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muffins, and the blasphemous familiarity hamlet, trudging with hornbook and with the Deity of revival hymns ; while, slate in hand from Scar Foot to Counopposed to it, rampant secularism jeers terside, and back again from Counterat the notion of a Deity, and ignorantly side to Scar Foot. points the finger at the word “ fear, Then the road grew lonelier and being apparently unable to comprehend wilder; the birds chirped in the tangled that there is a holy awe which is as far autumn hedgerows : a tiny little crested removed from abject terror as the exalt- wren hopped forth and impudently noded páganism of Marcus Aurelius is re- ded into Judith's face ere it flew away. moved from its own blatant annihilation The spikes of the wild arum, the “ lords of what it is pleased to call the supersti- and ladies" of our childhood, gleamed tion of a God. Vociferously its adher- scarlet through the lush grass. The ents denounce the God-fearing man as a brilliant berries and sinister beauty of puerile creature, a prey to timid super- the black briony cast their charm over stition. Neither that orthodoxy, nor the hedges of thorn which in spring had this heterodoxy would know what to been a waste of hawthorn blossom. The make of the stern, cold religiousness, few autumn flowers flourished—the yelthe unyielding righteousness of those low coltsfoot, the lilac scabious, the blu ancient “God-fearing" men, any more duckweed. But chiefest and most glorithan they could own anything to be good ous were the red berries ; what is the which lies outside the pale of their own tale of the number of those bushes, dogmatism and their own crotchets. plants, and herbs which die down in the “ There were giants on the earth in those autumn in the shape of a scarlet berry ? days," as Judith Conisbrough often There were the aforesaid “lords and thought, for she had a high opinion of ladies,” the aforesaid black briony, and these departed Quaker dalesmen. Where in addition to them, the spikes of the is the hero in the ranks either of secu- honeysuckle, the broad, flat tufts left by larism or orthodoxy, who will bring the the wild guelder rose ; the hips and the same concentrated fervor to bear upon haws in their thousands, all helping to his cause ; who will suffer all things and make the hedgerows a vivid mass of endure all things, and such things as color. were suffered and endured by those early Judith lingered because she could not Methodists and Quakers-those "God- do otherwise. She was one of those fearing,” uncultivated rustics ?
people who cannot rush along such a Judith left the village behind her, road, without pausing or pondering. crossed the bridge, and took the road She felt it a desecration, a thankless up the hill to the left, and now, as ever,
0, as if a beggar spurned the though her heart was not light to begin hand held out to him, filled with gold. with, the glorious sweep of country Turning a corner, she suddenly had which met her eyes, made that heart in view on the left, and far below her, a bound. Ay, it was bonny, she often small and lovely lake, perhaps a mile in thought ; it was solemn, too, this rare, length, of an irregular oval in shape, unspoiled dale, this undesecrated tem- bordered on all sides by the great fells ple of nature. She loved every foot of before spoken of, and, on its margin in the road as well as she knew it, and that many parts, by trees. From the mowas by heart ; she loved the quaint, ment in which she came in sight of it, bleak shape of barebacked Addlebrough, her eyes dwelt upon it with an earnestwith his scar” of gray rock on the sum- ness that was wistful in its intensity. mit. She loved the three or four great She knew it well, and loved it, every silhills which brooded over the other side, ver foot of it, with a deep, inborn love treeless and cold ; and dear to her was given by the inherited tastes of generathe little group of very old houses tions of forefathers, who had lived and shaded by a wood of broad-boughed moved and had their being by the side trees, which hamlet went by the name of that fair sheet of water, in the midst of Counterside. She had heard her of those pure and elevating natural surgreat-uncle tell how he and his sister, her roundings. For it-this fairy sheet of mother's mother, used to go to school water, this Shennamere, as it was called, at a queer little brown house in the said an old corruption of
an old corruption of "Shining Mere"
—and the old house at its head, of fore she went in, surveying the prospect. which she had not yet come in sight, The clouds had lifted a little, and one were inextricably woven in her mind and pale, white gleam of light stole through fancy with all of glad and happy, of them, and slipped adown the side of the bright and pleasant, which her life had hill opposite, showing up the bare gray contained. There was no remembrance houses and stone roofs of the tiny village so far back as not to include that of called Stalling Busk, and then slid Scar Foot by Shennamere. Infancy, gently on to the lake, and touched it childhood, little girlhood, young woman- with a silver finger, so that even on this hood, large portions of each of these dark afternoon it was veritably “Shenperiods had been passed here, and passed namere. happily. Influences like these must Raydaleside and the Stake Fell looked have sunk somewhat into even a light black and threatening, and the clouds nature, and hers was no light one, but that were piled above them seemed big deep and earnest; calm on the outside, with the coming storm. From where Juand undemonstrative, but capable of in- dith stood, a most delightful old-fashiontensely concentrated feelings-of love ed flower-garden, with no pretensions at and resentment keen and enduring, of all to elegance, and therefore full of the suffering and patience practically un- greater charm of sincerity, sloped down limited for that which she felt to be almost to the lakeside. There was just worthy, noble, or right; tenacious of a paling, a little strip of green field with early impressions which colored and a path through it, and then, the margin modified all her thoughts and feelings. of the mere, with a small wooden jetty Should she live to be a hundred, should running into it, to which a boat was she pass through the most varied, dis- moored, with the name Delphine painted tracting experiences, to the end of her in white letters on its grass-green side. days Judith Conisbrough's heart would Many an hour had the two girls passed in leap up at the sight of this mere, and it, floating about the lake, with or without the name of the beloved old house would their grand-uncle. Just now it rocked be as music in her ears.
