« EelmineJätka »
-- but I say nothing against her, not a that for themselves. And if Master word ; she's a dear. She's dark, not John don't begin, when is he to have like the family, but she's a dear. But the time to learn ? Once a boy's in Master John, he's the very moral of his 'teens,” said Miss Brown, shaking the Musgraves, and the spiritedest her head with mournful meaning, “he's boy! That's why I cannot bear to see twenty before you know." him neglected "
Mary had turned again into her “Neglected,” said Mary once more former attitude. She had received the repeating the word, “you puzzle me arrow thus cunningly sent, into the more and more. I don't think poor very centre of her being ; and was Nello is a very spirited boy--but who quivering with the shock. She did neglects him ? You must tell me what not pay any particular attention to you mean. And about the foreigners the rest of Miss Brown's monologue, and the numbers? You are mysterious having enough to think of. When one altogether. What do you mean ?” has been pluming one's self, or at least
“It isn't that I mean much-but I has allowed one's self a feeling of satiscan't hold my tongue-not any faction over a service rendered, a valulonger," said Miss Brown. “So far as able act accomplished, it is appalling I can make out her gibberish, she to have that merit of self-satisfaction holds to it as Master John is eight blown away, and to see that in reality, years of age; though if their numbers though so much has been done, it is and ours is different, maybe she's nothing in comparison with what ought making a mistake
to be done ; schooling, tutoring, edu“You think he is very small for cation in short. How was it she that age? and babyish ? I am very had never thought of it before? When sorry you think so, Martha. I have she had taken this trust which John had a feeling of the same kind; but had put into her hands, had she not you know he has been so delicate- virtually promised to train the children
“It's not that, Miss Mary, it's not for the position they must hereafter his fault, the darling ; but just you hold, to make man and woman of them, think of it. Eight years of age! and fit for man's and woman's duties? They no schooling so much as thought of, could not be children for ever; even, as nor no tutoring; and I don't know if Mary with the quick instinct of alarm he can tell his letters in English,” perceived, they were already growing said Miss Brown with a deep sigh. towards that condition, developing out
Mary turned round so quickly that of their childhood. A thrill of conshe twitched her locks out of her sternation ran over her. How was attendant's hands. “ Schooling !" she she to manage this? Miss Brown had said in a tone of dismay, and stared at spoken of Nello only, but Lilias was Miss Brown, who shifted her position her own successor, the future Miss and recovered command of the long Musgrave, the princess of the old soft tresses, still brown and silky as house. She could not let her grow ever, of Mary's hair.
up a rustic in the old hall, where she “I don't know Master John's birth had taken root so naturally. What was day,” said that astute person intent she to do? Mary was not poor, for she upon her hairdressing, “but going on had few desires, and what she needed for nine is what he must be, for he was within her reach. But she was was eight when he came, and that's not rich enough for the expenses seven months if it's a day. And if you of education; and she could not go consider, ma'am, all the learning that to her father about the needs of the little gentlemen has to put into them! children whom he did not acknowLook at the Squire : they tell me the ledge. She had already made her callanguages he knows is wonderful, and culations on the subject of clothing the books he reads, a body can see them, and had discovered that by a
little self-denial she might manage to good man, was likely to invent an outdo that out of her own allowance ; let out of a difficulty, but he was the but to educate them that was beyond only person to whom she could talk her power. She thought of nothing with absolute freedom upon this subelse all the evening long, pondering ject, and to put it forth in audible it as she sat at table with her father words, and set it thus in order to her who was absorbed in the study of own ear and mind was always some some new books of a kindred type to advantage. How like Mr. Pen it was to his own. How grateful she was to come on so quietly step after step, while him for being so absorbed and in- she was waiting impatient for him ! attentive! Thus he did not find out not a step quicker than usual, no swing that she was pre-occupied and un- of more rapid motion in the droop of observant too.
his long coat. Why should he quicken Mr. Pennithorne appeared on one his steps ? She laughed to herself at of his usual visits next morning while her own childish impatience. Ought she was still full of this matter. For he not to have divined that she wanted the more she thought of it, the more him urgently after all these years ? dark her way seemed before her. It Mary had gone into the hall, the might be possible to push Nello for- children being absent on their daily ward in his Latin and Greek, and help walk. They were so much in her him to something like an education. thoughts that she was glad to get them But Lilias ! The means of Mary's out of her sight for the moment and own education had been simple. She thus relieve the air which rustled and was motherless, and there had been no whispered with them. She went out to one to take thought for her; and un- meet the slowly approaching counsellor. limited reading, and some music lessons It was early summer by this time, and from the old organist had been all her all was green and fair, if still somewhat preparation for the position of Prin- cold in its greenness to a southern eye. cess Royal. With this Mary had not The sunshine was blazing over the done badly to the external eye, but lake, just approaching noon, and the within herself she had often felt her sky was keenly blue, so clear that the deficiencies. Could she do no better, pleasure of it was almost a pain, where she asked herself, for her successor ļ the green shoulder of the hill stood And the old organist was dead, carry- against it in high relief. It was ing such simple lore as he had to seldom that Mary was at leisure so regions where it was unavailable for early, and very seldom that in the another Miss Musgrave. The music morning when both were busy she of the parish was conducted now some should have a visit from Mr. Pen. times by Mrs. Pennithorne's feeble As she made a few steps down the playing, sometimes by the rough tunes slope that led from the hall door, to of a village amateur ; for the parish meet him, the sunshine caught her full was not rich, and its ear was not keen. streaming from behind the corner of But Lilias ! Mary brooded till her head the house. It caught in her hair, and ached; and she was glad beyond mea- shone in it, showing its unimpaired sure to see Mr. Pennithorne coming gloss and brightness. Mr. Pennithorne slowly along the road. She could see was dazzled by it as he came up, and him almost from the moment his spare asked himself if she was superior to figure turned the corner from the vil- time as to most things else, and after lage; the outline and movement of him all those years, was young as well as was so familiar to her, as he grew upon lovely still ? the quiet distance drawing nearer and “I am very glad to see you," she nearer. It was seldom that she antici- said, holding out her hand. “I just pated his approach with so much satis- wanted you; it is some good fairy that faction. Not that Mr. Pennithorne, has sent you so early to-day.”
