Copyright
I. T. Hopkins.

Judge Havisham's will online

. (page 9 of 16)
Online LibraryI. T. HopkinsJudge Havisham's will → online text (page 9 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


life, child fashion, with only a short-lived pain.
Yesterday was soon going to seem a good way
off to him, he thought But he found his mis-
take now, and quite a little time had to pass
before he could venture to bring up what must
be said.

"Cyp," he began at last, "what would you
think of making a little change ? if we were to
go down to the 'country seat' to stay? Mr.



1 66 JUDGE HAVISHAM'S WILL.

Wilkie and I think it would be best for some
reasons, and Barbie says we may come."

Cyp was silent a moment and then shook his
head. u I 'd rather stay here," he said stoutly.

' ' But I think it will be easier out of the house,
don't you?"

"No, I don't. I'd rather stay where uncle
always was; and I like large places best too."

Wynt almost smiled. "Oh, you poor little
Havisham !" he thought. "I<uxury is a pretty
good thing to you, isn't it? Well, I'll fight up
to it for you some day, if I can."

"Then, Cyp," he said, "I'll tell you some-
thing more. We have no right here any longer.
I think uncle did not mean us to stay, and in that
case it would not be right"

"I say, now, you'll never make me believe
that !" exclaimed Cyp, starting up with his face
suddenly ablaze. "You and Mr. Wilkie together
can't do it. Not about Uncle Thorpe."

Wynt looked at him half pleased, half trou-
bled, at this unexpected show of fight. "But,
Cyp perhaps you're right but we can't really
know. The very last words he tried to say look
as if he had some other plan that he thought
better. We don't know what that was, so we
have to let it go and do what is right, as nearly
as we can guess. It's hard, but we must 'hold
on tighter the harder things pull.' Do you
remember that, Cyp? Now if we take all our



OFF TO THE COUNTRY SEAT. 167

things over to Barbie's, we can fix up in great
style and have a place all our own. Come along,
wont you, and lend a hand?"

It was a busy day after that, for Wynt felt he
would rather get the thing over, in spite of pro-
tests from Tom and graceful invitations from
Vivian to delay.

"But, Wynt dear Waite is at your service,
of course but why do you make such haste?
There surely is no need. Why not stay with us
a little longer? Waite can take the things over
at any time."

With Tom it was much harder to deal, for his
opposition really amounted to something; the dis-
covery that " not far away " meant the cottage at
the gate had mounted his regret to the pitch of
excitement

"I say, Vivian, it is simply a scandal and
disgrace!" he had broken out. "A part of the
family in the house and part of it in the porter's
lodge, or whatever you call the thing! How are
you going to like the looks of that?"

Vivian did not reply for a moment. She had
had some rather "queer" reflections of her own
when the discovery was first made; but still, on
the whole

"Now, Tom dear, if you would just be quiet
and sensible," she said, as she tried the effect of a
change in the position of some ornaments in the
room. "What difference does it really make?



i68 JUDGE HAVISHAM'S WILL.

The boys have used that room and liked it many
a time before to-day. It was papa's own idea.
And as for the 'family,' I never considered them
part of it, especially; did you? Do you call it
separating the family to have let Mrs. Lewyn go
home? She concluded to do so, I believe, only
the day that we arrived. There, Tom, I think
there 's a better contrast of color with this so."

Tom got out of the room as well as he could
and tried Wynt next on the subject of haste; he
was really distressed, as Wynt could not but
see.

"I say, Wynt, you're disgracing the family!
What in the mischief is all this hurry about, if
you will go? It looks as if we'd fired you out.
Do you think we have? Or do you want other
people to think so?"

Wynt sat down on the bamboo hamper he was
packing and pushed back his cap as he looked up.
"Mr. Adriance," he said, "you're extremely
kind. Wont you sit down on some of these
things? I 'm firing myself out, if any one is. I
believe with all my heart you 'd like us to stay.
I can't help thinking so. But I can't see that
I've any right to; and if the thing is coming, I
like to get it over, do n't you know?"

" You have a right to stay anywhere if you 're
invited, I suppose," was the answer from Mr.
Adriance; but there was rather an awkward si-
lence after this.



OFF TO THE COUNTRY SEAT. 169

"Well, I've said my say. You're a deter-
mined youngster, though, as I've found out be-
fore. But I wish, for the sake of all that 's re-
spectable, you 'd hold on a few days. Let people
outside have time to say, 'The king is dead,' at
least. And understand one thing: you never go
out of a house that belongs to me for any notions
you take into your head!"

