Albinia scarcely heard; her brother however had turned to thank the
stranger for her, and exclaimed, 'I should say you were an O'More.'
'I'm Ulick, from the Loughside Lodge,' was the answer.
'No, this is my sister, Mrs. Kendal, but - '
Albinia held out her hand, and grasped his; 'I can't - Maurice,
speak,' she said.
The little Maurice persisted in his demand to be remounted for the
twelve yards to their own gate, but nobody heard him; his uncle was
saying a few words of explanation to the stranger, and Algernon
Dusautoy was enunciating something intended as a gracious reception
of the apologies which no one was making. All Albinia thought of was
that the little unruly hand was warm and struggling, prisoned in her
own; all her brother cared for was to have her safely at home. He
led her across the bridge, and into the garden, where they met Mr.
Kendal, who had taken alarm from her absence; Lucy ran up with her
story, and almost at the same moment, Albinia, springing to him,
murmured, 'Oh! Edmund, the great mercy - Maurice;' but there she found
herself making a hoarse shriek; with a mingled sense of fright and
shame, she smothered it, but there was an agony of suffocation, she
felt her husband's arms round her, heard his voice, and her boy's
scream of terror - felt them all unable to help her, and sank into
Mr. Ferrars helped Mr. Kendal to carry his wife's inanimate form to
her room. They used all means of restoration, but it was a long,
heavy swoon, and a slow, painful revival. Mr. Kendal would have been
in utter despair at hearing that the doctor was out, but for his
brother, with his ready resources and cheerful encouragement; and
finally, she lifted her eyelids, and as she felt the presence of her
two dearest guardians, whispered, 'Where is he?'
Lucy reported that he was with Susan, and Albinia, after hearing her
husband again assure her that he was quite safe, lay still from
exhaustion, but so calm, that her brother thought them best alone,
and drew Lucy away.
In about a quarter of an hour Mr. Kendal came down, saying that she
was quietly asleep, and he had left the nurse with her. He had yet
to hear the story, and when he understood that the child had been
madly careering along the towing-path, on the back of young
Dusautoy's most spirited hunter, and had been only stopped when the
horse was just about to leap the tall gate, he was completely
overcome. When he spoke again, it was with the abrupt exclamation,
'That child! Lucy, bring him down!'
In marched the boy, full of life and mischief, though with a large
red spot beneath each eye.
'Maurice!' Gilbert had often heard that tone, but Maurice never, and
he tossed back his head with an innocent look of fearless wonder.
'Maurice, I find you have been a very naughty, disobedient boy. When
you rode the pony round the yard, did not I order you never to do so
'I did not do it again,' boldly rejoined Maurice.
'Speak the truth, sir. What do you mean by denying what you have
done?' exclaimed his father, angrily.
'I didn't ride the pony,' indignantly cried the child, 'I rode a
horse, saddled and bridled!'
'Don't answer me in that way!' thundered Mr. Kendal, and much
incensed by the nice distinction, and not appreciating the sincerity
of it, he gave the child a shake, rough enough to bring the red into
his face, but not a tear. 'You knew it was very wrong, and you were
as near as possible breaking your neck. You have frightened your
mamma, so as to make her very ill, and I am sorry to find you most
mischievous and unruly, not to be trusted out of sight. Now, listen
to me, I shall punish you very severely if you act in this
disobedient way again.'
Papa angry, was a novel spectacle, at which Maurice looked as
innocently and steadily as ever, so completely without fear or
contrition, that he provoked a stern, 'Do you hear me, sir?' and
another shake. Maurice flushed, and his chest heaved, though he did
not sob, and his father, uncomfortable at such sharp dealing with so
young a child, set him aside, with the words, 'There now, recollect
what I have told you!' and walked to the window, where he stood
silent for some seconds, while the boy stood with rounded shoulders,
perplexed eye, and finger on his pouting lip, and Mr. Ferrars,
newspaper in hand, watched him under his eyelids, and speculated what
would be the best sort of mediation, or whether the young gentleman
yet deserved it. He knew that his own Willie would have been a mere
quaking, sobbing mass of terror, under such a shake, and he would
like to have been sure whether that sturdy silence were obstinacy or
The sound of the door-bell made Mr. Kendal turn round, and laying his
hand on the little fellow's fair head, he said, 'There, Maurice,
we'll say no more about it if you will be a good boy. Run away now,
but don't go into your mamma's room.'
