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was very anxious at times, very weary, very world, and sniffed about in a little rough dispirited, but she gave no sign, allowed no coat without any pretensions, and was altocomplaint to escape her, bore her sufferings gether of a less impressionable and artistic in silence. Once, and once only, to her nature. He loved good sport, good bones, eldest daughter she had spoken a little half and a comfortable nap after dinner. His word, when things were going very wrong master was of a different calibre to Peter's,
- when Francis's debts were most over- and dogs are certainly influenced by the whelming — when Robert had got into some people with whom they live. All day long new scrape worse than the last — when Peter walked about at Holland's heels, quite money was not forthcoming, and everything regardless of Sandy's unmeaning attacks was looking dark. “ Dear mamma,” Cath- and invitations to race or to growi. Peter erine Butler had said, with her tender only shook him off, and advanced in that smile, and closed her arms round the poor confidential, consequential manner which is harassed mother's neck in a yoke that never peculiar to his race. galled.
Luncheon had come to an end. CatheAs the day wore on, Mrs. Butler seemed rine looked up, and breathed
great breath to avoid little Catherine, or only to speak to as she looked into the keen gliminer overher in a cold indifferent voice that made the head; soft little winds, scented with pinegirl wonder wbat she had done amiss. Now wood and rose-trees, came and blew about. and again she started at the rude set-downs Holland and Dick had got into a new disto which she was little accustomed. What cussion over the famous Gainsborough, and did it all mean? What crime was she the children, who thought it all very stupid, guilty of?
She could not bring herself to had jumped up one by one and run away to think otherwise than tenderly of any one the croquet-ground. But Catherine forgot belonging to the house she had learnt to to go. There she sat on the grass, with her love. She meekly pursued her persecutrix back against the trunk of the tree, saying with beseeching eyes. She might as well nothing, looking everything, listening, and have tried to melt a glacier. To people absorbed. Catherine did well to rest in who have taken a prejudice or a dislike, this green bower for a little before starting every word is misunderstood, every look of- along the dusty high-road again. People fends; and Catherine's wistful glances only are for ever uttering warnings, and ing annoyed and worried Mrs. Butler, who did of the dangers, and deep p recipices, and not wish to be touched. Had some malicious roaring torrents to be passed; but there are Puck squeezed some of the juice of Oberon's everywhere, thanks be to heaven, green purple flower upon Catherine's scarlet bowers and shady places along the steepest feather to set them all wandering and at roads. And so, too, when the tempest cross purposes all through this midsummer's blows without and the rain' is beating; day?" In and out of the house, the garden, tired, and cold, and weary, you come, perthe woods, this little Helen went along with haps, to a little road-side inn, where lights are the rest, looking, prettier, more pathetic, burning and food and rest await you. The every minute. We all have a gift of second storm has not ceased; it is raging still, but sight more or less developed, and Catherine a shelter interposes between you and it for knew something was coming now that the a time, and you set off with new strength first burst of happiness was over. An old and new courage to face it. saw came into her head about a light heart Mrs. Butler, as usual, recalled Catherine in the morning bringing tears before night. to berself.
The luncheon did credit to Mundy and “ Miss George, be so good as to see what the hampers. There were no earwigs, only the children are doing.” And so poor Cathlittle soft winds to stir the cloth, cross- erine was dismissed from her green bower. lights, and a gentle check-work of grey It was hard to have to go - to be dismissed shadow upon the dre:ses. Charles Butler's in disgrace, as it were, with Dick standing second best wine was so good that they all by to see it. The children were close at laughed, and asked what his best could be. band, and not thinking of mischief. Sandy frisked about and feasted upon may- “ We don't want you, Miss George," onnaise and pressed veal. Sandy had a cried Lydia, “we are four already; stand companion, Mr. Holland's dog Peter, a self- there and see me croquet Augusta.” Miss conscious pug, with many affectations and George stood where she was told, but she with all the weaknesses belonging to a sen- looked beyond the point which was of all-absitive nature. He was nevertheless a faith- sorbing interest to Lydia at that instant. Her ful and devoted friend, tender-hearted and sad eyes strayed to the group under the tree. curly-tailed. Sandy had seen less of the There was Dick lying at full length on the grass: he was smoking, and had hung up coming into it, forgot her dull speculations. It his red cap on a branch. Holland, in his had been a flower-garden which Miss Paveniron grey suit, was leaning against the try had laid out once upon a time, and it had trunk; Catherine Butler and Beamish were been kept unchanged ever since. Quaint, side by side in the shadow. Georgie was bright, strange, it was the almost forgotten in the sunshine, with her dress all beflecked perfume of other times that these flowers with trembling lights and shades, while the were exhaling. elders sat at the table talking over bygone Catherine stayed there a long time. She times. Catherine turned away: she could could not tear herself away.