"All right," answered Wynt, smiling; "and
thank you, besides. Now there 's one more
thing I do n' t like to pick up without speaking of
it to Vivian."

"What's that?"

"A little sort of portfolio, one of those queer
East Indian things, straw, in purple and red and
yellow dyes. Uncle took a fancy to it and I
begged him to use it. It lay on his study desk.
But I always remember that it was mamma's, so
that if no one cares I 'd like to take it along."

"Go for it, then, of course. It's your own.
Vivian is down there, though, if you think it bet-
ter form to speak of it I'm going to take the
horses out; it will do me good. Will you come
along? Or wont you ride behind them because
they weren't left to you?"

" Not so bad as that; but Waite 's coming up
for these things. I '11 go as far as the library and
explain about the portfolio."

He did so, very sure Vivian would not regret
seeing anything East Indian go out of the house.



I7O JUDGE HAVISHAM'S WILL.

"It's empty now," he said, holding it up.
" There were some law-papers lying in it that
Mr. Wilkie had to get to finish up a case."

" Empty!" repeated Vivian as she took it ten-
derly from Wynt's hand. " Poor, dear papa! It
might as well be! Everything seems empty since
he left it, doesn't it, Wynt?" Then she handed
it back to him. u Why, certainly. Why do you
ask me ? It is your own. It is pleasant to think
papa used it, but you will cherish it, I know.
Did you notice which way Tom went?"



HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? 171

CHAPTER XXI.

SOW DO YOU LIKE IT?

IT is easy to make a great change, but harder
to realize that it is made. Wynt went about his
new life the first few days with the feeling that it
was for those few days only. He had gone some-
where to do something, but it seemed only as
some odd thing taken up. He should push it
through, of course, but he could not get the
slightest feeling that it was his life, and to be his
life, really and for years.

"How do you like it?" Lee found opportu-
nity to ask, when the book-keeper left the office
for a moment and Lee looked in at Wynt mounted
on his stool.

" Have n't quite got hold of it," answered
Wynt. "The old times seem the real ones yet,
and I feel as if I were acting in a play."

' ' Well, the play will seem real enough before
you're as old a performer as I. It's a big drag.
I feel like hanging myself that I ever let you
come in. But I '11 keep Warnock off you as
much as I can."

Wynt smiled. " I don't think I 'm afraid of
Warnock. I want to get these figures in right
I believe that's all I'm anxious about"



173 JUDGE HAVISHAM'S

" It 's strange how matter of course it all does
begin to seem, though," he found himself think-
ing, as a little more time had passed. "I begin
to understand Lee's calling it a 'mill.' Round
and round, the same thing every day. I like it,
though. I like taking up a thing and gripping
at it and feeling like a man. It seems awfully
queer to look back and see how much loafing I
used to do. And I like to see Cyp so jolly there
at home, and think I 'm earning it for him. Poor
little Cyp! I shall have to be wide-awake to get
him all he needs. But he '11 never eat bread that
doesn't belong to him, nor beg nor borrow what
wasn't intended to be his. We're safe out of
that, whatever comes. "

The figures "went in right," and the book-
keeper, who had looked doubtfully at Wynt when
he came in, began to pass rather more into his hands
than his predecessor had been trusted to do.

' ( I like that still, dark-faced fellow of yours,
Lee," he said one day, nodding after him as
Warnock had called him off. "There isn't a
word out of him that isn't called for, and those
black eyelashes of his do n't seem to get lifted by
the hour, sometimes. He just grapples what's
given him and sticks to it. I was afraid there
was too much high-stepping in the training he 'd
had; but he's all right; no trouble about him, if
he holds out."

" He '11 hold out," answered Lee as he turned



HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? 173

away. "More trouble for him than with him,"
he added under his breath, u in this place."

He passed down the store and met Wynt com-
ing back.

"How are you, old fellow?" Wynt asked
heartily as he passed. He had not had a chance
for a word that day.

"Headache," answered Lee. "Didn't get
more than four hours' sleep last night"

"Four hours' sleep? What's the mat-
ter?"

"Nothing the matter. Must get some pleas-
ure by night, you know, if you grind all day.
I '11 get a chance for a smoke, and feel better by-
and-by." And he passed on.

Wynt hardly knew whether he saw figures
before him or not, for a while after that. What
in the name of sense had got hold of Lee ? or was
keeping hold of him rather. He thought that
wretched nonsense would have worked itself off
before now.

