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on that topic, and then the carriage was at the park-
jzate of St. Cloud.

284 MR. wynyard's ward.

They did not go over the palace, but the}^ walked
for an hour in the park and in the formal gardens,
and thten drove back to Paris as they had come.
There was no second allusion to the Rood Abbey
tragedy ; and when they arrived in the courtyard of
the hotel, Mr. Clifford took his leave, and went
his way.

He went his way then, but he came back several
times again. Sir Andrew asked his Avife what he
meant by it, the inveterate dangler. *'I'm sure,"
said the Squire, "it is not for love of my company,
and I do not think it is for love of yours." Lady
Goodwin suggested that it might be for love of

" Don't encourage that — he'll never marry her.
There is not a prouder man on the face of the earth.
A word of her kith and kin would rout all your
schemes. And for the fellow himself, he is so con-
sequential, though he is nothing and has nothing,
that a woman of at all inferior rank would be cursed
with such a companion. Let us have no match-
making, my dear, whatever w^e have. I shall tell
him hers is a railway-mania fortune."


Lady Goodwin felt slight!}- disappointed. She
fancied her prosperous mate was rather hard on
Mr. Clifford, who began life with his way to make,
and thus far had made it by no means effectually.
He was a lover of pleasure, a lover of ease ; his
fine person was a little decaying, his moderate for-
tune was long since mortgaged. Even to men of
the world the most knowing, it was a myster}^ how
he kept up the game — dined well, lodged well,
dressed well; had admission to desirable houses,
and napoleons always in his pocket. It must be
play — he must know a trick or two on the cards,
was the common explanation. Perhaps he did.
But he staved off the desperate air of those who
have only luck to depend on. He might more than
once have established himself by a monej^ed match,
but he formed a mistaken estimate of his deserts.
He wanted nothing less than all — birth, youth,
breeding, beauty, and fortune. He was not even
yet — after several failures — disabused of the ex-
pectation that he should get them. Pennie pos-
sessed three of his essentials — j^outh, breeding, and
fortune, and enough of attraction to stand in the


place of beauty, but he knew nothing of her origin.
For that, however, he thought her association with
the respectable Goodwins voucher sufficient ; and he
had it seriously in contemplation, after he had been
twice or thrice in her company, to pay her a little
court, with such ultimate views as circumstances
might decide on. This business, very cautiously
conducted, brought him often to the hotel at an
hour when the ladies were in ; took him of an
evening to their resorts, to theatre and opera ; and
caused him to make his diurnal ride in the same
direction as they made their drive. Pennie was
always pleasant, always gratified when he ap-

^' The httle jade," said Sir Andrew; '' I do
believe she is encouraging him ! " For though the
object of showing her the world was to detach her
mind from Mr. Tindal, men approve a constant
woman. And Pennie was faithful at heart ; — but
there is an influence in agreeable, delicately flatter-
ing assiduity. Mr. Chfi'ord made Paris a much
more charming abode to her than it would have
been in his absence.


There was no sort of explanation, nor was there
any abrupt break in their intimacy. Sir Andrew
mentioned one day, incidentally, how and when
Pennie's money-bags were filled; and Mr. Clifford,
without surprise or emotion, detailed an unhappy
venture of his own at that epoch. There was an
end of all serious speculation on the heiress's future,
but he continued to be kind and cordial ; for he
thought her a nice little girl — a nice little girl,
moreover, with a very promising leaning towards
admiration of himself. Pennie never guessed what
her yeoman-blood had caused her to miss. She
knew what it was to love and be loved. She thought
Mr. Clifford had helped to make Paris pleasant;
but she was quite ready to have Florence and Eome
made pleasant in the same way by somebody else.
Sir Andrew, when he found this out, declared to
his wife that Pennie was a flirt. Lady Goodwin
knew better. Society exhilarated the country-bred
girl ; she liked it, though she was a little off her
balance in it. But she looked the best and the
happiest in those quiet hours of scenery-mooning,
when she could escape every-day talk, and let her

288 MR. wynyard's ward.

roving imagination loose after Mr. Tindal. She
did a great deal of day-dreaming in this fashion ;
but she always returned from her flights at call,
and entered into every traveller's scheme with girlish
satisfaction and energy. Just before they left Paris
for Italy, in October, Lady Goodwin wrote to Mrs.
Wynyard: " Pennie does not worry us by parading
any vddow's airs ; but I do not think she has swerved
a straw's breadth from her resolve to be Mr. Tindal' s

This communication came circuitously about to
Mr, Hargrove's ears. He received it with much
complacency. "We must give her time. Two
years more will try her," said he to Mrs. Croft.
" There is no haste for her to marry at all yet —
she is only a child." The widow, in a sense agreed
with him, — but she did hope Pennie would marry —
and young.

