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a great satisfaction to him, I was more than Aesh and blood could for he's a partisan too. Mind, I say noth bear. ing against the hospital. What other places have, we ought to have too. We
CHAPTER XVIII. bave the same needs as our neighbors. It happened after this that John ErsIf Perth has one, I would have one kine, by no will of his own, was drawn that's my principle. But I would not repeatedly into the society of the some take it up because it's a plan of Lord what lonely pair at 'Tinto. Torrance had Lindores'. And I hear you and that never been popular, though the county muckle lout Pat Torrance were nearly extended to him that toleration which a coming to blows
rich man, especially when young, is apt to “Is that the minister too? ” John cried receive. There were always benevolent angrily.
hopes that he might mend as long as he “No, it's not the minister; the minister remained unmarried; and after his marhad nothing to say to it. Don't you take riage his wife bore the blame of more up a prejuuice against the ininister. than half his misdeeds. To tell the truth, That's just as silly as the other way. It poor Carry, being so unhappy, did not was anothe“ person. Pat Torrance is take pains to conciliate her neighbors. just a brute; but you'll make little by Some she took up with almost feverish taking up the defence of the weaker side eagerness, and she had two or three im. there. A woman should hold her tongue, passioned friends; but she had none of whatever happens. You must not set up, that sustaining force of personal happi. at your age, as the champion of ill-used ness which makes it possible to bear the wives.
weariness of dull country company, and “ So far from that,” said John, with she had not taken any particular pains to fierce scorn, “ the tipsy brute swore eter- please the county: so that, except on the nal friendship. It was all I could do to periodical occasions when the great rooms shake him off."
were thrown open to a large party, she But Miss Barbara still shook her head. and her husband, so little adapted as they “Let them redd that quarrel their own were to indemnify each other for the loss way,” she said. Stand you on your own of society, lived much alone in their great feet, John. You should lay hands sud- house, with none of that coming and going deniy on no man, the Apostle says. Mr. which enlivens life. And since what he Monypenny, is that you? I am reading called the satisfaction which John had our young man a lecture. I am telling given him, Torrance had experienced a him the old vulgar proverb, that every sort of rough enthusiasm for his new herring should hang by its ain head.”
neighbor., He was never weary of pro“And there's no a truer proverb out of claiming him to be an honest fellow. the Scriptures, Miss Barbara," said Mr. “ That's the way to meet a man," he Monypenny, a man of middle age, and would say, “ straightforward; if there's grizzled, reddish aspect. It irritated John any mistake, say it out.” And Erskine beyond 'description to perceive that the was overwhelmed with invitations to new-comer understood perfectly what was “look in as often as he pleased,” to “take meant. It had evidently been a subject pot-luck,”. to come over to Tinto as of discussion among all, from Sir James often as he wearied. Sometimes he to the agent, who stood before him now, yielded to those solicitations out of pity swaying from one leg to another, and for poor Carry, who seemed, he thought, meditating his own contribution to the pleased to see him; and sometimes bearguments already set forth.
cause, in face of this oppressive cordiality, “ Miss Erskine is very right, as she it was difficult to say no. He did not eno always is. Whatever her advice may be, joy these evenings; but the soft look of it will carry the sympathy of all your well. pleasure in poor Carry's eyes, the evident wishers, Mr. John, and they are just the relief with which she saiv him come in, whole county, man and woman. I cannot went to John's heart. Not a word had say more than that, and less would be an passed between them on the subject untruth."
which all their neighbors discussed so “I am much obliged to my well-wishers, fully. No hint of domestic unhappiness I am sure. I could dispense with so crossed Carry's lips; and yet it seemed much solicitude on their part,"cried John, to John that she had a kind of sisterly with subdued fury. Old aunts and old confidence in him. Her face brightened friends may have privileges ; but to be when he appeared. She did not engage schooled by your man of business — that I him in long intellectual conversations as
she did Dr. Stirling. She said, indeed, sight of this passing figure. Even Tinto's little at all to him, but she was grateful to rude gaze was softened by it. He looked him for coming, and relieved from that out at his wife and child with something which she would not complain of or object more like human tenderness than was to – the sole society of her husband. usual 10 him. Himself for a moment gave This consciousness touched John more place in the foreground to this embodi. than if he had been entirely in her con- ment of the nearest and closest ties of fidence. A kind of unspoken alliance life. He stopped in the talk which he seemed to exist between them.
