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