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of English girls for investigating churches that perhaps she could come to any acand public monuments, and I should tual harm, but that the count might lead probably find her sketching some old por. her into some embarrassing or compro. ial, or perhaps in the cool interior, lisien mising position, the heroine of some story ing in a kind of day.dream to the subdued that would be told of her during all the clamor of the Gregorian plain-song. The rest of her life. Heaven only knew what bell had just ceased ringing for vespers trick he might play her; misinterpreting as I entered the church, and a small as, perhaps, the free and independent bearsemblage of worshippers was scattered ing of an English girl, and taking advanabout among the chairs : a few elaborate tage of the purity and unsuspicion of hier ly dressed women, the wives, no doubt, of nature. local magnates; some market-women in By this time the old squire had come to highly colored shawls and short petti- a more lively sense of ihe situation; he coats; and one or two aged peasants in began to grumble out that it was getting threadbare and carefully patched blouses late, and ibat it was too bad of Hilda to - these last the most fervent and devout keep him waiting so long. When we got of the whole assemblage, even including back to the inn we found no tidings of the officiating priest, who required an Hilda. And now madame la directrice occasional pinch of snuff to help him on was becoming uneasy.' When should we with his breviary. But inore to my pur rejoin the yacht and her dear Alphonse ? pose, 1 espied, leaning against a column And that charming Monsieur Tom, where ibat cut off further view, the grey, time was he, and why was not everything ready worn head of the old squire. Hilda must for departure? But Justine drew me be there too, beyond the pillar, but I could aside with a mysterious air. She had not get near enough to see without dis- news of mademoiselle. She had driven turbing the whole congregation, and so I off with M. de St. Pol; he had hired fresh waited patiently till the service a very horses, and had taken ber away — away to short one was finished.
the forest. Yes, she had found that out Most of the people had left the church, from the people of the inn. There was but a few were still lest, kneeling about some old abbey to be visited. What. here and there, and the squire still kept could mademoiselle see in those old ab. his seat.
I edged round ihe cliurch to beys that were no longer fit for human wards the pillar. The squire had surely habitation ? But this was at Cérisy, in fallen asleep, leaning his withered, tired- the very middle of the forest. Ah, why looking face against the cold stone-work. did mademoiselle leave her faithful ser. But he was alone, no Hilda was there, and vant behind, who would have protected her the knowledge of this gave me a certain from all these dangers ? thrill of undefinable misgiving. I touched After all, Justine seemed to have hit the squire on the arm. He roused him- upon the truth, for the squire, when again self, and turned to me with an air of bland interrogated, seemed to recognize the inquiry No, he had not been asleep, name Cérisy as that which his daughter but had closed his eyes for a few minutes had told him. The place, too, might be in reflection. He walked with me towards called on the road to Bayeux, although it the door, looking a little dazed and be was a long way out of the direct line. Our wildered after his nap. His memory trusty aide, Tom, having failed us at this seemed to have failed hiin for the moment. pinch — not exactly from his own fault, He hardly knew where he was, or to whom for how could be bave anticipated any un. he was speaking. Hilda,” he replied pleasant result from the pleasant advenvaguely, in answer to my inquiry; “I ture of the turkeys? — and I being left to don't quite know where she is -- in the my own resources, I persuaded madame garden, or perhaps down in the village,” la directrice to accept the escort of the old just as if we had been at Combe Chud squire, and packed them off -- Justine leigh. And then he seemed to gather his very unwillingly making one of the party faculties together, sitting down in the - by the next train to Bayeux. And then porch and holding his forehead in his I got Contango harnessed and put in the hands. “Yes, I think she's gone out,” dog.cart, and started off at a slapping he repeated; “gone out with that young pace for Cérisy. Frenchman to see some abbey, but I don't Thirough pleasant, Englishı - looking know where."