uncasily; not constantly, but occasionFor about a mile the road went above ally. The whole surface of the lake the lakeside, then down a long, steep hill, seemed to sway restlessly. It all porwith a rough stone wall at one side, and tended a coming storm, and as Judith with shady trees stretching over it, till, looked across the water, there came a still turning a little to the left, the back sound from Raydaleside like some proof a large house came in view ; behind longed, weird whisper. it ran a roaring beck ; a small wood of
She knew it; and as the large old trees gave it shelter--trees in breath of that whisper struck cold upon which the rooks were cawing hoarsely. her face she turned to the door, and There was the farmyard to pass through, with a strange, unwonted chill at her and the farmer's wife to greet ere she heart, lifted the latch and walked in. came to an old stone gateway, and, passing through it, found herself in
CHAPTER X. front of the house. It was a large, fine
“ IN THE PLOT." old three-gabled house. Over the stone archway she had passed through, a slab Though large and solidly built, and was let in with the initials, J. A., and with some pretensions to elegance outthe date, 1667. John Aglionby of that side at least, the house at Scar Foot was period had built himself this house, but in reality planned more like a large upon the remains of an older and a farmhouse than anything else. The door smaller one, where his fathers had lived by which Judith entered let her straight before him. Over the doorway was a into a splendid old square kitchen or larger slab, with the same date carved houseplace, with flagged floor, warmly on it, and “JOHN AND IVDITH AGLION- carpeted over, with massive beams of BIE, THEIRE Hovse," above and be- oak, and corner cupboards and fat cuplow it.
boards, wainscoting and chair rail of Judith passed several windows, and the same material. There were solidpaused before the door in the porch, be looking old oak chairs, too, black, and
polished brilliantly by the friction on dinner, so she doesn't even know that I their seats and arms, of generations of am here.
am here. I came early to save the daysmall clothes, hands, and elbows. This light.
Do you know, uncle, I think room was furnished comfortably and there's going to be a storm. even handsomely, but it was always used “ It is more than probable that your by Mr. Aglionby as a sort of hall or en- surmise is correct," he rejoined sententrance chamber. Over the way on the tiously. right was another spacious, comfortable Shennamere is restless, and the wind room, serving as a sort of library, for comes moaning from off Raydaleside, all the books were kept there. Up-stairs she went on, keeping to commonplace. was the large drawing-room or reception- topics before she approached the imporroom-“ the great parlor”' had been its tant one which lay near her heart, and name from time immemorial. The mas- which, after long and earnest discussion ter's own favorite den and sanctum, into with Delphine, they had decided should which no person dared to penetrate be broached to-day. She was sorry to without first knocking and being invited see that her uncle was not in the most to enter, was much smaller room than auspicious mood for granting favors, but any of those already described, arrived she felt it impossible now to turn back at by passing through the houseplace on with the favor she desired, unasked, the left of the entrance. This little after all her heart-beatings, her doubts
was panelled throughout with and difficulties, and hesitations, andoak.
she took heart of grace-he never had Not finding her great-uncle in the refused any of her rare and few petihouseplace, where a roaring fire was tions. He might, perhaps, have grimburning cheerily, Judith knocked at the aced over them a little, in his uncanny door of the sanctum, and a rough voice way, but in the end they had been grantfrom within bade her enter. She founded always. the old man there, puffing at his Ay,” her uncle responded to her “churchwarden,” with his newspaper last remark; “whoever thinks that beside him, and his colley dog, Friend, Shennamere is always ashine, knows couched at his feet. He looked up as nought of the weather in these parts; she entered, and she saw with surprise and whoever lives at Scar Foot should that a black look darkened visibly over fear neither solitude nor wild weather.” his face. He did not speak.
