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possessed of an equable temper. The baby was a
chubby specimen, worthy of its parents.

" We get on here capitally," said the wife, eager
to give a good account of herself. " Dull f We
have never been dull yet ! You can't think how
beautiful the fell was in the snow. And last autumn,
when the moors were in bloom — oh, I cannot describe
them ! I used to carry baby and my work out of
doors, and stay for hours in the sun. The parish is
scattered ? Yes ; there are some of the people up at
Dale-head, and one or two families right over the
hill. But only think if James had gone to Eupert's
Land, as he used to talk. Why then I suppose he
might have had to travel a hundred miles over the
snow when he wanted letters from home. I am sure



PE^s^ELOPE AT MAYEIELD. 91

when Mr. Wynjard offered him this httle Hving, we
were as happy as happy could he. "What was the
good of waiting till we lost heart ? He is content,
and so am I. Even-thing is cheap, and coals are a
mere nothing — lucky, when we hurn so many."

"It is a real pleasm-e to see you take to your
lot so kindly, Elizabeth. Some young women would
feel here as if they was quite cut off" from the
world. But you never was one that cared much for
company. Pennie has a fancy to see the works ;
can Mr. Burton spare time, do you think, to walk
do^^Ti with her ? "

Elizabeth was sure he could, and summoned him
by a tap at the window to receive Pennie into his
charge.

^lien Pennie saw Ai'kindale that winter after-
noon, it looked in its main features much as it must
have looked for hundreds of years ; but the mining
tillage was recent. Ten summers ago, a wandering
archaeologist had discovered some traces of an ancient
encampment, which, taken in connection with the
metallic indications in the hills, and the military
road that ran near, led him to believe that there had



92 MR. WYNYARD'S WARD.

been a great Eoman mining station in the valley
once. The old pits in Colsterdale, which had been
worked for three centuries at least, if not for more,
had been long failing, and Mr. Hargrove caught at
the learned stranger's story, as at a new lease of
fortune ; carried it to Mr. Wynyard, and succeeded
in infecting him with his own sanguine expectations.
A colony of miners was transplanted from Colster-
dale, a hive of cottages, thatched with heather, grew
up, and the works, built on an extensive scale, were
set a-going — thus far only to their proprietor's loss.

Mr. Burton made Pennie observe how neatly the
village had been planned, and how it lay so that the
smoke from the tower-like chimney of the furnace
blew away from it except in one rare quarter of the
wind. A hundred or more acres of cultivated soil
had been rescued from the moor about it, which were
divided into portions belonging one to each dwelling.
Altogether it had the aspect of a place that had
started hopefully, that was very, very poor, but not
yet despairing. The cottage doors were shut that
winter day ; but school was just loosing, and some
thirty boys and girls, ruddy and stout enough, came



PENELOPE AT MAYFIELD. 93

rushing noisily out of a building which served every
public purpose in the parish. The master, a hard-
featured man, with a humorous eye, followed, accom-
panied by his wife, carrying a large piece of
needlework over her arm, and her thimble still on
her finger.

" It is four o'clock; we must make haste, or the
smelting-house will be closed," said Mr. Burton, with
a pleasant recognition of his parish helpers as he
passed. Pennie quickened her pace, and in ten
minutes more they were at the works. From plat-
form to platform, where the bruised ore was washed
till it was almost pure dust of lead, they descended,
and looked into a vault where a vast water-wheel was
whirling with incessant mighty creak and splash. In
the smelting-house, bare-armed men, swart and
sweaty, were piling lumps of glowing coal on the
furnace, from beneath which the molten lead ran into
its reservoir. A mould stood by, into which one
Vulcan ladled the fluid metal like broth, while
another, with two pieces of wood, skimmed off the
scum and ashes. Pennie was glad to escape out of
the intense heat and roaring blast, and to look from



94 MR. wynyard's ward.

a distance at the gallows-like apparatus erected over
the shafts of the mines, where the men went down
fathoms and fathoms deep into the bowels of the
earth, and in darkness and danger toiled six hours
daily at hewing the slender vein of ore, for a wage
and a tribute small in proportion to its small
produce.