She was not bear the sight; it made her feel so for- standing by a tall lily, with her nose in the lorn and alone, to stand apart and watch cup, sniffing up the faint sleepy fragrance, all these people together.
when she heard steps upon the gravel walk, Catherine was afraid, too, lest some one and, turning round, she saw a bright red should come up and see her eyes full of cap, and beside it a careless figure coming tears as she stood watching the balls roll along with the peculiar swinging walk she and listening to the tap of the mallets. It knew so well. Ever after the scent of was all so lovely and yet so perverse. The lilies conjured up the little scene. sweetness, the roses, the sunshine, made it Long afterwards Dick, too, remembered hurt more, she thought, when other things the little figure turning round with startled were unkind. This day's pleasure was like a eyes, and looking as guilty as if it were a false friend with a smiling face; like a beauti- crime to be found smelling the lilies. Holful sweet rose which she had picked just now, land thought she might have been an Italian with a great sharp thorn set under the leaf. Madonna in her framework of flowers, such What had she done ?' Why did Mrs. But as the old painters loved to paint. ler look so cold and so displeased when she “ Have you been hiding yourself away spoke? Whenever she was happiest some here all the afternoon ?” said Dick. “ Ain't thing occurred to remind and warn her it a charming little corner ?” that happiness was not for her. Catherine The two young men waited for a few longed to be alone, but it was quite late in minutes, and seemed to take it for granted the afternoon before she could get away. Catherine was coming back to the house The children were all called into the draw with them. ing-room by their sisters, and then the little
you dislike our cigars ? " said Butler, governess escaped along the avenue where seeing that she hesitated. the rose-leaves which Beamish' and Cathe- “ Oh, no! It was rine had scattered were lying. She was She stopped short, blushed, and came sick at heart and disappointed. It was hastily forward. What would Mrs. Butler something more than mere vanity wounded say, she was thinking; and then she was which stung her as she realized that for afraid lest they should have guessed what some inscrutable reason it is Heaven's decree she thought. that people should not be alike, that some What would Mrs. Butler say ? What must be alone and some in company, some did she say when she saw the three walking sad and some merry,
that some should have quietly towards the house, sauntering across the knowledge of good and others the the lawn, stopping, advancing again, and knowledge of evil. She must not hope for talking as they came. roses such as Catherine's. She must not be Catherine's fate, like most people's, was like Georgie, even, and speak out her own settled by chance, as it were. People seem mind, and make her own friends, and be themselves to give the signal to destiny. her own self. It was hard to be humiliated Fall axe, strike fatal match. Catherine before Dick. It was no humiliation to be a dropped a rose she was holding, and Dick governess and to earu her own living; but to bent down and picked it up for her, and have forgotten her place, and to be sent that was the signal. No one saw the axe, down lower like the man in the parable — but it fell at that moment, and the poor ah! it was hard.
little thing's doom was fulfilled. Catherine wandered on without much The ladies, tired of the noise indoors, had caring where she went, until she found her- come out upon the terrace. The children self in a quaint, sunny nook, where all sorts had been dancing a Spanish dance, they of old-fashioned flowers were blowing - called it — for the last twenty minutes ; tiger lilies, white lilies, balsam, carnations gracefully sliding about, and waving their --in a blaze against the lichen-grown walls. legs and arms to Georgie's performance on The colours were so bright, the place so the pianoforte. The jingle of the music silent, sweet, and perfumed, that Catherine, I reached the terrace, but it was only loud
enough to give a certain zest to the mildness | young men. “ The thing is arranged. Hushand quiet of the sunset. The long shadows sh-sh?” were streaking the hills, a glow shivered, Madame de Tracy's warnings usually came spread, and tranquilly illumined the land after the flash, like the report of a gun. scape, as the two figures on the terrace Catherine, coming along and listening a litlooked out at the three others advancing tle anxiously for the first greetings, caught across the lawn.
