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gravely, throwing down his bundle and stick.
' Matilda, I find, has not gone away in scorn
of us ; she has gone away for other reasons.
I followed her some way ; but I have come
back again. She may go.'

' Why is she gone ? ' said the astonished


Bob had intended, for Matilda's sake, to
give no reason to a living soul for her depar-
ture. But he could not treat his father thus
reservedly ; and he told.

* She has made great fools of us,' said the
miller deliberately ; ' and she might have
made us greater ones. Bob, I thought th'
hadst more sense.'

' Well, don't say anything against her,
father,' implored Bob. * 'Twas a sorry haul,
and there's an end on t. Let her down
quietly, and keep the secret. You promise
that ? '

* I do.' Loveday the elder remained
thinking awhile, and then went on — ' Well,
what I was going to say is this : I've hit
upon a plan to get out of the awkward corner
she has put us in. What you'll think of it I
can't say.'

' David has just given me the heads.'


' And do It hurt your feelings, my son, at
such a time ? '

* No — I'll bring myself to bear it, anyhow !
Why should I object to other people's happi-
ness because I have lost my own ? ' said Bob,
with saintly self-sacrifice in his air.

' Well said ! ' answered the miller heartily.
' But you may be sure that there will be no
unseemly rejoicing, to disturb ye in your pre-
sent frame of mind. All the morning I felt
more ashamed than I cared to own at the
thought of how the neighbours, great and
small, would laugh at what they would call
your folly, when they knew what had hap-
pened ; so I resolved to take this step to
stave it off, if so be 'twas possible. And
when I saw Mrs. Garland I knew I had
done right. She pitied me so much for
having had the house cleaned in vain, and
laid in provisions to waste, that it put her


into the humour to agree. We mean to
do It right off at once, afore the pies and
cakes get mouldy and the blackpot stale.
'Twas a good thought of mine and hers, and
I am glad 'tis settled,' he concluded cheer-

' Poor Matilda ! ' murmured Bob.

* There — I was afraid 'twould hurt thy
feelings,' said the miller, with self-reproach :
* making preparations for thy wedding, and
using them for my own ! '

* No,' said Bob heroically'; ' It shall not.
It will be a great comfort In my sorrow to
feel that the splendid grub, and the ale, and
your stunning new suit of clothes, and the
great table-cloths you've bought, will be just
as useful now as If I had married myself
Poor Matilda ! But you won't expect me to
join in — you hardly can. I can sheer off that
day very easily, you know.'


'Nonsense, Bob!' said the miller re-

' I couldn't stand it — I should break

* Deuce take me if I would have asked
her, then, if I had known 'twas going to drive
thee out of the house ! Now, come, Bob, I'll
find a way of arranging it and sobering it
down, so that it shall be as melancholy as
you can require — in short, just like a funeral,
if thou'lt promise to stay ? '

* Very well,' said the young man. * On
that condition I'll stay.'




Having entered into this solemn compact
with his son, the elder Loveday's next action
was to go to Mrs. Garland, and ask her how
the toning down of the wedding had best be
done. * It is plain enough that to make
merry just now would be slighting Bob's
feelings, as if we didn't care who was not
married, so long as we were,' he said.
' But then, what's to be done about the
victuals ? '

* Give a dinner to the poor folk,' she
suggested. * We can get everything used up
that way.'


* That's true,' said the miller. * There's
enough of 'em in these times to carry off any
extras whatsoever.'

'And it will save Bob's feelings wonder-
fully. And they won't know that the dinner
was got for another sort of wedding and
another sort of guests ; so you'll have their
good-will for nothing.'

The miller smiled at the subtlety of the
view. * That can hardly be called fair,' he
said. * Still, I did m.ean some of it for them,
for the friends we meant to ask would not
have cleared all.'