was giving forth at large in his usual loud One evening when June was nearly monologue, unaffected by any reply, and over in the long, never-ending northern something softened the big balls of his daylight, this tacit understanding was at light projecting eyes. “ Let's step outonce disturbed and intensified. John bad side and finish our cigars," he said been captured by his too cordial neighbor abruptly. Lady Caroline herself looked in the languid afternoon when he had different from her wont. The child against nothing to do, and had been feeling some her heart soothed the pain in it: there is what drearily the absence of occupation no such healing application. It was not and society. Torrance could not supply a delightful child, but it was her own. him with either, but his vacant condition One of its arms was thrown round her lest him without excuse or power to avoid neck; its head, heavy with sleep, to which the urgent hospitality. He had walked to it would not yield, now nestled into her
Tinto in all the familiarity of county shoulder, now rose from it with a sleepy, neighborhood, without evening dress or half-peevish cry. She was wholly occuceremony of any kind. They had dined pied with the little perverse creature, patwithout the épergnes and mountains of ting it with one thin soft hand, murmursilver which Torrance loved, in the low ing to it. The little song she was croondining-room of the old house at Tinto, ing was contemptible so far as music which still existed at one end of the great went, but it was soft as a dove's cooing. modern mansion. This room opened on She had forgotten herself, and her woes, the terrace which surrounded the house, and her shipwrecked life. Even when with an
ease not possible in the lofty that harsher step came out on the gravel, Grecian erection, well elevated from the she did not recognize it with ber usual ground, which formed the newer part. nervous start. All was soothed and soft. Lady Caroline, who had left the gentlemen ened in the magical evening, calm, in the some time before, became visible to them warm softness of the baby, lying against as they sat at their wine, walking up and the ache in its mother's heart. down the terrace with her: baby in her And Torrance, for a wonder, did not
The child had been suffering from disturb this calm. He stopped to touch some baby ailment, and had been dozing the child's cheek with his finger as his a great part of the day, which made it un. wife passed him, but as this broke once willing to yield to sleep when evening more the partial slumber, he subsided
The mother bad brought it out into quiet with a sense of guiltiness, puffvrapped in a shawl, and was singing softly ing his cigar at intervals, but stepping as to lull it to rest. The scene was very lightly as he could with his heavy seet, tranquil and sweet. Sunset reflections and saying nothing. A touch of milder were hanging still about the sky, and a emotion bad come to his rude bosom. pearly brighiness was diffused over the Not only was that great park, those horizon - light that looked as if it never woods, and a large share of the surroundmeant to fade. The trees of the park lay ing country, bis own, but this woman with in clustered masses at their feet, the land- ber baby was his, bis property, though so scape spread out like a map beyond, the much more delicate, and finer than he. hills rose blue against the ethereal pale. This moved him with a kind of wondering ness of the distance. Close at hand, sense of the want of something which Lady Caroline's tall, pliant figure, so light amid so much it might yet be possible to and full of languid grace, yet with a sug. attain — happiness, perhaps, in addition gestion of weakness which was always to possession. His breast swelled with pathetic, went and came the child's pride in the thought that even while thus head upon her shoulder, her own bent engrossed in the humblest feminine occuover it — moving softly, singing under pation, like any cottager, nobody could her breath. The two men sitting to mistake Lady Car Torrance for anything gether with little conversation or mutual | less than she was. They miglit think her interest between them, were roused by the a princess, perhaps. He did not know
any princess that had that carriage, he lowed freely that conversation was not in said to himself; but less or meaner, no. his way. body could suppose her to be. And he “They are coming now in about ten was touched to see her with his child, her days," Carry said. “Of course they have whole soul — that soul which had always stayed longer than they meant to stay, eluded bim, and retained its chill superi- People never leave town on the appointed ority to him — wrapped up in the baby, day who was his as much as hers. There was “ There are so many people to see.” in the air a kind of flutter of far-off wings, “And so many things are put off till as if peace miglit be coming, as if happi- the last, I remember how hurried we ness might be possible even between this were, - how rapidly the days flew at the ill-matched pair.
