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conceived the idea of planting a small lighthouse
here, as a boon to the fishermen who frequent the
coast. The lighthouse was built, but never occupied,
and after standing some years in a state of half ruin,
was turned into a sort of humble inn or shebeen,
most probably a mere pretext to cover its real
employment as a depot for smuggled goods ; for
in the days of high duties French silks and brandies
found many channels into Ireland beside the road,
that lay through her Majesty's customs. Mr., or,


as lie was more generally called, Tim Mackessy, the
proprietor, was a well-known man in those parts.
He followed what in Ireland for some years back
has been as much a profession as law or physic,
and occasionally a more lucrative line than either —
Patriotism. He was one of those ready, voluble,
self-asserting fellows, who abound in Ireland, but
whose favour is not the less with their countrymen
from the fact of their frequency. He had, he said,
a father, who suffered for his country in ninety-eight ;
and he had himself maintained the family traditions
by being twice imprisoned in Carrickfergus Gaol, and
narrowly escaping transportation for life. On the
credit of this martyrdom, and the fact that Mr.
O'Connell once called him ''honest Tim Mackessy,"
he had lived in honour and repute amongst such of
his countrymen as "feel the yoke and abhor the rule
of the Saxon."

For the present, we are, however, less occupied
by Tim and his political opinions than by two guests,
who had arrived a couple of days before, and were now
seated at brealvfast in that modest apartment called
the best parlour. Two men less like in appearance
might not readily be found. One, thin, fresh-looking.


witli handsome but haughty features, slightly stooped,
but to all seeming as much from habit as from any
debility, was Lord Culduff; his age might be com-
puted by some reference to the list of his services,
but would have been a puzzling calculation from a
mere inspection of himself. In figure and build,
he might be anything from five-and-thirty to two
or three and forty ; in face, at a close inspection, he
might have been high up in the sixties.

His companion was a middle-sized, middle-aged
man, with a mass of bushy curly black hair, a round
bullet head, wide-set eyes, and a short nose, of the
leonine pattern ; his mouth, large and thick-lipped,
had all that mobility that denotes talker and eater :
for Mr. Cutbill, civil engineer and architect, was
both garrulous and gourmand, and lived in the
happy enjoyment of being thought excellent company,
and a first-rate judge of a dinner. He was musical
too ; he played the violoncello with some skill, and
was an associate of various philharmonics, who per-
formed fantasias and fugues to dreary old ladies and
snuffy old bachelors, who found the amusement an
economy that exacted nothing more costly than a.
little patience. Amongst these Tom Cutbill was


a man of wit and man of the world. His career
brought him from time to time into contact with
persons of high station and rank, and these he ven-
tilated amongst his set in the most easy manner,
familiarly talking of Beaufort, and Argyle, and Cleve-
land, as though they were household words.

It was reported that he had some cleverness as
an actor ; and he might have had, for the man
treated life as a drama, and was eternally repre-
senting something, — some imaginary character, — till
any little fragment of reality in him had been entirely
rubbed out by the process, and he remained the mere
personation of whatever the society he chanced to be
in w^anted or demanded of him.

He had been recommended to Lord Culduff's
notice by his lordship's London agent, who had
said, — " He know^s the scientific part of his business
as w^ell as the great swells of his profession, and
he knows the world a precious sight better than they
do. They could tell you if you have coal, but he
will do that and more ; he will tell you what to do
with it." It was on the advice thus given Lord
Culduff had secured his services, and taken him over
to Ireland. It was a bitter pill to swallow, for this


old broken-down man of fashion, self-indulgent,
fastidious, and refined, to travel in such company ;
but his affairs were in a sad state, from years of
extravagance and high living, and it was only by the
supposed discovery of these mines on this unprofit-
able part of his estate that his creditors consented
to defer that settlement which might sweep away
almost all that remained to him. Cutbill was told,
too, — '^His lordship is rather hard-up just now, and
cannot be liberal as he could wish ; but he is a
charming person to know, and will treat you like a
brother." The one chink in this shrewd fellow's
armour was his snobbery. It was told of him once,
in a very dangerous illness, when all means of
inducing perspiration had failed, that some one
said, — '' Try him with a Lord, it never failed with
Tom yet." If an untitled squire had proposed to
take Mr. Cutbill over special to Ireland for a
hundred-pound note and his expenses, he would have
indignantly refused the offer, and assisted the proposer
besides to some unpalatable reflections on his
knowledge of life ; the thought, however, of journey-
ing as Lord Culduff's intimate friend, being treated
as his brother, thrown, from the very nature of the


country they travelled in, into close relations, and left
free to improve tlie acquaintance by all those social
wiles and accomplishments on which he felt he could
pride himself, was a bribe not to be resisted. And
thus was it that these two men, so unlike in every
respect, found themselves fellow-travellers and com-