Maurice looked up, tossed his curls out of his eyes, shook himself,
felt the place on his arm where the grip of the hand had been, and
galloped off like the young colt that he was.
Albinia awoke, refreshed, though still shaken and feeble, and
surprised to find that dinner was going on downstairs. Her own meal
presently put such new force into her, that she felt able to speak
Maurice's name without bursting into tears, and longing to see both
her little ones beside her, she told the nurse to fetch the boy, but
received for answer, 'No, Master Maurice said he would not come,' and
the manner conveyed that it had been defiantly said. Master Maurice
was no favourite in the nursery, and he was still less so, when his
mamma, disregarding all mandates, set out to seek him. Already she
heard from the stairs the wrangling with Susan that accompanied all
his toilettes, and she found him the picture of firm, solid fairness,
in his little robe de nuit, growling through the combing of his
tangled locks. Though ordinarily scornful of caresses, he sprang to
her and hugged her, as she sat down on a low chair, and he knelt in
her lap, whispering with his head on her shoulder, and his arms round
her neck, 'Mamma, were you dead?'
'No, Maurice,' she answered with something of a sob, 'or I should not
have my dear, dear little boy throttling me now! But why would you
not come down to me?'
'Papa said I must not.'
Oh, that was quite right, my boy;' and though she unclasped the tight
arms, she drew him nestling into her bosom. 'Oh, Maurice, it has
been a terrible day! Does my little boy know how good the great God
has been to him, and how near he was never seeing mamma nor his
little sister again.'
Her great object was to make him thankful for his preservation, but
with a child, knowing nothing of death and heedless of fear, this was
very difficult. The rapid motion had been delightful excitement, or
if there had been any alarm, it was forgotten in the triumph. She
had to change her note, and represent how the poor horse might have
run into the river, or against a post! Maurice looked serious, and
then she came to the high moral tone - mounting strangers' horses
without leave - would papa, would Gilbert, think of such a thing? The
full lip was put out, as though under conviction, and he hung his
head. 'You wont do it again?' said she.
She told him to say his prayers, guiding the confession and
thanksgiving that she feared he did not fully follow. As he rose up,
and saw the tears on her cheeks, he whispered, 'Mamma, did it make
Cause and effect were a great puzzle to him, but that swoon was the
only thing that brought home to him that he had been guilty of
something enormous, and when she owned that his danger had been the
occasion, he stood and looked; then, standing bolt upright, with
clasped hands, and rosy feet pressed close together, he said, with a
long breath, 'I'll never get on Bamfylde again till I'm a big boy.'
As he spoke, Mr. Kendal pushed open the half-closed door, and
Albinia, looking up, said, 'Here's a boy who knows he has done wrong,
Never was more welcome excuse for lifting the gallant child to his
breast, and lavishing caresses that would have been tender but for
the strong spirit of riot which turned them into a game at romps, cut
short by Mr. Kendal, as soon as the noise grew very outrageous.
'That's enough to-night; good night.' And when they each had kissed
the monkey face tossing about among the clothes, Maurice might have
heard more pride than pain in the 'I never saw such a boy!' with
which they shut the door.
'This is not prudent!' said Mr. Kendal.
'Do you think I could have rested till I had seen him? and he said
you had told him not to come down.'
'I would have brought him to you. You are looking very ill; you had
better go to bed at once.'
'No, I should not sleep. Pray let me grow quiet first. Now you know
you trust Maurice, - old Maurice, and I'll lie on the sofa like any
mouse, if you'll bring him up and let him talk. You know it will be
an interesting novelty for you to talk, and me to listen! and he has
not seen the baby.'
Albinia gained her point, but Mr. Kendal and Lucy first tucked her up
upon the sofa, till she cried out, 'You have swathed me hand and
foot. How am I to show off that little Awk?'
'I'll take care of that,' said Mr. Kendal; and so he did, fully doing
the honours of the little daughter, who had already fastened on his
'But,' cried Albinia, breaking into the midst, 'who or what are we,
ungrateful monsters, never to have thought of the man who caught that
'You shall see him as soon as you are strong enough,' said Mr.
Kendal; 'your brother and I have been with him.'