*' Of course she will — why should she not?"
said the lawyer, encouragingly. But at the same
time he entertained a lively hope that Mr. Wynyard' s
ward w^ould prove long and obstinately rebellious.
He had not quite liked the going abroad scheme ;


lie professed to think such a rich heiress would run
a thousand dangers from the pursuit of English
ne'er-do-weels and foreign sharpers. Lady Good-
win's information was of a kind to relieve his fears,
and they were relieved accordingly. Dr. Grey also
was pleased by it, but for other reasons. He was glad
Pennie was staunch to his unfortunate friend. "And
she will be if she is worth a chip," was his bold reply
to Mrs. Wynyard when she apprised him of the fact.

The Goodwins' next move was to Nice. Here
Sir Andrew felt or fancied himself not so well
as he ought to be, and after three days' rest he
took passage for his party from Marseilles to
Leghorn, for Florence. In the beautiful Tuscan
city he was better, and better amused. He found
there some English acquaintance of his own kind
— ^hard- worked, prosy people, travelling for health
of brain and body like himself. Pennie was also
well contented. It had been the desire of her heart
to see Italy — but then she desired to see it in certain
company. She, however, consoled herself with the
hope that she might some day revisit it — and mean-
time she took her pleasure as it came.

VOL. I. 19


Lady Goodwin had been twice before on this
well-gleaned track of tourists, and so it came to
pass that Pennie wandered often Tvitli no other
companion than her maid through the dim splen-
dour of the churches, and amongst the priceless
gems of art in the palaces and galleries. Keturning
from one of these solitary expeditions towards dusk,
about a week after their arrival in Florence, she
found the entrance of the Jwtel in some disturbance.
Two strangers had just dismounted in the courtyard,
and wanted rooms. The host declared that his inn
was full. To this the stouter of the new-comers
replied, shortly : " Bosh ! " and Pennie recognized
Captain Bangham — the propounder, to the inquiring
Frenchman at the Embassy ball, of the very loyal
opinion that all little English girls were worth more
than their weight in gold. His companion was
younger, very ruddy of hair and complexion, of
giraffe-hke tallness, and of mihtary air and gait.
Pennie made her way upstairs, and lost sight and
hearing of the T\Tangle.

The little party was sitting at dinner in quiet
state about two hours later, when the door opened,


and in marched the slim, florid stranger. '' You
here, George!" cried Lady Goodwin, who faced the

" Just come. Two months' leave. Andrew, old
fellow, how d'ye do ? This is better luck than I

Sir Andrew gave his young brother a cordial
shake of the hand, commanded back the soup, and
made him sit down. ''Better luck than I expected
either, George," said he. There was a rapid passage
of question and answer for a few minutes, and then
Lady Goodwin asked her brother-in-law if he remem-
bered Penelope Croft, adding that she thought they
must have met at Brackenfield,

" If I remember her! she gave me good cause.
Happy to see you again, Miss Pennie ; that is, if you
have given up pulling hair," was his amazing reply.
Pennie, who had recognized him the moment he
entered the room without his hat, replied demurely
that she had — except under the same circumstances
of provocation.

"Did she ever pull yours, George? I hope you
punished her," said Sir Andrew, enjoying the joke.



" Didn't I ? Ask her ? under the mistletoe.
Do they have mistletoe at Brackenfield still ? "

" At Christmas ; oh, yes ! That old custom will
see this generation out, and many another."

*' I should like to go there again. Andrew, we
are safe to have war in the spring ; there is nothing
else talked of in London. We shall go out, of
course. What maundering old fogies the Government
are, to let the Czar get so much start of us. That
fleet at Sebastopol means more mischief — and the
men he is sending south ! "

"You Guards and Grenadiers will he enough for
them," replied Sir Andrew, soberly.

