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that on his hip was swung a sword, which philosophers in mutinous inwhich would have made short work gratitude deny-came to my aid,
, of me, had he been so desirous. and calmed me with the sense of
Instead of entering the passage duty which his name inspires. of grey flint wbich led to the house- And now the two dogs, breathing holds of the colony, the man I was calmly again, and with their tails following turned to the right, where high-masted, came to apologise for the wall curved in towards the that trimming which even they had upper door. Kuban and Orla, who learned towards their dearest friend. dwelled for the best of their time Here was something genial; and I in this part of the premises, came forgave them, because I might have forth and looked at him without a done the
if touched with single sniff; and then lowered their equal insight. tails, and crawled away.
" What “I will get to the bottom of a villain he must be !” thought I; this,” thought I, “ though the “they know him, but would rather scoundrel has put the wall between not even speak to him.”
us." For I knew not at all how But the impression he had made to open that door, even if it seemed upon them was far beyond this. desirable. With a quick step, thereTo my surprise, they condemned fore, I retraced my course, while the entire human race for the mo- Kuban and Orla came after me, ment, reasoning (as we must have sniffing my track with happy puffs, taught them to do) from the par- to be sure of something wholesome. ticular to the universal. For when
For when Keeping clear of the dwellings, I I passed and held out my hand, went back along the wall, to innot a word would they have to say vestigate the corner, from which to me, which perhaps was the better that demon of mystery had emerged. for my safety. Then as I followed What superstition can there be with my temper rising, and resolved in a Winchester and New College to bring the man to book as he man, who has eaten for the Bar, unbarred the door, what did he do and knows something of Stockbut with one great vault gain that brokers, and as much as is good coign of reconnaissance where the of Solicitors ? But it is better to watch-dog loved to sit, and plunge avoid such subjects now. from it into the world beyond, with Both dogs lay down at a certain some strange headgear shown be- spot, where a narrow track just tween the battlements, and then a visible across the grass began ; clank of hard metal, and a heavy perhaps they were forbidden to flap of ivy.
come further down that way. But I have often been surprised, as I went on, treading gingerly, until every man must be, who lives to I was stopped by a pair of wirefull growth upon this wondrous doors. It was rather dark still, earth; but this time my astonish- but not so murky as it had been, ment went quite beyond its powers. for the moon began to lift herself Every one had always taken me a little through the mist. As her for a great jumper, but, to save my faint light came glimmering over
, life, I could never have done that. the black wall, I began to see what I stood, and looked up into the the little structure was, and how it darkness of the sky, as if for some was sheltered and protected overwitness to confirm my doubtful head. Dariel had told me that she eyes; and then a deep conviction was very fond of birds, and had of the existence of the Devil some beauties of her own; and no doubt this was where she kept baffled me in quest of a sweet them. Now if that hateful fellow glance from her eyes. Every now with the strange headgear came out and then, I caught a glimpse of a of this enclosure, as appeared too very delicate and straight nose (the manifest, it was equally plain that beauty of which has never been surhe must have been inside it; and passed), and once or twice there what could he be doing in this came into view the perfection of a aviary so late, unless the fair owner chin, a soft harmony conducting herself were there?
from the roses of the lips to the My wrath and indignation knew lilies of the neck. All this was no bounds. If I were being treated very lovely, and my heart was wild in this perfidious way, what steps about it; though my mind was could be too strong or too insidious, fierce the other way, that none was if they led to the confusion of the ever to be mine. For whom had traitors? Though the dogs were she arrayed herself in that homicidal as silent as if they were carved in beauty? stone, I went back to them and
while I was grinding my threatened them with quick and teeth and wrinkling my forehead painful death, if they dared to en- into wirework, she softly turned quire into my proceedings. Then her gentle face, and my rage was by a little reconnoitreing I found gone as darkness flies when the a corner of the netting which formed quiet moon arises. There were the outer fence, from which I could great tears rolling, and wet eyes see into the inner room, which had beaming, and the pity of a world been impossible from the gate. I of sadness speaking in the elocould have opened that gate perhaps, quence of a silent mouth. Also but not without noise enough to with love's vaticination I seemed attract attention ; and now I could to discover terror there, and the see as well as if I were inside, for call for some strong form to shield the wire-mesh made no difference. her from troubles and dangers menAt the end of the room which acing.
" There has been no flirtawas nearest to me, and only a few tion here,” thought I.
