brook meet to-morrow."
" Crown and Castle Inn, eleven fifteen," says Lady
Mary. " I know. I copied it out this morning."
In common with the passte maidens of her sister-
hood who are approaching antiquity, if there be one
subject whereby to strike a responsive chord in the
heart of Lady Mary Vesey it is hunting, unless horses
yield their single exception to dogs. Her whole being
is bound up in both, her whole existence flows in the
two channels, canine and equine. Every farthing of
her yearly allowance which she can shave off her other
expenses goes to hunters, habits, saddles, whips, and
dogs. If she is not buying or selling a hunter (of which
her father allows her stable room and " keep " for two)
she is going up to town to try on a habit or be meas-
ured for a saddle. When she is not consulting a vet.,
she is advertising or rinding a place for a groom. She
hunts three times a week, attends every hunt ball, and
goes up to all the dog-shows at the Crystal Palace.
She has four hunters (two of which she maintains out
of her own pocket), six saddles, as many bridles, a
dozen " crops," and a groom of her own. Her room
is decorated with racks of whips, spurs, "masks,"
brushes, and "pads." Her inkstand is a horse's hoof
that of a favorite hunter who broke his fetlock-joint
while leaping a double ditch with her and had to be
shot her paper-knife's handle a fox's pad. Of dogs
she has ten a Danish boar-hound, a collie, a black
retriever, two dachshunds, two fox-terriers, a black
French poodle, a white bull-dog, and a pug. The
boar-hound, one dachshund, one fox-terrier, the bull-
dog, the poodle, and the pug sleep in her room.
" Shall you hunt to-morrow ? " she asks, getting up
and seating herself in a low chair by Lord Beyndour's.
" Yes. Want to go along? "
" I am going."
" Let you ride ' Jemima ' if you like."
" You didn't fetch her down with you ? I thought
she'd just had a foal."
" No. That was ages ago."
" A colt ? "
"No. Filly, just like herself, not a bit like its
" How jolly ! "
" Give her to you if you like."
" Thanks awfully. How good of you. Then I may
ride Jemima ? "
" Yes. I said so, didn't I ? "
Meanwhile Freddy stands silent, an unwilling, un-
conscious listener. At last he sits down and picks up
a magazine. He has read about four lines when Lady
Oaktorrington speaks :
" Oh, won't you have some tea, dear ? I'm afraid
it's cold. Mary, dear, ring for some fresh tea for
Lady Mary doesn't hear, or pretends not to.
" Tea for me ? " Freddy answers. " No, thank you
kindly. I've not tasted tea since I don't know when.
Men never drink tea where I've been, at all events, not
at this time of day."
" Oh, don't they ? Really ? Fancy that ! "
" Go in for something stronger, I'll back," sneers
Lord Beyndour, in an undertone, for a moment inter-
rupting his narrative to Lady Mary of how he " came
a cropper " last week when out with the Garth hounds.
" Perhaps they do," Freddy says, quickly. " It
can't signify much to you what they do."
" I'm not so cock sure *of that ; I hear we're to
have one of 'em staying with us, thanks to you."
" Oh, by-the-by, Freddy," says Lady Oaktorring-
ton, thankful for a chance to ask what she has been
aching to do since Lord Frederick's arrival, the con-
trolling proprieties of high life holding her in check.
" Isn't your American friend coming after all ? "
" Coming? " says Freddy. 4< He's here now."
" Here now, dear ? Why doesn't he come in ? "
" Oh, he asked to go to his room first and make
"Haw haw haw, O ho ho!" laughs Lord
Beyndour. " I never heard that Yankees went in for
" Surely he can't be all this time doing that," says
" I dare say the poor chap is a bit shy about com-
ing in alone and is waiting for me. I forgot all about
him. I'll just go and see."
V How dreadfully disimproved dear Freddy is,"
Lady Oaktorrington says as the door closes on Lord
" He's simply unbearable, and wants a deuced good
snubbing. I dare say he thinks he's quite as good as
I am, with his new republican ideas." Lord Beyndour
replies, getting up to toast his back again.
" I thought I detected a slight twang ! " her ladyship
adds. " Did you ? "
" A slight twang ! By jove, a slight t-.vang ! That's
too good. I never heard a worse one. Fancy one of
us with a Yankee twang ! And you a Primrose dame."