Dixon, the foreman of the works, was in his
dingy little office ; himself a dingy little man, who
had not much satisfaction in his life. The incumbent
entered with Pennie, and asked him what news.
"None, sir; none at all. We're labouring away at
Vain Hope yet. But master says, ' Keep on ; keep
on,' and so, I suppose we shall keep on until he bids
hold. Look here, sir, what's this — gowld ? " He
brought out of his desk a physic bottle full of water,
in which, as he placed it against his dark coat sleeve,
Pennie saw a few bright yellow sparks of metal.

*' It is gold, sure enough," replied Mr. Burton.

"Eh, they declared it was. Job Eyder washed
it out yesterday. Master '11 be ranty again. We
once afore got as much gowld as was worth a pound
or two, and you'd have thought we'd found a



PENELOPE AT MAYFIELD. 95

Californy to hear him talk. The missis and babbv
well, sir ? I say now w^e have got you and her, sir,
we only want a bit better luck here to be a flourish-
ing community ; but better luck don't seem like to
come."

Mr. Burton did not deliver himself of any oracular
hopeful predictions. He had said to Mr. Hargrove
more than once, that he thought the sooner the mine
was closed, the less loss there would be to all con-
cerned in it.

When Pennie and the incumbent reached his
house again, they found Mrs. Croft impatiently look-
ing out for them, and the pony and phaeton at the
gate. Good-byes were exchanged in haste, and away
the visitors went at speed. " Only daylight last
until we're down Gallows Hill, and I don't care,"
said the widow. " I never like passing that, nor yet
Pedlar's Bones, after dark."

It was then five o'clock and glooming fast ; but
by keeping at a brisk trot for the next half hour, the
peril at Pedlar's Bones was escaped— the said peril
being a ghost popularly believed to haunt a spot on
the moor where fifty years ago a pedlar, who had



96 MR. wynyard's ward.

been missing tlirough a long and terrible winter, was
found " in his bones only," and with his pack beside
him. The other and more real peril at Gallows
Hill, a steep, straight descent, which the rain kept
washed down to its stony foundations, was also passed
in safety, and Mayfield was reached soon after seven ;
but not until it was so dark that Jacob declared he
was just thinking of setting out with a lantern in
search of them.



( 97 )



IV.

A TARTY AT ROOD GRANGE.

If anybody could have wandered invisible about tlie
kitchen-offices at Rood Grange on the two or three
days preceding Mrs. Lister's party, they would have
witnessed a stir of preparation that promised well
for the event. "\Miatever could be accomplished in
the way of things good to eat, with unlimited sup-
plies at command, Mrs. Lister and her daughters
manufactm*ed. Custards, creams, cakes, puffs, pies,
pasties, chickens roast and chickens boiled, with
rich white sauce frozen over their plump breasts,
ham, tongue, spiced beef, lamb, salad; queer knick-
knackeries, sweet and savoury, very delicious, of
which the Dobbies kept the receipts a secret and a
heirloom. A large order had been sent to the
confectioner at Xorminster for fruits, dried and
VOL. I. 7



98 MR. WYN yard's WARD.

iced, crackers and other bou-bons ; and Mr. Lister,
on the morning of the great day, brought up from
the crj^t under the Grange a regiment of cobwebby
bottles, than which, he said, Wynyard of Eastwokl,
he was sure, had none older nor better in his cellar.
The fine linen, the dainty china, the glittering glass,
the old silver that belonged to the house, and the
silver that intimate friends had lent for the occasion,
had all been seen to by the mistress's own eye, and
when the afternoon began to draw in, she and her
girls could retire upstairs to dress for the evening,
without any fidgety anxiety as to how it would
go oif.

