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steerino- was to drive the nose of the boat rio'ht
into one of the wooden piers of the bridge.

The barge Avent on its way, and luckily made
its entry under the arch before the little craft
had swung round into the stream before it ; as it
was, the boat, still clinging by its nose, came
round with its stern against the side of the
barge, and as the latter went on, the timbers of
Norman's wherry cracked and crumpled in the
rude encounter.

The ladies should all have kept their seats.
Mrs. Woodward did do so. Linda jumped up,
and being next to the barge, Avas pulled up into
it by one of the men. Katie stood bolt upright,
with the tiller ropes still in her hand, awe-struck
at the misfortune she had caused ; but while she
was so standing, the stern of the boat was lifted
nearly out of the water, by the weight of the
barge, and Katie j\^as pitched, behind her mo-
ther's back, head foremost into the water.

Norman, at the moment, was endeavouring to
steady the boat, and shove it off from the barge,
and had also lent a hand to assist Linda in her
escape. Charley was on the other side, standing



94 THE THREE CLERKS.

up and Iiolding on by tlie piers of the bridge,
keeping bis eyes on the ladies, so as to be of
assistance to them when assistance might be
needed.

And now assistance was sorely needed, and
luckily had not to be long waited for. Charley,
with a light and quick step, passed over the
thwp.rts, and, disregarding Mrs. Woodward's
scream, let himself down, over the gunwale be-
hind hef seat, into the water. Ivatie can hardly
be said to have sunk at all. She had, at least,
never been so much luider the water as to be out
of sight. Her clothes kept up her light body ;
and when Charley got close to her, she had been
carried up to the piers of the bridge, and was
panting with her head above water, and beating
the stream with her little hands.

She was soon again in comparative safety.
Charley had her by one arm as he held on with
the other to the boat, and . kept himself afloat
with his leo-s. Mrs. Woodward leaned over and
caught her daughter's clothes ; while Linda, who
had seen what had happened, stood shrieking on
the barge, as it made its way on, heedless of the
ruin it left behind.

Another boat soon came to their assistance
from the shore, and Mrs. Woodward and Katie
were got safely into it. Charley returned to the
battered wlierrj^, and assisted Norman in ex-
tricating it from its position ; and a third boat



HAMPTON COURT BRIDGE. 95

went to Linda's rescue, wlio would otherwise
have found herself in rather an uncomfortable
position the next morning at Brentford.

The hugging and kissing, to which Katie was
subjected, when she was carried up to the inn,
near the boat slip on the Surrey side of the river,
may be imagined; as may also the faces she
made at the wine glass full of stiff brandy and
water which she wa^s desired to drink. She was
carried home in a fly, and by the time she ar-
rived there, had so comxpletely recovered her life
and spirits as to put a vehement negative on
her mother's proposition that she should at once
go to bed.

" And not hear dear Charley's story ? " said
she, with tears in her eyes. "And, mama, I
can't and vv^on't go to bed without seeing Char-
ley. I didn't say one word yet to thank him
for jumping into the water after me."

It was in vain that her mother told her that
Charley's story would amuse her tv^rice as much
when she should read it printed ; it v^^as in vam
that Mrs. Woodv/ard assured her that Charley
should come up to her room door, and hear her
thanks as he stood in the passage, with the door
ajar. Katie was determined to hear the story
read. It must be read, if read at all, that Satur-
day night, as it was to be sent to the editor in
the course of the vreek ; and reading " Crinoline
and Macassar " out loud, on a Sunday, Vv^as not to



96 THE THREE CLERKS.

he thought of at Surbiton Cottage. Katie was
determined to hear the story read, and to sit very-
near the author too during the reading ; to sit
near him, and to give him such praise as even
in her young mind she felt that an author would
like to hear. Charley had pulled her out of the
river, and no one, as far as her efforts could pre-
vent it, should be allowed to throw cold water
on him.

]^orman and Charley, wet as the latter was,
contrived to bring the shattered boat back to
Hampton. Wlien they reached the lawn at Sur-
biton Cottage, they were both in high spirits.
An accident, if it does no material harm, is al-
ways an inspiriting thing, unless one feels that
it has been attributable to one's own fault. Nei-
ther of them could in this instance attach any
blame to himself, and each felt that he had done
what in him lay to prevent the possible ill effect
of the mischance. As for the boat, Harry was
too happy to think that none of his friends were
hurt to care much about that.

As tliey walked across the lawn Mrs. Wood-
ward ran out to them. '' My dear, dear Charley,
she said, "what am I to say to thank you?
It was the first time Mrs. Woodward had ever
called him by his Christian name. It had
hitherto made him in a certain degree unhappy
that she never did so, and now the sound was
very pleasant to him.



jj



5?



