Anthony Trollope.

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" YOU ARE NOT HE " . . . . . .25





MISS DOCIMER . . . . . . . . .64


AT MERLE PARK. NO. 1 . . . . . .76


AT MERLE PARK. NO. 2 . . . . .88




TOM'S DESPAIR . . .114















CAPTAIN BATSBY ....... 206



" A COLD PROSPECT !" ....... 233


ANOTHER DUEL ....... 246


ONCE MORE !..... . 259




ON the day fixed Ayala went down to Stalham. A few
days before she started there came to her a letter, or rather
an envelope, from her uncle Sir Thomas, enclosing a cheque
for 20. The Tringle women had heard that Ayala had
been asked to Stalham, and had mentioned the visit dis-
paragingly before Sir Thomas. " I think it very wrong
of my poor brother," said Lady Tringle. " She can't have
a shilling even to get herself gloves." This had an effect
which had not been intended, and Sir Thomas sent the
cheque for 20. Then Ayala felt not only that the
heavens were opened to her but that the sweetest zephyrs
were blowing her on upon her course. Thoughts as to
gloves had disturbed her, and as to some shoes which were
wanting, and especially as to a pretty hat for winter wear.
Now she could get hat and shoes and gloves, and pay her
fare, and go down to Stalham with money in her pocket.
Before going she wrote a very pretty note to her Uncle



On her arrival she was made much of by everyone.
Lady Albtiry called her the caged bird, and congratulated
her on her escape from the bars. Sir Harry asked her
whether she could ride to hounds. Nina gave her a
thousand kisses. But perhaps her greatest delight was in
finding that Jonathan Stubbs was at Albury. She had
become so intimate with the Colonel that she regarded
him quite like an old friend ; and when a girl has a male
friend, though he may be much less loved, or not loved at
all, he is always more pleasant, or at any rate more piquant,
than a female friend. As for love with Colonel Stubbs
that was quite out of the question. She was sure that he
would never fall in love with herself. His manner to her
was altogether unlike that of a lover. A lover would be
smooth, soft, poetic, and flattering. He was always a little
rough to her, sometimes almost scolding her. But then
he scolded her as she liked to be scolded, with a dash of
fun and a greatly predominating admixture of good-nature.
He was like a bear, but a bear who would always behave
himself pleasantly. She was delighted when Colonel
Stubbs congratulated her on her escape from Kingsbury
Crescent, and felt that he was justified by his intimacy
when he called Mrs. Dosett a mollified she-Cerberus.

"Are you going to make one of my team?" said the
Colonel to her on the morning after her arrival. It was a
non-hunting morning, and the gentlemen were vacant
about the house till they went out for a little shooting
later on in the day.

" What team ?" said Ayala, feeling that she had sucl-


denly received a check to her happiness. She knew that
the Colonel was alluding to those hunting joys which were
to be prepared for Nina, and which were far beyond her
own reach. That question of riding gear is terrible to
young ladies who are not properly supplied. Even had
time admitted she would not have dared to use her uncle's
money for such a purpose, in the hope that a horse might
be lent to her. She had told herself that it was out of the
question, and had declared to herself that she was too
thankful for her visit to allow any regret on such a matter
to cross her mind. But when the Colonel spoke of his
team there was something of a pang. How she would
have liked to be one of such a team !

" My pony team. I mean to drive too. You mustn't
think that I am taking a liberty when I say that they are
to be called Nina and Ayala."

There was no liberty at all. Had he called her simply
Ayala she would have felt it to be no more than pleasant
friendship, coming from him. He was so big, and so red,
and so ugly, and so friendly ! Why should he not call
her Ayala? But as to that team, it could not be. " If
it's riding," she said demurely, " I can't be one of the

"It is riding, of course. Now the Marchesa is not
here, we mean to call it hunting in a mild way."

" I can't/ 3 she said.

" But you've got to do it, Miss Dormer.''

" I haven't got anything to do it with. Of course, I
don't mind telling you."

B 2


" You are to ride the sweetest little horse that ever was
foaled, just bigger than a pony. It belongs to Sir Harry's
sister who is away, and we've settled it all. There never
was a safer little beast, and he can climb through a fence
without letting you know that it's there."