"Junketting with miserable fellows away
down below him," he said; "below what he
ought to be, at least. He 's disgusted with it
himself, I know. He can't help it What kind
of sport is there in that ? If he thought there
was, to begin with, it can't have held out He
really seems to imagine it 's spiting the store ! I
wish they 'd take him out of it What 's the use
of trying to make a colt swim like a duck ? A



174 JUDGE HAVISHAM'S

colt isn't good for much, though, till he breaks
to harness. I wish Lee would give in."

The next few days he seemed to have scarcely
an opportunity to speak to him, and only com-
monplaces passed between them when he had;
but Lee's face did not satisfy him. It brightened
whenever he saw Wynt coming; it was a great
pleasure, evidently, to have him in the store.
But the look Wynt did not like was there, through
all the friendly chatting, half bitter, half reck-
less, never really happy, as the free-hearted Lee
Brainerd used to be.

And Jem was another one. He had n' t passed
Wynt without speaking, again, since the other
day; but evidently things did not go right yet.

"Have you been to Mab yet?" Wynt asked
suddenly at last, as he ran upon Jem in the door-
way again.

" No, I haven't been to Mab," answered Jem
half defiantly. * * Why should I go to her ?' '

" You know well enough why you should go
to her. Because it 's right, to begin with. March
along, like a man, and make everything as it
should be. I never heard that getting married
was the only thing in the world. Can't you be
friends ? If you got her into the way of caring
for you, to begin with, what right have you to
take yourself off?"

u And what right have you to ask me, any
more?"



HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? 175

"I don't know. Perhaps I haven't any.
But I'm a working-man like yourself now, Jem.
Remember that."

" He said I was to do it because 't was right,"
muttered Jem as he went off about his porter's
work. "They say he's cleared out of the
Havisham House and come in here because he
thought that was right. Maybe it was, and may-
be it wasn't; that's what people say. But his
doing of it is more lesson to me than his talk can
be."

He hoisted a huge piece of freight from the
wagon with the ease that strength and sleight of
hand together give, and then pulled his cap over
his eyes with a quick jerk.

*' But I 'm not going back to Mab though, for
all. I can't She throwed me over, and she 'd
not 'a' done it if she 'd cared. Or if she does, I
can't help it It 's as rough on me as on her. I
do n't care for much, more out o' this world with
her gone."

Mr. Wilkie did not lose sight of WynL He
made an excuse to send for him from his office
two or three times, besides looking in at the new
quarters at Barbie's, and satisfied himself that no
harm was being done.

"Let him work it through," he said to him-
self. "I enjoy seeing the thing done, and he's
all right. I like to see a fellow fight it out on
his own line when his line is a good one."



176 JUDGE HAVISHAM'S WILL.

So everything ran on for a time, the novelty
wearing off and people getting used to seeing
Wynt go into Brainerd and Gray's and up the
back street to the rear gateway of the grounds.

They did not do it without a good deal of
surmising and excitement, however, at first.
There was something wrong somewhere, every
one was sure, and sure every one else was right
in thinking so. Judge Havisham never meant to
have things go on like that. Or if he did, some
undue influence had been brought to bear. Still
it was said the boys had a right in the house,
after all. Then it must be the Adriances' fault.
Wynt would not take what he thought did not
belong to him. Of course he wouldn't ! They
all knew him well enough for that. But the
Adriances could make him feel that something
did belong to him, as well as the judge had before
them, if they chose. Why not ? And the feeling
did not lose strength, though the talk about it
passed by after a time, as all nine days' wonders
get laid upon the shelf.

Vivian went away in the midst of it for an
indefinite time, leaving Bent and Burnham to
take care of the empty house. Gossip said it was
to let the back-gate idea get a little old; but no
one, aside from all that, supposed a shadowed
house, too newly so to admit of merry company,
could keep Mrs. Adriance very long.

As for the rest of the household, they had



HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? 177

been divided between grief and sentiments that
they did not freely express. So many years of
service had not passed without each member of
the family being pretty clearly measured and
read. The judge, the boys, Vivian oh, the ser-
vants knew !

And whatever they might know or not know
of the movements of the last few weeks, each had
his or her own private opinion as to who had done
it all and how it had been done.

Bent went mechanically about the house,
neglecting nothing; but what was the use of dark-
ening or opening rooms, lighting gas or putting
it out again ? The light was gone out of the old
house for ever to him. He had never thought he
could outlive Mr. Thorpe. But if he could only
hear the footsteps of the young masters about,
and know they were growing up to fill their
uncle's place ! That he had been sure they
would do, whether he and Mr. Thorpe lived to
see it or not.