" Oh, my dear, don't speak of it. What are we to
do? He'll soon lose it, with us, I hope."
k< Not with this Yankee pal of his to coach him on
the other tack. Of course, he's picked it up from
" I'm afraid I've made a great mistake in letting
him come. Your father was so against it. But," sud-
denly recollecting, "he may not be so pronounced.
He's very rich."
Further discussion is stopped by the entrance of
Lord Frederick accompanied by his American friend.
" Mother," Lord Frederick says, leading his friend
forward. " Let me introduce Mr. Philip Allen."
Mr. Allen is a middle-sized young man of eight and
twenty; neither thin nor fat, but compact and wiry.
He has close-cropped brown hair, brown eyes with
long, thick, brown lashes, and a small brown mustache.
His features are small, clear-cut, and handsome, espe-
cially in profile ; his complexion is pale, his teeth very
white, and he has strikingly (to an English eye) small
hands and feet. On the bridge of his nose he wears a
pair of tortoise-shell-rimmed double eye-glasses, and he
is clad in a dark, small-checked, tweed traveling suit,
a dark blue necktie with white spots being knotted in
a sailor's loop round his neck.
Lady Oaktorrington rises (as do both of her daugh-
ters) and receives him with a gracious smile of wel-
" I am so glad to see you, Mr. Allen," she says,
kindly, " not only to welcome you to England, but to
thank you for your great kindness to Freddy, who has
told us how good you have been to him. Lord Oak-
torrington is in London, but on his return to-morrow
he will add his welcome and thanks to mine."
She has been studying up this little speech all the
afternoon, and now that she has spoken it, fears she
has left something out.
" Don't mention it, my lady," says Allen, with a
graceful bow. " I'm sure I am only too pleased to
have been of any service to him."
" Of service to me ? I should rather think you
were," puts in Freddy. " And look here, old chap,"
he whispers, as he sees Lord Beyndour smother a laugh
and nudge Lady Mary. " Don't ' my lady ' mother.
I ought to have told you. It's not necessary."
" Let me introduce you to my daughters, Mr.
Allen," and the marchioness presents him to Lady
Mary and Lady Edith, both of whom shake his hand
stiffly, as they look straight before them and say noth-
ing. " And now my eldest son, Lord Beyndour. Now
you know every one."
Lord Beyndour looks at him out of the corner of
his eye, gives his hand an up and down pump-handle
shake, says :
** How de do ? " drops it, and stands mute, gazing
at the opposite wall.
The dressing-gong for dinner opportunely breaks
in upon the awkwardness of the situation. Lord Beyn-
dour is the first to go. He leaves the room without a
word, followed by his mother and sisters in silence,
Freddy and Allen bringing up the rear. In the hall
they linger a moment, lighting the hand-candles, but
no word is spoken.
" What do you mean by snubbing me like that? "
Allen asks, as he and Freddy go up the stairs after the
others have gone. " I thought I was doing the thing
in fine style."
" So you were, old fellow. But equals when talking
informally to each other drop the titles. Of course,
with servants and tradespeople, and others of that sort,
it is different. They never address a person of rank
" Then I'm not -to call your father ' my lord ' ? "
" Nor your sisters ' my lady,' either? "
"I should hope not. Don't forget. (I pity him
if he does)."
J< Nor your brother ' my lord ' ? "
" What, Beyndour ? Not for worlds ! '
TWENTY minutes later Lady Oaktorrington, in a
shimmering purple satin gown, and shivering red neck
and shoulders, descends to the drawing-room. She
is followed almost immediately by her two daugh-
ters, and the three sit in dignified, well-bred silence,
in the semi-darkness of a recently-replenished and
smoldering coal-fire, for five minutes, when Lord
Beyndour rumbles in rubbing his hands with the cold.
He makes straight for the hearth-rug, edging in
front of his mother and sisters, and, spreading the tails
of his dress-coat to the fire, adjusts the single stud of
his expansive shirt-front.
"What a rotten fire ! " he growls presently. " Ugh !
No hunting to-morrow, Mary. It's freezing hard,
" How tiresome ! I'm afraid I must have Snowball
in my room to-night. She'll freeze in her kennel, poor
" Had her puppies yet ? "
" No, the darling."
"Have her in, then, by all means."
A sudden burst of flame from the igniting coals
illumines the room. " Hello ! Isn't every one here ? "
"Only me and Mary and Edith."
" I say, what a duffer ! Did you see the bowing
and scraping? And 'my lady,' too ! O, haw-haw ! "
" Such a dreadful twang, too ! No wonder Freddy
has picked it up," ventures Lady Mary, personalities
being her third pet topic when she can't have either of
the other two.
