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CHAPTER I.

tive for outrage, and done more than all | as it were, in cold water was weak. the measures, however much they be tem. Besides, he dreaded the ruler of the unporarily required, for its suppression in savage Englishman, the British police

J. H. TUKE.

At times he envied his brother, Lord Woodman, who, though little wealthier than himself, would, on the demise of

Lord Grandveneur, their father, became From Blackwood's Magazine,

a legislator of his country, and a large A HANSOM AMATEUR.

landowner, which, as the Honorable Mark A TALE IN FIVE CHAPTERS.

knew, not only is a position of toil and difficulty, but also perhaps in a few years

may be one of personal danger and stern SOME people have a surprising talent oppression; for the example of grinding for despising the ordinary amusements the faces of landlords bias been set with and occupations of life; and very fortu- some success. nate creatures they are, for it is clear that It was near the hour when good, oldmore than their fair share of the amuse- fashioned ghosts used to break churchment lurking about in odd corners of yard, and good, old-fashioned fairies to this labyrinthine universe has been given begin their revels the once witching them to cause this satiety. Or perchance but now too familiar hour of midnight it may be truer to say that more amuse-, and Mr. Forrester had just left a theatre, ment than they are able to assimilate has where the afterpiece had been a burlesque been offered to their mental palate. on something – perhaps on “ Paradise

Mark Forrester was one of these fortu. Lost.” He was always expecting some nate unfortunates : he seemed to have enterprising pulpiteer to run up a burfound everything out, and detected the lesque church, and start a burlesque hollowness of all things. Though a liturgy. From his experience of the pubyounger son, he was born afflicted with a lic taste, he thought that the thing would fortune a year, and no compensating skel. draw. eton in his closet; and as he was neither Thus musing, he mounted the drivinga genius nor a scoundrel, he scarcely seat of his private hansom. The groom knew what to do with himself without the was about to step inside, when a gesture warm stimulus of necessary labor. He from his master warned him to go home, had not even the consolation of a hobby, and the hansom-driver started on his nor the solace of being a fool. Of late lonely and adventurous career. It is suphe had taken to cab-driving, in which he posed that one of the sweet little cherubs found temporary refuge.

who keep watch over the recklessness of He was no common Mark: he was an English tars, schoolboys, and street in. honorable, and consequently a noble fants, is told off to protect hansom cabs Mark, and had inade his mark till he be in London. Accidents do sometimes oc: came a Mark of admiration in the pursuits cur for all the cherub's care: these ought most esteemed by the gilded youth of to- not to be called accidents but natural day. And he had even been marked with sequences, the safe journeys being the distinction in university lists. Naturally, real accidents. he had received many marks of esteem This private vehicle behaved as miracfrom those members of the fair sex who ulously as its public fellows. It darted no longer graced the arena of the ball. like lightning round abrupt corners; it room on their own account, but on that of wound a swift and sinuous course through their young; He was the gilded mark at densely packed vehicles going in five difwhich the bold and wary hunter of the ferent directions at once at fifty different husband aimed with care. But he had as rates of speed; and it charged itinerant yet made no Mrs. Mark. Of all things, vendors’ stalls and the forms of foot.pas. he hated conventionality, and he found sengers with the apparent purpose of cutthe fair things of the awing.r om con- ting them in two, but relented in the very ventional to a fault. There were mo-act, shaving these obstacles with the most ments when, under the influence of this delicate accuracy. The cabman, from his hatred, he even thought of eschewing the lofty elevation, surveyed such of mankind modern use of the tub, and putting it to as were revealed by the artificial lights the more comprehensive purposes of the amid the natural, all-compassing darkness, Grecian sage

- he who appropriated the with satisfaction: he was as happy as a sunshine. But in this the fleshi — cradled, | Greek athlete, skilfully guiding his char

