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spoiled her tête-a-tête with Grace; and she made the squire's vagaries. She hardly. knew what up her mind with Dymphna-like obstinacy that if answer to make to this strange confidence; and his sister were like him she must be very plain afraid of saying too much, she merely asked, “ Is indeed.

Honor your sister ?" which was a little bit of “ That was a queer idea of the squire's, taking hypocrisy on her part. up his residence in Kentish Town, wasn't it?'' “What's to do now?" he returned, looking at went on Humphrey, in his gruff, good natured her in surprise. “Of course Honor Nethecote voice. “ There's no notion what a man may do must be my sister-my half sister, I should say, when he is once off his balance. I daresay, if for the same mother couldn't have the pair of us." your brother were here, he could tell us plenty of “ Then she is not like you?" amusing anecdotes. No matter where he goes or Humphrey Nethecote wrinkled up his light evewhat he does, our squire is sure to be talked brows; and light eyebrows on a freckled face ale about."

no beauty. Dym, who was very shrewd, gathered three “Coom, coom, Miss Elliott, you are trying things from this speech-first, to quote common your fu-un on me;" for Mr. Nethecote's speech parlance, " that there was a screw loose some- was very broad. “I must tell the Duchess thatwhere ;' but this was no news to her. Only the like me, indeed !" and Mr. Nethecote laughed expression “off his balance set her thinking heartily. whether Mr. Chichester might be somewhat wrong “How was I to know ?”' returned Dym, a little in his head; but after a minute she rejected this pertly. “I have not seen your sister." idea with disdain ; the very thought was disloyal Do you know what a farmer once said to her? to her hero. Next she discovered that this worthy | Thee art t tightest lass, Miss Netherote,' he Humphrey was bitten with the same enthusiasm, said, not only in the West Riding, but in the and that in some sort of way he was a sturdy whole of Yorkshire; and I'd drive a hard bargain matter-of-fact prop to the erratic genius of Guy to buy thee if thy cheeks weren't but a verra litle Chichester.

bit redder.' How the squire laughed and advised “Ho, ho! so the squire has his mentor too,' Honor to rub her cheeks!" she thought gleefully; but in this respect she was Dym was very perplexed, but she began to like wrong. Humphrey Nethecote was not Guy Chi honest Humphrey in spite of herself. chester's mentor.

“Honor would have been up at the Great House On the contrary; she found out afterwards, to see you this morning," he continued, “but for though Humphrey in his canine-like fidelity would the bustle of this power show. It is early days to have laid down his life for his friend, he did not ask you, but I suppose madam, as we call her, is possess the slightest power or influence over the very kind to you ?”' squire-his next speech proved the truth of this. “Very, but I like the squire best," returned

“Eh, it was an odd idea," he continued mus. Dym, with the fearlessness, but hardly the reticence ingly. “Perhaps I am a little old-fashioned in of eighteen. Humphrey gave a low prolonged my notions—Honor says I am-but I never can whistle, and stared at her ; but Dym's piquant, see the sense of a man kicking over the traces. innocent little face evidently disarmed him, and That's the squire's fault; he gets the bit in his he broke into a candid smile. teeth, a wrong idea in his head, and he bolts off “Ah, everybody's alike, high and low, rich with it. Why, if he had stuck to my advice- and poor, man or woman. I believe there's the which he never does, bless you—he would have bell for the prizes-see how the people are crowdjust taken the home farm off niy shoulders, and ing in. Shall I elbow you a passage, Miss Elliott, worked all those new.fangled ideas of his. But or do you prefer the fresh air outside?" no; he must be off to Kentish Tiwn, and teaching “Yes, yes; don't wait for me, please-I know ragged boys in the night school, and doing good you are wanted ;” and afraid of monopolizing ness knows what besides ; and for all I can say, him, Dym ran down the tiny slope and wandered Honor only laughs at him."

about the field by herself rather aimlessly, thinking Evidently Mr. Nethecote thought that Mr. every now and then that even that stupid HumElliott's sister would be pretty conversant with phrey was better company than none; and keenly