A number of papers, plans, and drawings littered
the breakfast-table at which they were seated, and
one of these, representing the little promontory of
arid rock, tastefully coloured and converted into a
handsome pier, with flights of steps descending to
the water, and massive cranes swinging bulky masses
of merchandise into tall-masted ships, was just then
beneath his lordship's double eyeglass.

^' Where may all this be, Cutbill ? is it Irish?"
asked he.

*' It is to be out yonder, my lord," said he, pointing
through the little window to the rugged line of rocks,
over which the sea was breaking in measured rhythm.

**You don't mean there?" said Lord Culduff;
half horrified.

" Yes, my lord, there ! Your lordship is doubtless
not aware that of all her Majesty's faithful lieges the


speculative are the least gifted witli the imaginative
faculty, and to supply this unhappy want in their
natures, we, whose function it is to suggest great
industrial schemes or large undertakings,^ — we 'Pro-
moters,' as we are called, are obliged to supply, not
merely by description, but actually pictorially, the
results which success will in due time arrive at. We
have, as the poet says, to annihilate 'both time and
space,' and arrive at a goal which no effort of these
worthy people's minds could possibly attain to.
What your lordship is now looking at is a case in
point, and however little promising the present aspect
of that coast-line may seem, time and m.oney, — yes,
my lord, time and money — the two springs of all
success — will make even greater change than you see
depicted here." Mr. Cutbill delivered these words
with a somewhat pompous tone, and in a voice such
as he might have used in addressing an acting com-
mittee or a special board of works ; for one of his
fancies was, to believe himself an orator of no
mean power.

"I trust, I fervently trust, Mr. Cutbill," said his
lordship nervously, " that the coal-fields are somewhat
nigher the stage of being remunerative than that


broken line of rock is to this fanciful picture before

" Wealth, my lord, like heat, has its latent con-

" Condescend to a more commonplace tone, sir,
in consideration of my ignorance, and tell me frankly,
is the mine as far from reality, as that reef there ?"

Fortunately for Mr Cutbill perhaps, the door was
opened at this critical juncture, and the landlord
presented himself with a note, stating that the groom
who brought it would wait for the answer.

Somewhat agitated by the turn of his conversation
with the engineer. Lord Culduff tore open the letter,
and ran his eyes towards the end to see the signature.
"Who is Bramleigh — Temple Bramleigh? Oh, I
remember, an attache. What's all this about
Castello ? Where's Castello ? "

"That's the name they give the Bishop's Folly,
my lord," said the landlord, with a half grin.

" What business have these people to know I am
here at all ? Why must they persecute me ? You
told me, Cutbill, that I was not to be discovered."

"So I did, my lord, and I made the IMoi
Express call you Mr. Morris, of Charing Cross."


His lordship winced a little at the thought of such
a libert}^ even for a disguise, but he was now engaged
with the note, and read on without speaking. *' No-
thing could be more courteous, certainly," said he,
folding it up, and laying it beside him on the table.

" They invite me over to — what's the name ? —
Castello, and promise me perfect liberty as regards
my time. * To make the place my head-quarters,' as
he says. Who are these Bramleighs ? You know
every one, Cutbill; who are they?"

"Bramleigh and Underwood are bankers, very
old-established firm. Old Bramleigh was a brewer,
at Slough ; George the Third never would drink any
other stout than Bramleigh's. There was a large
silver flagon, called the 'King's Quaigh,' always
brought out when his Majesty rode by, and very vain
old Bramleigh used to be of it, though I don't think
it figures now on the son's sideboard — they have
leased the brewery."

'^ Oh, they have leased the brewery, have they ?"