"When there is plenty to eat and plenty to
drink, a clean swept floor and a fiddle, I'm not afraid
of folks going away discontented, whether they be
young or old," said the hostess as her final orders
were given, and her final survey made. " And now,
gels, you'd best make haste, and put on your white
frocks to be ready when they come ; Mrs. Jones is
always early."

Eood Grange had a hospitable heart, and was
never in better humour than when entertaining its



A PARTY AT ROOD GRANGE. 99

friends. Every guest- cliamLer was prepared — for a
party at the Listers' meant to several staying all
night. The best parlour had been festively adorned
with bowls of moss, crocuses, and snow-drops, and two
card-tables set out for those ancients who would not
do more than peep now and then into the room
where the dance was to be — a long room ^ith white-
washed walls and raftered roof, about which Dick and
a carpenter had made green boughs do tapestry
right handsomely. Benches borrowed from the
school-house were ran^-ed alon^r the walls, and a
kitchen table, with three chairs on it, was to serve as
orchestra. Already, before it was dark, the two
fiddles, one blind and the other lame, had arrived,
and had partaken of refreshment. A cornet had
been eno^ao^ed also, but did not come until well on in
the night, when he was announced by the master of
the ceremonies as slewed, and incapable of per-
formance. There was a long stone passage, not
well lighted, from the hall down to the dancing-
room, which had capabilities as a promenade, and as
a place for sitting out in the cool. Joanna saw for
herself that a seat was placed there.

7—2



100 MK. WYNYARD'S ward.

The girls had the best parlour to themselves for
ten minutes after they were attired, — an interval they
spent complacently in admiring each other, and in
wondering how their young friends and especially
how their cousin Pennie would be dressed. Poor
Pennie ! she was dressed a great deal too much, as
she uneasily assured her mother. She had brought
nothing from Eastwold but warm woollen dresses ;
she never considered, nor did her mother think to
ask, what she was going to wear until the morning,
when the widow's dismay was painful to hear and see,
as the facts da^Mied upon her. Pennie suggested
that she must wear her Sunday blue merino.

" Nay, Pennie, you shall go fit to be seen, or you
shall not go at all ! " cried her mother. " I should
never hear the last of it from your Aunt Lister, if I
took you to her party in a high stuff frock. Joanna
and Lucy will be dressed out like May-day — artificials
in their heads as like as not. Bessie, Bessie,"
calling impetuously from the top of the stairs. Bessie
came running up, wiping the soap-suds from her
arms. " Never heed your arms, my lass, but find
Ned, and tell him to saddle old Darby this minute.



A PARTY AT ROOD GRANGE. 101

to go to Eastwold "v\ith a note from Miss Penelope,
and wait for an answer." Bessie rushed away.
" Now, Pennie love, you write off to Mrs. Wynyard
or nui'se to send you a white frock — that you w^ore to
Norminster Ball. Let us have you smart."

" It is silk and crape with bunches of lilies about
it, mother," remonstrated Pennie.

"All the prettier. I choose to have my little gel
as nice as other folks' little gels. Is there anything
for your hair? "

" Yes, there is a wreath to correspond."

" Then tell 'em to send that too, and all the
other trinkum-trankums you wore."

The note was ruefully written and despatched,
and about four o'clock of the afternoon, arrived Ned
back again, with a light deal box containing Pennie' s
finer}^ Mrs. Wynyard had caused a simple spotted
muslin to be sent with the gayer dress, but Mrs.
Croft would not hear of its being worn instead ; and
about half-past six, when the best parlour at Eood
was beginning to get full and hot, behold poor
Pennie enter, on her mother's proud ruby satinette
arm, her curly brown hair surmounted by a garland



10-2 MR. WYNYARD'S WARD.

of lilies and leaves, crisp, rustling, airy skii-ts, white
satin shoes, white gloves, gold necklet, gold bracelets,
featheiy fan, and all complete.