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alive to the discomfort of being alone in a crowd, hand.” Here it was; woman's hand as it was, before many minutes were over she was ready to Dym’s lithe little fingers seemed quite lost in it. envy Phillis, who was walking with a trim looking Strange that that first moment of greeting should lad, evidently a mechanic by his dress.

bring pain to Dym: Might it not be ominous of Phillis blushed and curtsied in answer to Dym's the strange power and fascination that, in spite of nod; and then Dym came upon Grace Dunster all her efforts, Honor Nethecote was to exercise sitting in a shady nook with a shock headed girl over our little heroine ? For as time went on Dym in a flaming red frock and white pinafore, evidently could have wished she had never seen Honor Phil, but both looked so happy that she would Nethecote's face; while all the while she loved not disturb them, and wandered on disconsolately and clave to her, as women have loved and claved till she found an empty seat near a stand of exotics; since the days of Ruth the Moabitess. there were very few people about, and in watching Miss Nethecote, after her brief word of assent, them Dym got drowsy, and nearly went to sleep. seemed to think further delay unnecessary, for she

She really was dreaming, or something like it; turned aside as though to lead the way, but Mr. for she opened her eyes and said, “Will!” when Chichester stopped her. a hand was laid on her shoulder.

“If I were you, I would take the short cut "Will! no such luck. Here, I've found her across the fields ; she seems very tired. I will asleep, I do declare !" cried Guy Chichester's make it all right with my mother." cheery voice; at which Dym was wide awake in Miss Nethecote nodded. “Come, Miss Elliott." a moment. “Here, Honor, come and take this “Good-night, Honor," looking wistfully after child home with you, and give her some tea; my

them. mother will not want her-we have twenty to “Good-night, squire,'' with a nonchalant wave thirty people up at the house."

of her hand, without turning her head. “Don't "Very well !" assented a quiet voice behind forget mercy when you are dealing with justice her.

next time.Dym turned quickly round, and at last found Dym, who felt, lamb like, that she was going herself face to face with the owner of it.

to be sacrificed to a fresh injury, and was not And her first impression was that Miss Nethecote quite easy in her mind as to what Mrs. Chichester was the most singular person she had ever met, would say to this proceeding, could not help lookand her next that she was the most beautiful ing around as they walked on. Mr. Chichester woman she had ever seen in her life. And this was still standing in the tent door, shading his opinion was confirmed when she saw her in her eyes and watching them. They were crossing on own home, when the shady hat no longer concealed the unfrequented part of the field.

you the broad white forehead and wide open gray eyes. climb a fence?”' asked Miss Nethecote abruptly. The Yorkshire farmer was right. Miss Nethecote Here was a new inconsistency; fancy this tall was very pale, but the shape of the face was per- magnificent looking woman cliinbing a fence ! fect; and Dym had never before seen that peculiar But to Dym's surprise she achieved it far more shade of brown hair which looks as though the sun lightly than even Dym herself. were always shining on it.

“I hope you are not afraid of bulls,” was the The singularity, after all, lay chiefly in her next observation ; to which Dym, without any dress ; in spite of the warmth of the evening and hesitation, replied that she was very, very much the festivity of the occasion, Miss Nethecote wore afraid of them, and that, if Miss Nethecote would a dark-blue cashmere dress, fitting almost as

allow her, she would rather go back; and so on. closely as a riding habit, and a low riding hat and This brought matters to a standstill; and Miss feathers.

“Very well,” was all she said; but the Nethecote walked on for a minute, as though pleasantness of her smile made up for the brevity gravely considering the position of affairs. of her greeting, and she held out her hand to “If we go back through the village and around Dym. It was ungloved, and even in that moment by the Mill, it will make the difference of more of soft pressure a vivid remembrance of Mr. Chi-than three-quarters of a mile; and Mr. Chichester chester's words in the porch rushed to her memory: says you are very tired. So am I,” she added, he had said he “liked a large benevolent-looking seeing Dym was ready to disclaim this eagerly.