" What a yards from the corner I had found, jealous fool I am! In this there sat Dariel herself, with a purple must be some dark distress. How cloak on, or
a mantle, or jacket could I think so of my Dariel ! -I never know the proper words, And when I beheld the next thing and it makes no difference, except she did, my self - reproach grew to women. Of the colour, I could deeper. not be sure by that light; except For she opened the curve of her that it was deep, and rich, and left palm, slowly and softly in grand, and her white neck shone fear of rash release, keeping the forth it, like a hyacinth from dark fingers of the other hand in readitulips. There were two candles ness for repression ; and there I burning on a rustic round table, saw, with his green fluff panting and she, with her forehead gleam- in a velvet cradle, a small bird of ing softly, kept her left hand partly bright plumage, with enquiring closed, while the other hand went eyes regarding her. He seemed to round and round as if it were know her for his best friend, and winding something slowly upon though taken aback by misfortune, some little object which I could to trust this member of the human not see; for around it fell the race to do all that mankind could shadowy tresses which had so often do for him.
Made of hard stuff as I am, I do ity. That fellow had done it, that not feel ashamed to say, that the miscreant whom even the dogs of pity which is in all of us, drew his native land abhorred—Prince straws from the candle and made Hafer had broken the pretty lovebars along the mist, when I saw bird's leg! A rapid conclusion of what the girl I loved had done. mine, but the right one ; as became That poor little bird had a broken manifest, before many days had leg, newly broken by violence, and passed. Dariel had been gently binding the Blessedness and bitterness at once splintered shank together, with cot- possessed me.
Would she ever acton wool and a reel of silk, as I cept such a wicked beast as that ? could see on the table, and a strip And when should I have the deof cane from a chair hard by; and light of breaking—not his leg, that now she was shaking one finger at would not be half enough, but the him, to let him know that fluttering haughty head that he was carrying is no remedy for aftliction.
so high? I felt the black fury of But why did she cry so? She the Caucasus itself rising in a breast ought to be smiling and looking of the quiet Surrey stock. Cruelty glad, when the little chap's mate to anything that lives is loathsome; flew down so kindly, and perched but cruelty to a little trusting pet, on the reel of silk to comfort him, lent us by the Father to teach us and then fluttered round and round loving-kindness, and that pet the him with her wings drooped down, darling of a sweet and gentle and a tenderness of cooing which maiden! One more look at heralmost set him on his legs again; she has put him to his roost in a for they were a pair of what are soft warm corner where he can make called “lovebirds,” of whom, if one no pretence to hop, but the partner hops the final twig, the other pines of his pain can feed him. into the darkness and dies. So at But I must be off, for I dare not least the story of the bird-men goes, intrude upon her quiet sorrow, and although that excess of fidelity perhaps I had no right to watch may be beyond the faith of other her as I did ; but I meant no harm, men.
and the pretty sight has been a Tell me not that love is blind. lesson of goodwill to me. Now for It has the swiftest of all sight. It her noble father's room! I ought flies to its conclusion straighter to have been there long ago. What than the truest lovebird. I saw
will he say to me? But whatever why Dariel could not smile at the it may be, what I say of his beautisuccess of her own skill: the tears ful child is this—“She is more on her cheeks were not of pity than any angel ; she is a tenderonly, but of anger at human brutal hearted woman.
CHAPTER XIX.-TO CLEAR THE WAY.
The manners and customs of that stance, who could blame them for little colony, or settlement, or camp, their rational practice of leaving or whatever it should be called — hard work to Occidental races ? for I never found out the right They did a stroke or two when name for it — differed from ours they could not help it, just to keep very widely, some better no doubt, their bodies sound; but the chief and some worse perhaps. For in- and commander, as we too expect, had to carry through with his own keenly for any sign of anxiety or hands the hardest part of every- excitement, such as he might be thing.
But another custom of expected to show if he had been theirs appeared to be of more just visited by that abominable doubtful wisdom; for instead of Prince Hafer. What right had I having set hours for meals and to identify the man I had seen with accomplishing them sociably, as the one of whom I had only heard ? well as with some regularity and And even if that conclusion should sense of responsibility, every man prove right, by what process could was allowed to eat what he liked, I tell that there was nothing good when he liked, and where he liked. about him? Yet in my mind there The natural result was this—you was no shadow of a doubt about could never be certain of finding either of those points, and I looked a man with his mouth in condi- at Sûr Imar as if he must acquit tion to answer you.