Upon the whole the idea pleased him
well, particularly when he noticed the forlorn
look of his sailor son as he walked about the
place, and pictured the inevitably jarring effect
of fiddles and tambourines upon Bob's shat-
tered nerves at such a crisis, even if the
notes of the former were dulled by the appli-


cation of a mute, and Bob shut up in a dis-
tant bedroom — a plan which had at first
occurred to him. He therefore told Bob
that the surcharged larder was to be emptied
by the charitable process above alluded to,
and hoped he would not mind making him-
self useful in such a good and gloomy work.
Bob readily fell in with the scheme, and it
was at once put in hand and the tables

The alacrity with which the substituted
wedding was carried out, seemed to show
that the worthy pair of neighbours would
have joined themselves into one long ago,-
had there previously occurred any domestic
incident dictating such a step as an apposite
expedient, apart from their personal wish to

The appointed morning came, and the
service quietly took place at the cheerful

VOL. II. ■ H


hour of ten, in the face of a triangular con-
gregation, of which the base was the front
pew, and the apex the west door. Mrs.
Garland dressed herself in the muslin shawl
like Queen Charlotte's, that Bob had brought
home, and her best plum-coloured gown,
beneath which peeped out her shoes with red
rosettes. Anne was present, but she con-
siderately toned herself down, so as not to
too seriously damage her mother's appear-
ance. At moments during the ceremony
she had a distressing sense that she ought
not to be born, and was glad to get home

The interest excited in the village, though
real, was hardly enough to bring a serious
blush to the face of coyness. Neighbours'
minds had become so saturated by the
abundance of showy military and regal inci-
dent lately vouchsafed to them, that a wed-


ding of middle-aged civilians was of small
account, excepting in so far that it solved
the question whether or not Mrs. Garland
would consider herself too genteel to mate
with a grinder of corn.

In the evening, Loveday's heart was
made glad by seeing the baked and boiled In
rapid process of consumption by the kltchen-
ful of people assembled for that purpose.
Three-quarters of an hour were sufficient to
banish for ever his fears as to spoilt food.
The provisions being the cause of the assem-
bly, and not its consequence, It had been
determined to get all that would not keep
consumed on that day, even If highways and
hedges had to be searched for operators.
And, In addition to the poor and needy,
every cottager's daughter known to the miller
was invited, and told to bring her lover from
camp — an expedient which, for letting day-

H 2


light into the Inside of full platters, was
among the most happy ever known.

While Mr. and Mrs. Loveday, Anne, and
Bob were standing In the parlour, discussing
the progress of the entertainment In the next
room, John, who had not been down all day,
entered the house and looked In upon them
through the open door.

* How's this, John ? Why didn't you
come before ? '

* Had to see the captain, and — other
duties,' said the trumpet-major, in a tone
which showed no great zeal for explanations.

' Well, come In, however,' continued the
miller, as his son remained with his hand on
the door-post, surveying them reflectively.

* I cannot stay long,' said John, advanc-
ing. ' The Route is come, and we are going

* Going away ! Where to ? '


' To Exeter.'
' When ? '

* Friday morning.'
' All of you ? '

' Yes ; some to-morrow and some next
day. The King goes next week.'

* I am sorry for this,' said the miller, not
expressing half his sorrow by the simple
utterance. ' I wish you could have been
here to-day, since this is the case,' he added,
looking at the horizon through the window.

Mrs. Loveday also expressed her regret,
which seemed to remind the trumpet-major
of the event of the day, and he went to her
and tried to say something befitting the
occasion. Anne had not said that she was
either sorry or glad, but John Loveday
fancied that she had looked rather relieved
than otherwise when she heard his news.
His conversation with Bob on the down


made Bob's manner, too, remarkably cool,
notwithstanding that he had after all followed
his brother's advice, which it was as yet too
soon after the event for him to rightly value.
John did not know why the sailor had come
back, never supposing that it was because
he had thought better of going, and said
to him privately, ' You didn't overtake

' I didn't try to,' said Bob.

' And you are not going to ? '

*No; I shall let her drift.'

* I am glad indeed, Bob ; you have been
wise, said John heartily.

Bob, however, still loved Matilda too well
to be other than dissatisfied with John and
the event that he had precipitated, which
the elder brother only too promptly per-
ceived ; and it made his stay that evening of
short duration. Before leavinof he said with


some hesitation to his father, including Anne
and her mother by his glance, ' Do you think
to come up and see us off ? '

The miller answered for them all, and
said that of course they would come. ' But
you'll step down again between now and
then ? ' he inquired.