" But I mean clothes," said Ayala. Then she whis-
pered, " I haven't got a habit, or anything else anybody
ought to have."

" Ah," said the Colonel; " I don't know anything about
that. I should say that Nina must have managed that.
The horse department was left to me, and I have done my
part. You will find that you will have to go out next
Tuesday and Friday. The hounds will be here on Tues-
day, and they will be at Rufford on Friday. Eufford is
only nine miles from here, and it's all settled."

Before the day was over the difficulty had vanished.
Miss Albury's horse was not only called into requisition
but Miss Albury's habit also. Ayala had a little black
hat of her own, which Lady Albury assured her would do
excellently well for the hunting field. There was some
fitting and some trying on, and perhaps a few moments of
preliminary despair; but on the Tuesday morning she rode
away from the hall door at eleven o'clock mounted on
Sprite, as the little horse was called, and felt herself from
head to foot to be one of Colonel Stubbs's team. When at
Glenbogie she had ridden a little, and again in Italy, and,
being fearless by nature, had no trepidation to impair the
fulness of her delight.

Hunting from home coverts rarely exacts much jumping


from ladies. The woods are big, and the gates are nume-
rous. It is when the far-away homes of wild foxes are
drawn, those secluded brakes and gorses where the nobler
animal is wont to live at a distance from carriage-roads
and other weak refuges of civilization, that the riding
capacities of ladies must be equal to those of their husbands
and brothers. This present moment was an occasion for
great delight, at least, so it was found by both Nina and
Ayala. But it was not an opportunity for great glory.
Till it was time for lunch one fox after another ran about
the big woods of Albury in a fashion that seemed perfect
to the two girls, but which nearly broke the heart of old
Tony, who was still huntsman to the Ufford and Kufford
United Hunt. " Darm their nasty ways," said Tony to
Mr. Larry Twenty man, who was one of the popular
habitues of the hunt ; " they runs one a top of anothers
brushes, till there ain't a J ound living knows t'other from
which. There's always a many on 'em at Albury, but I
never knew an Albury fox worth his grub yet." But
there was galloping along roads and through gates, and
long strings of horsemen fallowed each other up and down
the rides, and an easy coming back to the places from
which they started, which made the girls think that the
whole thing was divine. Once or twice there was a little
bank, and once or twice a little ditch, just sufficient to
make Ayala feel that no possible fence would be a diffi-
culty to Sprite. She soon learnt that mode of governing
her body which leaping requires, and when she was
brought into lunch at about two she was sure that she could


do anything which the art of hunting required. But at
lunch an edict went forth as to the two girls, against fur-
ther hunting for that day. Nina strove to rebel, and Ayala
attempted to be eloquent by a supplicating glance at the
Colonel. But they were told that as the horses would be
wanted again on Friday they had done enough. In truth,
Tony had already trotted off with the hounds to Pringle's
Gorse, a distance of five miles, and the gentlemen who had
lingered over their lunch had to follow him at their best
pace. " Pringle's Gorse is not just the place for young
ladies," Sir Harry said, and so the matter had been de-
cided against Nina and Ayala.

At about six Sir Harry, Colonel Stubbs, and the other
gentlemen returned, declaring that nothing quicker than
their run from Pringle's Gorse had ever been known in
that country. " About six miles straight on end in
forty minutes/' said the Colonel, " and then a kill in the

" He was laid up under a bank," said young Gosling.

" He was so beat he couldn't carry on a field farther,' 3
said Captain Batsby, who was staying in the house.

" I call that the open," said Stubbs.

" I always think I kill a fox in the open," said Sir
Harry, " when the hounds run into him, because he cannot
run another yard with the country there before him."
Then there was a long discussion, as they stood drinking
tea before the fire, as to what " the open " meant, from
which they went to other hunting matters. To all this
Ayala listened with attentive ears, and was aware that she


had spent a great day. Oh, what a difference was there
between Stalham and Kingsbury Crescent !