" But just consider, dears, how few advantages he
must have had," says the marchioness, in a pleading
tone. " How can we expect him to be like us ? He
does his best, no doubt, poor fellow. One can't help
being sorry for him. Considering his rough life and
associations, he is quite wonderful, I think. One
mustn't forget that."
"And that he is so rich," says Lady Edith, in the
quietest, most unsuggestive voice imaginable.
" Quite so, dear. His money will enable him to
improve himself, by putting improving influences and
associations within his reach. It is really our duty to
do what we can to help him on."
" What a great thing it is to have money, isn't it ? "
Lady Edith asks of no one in particular as she looks
absently into the fire. " If this Mr. Allen hadn't it I
expect it wouldn't matter what became of him."
"Really, Edith, I don't know where you get such
ideas," her mother says sharply. " I must ask you
not to talk so. You are too young to understand
" Edith's got to talking awful rubbish lately, I'm
afraid," observes Lord Beyndour. " Little girls should
be seen but not heard." Lady Edith's eyes flash and
the blood rushes up to her forehead, but she says
nothing. " What the deuce is keeping them ? I dessay
it's Yankee manners to be late for dinner. I should
strongly advise you, mother, to go in if they're not
down when the gong goes. Who wants to bet he
doesn't dress ? I'll lay ten to one in ponies he comes
down in 'dittoes.' "
Before the wager can be taken, were there any
one in the room to say " Done," the subject of Lord
Beyndour's solicitude enters the room as the gong
" By Jove, I was right ! What a hatful of money I
should have won ! "
" I have to apologize, Lady Oaktorrington, not only
for being so late," Allen says, "but for appearing at
dinner in these clothes." Lord Beyndour performs an
elaborate attack of coughing. " The fact is, my port-
manteau has not yet arrived from the station."
" Too large an order," Lord Beyndour whispers to
Lady Mary. " I'll back he's got no evening clothes.
Curious for a rich man, isn't it ? "
Lady Oaktorrington says " Really. It doesn't
signify," and they go in to dinner, Allen arming the
Freddy joins them in the hall also in morning
dress. " I thought I'd keep Allen in countenance,"
he explains. " My boxes haven't come either."
" I daresay you find England very different from
America, Mr. Allen," Lady Oaktorrington says after
the removal of the soup, during which course not a
word has been spoken at the table.
Allen is nearly stunned by the originality of the
question, but asks :
" In what way do you mean ? There are so many
" Oh, socially. You have no society to speak of.
How can you, where everybody is equal ? It must be
dreadfully rough er for a refined person like your-
self (she adds as an emollient). Freddy wrote to us
all about those dreadful cowboys."
Allen smiles to himself as he thinks of New York,
Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Baltimore, Wash-
ington, and even his own San Francisco society being
called "rough," and thought to be infested with cow-
" I hardly think our society is quite as bad as that,"
he says, unhuffily. " We have, of course, no class dis-
" Your cook's as good as you are, and all that sort
of thing, I suppose, eh," says Lord Beyndour from
the bottom of the table. " You have your doctor to
dine with you, and you let your daughter marry your
Allen looks at him straight in the eye until he
stops. He then turns away without a word of reply
and goes on speaking to Lady Oaktorrington.
"As I was saying, we have no class distinctions,
and no titles except military, naval, judicial, or clerical
ones. But that does not in the least interfere with our
society or prevent its being organized and maintained
on as solid and lasting a basis as yours in England."
" Rubbish ! " grunts Lord Beyndour in an under-
tone, looking at the butler for an approving glance.
" I can't at all understand it," says the marchioness,
with a doubting shake of the head. " I don't see how
it is possible."
"Ask Freddy about it," growls Lord Beyndour,
rudely. "He knows, I should think."
Allen looks quickly at him as he flushes red, and
"Indeed I don't," answers Freddy. "I know
nothing about it."
"What awful rot! Haven't you been in the
States ? "
" Yes, I have ; but only in Kansas and Colorado
that is, to stay. I saw nothing of society there."
"Of course not. That's just what mother says,"
and Lord Beyndour gives a sneering sniff.
" I don't at all mean that. You quite misunder-
stand me. I mean I saw nothing of society there
" There wasn't any to see, haw-haw ! "
" Yes, there was. I simply didn't go into it. That's
why I saw nothing of it."
" Oh ! " incredulously.
