+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

wondered at the strength of resolution to
endure that was expressed in every curve
of her mouth, in the firmness of her attitude,
as she stood with her little nervous
hands clasped in front of her, in the
steadiness of the dark eyes whose setting was
so worn and tear-stained.

"Good-by, Zillah," he said, taking her
hand; "I will come to Gower-street, soon."

"Yes; you had better come. Hugh
misses you. He wants to talk to you
about his plans, he says."

"I shall give him the advice I told you
to stay with Digby and West for at least
another year, on the terms they offer.
Bless my life, it is no such hardship! What
hurry is there for him to undertake the
responsibilities and cares of a professional
man who has, or thinks he has," added Mr.
Frost, hastily correcting himself, "nothing
in the world to depend upon but his own

Mrs. Lockwood made as though she were
about to speak, and then checked herself
with a little, quick sigh.

"Zillah!" said Mr. Frost, taking again
the hand he had relinquished, and bending
down to look into her face, "there is
something new! You have not told me
all that is in your mind."

"Because what is in my mind on this
subject is all vague and uncertain. But I
fancyI thinkthat Hugh has fallen in

"Ah, you are like the rest of the women,
and put your real meaning into the
postscript. I knew there was something you
had to say."

"I did not mean to say it at all. It is
only a surmise——"

"I have considerable faith in the accuracy
of your surmises. And it furnishes a likely
enough motive for Hugh's hot haste to
make himself a place in the world. Can
you guess at the woman?"

"I know her. She is a girl of barely
eighteen. She lives in my house."

"What! that LadyLady——"

"Lady Tallis Gale's niece, Miss Desmond."

"Stay! Where did I hear of her? Oh,
I have it! Lovegrove is trustee under her
mother's will. She has a mere pittance
secured to her out of the wreck of her
father's fortune. Besides, those kind of
people, though they may be almost beggars,
would, ten to one, look down on your
son from the height of their family
grandeur. This girl's father was one of the
Power-Desmonds, a beggarly, scatterbrained,
spendthrift, Irishgentleman!
I dare say the young lady has been taught
to be proud of her (probably hypothetical)
descent from a savage inferior to a Zulu

"Very likely. But your eloquence is
wasted on me. You should talk to Hugh.
I'm afraid he has set his heart on this."

"Set his heart! Hugh ishow old?

"Hugh will be twenty-five in August."

"Ah! Think of a woman of your
experience talking of a young fellow of that
age having 'set his heart' on anything!
No doubt he has 'set his heart.' And how
many times will it be set and unset again
before he is thirty?"

"God forbid that Hugh should be such
a man as some whom my experience has
taught me to know!"

"Humph! Just now this love on which
Hugh has 'set his heart,' was a mere
surmise on your part. Now you declare it to
be a serious and established fact, and 'God
forbid' it should not be!"

"When will you come?" asked Mrs.
Lockwood, disregarding the sneer.

"I will come to-morrow evening, if I
can. You know that my time is not mine
to dispose of."

"True. But it is sometimes easier to
dispose of that which belongs to other
people than of one's own rightful property,
is it not?"

With this Parthian dart, Mrs. Lockwood
disappeared, gliding noiselessly out of the
small room, through the next chamber, and
acknowledging by a modest, quiet, little
bend of the head the respectful alacrity of
the clerk who had first admitted her, in
rising to open the door for her exit.


THE crow looks down on the White City
optically, not intellectually. He sees many
houses in a cluster, the shape of a woolpack,
nipped in the centre by the girdle of the
High-street. The old city of the Roman
weavers and huntsmen, and of the West Saxon
kings, lies healthily and pleasantly in a snug
valley between two sheltering steep chalk
hills, the river Itchen running on its border.
This is the city where Edward the Third
established the wool staple, where Richard the
First was recrowned on his return from his
Austrian prison, the city which Simon de
Montford sacked, the city where Richard the
Second held a parliamentthe city twice
besieged and taken during the Civil Wars.

The houses of Winchester are ranged round