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prejudices against many of the things in which
Winny delighted, but they remained excellent
friends notwithstanding. He had never been
of a temper to enjoy the amusements of the
wicked world, but he claimed no merit for
avoiding them. His disapproval of theatres,
plays and actors, of novels and their authors,
was hearty and unfeigned, and even artists did
not entirely escape his opprobrium. It struck
Winny as odd that he should be so thoroughly
versed in the scandalous chronicle of these
persons in whom he felt no interest. She
inquired what had become of Mr Barton, that
artist-friend of his own, in whose studio she
had spent a long afternoon when she was in
London as a little girl.

' Oh, do you remember Barton ? ' said her
uncle. * He died two years ago, leaving a
widow and several young children very ill pro-
vided for. He was the exception that proves
the rule — a good man and a conscientious
painter ; but he did not get on. I hear that his


pictures bring double the money in the auction-
room now that he sold them for when he was
alive.' Mr Hayland did not consider it neces-
sary to add how deeply in his debt Mr Barton
had died, nor to tell that one of his boys was
a charge to him still ; there was some kinship
between the Haylands and Bartons, and Mr
Hayland had always recognised the claims and
responsibilities of blood.

' Mr Caleb is prosperous/ Winny said rather

' Mr Caleb is very prosperous — many kind
actions are reported of him,' said her uncle ; and
then in a tone of sarcasm very unusual with
him : * But I hope that your taste is not culti-
vated up to an appreciation of his pictures just

Winny did not admire Mr Caleb's pictures
at all, but she said that It was very good of him
and his wife to ask her to London. Her uncle
rather coldly replied : ' You must learn to take
such goodness for what it is worth. In London
we are fond of new faces. You have written
a book that Is well spoken of, and you are


a new face to be seen — a writer of promise, I
hear. New faces come and go every season.
A few earn permanent distinction enough to
become familiar, but most drop back Into
obscurity. It Is wishing you no evil, my dear
WInny, to wish that you may continue In
obscurity. Such notoriety as Is won by the
writing of novels Is anything but an enviable
adjunct to a young woman.'

* I don't covet it,' said Winny impetuously.
* When I think of Dick I don't care ever to
come to London again ! '

* It is not necessary to make resolutions
against London because of Dick,' said Mr
Hayland cheeringly — perhaps, he felt that he
had been rather too hard upon her. * There
are brothers much worse than Dick. Your
aunt went to his lodgings one Sunday afternoon
when we had missed him for a month, and there
he was In his shirt-sleeves, with his windows
wide open, playing chess with a poor young
German engraver who Is dying of decline.
Dick has that sort of good-nature.'

' It Is a pity that a man cannot live by play-


ing games/ said WInny with a despondent

' Dick is given neither to drink nor to smoke,'
said her uncle. * He has no expensive whims,
but the ruinous whim to excel at chess and
billiards — he is at them half the day and half
the night too. The skill of the game was its
fascination to begin with ; but when he dropt
work, he had to discover some other means of
getting his bread. Now he plays habitually for
money, and the gambling spirit is in full
possession of him. That excitement grows by
indulgence until it is completely master of a
man. I fear, I greatly fear, that Dick will
always be more or less of an anxiety and a
charge to his mother and you.'

' I fear it too,' Winny said. ' But you will
keep a look-out upon him, uncle, will you not ?
We must not let him get into such very low
water as to sink altoo^ether. I can imagine
that all his life long he will want lifting periodi-
cally out of the mire — I have no confidence
whatever in a gambler.'

Winny spoke with a composed severity that


turned Mr Hayland into an advocate on the
merciful side. ' Trust cannot be reposed in a
gambler — all men of experience are of that
opinion. But we must beware of manifesting
to Dick that we are hopeless of his reformation.
It is never too late to mend, and you may rely
upon me not to lose sight of him.' Winny
thought she recollected some speech of her
uncle's to Dick about the men of their family
never doing any good which Dick was apt to
cite in excuse for his want of back-bone. But
she said no more. Discussion of Dick ahvays
disheartened her.