HAMPTON COURT BRIDGE. 97

" Oil, Mrs. "Woodward," said he, laughing,
" you mustn't touch me, for I'm all mud."

" My dear, dear Charley, what can I say to
you ? and dear Harry, I fear we've spoilt yoiu:
beautiful new boat."

" I fear we've spoilt Katie's beautiful new hat,"
said Norman.

Mrs. Woodward had taken and pressed a hand
of each of them, in spite of Charley's protesta-
tions about the mud."

" Oh ! you are in a dreadftd state," said she,
" you had better take something at once ; you'll
catch your death of cold."

" I'd better take myself off to the inn," said
Charley, " and get some clean clothes ; that's
all I v\'ant. But how is Katie — and how is
Linda?"

And so after a multitude of such inquiries
on both sides, and of all manner of affectionate
greetings, Charley went off to make himself dry,
preparatory to the reading of the manuscript.

During his absence, Linda and Katie came
down to the dramng-room. Linda was full of
fan, as to her journey with the bargemen; but
Katie was a little paler than usual, and some-
what more serious and cjuiet than she was wont
to be.

Norman was the first in the drawing-room, and
received the thanks of the ladies for his prowess
in assisting them ; and Charley was not slow to

VOL. II. F



98 THE THREE CLERKS.

follow him, for lie was never very long at his
toilet. He came in with a jaunty laughing air,
as though nothing particular had happened, and
as if he had not a care in the world. And yet
while he had been dressing he had been thinking
almost more than ever of Norah Greraghty. O
that she, and Mrs. Davis with her, and Jabesh
M'Euen with both of them, could be buried ten
fathom deep out of his sight, and out of his
mind !

When he entered the room, Katie felt her
heart beat so strongly that she hardly knew how
to thank him for saving her life. A year ago
she would have got up and kissed him innocently,
but a year makes a great difference. She could
not do that now, so she gave him her little hand
and held his till he came and sat down at his place
at the table.

" Oh, Charley, I don't know what to say to
you," said she, and he could see and feel that her
whole body was shaking with emotion.

" Then ril teU you what to say : ' Charley, here
is your tea, and some bread, and some butter, and
some jam, and some muffin,' for I'll tell you what,
my evening bath has made me as hungry as a
hunter. I hope it has done the same to you."

Katie, still holding liis hand, looked up into
his face, and he saw that her eyes were suifused
with tears. She then left his side and running
round the room, filled a plate with all the things



HAMPTON COURT BRIDGE. 99

he had asked for, and bringing them to him,
again took her place beside him. " I wish I knew
how to do more than that," said she.

" I suppose, Charley, you'll have to make an
entry about that barge on Monday morning,
won't you ?" said Linda. " Mind you put in it
how beautiful I looked sailing through the
arch."

" Yes, and how very gallant the bargeman was,"
said Norman.

" Yes, and how much you enjoyed the idea of
going down the river with him, while we came
back to the cottage," said Charley. " We'll put it
all down at the Navigation, and old Snape shall
make a special minute about it."

Katie drank her tea in silence, and tried to eat,
though without much success. When chatting
voices and jokes were to be heard at the cottage,
the sound of her voice was usually the foremost ;
but now she sat demure and quiet. She was
realizing the danger from which she had escaped,
and as is so often the case, was beginning to fear
it now that it was OA^er.

" Ah, Katie, my bonny bird," said her mother,
seeing that she was not herself, and knowing that
the excitement and overpowering feehngs of grati-
tude were too much for her — " come here ; you
should be in bed, my foolish little puss, should
you not ?"

'' Indeed, she should," said uncle Bat, who was

F 2



100 THE THREE CLERKS.

somewhat hard-liearted about tlie aftair of tlie
accident, and liad been cruel enough, after hearing
an account of it, to declare that it was all Katie's
fault. " Indeed she should ; and if she had gone
to bed a little earher in the evening it would have
been all the better for Master Norman's boat."

" Oh ! mama, don't send me to bed," said she,
with tears in her eyes. " Pray don't send me to
bed now ; I'm quite well, only I can't talk because
I'm thinking of wdiat Charley did for me ;" and
so saying she got up and hiding her face on her
mother's shoulder, burst into tears.

" My dearest child," said Mrs. Woodward, " I'm
afraid you'll make yourself ill. We'll put off the
reading, won't we, Charley ? We have done
enough for one evening."

"Of course we will," said he. " Eeading a
stupid story will be very slow work after all
we've gone through to-day."

