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hot-tempered mare, who would have fairly run
away with a less expert driver.

"And now, you know my namewhat's
yours?" he asked.


"Oh; Miss 'ind? Well, you see, I
wasn't so far wrong in calling you a dear
Ha! ha! excuse meno offence. It's only
my wayyou'll get accustomed to me in
time I 'ope. . . It's curious, now, my going
into Salisbury this morning, I who don't
go, not once in six months. But fish and
things was wanted in a 'urry, for company
come unexpectedsome of Mr. Lowndes's
friendsand no time to get 'em from London,
so Mrs. Cartaret and me arranged last
night that I was to go in by the first train
which I'm not fond of getting up quite
so early, to tell you the truthha! ha!"

"Who is Mr. Lowndes?" asked Maud,
for the sake of saying something.

"Mrs. Cartaret's only sonMr. Lowndes
Cartareta fine, wild young gentleman
runs down 'ere promiscuous, bringing
company with 'im, without ever writing
a word before 'andjust like 'im! . . but
she don't mind, bless you! She wouldn't
mind if 'e was to bring the 'ole 'orse guards
down with himthough she's a queer
woman, and 'as her tantrums, betimes . . .
'Im and 'er 'as fine blows-up now and then,
but she just worships 'im, and lets 'im do
mostly what 'e likesand 'e knows all 'er
little fads, and 'ow to manage 'er. She's
'alf French, you see, and foreigners 'ave
queer ways. I'll put you up to a wrinkle,
Miss 'ind. Don't you give way to 'er in
everything, or you won't be able to call
your life your own. You try and get round
Mrs. Rouse. That's the woman. She's
awful jealous of the new maids at fust.
Don't you let butter melt in your mouth
when you're talking to 'er. But you stick
up to Mrs. Cartaret. She likes to believe
that she orders everythingbutLor' bless
you, she'd never get on without a little
wholesome contradiction. 'Dapper,' says
she to me last night, 'we'll have that white
Dresden service at dinner,' says she. I bow,
and say nothing, and put on the old Indian.
'Dapper, 'ow's this?' says she, 'I told
you the white Dresden.' So then I says,
says I, 'Begging your pardon, ma'am, I
found the white looked too cold for the
season. Does very well in the summer,
ma'am; but with your good taste you
wouldn't 'ave liked it nowyou wouldn't,
indeed.' That's 'ow I manage 'er, Miss
'ind. 'Ave an opinion of your own. Now
to Mrs. Rouse, on the contrary, you must
knock under in everything. That's why
she sends all the maids packingthey don't
knock under enough, Miss 'ind. There's
bin ever so many of 'em in my time, and
none of 'em stay six months."

This was not very reassuring; but the
man's impudence made Maud attach but
little weight to his words; and if it was
true that "having opinions of one's own"
was so essential in any relations with Mrs.
Cartaret, certainly Maud felt herself to be
eminently fitted, in this respect, for the
position. The prospect, however, of having
to live in close association with the
propounder of these theories, whose vulgar
familiarity made the girl's blood tingle,
was so distasteful to her that it seriously
crossed her mind whether she should ask
to be put down in the park, and make her
way back to the station, with her bag. But
she felt it would be weak to be thus turned
aside from her purpose at the very outset.
After all, anything could be borne for a
day; and her ordeal might last no longer:
Mrs. Cartaret would probably find her
wanting, or if she did not, assuredly Mrs.
Rouse would, and dismiss her even more
summarily than her predecessors.

The park was quite flat, with little trees,
like children's toys, stuck about it; and
just as Mr. Dapper ceased speaking, a
turn in the carriage-drive brought them
within sight of a party of sportsmen, with
gamekeepers, dogs, and beaters, approaching
from the house.

"That's Mr. Lowndes," said Dapper,
"and Lord Kenchester, and Mr. Robert
Marbury." Maud could just see that there were
three young men; one tall, in a Norfolk
blouse, with leather gaiters, and one very
short and fair, as the dog-cart whisked
round the corner to the right towards the
stables, the mare, in her impetuosity,
nearly capsizing them; and the shrubbery
hid the sportsmen from her sight. She was
thankful for it. It would have been
intolerable to her to run the gauntlet of these
young men's observations on her first
arrival, seated on a dog-cart beside the
seductive Mr. Dapper!

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