"I was on a cattle-ranch all the time, as you
" My good fellow, I know nothing of where you
were. We have only your word for it," and Lord
Beyndour glances at the butler and then at one of the
footmen who is handing him some vegetables. " You
may have been in the moon for all we know."
Allen looks thunderstruck at such insulting lan-
guage from brother to brother. Lady Oaktorrington sees
the look, and fears she has let things go too far.
" I'm afraid Mr. Allen won't understand your
chaffing, my dear. He is not serious, you know, Mr.
Allen. You don't chaff one another in the States, I
Allen feels decidedly on edge. "I really can't say
what they do in the other States. I should imagine
they did say rude things to each other under the cloak
of chaff, as you call it, in New York, for New York is
sadly addicted to Anglomania at present. But in
California why, I've seen pistols drawn for much less
" What ? Between brothers ? "
" No, not between brothers, for I never heard one
brother talk so to another in my life before."
He looks straight at Lord Beyndour with a steady,
unflinching eye as he says this. His lordship turns
very white, drops his eyes, and sulks in silence for the
remainder of dinner.
Allen feels uncomfortable. His irritability has
given way to a sense of shame at having lost his tern-
per at another person's table. There is an awkward
pause. Lady Oaktorrington makes a face to Lady
Mary to speak to him.
" Do you like dogs ? " Lady Mary asks. It is the
first word she has spoken since they sat down, and
they are now among the " savories."
" Yes, I do out-of-doors," he answers, without in
the least knowing how he is treading on her toes.
" Oh ! Then you don't like them," she says, stiffly.
" Indeed I do. I've got two dogs myself that I
wouldn't part with for a good deal."
She softens a bit. "What are they ? Fox-terriers,
turn-spits, pugs, or what? "
" They're hunting-dogs."
" Oh, really ! Then you hunt. I'm so glad ! " and
Lady Oaktorrington smiles and nods approval of her
" It's very good of you to care, I'm sure. I do a
good deal of hunting every season."
" Fancy ! I had no idea you hunted in the States.
Perhaps you'll come with us to-morrow. How awfully
jolly ! "
Allen doesn't know what to make of her sudden
loquacity. It seems almost painful in its abruptness.
He has no idea where they are going, but says not-
" Thanks. I shall be very glad."
" That's capital. I shall lend you a mount."
" A mount " he asks. " Oh, how stupid of me ! I
see what you mean now. You are going out fox-hunt-
"Yes, of course," she says. "Don't you hunt
foxes in America ? "
"We have no foxes to hunt in California. The
nearest approach to a fox we have is the vagrant
coyote. Your brother knows the animal, for they have
him in Colorado, too."
" Kiotee ? What an odd name ! Then you hunt
" Say, Vesey. Fancy hunting a coyote ! "
Freddy joins him in a laugh, whereat Lady Mary
gets huffy, and says something to her sister.
" I think it's rather a shame," Lady Edith answers,
being her virgin effort at audible conversation.
Allen hasn't the faintest idea what she means or
refers to, but on glancing over at her sees she is look-
ing with a very meaning expression at him. It sud-
denly dawns upon him how very pretty she is. "What
a fool I have been not to have noticed her before,"
he thinks ; " where have been my eyes ? " He imme-
diately takes a deeper interest in her remark, and
wonders with a dull sort of pain in his heart and a
tingling of his temples if she can have meant anything
derogatory to him. " Does she mean that I ought to
be ashamed of myself ? What for ? Oh, yes, for
speaking so at her brother. It was awfully rude. What
must she think of me ? Yet, why should I care what
she thinks? " He gazes with increasing admiration at
her while these thoughts rush like lightning through
his head, and each second he is conscious that he does
care more and more what she thinks. "I must do
something to reinstate myself. But what ? Speak to
him civilly. That will please her, no doubt."