end." John Erskine was the spectator in this “ You do not go to town now ? ” curious domestic scene. He looked on • No," she said hurriedly; "it is no with wondering, half-pleased, half-indig-deprivation. We — neither of us nant observation. He was almost angry for London." that Carry should be lowered to the level Torrance felt a certain gratitude to his of this husband of bers, even if it gave her wife for thus identifying her inclinations for a time a semblance of happiness; and with his. “ If truth were told, maybe yet his heart was touched by this possi. that might be modified,” he said. bility of better things. When the child dare say you would like it, Car. You went to sleep, she looked up at the two would get people to talk to. That's men with a smile. She was grateful to what amuses her,” he added, with an exher husband for his silence, for bringing planatory glance at John. It was a novel no disturbance of the quiet with him ; and sort of pleasure to him to give this amia. grateful to John for having, as she ble explanation of Lady Caroline's pecul. thought, subdued Torrance by his influ-iarities, without any of the rough satire
She made to them both that little in it with which he was accustomed to offering of a grateful smile as she sat treat the things he did not understand; down on the garden-seat, letting the child and his constant pride in her found a rest upon her knee. The baby's head new outlet. “It's not gaieties she wants, had slid down to her arm, and it lay there it's conversation,” he said, with a softened in the complete and perfect repose which laugh. “ Next year we must see if we a mother's arms, protecting, sustaining, can't manage it, Car.” warm, seem to give more than any bed. She turned to him with a startled The air was so sweet, the quiet so pro- glance, not knowing whether to deprecate found, that Carry was pleased to linger all change so far as herself was out of doors. Not often had she shown cerned, or to thank him for this unusual any desire to linger in her husband's so- thoughtfulness. Fortunately, her instinct ciety when not bound by duty to do so. chose the latter course. “It is kind of This evening she did it willingly. For you to think of me,"sbe said, in her soft the moment, a faux air of well-being, of voice. In all their wretched married life, happiness and domestic peace, seemed to they had never been so near before. pervade the earth and the air. “It is so He replied by his usual laugh, which sweet, it cannot do her any harm to stay there was always a consciousness of that out a little,” she said, smiling at them over power of wealth which he could never the baby's sleeping face, which was half forget he possessed. Oh yes, he would hidden in the soft, fleecy white shawl that do it – he could do it whenever he enveloped it. John Erskine sat down at pleased — buy pleasures for her, just as a little distance, and Torrance stood with be might buý dresses or jewels for her, a half humility about him, half ashamed, if she would take a little pains to make willing to do or say something, which herself agreeable. But even the laugh would be tender and conciliatory, but not was much softer than usual. She gave knowing how. They began to talk in low bim a little nod over the sleeping child, tones, Erskine and Carry bearing the in which there was kindness as well as frais of the conversation. Sometimes an astonished gratiude. Perhaps she had Torrance put in a word, but generally the never been so much at her ease with him large puffs of his cigar were bis chief con- before. tribution. He was willing to let them They are going to fill the house in the talk. Nay, he was not without a certain autumn,” she said, returning to the prepleasure, in this softened mood of his, in vious subject. “I hear of several people hearing them talk. He would have al. I coming. A certain Lord Millefleurs
- I had no
"" That reminds me,” said John, “that lences, and would not care for real disI had a letter the other day from one of tinction. That is a great mistake. It is our old Swiss party. You will remember all the other way. It is we who think of him, Lady Caroline
these things most.” Here he paused, with a sudden recol. “ I beg a thousand pardons lection and putting together of varions such meaning,” John said; and she made things which, in the curious inadvertence him a little tremulous bow. She was so of an indifferent mind, he had not thought deadly pale, that he expected every moof before. This made him break off ment to see her faint. But she did not. somewhat suddenly, and raise his eyes to She continued, naturally calling him back Carry, at whom he had not been looking, to what he had been about to tell her. with an alarmed glance.
