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overtook Judith, raised his hat, and held out his who perhaps saw as clearly out of her open eyes, hand.
as did Randulf from his half-closed ones. “You looked so stern, Miss Conisbrough, that “I never offer to do things that are a bore,"' at first I thought I had better go after my papa, he assured her. and not say anything to you, but-see, allow me | “Well, if you really don't object, I should be to open this gate for you, if you are going this very glad if you would call and tell her that if it way-are you?"
is fine this afternoon, she must set off at half-past “Yes,” replied Judith, repressing a smile, “but two, and I will do the same, and we shall meet if you are going to call upon Mr. Aglionby, do at Counterside, just half-way. I want very much you not think you had better follow Sir Gabriel ?" to speak to her, but you can understand that I
“Directly—no hurry; I never expected I should don't care to ask any one into this house, unless I have the good fortune to meet you, or I should | am obliged, nor to send Mr. Aglionby's servants have ridden here more cheerfully. My father was on my errands.” wondering how we should get on with this man “So you employ your own most devoted rehere. You know, he has the kindest heart in the tainer instead," said Randulf composedly, but world, has my father; he thinks Mrs. Conisbrough unable to repress a smile of gratification, “I will has been treated badly. There !" as Judith's face deliver the message faithfully. Now the gate flushed painfully. “I have said the thing I ought stands open. Good-morning.” not to have said, and offended you."
Judith passed out at the gate, and Randulf has“No, you have not, but I think we had better tened after Sir Gabriel, the smile still hovering not talk about it."
about his lips, and inwardly saying, “I'm glad I “Well, we won't,” said Randulf, deliberately turned back. It was a good stroke of business, pursuing the subject. “But everybody knows after I'd racked my brains for an excuse to call that the aged r-rascal who lived here " there, without being able to find one." “Hush, hush, Mr. Danesdale !"
Mrs. Aveson received him with a smile and “I beg your pardon-he behaved scandalously words of welcome, and ushered him into the state to Mrs. Conisbrough. Have you had speech parlor where already his father and Aglionby were with this new man? What is he like? Is he together. horrible?”
Certainly three more strongly contrasted char“Oh, no! He-I like him."
acters could hardly have been found than the Randulf was scrutinizing her from under his three then assembled in the parlor at Scar Foot. sleepy eyelids. After this answer, he did not Each, too, was fully conscious of his unlikeliness pursue the subject further. Judith asked him to to the other. There was a necessary constraint open the gate, and let her go for her walk. He over the interview. Sir Gabriel spoke in high did so, and added, with a slower drawl than terms of the late squire. The late squire's sucusual, “and, Miss Conisbrough, how is your sớcessor listened in courteous, cool silence, bowing sister?
his head now and then, and smiling slightly in a “Which sister p»' asked Judith, surveying him manner which the candid Sir Gabriel could not straightly from her large and candid eyes. be expected to understand. Aglionby did not
“Your sister Delphine," answered Randulf, protest, when this incense was burnt at the shrine leaning on the gate in a leisurely manner, as if he of his grandfather, neither did he for one moment never meant to lift himself off it again.
join in the ceremony. When, however, Sir Gabriel “I have not seen her since Saturday. I had a remarked that Mr. Aglionby had been hasty and note from her this morning, thoughI want her inconsiderate sometimes, the newcomer rejoined, to meet me. I won't have her come here, and “I am quite sure of it,"' in a voice which carried that reminds me," she added, “that I want to conviction. Then Sir Gabriel remarked that he find Toby, the farm boy, to take me a mes supposed Mr. Aglionby had not lived much in the sage
country. “I am going home that way. Couldn't you “My fame seems to have preceded me, in that intrust the message to me?”.
respect," replied Aglionby, laughing rather sar“I'm afraid it would be a bore,” said Judith, castically. After which Sir Gabriel felt rather at a loss what to say to this dark-looking person, “Gray cloth,” murmured Sir Gabriel, polite, who knew nothing of the country, and cared but puzzled. nothing for country-gentlemen's pursuits, who “Gray cloth-yes. It is not an exciting, nor could not even converse sympathetically about the yet a very profitable employment. It seems, man from whom he had inherited his fortune. however, that if my rich relation had not sudMrs. Conisbrough was a tabooed subject to Sir denly remembered me, I might have continued it Gabriel. And he had just begun to feel embar- to the end of my days." rassed, when Randulf came in, and afforded an “Rich relation ?" began Sir Gabriel; “I opportunity for introducing a new topic, and a thought— " powerful auxiliary in the matter of keeping up the “That I had others, perhaps ?'' suggested Berconversation, for which his father could not feel nard, while Randulf listened with half-closed sufficiently thankful. He introduced the young eyes, and apparently without hearing what was men to each other, and Randulf apologized for said. his tardy appearance.