'Oh, I am glad; I could not rest if he had not been thanked. And can
anything be done for him? What is he? I thought he was a
Maurice smiled, and Mr. Kendal answered, 'Yes, he is Mr. Goldsmith's
nephew, and I am pleased to find that he is a connexion of your
'One of the O'Mores,' cried Albinia. 'Oh, Maurice, is it really one
of Winifred's O'Mores?'
'Even so,' replied Mr. Ferrars; the very last person I should have
expected to meet on the banks of the Baye! It was that clever son of
the captain's for whose education Mr. Goldsmith paid, and it seems
had sent for, to consider of his future destination. He only arrived
'A very fine young man,' said Mr. Kendal. 'I was particularly pleased
with his manner, and it was an act of great presence of mind and
'It is all a maze and mystery to me,' said Albinia; 'do tell me all
about it. I can't make out how the horse came there.'
'I understood that young Dusautoy was calling here,' said Mr. Kendal;
'I wondered at even his coolness in coming in by that way, and at
your letting him in.'
'I saw nothing of him,' said Albinia. 'Perhaps he was looking for
'No,' said Lucy, looking up from her work, with a slight blush, and
demure voice of secret importance; 'he had only stepped in for a
minute, to bring me a new fern.'
'Indeed,' said her father; 'I was not aware that he took interest in
'He knows everything about ferns,' said Lucy. 'Mrs. Cavendish
Dusautoy once had a conservatory filled with the rarest specimens,
and he has given me a great many directions how to manage them.'
'Oh! if he could get you to listen to his maxims, I don't wonder at
anything,' exclaimed Albinia.
'He had only just come in with the Adiantium, and was telling me how
hydraulic power directed a stream of water near the roots among his
mother's Fuci,' said Lucy, rather hurt. 'He had fastened up his
horse quite securely, and nobody could have guessed that Maurice
could have opened that gate to cross the bridge, far less have
climbed up the rail to the horse's back. I never shall forget my
fright, when we heard the creature's feet, and Mr. Cavendish Dusautoy
began to run after it directly.'
'As foolish a thing as he could have done,' said Mr. Kendal, not
impressed with Mr. Cavendish Dusautoy's condescension in giving
chase. 'It was well poor little Maurice was not abandoned to your
discretion, and his resources.'
'It seems,' continued Mr. Ferrars, 'that young O'More was taking a
walk on the towing-path, and was just so far off as to see, without
being able to prevent it, this little monkey scramble from the gate
upon the horse's neck. How it was that he did not go down between, I
can't guess; the beast gave a violent start, as well it might, jerked
the reins loose, and set off full gallop. Seeing the child clinging
on like a young panther, he dashed across the meadow, to cut him off
at the turn of the river; and it was a great feat of swiftness, I
assure you, to run so lightly through those marshy meadows, so as to
get the start of the runaway; then he crept up under cover of the
hedge, so as not to startle the horse, and had hold of the bridle,
just as he paused before leaping the gate! He said he could hardly
believe his eyes when he saw the urchin safe, and looking more
excited than terrified.'
'Yes, he was exceedingly struck with Maurice's spirit,' said Mr.
Kendal, who, when the fright and anger were over, could begin to be
proud of the exploit.
'They fraternized at once,' said Mr. Ferrars. 'Maurice imparted that
his name was Maurice Ferrars Kendal, and Ulick, in all good faith and
Irish simplicity, discovered that they were cousins!'
'Oh! Edmund, he must come to the christening dinner!'
'Mind,' said Maurice, 'you, know he is not even my wife's cousin;
only nephew to her second cousin's husband.'
'For shame, Maurice, cousin is that cousinly does!'
'Very well, only don't tell the aunts that Winifred saddled all the
O'Mores upon you.'
'Not an O'More but should be welcome for his sake!'
'Nor an Irishman,' said Mr. Ferrars.
Albinia suffered so much from the shock, that she could not make her
appearance till noon on the following day. Then, after sitting a
little while in the old study, to hear that grandmamma had not been
able to sleep all night for thinking of Maurice's danger, and being
told some terrible stories of accidents with horses, she felt one
duty done, and moved on to the drawing-room in search of her brother.
She found herself breaking upon a tete-a-tete. A sweet, full voice,
with strong cadences, was saying something about duty and advice, and
she would have retreated, but her brother and the stranger both
sprang up, and made her understand that she was by no means to go
away. No introduction was wanted; she grasped the hand that was
extended to her, and would have said something if she could, but she
found herself not strong enough to keep from tears, and only said, 'I
wish little Maurice were not gone out with his brother, but you will
dine with us, and see him to-morrow.'
