Imatges de pàgina



were brought to the door, and, before fields home, and then over it all again. I could offer any assistance, Lillie had You shall try the ground this afternoon swung herself from the stump of the if you will.' felled tree into her saddle. I remem- “She said all this rapidly, as if the bered Satterlee's words about her per- business of the day had begun, and fect horsemanship, and glanced at her cantered down the sloping field. Aras I mounted. Even in that moment, rived near the starting-point, I heard as she sat perfectly still on the awk- her give what seemed almost a yell, ward colt's back, I saw how truly he and lethargic Nathan, well awake, had spoken. She was merely sitting burst into the same tremendous pace, there, without any of the fascination going faster and faster every mowhich motion gives, and yet I had ment, until he attained a speed which never seen such a rider among women. seemed positively terrific, a You will think I exaggerate, but, as I being in the saddle, and then Lillie am a man of honor, I assure you that ceased urging him, and rode unflagan exact copy in marble of Lillie Bur- gingly, as she only could, over all obton, as she waited for my mounting on stacles, until she reached my side. that autumn morning, would be a more “How can there be any doubt of beautiful equestrian statue than the your winning ?” I asked. world has ever seen.

Such ease and "" I sometimes think there is none strength and grace – Ah well ! I shall when Nathan has been going so well; not let you smile at my enthusiasm by but'— and a cloud came over her face any attempt at describing her.


“there is one colt I am really afraid of, started, unattended, our faces towards - a little black mare of Harry Dunn's. the sea.

O, how that creature fies over the “ • Do you want to look at the race- ground !' course?' Lillie said.

"I am not afraid,' I answered. “You 6 Yes.'

shall win, Miss Burton, if I die for it.' " " Then follow me,' — and with the “She laughed at my eager way of sayword she called cheerily to her horse, ing this, and we rode towards home, and swung her whip with such effect she talking all the way of Darrow and that what was a canter became a gallop, of the neighbors, of farming and of sailand then a run, so long, so fierce, so ing, for she was as much at home in reckless, that I held my breath as I a boat as on horseback. Ah, what a looked at her. We went right across contrast to the dark-eyed, proud Miss country, over fences and ditches by the Ferrers ! I wondered how I could dozen, and never drew rein until we have been in love with any other than reached the shore.

Lillie Burton, whose ways were “Then she turned in her saddle as unaffected, whose whole nature was so I came up, and nodded triumphantly, healthy. What cared I for the lanher face a thousand times brighter and guid accomplishments of city belles ? more bewitching than I had seen it Here was a real woman, kind and yet.

strong, and unhurt by the world's ways. ** Well, what do you think of Nathan Even in the excitement of the hardest now?' she asked.

gallop I saw no trace of vulgarity, no “ He is wonderful,' I answered. sign of unwomanly jockeyship, only a

" But that is by no means his best. true, unconcealed interest in her horse You wait here, and I will put him and his performances, an interest round the course once as well as I can. worthy of her English heart. We rode We are to go down the beach to that home in high spirits, feeling sure that white post, then up through the big the race would be ours, even Nathan field, over a bad hedge, which we must entering into the gayety of the moment, leap at a particular spot, then across and actually shying at a boy who lay the lane and through these four last asleep by the roadside. Lillie yielded




so lithely to the sudden jump, that I story must be told to ‘Darrow Lillie,' could not help saying, “How did you as they called her. She listened with learn to ride so well?' and she an- ready sympathy, and always gave some swered, laughing: ‘0, it is born in us; quick, personal aid. I never saw a and then I rode recklessly for years more charming picture than that which before I got a good seat. I mean that greeted me one morning as I came in I folded my arms, and galloped any- at the barn door ; -- Lillie seated at her where with tied reins, and half the little table, close by the colt's stall, two time no stirrup. That is the best thing dogs at her feet, and a soft black kitten to do. Your old roan there has carried in her hands, held lovingly against her me at his own will for many a mile. cheek; beside her stood a peasant He was as fast as Nathan at his age, woman in a red cloak, wringing her and twice as spirited.'