“Well, I certainly have a vague impression-I “I wanted to speak to Miss Conisbrough !” he may be quite wrong--I suppose I must be." said, “and stopped with her longer than I meant “It is an odd thing that Miss Conisbrough also to. She had an errand for me, too, so I stayed accused me of having rich relations the other to hear what it was.”
day," said Bernard, and then carelessly changed “It seems to me that you and Miss Conisbrough the subject. The guests sat a little longer. The get on very well together,” observed his father conversation was almost entirely between Aglionby good-naturedly.
and Sir Gabriel, but secretly the young men also Bernard sat silent during this colloquy. What measured one another with considerable eagerness, could Judith Conisbrough or her friends possibly and the conclusion lest in the mind of each conbe to him? Had he not Lizzie at Irkford ? His cerning the other was, “I don't dislike himforever! Yet his face grew a little sombre as he there is good stuff in him." listened.
At last they rose to go, and with wishes on the “Do we, sir? Well, it is but a week to-day Danesdales' side to see more of Mr. Aglionby, since I made her acquaintance, but I think that and promises on his part to return their visit, any man who didn't get on with her and her they departed. sisters—well, he wouldn't deserve to. Don't you?" | Bernard looked at his watch, paused, considhe added, turning to Aglionby, and calmly ignor- ered, muttered to himself, “Of course it is all ing the possibility of any awkwardness in the topic. right," and ringing the bell, asked Mrs. Aveson
“I know only Miss Conisbrough, and that very if Miss Conisbrough were out, and if she had said slightly,” said Bernard, very gravely. “She seems whether she was coming in to dinner. to me a most-charming
“She went out for a walk to Dale Head, sir, “ You are thinking that charming isn't the and she didn't say when she would be back," word, and it is not,” said Randulf. “If one responded Mrs. Aveson. used such expressions about one's acquaintances “Thank you,” said Aglionby, and with that he in these days, I should say she was a noble woman. went out, and, by a strange coincidence, his steps, That's my idea of her; exalted, you know, in too, turned in the direction of Dale Head. character, and all that sort of thing."
But he was not successful in meeting Miss Con“I should imagine it; but I know very little of isbrough (if that were the intention with which her,” said Aglionby, who, however, felt his heart he had set out). He saw no trace of her, though, respond to each one of these remarks.
as he passed along the beautiful road, catching Sir Gabriel found this style of conversation dull. occasional glimpses, here and there, of the lake, He turned to Aglionby, and said politely: his lips parted involuntarily now and then, in the
“I believe you have always lived at Irkford, desire to utter to some companion-shadow what have you not?"
he thought of it all. But it is thin work, talking “Yes," responded Bernard, with a look of to shadows, as he felt. He returned home, found humor in bis eyes. "I was in a warehouse there. that Miss Conisbrough had come in, and was I sold gray cloth.”
going to dine with him, and that a messenger
who had been to Yoresett had brought him a which I found in the clough this morning.” She letter from the post-office of that metropolis, put them in a little glass, and placed them near addressed, in a sprawling hand, to Bernard Ag- her mother. lionby, Esq. Rapture! It was from Lizzie! “ Thank you, Judith. . . . What were all
Those voices I heard below? I am sure I feel as CHAPTER XIX.-LOOKING FORWARD. if I ought to know them." AFTER she had said good-morning to Randulf, “Sir Gabriel and Mr. Danesdale come to call udith walked along the rough, stony lane, with upon Mr. Aglionby." its gaps in the hedge, showing the rugged fells in “You do not mean it?' exclaimed Mrs. Conthe distance, and her gaze had lost some of its de- | isbrough, with aniination, and then, after a pause, spondency. Indeed, she felt cheered by the little “Really to call upon him? To welcome him?". interview. She distinctly liked young Danesdale “I suppose so, mamma. I don't know why (though to her, old in care and sorrow, he seemed else they should have come.” more like a very charming boy than a man grown, “No doubt! “The king is dead with a man's feelings), and she was conscious, the king !' It would have been the same if we with a keen thrill of sympathetic conviction, that had been in possession,” said Mrs. Conisbrough, he liked her, liked her sisters, liked everything in an accent of indescribable bitterness. about her. It was a delightsul sensation, like the Yet she had ceased to speak of Bernard with coming of a sudden, unexpected joy in a sad life. the passionate indignation and resentment which She dwelt upon his words, his manner, his ges she had at first expressed. Perhaps reflection had tures, from the moment in which, with the lan convinced her that opposition would be folly. guor gone from his eyes, he had overtaken her, to Perhaps—with women like Mrs. Conisbrough, his last delighted expression about her sending many perhapses may have an influence. her own devoted retainer on her messages, instead “As you seem so much better, mother, I have of Bernard Aglionby's servants. It was perhaps asked Delphine to come over to Counterside, and rather a cool thing to say—at least it might have I shall go and meet her, so that we can have a savored of impertinence if some people had said chat this afternoon. Then I can tell her how it. From Randulf Danesdale it came agreeably you really are." and naturally enough.