'' What a picter ! " ejaculated Mrs. Jones, who
was sitting near the door.

" Eh, Cousin Pennie, you look like a bit o' froth !
we must mind, and not blow yoa awa}^," roared Dick.

Mr. Wyn yard's ward, Mrs. Croft's rich daughter,
would have been an object of interest to the present
company whatever she might have been pleased to
put on, but in her elegant out-of-place costume, she
was an object of curiosity as w^ell, and of admiration
to not a few. Her Uncle Lister, who had not 3'et seen
her, came forward and kissed her sonorously, and her
cousins w^hispered, "^Yasn't she laid out! but how
brown her skin showed against all that white silk and
puffy crape ! " It was a great comfort that her skin
was brown under the circumstances. Pennie was
sensible of forty pairs of eyes settling upon her all
at once, but after a momentary spasm of shyness, the
absurdity of her feelings and her situation struck her
so keenly that she laughed up in Dick's face with a
merry confidence that amazed him.



A PARTY AT ROOD GRANGE. 103

*' You are a wick'un, Cousin Pennie, I see what
you are," said he, and came to a full stop in his
obtrusive assiduities. He fancied she was making fun
of him, and Dick did not quite understand it. She
was not half so nice as Jessie Briggs, he thought,
staring across the crowded room in search of a couple
of bright hazel eyes, whose every glance he felt was a
compliment and a caress. But the bright hazel eyes
were engaged at the moment in scrutinizing Pennie,
and did not respond to his gaze. Their owner had a
face white as milk and red as roses, hair more tawnv
than auburn, a plump neck and arms, and dimples in
cheek, chin, shoulders, elbow^s and hands — she was
all dimples and softness, and lazy, sunny, good-
humoured vanity.

There w^as soon a movement towards tea, and
Dick, as he had been ordered, led oif Pennie, not
without a glance over his shoulder to see who was so
lucky as to be mated with Jessie. It was his friend,
Mr. Tom Boothby, and he was gratified to observe that
she did not seem over well pleased. Dick remained
standing until they had crushed in at the dining-
room door, when he signed to Tom to bring his



104 MR. AYYNYAED'S WARD.

partner round opposite to him. He then took his
own seat with resignation beside Pennie, muttering,
'' That will do."

His mother observed the arrangement over the
tea-urn, so also did Mrs. Croft, and both disapproved.
Jessie was the helle of Eskdale, but she was one
amongst so many children that she was not likely to
have a penny to her fortune, nor was her family of
old enough standing to match with either Dobbies or
Listers. Dick had been " sweet on her " for a year
or two, but his own people were very discouraging,
and had looked to the advent of Pennie and her
money-bags as the time to make a breach and a fresh
start. And only see how badly he was beginning !
Pennie formed a swift and shrewd estimate of the
case, and made herself very pleasant in whispers.

"Dick, give me some preserved apricots, and
tell me who that is opposite with the pretty bush
of waved hair."

" Jessie, here's my cousin Pennie asking after
you," said Dick, across the table. There was such
a clatter and chatter all round it now that any com-
munication was safe.



A PARTY AT ROOD GRANGE. 105

Jessie smiled and nodded. " I'm proud to know
your cousin, Mr. Eichard : it's the first time we've
met." Pennie smiled and nodded also, but what
she replied was lost in the roar of a stout youujt^
veomau on her left, who had a noisy habit of openint^
his mouth with a guffaw whenever he spoke.

''I'm afraid your lungs is bad, Gaskill ; you
should talk to Doctor," said Dick, drily.

"Who's to talk to Doctor? " inquired that busy
parish personage who had arrived late in top-boots,
and announced that he couldn't stay over an hour.
"Is it Gaskill "? I have been ad^-ising him to go to
My deary this ever so long. Try you at persuading
him, Miss Joanna."

"Nay, I'll have nothing to do with persuading
anybody, not I," responded the damsel.