'With the greatest pleasure, if my uncle and aunt will spare me.'
'They must,' said Albinia, 'you must come to meet your old friend and
_cousin_,' she added, mischievously glancing at Maurice, but he did
not look inclined to disavow the relationship, and the youth was not
a person whom any one would wish to keep at a distance. He seemed
about nineteen or twenty years of age, not tall, but well made, and
with an air of great ease and agility, rather lounging and careless,
yet alert in a moment. The cast of his features at once betrayed his
country, by the rounded temples, with the free wavy hair; the
circular form of the eyebrow; the fully opened dark blue eye, looking
almost black when shaded; the short nose, and the well-cut chin and
lips, with their outlines of sweetness and of fun, all thoroughly
Irish, but of the best style, and with a good deal of thought and
mind on the brow, and determination in the mouth. Albinia had
scarcely a minute, however, for observation, for he seemed agitated,
and in haste to take leave, nor did her brother press him to remain,
since she was still looking very white and red, and too fragile for
anything but rest. With another squeeze of the hand she let him go,
while he, with murmured thanks, and head bent in enthusiastic honour
to the warm kindness of one so sweet and graceful, took leave. Mr.
Ferrars followed him into the hall, leaving the door open, so that
she heard the words, 'Good-bye, Ulick; I'll do my best for you. All
I can say is, that I respect you.'
'Don't respect me too soon,' he answered; 'maybe you'll have to
change your mind. The situation may like me no better than I the
'No, what you will, you can do; I trust to your perseverance.'
'As my poor mother does! Well, with patience the snail got to Rome,
and if it is to lighten her load, I must bear it. Many thanks, Mr.
Ferrars. Good morning.'
'Good morning; only, Ulick, excuse me, but let me give you a hint; if
the situation is to like you, you must mind your Irish.'
'Then you must not warm my heart with your kindness,' was the answer.
'No, no, never fear, when I'm not with any one who has seen
Ballymakilty, I can speak English so that I could not be known for a
Galway man. Not that I'm ashamed of my country,' he added; and the
next moment the door shut behind him.
'How could you scold him for his Irish?' exclaimed Albinia, as her
brother re-entered; 'it sounds so pretty and characteristic.'
'I fear Mr. Goldsmith may think it too characteristic!'
'I am sure Edmund might well call him prepossessing. I hope Mr.
Goldsmith is going to do something handsome for him!'
'Poor lad! Mr. Goldsmith considers that he has purchased him for a
permanent fixture on a high stool. It is a sad disappointment, for
he had been doing his utmost to prepare himself for college, and he
has so far distinguished himself at school, that I see that a very
little help would soon enable him to maintain himself at the
University. I could have found it in my heart to give it to him
myself; it would please Winifred.'
'Oh, let us help; I am sure Edmund would be glad.'
'No, no, this is better for all. Remember this is the Goldsmith's
only measure of conciliation towards their sister since her marriage,
and it ought not to be interfered with. Poor Ulick says he knows
this is the readiest chance of being of any use to his family, and
that his mother has often said she should be happy if she could but
see one of the six launched in a way to be independent! There are
those three eldest, little better than squireens, never doing a thing
but loafing about with their guns. I used to long for a horse-whip
to lay about them, till they spoke to me, and then not one of the
rogues but won my heart with his fun and good-nature.'
'Then I suppose it is a great thing to have one in the way of
'Hem! The Celtic blood is all in commotion! This boy's business was
to ask my candid opinion whether there were anything ungentlemanlike
in a clerkship in a bank. It was well it was not you!'
'Now, Maurice, don't you know how glad I should have been if Gilbert
would have been as wise!'
'Yes, you have some common sense after all, which is more than Ulick
attributes to his kith and kin. When I had proved the respectability
of banking to his conviction, I'll not say satisfaction, he made me
promise to write to his father. He is making up his mind to what is
not only a great vexation to himself, and very irksome employment,
but he knows he shall be looked down upon as having lost caste with
all his family!'
'It really is heroism!' cried Albinia.
'It is,' said Mr. Ferrars; 'he does not trust himself to face the
clan, and means to get into harness at once, so as to clench his
resolution, and relieve his parents from his maintenance
'Is he to live with that formal Miss Goldsmith?'