. His face brightened up with an do it, even if I had the knowledge answering gleam ; or was it only the --and Nello; I have not the money sun that had got hold of him too, and either; I am at my wits' end.” woke reflections in his middle-aged Mr. Pen sat by her very sympathetieyes ? “I am very happy to have cally and heard all her difficulties. come when you wanted me,” he said, He was not very clever about advising, his eyelids growing moist with plea- seeing that it was generally from her sure. He went in to the hall, where that he took advice, instead of giving it. all was comparative dusk after that But he listened, and did not see his brilliant shining of the noon, and sat way out of it, which of itself was a down on the stool which was Mar- comfort to Mary. If he had been tuccia's usual place. "Whatever you clever, and had struck out a new idea want, Miss Mary, here I am," her at once, it is doubtful whether she faithful servant said.
would have liked it half so well. She “ It is about the children. What went into the whole question, and am I to do with the children, Mr. eased her mind at least. What was Pen? I have been so negligent and she to do? Mr. Pen shook his head. foolish ; thinking all was right when He was quite ready to take Nello, and I had them safe, and was allowed to teach him all he remembered after a keep them. Fancy, it was Martha life spent in rural forgetfulness, of Brown who brought me to my senses, Latin and Greek; but Lilias ! and who had more perception than I Lilias was the most urgent as being had ”
the eldest. There was no school “What about the children ? they within reach, and a governess as Mr. are very well off and very happy, as Pen suggested with a little trembling they may well be "
—a governess! where could Mary put “But their education, Mr. Pen!” her, what could she do with her ? It
"Ah!” he said, with a slight catch- seemed hopeless to think of that. ing of his breath, which conveyed a “I don't know what you will think consolation to her—as showing that to of what I am going to say, but there him, too, this idea was new. Then he is Randolph, Miss Mary; he is a family added, “Yes, indeed, Miss Mary, you man himself. I suppose-of courseare quite right as you always are. It he knows about the children?”. is time that was thought of, perhaps ; “Randolph," said Mary faltering; but, on the other hand, there is no “Mr. Pen, you know what Randolph time lost."
is as well as I do." “No, not much lost,” she said with “ People change,” said Mr. Pen, a little relief; “but what am I to evasively. “It is not for me to say anydo? My father takes no notice of thing; but perhaps-he ought to know." them. I am not-rich-how am I to “He has never taken any interest do justice to them? There is Lilias in the house ; he has never cared to I am sure the child is clever and full be-one of us," said Mary. “Perof power-I should not like her to be haps because he was brought up away as uneducated as I am.”
from us. You know all about it. "If she does half as well—if she is When he came back-when he was half what you are - do not hurt my with you and poor John You feelings by speaking so," said Mr. know him as well as I do," she conPen, pathetically. “You !-but we cluded abruptly. “I don't see what will make no comparisons.”
help we could have from him.” “I cannot be so kind to myself as "He is a family man himself,” said you are to me," she said, smiling. the vicar. “When children come they * How often have I been put to the bring new feelings; they open the blush for the little I know ; but who heart. He was not like you-or poor is to teach the children? I could not John; but he was like a great many
people in this world; he would not be direction, yet confused and excited in unkind. You write to him sometimes ?” her mental being by the introduction
“Once or twice a year. He writes of a new element. Randolph Musto ask how my father is-I often grave, though her brother, was less wonder why. He has only been here known to Mary than he was to the once since-since it all happened. He tutor who had travelled and lived with would not have it known that he was him in the interval which had formed one of the family which was so much his nearest approach to his own family, talked about—that he was the brother He had been brought up by an uncle of — " Mary stopped with a flash on the mother's side who did not love of indignation in her eyes. “He has the Musgraves, and had succeeded to separated himself altogether from us the family living belonging to that as you know ; but he asks from time race, and lived now, as he had been to time how my father is, though I brought up, in an atmosphere quite scarcely know why."
different from that which belonged to “And you have told him, I suppose, his nominal home in the north. Except about the children?”