hands, and telling how her husband “So we chatted as we rode home had deserted her; a big-eyed calf through the low lanes. The midday looked in at the door behind, doubtful sun shone down on us as we came to if he might come in as usual; and, over Darrow House; and as I left Lillie at all, the October sunlight, mellow with the door, to go up and dress for the barn-dust. I remember Lillie asked farm dinner, I felt a new man, warmed the woman where her husband was, and, with the bright day, and with the new learning he was at Plashy, Sir Francis hope which rose so sweetly in my tired Gilmor's seat, said she would see him heart.

that very day. And I am sure she did, "I will not weary you with the details for after dinner she went off alone on of my days at the Burtons'. The old the roan hunter, and the next day I saw father ruled over his household like a the same woman, with far happier mien, king, and all yielded him loving obedi- trudging along the lane by the side of ence. Jack and his two stalwart broth- her sheep-faced husband. ers came and went, busy with all sorts “So the days passed by, and Wednesof farming operations, and Lillie and I day evening was come. We sat before devoted ourselves to Nathan's further the fire, and counted the chances for education. On Sunday the farmers and against my winning the race, for it and peasants came to church at the was a settled thing now that I should chapel in the house, and Philip Burton be Nathan's rider. I was as interestdid for them all a true priest should. ed as any Burton of them all, and more On every other day in the week, too, he so perhaps, for I felt that on my sucheld school for the children, instructing cess the next day depended my sucthem just so far and no farther. Let cess in what my whole heart was now them know how to read and write and determined on, — the winning of Lillie do simple sums,' he said, “but don't let Burton's hand. I was quick at my con's stuff their heads with learning beyond clusions at twenty-four, you see. Sattheir station. It only makes them dis- terlee was still incredulous, and really contented, and would upset society in annoyed me by his way of speaking, the end.' And so he let them come - offering to pick the yellow hairs out until he thought they knew enough, of Nathan's coat so as to make it shine were the time longer or shorter, and a little, and otherwise employing his after that the door was shut.

wit at our expense. Lillie laughed good“In the mornings, Lillie and I, and naturedly, and said they only made her often Satterlee, sat in the barn for love the horse the more by their unhours, she sewing and talking with us, kind remarks. stopping sometimes to give directions “. Do you really love him, Jack to a workman, or to listen to some poor asked. neighbor's tale of woe. For she seemed Certainly I do,' she answered. to attract every one, and, as surely as a 'I have a deep affection for him.' child was sick or a cow lost, the whole “And I hope you will bestow some VOL. XX. - NO. 118.


kind regard on his rider also,' I whis- showing so thorough an enjoyment of pered, bending over her chair.

the day. She looked up in her own quick way, “As we came up, the little crowd and, as our eyes met, I thought hers separated, that we might ride to the top were bright with love, as well as mine. of the knoll, for Burton of Darrow was As you would say, now-a-days, our held in high respect, and way was made souls met; and from that moment a for him everywhere. We were now the strange, triumphant happiness filled centre of attention, and I was beginmy heart. The short Darrow evening ning to feel my city assurance giving wore to its close, and I neither spoke way under the glance of honest interto Lillie again nor looked at her, but est directed towards me and my colt, sat silent, rejoicing, until at even-song when a murmur arose, “Here come I poured out my thankfulness to God, the gentry,' and, looking up the lane, I and praised him for this great gift, saw an open carriage full of ladies, and Lillie Burton, my peerless, truthful Lil- half a dozen gentlemen on horseback, lie, mine until death should part us, approaching us. . It is the party from mine in all joy and sorrow, always my Plashy,' Lillie said, and there is the own! With what certainty of peace I Earl in the North Lane,' pointing out went to my rest that night, — with what two or three more carriages. All was instinct of some great joy I woke in the bustle now, for the horses which were morning, – the bright autumn morn- to run must be ridden to a certain part ing which held my fate !

of the field, and ranged side by side for “ The races were to begin at noon, the Earl's inspection. I found myself and by eleven o'clock we all set forth between a little fellow on a bay horse, from Darrow House, well mounted and and a handsome, curly-headed young gallantly arrayed. There was no un- farmer who sat a beautiful black mare necessary coddling of the horses. I like another Prince Hal. rode Nathan, and George rode the “He bowed politely, and said, “You horse he had entered for the third race ; ride the Darrow colt, then, sir.' and the only unusual thing was, that “ • Yes,' I answered, and you are we eschewed fences, and slowly wend- Harry Dunn, are you not?' ed our way through the lanes, to the lit- At your service, sir. It will be a tle knoll by the beach, where the rude hard race between us two.' judge's stand was erected.