“ You had a letter from Mr. Beaufort? He saw her take a large grasp, in the about - you were going to to tell me —" hand which had been laid softly upon it, “ About coming here,” said John, feelat ease, with extended fingers, of the ing that to say it out bluntly was now the baby's shawl. Her face, which had been best. " It appears he has a sort of charge so smiling and soft, grew haggard and of this Lord Millefleurs.” wild in a moment. Her eyes seemed to “Charge of Lord That is not a look out from caverns. There was a mo- dignified position for
- your friend, mentary pause, which seemed to arouse Mr. Erskine.” heaven and earth to listen. Then her “No. I don't know what it means; he voice came into this suddenly altered, vig. has not made the progress he ought to ilant, suspicious atmosphere. " Who was bave made ; but there is something speit, Mr. Erskine?”. Poor Carry tried to cial about this,” said John, hesitating, not smile, and to keep her voice in its usual knowing how far to go. tope. But the arrow flying so suddenly Again Lady Caroline made him a little at a venture had gone straight into her bow. She rose, with some stiffness and heart. She had no need to ask - had she slowness, as if in pain. It grows late, not divined it all along?
though it is so light. Baby will be better Probably you have forgotten — his indoors,” she said. She went quickly very name.
one of those fel. away, but wavering a little in her gait, as lows,” stammered John. “I forget how if she were unconscious of obstacles in little a party like ours was likely to inter the way, and disappeared through the est you. Beaufort you may remember window of the old library, which was on the name.”
the same level as the dining-room. John He felt that every word he uttered stood looking after her, with a bewilderhis artificial levity, his forced attempt to ing sense of guilt, and alarm for he knew make that unimportant which only his not what. All this time Torrance had not consciousness that it was deeply impor. said a word; but he had taken in every tant could have suggested such a treat-word that was said, and his jealous eyes ment of, was a new folly. He was doing had noted the changes in his wife's face. it for the best – most futile of all excuses. He watched her go away,! as John did. When he looked at her again at the end When she had disappeared, both of them of his speech, not daring to meet her listened for a moment in silence. Neither eyes while he gave it forth, he saw, to his would have been surprised to hear a fall astonishment, a rising color, a flutter of and cry; but there was nothing. Torindignation, in Carry's pale face.
rance threw himself down heavily in the “Surely,” she said, with a strange thrill seat from which she had risen. in her voice, “ you do your friend injus. "That was
a pity, Erskine,” he said ; tice, Mr. Erskine. So far as I remember, “you saw that well enough. You can tell he was very distinguished - far the most me the rest about this Beaumont Beauremarkable of the party. I do not think fort - what do you call him?— that you I can be mistaken.”
thought it best not to tell Lady Car.” No, no, you are quite right,” John “There is nothing to tell about Beaucried; “I only meant that these things fort,” said John," whis Lady Caroline, were much to us; but I did not know or any lady, might not hear.” whether you
would recollect — whether “Now just look you here, John Ers. to a lady
kine," said Tinto, projecting his big, eyes, “You are all so contemptuous of wom. “ I thought you were he that is the en,” Lady Caroline said, wiih a faint smile, truth. She told me there was somebody. "even the kindest of you. You think a I thought it was you, and I was deter lady would only notice frivolous excel- | mined to be at the bottom of it. Now
here's the man, beyond a doubt, and you familiar preoccupations. To have him know it as well as I do.”
