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ored, hairy creature, answering to the case the civilities seemed thrown awayname of Growley, which soon twined it- there was little friendly response. Still self round the lady's heart, as it did round Samela was always pleasant, and so Gibbs all with whom it came in contact.
minded the less the somewhat brusque beThe travellers' name was Prendergast. bavior of the old collector of curiosities. They had evidently not intended to make One afternoon the former, who had been a stay in Ross-shire, having brought little fishing near the inn, went in there to get with them, but in a few days a consider- something he wanted, and on his way able addition to their baggage arrived. back overtook Samela, sauntering along The old man seemed to be something of a with a large sketching-block under her naturalist. He wandered about the moors with a green tin-box kind of knapsack on “Will you come and draw a fight with his back, but he said little about his cap- a salmon, Miss Prendergast ?” he asked. tures, and Gibbs taking no interest in such “ There are a lot of fish up to-day, and I pursuits never asked leave to see what was think I'm sure to get hold of one pretty in it. He also wrote a good deal. The quickly. I'm not a very elegant figure, daughter, who rejoiced in the quaint and he added, laughing as he looked at his uncommon name of Samela, spent most of waders ; “ but Archie is very smart, and, her time sketching ; whenever it was fine at any rate, you will have a good backshe was out of doors, and even pretty ground in the rocks on the other side." damp weather did not discourage her if Miss Prendergast said she was quite sbe was in the humor. Clad in a short willing, and they went down to the pool. gray homespun dress, shod with strong As a rule, when a lady comes near a but shapely boots, with an immense um salmon river and you want to show off brella over ber head, she was able to defy your skill before her the fish sulk, and the elements if they were not very unpro- Gibbs was a rash_man to give the underpitious. She met Gibbs's little civilities taking he did. But fortuno had hitherto frankly and pleasantly, but never seemed been wonderfully kind to him, and did to look for them ; he rarely saw her when not desert him now. He had barely gone he was on the river, and, when they did over half the water before up came a good by chance meet, a nod and a smile were fish and took him. For the next ten minoften all that were vouchsafed to him. utes he was kept pretty busy. The fish Gibbs was perhaps a sufficiently susceptible was a strong one and showed plenty of young man, but just now fishing was his fight; but it was at last gaffed and laid object, and he had no leisure for flirting on the bank, and the lady came down from even if he had found any one willing to the rock she had settled on to inspect it. meet him half way. But still at spare She did not say, “ Oh ! how cruel to stick times he caught himself thinking about that horrid thing into it!" or, “How the lady more than he did about her father could you kill such a beautiful creature ?" or the innkeeper, or any one else about or, “I wish it had got away !" as some the place. At lunch-time, and when ladies would have done. On the consmoking his evening pipe, sometimes even trary, she gave the salmon--a bright when changing a fly to give a pool another twelve-pounder—a little poke with her cast over, her fair image rose up before foot, and said she was very glad it had him. Dinner had hitherto been a some- been captured. Then Gibbs went up to what comfortless meal, hastily consumed, look at her sketch and was honestly with one eye on The Scotsman and the amazed at it. We once had the privilege other on a mutton chop. But now he was of watching Mr. Ruskin draw a swallow sure of meeting one pleasant face at any on a black board,-half a dozen lines, and rate, and he enjoyed relating his adven- then you saw the bird flying at you out of tures on the river, and looking at Miss a black sky. So it was here, there was Samela's sketches afterward. Her father no weak or wasted stroke; the strain on was no acquisition to the party ; he was the rod, Archie's symmetrical figure, the generally in a bad temper, and he seemed more concealed elegance of the fisherman for some reason to have taken a dislike to were shown, as the former said, to the Gibbs. An old man with a good-looking life. daughter is sure of attention and politeness “ Well," said Gibbs, staring at it, “I on the part of a young man, but in this think it is lovely.