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“Mr. Trevor's cattle will certainly be out in the to go to London, Paris, or Rome, or even to field; I passed them this afternoon, but old Cerberus Kentish Town, when one wished, it might be his black bull, was not among them. Yes,” she different; but a woman is such a cooped up continued, with the decision of a general who creature,” with a sigh ending in a smile. “Why had just reviewed his forces, and had inade up his I should be obliged to stop in from week end to mind to do battie-"yes, I think we can venture; week end, and repent in dust and ashes, whenever if you are afraid, you shall take the side nearest I add a fresh trimming to my dress, or get a new the hedge. I'll promise you for your comfort, bonnet. I have left off dressing in Birst with.”

. Miss Elliott, that I will be thoroughly tossed Dym was getting new lights now.

"You mean before I let them touch you.”

that every one notices what you have on, and talks All this was very terrible to Dynı; but there about. I have heård it is always the case in was a “no-appeal" sort of tone in Miss Nethe- villages. cote's voice which made her think an argument “Oh, the talk would not hurt me.

I never would be fruitless; evidently there was more than hear gossip; it is the base imitation of the real one strong will in Birst with. A consciousness of article that tries my woman's soul. Never believe not wishing to be laughed at made her determined a woman is above this weakness, Miss Elliott; it to go through with it. She quaked visibly though is a libel on our sex. All the good women in the when they came to the meadow, and found it full | Bible were fond of dress. Oh, I am no Puritan, of moving black bodies and formidable horns; not I." though Miss Nethecote pretended not to see it. "I think it is too bad to copy fashions,” ex“Fortune favors the brave," they say; there was claimed Dym, who was enjoying this thoroughly

, no awful catastrophe or hairbreadth escape of two feminine conversation. females down in the Pately Brilge, Nidderdale, "Do you? You have a pink bonnet on to-day. and Ripon Herali that week. Tossing and goring Yes, it is very pretty-inexpensively trimmed too; may be Taurus-like qualities; but Squire Trevor's it will just come within the means of Phillis and cattle preferred quietly ruminating and whisking her sisters; uniess, not being Mrs. Fortescue's or off flies to any such amusement; and only one Miss Nethecote's, it is not fashionable enough for sound resembling a bellow made Dym's heart them.” Then as Dym laughed : "I assure you beat more quickly.

once, Miss Elliott, I wore a gray silk-I adore “There, the danger is over; as usual anticipation gray silk. The following Sunday-no, the next is worse than reality. But I know what our black but one-half the church was in gray. I was not cattle are to a Londoner's eyes. You would have in a devout mood, and I counted fifteen, in all good nerve, Miss Elliott, if you had not a trick materials, from gray rep and poplin down to of turning so pale; in six months you will think mousseline de laine and gray duffle. Absurd, was nothing of going through these fields alone." it not?" as Dym laughed. “ Now you may form

“Never !" was the vehement rejoinder. “Why, some sort of conjecture why I dislike living in a how far you live from the village Miss Nethe village. One may wear out Birst with patience by cote !"

adhering closely to one costume; but in other “By choice, and not from nece.wity," was the ways how is Birst with's curiosity to be baffled?" somewhat singular reply; and as Dym looked Miss Nethecote had a slow, musing way of surprised." Before Mr. T.evor came to Birstwith talking occasionally, but she looked up now and

“ my brother wished very much to take his house; spoke more quickly. but I told him it was far too near the Great House “Ah, there's our house-Nidderdale House, or and the Vicarage, and he gave it up, though it Cottage we will call it-you can see the low gray was larger and more convenient for him, poor roof shining through the trees.” fellow; but I could not tolerate living in the “And that other one ?” asked Dym, pointing village.

to a building a little farther down the road. " Mr. Chichester seems to like it."