'No. In solitary lodgings, after that noisy family and easy home! I
can't think how he will stand it. I should not wonder if the
Galwegian was too strong after all.'
'We must do all we can for him,' cried Albinia; 'Edmund likes him
already. Can't he dine with us every Sunday?'
'I know you will be kind,' said Mr. Ferrars. 'Only see how things
turn out before you commit yourself. Ah! I have said the unlucky
word which always makes you fly off!'
There was little fear that Ulick O'More would not win his way with
Mr. and Mrs. Kendal, recommended as he was, and with considerable
attractions in the frankness and brightness of his manner. He was a
very pleasant addition to the party who dined at Willow Lawn, after
the christening. No one had time to listen to Mr. Cavendish
Dusautoy's maxims, and he retired rather sullenly, to lean against
the mantelpiece, and marvel why the Kendals should invite an Irish
banker's clerk to meet _him_. Gilbert likewise commented on the
guest with a muttered observation on his sisters' taste; 'Last year
it was all the Polysyllable, now it would be all the Irishman!'
There was a war of supremacy in the Kendal household. Albinia and
her son were Greek to Greek, and if physical force were on her side,
her own tenderness was against her. As to allies, Maurice had by far
the majority of the household; the much-tormented Susan was her
mistress's sole supporter; Mr. Kendal and Sophy might own it
inexpedient to foster his outrecuidance, but they so loved to do his
bidding, so hated to thwart him, and so grieved at his being
punished, that they were little better than Gilbert, Lucy,
grandmamma, or any of the maids or men.
The moral sense was not yet stirred, and the boy seemed to be trying
the force of his will like the strength of his limbs. Even as he
delighted to lift a weight the moment he saw that it was heavy, so a
command was to him a challenge to see how much he would undergo
rather than obey, but his resistance was so open, gay, and free, that
it could hardly be called obstinacy, and he gloried in disappointing
punishment. The dark closet lost all terror for him; he stood there
blowing the horn through his hand, content to follow an imaginary
chase, and when untimely sent to bed, he stole Susan's scissors, and
cut a range of stables in the sheets. The short, sharp infliction of
pain answered best, but his father, though he could give a shake when
angry, could _not_ strike when cool, and Albinia was forced to turn
executioner, though with such tears and trembling that her culprit
looked up reassuringly, saying, 'Never mind, mamma, I shan't!' He
did, however, _mind_ her tears, they bore in upon him the sense of
guilt; and after each transgression, he could not be at peace till he
had marched up to her, holding out his hand for the blow, and making
up his face not to wince, and then would cling round her neck to feel
himself pardoned. Justice came to him in a most fair and motherly
shape! The brightest, the merriest of all his playmates was mamma;
he loved her passionately, and could endure no cloud between himself
and her, so that he was slowly learning that submission to her was
peace and pleasure, and rebellion mere pain to both. She established
ten minutes of daily lessons, but even she could not reach beyond the
capture of his restless person, his mind was out of reach, and keen
as he was in everything else, towards "a + b = ab" he was an
unmitigated dunce. Nor did he obey any one who did not use authority
and force of will, and though perfectly simple and sincere, he was
too young to restrain himself without the assistance of the
controlling power, so that in his mother's absence he was tyrannical
and violent, and she never liked to have him out of her sight, and
never was so sure that he was deep in mischief as when she had not
heard his voice for a quarter of an hour.
'Albinia,' said Mr. Kendal, one relenting autumn day, when November
strove to look like April, 'I thought of walking to pay Farmer Graves
for the corn. Will you come with me?'
'Delightful, I want to see what Maurice will say to the turkey-cock.'
'Is it not too far for him?'
'He would run quite as many miles in the garden,' said Albinia, who
would have walked in dread of a court of justice on her return, had
not the scarlet hose been safely prancing on the road before her.
'This way, then,' said Mr. Kendal; 'I must get this draft changed at
the bank. Come, Maurice, you will see a friend there.'
'Do you know, Edmund,' said Albinia, as they set forth, 'my
conscience smites me as to that youth; I think we have neglected
'I cannot see what more we could have done. If his uncle does not
bring him forward in society, we cannot interfere.'
'It must be a forlorn condition,' said Albinia; 'he is above the
other clerks, and he seems to be voted below the Bayford Elite, since