" No, no, no," said Katie ; " it shan't be put
off; there won't be any other time for hearing it.
And mama, it must be read : and I know it won't
be stupid. Oh, mama, dear mama, do let us hear
it read ; I'm quite well now."

Mrs. Woodward found herself obliged to give
way. She had not the heart to bid her daughter
go away to bed, nor, had she done so, would it have
been of any avail. Katie would only have lain
and sobbed in her own room, and very probably
have gone into hysterics. The best thing for



HAMPTON COrUT BRIDGE. 101

her was to try to turn tlie current of lier tliouglits,
and tlius by degrees tame down her excited
feelings.

" Well, darling, then we will have the story, if
Charley will let ns. Gro and fetch it, dearest."
Katie raised herself from her mother's bosom,
and going across the room fetched the roll of
papers to Charley. As he prepared to take it
she took his hand in hers, and, bending her head
over it, tenderly kissed it. " You mustn't think,"
said she, " that because I say nothing, I don't
know what it is that you've done for me ; but I
don't know how to say it."

Charley was at any rate as ignorant what he
ought to say as Katie was. He felt the pressure
of her warm lips on his hand and hardly knew
where he Avas. He felt that he blushed and
looked abashed, and dreaded, fearfully dreaded, lest
Mrs. Woodward should surmise that he estimated
at other than its intended worth, her daughter's
show of affection for him.

" I shouldn't mind doing it every night," said
he, '' in such weather as this. I think it rather
good fun going into the water with my clothes
on." Katie looked up at him through her tears,
as though she would say tha.t she well understood
what that meant.

Mrs. Woodward saw that if the story was to
be read, the sooner they began it the better.

"Come, Charley," said she, "nov/ for the



102 THE THREE CLERKS.

romance. Katie, come and sit by me." But
Katie had already taken lier seat, a little behind
Charley, quite in the shade, and she was not to
loe moved.

" But I won't read it myself," said Charley ;
" you must read it, Mrs. Woodward."

" Oh, yes, Mrs. Woodward, you are to read it,"
said Norman.,

" Oh, yes, do read it, mama," said Linda.
Katie said nothing, but she would have preferred
that Charley should have read it himself.

"Well, if I can," said Mrs. Woodward.

"Snape says I write the worst hand in all
Somerset House," said Charley, " but still I
think you'll be able to manage it."

" I hate that Mr. Snape," said Katie, sotto voce.
And then Mrs. Woodward unrolled the manu-
script and began her task.



CHAPTEE VI.

CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR; OR, MY AUNt's WILL.

" Well, Katie was right," said Mrs. Woodward,
"it does begin with poetry."

"It's only a song," said Charley apologeti-
cally — " and after all there is only one verse of
that" — and then Mrs. Woodward began

'"CRINOLINE AND MACASSAE.'

Ladies and Grentlemen, that is the name of Mr.
Charles Tudor' s new novel."

"Crinoline and Macassar !" said uncle Bat.
"Are they intended for human beings' names."

" They are the heroine and the hero, as I take
it," said Mrs. Woodward, " and I presume them
to be human, unless they turn out to be celes-
tial."

" I never heard such names in my life," said
the captain.

" At any rate, uncle, they are as good as Sir
Jib Boom and Captain Hardaport," said Katie
pertly.

" We won't mind about that," said Mrs. Wood-



104 THE THREE CLERKS.

ward, " I'm going to begin, and I beg I may
not be interrupted.

'CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR.

*The lovely Crinoline was sitting alone at a
lattice window on a summer morning, and as she
sat sbe sang with, melancholy cadence the first
part of a now celebrated song which had then
lately appeared, from the distinguished pen of
Sir G— H— .'

" Who is Sir a— H— , Charley?"

" Oh, it wouldn't do for me to tell that," said
Charley. " That must be left to the tact and
intalligence of my readers."

''Oh — ^very well" — said Mrs. Woodward, "we

will abstain from all impertinent questions •

'from the distinguished pen of Sir Gr — H — .
The ditty which she sung ran as follows :

•* My heart's at my office, my heart is always there —
My heart's at my office, docketing with care ;
Docketing the papers, and copying all day.
My heart's at my office, tho' I be far away."

* "Ah me," said the lady Crinoline — '



"What — is she a peer's daughter?" said uncle
Bat.

" Not exactly," said Charley, " it's only a sort
of semi-poetic way one has of speaking of one's
heroine."

'"Ah me!" said the lady Crinoline — "his heart I
his heart! — I wonder whether he has got a



CRINOLINE AND ilACASSAR. 105

heart" — and then she sang again hi low plain-
tive voice the first line of the song, suiting the
line to her own case.