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iot to the goal on the Olympic course, regulated by the countenances of the fares though neither parsley, beech, nor olive rather than by the distances traversed, was to crown his happy brows. All along and thus some were not charged at all. Piccadilly he flashed like a star, and then And one, a young lordling of his acquaintin the quiet by the Green Park one of ance, gloriously tipsy and apostrophizing those dramas which the streets so fre a lamp-post in the fondest terms, he had quently offered him began to unfold itself. conveyed the length of a street for the A woman's form, closely pursued by that sum of five pounds, - coins which he had of a man, fled swiftly over the pavement; returned, with their history and a timely and when the pursuer gained upon her, sarcasm to the dismayed and contrite lad she uttered a panting cry. A policeman next morning. was apparently studying astronomy just Not one lady returned to reward the within sight.

gallant cabman, but three, and that after On the impulse of the moment, the cab some moments' delay. There was a lamp was driven to the kerb, and stopped close just over the gate of the little villa, and to the fugitive, who, as if the inovement by its light he saw an elderly lady in a had been foreseen and fore-ordered, at bonnet whom he at once recognized as once jumped in and shut the doors, with Lady M.Whymper, his fare, and a taller a panting but superfluous “Drive on!" girl with a woollen shawl thrown round and the honorable cabby, keenly inter- her head and shonlders. ested in his fare, and ignorant whether le Sixpence," he replied, in answer to were assisting in a tragedy or a comedy, the latter's question of how much. flicked his high-bred steed, and plunged

“ We don't want to impose on you, into the dark distance of night. “So cabman,” she said; "and however short swiftly,” he mused, " did the gloomy king the distance, nobody charges so little.” of shades ravish his fresh bride from the Beg pardon, miss, I ain't nobody," flowery meads of Enna!”

returned the cabman, with more truth But as he was not prepared for the re. than she dreamed. ception of a Persephone in the realıns of “ Very true,” she laughed, looking up which he was king, he presently drew up, in his face, which was a little above the and opening the trap.door, asked, “Where lamplight, and muffled to the nose in a to, mum ?"

comforter assumed for the occasion. “But A very pale face, not particularly pretty, you ought to have a double fare for your and still bearing the infantile sweetness kindness to my sister. She is young and of early youth, looked up. “ Is he gone?” easily frightened, and I am too much ocsbe cried, quite gone?"

cupied to go about with her, as we are “Half a mile behind, mum,” he replied, all working women. And I wanted to in a reassuring tone; and received an ad- make an arrangement with you to take dress which put bis London topography her to her singing engagements twice a to the test. However, after threading a week in future. But if you fleece your. tangled maze of streets for a quarter of self in this way, the thing will be impos. an hour or so, he landed his charge at the sible. However, as we are poor, and gate of a small villa, which had been left Maisie has hitherto walked home on that behind by mistake in an ugly, quiet street account, I thought that a permanent enof great new dismal houses.

gagement might be contracted for; but "One moment, cabman, please,” said nothing shall induce us to fleece honest the young lady, springing lightly to the men, even with their consent,” she added, pavement; “I have no change.” And putting three sixpences into his hand. she ran in,

The honorable cabman was

a little One would imagine that such an oppor. startled at being nailed, as it were, on the tunity for vanishing unquestioned would spot, in consequence of his chivalrous have been gladly and promptly seized by succor of a forlorn damsel. It was, howe an amateur cabman ; but it was not so. ever, a fine opening for hiin, since his Mr. Forrester had more than once before mind had of late been seriously exercised made himself useful to the British public with regard to the advisability of driving in the capacity of cab driver, and had fre. a stage-coach, an omnibus, or an engine. quently received a cabman's due, coins So he quickly caught at the offer; and which, when duly cleansed and polished, Lady M.Whymper, whom he knew as a he treasured fondly in an ebony cabinet canny Scotswoman and strict treasurer of as the only money he had ever earned – pence, having suggested an outrageously and how sweet such money is, they who small payment, he declared the sum to be have won it only know. His charges were a princely reward; and the bargain was .

;

narrow means.

