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my being so lonely, that I do not know how and much improved in its general aspects he could have borne the knowledge that I by four handsome water-colour drawings must be poor too. So you see there's good suspended upon the walls. Their subjects in everything, Mrs. Devlin; and if papa were various. One represented a scene in had been left longer with me, it would have Egypt, with the Pyramids, and the Sphinx ; been much harder for him to die.' The and had the rich golden warmth of the next day she went to the lawyer's office afterglow upon it. The second was a hillMr. Newman is his name, Henrietta Street scene in India, with the lance-like, snow
- and sent Hannah with her; and crowned mountain-tops, the precipitous when she came back, she told me the winding roads, and the groups of picturlawyer had written out an advertisement esque travellers, familiar to us all. The for her, and he and the doctor were to third — and to my mind the most beautiful be her references. “If I could stay with —was a scene at sea. The gorgeous hues you," she said, I would be very happy; of sunset rested upon the water, still and but dear, dear, these are quite fashion- smooth as a lake. A long low coast-line able lodgings, and I am too young to go defined the distance, and on the calm waves out to teach, and no one would send pupils lay a deserted drifting boat. To my mind to me, or buy my drawings or my rubbish- a wonderful expression of rest was in this ing pieces of music,—though I thought them picture ; of rest won after long and fierce very sweet, and sad, and pretty, and I struggle. The calın was there indeed, but can't write novels, and no one would pub- the storm had raged before it fell in its lish them if I could; and I would be no use deep peace: the lonely broken boat told its in the workroom, even if I understood the story. Where was the noble ship, whose use of the sewing-machine. And so I am rent fragments had even been swallowed going to be companion to a lady, and to do by the great deep? The fourth picture was my best to make myself useful and agree- of an English home, of which the drawing able. She was a brave young lady, but a big gave a side-view. It was a large house tear bogan to gather over each of her brown with bay-windows jutting out on smooth eyes, and after a minute she let them gath- grass and gay flower-beds, with a belt of er and fall, and she cried, as they say it fine trees on one side, and a stone terrace does young people good to cry; but, for my on the other, where the inevitable peapart, I don't believe that. The lawyer soon cocks of all water-colour drawings displaygot an answer to the advertisement; and ed their splendid plumage. The execution she agreed to every thing they asked her. of this drawing was very beautiful; the finI could hardly bear to part with her, but ish of its details was perfect; and yet it she promised I should hear from her, and was hardly grand enough to be an ideal that in any difficulty or trouble she would country-mansion. The artist, if he drew come to me; and she left her little school- merely from his fancy, might easily have trunk, and a box of her papa's books, in my made the house far more imposing, the charge. She took his paintings with her; pleasure-ground more extensive and artistibut I am to have them too, she tells me, for cally arranged, and the trees finer ; and he she will not be allowed to hang them up might have thrown in many an accessory of where she is; and she says she knows I wealth and display with that minute gorwill let them hang in my little sitting-room geousness which water-colour loves. But until she has a home for them and Ally there had evidently been a stricter guide too."
than fancy here – memory had inspired the Who is Ally ?” asked Aunt Anne. pencil, and truth bad handled it. Mis. “ The bird, ma’am; its name is Allegra, Devlin came to me, as I stood before this which Miss Winifred says is a foreign picture examining it closely. word for "joyful;' but somehow we could “ I beg your pardon,” she said. “I could not always think of that, and so we took to not come up sooner. Mrs. Carter's cold is calling it Ally."
rather heavier. I persuaded her to remain Hang the paintings up in this room, in her room — she is quieter up there — and Mrs. Devlin, at least for the time that I I got the pictures hung, as she desired me. shall be here," said Mrs. Carter.