"Mab," he said one evening, as a little silence
came, "you remember the night I told you Mr.
Cyp's saying about ' holding on ' ?"

Mab's face flushed quickly. Did she remem-
ber !

"Well, that night, dark as things seemed, I
remember another thing I was saying to myself.
Young folks think their troubles sore, and so they
are sometimes; but they little know how much

Jndgo tUvtehun'i Will. 1 2



178 JUDGE HAVISHAM'S WILL.

room there 's left for still more to come in. And
now look what the last two months have brought
Not a Havisham left in the old house ! In my
day, too, Mab. I wouldn't have believed it
could ever come; but in my day !"

Mab hesitated. "But Miss Vivian will be
coming back some day," she said.

1 'Yes," Bent answered; and each understood
why the other said nothing more.

" There is no earthly way to bear it all, Mab,"
Bent began suddenly again, "if it wasn't for the
* holding on ' we were talking about the other
night. I'm getting too old a man just to breast
things. I could never carry it alone."

u Oh, yes, father," answered Mab cheerily,
"we must hold on to it the Hand that held on
to the cross for us; that's what I always think.
It 's comfort through everything. And it 's never
going to let anything touch us that it doesn't see
fit"

"Yes, Mab," said Bent, as he rose to go back
and put out his lights; he would not let the
Havisham House show a dark front in the even-
ings yet; "I know we are like children in the
nursery to him. He knows we '11 think all these
things trifles before long; just forgotten in sight
of what he 's giving us as his time comes. But
they seem heavy just now, Mab; and somehow
I've got a strange feeling as if there was more to
come, more to come still, before very long."



HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? 179

Mab watched him a little anxiously as he
went out. More to come still? What could
there be more ? Unless she were to be taken away
from him ; and even then ! Yes, he would miss
her; but she was quite a good-for-naught, she
thought.

" Oh, but he 's just got a little nervous with it
all. He took my matters with Jem to heart a
great deal, and now there's all this. But what-
ever comes, we '11 be happy. We can't pine with
such a love and a kingdom as we know is open to
us, and such a Hand to hold to through it all,
and knowing all 's right. We'll just hold on the
tighter." And Mab took up her pretty bit of
work, humming a peaceful little song to herself
meantime.



i8o JUDGE HA vis HAM'S WILL.

CHAPTER XXII.

SHOULDERING UP.

THREE months passed, with no special change
in the way events moved on. Wynt began to
feel as if he had always been divided between sit-
ting perched upon his stool and getting down
from it to meet some demand from Mr. Warnock
at the other end of the store.

Lee's dislike to the latter seemed to grow
more intense and harder to conceal, and Wynt
was glad whenever he could feel that he was
meeting a call that would have been Lee's had
he not been there.

"It is hard to stand the man," he said one
day, half laughing, to himself; "but he don't
seem to stir me up as much as he does Lee, which
is a good thing. I think that supercilious, lordly
way of ordering a fellow about amuses me, at the
same time that it really does 'grind,' as Lee says,
if you've a mind to take it so. I believe he's
trying to work me a little too, the last two or three
weeks. It may be imagination, but I think so.
I don't know what started him, unless it was that
thing about the carpet the other day; the day I
told a customer it was last year's stock, when he
had just got him up to the buying pitch, a sixty-



SHOULDERING UP. l8l

yard bill, by saying it was just in and the latest
thing out. I never dreamed I was running
against him till I sa\v him get hot."

Wynt turned back to his books. His head
ached to-day and figures did not seem clear.
Unconsciously a new problem in multiplication
began to come up.

How many days, weeks, months, and so on of
this sort of thing were ahead of him before he
could hope to get any higher up ? And when he
got higher up, how much difference, after all, was
there going to be in the 'grind'? And as Cyp
grew older and his wants became proportionately
greater, was he ever going to be able to work it
all out ?

He had no special talents himself, but Cyp
had. Cyp must be educated for an artist; that
had been always understood. It was one thing
to pay an absurd little board bill at Barbie's
and another to But what was the use of think-
ing about it all? It did seem to be standing up
pretty big and black to-day; but he was ashamed
of himself. He thought he was more of a man.

He put his pen hastily back on the figures
again. So much time lost to Brainerd and Gray.