Are you

struck, not without hesitation on the part the cabman husk would have revealed a of the tall girl, who thought the price too gentlemen in ordinary evening array. small, and who was yet evidently so poor His punctuality was rewarded. In an. that she could not afford more. “ I can't swer to the bell, which was pulled by a have Maisie exposed to such terrors,” passing arab, Olivia Winter came to the she mused aloud; "and yet I don't like gate in the lamplight, patted the horse's to take advantage of this good cabman." neck with a slim white hand, on which

The earnest consultation of the two Mr. Forrester detected the gleam of a young ladies on the subject moved him, diamond ring: “I am so sorry, cabman,' for he had never yet realized the tragic she said kindly; "my sister will not be importance of a few shillings to people of ready for at least ten minutes, and you

Pounds and shillings really are a little before your time. I were to him and his fellows as the com- would ask you to come in, but of course mon rain and sunshine to ordinary hu- you cannot leave your beautiful horse. I manity. His knowledge of the poor was never saw so fine a creature between cab, theoretic and fragmentary, by no means shafts before, though I know that a good experimental, and he had yet to become deal of blood is sometimes to be found in acquainted with the vast border of de-hansom cattle. What is his name? cent and even cultured and refined pov- Bright? Then you are on our side in erty that separates wealth from squalid politics. We are extreme Radicals. And want.

your name? I hate to call people by their On starting with Lady M'Whymper he offices, as if they were mere machines. I received a card from the taller sister with recognize a brother in every man I meet, the name Olivia Winter, and the address and think of his humanity rather than his Normandy Villa, Bromley Road, W., that accidental relations with myself.” he might not fail in his assignation on the “ Mark Forrester, at your service, following Tuesday, and drove off highly miss,” he replied, touching his hat, not interested and deeply speculating upon quite at his ease under the steady, frank the circumstances of his novel acquaint-gaze of the eyes beneath the woollen ances, and concluding that Olivia was shawl. probably a needlewoman or former maid “ Mark a nice manly name. of Lady M«Whymper's, and that Maisie, married, Forster?' his fare, was in training for the ballet or “Not exactly, miss.” some supernumerary stage employment. “Not exactly? Trembling on the verge, With all that, it was strange of Lady Forster? I hope you will make a good M.Whymper to be there at that time of choice. People don't reflect sufficiently night.

before marrying, particularly when cirHis fears that the old Scotchwoman cumstances allow them to marry young would recognize him were groundless. and without difficulty. Now a cabman Having calculated the exact fare, and must find great comfort in a wife. But given him a few pence under it on her don't be in a hurry, Forster,” she said arrival at her lighted house, with its earnestly; "don't give up your life for a opened door and advancing servants, she bright eye and a pretty cheek. Make sure was in far too great a hurry to get the first that she is good. door closed between herself and the in- Mr. Forrester smiled in his comforter. jured cabby to bestow a glance either on He had frequently before been lectured him or his smart cab.

upon his matrimonial duties and prosa “Stebbing,” said Mr. Forrester, when pects, but never by a being so young, so his groom stepped up to take the reins bright-eyed, and so disinterested. He from his hand, “have the crest painted liked new experiences. out of the cab to-morrow, and get me a set “There's a good deal in that, miss," he of plain single harness without any plat. replied, copying the intonation of the Lon. ing or ornament whatever."

don million; “I'm blest if I don't turn it Certainly, sir.”

over in my mind."

Do, Forster. And if you can manage

it, bring her to see me, and I'll find out WHEN the appointed Tuesday came, what she is made of. Women know womMr. Forrester, true to his word, drew up en. I dare say you think that she is not at the gate of Normandy Villa five min. quite in my class; but we have given up utes before the trysted' hour, carefully class distinctions, my sisters and I. We got up in the cabınan mode as to his ex- consider ourselves quite on an equality treme outer man, while an abstraction of l with you,” she added, with a smile full

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CHAPTER II.