the words and the glance of significance. “ Miss George forgets herself strangely,” What had they been saying? what did it said Mrs. Butler; "to-morrow shall end all mean? Her quick apprehensions conjured this; but it is really very embarrassing to up a hundred different solutions: repribe obliged to dismiss her. I shall send her mands in store, no more holidays, no more to Mrs. Martingale's, from whom I hope to merry-making. The reality occurred to her get a German this time.”
as an impossibility almost. To very young “ Poor child !” said Madame de Tracy, people changes are so impossible. They compassionately; "she means no harm. "I would like to come and to go, and to see all have a great mind to take her back to the world ; but to return always to the nest Ernestine. I am sure my daughter-in-law in the same old creaking branch of the tree. would be delighted with her, Ernestine is so Catherine was frightened and uneasy. All fastidious.”
the way home in the drag, through the grey " I really cannot advise you,” said Mrs. and golden evening; in the railway, scudButler. “This is a warning to me never ding through a dusky wide country, where to engage a pretty governess again." lights shone from the farmsteads, and pools
“ She cannot help being pretty,” said still reflected the yellow in the west, she sat Madame de Tracy. I detest ugly people,” silent in her corner, with little Sarah asleep remarked this Good Samaritan. I believe beside her. Catherine sat there half happy, she would be a treasure to Ernestine. almost satisfied, and yet very sad, and imaThose beloved children are darlings, but gining coming evils. Let them come! They they speak English like little cats; their only seemed to make the day which was just accent is deplorable, and yet their mother over shine brighter and brighter by compariwill not allow it. I am sure she ought to son. They could not take it from her, she be eternally grateful to me if I take back should remember it always. And Catherine Miss George.
said grace, as the children do, sitting there "Pray take care, my dear Matilda,” said in her quiet corner. “Oh, I wish I was Mrs. Butler. " Interference is always so always happy,” thought the girl ; “ I do so undesirable. I always try to keep to my like being happy!”; own side of the way. I really could not blame Nothing could have gone off better," Ernestine if she should.”
said Hervey, at the window, as they all got Madame de Tracy could not endure op- out at Victoria Station. position. “I do not agree with you. There “ That idiot Mundy very nearly ruined is nothing so valuable as judicious inter- the whole thing,” said Charles. " He forgot ference. I know , perfectly what I am the soda-water. I had to telegraph to G--" about: Ernestine will be quite enchanted.” “ Thanks so much," said Mrs. Butler, comMadame de Tracy was so positive that Mrs. ing up. “ Now, children ? Has any one Butler hesitated; she disliked scenes and called a cab for them ? The carriage has explanations. Here was an easy way of come for us.” getting rid of the poor little objection at Good-night, Miss George,” said Dick, once, without effort or trouble ; she would under a lamp-post; and every body else be provided for, and Mrs. Butler was not said, “ Good-night, good-night.” without one single grain of kindness in her composition. Miss George had been very useful and conscientious; she bad nursed Algy when he was ill. Mrs. Butler was angry with Catherine, but she did not wish her harm; she was, to a certain point, a just woman with her temper under control. * I think it would be an excellent oppor
“ À QUOI JE SONGE." tunity,” said she, “ if Ernestine really wishes for a governess for her children, and you MEANWHILE Catherine's fate was settled, are not afraid of the responsibility.” and Mrs. Butler came into the schoolroom
“ Oh, I will answer for that,” said Madame next morning to announce it. A sort of feelde Tracy, waving a welcome to the two | ing came over her, poor child, that it was her
-one was to
death-warrant which this gracious lady in be, how long it could last, how much it was black silk robes was announcing in a particu- ready to give, how little it required. And larly bland, encouraging tone of voice. What then after a time a revulsion came, and she had she done ? against whom had she con- felt as if all she wanted was to go spired ? of what treason was she guilty ? away and hide her head from them all. If
“Oh, why am I to go ? ” said Catherine, it were not for Rosy and Totty, she did not looking up, very pale, from her book, with care what was to come. round dark startled eyes.