Its author looked at it with her head on tween three and seven to steady fishing. one side, as ladies often do look at their This would take Gibbs to the end of his handiwork, and promised that when it was beat, and so far up it as to be back near finished she would give it to him. Then the inn in time to change before dinner. she wrote down“ dun” for the waders, But he was getting into a somewhat restand “gray" for the rocks, and “ dark” less state—a little impatient of all such where the water ran under the cliff, and a salutary regulations, and one fine day little “red” just in a line with the admir- instead of beginning a unile above the inn ing Archie's nose, and went back to the he began opposite it-to Archie's great inn. Gibbs fished out the afternoon, but disapproval —and so timed himself as to he thought more about the lady and less be back there soon after four o'clock. He about the fish than be had done yet. He knew that Samela would be thereabouts-pondered a good deal, too, about the she had told him that it would take her a sketch, and racked his brains to think if day to finish her sketch. there was any way in which he could make “Miss Prendergast," said Gibbs rather a nice return to Samcla for it. She had shyly, feeling as if his little manœuvre was declined to have anything to do with the probably being seen through, “you said fish, which he had at once offered to her, the night you came up that you wanted to saying there was no one she particularly have some little thing from the Strathamat wished to send it to, or she might have sale, and I thought, perhaps, you would been squared in that way. He might give like a book. I got a good many books her a book,-he remembered her saying, there, and any that you would care to the first day they met, that she and her have you are most welcome to.” There father had come up for the sale to get was something of a conventional falsehood some remembrance of an old friend. in this statement ; there were a good many Gibbs was pleased at this idea until he be- books he would have been very sorry to thonght him what book he should give see her walk off with. her, and then he was puzzled. Of course, Samela looked up in his face, and Gibbs as a mere remembrance, Josephus, or The was quite sure she was beautiful ; Venus Fairchild Family, or even à volume of was her prototype after all, and not Juno ; the Encyclopædia Britannica would do as he had been a little puzzled as to which well as another ; but then—there would deity favored her the most. “It is very not be much generosity in handing one of good of you,” she said, more warmly than those works over. Plainly the lady must she had spoken yet. " I should like to be asked to choose for herself.' Then have something.'
" It was horrid of me Gibbs at once resolved that the quarto not to have thought of it sooner,'' said should be eliminated from the collection Gibbs. “ Well now, will you come and —the sketch would be purchased too choose for yourself? And may I tell dearly by its loss. As to any others, they them to take some tea into my room? I must take their chance. On second am sure you must want some after your thoughts, however, he concluded to con- long day here.” This second invitation ceal the works of Grimm-all the rest was quite an after-thought, given on the were to run the gauntlet of her pretty spur of the moment, and he hardly thought eyes.
it would be accepted. He was on the A day or two passed before he was able point of including her father in it when to put his little scheme into execution. the lady fortunately stopped him, and said It will easily be understood -as has already she thought she would also like some tea. been hinted—that a man on a salmon river But may I stop ten minutes to finish is not—when the water is in good order this bit while the light is on it? Then I --quite his own master. Business must will come in." be attended to before pleasure here as Gibbs went in and ordered the tea, and elsewhere. A start has to be made as then opened his old box and took out soon after nine as possible, and if nothing the quarto which he embedded for the untoward occurs, a certain pool should be time being in his portmanteau ; he had reached at two for lunch. A rest of an previously removed it from the old cover hour is allowed here, but the angler would in order to keep it flatter in the box. It have good reason to be dissatisfied with
was a hard struggle for him to leave the himself if he did not devote the time be Grimms, but at last he tore himself away
from them. The maid brought up the and brown, Archie's nose supplying just tea-things, and then, peeping out of the the little bit of warm color that was wantwindow, he saw the tall form of his visitor ing. “I think you have been a little hard disappearing through at the front door. on my waist,” said Gibbs after he had He had a few seconds to spare, and he sufficiently admired it. “And now will occupied them (we are sorry to say), in you please put your name to it ; some day rushing at his box, tearing out the Grimms, when you are a great artist I shall be enand slipping one into each coat pocket. vied for having it. He had barely time to get to the fire She laughed at the somewhat awkward place, looking as self-possessed, or rather compliment, and then in bold firm letters as little self-conscious as he could, when she wrote her signature. Samela came in. She made herself quite “ You have a very uncommon Christian comfortable in an arm-chair by the fire, name," he said. “I never saw it beand she appeared as unself-conscious and fore. Is it one that belongs to your faminnocent as a lady could be—as no doubt ily ?”
There were three cups on the My father used to be very fond of tea-table, and this caused a little further the old dramatists,” replied the maidenembarrassment to the host. “Your father and at the word “ dramatists” the guilty -would he shall I ask him if he will Gibbs gave a little start and knocked one come up ?” he inquired.
of the Grimms against the arm of his Oh, please don't trouble,” said the chair. “ He found it in an out-of-thedaughter. “I know he wouldn't come way song in some old play." if he is in ; he never takes tea."