Winny could find her way to her brother's
lodgings alone now, and almost every day she
went to his door for the chance of seeing him.
She was most frequently disappointed. The
last time was towards three o'clock in the day,
and Dick said that he had not long finished
breakfast. She had gone in the hope that he
would take her to the Academy, for a second
view of the pictures that had charmed her.
Dick cried out that he was bored to death at
the Academy, but when Winny said, then she


would go by herself, he jumped up in a fit of
self-denying virtue, clapt on his hat, and went
with her. Arrived there, he introduced her
to a picture of Cairns' which had escaped her
before ; and then found a comfortable seat,
tilted his hat over eyes, and disposed himself
for a nap while she went in and out of the
crowd to see what she could see. Perhaps an
hour and a half elapsed before she thought of
going back to the red bench where she had left
her brother, time runs so fast away when one
is well amused, and then, with a fear upon her
that he would be tired of waiting, she sought
the room and the spot. No Dick was there.
It was possible that she might be mistaken,
and she visited every room and every red bench
again with a countenance of anxious research.
Full twenty minutes did she distress herself
with self-reproaches ; the fact being that Dick
had been claimed by an acquaintance within
ten minutes of her leaving him, and had gone
off on some private chase of his own, proposing
to return — and had not returned. She was feel-
ing rather spent, and looking decidedly pale and



unhappy, when, by great good luck, her friend
Miss Denham espied her. Georgie had ob-
tained that invitation to London which she had
longed for, and the two middle-aged ladies in
whose company she was, were the Misses
Harvey - Phillipps, of whom she had spoken
as good at taking a hint. They were sisters to
Dr Harvey-Phillipps, a physician of distinction,
who attended Mr Hayland and Lucy, and that
gentleman was their escort now. Georgie was
walking with him, and gazing skywards. She
let her eyes fall wearily at some remark of his,
and they fell on Winny Hesketh's face. She
rushed to her relief, asking if she had lost some-
body that she looked so tragical.

' Oh, I have lost Dick — I am looking for my
brother Dick,' Winny answered, full of her
immediate trouble.

Georgie craned up her head, and peered about,
but as Dick Hesketh was not there, of course,
she did not discover him. But she spoke com-
fortably. * He will come back In search of you
by and by. Let us sit down where you left
him, and have a chat. There Is nothing that


tires me so much as seeing pictures,' she said,
and Winny thankfully sat down.

It was not three weeks yet since the friends
parted, but they had many things to say.
Georgie was eager to ask if Winny had seen
Mario in ' Faust.' Winny had not, but she had
seen Ronconi in ' Figaro.' Georgie had seen
everybody. She went to the opera three times
a week ; music was her passion.

' And how do you like being a little lion ?
How did you get on at the Calebs ? ' Georgie

Winny laughed : ' I got on ver^^ well at the
Calebs ; they were ver}^ good to me. But I am
not enough of a lion for my relations to be
proud. I wonder where Dick can be ? ' She
was still disquieted for Dick, and for how she
should get back to W^elbeck Street.

Georgie was In London for a month, and
hoped she should see Winny often again.

' It is not likely,' Winny said. ' I don't think
I should ever love London as you do. I am
leaving next Tuesday. I shall stay at South-
mead on my way down to Cotham, and shall


be really glad to see the dull old dusty Green

Georgie said nothing to that. She appre-
hended that Winny had felt cold chills in
London ; very unlike herself who was in the
midst of the warmest appreciation. Miss
Harvey-Phillipps came up, and whispered that
her brother had gone to call the carriage ; and
Georgie had to go. She wished she could have
stayed to see Winny in Dick's charge, but as
she could not stay, she admonished Winny to
sit still where she was until he re-appeared ; at
which Winny nodded and smiled as bravely as
she was able, with very faint expectations that
he would re-appear at all.