" Queer start of the Quakers, wasn't it ? tra-
velling off to Petersburg to preach peace to old

*' I am sure I wish they had succeeded," said
Lady Goodwin with a sigh. " War is a dreadful
thing." She remembered her younger brother, dead
in India, and all the horrors of that desperate retreat
from Cabool, in which he perished, with thousands
of men besides, as brave and as good as he.
Perished in a lost expedition — not even with the halo


of glory. Sir Andrew knew whither his wife's
thouofhts had flown, and chanored the conversation.
Who was in Florence, whence they came, how long
they were going to stay, and so forth.

George Goodmn talked fast and fluently, mth
now and then a sort of half-shy curb upon him. A
most impressionable young man he was — yery young,
good-natured, honourable, and brave. The chapter
of his love-fancies was long and varied, and before
the evening was spent, by the natural laws of human
attraction, the lean, red-headed grenadier had fallen
into captivity to little nut-brown Pennie, whose dark
head reached up scarcely to his elbow. The first
result was shame that he had reverted to his disasters
of former years, and dread lest he might have
frightened or afi'ronted her by recalling her vixenish

*' She is very clever, isn't she '? " he asked his
sister-in-law confidentially w^hen Pennie had retired.
" She looks as wise as " — he was going to say as afi
owl, but he recollected in time that the bird was not
complimentary, viewed in the light of a comparison.

Lady Goodwin gave her charge a good character

294 MR. wynyard's ward.

for sense, discretion, amiability, and companionable -
ness ; and while dilating on her merits, there sud-
denly flashed into her own mind a thought of what a
nice thing it would be if George, who was really a good,
kind, upright fellow — in fact, she fell into a specula-
tion on the propriety and possibility of engaging
those two young people in the holy bonds of matri-
mony. She would not have fulfilled her mission in
giving Pennie a glimpse of the world, if she did not
succeed in detaching her affections from Mr. Tindal ;
and what means more likely to be effective than
bringing her within range of a counter-attraction ?
It would not only be a justifiable, but a positively
laudable act. Lady Goodwin went to her pillow
wdth a new interest in life. The seriousness of
it did not prevent her laughing inwardly at the
queer contrast the pair she sought to couple would

George Goodwin proved himself a very tractable,
teachable swain. Pennie had been longing for some
rides through the autumnal beauties of the wooded
hills and country places about Florence ; but for lack
of an enterprising escort, she had been restricted to


an occasional amble with Sir Andrew in the fashion-
able promenade. Who now, therefore, so useful and
agreeable as George ? The very morning after his
arrival, Lady Goodwin had the satisfaction of seeing
them ride out in company, and the still higher satis-
faction of seeing them return in excellent humour
with their excm-sion and each other. Till then she
had kept her scheme locked in the secret of her own
bosom, but she now resolved that she ought to
confide it to Sir Andrew.

At the first blush of his wife's proposal. Sir
Andrew was strongly inclined to confound the
meddlesomeness of women, but his second thoughts
sent him off in a long, low fit of merriment. " My
dear soul, they would be a world's laughing-stock,"
said he, as soon as he could speak. " George is six
foot five — Pennie is about four foot, is she not ? "

" Four foot, Andrew, nonsense ! She is over
five — five foot three, at least ; quite tall enough for
anything, in my opinion." Again Sir Andrew
launched into his provoking chuckle. Lady Good-
win begged he would look at the case reasonably, and
not turn it into fun. George has position and little

296 MR. wynyard's ward.

money, Pennie has money and little position," urged
she. '^ Neither can afford to reproach the other with
the absence of beauty ; they are both young, both
well-disposed and well brought up. And what is
more than all, I believe George is smitten.'''

This grave assurance only served to increase Sir
Andrew's inopportune mirth. Lady Goodwin stept
to and fro the room as Lady Goodwin stept in her
rare moods of conjugal irritation. She said nothing,
but she looked the more. Sir Andrew, as it behoved
a wise man to do under the circumstances, grew
suddenly serious, and replied to her last remark :
" George's normal condition is to be smitten, to have
a smart attack of fever, and a rapid recovery. Let
the lad alone. He ought not to marry for a dozen
years, and while Pennie is under our care, it would
not be the right thing to throw her in the way of a
brother of my own, who is without adequate fortune."