“Just then the Earl came up to look “Already a crowd of farmers had as- at the horses, as his custom was. We sembled, some coming in carts with had met in London, and he recognized their wives and daughters, some rid- me with some surprise in my novel ing rough plough-horses, and some on situation as jockey; but a few words foot. Not a few children had come explained the case, and he turned too, — red-cheeked boys and girls, to young Dunn, saying, with a smile, mounted on the wiry ponies of the "She 's very handsome, my man ; country, riding about and making the but it 's an awful temper, if I know a air resound with their merry laugh- horse's eye,' -- and indeed the words ter. Every one seemed to know every were hardly out of his Lordship's mouth one else, to judge by the hearty greet- when the Witch, as she was cailed, ings exchanged on all sides, and every kicked out savagely at a passing boy, one was in the best possible humor. and then reared so high and so long After all these years, the impression I that I feared she would fall back on her received at this rustic gathering is rider ; but Harry Dunn was no novice, undimmed. There were only these and in a few minutes she was standing people. There was no set race-course, quietly enough, with dilated nostril and no eager betting, but never before or glowing eyes. since have I seen a race assemblage

“He'll ride her in before you, if so full of bonest, interested faces, or he kills her,' the Earl whispered, turn



as I

ing to me. Darrow Lillie is looking flew with the speed of Browning's couon.'

riers over the flashing sand. I obeyed 6. He loves her, then?' I asked, as Lillie's last orders, and spared neither calmly as I could.

whip nor spur ; but the black mare, al* • I should rather think he did,' the most uncontrolled, gained inch by inch, old gentleman answered, shrugging his and leaped the last ditch fully three shoulders, and walking off to some oth- lengths ahead. We were to go round er horses.

once again, and I lifted my whip for a “ I looked round to see where Lillie desperate blow, just as we reached the was, and felt reassured when I saw she bottom of the knoll, knowing that unless had not even turned in her saddle while I got the colt into his best pace then all her lover's life was in danger, but was was lost; but he, stupid brute, thought still talking with Sir Francis Gilmor. I the run was over, and swerved with a heard him say, 'I doubt whether I shall heavy plunge almost to his mistress's make an offer for that gray colt of side. Before I could recover my conyours’; and she answered, laughing, trol, I heard Lillie cry, her voice tremYou shall have the first chance after bling with vexation, “O, what riding !' the race, Sir Francis. It will break my and I saw tears in her eyes, as she heart if he does not win.'

pulled the frightened roan up on his “The pony race was soon called, and haunches to make way for me. I dismounted to stand by Lillie's side “It was enough. Even Nathan felt and watch it. As I stood, my hand there was to be no more trifling, and as upon the roan's shoulder, ready to seize I tore his side with my heel he broke the reins if he became excited, for Lil- at last into his great, fearful stride, lie bad Aung them, as usual, upon his and before we reached the lane Harry neck, and sat carelessly in the saddle, Dunn's black mare was straining every her hands crossed on her knee,

nerve lengths and lengths behind, and stood there, I say, I heard suddenly, in three minutes more I stood humbly above the loud talk of the farmers, a by Lillie's side, winner of the Earl's voice the sound of which made my