“Oh, that is Woodside, where Mr. Grey, the "Oh, the squire ! He is no criterion. In spite doctor, lives.

doctor, lives. It is a little out of the way for his of his liking, he takes care to relieve it often

practice, but there was no house vacant in the enough of his presence. If one were a man, able village. His wise is a sad invalid. I have been

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sitting with her nearly all the afternoon, gossiping and perhaps she is right. Well, we all have our and playing with her babies.”

faults; it is peccavi with most of us. Now, is this “Do you like her? Is she nice?" For Dym not a pretty corner ?" had a laudable desire to learn all she could of her They had crossed the last field, and had come future neighbors.

out on a little patch of white road shaded with “Yes, I like her very much; she is the nicest trees, and with a trout stream flowing beside it. woman in Birstwith," was the frank rejoinder. Beyond lay a picturesque piece of broken grass

What, nicer than Mrs. Chichester?" But | land, resembling a miniature common. Dym was sorry for her thoughtless remark after- ". The air is fresher and more bracing up here wards. A slight, almost imperceptible, change than if we lived lower down in the valley. Well, came over Miss Nethecote's fine face; but when welcome to Nidderdale Cottage, Miss Elliott, Dym looked again it was gone. Possibly Miss and unlocking a door in the wall, Dym found Nethecote thought honesty was the best policy, for herself in a pleasant garden-half garden, half her answer was very straightforward.

orchard--with a trim little lawn and straggling "Well perhaps I am not a fair judge; I like walks, bordered with apple trees, and a long gray Mrs. Chichester extremely, but then we never cottage, with a bow window, the porch quite can get on together. When two women have two smothered with honeysuckle and roses. such wills, it would be wonderful if they were not

" What a dear place !" cried Dym. There was to clash sometimes. Don't you like a thoroughly a bubble and trickle of water everywhere; on the helpless woman?''

lawn was a bed of creamy tea roses, in every corner "No," returned Dym promptly, finding it was and even through the trees, gleamed tall turk's necessary to assert her own individuality, “not at cap lillies; a sweetbrier hedge steeped the evening all."

air with fragrance; some doves cooed from the “That is because you are helpless yourself. roof. “How sweet and still it all is! What," as Dym seemed bent on defending herself, it is not so grand, but it is prettier far than Ingle

you like to lean all your weight on some- side." body? Is not it “ Will, Will!" from morning to “Oh, don't speak against Ingleside ! I love it," night? You see, a little bird tells me all manner returned Miss Nethecote, rather contradictively. of things, Miss Elliott. One of these days it will “Yes, it is pretty enough, and Humphrey takes not be “Will,” but somebody else.'

great pains with it.

But if women have cages, I "I am sure I shall not like Mrs. Grey,” re

should like mine to be a gilded one. turned Dym viciously. What was the use of are not high or large enough for my taste; but all asserting herself? Already she was worsted in the same,” continued this singular being, “I her argument. Of course she was helpless, and suppose I shall live and die here.” she knew it; but Miss Nethecote need not have Dym made no

To her Nidderdale found it out so soon ; she was as bad as, or even Cottage appeared a perfect Paradise. The rooms worse than the squire himself.

were not large, certainly, and were evidently few "You are deciding on poor evidence. If we in number, but they were furnished with exquisite were not both so tired, I would take you on to taste, and in perfect accordance with the cottageWoodside, and make you retract your words before like exterior. The principal sitting room-Miss tea. As it is, I will content myself with observing Nethecote corrected her when she said drawing that Esther Grey is the sweetest woman and the room—was fitted up with gray damask, and had worst wife I ever saw; if she were not such a good rose hangings; and Honor's room was full of mother, I might declare her unredeemable." beautiful things-Parian statuettes, Swiss carvings,

“My mind refuses to admit such an incon- a kneeling figure in Genoese marble, and Roman sistency, Miss Nethecote.”

mosaics were prettily grouped on table and bracket. " You are afraid you spoke prematurely. Pray “ After all," as Dym thought, “there was no don't go to Mrs. Fortescue for her opinion of my lack of gilding in Miss Nethecote's cage." favorite ; she says Esther is a wretched manager, Chichester had said that whatever Humphrey and that Mr. Grey has a sad time of it with Nethecote touched turned to gold. It certainly an ailing wife, six children, and small means; seered as though it were his hobby to lavish