' ril try to.' He added after a pause,
* In case I should not, remember that Reval-
ley will sound at half past five ; we shall
leave about eight. Next summer, perhaps,
we shall come and camp here again.'

' I hope so,' said his father and Mrs.

There was something in John's manner
which indicated to Anne that he scarcely In-
tended to come down again ; but the others
did not notice It, and she said nothing. He
departed a few minutes later, in the dusk of
the August evening, leaving Anne still In


doubt as to the meaning of his private meet-
ing with Miss Johnson.

John Loveday had been going to tell
them that, on the last night, by an especial
privilege, it would be in his power to come
and stay with them until eleven o'clock, but
at the moment of leaving he abandoned the
intention. Anne's attitude had chilled him,
and made him anxious to be off. He utilised
the spare hours of that last night in another

This was by coming down from the out-
skirts of the camp in the evening, and seating
himself near the brink of the mill-pond as
soon as it was quite dark ; where he watched
the lights in the different windows till one
appeared in Anne's bedroom, and she herself
came forward to shut the casement, with the
candle in her hand. The light shone out
upon the broad and deep mill-head, illumi-


nating to a distinct individuality every moth
and gnat that entered the quivering chain of
radiance stretchino^ across the water towards
him, and every bubble or atom of froth that
floated into its width. She stood for some
time looking out, little thinking what the
darkness concealed on the other side of that
wide stream ; till at length she closed the
casement, drew the curtains, and retreated
into the room. Presently the light went out,
upon which John Loveday returned to camp
and lay down in his tent.

The next morning was dull and windy,
and the trumpets of the — th sounded Re-
veille for the last time on Overcombe Down.
Knowing that the dragoons were going away,
Anne had slept heedfully, and was at once
awakened by the smart notes. She looked
out of the window, to find that the miller was
already astir, his white form being visible at


the end of his garden, where he stood mo-
tionless, watching the preparations. Anne
also looked on as well as she could through
the dim grey gloom, and soon she saw the
blue smoke from the cooks' fires creeping
fitfully along the ground, instead of rising in
vertical columns, as it had done during the
fine weather season. Then the men began
to carry their bedding to the waggons, and
others to throw all refuse into the trenches,
till the down was lively as an ant-hill. Anne
did not want to see John Loveday again, but
hearing the household astir, she began to
dress at leisure, looking out at the camp the

When the soldiers had breakfasted, she
saw them selling and giving away their
superfluous crockery to the natives who had
clustered round ; and then they pulled down
and cleared away the temporary kitchens


which they had constructed when they came.
A tapping of tent-pegs and wriggling of
picket-posts followed, and soon the cones of
white canvas, now almost become a compo-
nent part of the landscape, fell to the ground.
At this moment the miller came indoors, and
asked at the foot of the stairs if anybody was
going up the hill with him.

Anne felt that, in spite of the cloud hang-
ing over John in her mind, it would ill be-
come the present moment not to see him off,
and she went downstairs to her mother, who
was already there, though Bob was nowhere
to be seen. Each took an arm of the miller,
and thus climbed to the top of the hill. By
this time the men and horses were at the
place of assembly, and, shortly after the mill-
party reached level ground, the troops slowly
began to move forward. When the trumpet-
major, half burled in his uniform, arms, and


horse-furniture, drew near to the spot where
the Lovedays were waiting to see him pass,
his father turned anxiously to Anne and said,
' You will shake hands with John ? '

Anne faintly replied ' Yes,' and allowed
the miller to take her forward on his arm to
the trackway, so as to be close to the flank
of the approaching column. It came up,
many people on each side grasping the hands
of the troopers in bidding them farewell ; and
as soon as John Loveday saw the members
of his father's household, he stretched down
his hand across his right pistol for the same
performance. The miller gave his, then Mrs.
Loveday gave hers, and then the hand of the
trumpet-major was extended towards Anne.
But as the horse did not absolutely stop, it
was a somewhat awkward performance for a
young woman to undertake, and, more on
that account than on any other, Anne drew


back, and the gallant trooper passed by with-
out receiving her adieu. Anne's heart re-
proached her for a moment ; and then she
thought that, after all, he was not going off
to immediate battle, and that she would in
all probability see him again at no distant
date, when she hoped that the mystery of his
conduct would be explained. Her thoughts
were interrupted by a voice at her elbow :
' Thank heaven, he's gone ! Now there's a
chance for me.'