I scarcely heard the shouts of heart leap up into my throat,

the crowd, or even the questions adman's voice, cold and clear, - the words dressed to myself. Once again I was merely, “Yes, a perfect day,' but they secure. No danger now from Harry were full of horrible meaning to me. I Dunn on the one side, or Selina Ferfelt that my week's dream of happiness rers on the other. The certain peace was at an end, and that my old life per- of the morning was mine again. It all sonified had come to take me away. seems so foolish, as I look back upon it My presence of mind enabled me not now; but as I stood for those few brief to turn round at the moment; but as I moments by Flury Beach, surrounded mounted for the race, half an hour af- by the golden-headed Burtons, the blue terwards, I glanced towards the Earl's sea before me, and the fair green pascarriage, and there, at the Countess's tures behind, I was a happy man, — hapside, sat Selina Ferrers. At the same pier than I have ever been since. instant I was aware of a stifled scream, “ As the crowd separated, while the and the sound of my name; but I paid horses were got ready for the next race, no heed, and rode slowly down the field I heard again the voice of Selina Ferto where Harry Dunn and the other rers; but it did not move me, for just waited my coming at the starting-post. then Lillie bent her beautiful head Imagine my feelings as I listened for close by mine, and in her own low, the signal. Win! Why I would have singing tones, so much truer and more won if I had died at Lillie's feet the touching than the London belle’s, said, moment afterwards.

* Mr. Erle, what can I do to thank “We were well away, we three men, you ?' but Harry and I soon got ahead, and “I looked up frankly and gladly.


-a WO

among the men you meet : there are round the corner to my rooms, I can none more deadly. Well, they loved provide you with a covering of some Dick, and I loved Miss Ferrers. She kind.' was not very handsome, but more fas- * Thank you,' he answered, and we cinating to me than any other woman walked away together. There was not and as thorough a flirt as ever made a time for much talk, and he had said man miserable. Never mind the how nothing of himself when we opened the and why, but, believe me, I was very door. Satterlee was standing with his hard hit indeed, and sincerely thought back to the fire, and no sooner did he myself the most wretched man in all see my companion than he sprang forLondon when I heard that she had ward, in eager welcome. Burton of gone to Spain with her brother-in-law, Darrow, by all the gods!' he cried. Lord West, and his wife. She had “Where 's your hat, good friend ?' treated me shamefully; but I loved her “He of the golden locks burst into all the more for it, and was quite desper- a merry laugh, — what white teeth he ate, in short. You may not think it of had ! ' It is gone forever. Do let me mle, but I could neither sleep nor eat. know your friend, who has been so In this state of mind I was walking kind to me about it.' home one afternoon, determined to tell We were introduced to each other in Satterlee that I should leave him, and due form, and Burton sat down at our go back to my people in America, when hearth like an old friend, chatting merI saw a small crowd ahead, and heard rily, and warming his great fists at the them cheer before they broke up and blaze. 'I ought not to have stayed so walked away. I should have passed long,' he said presently, “my father will by without a second glance, had I not have waited for me. Can the hats be been struck by the appearance of one marshalled, Mr. Erle ?' of the three men who remained on the “I brought out all my store, and Satspot, – a strong-limbed fellow of thirty, terlee's too, and, amid much laughter, evidently of purest Saxon blood. His Burton managed to hide some of his whole face was handsome, but his hair mane under a soft felt, and bade us was simply superb, and this it was that good night. “I must have you both at attracted me. Imagine long yellow Darrow,' he said, his hand on the locks of brightest gold, not exactly latch ; remember that, and expect a curling, but waving in short, deter- note in the morning to tell you when to mined waves back from a low fore- come.' head. Ah, I cannot describe to you “ As the door closed I laid my hands that wonderful hair, how it shone on on Dick's shoulders. * Who is he?' me through the gloaming, and drew me was all I said. irresistibly to the man bimself ! I "Why, Gerald, you 're waking up,' stopped, and asked one of the others he answered. If the male Burton what the row had been about.

can do this, what will not Lillie do ?' “0, he pitched into a feller that was But who is he?' I repeated. kicking a dog, and came near getting " " He's the oldest son of John Burkicked hisself,' was the only answer I ton of Darrow, in _shire. They are got, as he walked off with his compan- farmers, and they might be gentlemen, ion. I turned to my hero, and, as our but they are queer, and won't. For eyes met, a pleasant smile lighted up generations untold they have cultivated his face. • Can you tell me the nearest their own land, and are mighty men at place where I can buy a hat?' he said; the plough and in the saddle. So are “there 's not much use in picking up the women of the family, for that matter. that thing,' pointing to a mashed heap But you will see when we go down. in the gutter.

They are one of the few great yeoman "I should think not,' I said. “There families left in the land. We shall have is no shop near, but if you will come a jolly time.'

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