" His heart is at his office, his heart is always there."

' It was evident that the lady Crinoline did not
repeat the words in the feeling of their great
author, who when he wrote them had intended
to excite to high deeds of exalted merit that
portion of the British youth which is employed
in the Civil Service of the country.

' CrinoHne laid down her lute — it was in fact an
accordion — and gazing listlessly over the rails of
the halcony, looked out at the green foliage v/hich
adorned the enclosure of the square below.

'It was Tavistock Square. The v/inds of March
and the showers of April had been successful in
producing the buds of May.'

" Ah, Charley, that's taken from the old song,"
said Katie, " only you've put buds instead of
flowers."

"That's quite allowable," said Mrs. Woodward^
*' there is no plagiarism in that. The adaptation
is new if the idea be not so ; and that's quite
enough — ' successful in producing the buds of
May. The sparrows chirped sweetly on the
house-top, and the coming summer gladdened
the hearts of all — of all except poor Crinolme.

*" I wonder whether he has a heart," said she ;
and if he has, I wonder whether it is at his office."

* As she thus soliloquized the door w£is opened

F 3



106 THE THREE CLERKS.

by a youtliful page, on whose well-formed breast
buttons seemed to grow like musbrooms in tbe
meadows in August.

*"Mr. Macassar Jones," said tbe page; and
baving so said be discreetly disappeared. He
was in bis line of life a most invaluable member
of society. He bad brougbt from bis last place a
twelve montbs' character tbat was creditable alike
to bis bead and beart; be was now found to be an
invaluable assistant in tbe bousebold of tbe Lady
Crinoline's mother ; and was the debght of bis
aged parents to whom be always remitted no in-
considerable portion of bis wages. Let it always
be remembered that the life even of a page may
be glorious. Alb honour to the true and brave!'

"'Goodness — Charley — ^how very moral you
are," said Linda.

"Yes," said he; "that's indispensable. It's
the intention of the Daily Debght always to
bold up a career of virtue to the lower orders
as tbe thing tbat pays. Honesty, high wages,
and hot dinners. Those are our principles."

" You 11 have a deal to do before you'll bring
tbe lower orders to agree with you," said uncle
Bat.

" We have a deal to do," said Charley, " and
we'll do it. The power of tbe cheap press is
unbounded."

'As the page closed tbe door, a light low
melancholy step was beard to make its way



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 107

across tlie drawing-room. Crinoline's heart had
given one start when she had heard the an-
nouncement of the well-known name. She had
once glanced with eager inquiring eye towards
the door. But not in vain to her had an ex-
cellent mother taught the proprieties of elegant
life. Long before Macassar Jones was present
in the chamber she had snatched up the tambore
frame that lay beside her, and when he entered
she v/as zealously engaged on the fox's head that
was to ornament the toe of a left foot sHpper.
Who shall dare to say that those slippers were
intended to grace the feet of Macassar Jones ? '

" But I suppose they were/' said Katie.

" You must wait and see," said her mother ;
" for my part I am not at all so sure of that."

" Oh, but T know they must be ; for she's in
love with him," said Katie.

' " Oh, Mr. Macassar," said the Lady Crino-
line v/hen he had drawn nigh to her ; '' and how
are you to-day ? " Tiiis mention of his Christian
name betrayed no undue familiarity, as the two
famihes w^ere intunate, and Macassar had four
elder brothers. "I am so sorry mama is not
at home; she will regret not seeing you
amazingly."

' Macassar had his hat in his hand, and he stood
awhile gazing at the fox in the pattern. " Won't
you sit down ? " said Crinoline.

' '' Is it very dusty in the street to-day ? " asked



108 THE THREE CLERKS.

Crinoline ; and as slie spoke slie turned npon him
a face wreathed in the sweetest smiles, radiant
with elegant courtesy, and altogether expressive
of extreme gentility, unsullied propriety, and a
very high tone of female education — " Is it very
dusty in the street to-day ? "

* Charmed by the involuntary grace of her ac-
tion, Macassar essayed to turn his head towards
her as he replied ; he could not turn it much, for
he wore an all-rounder ; but still he was enabled
by a side glance to see m.ore of that finished ele-
gance than was perhaps good for his peace of
mind.

' " Yes," said he, "it is dusty ; — it certainly is
dusty, rather — ; but not very — and then, in
most streets they've got the water-carts." —

' " Ah, I love those water-carts," said Crino-
line ; "the dust, you know, is so trying."