She turned, and Festus Derriman was
standing by her.

' There's no chance for you,' she said

' Why not ? '

' Because there's another left ! '

The words had slipped out quite unin-
tentionally, and she blushed quickly. She
would have given anything to be able to


recall them ; but he had heard, and said,

Anne went forward to the miller to avoid
replying, and Festus caught her no more.

' Has anybody been hanging about Over-
combe Mill except Loveday's son the sol-
dier ? ' he asked of a comrade.

* His son the sailor,' was the reply.

' Oh — his son the sailor,' said Festus
slowly. * Damn his son the sailor ! '




At this particular moment the object of
Festus Derriman's fulmlnatlon was assuredly
not dangerous as a rival. Bob, after abstract-
edly watching the soldiers from the front of
the house till they were out of sight, had gone
within doors and seated himself in the mill-
parlour, where his father found him, his elbows
resting on the table and his forehead on his
hands, his eyes being fixed upon a document
that lay open before him.

' What art perusing, Bob, with such a
long face ? '

Bob sighed, and then Mrs. Loveday and
Anne entered. ' 'Tis only a state-paper that


I fondly thought I should have a use for/
he said gloomily. And, looking down as
before, he cleared his voice, as if moved in-
wardly to go on, and began to read in feeling
tones from what proved to be his nullified
marriage licence : —

' *' Timothy Titus Philemon, by permission

• Bishop of Bristol : To our well-beloved

Robert Loveday, of the parish of Overcombe,

Bachelor ; and Matilda Johnson, of the same

parish, Spinster. Greeting." '

Here Anne sighed, but contrived to keep
down her sigh to a mere nothing.

' Beautiful language, isn't it ? ' said Bob.
* I was never greeted like that afore ! '

' Yes ; I have often thought it very excel-
lent language myself,' said Mrs. Loveday.

' Come to that, the old gentleman will
greet thee like it again any day for a couple
of o^uineas,' said the miller.


* That's not the point, father ! You never
could see the real meanino- of these thinors.
.... Well, then he goes on : ' Whereas yQ
are, as It is alleged, determined to enter Into the

holy estate of matrimony ' But why should

I read on ? It all means nothing now — no-
thing, and the splendid words are all wasted
upon air. It seems as if I had been hailed by
some venerable hoary prophet, and had turned
away, put the helm hard up, and wouldn't

Nobody replied, feeling probably that
sympathy could not meet the case, and Bob
went on reading the rest of it to himself,
occasionally heaving a breath like the wind
in a ship's shrouds.

' I wouldn't set my mind so much upon
her, If I was thee,' said his father at

' Why not ? '



' Well, folk might call thee a fool, and say
thy brains were turning to water.'

Bob was apparently much struck by this
thought, and, instead of continuing the dis-
course further, he carefully folded up the
licence, went out, and walked up and down
the garden. It was startlingly apt what
his father had said ; and, worse than that,
what people would call him might be true,
and the liquefaction of his brains turn out
to be no fable. By degrees he became
much concerned, and the more he examined
himself by this new light the more clearly
did he perceive that he was in a very bad

On reflection he remembered that since
Miss Johnson's departure his appetite had
decreased amazingly. He had eaten in meat
no more than fourteen or fifteen ounces a day,
but one-third of a quartern pudding on an


average, in vegetables only a small heap of
potatoes and half a York cabbage, and no
gravy whatever ; which, considering the usual
appetite of a seaman for fresh food at the end
of a long voyage, was no small index of the
depression of his mind. Then he had awaked
once every night, and on one occasion twice.
While dressing each morning since the
gloomy day he had not whistled more than
seven bars of a hornpipe without stopping
and falling into thought of a most painful
kind ; and he had told none but absolutely
true stories of foreign parts to the neighbour-
ing villagers when they saluted and clustered
about him, as usual, for anything he chose to
pour forth — except that story of the whale
whose eye was about as large as the round
pond in Derriman's ewe-lease — which was like
tempting fate to set a seal for ever upon his

I 2


tongue as a traveller. All this enervation,
mental and physical, had been produced by
Matilda's departure.