The next two days were almost equally full of delight.
She was taken into the stables to see her horse, and as she
patted his glossy coat she felt that she loved Sprite with all
her heart. Oh, what a world of joy was this; how in-
finitely superior even to Queen's Gate and Glenbogie!
The gaudy magnificence of the Tringles had been alto-
gether unlike the luxurious comfort of Stalham, where
everybody was at his ease, where everybody was good-
natured, where everybody seemed to acknowledge that
pleasure was the one object of life ! On the evening before
the Friday she was taken out to dinner by Captain Batsby.
She was not sure that she liked Captain Batsby, who made
little complimentary speeches to her. But her neighbour
on the other side was Colonel Stubbs, and she was quite
sure that she liked Colonel Stubbs.

" I know you'll go like a bird to-morrow," said Captain

" I shouldn't like that, because there would be no jump-
ing," said Ayala.

" But you'd be such a beautiful bird." The Captain,
as he drawled out his words, made an eye at her, and she
was sure that she did not like the Captain.

"At what time are we to start to-morrow?" she said,
turning to the Colonel.

" Ten, sharp. Mind you're ready. Sir Harry takes us
on the drag, and wouldn't wait for Venus, though she
wanted five minutes more for her back hair."


u I don't suppose she ever wants any time for her back
nair. I wouldn't if I were a goddess.''

" Then you'd be a very untidy goddess, that's all. I
wonder whether you are untidy."

" Well; yes; sometimes."

" I hate untidy girls."

" Thank you, Colonel Stubbs."

" What I like is a nice prim little woman, who never
had a pin in the wrong place in her life. Her cuffs and
collars are always as stiff as steel, and she never rubs the
sleeves of her dresses by leaning about, like some young

" That's what I do."

" My young woman never sits down lest she should
crease her dress. My young woman never lets her ribbons
get tangled. My young woman can dress upon 40 a-year,
and always look as though she came out of a band-box."

" I don't believe you've got a young woman, Colonel

u Well; no; I haven't, except in my imagination."

If so, he too must have his Angel of Light ! " Do you
ever dream about her?"

" Oh dear, yes. I dream that she does scold so awfully
when I have her to myself. In my dreams, you know,
I'm married to her, and she always wants me to eat hashed
mutton. Now, if there is one thing that makes me more
sick than another it is hashed mutton. Of course I shall
marry her in some of my waking moments, and then I
shall have to eat hashed mutton for ever."


Then Captain Batsby put in another word. " I should
so like to be allowed to give you a lead to-morrow."

" Oh, thank you, but I'd rather not have it," said
Ayala, who was altogether in the dark, thinking that " a
lead " might be some present which she would not wish to
accept from Captain Batsby.

" I mean that I should like to show you a line if we get
a run."

" What is a line ? " asked Ayala.

" A line? Why a line is just a lead;- -keep your eye
on me and I'll take the fences where you can follow with-
out coming to grief."

" Oh," said Ayala, " that's a lead is it? Colonel Stubbs
is going to give my friend and me a lead, as long as we
stay here."

" No man ever ought to coach more than one lady at
once," said the Captain, showing his erudition. " You're
sure to come on top of one another if there are two."

" But Colonel Stubbs is especially told by the Marchesa
to look after both of us," said Ayala almost angrily. Then
she turned her shoulder to him, and was soon intent upon
further instructions from the Colonel.

The following morning was fine, and all the ladies in the
house were packed on to the top of Sir Harry's drag.
The Colonel sat behind Sir Harry on the plea that he was
wanted to take care of the two girls. Captain Batsby and
three other gentlemen were put inside, were they consoled
themselves with unlimited tobacco. In this way they were
driven to a spot called Kufford Cross Koads, where they


found Tony Tappett sitting perfectly quiescent on his old
mare, while the hounds were seated around him on the
grassy sides of the roads. With him was talking a stout,
almost middle-aged gentleman, in a scarlet coat, and natty
pink-top P)oots, who was the owner of all the country
around. This was Lord RufFord, who a few years since
was known as one of the hardest riders in those parts ; but
he had degenerated into matrimony, was now the happy
father of half-a-dozen babies, and was hardly ever 'seen to
jump over a fence. But he still came out when the meets
were not too distant, and carefully performed that first
duty of an English country gentleman, the preservation
of foxes. Though he did not ride much, no one liked a
little hunting gossip better than Lord Rufford. It was,
however, observed that even in regard to hunting he was
apt to quote the authority of his wife.