And Dick did not re-appear. The crowd in
the rooms began to thin, and she diffidently
made up her mind that it would be best for her
to go too. Dick had carried off the number of
her parasol, but on explanation and correct
description it was given to her, and she went
out and down the imposing flights of steps, into
the sunny clamour of the streets. Her inten-
tion was to take a cab, but though there was


an incessant rush of carnages and cabs to and
fro, she did not know where to look for one for
hire. She thought she could recollect the way
Dick had brought her, and set off in faith. But
it is easy to get lost in London if you are a
young woman with an imagination that exagge-
rates the peril of crossings, and an enterprise
that tries to circumvent them by turning corners
in hopes that quiet side streets will lead ulti-
mately to the same issues as the noisy main
thoroughfares. With money in her pocket and
a tongue in her head Winny was not likely to
be lost long, but the experience was harassing,
and it was some time before she encountered a
policeman, to whom she had heard her uncle
say strangers in difficulty ought to appeal rather
than to passers-by. And even when she did
meet one of these pillars of safety, and was
bidden to follow him a step or two, and he
would find her a cab, the step or two stretched
over half a mile of hot pavement before an
empty cab was secured. When she reached
Welbeck Street and mounted to her room at
last, she was ready to drop with fatigue, and to


make rash vows against Dick, against London,
against pride and ambition of every sort. And
then suddenly she burst out crying, and threw
herself upon the bed.

Lucy spoke to her soothingly : ' You are
tired, Winny dear, you are quite jaded and
exhausted.' Ellen came to her succour : ' Let
me help you off with your things, Winny — they
are going to bring you some tea.' Aunt Agnes
arrived to bid her control herself : ' Don't cry,
Winny — your uncle will be so angry if he sees
you have been crying — I suppose Dick dis-
appointed you again ! '

Thus adjured, Winny sat up, called herself a
simpleton and a little fool, and having had her
cry, much to her relief, shook down her hair,
re-dressed herself with pains, and was soon fit
to make her appearance in the drawing-room.
Nevertheless her uncle did remark that she
had been crying. In the morning she had a
note by the post from Dick to tell her how
vexed he was to find her gone when he returned
to the Academy to seek her ; he had had his
walk for nothing, he said, and she ouo^ht to


have waited till he came. Winny was more
than penitent enough, and offered amends by
asking him to meet her at the station on
Tuesday, promising to go by herself If he would.
Her uncle was rather deaf, and no one liked
him to set visitors off by the train on that
account. Dick did not answer, but WInny took
It for granted that he would be at the station,
and went alone, having bidden the others good-
bye at home.

However, Dick was not there ; and In
WInny's philosophy there was an alloy of pro-
found dejection which caused her to subscribe
to the wisdom of Solomon, and to sum up
the results of her visit to London as vanity and
vexation of spirit. . -



* You will live in the nursery — I pity you/ Miss
Denham told Winny Hesketh, when Winny
mentioned that she was going to pay a visit of
a week to her old friend Mildred Hutton in her
new condition.

Yes, Mildred — Mrs Frank Jarvis — had a
nursery already, and a baby in it — a very young
baby, but bigger, handsomer, more knowing, and
altogether superior to any baby that had ever
been cast on the waves of this troublesome world
before. This was the faith prevailing in the
domestic circle at Southmead, and Winny Hes-
keth was required to accept it on the spot. The
baby was a boy. She was introduced to him
about the middle of the afternoon, all in her
travelling dust — he reposing in his mothers
arms, and she contemplating him with the


moony abstraction of maternal rapture. WInny
didpoojak, and remained on her knees (or sit-
ting back on her heels) for a very long while ;
in fact, until the master of the house returned
from business, and looked in towards six o'clock,
to say : * Milly dear, dinner is on the table.
O Miss Hesketh, have you not been shown
to your room yet ? '

' Don't wait to dress, Winny — -come as you
are. I shall not dress — Frank does not like to
wait,' whispered her friend.

Winny chose the lesser evil, and went almost
as she was. Baby was not present In the body
at dinner, but in spirit he seasoned every dish.
The wickedest, profane thoughts w^ere the pro-
duct in Winny's unregenerate mind. After
dinner It was time for him to be put to bed,
a duty Mildred remitted to no other hands than
her own, and Winny was invited to assist at
the ceremonial. She had never witnessed it
before, and found It tedious, if interesting, and
certainly capable of more rapid despatch.