"If I could only look in uncle's face when I
got home at night !" he found his thoughts sud-
denly persisting, without any leave from himself;
and one of those great waves of longing that
would rush up now and then rose and went over



JUDGE HAVISHAM'S

him. A Siberian mine would be sunshine if his
uncle were only in it, he thought

At that moment he heard Warnock's voice at
the office door.

"This way, Havisham. I'll send you out a
few moments, if you 're not wanted here."

Wynt stepped out, and Warnock pointed to a
roll of carpet lying near.

" I want you to take that and carry it over
to 12 Walnut Street," he said.

Wynt gave it a glance, and then uncon-
sciously turned another quick one into Warnock's
face. A slight shade of confusion came into the
latter, but it was covered in another moment by
the smile Wynt had learned to dislike so much.
The carpet was heavy, and even Jem had hardly
ever carried one without his wagon for Brainerd
and Gray, as Wynt knew very well.

But Warnock had his own reasons this time,
and that was enough. He muttered something
about hurry, and Jem being off with the wagon
getting freight, and walked away.

Wynt felt his blood getting suddenly hot.
"He means to get even with me on the carpet
question," he said, as he glanced after Warnock's
retreating form.

Then he stooped, shouldered the clumsy roll,
and went out.

As he came in, nearly half an hour later, Lee
opened the door.



SHOULDERING UP. 183

"Where have you been running off, all this
time?" he asked. " I 'd like half an hour's out-
ing myself. I only had five minutes, and you
were gone when I came in an age ago."

"I carried a carpet to 12 Walnut Street," an-
swered Wynt quietly as he hung up his hat.



Wynt could hardly help smiling at the min-
gled astonishment and wrath in Lee's face.

"You carried a carpet! What business was
that of yours?"

"Jem was off, you were out, and I was the
next youngest hand in the store."

"Yes," said Lee sarcastically. "And Jem
and I were both back here in five minutes more.
Didn't you spoil a sale for Warnock the other
day? And you look as cool as if you hadn't
been off that stool. Where's your Havisham
pride?"

" I did not want to shame it by leaving my
duty undone."

" Who calls it your duty? And what a spec-
tacle besides ! Wynt Havisham toting a load
like that !"

" If Wynt Havisham' s dignity is going to
suffer from carrying a bundle, it's pretty soft
material," was all the satisfaction Lee got, as
Wynt went quietly back to his proper work.

Lee walked away to his. A customer ap-
peared for him at the moment and Lee gave his



184 JUDGE HAVISHAM'S WILL.

attention as well as he could; but some pretty dis-
tracting thoughts kept uppermost and he was hot
to his finger tips for Wynt

< ' Just like Warnock !' ' he thought. * ' He just
caught his opportunity for that. I don't see how
Wynt stands him as he does. I wish he had tried
it on me. I don't think I would have touched
the thing, and it might have helped me out of
the store."

But by the time his customer had gone a dif-
ferent set of reflections began to corne up. Some-
how, Wynt sitting there so quietly, with his
errand done, commanded more respect than he
had ever felt for him before. Havisham dignity
did not seem hurt at all. And the thought of
Lee Brainerd being sent out of the store for a
"row" with his superior looked, comparatively,
very small.

But from this time the " mill " began really to
seem to Wynt what Lee had warned him it would.

That headache did not wear off. What was
the matter with it? He missed his gallops on
Blackwing, he thought Somehow there never
was any getting off in the air with really free
feeling any more. The room by Barbie's front
door was jaunty and homelike as could be, and
great fun; but Cyp had to be looked after and
entertained, of course, whenever he could be
there. And there was n't very much of a day left
after six o'clock.



SHOULDERING UP. 185

It was no matter for a while, but somehow it
began to seem very queer to look forward to Its
being always like this.

" However, that's the way men do, and I can
do as they can, of course. It will be all right
when I get used to it They don't generally be-
gin at my age with a small boy to carry along,
though. There 's where I have the advantage of
them. That's the pride and pleasure of the
whole thing. Poor little Cyp; he doesn't know
how I enjoy it If I only find I have stuff
enough in me to earn all he 's going to need. I
do n't know yet whether I 've got much business
make-up in me. Perhaps that's what Mr. War-
nock is trying to find out" And he smiled as he
heard his name called, at the very moment, in
that familiar voice.

The roll of carpet had not been his last ex-
perience of that person's skill in making things
uncomfortable when it seemed unnecessary that
they should be so.

" Regular persecution," Lee declared indig-
nantly. " Why, he's worse than he ever was to
me. He knows you 're above him, and he 's try-


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryI. T. HopkinsJudge Havisham's will → online text (page 9 of 16)