here - he who was merely " tutoring,” a "I don't know it at all,” cried John, genteel attendant upon a foolish young " which probably is as much as you do. lord, - to exhibit him, probably penniless, Can you suppose I should have spoken to probably snubbed by everybody around, Lady Caroline as I did if I had supposed a dependant, a man without position or — believed — known anything at all?" wealth, — was an idea altogether delight
“I will say,” said Torrance, " that ful to him. It was indeed a fierce delight, you're an honest fellow. That stands to a cruel pleasure; but it was more conreason; you wouldn't have opened your genial to his mind than the unnatural mouth if you had thought - but then you softness of the hour before. never thought till after you had spoken. And was it all John Erskine's doing ? Then you saw it as well as me.'
his foolishness, his want of thought? “ Torrance ! ” cried John," for heaven's When he left Torrance in disgust, and sake, don't imagine things that were never hurried away along the now familiar ave. thought of! I know nothing about it nue, where he no longer took any wrong absolutely nothing. Even had there been turns, his foolishness and thoughtlessness anything in it, it is six years ago it is overwhelmed him. To be sure !
- a thouall over; it never can have had anything sand recollections rushed upon his mind. to say to you
He had known it all along, and how was “Oh, as for that,” said Torrance, “if it that he had not knowo it? The moyou think I've any fear of Lady Car go- ment he had committed himself and begun ing wrong, set your mind at rest on that to speak of Beaufort's letter, that moment point.
No fear of Lady Car. If you he had foreseen everything that followed suppose I'm jealous, or that sort of thing” - just as poor Carry had read what was - and here he laughed, insolent and coming in his first sentence. It was he dauntless. “I thought it was you,” he who had disturbed the evening calm — said — “I don't see why I should con- the rapprochement of the two who, doomed ceal that I thought it was you. And if as they were to live their lives together, you think I would have shut her ladyship ought by all about them to be helped to up, or challenged you ! - not a bit of it, draw near each other. Full of these dis. my fine fellow! I meant to have asked quieting thoughts, he was skirting a clump you bere — to have seen you meet — to of thick shrubbery at some distance from have taken my fun out of it. I'm no more the house, when something glided out afraid of Lady Car than I am of myself. from among the bushes and laid a sudden Afraid !-- not one bit. She shall see just light touch upon his arm. He was al. as much of him as possible, if he comes ready in so much excitement that he could here. I mean to ask him to the house. not suppress a cry of alarm, almost terror. I mean to have him to dinner daily. You There was no light to distinguish any: can tell him so, with my compliments. thing, and the dark figure was confused You needn't say any more to Lady Car; with the dark foliage. Almost before the but as for me, there's nothing I'd enjoy cry had left his lips, John entreated parmore. Tutoring, is he?” Torrance said, don. “You are — breathing the evening with a sort of chuckle of wrathful enjoy- air,” he said confused, now that the inent; and he cast an eye over his de- little one is asleep." mesne, with a glow of proud satisfaction But she had no leisure for any vain upon his face.
pretences. “ Mr. Erskine,” she said, The sentiment of the evening calm had breathless,“ do not let him come — ask altogether disappeared. The peace of him not to come! I have come out to tell nature was broken up; a sense of human you. I could not say it — there." torture, human cruelty, was in the air. It “I will do whatever you tell me, Lady was as if a curtain had been lifted in Caroline." some presence-chamber, and the rack dis. “I know you will be kind. This makes closed beneath. Torrance lounged back me very miserable. Oh, it is not that I
- with his hands in his pockets, his could not meet him! It is because I cheeks inflamed, his great eyes rolling - know my husband has an idea, not that in the seat from which poor Carry with he is jealous - and he does not mean to her baby bad risen. His mind, which be cruel, — but he has an idea
He had been softened, touched to better would like to look on, to watch. That is things, and which had even begun to what I could not bear. Tell him, Mr. think of means and ways of making her Erskine — beg him — of all places in the happier, turned in a moment to more world, not to come here."