" Oh, yes, my Lord," said Tony, " there'll sure to be a
fox at Dillsborough. But we'll find one afore we get to
RufFord, my Lord."

" Lady RufFord says there hasn't been a fox seen in the
home woods this week.' 5

" Her ladyship will be sure to know, said Tony.

" Do you remember that fence where poor Major Cane-
back got his fall six years ago ? " asked the Lord.

" Seven years next Christmas, my Lord," said Tony.
" He never put a leg across a saddle again, poor fellow !
I remember him well, my Lord ; a man who could 'andle
a 'orse wonderful, though he didn't know 'ow to ride to
Bounds ; not according to my idea. To get your animal to


carry you through, never mind y ow long the thing is;
that's my idea of riding to Bounds, my Lord. The major
was for always making a 'orse jump over everything. I
never wants 'em to jump over nothing I can't help ; I
don't, my Lord."

" That's just what her ladyship is always saying to me,"
said Lord Kufford, " and I do pretty much what her lady
ship tells me."

On this occasion Lady Ruiford had been quite right
about the home covers. No doubt she generally was right
in any assertion she made as to her husband's affairs.
After drawing them Tony trotted on towards Dillsborough,
running his hounds through a few little springs, which lay
near his way. As they went Colonel Stubbs rode between
the two girls. " Whenever I see Rufford," said the
Colonel, " he does me a world of good."

" What good can a fat man like that do to you?" said

" He is a continual sermon against marriage. If I could
see Rufford once a week I know that I should be safe."

u He seems to me to be a very comfortable old gentle-
man," said Ayala.

" Old ! Seven years ago he was acknowledged to be the
one undisputed paragon of a young man in this county.
No one else dreamed of looking at a young lady if he chose
to turn his eyes in that direction. He was handsome as
Apollo "

" He an Apollo ! " said Nina.

" The best Apollo there then was in these parts, and
every one knew that he had forty thousand a-year to spend.


Now he is supposed to be the best hand in the house at
rocking the cradle."

" Do you mean to say that he nurses the babies? " asked

" He looks as if he did at any rate. He never goes ten
miles away from his door without having Lady Kufford
with him, and is always tucked up at night just at half-past
ten by her ladyship's own maid. Ten years ago he would
generally have been found at midnight with cards in his
hand and a cigar in his mouth. Now he is allowed two
cigarettes a-day. Well, Mr. Twentyman, how are you
getting on ? " This he said to a good looking better sort
of farmer, who came up, riding a remarkably strong horse,
and dressed in pink and white cords.

" Thank ye, Colonel, pretty well, considering how hard
the times are. A man who owns a few acres and tries to
farm them must be on the road to ruin now-a-days. That's
what I'm always telling my wife, so that she may know
what she has got to expect. 5 ' Mr. Twentyman had been
married just twelve months.

" She isn't much frightened, I daresay," said the

" She's young, you see," continued the farmer, "and
hasn't settled herself down yet to the sorrows of life." This
was that Mr. Lawrence Twentyman who married Kate
Masters, the youngest daughter of old Masters, the attorney
at Dillsborough, and sister of Mrs. Morton, wife of the
squire of Bragton. " By the holy," said Twentyman,
suddenly, " the hounds have put a fox out of that little