' My mother says children bring love into
the world with them. They ought to bring


love ! If yours is a fair specimen, Milly, they
bring trouble enough/ said she, disguising a

Mildred looked at her as if she had an-
nounced a heresy. * Trouble, Winny ? Oh,
you don't know what a joyful trouble ! ' cried
she. Winny felt the touch of compunction,
and strove to make amends by suggesting that
baby would be more amusing when more
mature — but Mildred shook her head, and
soothed his possibly wounded feelings with
interminable caresses, and mild abuse of the
offender in the clipped little language that babies
are believed to understand.

Mr Frank Jarvis was pacing the lawn in front
of the house, expecting his wife to come and
join him in the cool of the evening. But he
had a powerful rival in that small idol upstairs.
Winny, sitting in the window-seat, was aware
of his vigil, his long and patient vigil. ' Such
is married life!' said she — not enthusiastically

' Yes, Winny dear, such is married life,' echoed
Mildred, hearing a voice, but apprehending no



meaning that was In It. * Such is married
life ! I always said that I never would sacri-
fice the comfort of my husband to my children,
and I never will. A wife's first duty is to her
husband. I am going to take a walk with
Frank now.'

'' I think he is waiting till you are ready,
jMIlly; he has been pacing the grass this long
while,' Winny informed her.

' Has he ? dear Frank, he is so good — he
is never out of humour — he knows baby must
be attended to. But I never will put baby
before him, never. No, my blessing ! baby is
very precious, but he must be content with the
second place in his mother's love. I wish you
had a baby, Winny, and then we could talk
about it ! '

At last, Mildred turned her back on the
nursery, and went to put on her bonnet ; sug-
gesting to Winny that she must be too tired
with her journey in the heat of the day to go
out again. Winny had been anticipating a
refreshing stroll, but she instantly acquiesced ;
reflecting that if Mr Frank Jarvis was in town


at business all day, his share of his wife's society
could be but limited — too limited to be en-
croached upon by a visitor who could enjoy it
in his absence. When she had enjoyed it for
a whole day, infused with baby's, she stumbled
on the sleepy conclusion that they would be
better company for each other now if she had
conjugal and maternal experiences to recipro-
cate. Having none, she had to occupy the
passive state of listener — and Mildred was as
remorseless in the length and tenuity of her
dissertations still as she had been when a
maiden, in dire distress for Frank.

Then she made a discovery, for which it
behoved her to be thankful. Mildred did not
appear at breakfast, the post-hour when letters
came in, and Winny was an astonished witness
of the fact that married people have their cor-
respondence in common as well as other things.
Mr Frank Jarvis opened and read his wife's
letters with the coolness of established custom.
Winny asked if he read hers. With a merry
confusion he confessed that he did. Winny
made no remark, but the letters of hers he


had to read in future were fewer and dry-er ;
and she decided in her own mind that a friend
who marries should be relegated to the retired
list in the matter of confidences.

* Yes, indeed ! you had better adhere to me,'
was Georgie's faithless reply when Winny com-
municated to her that discovery about the
letters, and the conclusion she had drawn
from it.

There was no other discovery to make at
Southmead. It was the happy home of a young
couple well-to-do, and entirely devoted to them-
selves and their belongings. Mildred was still
fond of her friends, she said, but her time was
now otherwise taken up. Only once did she
seem to recollect that Winny might have sepa-
rate and personal interests. It was on an even-
ing when baby was in bed, and Frank gone out
again to some town-meeting. She led her
friend into the garden, and with her arm round
her neck in the old style began to question her
of the success of her literary ventures. Winny
was very brief, but Mildred, having diverged
from that line of life for ever, did not find her


too brief — then she asked WInny how it went
with her heart.

To this she got no answer. * I am afraid
it was Durant,' said she, answering herself.

Winny turned her Hps for a moment to the
white hand hanging over her shoulder : ' And
if it was Durant, Milly, what matter now ? '
said she.

' It is a pity, that's all.'

But there were no dissertations. Winny
looked grave and rather pale, and coming in
sight of the nursery window, Mildred reverted
to her treasure with her usual inexhaustible flow
of language. It was baby now instead of Frank,
that w^as all, and he gave so remarkable a scope
for the maternal imagination that Winny found
him quite a study of character, and made
several notes of him which were serviceable in
her vocation later.