| “As you like," responded Mrs. Conisbrough, She would see Delphine that afternoon-an rather peevishly. “I am aware that you and interview for which she longed greatly; she had | Delphine cannot exist apart, or think you cannot, gratified Randulf by allowing him to give her for more than a day, without repining. In my message about the meeting, and Delphine would young days, girls used to think less of them. be pleased to learn her sister's wishes from such a selves.” courier. Altogether, things looked brighter. She “If you do not wish me to leave you, I will presently turned off to the right, into a little dell send word to Delphine not to come.” or gorge, and wandered along some paths she | “On no account stay in for me," was the logiknew, half-woodland, half-rocky. She had come cal and consistent reply. “The walk will do out for her health's sake, but remembering the you good. Did you say you had seen Mr. Daneswalk in prospect in the afternoon, did not stay dale ?''. very long, and was utterly unconscious that at “Yes. It is he who has promised to call at one moment, just as she was standing beneath a our house, and ask Delphine to meet me." faded beech-tree, whose foliage was yellow and “Ah, I see !" said Mrs. Conisbrough, in a tone sere, and holding in her hand some variously- so distinctly pleased and approving, that Judith tinted autumn leaves which she had picked, the could not but notice it. She turned to her mother footsteps which she heard in the road below, and with parted lips, then, as if suddenly recollecting not far distant, were those of Bernard Aglionby. herself, closed them again, and took up her sew
Returned to the house, she went to her mother's ing, at which she worked until Mrs. Aveson came room, who still lay white and weak-looking, though to say that dinner was ready. free from pain and breathlessness, upon her bed. “Thank you. Is Mr. Aglionby going to dine
“ See, mamma, here are some lovely leaves now, do you know?"
“ Yes, he is, Miss Judith. If you'd prefer me wasn't aware that there was such a carriage on to bring yours up here "
the premises, or anything about it. But I shall “Oh, no, thank you. I am not afraid of him," | be sure to want it to-morrow afternoon." said Judith, with a slight smile.
| His dark eyes looked at her very pleasantly “I should think not, Miss Judith. If there's across the table, and there was a smile upon his any cause for fear; I should think it would be lips, all playfulness and no malice. Judith met more likely on the other side."
the glance, and thought, “How could I have “Why, I wonder ?" speculated Judith within thought him hard and stony-looking? And if herself, and her mother's voice came from the only all these miserable complications had not bed, as Mrs. Aveson withdrew.
come in the way, what a very nice relation he “ Just straighten your hair, Judith, and fasten would have been !". your collar with my little gold brooch. It will But she said aloud : make you look tidier."
“You are very kind, and since you really wish “I'll straighten my hair, mamma, but as for it, I accept your offer gratefully. The day after the brooch, I really don't think it is necessary. Ifto-morrow, then." you could see the careless, and I might say shabby “That is a much more sensible arrangement, style in which Mr. Aglionby dresses, you would though I call even that too soon. But I like 10 know that he did not think much about what have my own way, and I have really got so little people wear.”
of it hitherto, that I daresay there is some danger She had made her beautiful brown hair quite of my using the privilege recklessly. However, smooth, and without further elaboration of her since I have prevailed so far, I will see that all is toilet, she went down-stairs.
ready when you wish. And-Miss Conisbrough!" Bernard was standing in the dining-room, wait- “Yes?” ing for her.
| “Do you think Mrs. Conisbrough will strongly “Mrs. Aveson told me I was to have the pleas- object to my seeing her?". ure of your company at dinner," he said, with “You must not speak to her on any matters of the graciousness and politeness which, when he money or business," said Judith hastily. was with her, seemed to spring more readily than “I had not the slightest intention of doing so, other feelings within his breast.
though I still hope that in time she will fall in “I am going out at half-past two," answered with my views on the matter, and I hope, too, Judith.
you have not forgotten your promise to help me “Are you? and I at a quarter to three. I am in it." going to Yoresett to see Mr. Whaley."