" That they have ; the present man got himself
made Colonel of militia, and meant to be a county
member, and he might too, if he hadn't been in too
great a hurry about it ; but county people won't stand


being carried by assault. Then tbey made otber
mistakes; tried it on with the Liberals, in a shire
where everything that called itself gentleman was
Tory; in fact, they plunged from one hole into
another, till they regularly swamped themselves ; and
as their house held a large mortgage on these estates
in Ireland, they paid off the other encumbrances and
have come to live here. I know the whole story, for
it was an old friend of mine who made the plans for
restoring the mansion."

" I suspect that the men in your profession,
Cutbill, know as much of the private history of
English families as any in the land ? "

'' More, my lord ; far more even than the soli-
citors, for people suspect the solicitors, and they
never suspect us. We are detectives in plain clothes."
The pleasant chuckle with which Mr. Cutbill finished
his speech was not responded to by his lordship, who
felt that the other should have accepted his compli-
ment, without any attempt on his own part to
'' cap " it.

'' How long do you imagine I may be detained
here, Cutbill ? " asked he, after a pause.

" Let us say a week, my lord, or ten days at


furthest. We ought certainly to see that uew pit
opened, before you leave."

" In that case I may as well accept this invita-
tion. I can bear a little boredom if they have only a
good cook. Do you suppose they have a good

'' The agent, Jos Harding, told me they had a
Frenchman, and that the house is splendidly got up."

^' What's to be done with you, Cutbill, eh ? "

*"' I am at your lordship's orders," said he, with a
very quiet composure.

' ' You have nothing to do over at that place just
now ? — I mean at the mine."

'' No, my lord. Till Pollard makes his report, I
have nothing to call me over there."

'^ And here, I take it, we have seen everything,"
and he gave a very hopeless look through the little
window as he spoke.

'' There it is, my lord," said Cutbill, taking up
the coloured picture of the pier, with its busy crowds,
and its bustling porters. " There it is ! "

'' I should say, Cutbill, there it is not ! " observed
the other bitterly. " Anything more unlike the
reality is hard to conceive."


" Few tilings are as like a cornet in tlie Life
Guards, as a child in a perambulator "

"Very well, all that," interrupted Lord Culduif
impatiently. "I know that sort of argument
perfectly. I have been pestered with the acorn, or
rather, with the unborn forests in the heart of the
acorn, for many a day. Let us get a stride in
advance of these platitudes. Is the whole thing like
this?" and he threw the drawing across the table
contemptuously as he spoke. ''Is it all of this
pattern, eh ?"

^' In one sense it is very like," said the other,
with a greater amount of decision in his tone than

''In which case, then, the sooner we abandon it
the better," said Lord Culduff, rising, and staiiding
with his back to the fire, his head high, and his look
intensely haughty.

"It is not for me to dictate to your lordship — I
could never presume to do so — but certainly it is not
every one in Great Britain who could reconcile
himself to rehnquish one of the largest sources of
wealth in the kingdom. Taking the lowest estimate
of Carrick Nuish mine alone,— and when I say the


lowest, I mean throwing the whole thing into a
company of shareholders and neither working nor
risking a shilling yourself, — you may put from twenty
to five-and-twenty thousand pounds into your pocket
within a twelvemonth."

''Who will guarantee that, Cutbill?" said Lord
Culduff, Tvith a faint smile.

''I am ready myself to do so, provided my
counsels be strictly followed. I will do so, with my
whole professional reputation."

'' I am charmed to hear you say so. It is a very
gratifying piece of news for me. You feel, therefore,
certain that we have struck coal ?"

" My lord, when a young man enters life from one
of the universities, with a high reputation for ability,
he can go a long Y\^ay — if he only be prudent — living
on his capital. It is the same thing in a great
industrial enterprise ; you must start at speed, and
with a high pressure — get way on you, as the sailors
say — and you will skim along for half a mile after the
steam is off."

*' I come back to my former question. Have we
found coal ?"

'' I hope so. I trust we have. Indeed there is


every reason to say we have found coal. What we
need most at this moment is a man like that gentle-
man whose note is on the table — a large capitalist, a
great City name. Let him associate himself in the pro-
ject, and success is as certain as that we stand here."

" But you have just told me he has given up his
business life — retired from affairs altogether."