They are pretty, are they not, Mrs. PenniThen the old lady turned restlessly upon fold? How fond the poor Captain was of her sofa and sighed.
them, to be sure! These are all he did since
he left India ; but there are a great numWhen I arrived at Mrs. Devlin's in the ber to be sent home yet, Miss Winifred told afternoon of the following day, I found it me. They are to go to the lawyer's to le tenanted only by Corporal Trim and Ally, I sold; but she said she would never par
with these, because she was by her papa’s those drawings, sure they would side when he did them, and one of them is please you greatly. You cannot see them the place where she was born.”
from the sofa, of course.” Ah, that country-house, I suppose ?”. “No,” she said ; “my old eyes are weak: "No, ma'am, — the place with all the wait till to-morrow.” green trees, and the snow on the tops of the No more was said just then; but when mountains."
with the evening and her release from busi“ They are a great improvement to the ness Mrs. Devlin came up to sit with us, our drawing-room, Mrs. Devlin, - I am sure my talk turned once more on her handsome aunt will be quite pleased when she sees young lodger. them,” I said ; and then I went up to Aunt Mrs. Carter had just been saying how Anne's room.
pleasant it must have been to her to bavo Mrs. Carter did not leave her room for had such agreeable lodgers for so long, an'l nearly a week after the pictures were hung how much she must feel the differen e in in the drawing-room. For two or three the characters of persons with whom shj days during that period I feared that she had been brought in contact. also might die in the large upper-chamber Mrs. Devlin answered in her own cheery, where Winifred's father had breathed his way: “Well, ma'am, of course I do; but then last. But she rallied and recovered, and you see, if I don't care for the people, I see great indeed was the joy of myself, Mrs. nothing of them. Hannah has all the manDevlin, and the lugubrious, faithful, forebod- agement of them in that case, and I keep ing Joan, when she once more made her to my shop. I have been very fortunate appearance in the drawing-rcom. Our indeed, though I cannot say I ever had lodfamily-physician had attended ber during gers like the Captain and Miss Winifred, or the severity of the illness, and we expected you, ma'am, and Joan, and the Corporal.” a farewell-visit from him on this occasion ; The Corporal made a gruff acknowledgindeed the old lady had but been installed ment of this allusion to him, and Aunt Anne upon her sofa when his carriage rolled up said: “ You must have met some strange to the door. Dr. Elliott came in with his people though, and come to know some accustomed jaunty, trust-inspiring manner; strange stories." and after the usual questions, he looked “ Well, ma'am, I have, but not so many round and said,
as they who keep lodgings in other neigh" What a pleasant room this is ! I have bourhoods --- such as the Strand, or down been here before; I was called in by Cuth- Pimlico way. We don't have poor or strugbert to see a poor fellow who died here. gling people about here, and our lodgers Nothing to be done in his case for a long are always respectable ;. and I think when time before I saw liim, though. I remem- people are not poor, and you know exactly ber he had such a pretty daughter, - a tall who they are and all about them, they are brown-eyed girl.”
not very interesting, at least not like the “ Yes," I said; “I saw her once, she is interesting people in books. Not but they very handsome. I fear she has suffered are happy or sorrowful or amiable or unmuch by his death."
amiable, but they are not remarkable; very “ Cuthbert was very much interested in dreadful things, or very joyful things, don't her,” said Dr. Elliott. “ There was some happen to them. They change so often too sad story about her mother, I believe; at in the season; sometimes I hardly get to all events he had known her father more know their faces when they are gone." than professionally."
Then turning to me, she continued, “You “Mrs. Devlin calls him Captain,” said I remember, ma'am, when I was forewoman somewhat inconsequently; - what service here, in Mrs. Jackson's time – before you was he in ?"
and Miss Hester were married. I used to “Neither of ours,” he replied; "he had be very curious about the lodgers in those gone out to India in some commercial capa- days, especially when we had foreign ladies city, but had afterwards taken service with staying here, and I liked to get the maids one of the native princes, and had played a to show me their beautiful dresses. We rather distingushed part in the puzzling had 'many ladies here in the year of the game of internal Indian polities. When I Great Exhibition. That was a gay time, saw him he had long been an invalid.” Then to be sure, when the Queen and the Prince the doctor once more turned his attention to were the life and soul of every thing. It his patient.