Well, you have never feared them, “Good-afternoon, uncle. I have have you, uncle ?'' walked over to see you."
“What do you know about it?'' he “Vastly obliged, I'm sure, my dear,' returned surlily. he replied, with the urbanity of tone Judith, looking out through the winwhich with him portended anything but dow, saw the storm-clouds gathering urbanity of temper.
more thickly. She must broach her “We have heard nothing of you since errand. With her heart in her throat, our return," she pursued.
at first, not from fear, to which sensa“I was at your house this morning, tion she was a stranger, but from the anyhow," he said snarlingly.
tremendous effort of not only overcomWere you?” she said in great as- ing her own innate reserve, but of laytonishment. “Then didn't you see ing siege to his also, she said, mother?"
Uncle, I came to see you this after“Of course I saw her.”
noon, with a purpose. She did not mention your having He looked sharply up, on the alert been. How very extraordinary !" instantly--his eyes gleaming, his face "Humph !" was the only reply. expressive of attention.
She went on : Judith seated herself, as she usually ' You have been very good to us girls, did, opposite to liim, in an oaken elbow- especially to Delphine and me, and most chair, and stooping to take Friend's head especially to me, all our lives." between her two hands, and brushing "Humph !" the hair from his eyes, she said, “Per- “And I am sure we have returned haps she will tell us about it to-night. your goodness with the only thing we She was tired, and went to lie down after had to give-affection, that is."
A peculiar sound, between a We can starve and pinch, and economize and a snort, was the answer.
upon her income, but we can't have “I am more than twenty-one years any comfort upon it, and it is terrible. old now-nearly twenty-two, indeed." We cannot speak about it to strangers
“Thrilling news, I must say !" -we don't wish to ; but it is none the
“ I am not a very clever person, and less misery that we live in. And I am I am a very ignorant one.'
so tired of being idle, and so is Del“Some grains of truth appear to have phine : we should like to work sixteen penetrated to your mind, though they hours a day, if we could keep ourselves have taken a long time to get there, if by doing so. And if you would give you have only found that out now. me a hundred pounds now, uncle, you
“But I don't think I am more stupid should never need to think of spending than most people, and when one is young another penny upon me as long as we one can always learn."
both live, nor of leaving ine any money “ Do you desire a master for Italian when you die ; nor to Delphine either. and the guitar ?"
We have a proper plan. We want to “Not at present," she replied com- work, not to waste the money.
Oh posedly, but her heart grew heavier as uncle, dear, you know what it has cost she saw no sign of responsiveness or of me to ask this. Surely you won't resympathy on his face ; only a hard, fuse !" stolid fixity of expression, worse almost The pleading in her voice amounted than laughter.
to passion. She laid her hand upon his “I don't think I should ever care to arm in the urgency of her appeal, and perform on the guitar,” she proceeded, looked with an intensity of eagerness
though I should like to know Italian into his face. well enough. But I did not come to Mr. Aglionby put down his pipe and you with any such absurd request. It rose from his chair, his face white with was a much more serious business that anger, his lips and hands trembling. brought me here. Uncle, mamma has What ! you are in the plot too, often told me that you are rich.” shameless girl !” he said, in a fury
“ The devil she has !” broke dis- which, if not loud, was none the less cordantly from him.
dreadful. “ And if she had never said so, we Judith recoiled, her face pale, her have heard it from numbers of other peo- eyes dilated, and gazed at him as if fasple. And mamma has often said that cinated. when you died-” she hesitated, fal- " Your precious mother has betered.
queathed her impudence and her slipHe removed his pipe from his mouth, periness to you too, eh? A bad lot, and, with gleaming eyes, and lips that those Arkendales, every one of them. had grown uminously thin, relieved her The men were freebooters, and the from the necessity of finishing the sen- women no better, and you are like the tence.