“ It is a very pretty name," said the So there was no more to be said, and criminal. Gibbs did the honors as gracefully as a “I liked the song,” said Samela ; “I man in wading stockings could be expected read it once a long time ago. But I think to do them, but some little part of his it is not very wise to give a child names usual complacency was destroyed by an of that kind. There is so much risk in uneasy feeling that while he was so ena it. If I had grown up crooked or ugly ployed Samela's eyes were fixed on the my name would have been an injury to side-pockets of his coat where the books me.” “It was pretty,” as Mr. Pepys were deposited, which he was persuaded used to say, to see how naturally she asbulged out shockingly. In the course of sumed her good looks. We may mention time he found himself sitting in another that before many days had passed Mr. easy chair, on the other side of the fire, Gibbs's bookseller received an order (by opposite Samela—just as a young husband telegraph) to supply him with the works of might be supposed to sit opposite a young Robert Greene, out of which he hunted wife in, say, the third week of the honey- with some difficulty the very charming moon, Gibbs began to feel as if he was lyric the name of which stands at the head married, and, what with this sensation of this paper. and the knowledge of his bit of deceit, “And now for your books,” said Gibbs, somewhat uncomfortable,--for a moment when his visitor declined to have any more or two he almost wished that the old Pro- tea. He showed her first a great carefully fessor would make his appearance.
arranged pile in a corner of the sittingSamela had never looked so bright and room. There have been exceptions fresh and comely as she did that after those who collect fine bindings will at once noon. There was just something in her recall some famous names—but as a rule position which would have made some women do not care for books as men care girls feel the least bit embarrassed ; they for them. Probably a large proportion would have shown their feelings by little out of the hundred wonld prefer--if the nervousnesses—have laughed or talked too choice was given them and a book-rest much ; after all she was only the chance thrown in-the édition de luxe of Thackacquaintance of a few days. But she sat eray to a rather dingy and commonplace there perfectly at ease, absolutely mistress looking set of the original issues. Samela of herself.
was one of the exceptions ; she showed a “I have brought you your picture," quite evident, almost an eager, interest in she said, and she gave it to him. It was the pile,
the pile. The fashion for big volumes, a most masterly work in gray and yellow for great folios and thick quartos has died
out,—so the men who deal chiefly in such into the box—" which are quite marvelmerchandise tell you ; but this lady seemed lous bits of work ; I mean those that Mr. to be of the old school in this respect, Ruskin praised. But I always think his and left the octavos to the last. When
women are disgraceful ; and when be he considered he had given her sufficient means them to be pretty and ladylike he time for a rapid examination, Gibbs— is at his worst ; he must sometimes have with soinething of the feeling with which meant to have drawn a lady. And Rowa schoolboy opens his playbox crammed landson too-isn't what is called spirit in with forbidden fruit before his master- him often only vulgarity ? Look at that prepared to show her his treasures." What dreadful horse—there is no drawing in an ass I am !” he thought, as he turned it —a child eight years old onght to be the key.
“I have done nothing wrong ; whippped if it couldn't do better. And and if I had, how could this girl know any- look at that man ! Certainly his women thing about it, unless she is a very witch !" have sometimes pretty faces, or rather
"Ah !” said Samela as the lifted lid prettier faces than Cruikshank's, but he showed her the inside of the box ; then never drew a lady either. And I can't she swooped down and picked up the admire your salmon-colored wrapers !" brown calf covering in which the quarto “I dare say you are right,'' said Gibbs had hitherto had its home. She opened very meekly ; he saw the cherished tradiit ; it was of course empty, and she asked tions of years overturned in a moment, the question—why ? - with her eyes, look- without daring to fight for them. ing just then-so it seemed to the uneasy “And now, may I really take any book man- just a little like a schoolmistress who I like for myself ?”' she asked. was not quite satisfied with his conduct. “ Any one," replied Gibbs, who began “Yes," he silently repeated, “I am a to wish himself down the river with fool—and now I shall have to tell a lie Archie. about that book.”
“But some of them are too valuable." “ Ah !” he replied in a sort of echo to “I wish they were inore valuable,” said her exclamation. “An old cover ; it Gibbs, feeling rather faint. would do to bind something in." For “ Well," said Samela, “I shall not the life of him he could think of nothing trouble Messrs. Cruikshank or Rowlandbetter to say.
son.” She went back to the large pile Samela looked at the thread by which and picked up one of the books she had the quarto had been held in its place and looked at before. It was a medium sized which Gibbs had cut, and then she put square vellum-covered volume, De Instithe cover gently down. And then he tuendo Sapentia Animo, by Mathew took courage, and did the honors of bis Bossus, printed at Bologna in the year box. He expatiated on the beauty and 1495. May I have this one ?" she interest of Cruikshank's etchings; he asked. “I like it for its beautiful paper pointed out how much the fine condition and type, and its old, old date." of the books added to their value ; he en Gibbs with more truth than when he larged on the spirit and coloring of Row- had last spoken vowed that he was delandson's plates, and waxed eloquent on lighted that she should have it ; and he the exceeding rarity of the salmon-colored begged her to choose another, but this she wrappers. Samela listened patiently to declined to do. Before carrying off her his oration, and when he had finished she prize she looked again at the old chest. made him stand and hearken to a lecture It had evidently been made to hold valufrom her.