" My lord, these men never give up. They buy
estates, they go live at Eome or Paris, and take a
chateau at Cannes, and try to forget Mincing Lane
and the rest of it ; but if you watch them, you'll see
it's the money article in The Times they read before
the leader. They have but one barometer for
everything that happens in Europe — how are the ex-
changes ? and they are just as greedy of a good thing
as on any morning they hurried down to the City in
a hansom to buy in or sell out. See if I'm not right.
Just throw out a hint, no more, that you'd like a word
of advice from Colonel Bramleigh about your project ;
say it's a large thing — too large for an individual to
cope with — that you are yourself the least possible of
a business man, being always engaged in very
different occupations, — and ask what course he would
counsel you to take."


*' I miglit show liim these drawings — these
coloured plans."

" Well, indeed, my lord," said Cutbill, brushing
his mouth with his hand, to hide a smile of malicious
drollery, '' I'd say I'd not show him the plans. The
pictorial rarely appeals to men of his stamp. It's the
multiplication -table they like, and if all the world
were like them one would never throw poetry into a

*' You'll have to come with me, Cutbill; I see
that," said his lordship, reflectingly.

*' My lord, I am completely at your orders."

*' Yes ; this is a sort of negotiation you will
conduct better than myself. I am not conversant
with this kind of thing, nor the men who deal in
them. A great treaty, a question of boundary, a
royal marriage, — any of these would find me ready
and prepared, but with the diplomacy of dividends,
I own myself little acquainted. You must come
with me."

Cutbill bowed in acquiescence^ and was silent.

( 81 )



As the family at the Great House were gathered
together at luncheon on the day after the events we
have just recorded, Lord Culdufi's answer to Temple
Bramleigh's note was fully and freely discussed.

" Of course," said Jack, " I speak under correc-
tion ; but how comes it that your high and mighty
friend brings another man with him ? Is Cutbill
an attache ? Is he one of what you call ' the line ?' "

''I am happy to contribute the correction you
ask for," said Temple, haughtily. " Mr. Cutbill is
not a member of the diplomatic body, and though
such a name might not impossibly be found in the
Navy list, you'll scarcely chance upon it at F. 0."

''My chief question is, however, still to be
answered. On what pretext does he bring him here ? "
said Jack, with unbroken good-humour.

VOL. I. 6


" As to that," broke in Augustus, ^' Lord Culduff's
note is perfectly explanatory; lie says his friend is
travelling with him ; they came here on a matter of
business, and, in fact, there would be an awkwardness
on his part in separating from him, and on ours, if
we did not prevent such a contingency."

"Quite so," chimed in Temple. "Nothing
could be more guarded or courteous than Lord
Culduff's reply. It wasn't in the least like an
Admiralty minute. Jack, or an order to Commander
Spiggins, of the Snaider, to take in five hundred fir-
kins of pork."

" I might say, now, that you'll not find that
name in the Navy list. Temple," said the sailor,

"Do they arrive to-day?" asked Marion, not a
little uncomfortable at this exchange of tart things.

" To dinner," said Temple.

"I suppose we have seen the last leg of mutton
we are to meet with till he goes," cried Jack ; " that
precious French fellow will now give his genius full
play, and we'll have to dine off ' salmis ' and
' supremes,' or make our dinner off bread-and-


''Perhaps you would initiate Bertond into the
mystery of a sea-pie, Jack," said Temple, with a

*' And a precious mess the fellow would make of
it ! He'd fill it with cocks' combs and mushrooms,
and stick two skewers in it with a half-boiled truffle
on each — lucky if there wouldn't be a British flag in
spun sugar between them ; and he'd call the
abomination 'pate a la gun-room,' or some such
confounded name."

A low, quiet laugh was now heard from the end of
the table, and the company remembered, apparently
for the first time, that Mr. Harding, the agent, was
there, and very busily engaged with a broiled chicken.

"Ain't I right, Mr. Harding ?" cried Jack, as he
heard the low chuckle of the small, meek, submissive-
looking little man, at the other end of the table.

"Ain't I right?"

"I have met with very good French versions of
English cookery abroad, Captain Bramleigh."

"Don't call me 'Captain' or I'll suspect j^our
accuracy about the cookery," interrupted Jack. " I
fear I'm about as far off that rank as Bertond is from
the sea-pic."