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of innocent and unconscious condescen- “You are making fun of me, Mr. Forsion.

rester. Are women ever anything?”. “Do you now, miss?” he returned, with “ I have recently had reason to believe evident surprise; “ well, now, if that ain't that they are human beings, Miss Coinqueer! Rum, I call it.” The idea of a less." working girl on the second floor of a little Really. Well, it is something to be Cockney villa descending to social equal- allowed even that dignity." Mr. Forres. ity with an earl's son tickled him. ter looked thoughtfully at the lady's fan,

Yes, I am plain Olivia Winter." which he held for some moments. She The cabman doubted it. Such a voice was one of ten daughters; and he knew, and such eyes could not belong to a plain and she knew, and everybody knew, that woman, he was certain. However, he the present object of her being was to se. scarcely felt equal to expressing this opin- cure a man of equal social standing and ion, and merely shook his head dissent superior wealth to herself as husband. ingly in the darkness.

Then he looked at Miss Coinless, who “ I care little for the conversation of was pretty and charming after the conven. gentlemen. They speak to women as if tional pattern lie abhorred. they were highly developed pussy-cats. I “ Are you perchance a woman's rights? prefer talking to men like yourself - hon-woman?” he asked. est fellows whose life is too serious to be “ Am I devoid of common sense ? " she fooled away in idle things.” He thought replied, dropping the conventional mask, of his own aimless existence, and sighed. or are you?” “ What do you think of this war ? You " Such women are not devoid of comsee the papers, I suppose, and have a mon sense,” he objected. vote, of course ? And only think, I have “ Did I say that they were ? But to Isn't it hard ?”

confess to such thoughts would be mere “ Things in general is rough upon wom- folly, particularly when on one's promoen, miss. Howsomever, I shouldn't won. tion," she added, with a bitter curl of the der if they was to pull the woman suffrage lip. “ In the slave-market,” she said in through Parlymint some of these days.' her heart.

Do you really think so, Forster? I "I doubt it. Honesty is a good am so glad. This is my sister, Geraldine thing Winter,” she added, as a girl with a cup “For the free. Really, Mr. Forrester," and saucer came tripping down to the she added, once more assuming the smilgate, " Mark Forster, Gerry.”

ing mask that the Spartan cruelty of soMr. Forrester, by force of habit, lifted ciety imposes upon women,

66 what nonhis hat in the usual way, to the great sur- sense we are talking! I promised merely prise of his friends.

to dance with you, not to say my cate“I have brought you a cup of coffee, chism." Forster," said Miss Geraldine, with a He took the hint and the lady, and frank smile. “ Maisie is just coming. whirled agreeably round in silence, musWould you prefer beer ? "

ing upon the occult cause of the convenMaisie, otherwise Margaret, then ap- tional mask that so vexed him. He made peared, and was drive to her destination, an advance that night in the knowledge which proved to be some well-known pub of human nature. “The conventional lic rooms in which a concert was being woman,” he affirmed," is a sham. She is held, and where the cabman had the pleas- a sham because she is not free.” Then ure of hearing his fare, who figured in the he stood apart, and mused what figures programme under a professional name, Olivia, Geraldine, and Maisie would make sing very artistically in a trained chorus, in that gay scene! Happy girls ! born to and once in a brief solo. Having driven the noble independence of labor, and her back to Normandy Villa, and having blissful exemption from conventional fet. been cordially thanked, duly paid, and ters! But what were they? He wonwished a pleasant good-night, he finished dered how a cabman might respectfully the evening at a brilliant ball, where the arrive at some knowledge upon that subweariness:of conventionality was specially ject. borne in upon him.

In the mean time, life had ceased to be “Are you a Radical?” he asked casu- dull. The pleasant aroma of the cabally of Miss Mabel Coinless, after a turn nights pervaded the rest of the week. His in a waltz, during which it struck him

that fare always chatted agreeably and frankly the lady's want of originality was surface with him, though with an unconscious wasbed rather than ingrained.

condescension which tickled him im.