He also considered what he had lost of
the rational amusements of manhood during
these unfortunate days. He might have gone
to Weymouth every afternoon, stood before
Gloucester Lodge till the King and Queen
came out, held his hat in his hand, and en-
joyed their Majesties' smiles at his homage
all for nothing — watched the picket-mounting,
heard the different bands strike up, observed
the staff; and, above all, have seen the
pretty Weymouth girls go trip-trip-trip along
the Esplanade, deliberately fixing their inno-
cent eyes on the distant sea, the grey cliffs,
and the sky, and accidentally on the soldiers
and himself.

' I'll raze out her image,' he said. ' She
shall make a fool of me no more.' And his


resolve resulted in conduct which had ele-
ments of real greatness.

He went back to his father, whom he
found in the mill-loft. ' 'Tis true, father,
what you say,' he observed : ' my brains will
turn to bilge-water if I think of her much
longer. By the oath of a — navigator, I wish
I could sigh less and laugh more ! She's
gone — why can't I let her go, and be happy ?
But how begin ? '

' Take it careless, my son/ said the miller,
* and lay yourself out to enjoy snacks and

* Ah— that's a thought ! ' said Bob.

' Baccy is good for't. So is sperrits.
Though I don't advise thee to drink neat.'

' Baccy — I'd almost forgot it ! ' said Cap-
tain Loveday.

He went to his room, hastily untied the
package of tobacco that he had brought home,

it8 the trumpet-major.

and began to make use of it In his own way,
calling to David for a bottle of the old house-
hold mead that had lain In the cellar these
eleven years. He was discovered by his
father three-quarters of an hour later as a
half-Invisible object behind a cloud of smoke.

The miller drew a breath of relief ' Why,
Bob,' he said, ' I thought the house was a-

' I'm smoking rather fast to drown my re-
flections, father. 'Tis no use to chaw.'

To tempt his attenuated appetite the un-
happy mate made David cook an omelet and
bake a seed cake, the latter so richly com-
pounded that It opened to the knife like a
freckled buttercup. With the same object
he stuck nlo^ht-llnes Into the banks of the
mlU-pond, and drew up next morning a
family of fat eels, some of which were skinned
and prepared for his breakfast. They were


his favourite fish, but such had been his con-
dition that, until the moment of making this
effort, he had quite forgotten their existence
at his father's back-door.

In a few days Bob Loveday had consider-
ably improved in tone and vigour. One
other obvious remedy for his dejection was
to indulge in the society of Miss Garland,
love being so much more effectually got rid
of by displacement than by attempted anni-
hilation. But Loveday was of so simple a
nature that the belief that he had offended
her beyond forgiveness, and his ever-present
sense of her as a woman who by education
and antecedents was fitted to adorn a higher
sphere than his own, effectually kept him
from going near her for a long time, notwith-
standing that they were Inmates of one house.
The reserve was, however. In some degree
broken by the appearance one morning, some


time later In the season, of the point of a saw
through the partition which divided Anne's
room from the Loveday half of the house.
Though she dined and supped with her
mother and the Loveday family, Miss Garland
had still continued to occupy her old apart-
ments, because she found it more convenient
there to pursue her hobbies of wool-work
and of copying her father's old pictures. The
division wall had not as yet been broken

As the saw worked its way downwards
under her astonished gaze Anne jumped up
from her drawing ; and presently the tem-
porary canvasing and papering which had
sealed up the old door of communication was
cut completely through. The door burst
open, and Bob stood revealed on the other
side, with the saw In his hand.

* I beg your ladyship's pardon,' he said,


taking off the hat he had been working In,
as his handsome face expanded Into a smile.
* I didn't know this door opened Into your
private room.'

' Indeed, Captain Loveday ! '

' I am pulling down the division on prin-
ciple, as we are now one family. But I really
thought the door opened Into your passage.'

' It don't matter ; I can get another

' Not at all. Father wouldn't let me turn
you out. I'll close It up again.'

But Anne was so Interested In the novelty

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