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see he likes meand the time is so short.
I know they are all nice."

Katey shook her head. "They love and
they ride away, dear."

"Not from me, Katey. I'd rather like
to see the gentleman who'll try that trick
with a daughter of Peter Findlater, M.D.
But he may find out, from a previous
acquaintance with my character, that such a
proceeding would be hardly safe. By the
Lord Chief Justice," he added, fiercely,
"let any Jack Cornet among them just
try even a soft speech with a girl of mine,
without substantial action following, and
I'llpull his nose." Feeling that this was
a weak climax, he added the word "off!"

There was quite a flutter in the Doctor's
house that night; the delighted Polly,
before she went to bed, turning over
ancient millinery for a choice of what
would best suit the military eye; for it
was laid out and settled that she was
inevitably to leave them, and that she would
only have to choose one of the gallant
young fellows who were coming. Even
Katey was affected by the approaching
separation, and again begged of her sister
to be careful in the selectionso much
depended on it, and she might be wretched
her whole life. Polly was provoked at this
damping of her ardent plans.

"You mus'nt judge every man by
Clarke's son, who is going into the church.
In the army there is great indulgence, and
people are not so strait."

"But if you were unhappy, Polly dear,
it would break my heart."

There was a change in Polly even at
that time. She had grown excited and
rather patronising on her expected promotion.
("You must come and stop with
me very often, Katey!") And, indeed,
with that bright blooming face and
natural manner, they must have been "born
villains" who would dare to trifle with the
gentle affections of our Polly. Other less
threatening views had succeeded in the
brain of Doctor Findlater, who was now
below over his tumbler, in whose pleasant
fancies he saw figures and scenes. He
had plans of his ownvery deep and
specious ones; and, as he rose to go to bed, he
said, aloud: "Now, Peter, my boy, you'll
have to show these people, you know, how
to play the gamefor here is the pack of
cards at last."


HERE, then, was "the pack" at last,
according to Doctor Findlater's expression.
Here was come round the joyful morning
when the expected regimentDu Barry's
Own Dragoon Guardswas coming in.

The whole place had an air of holiday,
as well, indeed, it might, for the feeling
was that Tilston was now, at last, about to
wake from her long trance, cast off her
grave-clothes, and open her arms to
welcome her old love. Now was trade to revive,
that is, the smaller grocers and butchers
receive something more than a precarious
custom; and now would the stagnant
stream of society, too long congealed
almost, begin to flow, sparkling with those
crimson globules of military circulation.
There was a general air of curiosity and
lounging. Numbers of gentlemen,
including Lord Shipton, the hero of the day,
had driven to the Leader Arms, and were
at the club-room window; there was a
look in their eyes that seemed suspicious
of each other. It was noon, and the
regiment was long overdue.

Close by the entrance of the little town,
which was approached by a sort of rich
and winding avenue, lined with green
hedgerows and strips of bank and common,
and many a fine tree (how different from
Blackthorp and the level ochre-coloured
brick-field swamps which lay about it!),
at a bend, there was the Doctor's
substantial red-brick house, burly in the
extreme, old-fashioned in its six windows
in a row, its roof shaped into a triangular
pediment, with a round window adorning
the centre. Every window is furnished with
faces looking out, the house being one of
the fertile mansions, and teeming with
human life; while the brass plate on the
green gate told us the Doctor's name:


At this moment we can hear Katey's
voice, musical and ringing, Polly striking
in and out, not caring much whether she
interrupted her in the midst of a sentence.
Certainly, to-day, the house is full of
friends who have come to see the soldiers
come in; for the Doctor's house was a
coigne of vantage, and here was gathered
the parson's wife and daughters, and the
solicitor's niece, and several women who
were ardent admirers of the family and
quoted the Doctor's jests, and were like
public criers in singing eternal praise of
the charms of "those two sweet girls." Was
there a refined young dame of quality in
the neighbourhood?—what was she to