rest of them. You thought to come “ You lasses would have my money and wheedle something solid out of me to cut capers with, eh ?”
before it was too late. I know you. I “Oh no, no ! But that, as you had know what it is to be an old man with a no one else to leave it to-we-you, lot of female vultures sitting round him, uncle, you know what I mean ; and do waiting for him to die that they may listen to me. You quite misunderstand pick him clean. It seems some of them me. I hope you will live for years can't even let the breath leave
his body and years-for twenty years to come. before beginning their work. But," his Why not? And I do not want your voice changed suddenly from raving in money. I hate to think that people a broad Yorkshire dialect to the treachpoint' us out as being your heiresses ; erously smooth tones of polite convenand when mamma talks about it it makes tionality, “ though I am past seventy me feel fit to sink into the earth with two years of age, my dear, I am not a shame. But uncle, you know--for you drivelling idiot yet, and so you may tell cannot help knowing--that mamma has your respected mother on your return. not enough money for us to live upon. And"
My mother knows nothing about gotten by now the errand on which she this,” Judith said, or rather, she tried to had come, while her mind, in painful say it. She was stunned, bewildered by bewilderment, sought to assign some the torrent of anger she had drawn upon reason for this fit of frantic anger. The herself, and utterly at a loss to compre- accusations and the epithets he used at hend his repeated references to some last roused her indignation beyond con“plot,” some “scheme," of which he trol. Raising her head, she fixed her seemed to accuse her of being cogni- clear eyes unblenchingly upon his face, zant.
and standing proudly upright, began “ Bah !” he vociferated, returning to in a louder, clearer voice : his raging anger, which appeared to have “Uncle, listen toovermastered him completely. And as “ Begone!” he almost shouted, with he spoke, he hissed out his words in a a stamp of his foot, and turning upon way which irresistibly reminded her in her with eyes that scintillated with fury; the midst of her dismay of the stream- “and may you never darken my doors ing out of boiling water. And they fell again.” too upon her head with the same scald- She paused a moment, for her mind ing effect. She stood still, while he refused altogether to comprehend his raged on with wild words and wilder words. Then as some understanding accusations ; nothing being clear in of what he had said began to dawn upon them, save that she and all belonging to her, she turned to the door, saying, her had played a párt to cheat and fleece in an almost toneless voice : him, and to oust the poor lad from Good-by, uncle. You are not yourhis rights," all of which accusations self. You are making a dreadful miswere as mysterious to her as they were take. Some day you will repent it.”outrageous to her dignity. She had for Temple Bar.
NATURAL HISTORY NOTES,
THE WILD CAT.
black stripe running along the spine,
while the sides are decorated with transAMONG animals once common in Scot- verse waves of an obscure blackish-brown land, but now nearly extinct, is the wild color. The fur is thick and deep. The cat. In the forests of Germany, Hun- animal has an abundant whisker, larger gary, and Russia, in the western parts of teeth than the domestic cat, and it has a Asia, and in certain districts of Switzer- yellow throat. On the face its color is land, these ferocious animals abound, a yellowish-gray passing into grayishand they are found occasionally among brown on the head, and several black the mountains of Scotland, Wales, and stripes extend from the face between the Ireland. During the day they lurk on to the top of the head. The the branches of large trees, in the hol- strength of the wild cat is enormous in lows of decayed trunks, or in clefts and proportion to its size, and its eyes glare holes of the rocks, whence at night they fiercely. Though it shuns the face of sally forth in quest of plunder. Hence man, it turns to bay when hard pressed, it happens they are rarely seen, but the darts ferociously on its assailant, aiming presence of a wild cat soon becomes ap- chiefly at the face and eyes, and using parent from the slaughter made during claws and teeth with vindictive sury. its nocturnal excursions. Hares, rab- The female makes her nest in a hollow bits, grouse, partridges, and other crea- tree or rock, but sometimes in the nest tures are stealthily seized, and the fur or of a large bird, produces four or five feathers of the victim alone remain to young ones at a birth, and in defence of mark the presence of the destroyer. thein will face any danger.
The wild cat is larger than the tame Besides the genuine wild cat there are animal, being about six feet from the specimens of domestic cats that have nose to the tip of the tail. The general become wild. The house cat, which color of the body is a dark gray, a dusky through accident has lost its home, is a