'"To the complexion?" suggested Macassar,
again looking round as best he might over the
bulwark of his collar.

' Crinoline laughed slightly ; it was perhaps
hardly more than a simper, and turning her
lovely eyes from her work she said, " Well, to the
complexion, if you will, — what would you gen-
tlemen say if we ladies were to be careless of
our complexions ? "

* Macassar merely sighed gently — ^perhaps he
had no fitting answer : perhaps his heart was too
full for him to answer. He sat with his eye fixed



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 109

on Ills hat, which still dangled in his hand ; but
his mind's eye was far away.

* " Is it in his office ?" thought Crinoline to her-
self; " or is it here ? Is it anywhere ? "

* " Ha^ve you learnt the song I sent you/' said
he, at last, waking, as it were, from a trance.

' " Not yet," said she — " that is, not quite ;
that is, I could not sing it before strangers yet.'*

' " Strangers ! " said Macassar ; and he looked
at her again with an energy that produced results
not beneficial either to his neck or his collar.

* Crinoline was delighted at this expression of
feeling — " At any rate it is somewhere," said she
to herself ; " and it can hardly be all at his office."

* " "Well, I will not say strangers," she said
out loud ; — " it sounds — it sounds — I don't know
how it sounds — But v/hat I mean is, that as
yet I've only sung it before mama ! " '

" I declare I don't know which is the big-o-est
fool of the two," said uncle Bat, very rudely.
As for him, if I had him on the forecastle of a
man of war for a day or two, I'd soon teach
him to speak out."

" You forget, sir," said Charley, " he's not a
sailor, he's only in the Ci\dl Service ; we're all
very bashful in the Civil Ser\dce."

" I think he is rather spooney, I must say,"
said Katie ; whereupon Mrs. Woodv/ard went on
reading.

* " It's a sweet thing, isn't it ? " said Macassar.



110 THE THREE CLERKS.

' " Oil, very ! " said Crinoline, with, a rapturous
expression wliicli pervaded her whole head and
shoulders as well as her face and bust, — " very-
sweet, and so new."

' " It quite comes home to me," said Macassar,
and he sighed deeply.

' " Then it is at his office," said Crinoline to
herself, and she sighed also.

' They both sat silent for a while, looking into
the square — Crinoline was at one window, and
Macassar at the other : " I must go now," said
he ; "I promised to be back at three."

' " Back where ? " said she.

' " At my office," said he.

' Crinoline sighed. After all it was at his office ;
it was too evident that it was there, and nowhere
else. Well, and why should it not be there?
why should not Macassar Jones be true to his
duty and to his country ? What had she to do
with his heart ? Why should she wish it else-
where ? ' Twas thus she tried to console herself,
but in vain. Had she had an office of her own
it might perhaps have been different ; but Crino-
line was only a woman, and often she sighed over
the degradation of her lot.

' " Grood morning, Miss Crinoline," said he.

' " Grood morning, Mr. Macassar," said she.
" Mama will so regret that she has lost the plea-
sure of seeing you."

* And then she rang the bell. Macassar went



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAU. Ill

downstairs perhaps somewhat slower, with per-
haps more of melancholy than when he entered.
The page opened the hall-door with alacrity, and
shut it behind him with a slam.

' All honour to the true and brave !

' Crinoline again took up the note of her sor-
row, and with her lute in her hand, she warbled
forth the line which stuck like a thorn in her
sweet bosom.

*' His heart is in his office — his heart IS always there.'' '

"There," said Mrs. Woodward, "that's the
end of the first chapter."

' " Well, I like the page the best," said Linda,
" because he seems to know what he's about."

' " Oh, so does the lady," said Charley, " but it
wouldn't at all do if we made the hero and hero-
ine go about their work like humdrum people.
You'll see that the Lady Crinohne knows very
well what's what."

" Oh — Charley, pray don't tell us," said Katie ;
" I do so like Mr. Macassar ; he is so spooney ;
pray go on, mama."

" I'm ready; " said Mrs. Woodward, again
taking up the manuscript.

CHAPTER II.

' The lovely Crinoline was the only daughter of
fond parents ; — and though they were not what
might be called extremely wealthy, considering



112 THE THREE CLERKS. *

tlie vast incomes of some residents in the metro-
polis, and Avere not perliaps wont to mix in the
highest circles of the Belgravian aristocracy, yet
she was enabled to dress in all the elegance of
fashion, and contrived to see a good deal of that
society which moves in the highly respectable
neighbourhood of Russell Square and Grower
Street.

* Her dresses were always made at the distin-
guished establishment of Madame Mantalini, in


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