Lady Goodwin held her peace, but she was not
convinced. If she might not help, she was deter-
mined not to hinder the two young people of their
amusement, whatever the result. But she hoped,
she anticipated a good result. She saw Pennie free


as air with George ; teasing, patronizing, and dic-
tatorial by turns, and slie thought it a most promis-
ing beginning. George, with leisure and a heart
on his hands to let, was in some positive danger,
but Pennie was as far from thinking sentiment of
him as a woman could be. George placed himself
at her service, and was so anxious to serve her
that she made as much use of him, and the same
use, as she would have made of Francis Wynyard
had he been there. That was the mischief. Pennie
being safe, and feeling safe, allowed herself a little
liberty, and George, not being very wise, took it
for encouragement. Lady Goodwin strengthened
him in his misapprehension when he revealed to
her his nascent passion. He was not of the re-
served nature that loves to treasure such secrets
in silence. He stayed on at Florence in the same
hotel as his brother, and his meetings with Pennie
were daily and more than daily. They almost lived
together, in fact, and this was the position in which
Pennie showed to best advantage. She was such
a cheerful little soul, morning, noon, and night ;
so free from captious caprices, tempers, and discon-

298 MR. wynyard's ward.

tents, that people were never unsure of her. One
day George was caught in the act of purloining
her photograph, done at Allan Bridge, from Lady
Goodwin's gallery of her friends. Pennie good-
humouredly said, " Don't take that, it is so very

" Will you give me a better then ? " asked George.

*' Yes ; I mil be taken here in my riding-habit,
and you must give me one of yours in exchange —
one in uniform. I like varieties of costume in my
book ; the figures will look all so queer as fashions

A few days after this bargain had been concluded,
Sir Andrew gave notice that if they meant to go
to Rome, they must go at once ; Parliament was
to meet earlier than usual on account of the increas-
ing difficulty of foreign affairs, and they might be
obliged to return to England a month sooner than
they had j)lanned. Lady Goodwin and Pennie were
equally reluctant to lose their promised visit to Eome,
and George, though he was even then living in
anticipation of a sudden recall and curtailing of his
leave, prepared to follow them. When he apprised


his travelling friend, Captain Bangham, of his in-
tention, he was obliged to let in a little light on
his motive.

*' What, affaln, George ? In love with Mr. Wyn-
yard's ward ? ^^Tiy, that is beyond a joke, man ! "
cried his auditor, with a jolly laugh. " She has
a great pot of money — half-a-million, I've been told.
And is it quite fair to interfere with poor Tindal's
game? Have you never heard the story?" And
then he told George all that was common report
in Eskdale.

" You don't mean to say she is fond of him ? "
gasped the j'oung grenadier. " I tell you what,
Bangham, I never was so hard hit before." He looked
so comically disconsolate that Bangham roared again.

" You wi]l get over it ; I think I have seen you

" Never. I am in earnest tliis time ; downright
serious. And Bangham, Lady Goodwin thinks I
have a chance — she does, indeed. If the guardians
won't consent to her having the other, why should
not a fellow cut in and win. It is not her money
I am after ; yon know me better than that."

300 MR. wynyard's ward.

"I did not suppose it was the money, but still,
I don't think you are well advised to try it. Lady
Brooke was talldng about her in Paris, and Lady
Brooke is a shrewder woman than Lady Goodwin,
though she may not be so excellent. Her view of
Mr. Wynyard's ward was, that she would beat them
all with her stolid, cheerful obstinacy, and take
her own way as soon as she is her own mistress.
She looks like it to me — just as if she had said,
* I won't cry or make a fuss, but nobody shall
master me.' "

George produced Pennie's photograph from a
case that he carried in his pocket, and contemplated
it critically. Captain Bangham declared it was " as
hard as nails ; " the owner protested that it was
nothing of the sort — it was a dear little phiz, that
brightened and varied in expression more than any
other he ever knew. *' And she is so kind and pleasant
to a fellow," pleaded he; ''as nice as a jolly little

*' Of course she is ; why not ? So she would
be to anybody who was kind and pleasant to her.
It is her nature. She has a turn to be friendly to


friendly people. If I were to come to Kome, and
to trudge attendance on her to whatever she wanted
to see, she would be quite grateful and thankful,
and she would show it. She is not like some girls,
who accept everj^thing as mere bounden service.
She has a humble opinion of her deserts, not-^dth-
standing the value she must know is attached to
money. I heard a great deal of her the last time
I was down in Eskdale ; and though I dare not
decide one way or another on Tindal's guilt, I shall
honour the little woman if she sticks to him. I
don't mind telHng you, George, that I had once
some notion of putting up for her myself, but Lady
Brooke warned me not to waste my pains. I am
dipped awfully, you know — perhaps a lucky bullet
or thrust in the spring may clear off all scores."