is all very big and grand and important When he had left us I said to Aunt Anne, now; but somehow I don't seem to care for “ I wish you were strong enough to examine it. To be sure, I am eleven years older
than I was then; but that is not all the dif- / work; and though I could not help thinking ference.” She seemed to ponder over this of our strange lodger, I said no more about in silence, and then went on : "I shall nev- her. Evening was drawing on, when a er forget one lady we had in these rooms in plain brougbam drove up to the private July, 1851. She came alone to look at the door. I listened for a knock — n
- none came; lodgings, and brought a recommendation but in a minute I heard the door opened, from the agent Mrs. Jarkson always em- and just caught sight of the skirt of the ployed. I remember I had to attend to her, lady's dress as she stepped into the carriage, for my aunt was taking orders for a wed- which rolled rapidly away. I confess that ding-outfit in the shop; and I never was so I took advantage of the first minute I could struck with the manner and appearance of spare to run up to the drawing-room. any one in my life. I suppose she was Every thing was in its place; no one would about forty, and very handsome, but so have supposed that any one bad entered wild and sad-looking, and so hurried and the room that day. A cambric-handkerexcited in her manner. She was beautiful- chief, which lay upon the carpet near the ly dressed, but she had a reckless way ; and window, was the only token that every I am sure she did not care about her dress thing which had passed had not been a or any thing. She spoke very quickly and dream.” in a very abrupt way, and seemed desperately bent upon taking the rooms, though she hardly looked at them, but walked straight up to the windows and gazed out, first right before her and then to each side, “ Next day and the next the lady came and never turned away all the time she in the forenoon, and remained until dusk, stayed. “I want to take these rooms at and each time the carriage drove up, and once,' she said; I don't hesitate to tell you she came down, opened the door without that I have a particular purpose in taking any knock, and drove away, How did she them; but that purpose is a blameless one,' know that the carriage had come I won- and she caught her breath with a great dered - how did she distinguish it from the sob, - a perfectly respectable one. I shall countless others that thronged the highway? not require them for long, and I am willing What did she do there alone ? was she alto pay any reasonable rent. I shall require ways at one of the windows ? I asked myno attendance; I shall not be here at night, self these questions, and I asked Hannah and shall receive no visitors. Pray do not others. But Hannah knew nothing ; the refuse me; indeed you shall have no reason lady never rang her bell, and, beyond bidto regret having taken me. I cannot ex- ding her good-morning when she opened plain ; if I could you would know that you the door for her, she never addressed her. would only be doing a charitable and kind Mrs. Jackson was very much occupied with action. I remember that she sat down and her business, which began to thrive just panted, as if tired and out of breath, but then, and she gave herself no concern about still turned her head to the window. Of the mysterious lady, who never wanted any course the offer of the rent made no differ- thing, and never gave any trouble. When ence; if my aunt would take the poor lady Sunday came, my curiosity was keenly exas a lodger at all, she would not make her cited. 'I wondered whether the lady would pay for being, as she evidently was, in trou- come on that day to pass her time in the ble. I had to refer the matter to her; and same apparently profitless manner. Mrs. as I urged the lady's case for her very Jackson and I always went to one of the strongly, she consented. When I asked early services at St. Paul's
, and Hannah was her what day she would like to come in, the free to go to the eleven-o'clock, afternoon, lady took me by surprise by replying, “ Now, or evening service, as she pleased. On
this minute.' She laid a fortnight's rent this particular Sunday she had gone to the on the table as she spoke and her card. I eleven-o'clock service; and when a knock think I have the card still. Let me stay was heard at the door, it fell to my lot to here now,' she said; 'I shall only remain a open it. There stood the mysterious lady, few hours, but pray leave me. I asked her richly dressed and closely veiled. She exif she would require any thing, but she changed a courteous salutation with me, and said, “No; only some cold water to be left then passed hurriedly up the stairs. In the on the table.' You may suppose I was as- idleness and rest of the Sunday hours, I tonished at all this; but I did as she asked thought more sadly and wondering!y than me, and took the money and the card down before of the strange lady. It was a profitto Mrs. Jackson. Then I settled to my less speculation for me –