The scrape of a fiddle had made itself heard
each time the door opened to admit a fi-esh relay of
hot buttered cakes, and signs of impatience began at
length to manifest themselves amongst the young
people. Dick looked at his mother entreatingly,
twice or thrice before she said : " Yes, be off with
you ! " when immediately chaii-s were pushed back,



106 Mil. WYNYARD'S WARD.

and all who meant to dance crowded out into the
hall, and down the dim passage to the long room,
where a multitude of little oil lamps, dexterously
fixed amongst the evergreens, made it quite brilliant
with light.

" How pretty ! " " Well, I declare, and it is the
cheese-room ! " " What a nice floor ! " As these
exclamations flew about, one or two couples took an
impromptu galop to try it.

'' A^liat are we to have first ? " cried somebody.

" Sir Roger de Coyerley, of course ! " cried
another somebody — an old bachelor in a green coat
and gilt buttons, a dandy in his day, who had never
been able to make up his mind whom to marry, and
was now reduced to a wig, and to playing master
of the ceremonies, where a generation ago he had
played general admirer and heart-breaker. Bobby
Clough was his name, and his vanity was as exacting
and invincible now that he was '' poor old Bobby " as
it had b'een when he was " Bobby the Beau."

" I must take care and not put my hoof through
your smart frock, Cousin Pennie," said Dick, as he
whirled her to her place at the top of the set.



A PARTY AT ROOD GRANGE. 107

" Never mind my frock, but let me enjoy myself.
It is such fun ! " replied she.

Fun it was, much louder and less restrained than
the fun at Brackenfield ; and quite a novelty too.
What voices had the young men ! what voices too the
girls — even Jessie. There was not much trace of the
dancing-master ahout any of them. They were accu-
rate in the figures, but what high capers some of the
heaux did cut ! Young Gaskill, for instance, though
his weight could have been nothing short of sixteen
stone, was light and buoyant as a feather on his toes ;
and Tom Boothby performed with as much agility
and precision as a clown at a country circus, showing
off the ancient style of dancing against the modern
lounge and wriggle.

While Sir Roger was in full career, Mrs. Croft
and Mrs. Jones came to look on and admire. " How
bonny that Jessie is," whispered the widow to her
fi-iend. " Dick's smitten awful — anybody can see it."

" They'll never be let put up their horses
together. Her mother was in service, and she's got
no money. Dobbies is all for money."

Bobby Clough sidled up to them. *' You'll take



108

a turn presently, ladies, I dessay. I mean to cut in
myself. Sound of a fiddle to me is like sound of a
horn to my blind old horse in the paddock, that has
carried me through many a long day's run with the
Berrythorpe hounds."

"You're as young as ever you was, Mr. Clough.
Nobody wears like you. I was sapng so only yester-
day to Jones, who complains sadly of his rheu-
maticks, the ill-naturedest pain that is."

" Jones is a lucky fellow that has a good nuss to
see after him," said the bachelor -with a significant sigh.

''And whose fault is it, you hav'n't a good nuss
to see after you, Mr. Clough ? " asked the T\idow.
Bobby cast a sheepish look at her — but for that
shabby will of Croft's he didn't know icliat might
have happened.

A loud clapping of hands apprised the orchestra
when to change the tune, and three sets of dancers
were next formed, in one of which Pennie figured
away with Mr. Tom Boothb}^

"Your little gel has a sperrity air with her,
Mrs. Croft," observed her friend. " Tom Boothby's
fortun'et in his partner. It isn't many knows the



A PARTY AT ROOD GRANGE. 109

Lancers right througli. Tom's steady now— he'll be
good for nothing after supper. Pity it is, to be sui'e,
that he's getting so fond of his glass."

" A beautiful voice leads a man direct in the way
of drink," said Bobbie Clough. " What a song Tom
sings. I'd rather by half listen to him than to any
of your sky-high quaverers at London Christmas
concerts and Canterbury 'alls. It is a real pleasure
to hear Tom. Is your daughter anything of a'
ainatour — of a musicianer, Mrs. Croft ?"