Judith said nothing. Her eyes were cast down. “Indeed. I have a sort of message for you Aglionby paused only for a moment, and then from mamma; she did not send it to you in so went on : many words, but when I suggested it, she agreed “What I meant was, that perhaps you would with me, and that is, that after to-day I think we prefer—she might be very angry if I put in any need not task your kindness any further. My appearance when she goes away. In plain words, mother is so much better that I think she will be do you think she still so strongly resents my fit to go home."
presence here, that it would be unwise for me to “Oh, do you think so? She must not on any pay my respects to her, and tell her how glad I account move before she is quite able to do so am that she is better?" without risk. I would not be in any hurry to “No," said Judith ; her face burning, her eyes remove her.''
fixed upon her plate. “She has considered the “You are very good to say so. But if you will matter while she has been ill. I think I am sure kindly allow us to have the brougham to-morrow you might speak to her, only please do not be afternoon- "
offended if “I am sure you had better say the day after “If she snubs me very severely,” said he, with to-morrow. From what Dr. Lowther said, I am a gleam of amusement. “No, indeed, I will convinced of it. 1-I don't think I can spare the not. Whatever Mrs. Conisbrough may say to brougham to-morrow afternoon, though I really me, I will receive submissively and meekly."
“Because you feel that the power is on your Judith wondered whether he was saying these side,” said Judith rapidly, involuntarily, almost things on purpose to try her to the utmost. She in a whisper, her face burning with a still deeper was glad that at that moment she perceived, on blush. “It must be easy to smile at a woman's looking at the clock, that she had only a few petulance when you are a man, and feel that you minutes in which to get ready, if she were to set have the game all in your own hands.”
off at the time she had appointed with Delphine. She had not meant to say so much. The words Making this an excuse, she rose. had broken from her almost uncontrollably. “Are you walking ?” he asked. “I am sure Almost every hour since the moment in which she you ought not to walk so far." had seen her mother cower down before Bernard's “Oh, thank you, I have been accustomed to it direct gaze, her sense of his power and strength all my life,'' said she, going out of the room, and had been growing and intensifying. Hours of slowly ascending the stairs. brooding and solitude, apart from her accustomed - Child, you look quite flushed,” cried her companions; long and painful meditations upon mother. What have you been doing ? Quarrelthe past and present, and thrills of dread when ing with Mr. Aglionby?” she contemplated the future; these things, broken "No, mother. It would be hard to quarrel only by her two or three interviews with Bernard, with Mr. Aglionby. No one could be more conand with him alone, had strengthened her feeling, siderate .but I wish we were at home until now, though she was neither dependent, again. · By the way, he will not hear of your clinging, nor servile by nature, the very sight of going until the day after to-morrow.” Aglionby's dark face, with its marked and power- “I shall be very glad of another day's rest. I ful features, made her heart beat faster, and feel dreadfully weak." brought a crushing consciousness of his strength Judith made no reply, but put on her things and her own weakness. Had he been overbearing and went out, just as the big clock on the stairs or imperious in manner, all her soul would have notified that it was half-past two—that is, it said rebelled ; she was one of those natures with whom half-past three, as is the habit of clocks in country justice and forbearance are almost a passion; the places—a habit which had perfectly bewildered moments would have seemed hours until she could Bernard, who had tried to get Mrs. Aveson to put break free from his roof and his presence; but he it back, but had been met by the solemn assur. was the very reverse of overbearing or imperious. ance that any such course would result in the The strength was kept in reserve; the manner complete bouleversement of all the existing dowas gentle and deferential-only she knew that mestic arrangements. Indeed, he saw that the the power was there, and she would not have been proposition excited unbounded alarm and disa woman if she had not had a latent idolatry of pleasure in Mrs. Aveson's mind, and he had to power. The combination of strength and gentle- admit that in a Yorkshire dale one must do as the ress was new to her; the proximity to a man who natives do. wielded these attributes was equally foreign to It was a fine afternoon. Judith walked quickly her, and all these things combined had begun to along the well-known road, and in her mind she exercise over her spirit a fascination to which kept seeing Bernard's eyes directed to her face, she was already beginning, half-unconsciously, to after her own hurried remark about woman's petuyield.
lance. She could not satisfy herself as to what Aglionby's only answer at first to her remark that look meant, and sighed impatiently as she was a look, slow and steady; but he had looks tried to banish it from her mind. which sank into the souls of those at whom they - At last she came to the dip in the road, which, were leveled, and haunted them, and it was with its shade of overhanging trees, its quaint, such a glance that he bestowed upon Judith nestling old houses and cottages, and tiny whiteConisbrough now. Then he said :
washed Friends' Meeting House, was known as “That remark shows me very plainly that Countersett or Counterside. Half-way down the ‘petulance,' as you are pleased to call it, forms no hill she saw something which banished egotistic part of your character; but I guessed that some reflections, and caused a smile to break out upon time ago. I am glad to have you on my side.” her face : a slim girl's figure, with the shabby old