country, flat and fertile, with many It was maddening to be thus thwarted streams, bridges, and turnings, evening by the old man's failing memory, for I was shadows coming on and the setting sun now seriously alarmed about Hilda. Not gleaming in the waters, now bank-bigla
was soon over
from the rising tide – through all this I slung behind her. The little performance drove, not thinking much about the scen
the countrywomen about ery or surroundings, but engrossed by the here were not afraid of sheep, and handled one thought, how to reach Hilda and take and examined them quite familiarly. And her away from that recreant count. Hap: when the performance was over, the little pily the trail was clear enough. At each brown girl crept quietly up to me and stopping-place where I paused to give whispered : " You are looking for the tall Contango a rest and wash out his houth mademoiselle ; come after me, and I will with cider-and-water, I heard of the phae. show you where she is gone." And so I ton with its pair of horses and the young followed the child, leading Contango by man with the beard, and the tall young the bridle. “We must be quick, for she lady. But no one had seen them return. walks fast,” cried the girl, and as soon as ing. The way seemed interminable, with we passed out of the village I listed the cross-roads constantly baffling me, and child into the cart, and drove on under more than once I missed the way and had her guidance. At the next turn of the to drive back. All the world seemed sunk road I saw a figure which brought my into repose
the birds had retired to heart into my mouth. It was Hilda, ris. rest with immense twitterings, and were ing tall against the evening sky, walking silent, but for a nightingale which now resolutely along, while a little behind her and then piped melodiously from a masculine figure seemed to have difthicket. And then the little village came ficulty in keeping up with her, while he upon me almost by surprise, calm and addressed all kinds of remonstrances, tranquil as if life no longer moved there, tender and indignant, without eliciting a in a green valley, while standing grey and reply. At the sound of wheels behind clear in majestic solitude rose the old ab- ber, Hilda turned and looked eagerly and bey church, solid and stern ~ of the true intently towards me. Next moment I had Norman build, the handiwork of the old reached her and leaped down to her side, Norman dukes - standing there like throwing the reins to the gipsy girl. some veteran who has outlived his world, Hilda gave one long look. solitary and sad.
“Oh, Frank," she cried, "you have Something seemed to have kept the come at last !” and she began to tremble village awake, for several people were violently while I supported her in my about. At the door of the little café arms. " There, I am all right now,” she stood a servant in a strange hat. That said, releasing herself from my embrace. was enough. I knew that the count was “And now, Frank, send that man away,” not far off, although the man very re. with a look of scorn and aversion in the spectfully but insincerely assured me that direction of M. de St. Pol. he did not know where his master had A gesture was sufficient, the count gone. The church, too, where I first turned to depart, when, overcome by went, was empty, a faint light glowing anger, I slashed him across the shoulders about its massive columns, and not a soul with the whip. He turned upon us, white anywhere to be seen. The people, too, with suppressed passion. whom I asked seemed strangely con- “ You will answer for that blow with strained and silent.
your life, monsieur,” he cried. It was possible that M. de St. Pol " Don't fear him," cried the little gipsy; might have been there ; he had property “I will be your friend, monsieur,” and she in the neighborhood. Indeed, he had a slipped down from the cart, and disaphouse in the wood close by. And soon I peared in the forest. was thundering at the door of this little “Of course I knew you, Frank," said house in the wood. But there was no one Hilda, as we travelled swiftly along the there but a deaf old woman, who to satisfy road towards Bayeux, having left Cérisy me showed me into every nook and cor- and the vengeful Count de St. Pol far be
All was ready for the count, for no. bind. “I knew you at once,” she con. body knew whether he might not come at tinued ; “but as you thought proper to any moment.