^' Do you know Cutbill, Harding ?" said Augustus,
addressing the agent in tlie tone of an heir

^' Yes. "We were both examined in the same case
before a committee of the House, and I made his
acquaintance then."

^' What sort of person is he ?" asked Temple.
'^ Is he jolly, Mr. Harding ? — that's the question,"
cried Jack. "I suspect we shall be overborne by
greatness, and a jolly fellow would be a boon from

'' I believe he is what might be called jolly," said
Harding cautiously.

^' Jolly sounds like a familiar w^ord for vulgar,"
said Marion. "I hope Mr Harding does nofmean

''Mr. Harding means nothing of the kind, I'll be
sworn," broke in Jack. '' He means an easy- tempered
fellow, amusing and amusable. Well, Nelly, if it's
not English, I can't help it — it ought to be ; but
when one wants ammunition, one takes the first
heavy thing at hand. Egad ! I'd ram down a
minister plenipotentiary, rather than fire blank-


'^s Lord Culduff also jolly, Mr. Harding V"
asked Eleanor, now looking up witli a sparkle in her

" I scarcely know, — I have the least possible
acquaintance with his lordship ; I doubt, indeed, if
he will recollect me," said Harding, with diffidence.

" "What are we to do with this heavy swell when
he comes, is the puzzle to me," said Augustus,
gravely. '' How is he to be entertained, — how
amused ? Hero's a county with nothing to see — no-
thing to interest — without a neighbourhood. What
are we to do with him ?"

" The more one is a man of the world, in the
best sense of that phrase, the more easily he finds
hovv^ to shape his life to any and every circumstance,"
said Temple, with a sententious tone and manner.

" Which means, I suppose, that he'll make the
best of a bad case, and bear our tiresomeness with
bland urbanity?" said Jack. "Let us only hope, for
all our sakes, that his trial may not be a long

'' Just to think of such a country ! " exclaimed
Marion; " there is absolutely no one we could have to
meet him."


" What's the name of that half-pay captain who
called here t'other morning ? — the fellow who sat from
luncheon till nigh dusk?" asked Jack.

"Captain Craufurd," replied Marion. "I hope
nobody thinks of inviting Jiim ; he is insufferably
vulgar, and presuming besides."

" Wasn't that the man, Marion, who told you that
as my father and Lady Augusta didn't live together
the county gentry couldn't be expected to call on us ? "
asked Augustus, laughing.

" He did more : he entered into an explanation of
the peculiar tenets of the neighbourhood, and told me
if we had had the good luck to have settled in the
south or west of Ireland, they'd not have minded it,
*but here,' he added, 'we are great sticklers for
morality.' "

"And what reply did you make him, Marion?"
asked Jack.

"I was so choked with passion that I couldn't
speak, or if I did say anything I have forgotten it.
At all events he set me off laughing immediately
after, as he said, — ' As for myself, I don't care a rush.
I'm a bachelor, and a bachelor can go anywhere.' "

She gave these words with such a close mimicry of


liis voice and manner, that a general burst of laughter
followed them.

" There's the very fellow we want," cried Jack.
*' That's the man to meet our distinguished guest;
he'll not let him escape without a wholesome hint or

'^ I'd as soon see a gentleman exposed to the
assault of a mastiff as to the insulting coarseness
of such a fellow as that," said Temple, pas-

" The mischief's done already ; I heard the gover-
nor say, as he took leave, — * Captain Crauford, are
you too straitlaced to dine out on a Sunday ? if not,
will you honour us with your company at eight
o'clock?' And though he repeated the words ' eight
o'clock ' with a groan like a protest, he muttered
something about being happy, a phrase that evidently
cost him dearly, for he went shuffling down the
avenue afterwards with his hat over his eyes, and
gesticulating with his hands as if some new im-
morality had suddenly broke in upon his mind."

"You mean to say that he is coming to dinner
here next Sunday?" asked Temple, horrified.

"A little tact and good management arc always


sufficient to keep these sort of men down," said
Augustus .

*'I hope we don't ask a man to dinner with the
intention to 'keep him down,' " said Jack, sturdily.

"At all events," cried Temple, ''he need not be

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