- nothing could be
more unlikely than that I should ever learn “ Did that prediction come true?” asked her history; but I could not turn my thoughts Aunt Anne, who had been listening to this from her, lonely, and I felt assured unhappy, strange episode in the romance of lodgingin that orderly room, which she never letting with interest as great as that which disarranged by any trace. Mrs. Jackson the story of the Captain and Miss Winifred and I dined alone on Sunday; and on this bad excited. occasion we talked of the strange lady “ It did indeed, ma'am,” said Mrs. Devlin ; almost exclusively. Mrs. Jackson was in- " and in a sadly short time. But something clined to think she must be mad; but I else happened first. If you are not tired did not partake her opinion. It was not of my talk, I will tell you about it. It madness I saw in her face, whenever I all seems as clear and plain to me now, caught a glimpse of it, but misery, or though it bappened eleven years ago, as you dreadful regret and hopelessness. The day seem sitting there, Mrs. Pennifold, or Miss was bright and sunny; happy groups of Winifred seemed when I used to watch her people wended their way through the streets, pretty ways. I remember, the day the Exthe birds sang, London birds though they hibition was opened, she was standing by were, as if they felt the sunshine quite as the window, but behind the curtain, so that much as any country birds could do; and she might not be seen, watching the carmy heart grew fuller and fuller, as I thought riages; and I thought, when I saw her tall of the lonely woman upstairs. At last I figure drawn up there, of the other, nearly determined to venture on showing her a lit- as beautiful, that I saw in the same place so tle kindness; so I placed a slice of cake many years before. All in a minute the and a glass of wine a salver, and strange lady seemed to stand there again. went up to the drawing-room door. II did not like to think of it; it seemed like knocked, but she made no answer; so I overlooking the poor dear to remember any turned the handle and went in. She was thing so sorrowful by her,” said the little standing where you are sitting, now, Mrs. Irishwoman mournfully, and with a touch Pennifold, by the side of the window; the of the poetic superstition of her country curtain was drawn forward, and she was and nation. gazing through the chink left along its out- “But what else happened about this lady, er edge, her head resting against the wood- Mrs. Devlin ?" I asked;" we want to hear all work. For a moment she did not hear me; about her first, and then you shall talk of but as I stepped forward, the glass I carried Miss Winifred to your heart's content. I jingled against the plate, and she turned forgot to tell you that Dr. Elliott knows suddenly round. O what a face it was ! - her; he told us to-day he remembered atfull of weariness, and watching, and excite- tending the Captain." ment, beautiful, and painful. I beg your “ Very likely, ma'am ; there was more pardon,' I said, but I thought you looked than one doctor, two or three times, as well tired this morning and not very strong, and as I remember. But I will tell you about so I took the liberty of bringing up a glass the strange lady. I remember every thing of wine. Will you kindly take it?' • Thank about her so well, that I think I see her you,' she said, passing her hand, as she face now and hear her voice. It was two spoke, wearily across her eyelids, and press- or three days after that Sunday, and I was ing them closely over the large eyeballs, 'I in the work-room, and Mrs. Jackson was will. She took the wine from my hand, sat busy in the shop, when I heard the drawingdown on the chair close to the window, and room bell ring very loud, and in a minute ate the piece of cake, drinking the wine or two Hannah came to the door and called with it slowly and absently, still keeping me. • Pray, go upstairs; the lady wants to her fixed upon the street. Presently see you very particularly.'. I went at once, she said, “You are very thoughtful and and there she was, with the whitest face I kind; tell me your name. I told her, and ever saw, and yet the brightest most imshe wrote it down on a tablet. She said no ploring eyes. As I entered the room she more, and I saw there was no more to be came towards me hurriedly and said, “Mrs. said, so I took up the salver and left the Devlin, who is there below in the shop?'