But not as yet – no, he hide yourself behind an alias, it was not had not come as yet, croaked the old for me to break down the barrier. you bad
raised between us." And then, at my wits' end, going back That was all very well, I urged, but who to the village I saw a little group gathered had raised the barrier in the first instance in the street about a couple of men in - the most formidable barrier possible — picturesque rags, two sheep with curling in the person of Mr. Chancellor, the acborns, and a little girl with a tambourine Icepted suitor ? Not that I blamed her,
indeed. I knew the pressure under which had spent together, culminating in that she had acted. But now, surely, all bar- sorrowful parting before Miss Chudleigh's riers could be removed, there were no "house at Weymouth. Was it possible, difficulties in the way that could not be Hilda asked, to have your heart broken overcome. But Hilda looked grave. How more than once? could she break her faith with a man who But it was useless, she said, to dwell was both honorable and generous, who any more on what had passed away. Mr. had saved her father from ruin, and her Chancellor had behaved splendidly. He brother, perhaps, even from disgrace? I was a man of action, full of energy and reNo, she had been betra;ed into the ex- source, and he had taken up the Chud. pression of her long, suppressed feelings leigh family, and brought them out of the at the sight of me just now. But still, pit into which they were falling. He too emotion must give way to stern realities. was an old friend; his father had been a She must leave Mr. Chancellor to thank poor curate in a parish near Combe Chud. me fully for rescuing her from a situation leigh. But John Chancellor liad left home of some embarrassment. And then she when a boy, to seek his fortune among went on to explain how the situation the manufacturing people of Lancashire, came about.
and had found it. He had fought his own Hilda had been anxious to see this old way to the front, and might be trusted to abbey church of Cérisy; and then there maintain himself there; but he had rehad been a misconception as to the dis. membered the Chudleighs, who had been tance. Some country people who had kind to his father; and he had sought out been asked had given the distance as six Hilda, although he might well have looked kilomètres, she understood, or not quite for a more brilliant match. four miles, while in reality six leagues “Can I desert such a man ?" asked were intended, or at least fifteen miles. Hilda. The country people cling to their leagues For some distance we had travelled as measures of distance, as they do to along a narrow country road bordering their sous in monetary matters, just as if the forest, very quiet and almost gloomy the Revolution had never happened. But in its shaded stillness; and then we the count must have known that Hilda was struck into a broad, well-frequented highunder a delusion when she informed her way, which turned out to be the highroad father that she would be back in an hour between Bayeux and St. Lô. This road or two. And then there had been delay followed pretty closely the course of the after delay, wilsully contrived, Hilda be- little river Drôme through a fertile pleaslieved, by the count, who seemed to enjoy ant valley in the midst of a gently unduher perplexity and discomfiture. In the lating country, and before long the spires end, Hilda had declared her intention of of Bayeux appeared in the distance outmaking her way on foot to Bayeux, and lined against ihe evening sky. There is had started with that intention, the count a strange, yet homelike appearance about urging her with unpleasant persistence these spires of Bayeux, homelike in the to remain, when I appeared upon the twin spires that might belong to some
English minster, and strange in the cuAll's well that ends well, and the inci- rious dome that crowns the whole - if dent might have been soon forgotten, but dome it can be called, which is neither for the unfortunate blow which I liad tower, nor spire, nor dome, but a curious given the count, and which, if he deserved mixture of all three; as if some old Cruit ever so much, he could hardly be ex. sader had brought home a cupola from an pected to forgive. He would hardly re- eastern mosque and stuck it on the top of main beaten and content; but anyhow, it the grim, solid old cathedral. rested with him to take the next step; Presently we pass the little octroi hut, and why should we mar the sweetness of where a sleepy old fellow looks out, but the hour by any thought of him ? Con- does not take the trouble to ask if we tango seemed to feel that no great speed have anything to declare, and so into the was required of him for the moment; he precincts of quiet old Bayeux, passing fell into a walk which became more and the railway-station, where a little knot of more leisurely as he looked about for omnibuses are waiting for the train from something to startle him—a cow crop. Paris, and then across a rich, lush valley, ping the hedge, or the distant whinny of where the quiet river Aure winds among some brother or sister quadruped. willows and elms, and is almost lost in the