now and then, in a holiday visit, Ran“No, Mr. Pen; he turned his back dolph had scarcely spent any portion upon poor John from the beginning of his life at Penninghame, except the Why should I tell him ? what has short period just before, and for a little he to do with it? We have left our time after, his university career, when subject altogether talking of Ran he shared with his brother John the dolph, who is quite apart from it. special instructions of Mr. Pennithorne. Let us go back to our sheep-our The two young men had worked togelambs in this case. What is to be ther then, or made believe to work, done with them ?”
and they had travelled together; but “I will do what I can for them, as I being of very different dispositions, did for their father," said the vicar. “I and brought up in ways curiously was thinking that little Johnny must unlike, they had not been made into very soon—and Mary might as well— cordial friends by this period of semiThey can come to me for an hour or artificial union. Randolph had been two every day; that would be some trained to entertain but a small opinion thing. But I think Randolph should of anything at Penninghame, and he be told. I think Randolph ought to had followed up his training. And know. He might be thinking, he when Penninghame became public promight be calculating "
perty, and John and all his affairs “ What, Mr. Pen?” Mary con- and peculiarities were discussed in fronted him with head erect and flash- the newspapers, the younger son did ing eyes. “Why should he think or something very like the Scriptural calculate about us? He has separated injunction - shaking the dust from himself from the family. John's off his feet as he departed. He children are nothing to him.”
went away after some painful scenes It was not often that Mr. Pen was with his father. It was not the old worldly wise ; but he had an inspira- Squire's fault that his eldest son had tion this time. He shook his head become in the eyes of the world a slowly. “It is just that; John's criminal; but Randolph was as bitter children might make all the difference at the ignominy brought upon his name to him," he said.
as if it had been a family contrivance
to annoy and distress him, and had CHAPTER XIV.
gone away vowing that never again
would he have anything to do with his MR. PENNITHORNE went home thought- paternal home. There had been a long ful, and Miss Musgrave remained gap in their relations after that, but at behind, if not exactly turned in a new his marriage there had been a kind of
reconciliation, enough to give a decorous Next morning, however, a very aspect to his relations with his people." extraordinary incident occurred. She He had brought his bride to his father's had sent Lilias and Nello to the house, and since then he had written, Vicarage to get their first lesson, and as Mary said, now and then, once or had waited for them in the hall, almost twice in the year, to inquire after his as much excited as they were, to hear father's health. This was not much, the result. And the account of it but it saved appearances, and pre- had been of the greatest interest to vented the open scandal of a family Mary. She was going through that quarrel. But Mary, who replied experience common to parents, which punctiliously to these questions, did makes the baby-lessons, the child's not see the need of making a further first steps in literature, the very potintimation to him of anything that hooks and sums, all of vital importance affected the family. For one thing, it to the looker-on. The children had of did not occur to her. What had he to course been much excited by this new do with John's children? and if Mary event in their life. They had come in had thought of any special interest he breathless with the story they had to had in the matter, it is to be feared tell. “Then he made me read out of this would have closed more firmly, all the books,” said Lilias, her dark not opened her mouth. But she had eyes shining; “but Nello, because he not so much as thought on the subject. was so little, one book was enough for She had written her periodical letter him." announcing that her father was pretty “ But it was not a girl's book," said well; that he had finished his Mono- Nello; "it was only for Johnnie and graph, and desired her to send Randolph me.” a copy, which he would receive by “And I looked in it,” said his sister; book-post; that she hoped Mrs. Ran- “it was all mixed with Italian-such dolph and the boy were quite well; and funny Italian : instead of padre it was that she remained his affectionate put payter —Mr. Pen called it so. sister. All was perfectly matter-of- But it would not do for Nello, when fact except that adjective ; for there we go back, to say his Italian like was no affection between them. And that. Even Martuccia would laugh, she would no more have thought of and Martuccia is not educated.” informing him of any private event in “It was Latin," said Nello, “ Mr. her own history, or of looking to him Pen said so. He said girls didn't for sympathy, than she would have want Latin. Girls learn to dance and stopped a beggar on the road to com- sing ; but I-and Johnnie- " municate her good or evil fortune. “ Will Mr. Pen teach me to dance She could not even understand why --and sing, Mary?” said Lilias, with the Vicar had suggested such a thing a grave face. to her. But the idea of Randolph “And me, I wrote a copy,” said suggested a new element and new Nello, indifferent to the interruption ; complications. What had he to do “look !" and he held up fingers covered with the family? He had voluntarily with ink. “You cannot read it yet, withdrawn himself from it. It vexed but you will soon be able to read it, her to be reminded that it was not Mr. Pen says. And then I will write possible to take away from Randolph you a letter, Mary.” some right to interfere, to thrust in “It would be better to write letters his opinion if he chose to exercise it- to some one far off,” said Lilias, half to make inquiries that would be annoy- scornful of his want of information. ing and disagreeable. This gave Miss “You can talk to Mary, Nello. It Musgrave a great deal of annoyance, is to far-off people that one makes and she felt angry with Mr. Penni- letters." thorne, for was it not his fault!
“ We have nobody that is far off,"