Lady Edith's big gray eyes have fluttered down to
her plate the moment she finds his riveted upon her',
and the faint little tinge of soft pink in her cheeks has
deepened into a bright red which burns itself into
neck, forehead, and ears as well. She toys with her
grapes a minute, and then steals a little upward glance
over at him. He is still looking at her, and well, I
suppose most of us know how it makes our hearts
bump about inside when we see a pretty woman if we
be a man, or a handsome man if we be a woman, re-
garding us with a look of admiration which we only
can detect. Lady Edith is a natural woman, notwith-
standing that she is an artificially-trained member of
the British aristocracy, and for the first time in her
life she feels her heart beat with the (to others)
well-known thump that is invariably the preface, if
not the initial chapter of "the old, old story." She
looks up again. His eyes are still upon her, and by a
sort of intuitive instinct she knows that her mother is
smiling her approval. A sense of extreme shyness
takes possession of her, and quickly becomes positive
torture. Her very helplessness, as it were, suddenly
reacts into self-possessed strength. She is angry angry
with her mother very angry with him. As her anger
comes, her shyness (its sole cause) departs, and with
it (for the moment) every tender sentiment vanishes
from her breast. She knows what her mother means
by smiling she has seen her do so before and she
will show her for the dozenth time that she is not to
be influenced in that way except in the opposite direc-
tion. As for him How dare he stare at her so boldly
and impertinently, and draw her mother's notice upon
them both ? No doubt Beyndour is enjoying the scene
hugely and will make it an unceasing subject of chaff
to her, and a topic to discuss when she isn't present.
She dared not look lest she should see him laughing.
Ooph ! She could tear him all to pieces. With one
blow she will shatter them both. With one stone her
two birds shall fall to the ground. Allen sees all these
emotions come and go in her expressive face, and reads
them, alas, poor fellow ! as man is prone to read a
woman's eyes He unconsciously closes his a moment
and the quick beating of his heart and the delicious
sense of exhilaration which seems to bubble forth with
every throb and suffuse his whole being, tells him that
he is, to put it as mildly as possible, very happy.
Dozens, ay, hundreds of girls in his own country has
he flirted with and made love to in the most approved
fashion, on staircases at balls, in conservatories at
receptions, in secluded corners at weddings, on the
veranda at Del Monte, in drives to the Cliff House, in
rides in the park, and on every possible occasion, in every
possible spot out of doors or in. There is not a society
girl in 'Frisco who does not know " handsome Phil "
to her cost, so far as the heart-ache goes. Engaged,
or reported to be, a dozen times, to as many different
types of femininity, he still remains free and heart-
whole. Out of every skirmish he has returned scath-
less ; out of every battle he has come without a scratch.
Never before has he been conscious of the sensations
which, now affect him. As if impelled by some hidden,
unbidden power, resistless as an avalanche and as
sudden as the lightning's flash, the words rise to his
lips : "She shall be my wife."
Call it the love of the eye, if you will, it is none the
less deep, none the less real.
Love dawned in man's heart ere character was
formed, mind cultivated, accomplishment invented,
education dreamed of, rank crested, or money coined.
And so it thrives in man's heart still, for it is the true,
the real, the disinterested, the unsordid love of Nature
As he whispers the words to himself with a curi-
ously fixed conviction of their certain fulfillment, he
opens his eyes and looks at her again. Her anger has
at that moment reached its climax. Her new-found
heart has rushed back into its iron-bound case of
worldliness ; she is an aristocrat once more, and her
mother's own daughter. Her eyes flash, her teeth are
set hard, and her voice trembles beneath its thin coat-
ing of haughty defiance.
" Have you no ladies in America, Mr. Allen ? I
should fancy not." The words are hardly out of her
mouth when she would give worlds to have them back.
Lord Beyndour bursts into a paroxysm of laughter
and thumps the table with his knuckles. Freddy looks
at his mother and then at Lord Beyndour, and says :
" Mother, how can you ? "
But Lady Oaktorrington gives no sign of emotion.
She only says in a low voice : " Scenes are such bad
form, my dear."
Lady Mary might as well be in the moon from any
token of interest she displays in matters mundane
beyond the peeling of her forced hot-house peach.
As for Allen, he turns red to the roots of his hair,
and then grows quickly pale. Indignation and resent-
ment gleam from his eyes for a single second, and then
give place to a surprised, deprecating look. He is
about to reply in that spirit when a side glance shows
him the marchioness's (seemingly) complacent indiffer-
ence, and her son's continued hilarity.
" I I really hardly know how to answer such a
question. If you mean ladies of title, I say, certainly
not. If you mean by ladies, women of refinement,
culture, accomplishment, mind, grace, heart, delicacy
of sentiment, integrity, honor, and virtue, I say most
assuredly, yes. So far as the qualifications of a lady
are concerned, birth is quite a secondary consideration
in America. Is it the only essential requirement in
England ? "
Though spoken to Lady Edith, his words are solely
intended for and directed at Lady Oaktorrington and
Lord Beyndour ; but no sooner are they uttered, and
the gratification of speaking them past, than Allen ex-
periences with terrible retributive force the unerring
punishment of ill-judged haste unavailing regret. He