*' Don't talk in that way, Bangham ; I can't
stand it. I shall follow them to Eome in spite of
what you say."

" I know you will. We shall meet again in
London — or if not, well then, my boy, at Philippi."

It was during the first week of December that
the Goodwins journeyed to Rome, and that George


followed in pursuit of Pennie. Sir Andrew was
perplexed ; Lady Goodwin was triumphant. Pennie
herself was happily unconscious. George had been
most convenient at Florence. She missed him
during the two days they stopped at Verona, but at
Rome he was very convenient again.

*'I do not know how I should get about to see
all that I have a longing to see if it were not for
you," she said to him. "It is very kind of you,
but are you sure you like it yourself?" George
was incoherently sure that he liked it ; she could
not ask him to do anything for her that it would
not be a pleasure to him to do.

Sir Andrew refrained from interference until he
began to see that his brother really meant some-
thing beyond passing away his leave pleasantly ;
and then, when it was just too late to save him
mortification, he spoke, almost forbidding him
Pennie's presence. George pleaded hard for a little
longer liberty of courtship, but when he found Sir
Andrew was inexorably bent on discouraging the
further prosecution of his suit while Pennie was
under his own and his wife's care, the young man


said, then he might as well return to London at

once — he was meditating a request for extension

of his leave, but, of course, what had passed put

an end to it.

" This is not quite the time to ask extension

of leave, George ; nor, if you will allow me to

suggest as much, is it the time for a soldier to be

seeking pledges of any girl — much less of a girl whom

he has knoTMi only a few weeks. Besides, I see no

trustworthy tokens of preference in Pennie to justify

your hopes. She wears the Eood betrothal ring on

her hand still, and while that is the case, she cannot

expect to be persecuted ^ith suitors. You are fairly

warned off."

George opened his grievances to his sister-in-law,
who was deeply sympathetic.

" Never mind, George, you will see her in
London. She shall stay with us in Harley Street
when we return," said the match-maker, anxious for
the success of her plans. " Sir Andrew really knows
nothing about these things. I have far more hope
of a change in Pennie than I had a month ago — than
I had before you came to Florence."


George was only too willing to believe her, and
his leave-taking of Pennie from his point of view
was not discouraging.

" Going ! " cried she. '' Going to-morrow morn-
ing ? Is not that very sudden and unexpected ? "
She looked quite grieved, and George stammered out
some explanation, not very clear and not quite correct.
" I thought you had nearly a fortnight's longer leave.
I am so sorry ! We were to have seen the Colosseum
some night when the moon is at full."

But for all her expressions of regret, the pre-
occupied little lady found ample entertainment at
a gi*and church festival on the very day of his depar-
ture ; and Lady Goodwin was diiven to confess that
her sentiments were merely friendly towards him as a
pleasant companion, or selfish as towards a useful
escort whose loss she could not at once supply.

Sir Andrew and his party remained at Kome over
Christmas. Every post, every telegram, was then
bringing news that boded war. Sir Andrew grew
fidgety. Parliament was to open on the last day
of January, and he must be in his place. Nor-
minster, which he represented in the House of


Commons, would certainly expect it from him at
such an important crisis. Their stay abroad was
consequently abridged, and in the first week of the
new year they set forward on their journey home.
Pennie, in view of her return to East wold, could not
but acknowledge that the winter had passed delight-
fully. She and Lady Groodwin, if not perfectly
intimate, were yet very cordial friends ; and when
Lady Goodwin suggested that a few months in
London society might profitably conclude Pennie's
glimpse of the world, neither she nor any other
person who had a voice in the matter, was found
to gainsay it. So it was arranged that Mr. Wynyard's

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