AYALA, who had been listening attentively to the con-
versation of Mr. Twentyman, and been feeling that she
was being initiated every moment into a new phase of
life, who had been endeavouring to make some con-
nection in her mind between the new charms of the world
around her and that world of her dreams that was ever
present to her, and had as yet simply determined that
neither could Lord Kufford or Mr. Twentyman have ever
been an Angel of Light, at once straightened herself in
her saddle, and prepared herself for the doing of something
memorable. It was evident to her that Mr. Twentyman
considered that the moment for action had come. He did
not gallop off wildly, as did four or five others, but stood
still for a moment looking intently at a few hounds who,
with their tails feathering in the air and with their noses
down, seemed at the same time to be irresolute and deter-
mined, knowing that the scent was there but not yet quite
fixed as to its line. " Half a moment, Colonel," he said,
standing up in his stirrups, with his left hand raised, while
his right held his reins and his whip close down on his
horse's neck. "Half a moment!" He only whispered,
:ind then shook his head angrily, as he heard the ill-timed


shouting of one or two men who had already reached the
other side of the little skirting of trees. " I wish Fred
Botsey's tongue were tied to his teeth," he said, still whis-
pering. " Now, Colonel, they have it. There's a little
lane to the right, and a gate. After that the country's
open, and there's nothing which the ladies' nags can't do.
I know the country so well, you'd perhaps better come
with me for a bit."

61 He knows all about it, 3 ' said the Colonel to Ayala.
" Do as he tells you/'

Ayala and Nina both were quick enough to obey.
Twentyman dashed along the lane, while the girls followed
him with the Colonel after them. When they were at the
hunting-gate already spoken of, old Tony Tappett was
with them, trotting, impatient to get to the hounds, cour-
teously giving place to the ladies, whom, however, in his
heart, he wished at home in bed, and then thrusting him-
self through the gate in front of the Colonel. "D

their pig-headed folly," he said, as he came up to his
friend Twentyman " they knows no more about it than
if they'd just come from be'ind a counter, 'olloaing,
^olloaing, 'olloaing, as if 'olloaing 'd make a fox break!
'Owsomever Vs off now, and they've got Cranbury Brook
"between them and his line ! " This he said in a squeaking
little voice, intended to be jocose and satirical, shaking his
head as he rode. This last idea seemed to give him great

It was the consideration, deep and well-founded, as to
the Cranbury which had induced Larry Twentyman to


pause on the road when he had paused, and then to make
for the lane and the gate. The direction had hardly seemed
to be that of the hounds, but Larry knew the spinney,
knew the brook, knew the fox, perhaps, and was aware
of the spot at which the brute would cross the water if he
did cross it. The brute did cross the water, and therefore
there was Cranbury Brook between many of the forward
riders and his line.

Sir Harry was then with them, and two or three other
farmers. But Larry had a lead, and the two girls were
with him. Tony Tappett, though he had got " up to his
hounds, did not endeavour to ride straight to them as did
Larry Twentyman. He was old and unambitious, very
anxious to know where his hounds were, so that he might
be with them should they want the assistance of his voice
and counsel, anxious to be near enough to take their fox
from them should they run into him, but taking no glory
in jumping over a fence if he could avoid it, creeping
about here and there, knowing from experience nearly
every turn in the animal's mind, aware of every impedi-
ment which would delay him, riding fast only when the
impediments were far between, taking no amusement to
himself out of the riding, but with his heart cruelly,
bloodily, ruthlessly set upon killing the animal before him.
To kill his fox he would imperil his neck, but for the glory
of riding he would not soil his boots if he could help it.
After the girls came the Colonel, somewhat shorn of his
honour in that he was no longer giving them a lead, but
doing his best to maintain the pace, which Twentyman was


making very good. " Now, young ladies," said Twenty -
man, " give them their heads, and let them do it just as
they please, alongside of each other, and not too near to
me." It was a brook, a confluent of Cranbury Brook, and
was wide enough to require a good deal of jumping. It
may be supposed that the two young ladies did not under-
stand much of the instructions given to them. To hold
their breath and be brave was the only idea present to
them. The rest must come from instinct and chance. The
other side of the brook was heaven; this would be pur-
gatory. Larry, fearing perhaps that the order as to their
not being too near might not be obeyed, added a little to
his own pace so as to be clear of them. Nevertheless they
were only a few strides behind, and had Larry's horse
missed his footing there would have been a mess. As it
was they took the brook side by side close to each other,
and landed full of delight and glory on the opposite bank.
" Bravo ! young ladies/' shouted Twentyman.

" Oh, Nina, that is divine/ 5 said Ayala. Nina was a

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