She went to bed that night with a heart Even Mrs. Butler's much preoccupied aching dully, and she dreamt sad dreams heart was touched by the little thing's help- until the morning came; and then, as Mrs. less, woebegone appeal.
Butler advised, Catherine thought of con“ You have always been quite invaluable sulting her friends. She walked down to to me, my dear Miss George, and I shall Kensington to Mrs. Martingale's school, miss you excessively, but it is sincerely in where her two chief advisers were to be your own interest that I am recommending found, and she wrote a couple of notes, this step to you,” Mrs. Butler said, not un- which she posted on her way, kindly.
Lady Farebrother, at Tunbridge Wells, who “Oh, no, no,” said Catherine, feebly belonged to the religious community there ; clutching at the table-cover. “ This is too the other was to Mrs. Buckington, who was far, I cannot speak French. I could not staying at Brighton for her health. It was bear to be away, to leave my sisters, every- another bright summer day; dinner was body !" And she suddenly burst out crying. over, and the schoolgirls and governesses “Oh, I am so silly, so sorry,” she sobbed, seemed to have agreed to a truce, and to “ for of course I must leave, if you wish it." have come out together for an hour's peace
Pray, my dear Miss George,” said Mrs. and refreshment on the green overgrown Butler, still kind, yet provoked, “ do not garden at the back of the house. Jessadistress yourself unnecessarily. You are mines were on the walls, and there were really quite blind, on this occasion, to your spreading trees, under one of which the own advantage” (and this was a thing that French governess was reading a limp Jourwas almost incomprehensible to Mrs. But- nal des Demoiselles, smelling of hair-pins and ler); “ Forgive me for saying so, but I do pomatum from the drawer in which it was think it is your duty (as it is that of every kept. one of us) to make the best of circumstances, Miss Strumpf, the German governess (she particularly when there is an increase of was to leave this quarter, it was darkly salary and an excellent opportunity for whispered), was eating a small piece of improving in French. I do seriously recom- cheese which she had saved from dinner, and mend you to think my sister-in-law's propo- a rotten-looking medlar she had picked up sal well over, and to consult your friends." off the grass. Some of the girls were dan
And the messenger of fate hastened off to cing a quadrille on the lawn; others were singher davenport, and poor Catherine sat cry- ing and aimlessly rushing about the space ening, with the tears dripping over the page. closed by the four moss-grown walls, against
No, no, no: she could not bear to go toss- which jessamines, and japonicas, and Virgining about all alone in the world; it was too ian creepers were growing. Rosy and Totty, hard, too hard. What was she to do? Who and a few chosen friends, were in a group could tell her what she was to do? Once on the step of the cistern. Totty, who was a wild thought came to her of asking Dick a quaint and funny little girl of ten, with a to help her; he was kind — he would not let red curly wig, and a great deal of imagithem send her away. Why were they driv- nation, was telling a story : her stories were ing her from their door ? What had she very popular among the literary portion of done ? — what indeed? A swift terror jarred the community; but her heroine came to an her through beyond the other sad complex untimely end when the narrator heard who emotions that were passing in disorder was upstairs. through her mind. Could they think, could Catherine was waiting in the great drawthey imagine for one minute? The little ing-room with the many windows and the pale face began to burn, and the eyes to flash, photograph books, and the fancy-work mats and her hands seemed to grow cold with presented by retiring pupils, and the wax horror; but no, no, it was impossible. They water-lily on the piece of looking-glass, a could not read her heart; and if they did, tribute from an accomplished dancing-miswhat was there for ttem to see? They were tress. She came to meet her sisters, looking worldly, hard people; they did not know very pale, with dark rings round her eyes. what friendsbip meant, how faithful it could Cathy, Cathy, why do you look so funny?* said Totty, clutching her round the the sunshine came in through the tall winwaist.