When Winny Hesketh returned to Cotham from
Southmead, she had another pleasing duty to
perform. The long postponed event of Delphine
Mercler's wedding came off this midsummer,
and her Joe obtained lawful possession of a
most valuable wife. They went to H ull to pur-
sue their calling, Mrs Mercler accompanying
them ; and Winny, in losing by marriage this
second friend of her youth, felt as if the years
were running very fast away, and creating a
solitude already in the world around her.

About this time it was that her life beean to
weary her a little. She had lost some of her
elasticity. She went back to Rusdale after
the holidays as other drudges go back to
familiar toil after a respite. She was refreshed
and rested, but she expected nothing and hoped


nothing in this place. The dead level of mono-
tony stretched out years long before her. She
Avould never have an easy task with her pupils
at Hauxwell, but she desired to be able to stay
there. The children were much ameliorated in
behaviour and temper, and Isobel had fair
abilities, but her sisters were very hard to teach.
They retained nothing they learnt, seemed
absolutely incapable of attention ; and Winny
had too high a sense of duty to be satisfied with
mere negative results. In striving to obtain
something definite she only succeeded in mak-
ing her work laborious. There are children of
apparent sense who yet cannot acquire know-
ledge. If these attained to sufficient reading
and writing for the practical purposes of life, it
was all they would ever gain from her instruc-
tion. Mr Peregrine-Hart entreated her not to
vex herself, and declared that he was satisfied
with his girls, with every one of them, and their
mother was the same. Why, then, should she
be otherwise ?

Making allowance for its drawbacks, Winny's
situation, now she was used to it, had great


advantages. It was a romantic and beautiful
neighbourhood, and fine scenery was ever a joy
to her. And the old house Itself was full of
interest. In the attics were collections of his-
toric trash ; In the library was every book that
she could wish to look Into. There were young
ladles of her own age, educated in Germany
and full of accomplishments, living close at
hand, fond of companionship, and less rigorous
in keeping up distinctions than Mrs Peregrine-
Hart could approve, and one of these became
her friend. She had never had an hour's illness
In her life, but she was treated as not robust,
and had every indulgence that she could be
persuaded to avail herself of. The second
winter In the dales tried her much as the first
had done, and old nurse was frequent in warn-
ing and counsel to take care, and not unneces-
sarily so ; for Winny, not knowing what pain was,
and confident in her sound constitution, despised
precaution, and seemed to fancy herself impreg-
nable to its assaults. If she had not been very
anxious to keep this home, since her home with
strangers she must make, prudence would have



suggested to her before Christmas that it would
be her wisest step to leave it ; but when March
came with frost and snow and driving north-
east winds, she was still there, and still replying
to nurse's advice, that her cough would disap-
pear with the cold weather, as it had done last
year — she was very strong and healthy, and
what was the use of making a fuss ? she had
her work to do and her living to earn, and could
not afford to give way to a little ailment.

Nurse told her it was by that sort of bravado
many people's first sickness brought them to
their deaths, while others, always croaking,
hung on till the last of their generation. Winny
did not want to die, she said, and she permitted
nurse to multiply her care and comforts. But
it was too late. No comforts or forethougfht
could prevent the north wind or the shudder-
ing frost ; and there came a night after a walk
by the river on a bitter day, when Winny was
roused to a new sensation of violent, burning
pain, and to a consciousness that her house
of life was broken into — whether she would
or no.


There is nothing, perhaps, that habitually
healthy young people realise with such difficulty
as the fact that they are very ill — in danger, as
it is cautiously phrased. Winny certainly did
not realise it, though the animal instinct of long-
ing for her natural refuge in distress was alert.
As she was undressing by the firelight, Isobel
heard her say to herself : ' I wish, I wish I were
at home.' The girl sat up in her bed, and
asked : ' Why do you wish you were at home,
Miss Hesketh ?'

' Because I am afraid nurse's prediction Is
coming true, and that I am going to be ill,' was
her answer.

' I have not been vexing you lately, have I ? '
said Isobel.

' Oh no, you never vex me now. But if I
have to be ill I should like to be with my
mother, and not give anybody else trouble.'

Isobel watched her slow and languid move-
ments for some minutes, and then asked :
' Have you a pain ?' but getting no answer, she
subsided upon her pillow, and only thought she

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