We had a hundred things to talk about, thick grass and luxuriant foliage. And Pilda and I — all the past times that we here on the broad highway the young:
people of the town are at drill — boys and But immediately dinner was over Hilda joung men who liave not yet reached the disappeared for the night. She was quite age for candidates for the conscription: too tired, she said, to sit up any longer. The boys are restless and fidgety, and Justine had everything ready for her mis. inclined to level their chassepots at every tress, and made great eyes of curiosity, passing object; but the youths march, but did not venture to ask any questions. smartly enough, and look thoroughly in And then the little diligence came in earnest. A new departure this for France, from Port en Bessin, a nondescript vehi. and likely to develop the love of soldier. cle in which only the coupé in front and ing, which in most parts of the country a bench at the top, still called la ban. lad for long almost ceased to exist. quette, remain as survivals of the ancient,
Across the road, as you enter Bayeux, roomy, lumbering diligence. The dilistill hang the old-fashioned street lamps gence brought news of the “Sea-Mew," suspended by a cord as in the days of which was lying at anchor outside the the Revolution, when it was the fashion harbor, and Wyvern had sent word that to use them for hanging any unhappy the whole party would sleep on board aristocrat who might have incurred popu- that night and come to Bayeux next day. lar displeasure. Then there is the wash- In the middle of the night there was a ing-place, where the old women are still great bustle in the hotel. Guests had at work beating their clothes and rubbing arrived. Bells rang vioiently, waiters and them in the running stream, chattering all chambermaids ran to and fro. Presently the while and seeming to enjoy their there was a knock at my door, and Tom evening toil. One old lady amuses Hilda Courtney came in like a whirlwind, eager especially, as she stands in her tub half- to tell his adventures. Redmond had way in the stream, as if on an island, driven him to his cottage in the country, while she works vigorously away at hier not far from Caen. Tom described the lessive. And then a glimpse at the pond, place with enthusiasm. Surely Redmond where horses and cattle may drink -a might have been very happy there, with solemn, shady nook, overbung with trees, bis orchard and his cider-press, with the with fragments of ancient stonework to pretty little paysanne who lived in the be seen here and there. After this, into cottage close by. He might have married the High Street, for such it must surely the pretty paysanne, and have set on foot be, although it bears the unfamiliar in a new Norman family to grow and flourish scription, Rue St. Martin. This is quite when the one in old England should have an English High Street, like that of died out. Perhaps Redmond had bad Guildford, for example, steep, and up-and some such ideas in his head before we down, with smart little shops all lighted met him. And then at the sight of people up, where the shopkeepers stand at their from the world he had left, the current of doors discussing the affairs of the day bis ideas was at once changed. If his and staring at the new arrivals with curi creditors could be appeased, if his posious eyes. And then we drive into the tion could be regained, why should he courtyard of the Hôtel de Luxembourg, hide himself any longer under a peasant's where a pleasant, comely hostess comes blue blouse ? And as for the pretty pay. out to welcome us. Oh yes, our friends sanne, it was adieu forevermore, my have arrived, and are about to sit down to love! Or rather he did not trouble himdinner; but there is no hurry; dinner can self to say adieu at all. Redmond would be served as much later as we wish. have left all things to take their chance,
" Which of our friends have arrived ?” his pony, his poultry, and all his little is now the question asked a little anx. pigs; but Tom persuaded him to sell the iously. But the suspense is soon over as whole for a lump sum - the lump not we appear at the table d'hôte — a pro- being of any great size - to the stout, longed table d'hôte that is kept up till red-faced Norman who kept the auberge almost any hour at night. There are the of the village. Redmond would not stop old squire and madame la directrice, who to give one shake of the hand, or say one have become excellent friends, it seems, word of adieu, to people who, on his own under the stress of circumstances. No showiny, had been very kind and hospitaone else is there, not even Tom, about ble. He was a man thoroughly reckless whom we are getting a little anxious. and selfishi, Tom said, who would sacrifice And we slide into our places without re everybody and everything to the whim of mark from the others, except that Sté. the moment. Tom felt, he declared, like phanie sweetly inquires “if mademoiselle the fisherman in the Arabian Nights has enjoyed ber abbey?”
who had let the genius out of the bottie.