" She plays the pianer, Mr. Clough, but she
don't sing."

After the Lancers, Pennie came and sat down by
her mother for a minute, when Bobby Clough
instantly improved his opportunity, and with an old-
fashioned bow hoped he might have the honour of a
set with her. " Very happy," said Pennie, beaming
at him. '' Let it be a quadrille."

" The conceited old fellow, to ask her ! " ejacu-
lated Mrs. Jones, as Bobby handed his partner off.

*' Edinburgh Quadrilles," cried he to the orches-
tra. '' Tune up. Gaskill, will you be our vis-a-vis
with Miss Joanna ? "



110 MR. WYNYAKD'S ward.

Three more sets were formed in a trice.
''Pennie's very good tempered," said her mother;
" she don't much heed who she stands up with yet.
Who is Dick going to dance with? — Jessie again.
I'll go and take a hand at whist, now, Mrs. Jones.
I dessay you'll he for coming too."

The two matrons went off in company, and when
Pennie had concluded her set with the old heau, she
perceived that her mother's place had heen taken hy
her Aunt Lister, who was holding conversation with
no less a person than Mr. Hargrove. Lawyer
Hargrove was a favourite at Rood — " so much the
o-entleman," the girls said he was. Pennie for her
part never liked him, and she responded to his
respectful, "How d' ye do. Miss Croft?" with a
distant courtesy that made her aunt feel she had not
heen bred amongst gentlefolks for nothing. Mr.
Hargrove said not another word, hni he kept his
eye on her as she went revolving about the room
with her Cousin Dick in the mazes of the Sarabande,
which still survived here, a pretty and fashionable
dance, long after it had ceased to be the mode in
more dignified circles. Mrs. Lister called Pennie to



A PARTY AT ROOD GRANGE. Ill

her when it was finished, and bade her rest a turn,
for she seemed heated. Lucy, with her face flushed
and hair flying, followed her to suggest that a game
should come next.

"Lady's Toilet," she whispered.

"Mr. Hargrove grinned: "And forfeits, Miss
Lucy ? "

" What is a game good for without forfeits ? "
retorted Lucy. "Will you play, sir? Will you
pla}'. Cousin Pennie ? "

Pennie said she would rather not, but such an
amazed remonstrance began, that she stopt it at
once by consenting to anything, and promptly taking
her place in the circle. Lucy pro^'ided a wooden
trencher, and handed it to Dick to spin first, while
everybody was fixing on his or her article of dress to
be called by. "Til be fan," and "I'll be slipper,"
" I'll be comb, glove, sash," and so forth ; and when
all were settled and seated, swift went the trencher,
while Dick sang out, " My lady calls, my lady calls —
what shall I say my lady calls for. Cousin Pennie *?
her Petticoat ! " But before the ponderous Gaskill,
who had adopted that garment, could jump up and



112 MR. wynyard's ward.

catch the trencher, it had twirled its twirl out, and
hummed down flat on the floor.

*'A forfeit, a forfeit!" cried Joanna, and then
giggled, blushed, and hid her face for a moment by
turning to whisper to her neighbour.

Gaskill, poor heavy wight, gave up his pipe-
stopper, and then did his devoir in the game, giving
the trencher a strong impetus and roaring for his
lady's hat, w^hen in dashed Pennie, seized the tee-
totum in mid-career, sent it ofi" anew, and screamed for
her lady's slipper. This brought pretty Jessie out of
her corner, but not quickly enough to escape a forfeit.
She gave a blue bow from her dress, and looking
round with a sweet helplessness, said, — " I don't know
what anybody is. What are you, Mr. Richard ? "

" He is Green Garters," said a very tall, lean-
visaged young man, all in black, and with black lank
hair,

Jessie spun the trencher, and called for green
garters. Everybody tittered and nobody stirred.


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