ables in ; it was lined with tin and had “I don't agree with what you say about a very curious lock, which shut with a Cruikshank," said the fair monitress. “I spring. But the queer thing about it was know it is the fashion to collect his books, that the lock would not act when the key and of course there are some of his etch was in it, and Gibbs showed her how he ings that are wonderfully spirited and per- had nearly put himself in a fix by laying fect. I like some of those to Sir Walter's the key inside the chest when he was shutDemonology, and there is another book of ting it. “ I was just on the point of snaphis which I don't see here”-looking ping the lock," he explained, “ when I about her—“his pictures in Grimm's remembered. I don't suppose any smith Fairy Tales,”—Gibbs nearly fell backward about here could pick that lock."
“Well,” said Samela as she prepared hanging up anywhere, nor his spiky stick to march off, “ I am very much obliged in the place where sticks were wont to be ; to you—for the tea, and for this charm- he could not anywhere get a gliinpse of iny book, which I shall value very much, the green japanned knapsack. “If such and I am sure my father will too.” She things should come to pass,” thought added, laughing, “I am afraid I read you Gibbs, “ I wonder if that old man would a terrible lecture, but you must forgive care—when he was relieved of the responme. I dare say I was all wrong. You sibility of looking after his charming know a woman never knows anything daughter—I wonder if he would care to about books.''
make an expedition to Honduras or Sierra After dinner Gibbs lit a big cigar and Leone, and collect specimens of his things strolled slowly down the glen in a medi- in those parts. He would have then a tative mood. In some ten days his month fine field for his energies." Then he would be up, and he would have to leave thought of himself. Did he in reality his pleasant quarters. A week ago he did wish for this change, or was it merely a not know that such a person as Miss Pren- passing gleam of light which shone on dergast existed in the world, and now he him, and which would pass away as similar was beginning to debate within himself lights had done before, and be little whether, before he went away, it would thought of afterward! He was well past be wise for him to ask her to be his com- the romantic age as it is called, and he panion for the rest of his days. He had was very comfortable as he was. Mar. liked her for so easily accepting his invita- riage, unless the bride had some fair tion, and it had been pleasant to him to dower, meant giving up a good many look at her as she sat so comely and at pleasures-perhaps some little comforts; home in the arm chair by his fire. He salmon-fishing for instance might have to thought in many ways,-if she said “yes” become a thing of the past. “It's a devil —that they would get on well together. of a thing to make up one's mind about," Of the likelihood of her saying it he could said Gibbs with a sort of a groan. So the form no opinion. She might be already man argued with himself ; now he found engaged ; or she might be--for all he a reason why he should try and win Saknew—a great heiress who would look mela, now another why he should get with contempt on his moderate fortune. away to his native land as quickly as he But as there are more indifferently well- could. to-do people in the world than wealthy These reveries had carried him a couple ones Gibbs sagaciously concluded that the of miles down the strath. He had just chances were that she was not a great heir- turned when he heard voices before him, ess. He thought that probably the Pren- and soon in the deeper one recognized dergasts were not very much burdened that of his faithful gillie, Archie. Gibbs with riches ; she had no maid with her, was in no mood to stop and talk to the and, manlike, he perhaps judged a little lovers ;-he felt sure that the weaker vesby the plainness and simplicity of her sel would turn out to be Jane,—and he dress. But the father and daughter might stood off the road, in the deep shadow of be criminals flying from justice for all he some trees, to let them pass. The pair knew. An attempt he had made to find were sauntering slowly along in very loverout from which quarter of the globe the like guise. old man came from had been at once “He's after her-he's aye after her," nipped in the bud. In the event of said Archie as they came within hearing. success that old man would be a draw. “He's talking wi' her, and laughing wi' back. Then Gibbs looked into the future. her, and painting wi' her, whenever he He saw a comfortable house on a northern gets a chance, but whether he'll get her coast sheltered with wind-swept trees. He or no is a matter aboot which I shouldna saw a sort of double-barrelled perambu- like to say. And I'm much mistaken if Jator in the outer hall, and a tall figure he isna smoking wi' her! If I didna see emerging from the drawing-room, with a cigar in her mooth the very day we lost her hand to her lips, -as if some one was yon big fish at the General's Rock, I'm asleep. Then he looked and looked, but no Archie Macrae but some ither body !" he could see no place for that old man ; This scurrilous observation was foundhe did not see "his shabby wideawake ed on the fact that on the afternoon in