Of course I told Mrs. Jackson about I don't know, I answered in great surmy short interview with the strange lady, prise; I was in the work-room when Hanand it made her more than ever convinced nah called me.' •Go and see,' she said ; that she was mad. Think of her writing · pray go and see. I am almost sure a lady down your name, Honor,' she said ; 'you'll is there who has just crossed the street. be having a handsome legacy some of these Pray, go and see.' . But how shall I know if days.””
if she is the same ?'I asked. “The lady I mean
is very tall and dark, and she is dressed in Here,' she said, opening the carriage-door half-mourning, with a grenadine shawl and from inside, “get in for a minute. I know deep lace-border,' she answered me breath- where you are going, and I must speak to you.' lessly. “Go and see.' I went down into the As she spoke she took the basket, placed it shop at once, and there, seated at the count- in the bottom of the carriage, moved into er, I saw a nice gentle-looking lady, who ex- the farthest corner, and then held out her actly answered the description I had heard. hands to help me in. In another moment I Mrs. Jackson was taking down her name and was seated beside her, and the coachman, address as I came in; and I heard her say, evidently previously instructed, drove slow• Then you will send before twelve to-mor- ly off. I felt frightened ; but it all passed row ?' and Mrs. Jackson answered, “ Cer- so rapidly that I cannot describe my sensatainly.' Then the lady went away, and my tions in any way that will give you an idea aunt said, • That is an outfit order, Honor, of them. The change in the lady startled for a little girl going to school. You will me more than any thing else. It was she have to take the things yourself, before herself, and yet it was not. Instead of her twelve to-morrow, to No. 10 Wilton Place.' usual rich, careless dress, she wore a plain I looked at the entry in the order-book; and Carmelite gown, exactly like my own, a just then some customers came in, and I es- black shawl, plain white collar and cuffs, caped upstairs. The lady was sitting this and a straw bonnet with a simple ribbon time, not by the window, quite pale and trimming. Strong leather gloves covered quiet. She looked at me, but she did not her hands, intead of the dainty pearl-gray speak. • It is she, sure enough,'I said; and kid ones which she always wore. then I told her all that had passed. She face was changed. I do not know how she looked at me with intense eagerness, and had done it, but she had banished all the muttered, • I knew it - I knew it - I knew elegance from it; handsome though it was, I must succeed.' Then she said, “You do it had a common look. Ladies, I assure not know what a service you have done me; you she had changed herself into much the you can never imagine how grateful I am! same sort of woman that I am, only not so Do not mention this to any one; but I need contented-looking. The sorrow was in the not tell you that.' Then she stood up and face still. When I looked at her I thought took her bonnet and mantle from the table of that clever actress at the Adelphi, whom where they lay, put them on, took my hand I saw in one evening as a French countess in hers, wrung it with passionate force, and and a London servant-of-all-work, and equalwent downstairs, leaving me standing in ly at home in both characters. She laid the drawing-room with amazement. The hold of me with both hands, and said, next moment I heard the door shut, and I Don't be angry with me; I mean no harm; presently saw her cross the street and take I am doing none. But if you have a her way down Wilton Place. Of course, woman's beart in your breast, you will not ladies, i thought over all this, and puzzled refuse to help one so wretched as I am.' over it; and no doubt I was romantic and As I said before, ladies, I was younger then, foolish eleven years ago, though I have more and I never had much resolution, and she sense now; and I was fairly bewitched by had wonderful power over me; greater the strange lady. There was something power, I think, when she changed herself quite delightful to me in even this little bit in that extraordinary way than before. of confidence between us; and I thought Well, I need not tell you all she said, in the very little of my business all that afternoon way she said it; but the meaning of it was and the next morning. It was just half- this. past eleven when I set out with my wicker- 1. She had taken these rooms for no other basket on my arm to take the patterns to purpose than that of finding out where the No. 10 Wilton Place. I remember the very lady lived whom she had seen crossing the things now, and even the pieces. It is but a street on the previous day: She had an allstep, as you know, ladies ; but there was al- important motive for desiring to discover ways a crowd in Knightsbridge then, just this, and direct inquiry was impossible. as there is now, and I had to stand a good All she had been able to find out was, that many minutes at the crossing. While I was this lady had lodgings in Wilton Place; watching for a clear moment to run across, and she had resorted to the means I have I noticed a brougham drawn up at the op- described for getting sight of her unnoticed. posite side, the horse's head being turned She told me this so rapidly, with so much towards Piccadilly; and just as I did so, a excitement, that I could not ask her a queshand beckoned to me from the window. I tion; but it struck me that she did not crossed over, and saw the strange lady. mention this lady with any strong feeling