How they himself of some contagion before I got food enough to be at it so could enjoy his society. But he perpetually, was for a long time a met me quite as usual, without even mystery to me, especially as they complaining of my unpunctuality ; dealt so little with any of the farms for he was a man of such dignity or shops around. Not a man of that he suspected nobody of slightthem was ever seen in our village, ing him. and as for the very few women in
Whatever he might be doing, or the camp - Baboushka, and Mrs of whatever he might be speaking, Stepan, and some who did the there was such simplicity, and washing—not one of them came out largeness, and straightforwardness of her white cocoon, though brought pervading it, that one seemed to up very largely as Christians. fall into it and follow, instead of
This statement is in its place, doubting, and querying, and perto show why the man, whom I pending. And his gentle and revered, was still in a position to friendly and kind steady gaze, command my reverence. If he brought all that was good in one to had been subject to feminine ir- meet him, and drove away the dirty ruptions, to which even the greatest streaks of our nature, to hide themmen are liable, all his devotion to selves under their own mud. the highest enterprise might have
"I have been considering, my failed to secure his equanimity. dear young friend," he said, as he But he had contracted upon reason- took and held my hand, and I felt able terms with a vast Universal ashamed to leave it in so warm Provider, and he only had to pay a place, after all my cold suspicions, the weekly totals in advance, and "about my behaviour to you the
“ send to the place of delivery, once other day. Nothing unkind was or twice a week, according to the intended, but unkindness is often temperature. Thus everybody found done without that. You told me himself fed to the utmost of his that you loved my dear, and now nature, and most of them preferred my only child. I should have recanned victuals; though something ceived that with more goodwill, more British had been required for whether it suited my own views our Police.
For my manner then, I That evening, when I entered beg your pardon.” Sûr Imar's room, after leaving his I answered that nothing in his daughter among her birds, the first manner then, or at any time since thing I did was to watch him very I had known him, could be taken
by any gentleman as uncourteous you go your way. The world is or inconsiderate. I had told him large enough for both of you. If what was the main object of my you hear of his misery, and woe, life, and I felt that I was right in and death, you only say, 'Poor feldoing so; and although I could low, there may have been more scarcely hope for his approval, good in him than I thought. But being a poor man and of no high with us of the Eastern and the Southrank, I had done what seemed to ern blood, that blood is turned to me to be the proper thing, instead poison by a deep and bitter wrong. of coming as his guest upon false By the grace of God, and the grandpretences. I spoke plainly, and eur of our Christ, I have struggled he answered nobly.
long against this birth of Satan in “Of rank I have not so much me; but even now I have not regard, as of the man who bears it. overcome it, utterly and for ever, Neither do I think that wealth as a larger mind would crush it. confers any high condition on its But what has this to do with you ? owner. In
cases it A great deal, if you have really lowers him. You will believe me set your heart upon my daughter. when I say that neither of those Are you sure that you have done questions causes my regret at what that with true English strength you told me. I live for only two and thoroughness ?
and thoroughness? No passing things now—the happiness of my whim, no delight of the eyes, as a darling child, and the improvement flower or a picture catches them; of the noble race to which I hap- but a power that will last as long pen to belong. I have also bitter
as you do, and longer than the wrongs, and the happiness of my earthly part of you ?"
1 ? life snatched from me. The love No fellow likes to be cross-exof revenge is in my blood, and a amined thus; and to tell the plain very hard force it is to overcome. truth, I had scarcely gone You of English race cannot enter self in this awful manner. But I into that, because it is not born in soon perceived that he was speaking you. But I know what the anguish rather at the prompting of his own is, when the sense of justice rises." remembrance, than of set form and
His quiet eyes flashed as if his purpose for probing me. heart was roused by the words it the picture arose before me of had given way to.
And glad was
Dariel and her little bird, I spared I, not to be the man presented by no word that I could think of; it in the portraiture of memory. though none
half strong “Why do I admire the British enough, none half staunch enough ; race ?” he continued, with his nothing that came to my lips had better tone recovered; “not for any right to go out as if it spoke their energy and manliness alone, for me. Truly I had not been so not even for their love of freedom, touched by the piety, mystery, and great spirit of truth and justice, exalted beauty, and lovely maidenbut most of all because they alone hood of my love, as I was by the of all the nations I have mingled sight of her tender self indulging with are born without this cursed her loving nature. taint of savage and vile vindictive- “I am satisfied about that, my ness. If a man wrongs you, you have friend,” her father said, when I it out with him. You thrash him, began to be ashamed, as we ought if nature has enabled you. You to be, of all our higher feelings ; vent your wrath upon him, and “and I know enough of you to be