dows in subdued streaks, playing on the an"Oh, Totty dear,” said Cathy, holding cient ceiling and the worn-out carpet. The the children tight to her, and trying not to three heads were very close together, and cry, and to speak cheerfully. " I look funny, they had settled that it was to be a farmbecause I am going away from Mrs. Butler's. house in Surrey, where they had once stayed I don't know what to do. I want you and before. Rosy to tell me what you think.” And then “Do you remember the little wood where she told them her little history in her plain- we picnicked ?” said Rosy, " And the tive voice, holding the hands tight — tight farmer's cart?” cried Totty, quite happy by in hers. She had dreaded so telling them, this time. Catherine had all the troubles that now that it was over, she felt happier of youth to bear on her poor little shoulders, and almost relieved; it was not nearly so but she had also its best consolation. Here bad as she had feared.
she was with the other two children almost “ It is no use asking our aunts,” said Rosy; happy again at the thought of a go-cart and “they will write great long letters, and be a baby-house, and some live toys to play with no help at all.”
in the fields. As for little Totty, she was so indignant When she went away the colour had come with Mrs. Butler, so delighted at the prom- back into her cheeks. Rosy and Totty were ise of a whole six weeks' holiday next year leaning over the old-fashioned tall balcony, to be spent alone with Catherine and Rosy and kissing their hands. She saw them for in a cottage in the air, that she forgot the many a day after, and carried one more vidistance and the separation, and bore the sion away with her of the quaint old square news far more bravely than Catherine her- with its green garden and ancient panes and self. Rosy, who was as tall as Catherine doorways, of the dear, dear little faces, smilnearly, held her hand very tight, and did ing through their tears, and bidding her not say much. She was old for her age – good speed. a downright girl, with more courage than She did not trust herself to say good-by poor little Catherine, and a sort of elder to them again ; and when Madame de Tracy sister feeling for her, though she was only went off in her cab with her maid and her thirteen. But some girls have the motherly tall grey boxes, little Catherine vanished element strongly developed in them from too out of her accustomed corner in the their veriest babyhood, when they nurse schoolroom, and Fraulein Strumpf reigned their dolls to sleep upon their soft little in her stead. The morning's post brought arms, and carefully put away the little bro- Catherine two letters, which she read in the ken toy, because it must be in pain. And railway carriage on her way to Dover. Rosy was one of these. She was not clever, but she seemed to understand with her heart
Mutton's Mansion, Oriental Place, Brighton. what other people felt. She took Cathy's MY DEAR CATHERINE, — Your letter was foraching head in her arms, and laid it on her warded to me here from Park Crescent, which shoulder, and kissed her again and again, I left on Tuesday. For the last three weeks, I as a mother might have done.
had been feeling far from well, and scarcely “My poor old darling,” said Rosy,“ don't strong enough to bear the exertion of my daily be unhappy at leaving us ; I'll take care of drive round the Regent's Park. My appetite Totty, and some day I'll take care of you what it was to enjoy a meal. My good friend
also had fallen off sadly, and I hardly knew too."
" But where shall we go to in the holi- and able physician, Dr. Pattie, urgently recomdays ?” said Totty, cheering up. “Let there mended me to try sea air; and notwithstanding
my usual reluctance to move from home, I be donkeys, please."
resolved to follow his advice. Dr. Pattie, conFraulein Strumpf, who was curious by siders that there is nothing equal to sea bathing nature, happened to peep in at the drawing- for strengthening the nerves and the appetite; room, door as she was passing, to see who the and he also has a high opinion of the merits of little girls' visitor might be. She was rather a fish diet, believing it to be exceedingly light scandalized to see Rosy sitting in a big arn- and nutritive. But the difficulty here, and I chair, with her visitor kneeling on the floor believe it to be the case in all seaport towns, is to before her, and Totty leaning with strag- get a variety of fish, I have only twice ventured gling legs and drooping curls over the arm. It seemed like a liberty in this grey grim say that I am daily gaining strength, and that
my appetite has certainly improved, although it drawing-room to be kneeling down on the is not yet all that I could wish. To return to floor, instead of sitting upright and stiff at your leiter. I am truly concerned to hear that intervals upon the high-backed chair. Everi anything should bave occurred to unsettle your