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mensely; and his curiosity was kept upon opportunity for reflection, the eager Olivia the stretch by the fact that beyond know- had' engaged him to come to Normandy ing that the three were working women, Villa on the following Sunday evening for he could not tell the occupation of the two his first Greek lesson ; and after this he elder sisters, each of whom appeared felt that he could not disappoint the arfrom time to time, bringing him tea or dent girl, whatever his opinion of the ex. coffee, and bits of carrot or sugar for the pediency of the arrangement might be. horse, and talked pleasantly upon general On the following morning he appeared subjects, particularly politics and litera- at the house of his brother, the Hon. and ture, in which last he had much ado to Rev. Alan Forrester, vicar of a large keep at a proper level of ignorance. London parish, into which he threw all

One night Olivia accompanied her sis- his youthful energies and large young ter to her destination. I'm having a heart. holiday, Forster,” she laughed, “and I “ Alan,” he said, entering the room in have really earned it. Do you ever have which his brother was snatching a hasty a holiday ?

luncheon at a table piled with correspond"Well, miss,” he returned, with some ence, reports, and statistics, to which he embarrassment," there's a good deal of paid more attention than to the frugal sameness in the cabman's life, to be meal · before him, “I want to know all

about your cabmen.” “I do hope you have your Sundays at “My cabmen, honest fellows," replied least,” she said through the trap, which the Honorable and Reverend young inan, was frequently opened for conversational smiling, “would make a pretty stiff subpurposes, a proceeding that by no means ject for a competitive examination. They diminished street dangers. " I often can't be crammed in a minute, Mark. think,” she added, blushing with eager- Look here, dear old boy — we have a big ness on learning that his Sundays were tea on to-morrow night. Suppose you free, “what an intelligent and well-in- come and give them a bit of a jaw alterformed man you are, and what a pity it is wards. No, you needn't preach ; your that your calling should prevent you from happy chaff will be just the thing for still further cultivating your mind. Now, them. We have opened several new Forster, as a friend, I should like to do shelters, and are going to propose a selfwhat little I can for you; and if you would supporting coffee-tavern, in which they like to have lessons in French, Latin, shall have shares. Woodman and I give Greek, or anything that I or my sisters £50 to start them.” know, we should be too happy to teach “I won't be outshone by Woodman; you of a Sunday evening - of course if write me down for £60. But what I want you have no better engagement," she put to know is something of the social and in, remembering the matrimonial bonds domestic life of the genus cabman. I've into which the cabman was probably drist. made the discovery, Alan, that women ing

and cabien are human beings; and furThe driver felt quite dizzy for a mo- ther, that while the universe contains ment, and was thankful that he did not human beings, it contains objects of indrop from his elevated perch. The idea terest." of the girl knowing Greek, he thought, Ah, dear old boy! you would say so and proposing to teach him, of all men ! if you saw what I see daily. What will

" Lord, miss, to think of your knowing you have ? Claret? Come round to the Greek, now! That took my breath away, shelters with me this afternoon, and you that did. I should like to have a try at shall see cabmen galore." Greek. I've heard it's the hardest of the This Mr. Forrester did, picking up lot, and one as you can't turn into ready many choice flowers of speech on his way money; and thinks I to myself, things for future use; and he was touched to that'll fetch no money is worth the most." find the confidence reposed in his brother

“Quite so. Why, Forster, you are a by these rough men, who all appeared to philosopher. You have chosen the lead. know him intimately, and a little crushed en casket,” returned his fare, with rap by a sense of his own superfuity. He ture.

also went to the tea, and studied the fes“ Maisie,” she added, in a whisper, “I tive attire proper to cabmen. This be quite love this cabman. I do hope he found to consist chiefly of a bath of powon't marry that frivolous nurse-maid he matum for the hair, a good deal of neckis dreaming of."

lie, and a large occasional flower in the Thus, before the cabman had had much coat; and all these he himself assumed

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