Then Tom had to listen to my story, | crumbled up a roll as if it were a comfit. and like the captain of the “ Thunder And then he vouchsafes remark in an Bomb,” he very much approved of what injured tone, I had done, especially the horsewbip busi- "I suppose we must go and see the ness, but he agreed that it was certain we tapestry?" should hear more of the matter in the fu- Hilda replies with decision: “Of course ture. And we must take care that Hilda's we must go and see the tapestry.” name was not brought into the affair. Madame la directrice, with a languid Tom shook his head when he heard of air, exclaiins, Contango's performance. So much work “Ah, that tapestry, it is something very on a heavy road might put out his chance nice. I think I must get some for my for the trotting-race. Contango must little salon." rest all the following day, and if people Tom was inclined to laugh, and madame wanted to drive anywhere they must go la directrice saw in a moment that she by diligence.
had made some little mistake, and laughed Next morning the sun was shining herself good-humoredly. brightly through the green rush-matting “ Have I committed a bélise? Never of the sun-blinds, and pushing them aside, mind, since my husband is not here to a pleasant scene presented itself below, scold me.” where in the garden among flowers and When I came down Hilda and the rest shrubs a table was laid with snow-white were just starting for the Bibliothèque to cloth and serviettes, where Hilda and her see the tapestry. It reminded one of go. father with madame la directrice were ing to morning service, there was just sipping their early morning café au lait. that gentle stream of people in one direcAbove them rose the grey rooss of old tion. Most of the people were English. Bayeux, roofs which owe their pleasant There were a couple of fresh-looking Entone and their air of antiquity to the use glish youths, who were going about the of a slaty kind of limestone, or stony kind country on bicycles; a family of tall girls, of slate, geologists must decide wbich; a who had the air of being in possession of slaty product, at all events, which is exclusive information on every possible found in the neighborhood, but which is subject; and a married couple, who quarunhappily being replaced by the staring relled a little in a subdued manner. And blue slate of commerce. And above the besides these, our compatriots, there were roofs rose the still more hoary towers of a pair of French provincials, who may the cathedral, and the singular kiosk-like have the complacent feeling that they dome.
were about to assist at the bumiliation of With all these roofs and towers, the perfidious Albion. view is not crowded. There is plenty of Hilda confesses to something like a room in old Bayeux; there are big gaps feeling of awe, as we enter the room among the roofs filled up with cluinps of where the tapestry is shown. An old foliage; open places with formally clipped lady sitting in the entrance-ball, tranquiily avenues; old mansions with their grassy knitting and keeping an eye upon the viscourts and big gardens, once the hotels itors, might be a guardian of the dead, of the royal officials no doubt, where now she ushers us in with such a grave, subthe notary and the huissier mount their dued air. But here it is, the handiwork brazen eniblems of the majesty of the law. of those noble dames of old — the moth. Altogether there is an air about the place ers, wives, and daughters of those mighty as if giants had lived there once and pig. men who hammered out the iron frame. mies had taken their place. Here are work of England's greatness. The tapgardens, too, full of roses still, with fat estry is stretched upon a screen and strawberry-beds, and pears ripening on covered with glass, and is still wonderthe walls, all fresh and glittering with dewo fully fresh and vivid — less faded, indeed, drops, while Hilda, fresh as a rose as to than many of the samplers our greather cheeks, and dewy as to her lips, sits grandmothers have left behind them – there and drinks her café au lait, all un- and worked in a stitch very much like conscious of being observed. Madame la the modern crewel-work upon hand-made directrice is a little yellow in the morning linen that suggests the work of Indian light, and has an air of fatigue, as if she looms. But what we are not quite prewould say with the sluggard, “ You have pared for is the admirable spirit and life woke me too soon, let me slumber again.'
." of the work, of which the photographic Tom has joined the party by this time, reproductions give no idea. These an. bas disposed of his bowl of coffee, and has cient dames must have worked with the