that had “I'll not repeat a word of what you startled them.

said about his character or his poetry.” “You weren't afraid ?” he said as he In silence he drove her through the took his seat again, surprised that she village and over the river, along the had shown no sign of trepidation. avenue and up to the door of his dwell

“Afraid!" she repeated; "I was never ing, with some amusing speculation as afraid of anything, Tom Dunn-except to what his Aunt Amelia would say if myself.”

she saw who brought her guest. They were entering the village. Its A minute later the stranger stood glow shone through a bend of the road- with hastily ejected baggage under the side trees. "I presume you stop at the veranda, and watched him with amazeinn?" he remarked; it was a point on ment urge his horses with unreasonwhich Tam Dunn had forgotten to in- able haste back to the Schawfield Arms. form him. Blackwood's Magazine.

(To be continued.)


A study of fashion articles in the gather a very fair idea of the fallacy light of expositions of human character of the dictum by examining the picinstead of human clothes reveals many tures which accompany every fasha curious side-light on human nature. ion-plate nowadays. Here we can obVanities and weaknesses are naturally serve that the more the taste displayed expected, and found; but there is, as in the dresses at any ceremony, enwell, a very curious and most modern tertainment, or wedding is labelled note in the continual insistence upon "unconventional," "daring," original," the idea that the really well-dressed and so forth, the more it smacks of the woman is independent of fashion. The freaks that are in vogue at the momodes of the moment are for the ment. Neither on paper nor in real crowd, we are told—and told so fre- life does it appear that women who quently as to become very weary of count as well-dressed at all ever disthe remark-while the few and distin- card the outline, the air, the impression guished choose their clothes for them- that is in fashion, The women who selves independently of what anyone do so are driving in omnibuses from else is wearing. That this is not at all Hampstead and Kensington art schools, true can easily be observed even with- and look it. You can see them any out a knowledge of all grades and day, in long garments of sad colors cliques of averagely well-dressed 80- and no cut, large beads, freakish and ciety, which probably no one person unfashionable hats, and even stock. could possess. Indeed quite indepen- ings with big toes and sandals. They dently of such knowledge one may discard the current fashions, and with

« PreviousContinue »