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pretty things on his sister. In spite of the low Her answers always went straight to the point. ceiling and latticed windows, she thought that Honor was always ready with her yea, yea, and there was not a room in Ingleside more to her her nay, nay, when other people would have hesitaste than Honor's bower.

tated or equivocated. She was perfectly honest It made her think more highly of Mr. Nethecote people said too much so; for example, Dym and she was rather disappointed when Honor in was admiring a richly-chased chocolate-pot, and her matter-of-fact way, remarked that they had asked if it were an heirloom. newly furnished the house last year, when some “ No," returned Miss Nethecote quietly; "it money had come to her, but that the statuettes and

was a present from the same kind friend to Hum. Swiss carvings had been given her by a friend. phrey on his birthday. We do not boast heir

“How nice to have such a friend !" ejaculated looms in our family. I remember the time when Dym, in the innocence of her heart.

Humphrey was quite a poor man—that is, com“Very,” returned Miss Nethecote, dryly; “es- paratively poor, you know. Ah, he has had his pecially as I hate gifts, and the friend knows that work to do in this world! No wonder he is a I do. Miss Elliott, if you are ready, shall we go little rough, poor fellow. In those days I did down stairs ? Humphrey will be on the field till not talk of gray-silk gowns, Miss Elliott." nine o'clock, but he will be home in time to walk “I think I heard Mr. Chichester say something back to Ingleside with you.”

of this,” replied Dym. What a pleasant evening that was! Dym put “ Did he tell you that we had lodgings at the down her first visit to Nidderdale Cottage as one Mill, and that no one in Birstwith would have of her red letter days. She had never before thought of visiting us ? That was when Humenjoyed the society of an intellectual, thoroughly phrey was the old squire's under-bailiff, and I was womanly woman; for, with all her eccentricities, little more than a child. Poor old Humphrey, Miss Nethecote was certainly that.

his pride had something to bear then. And just They grew very confidential over the cosy little look at him now—there is not a man more respecmeal, which was laid out in the bow-window of a ted in the West Riding; and it is all his own tiny room looking over the trout stream and the doing too." meadow; the grass ran up to the very window; “After all there must be something in Humone stepped over the ledge on to the green soft phrey Nethecote," thought Dym remorsefully. carpet. There was a group of aider-trees at one “But now I want to know more about you

and end, and two beautiful Alderneys, as unlike as your brother,” continued Miss Nethecote winpossible to Squire Trevor's cattle, were quietly ningly. She took the girl's hand and drew her chewing the cud under their shade; a row of bee- gently to the corner of the old-fashioned couch, hives stood near the house ; a flock of white geese and then sat down beside her. "Never mind were stretching their long necks and flapping about Humphrey and me—it is a stupid subject, their wings noisily.

and one that will keep. I have heard so much " Hlow beautiful!" observed Dym, with some- about Mr. Elliott and St. Luke's, and I am longthing like a sigh.

ing to hear more." “Yes, if only cows and grass could fill one's Dymn needed no other encouragement. In a life," repeated Miss Nethecote, with a dreamy few more minutes she was pouring out her little smile. She had dropped the slight brusquerie life history of failures and trials. Miss Nethecote that Dym had noticed--for people said Miss listened with admirable patience to the long story Nethecote could be brusque sometimes, and they of Will's illness, which Dym seeined never weary were right; she sat opposite Dym, with grand of repeating, and did not once own she had heard white forehead and bright candid eyes, looking so it all before. Now and then she spoke a few fair and good that Dym caught herself wondering words of encouragement and sympathy, as though what Will would think of her, and if she would | to draw her out. be right in electing Miss Nethecote as her heroine.

But, as Dym remembered afterwards,

Miss Dym's straightforward little soul was charmed Nethecote talked very little. with the largeness and simplicity of Honor's She sat, in the flower-scented twilight, beside nature. With all her reticence, she could be as the open window, looking dreamily out on the frank and outspoken as Dym herself.

bed of roses all the time Dym was faltering out

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