Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

comes

the fun I get out of these ex- of the decidedly damp floral treacursions.”

sures which Coventry was holding Coventry followed her into the up to admiration. room.

“ You have seen something "You look a perfect Pagan!” worth seeing to-day, have you exclaimed Ernestine, as he entered. not?” said Ernestine. " It is quite refreshing to see * Ay, that I have. I met with you!”

some green mosses by the side of Coventry was slightly built and a brook that took me half the day almost boyish in figure ; there was to look at, and I thought those nothing in his form to attract and some grandly formed trees attention except the extreme ease the colouring of whose unclothed of his movements. He was even tracery harmonised perfectly with delicate in appearance, yet this the dim wintry sky which made delicacy was curiously counteracted their background-Ithought those by innate masculine force which were enough to revel in for one lay within and made itself felt day. But Mother Nature was too through the slenderness of the good to me; she intoxicated me outer man. Now, as he walked in, with a perfectly bewildering sunthere was a fresh vigour in his set. Dorothy, I shall not be sober step, a freedom that was not of for days." drawing-rooms. He was dirty, “ Write it off," said the practimuddy, untidy; and his pockets cal lady, “write verses; they'll do dragged heavily—he certainly did you good and I can sell them.” not appear respectable. But Er- " Which

to making nestine forgave him that, for the money out of a sunset. Don't look in his face refreshed her like scatter my dreams! I already find a draught from a woodland spring: it sufficiently difficult to underthe poetic soul had so plainly stand how such an incoherent taken an imprint.

populace as ourselves came into the Well, you are dirty,” remarked midst of such a divinely beautiful Dorothy, gravely surveying the natural world. Minerva Medica," husband whom kind fortune had he said, abruptly changing the restored to her. “Where have you subject, after a habit peculiar to been ?"

him,” how soon are you going to “Don't ask me that intolerably be married ?" practical question, for I cannot “Not, at all events, until I have answer it-I have walked many finished my work at the hospital; miles in places where robins and I have six months of it yet.” larks were to be heard and seen- " And does the Doctor approve where primroses grew"-drawing of waiting six months ? He seemed a wet-rooted cluster out of his to me to be rather in a hurry.” pocket-"and where the sky was "Well," said Ernestine, "we visible. And in the end the Provi- separated to-night agreeing to differ dence which takes care of me on that particular subject. I don't on those occasions when life is see that a few months either way altogether too delightful to leave matters much. And now goodme time to take care of myself, night, Mrs. Silburn; I have some guided me to a railway station, work at home to finish to-night, otherwise you

would probably and I can't afford to be up too have never seen me again.”

late." “Oh, you always say that," So she went off. said Dorothy, hastily taking charge There will be trouble between the dear doctors yet," said Coventry, In the inner room a table was laid after she had gone. “I believe for breakfast, and very dainty it they will become one in the end, looked. The rooms altogether but the process of mixing may be were well appointed. long and difficult."

Mr. Yriarte did not very quickly

appear, so after awhile Mr. Lingen CHAPTER X.

turned to some portfolios of photo

graphs which lay upon the table, BREAKFASTING.

and began to look through them " Is Mr. Yriarte at home?” was rather absently. One was full of the inquiry made by Mr. Lingen Spanish notabilities ;

notabilities; he soon one morning when the door of a passed over them, and laid the small house in a quiet street in portfolio aside. The next was Kensington opened in answer to filled with Spanish beauties—this his knock.

he closed even more quickly, and A young boy opened it; a dark returned to solace himself with skinned, white teethed youth, evi- the warmth of the fire. dently a countryman of his master's. At last the boy returned, and

“Oh yes, sir, he is in, but he saying his master would be ready has not breakfasted yet.”

in a few moments, proceeded to “ Take him my card, and ask busy himself about the breakfast how soon he can see me.”

table. Soon after Mr. Yriarte Mr. Lingen was ushered into a himself entered the room, looking pretty little room, and there left to wonderfully radiant, although his wait while the boy went on his eyes were perhaps a little more errand. The visitor planted him- bloodshot than usual, and his hands self on the hearthrug, to get the had rather more of a tendency to benefit of the pleasant fire.

tremble than the fresh morning His eye-glass was in repose; his air would account for. hands delicately clothed in laven- “Good morning,” said Lingen; der ; his buttonhole flower was "up late last night by your apperfect. His brow was smooth

pearance." and unmarked. But at the same *Ah-well---yes--but then I am time he was not in his sociable not in the habit of going to bed mood; there was not the lurking very early. Will you take some smile at the corners of his mouth breakfast ? I am delighted to see which was always to be found there when Lewis Lingen was

“ No.

I breakfasted some time taking life easily.

ago, thank you. I have an inNo; though he seemed to be veterate habit of getting up early. merely enjoying the warm fire But pray go on with your breakafter the sharp air outside, Mr. fast. I only want a few minutes' Lingen was really using his brain

talk with you." and his eyes.

He was keenly They passed into the next room, observing everything in the room, and Lingen sat down in an armthe character and appearance of chair by the fire, crossed his legs, his surroundings, even to a rapid and put up his eye-glass. Yriarte, glance over the articles of vertu meanwhile, drew his chair to the which were scattered about upon breakfast table, smilingly; he was the tab

evidently not the sort of man whose He was in the outer one of two appetite is spoiled by nocturnal small rooms which were divided dissipation. only by curtains, now drawn back. The boy brought in several

you."

savoury dishes, which his master were still in with the Company prepared himself to attack with and had money in it; now I find gusto. When they were alone that neither is the case.' again Lingen opened his battery. "My good sir," cried Yriarte,

I called yesterday upon Rod- with hilarity and dash, “are you riguez, the manager of the Spanish afraid of your money? Bah! I Commercial Company."

will make over this house and its “Ah, indeed," said Yriarte, contents as security this moment, with undiminished interest in his if you are afraid.” fish.

I will take that for a portion When Mr. Lingen first made of what you owe me," answered Yriarte's acquaintance, the latter Lingen, imperturbably, “but it was known as holding a consider- will only go against a very small able post in the Spanish Commercial portion. And now that you have Company, and indeed as being

as being not only been metaphorically intimately connected with its pro- kicked out by your relations, but moters, who held positions of the have also broken with Miss Doldy, highest respectability. The Com- your affairs seem to me to look pany itself was regarded as tho- serious." roughly good, and Yriarte's business “Well," said Yriarte, who had connection with it, and personal been drinking hock for some time relationship to one of the excellent and was getting even more cheerSpanish houses concerned in it, ful, "it was you did that last, had been continually turned to practically, so you can't blame me. account by him.

If
you

hadn't told me about that " It appears," went

went on Mr. ten thousand, I should probably Lingen, “that you have not been have gone innocently to my fate. employed by the Company for some Dios! how you would have been time.'

done if she hadn't come to you Exactly," assented Yriarte, about it! I should have got the smiling still.

other ten thousand out of her and * In fact," added Mr. Lingen, absconded." " that you were turned out of He threw himself back in his it."

chair and screamed with laughter. A-hem,” said Yriarte, draw- "I daresay you would," said ing his table napkin over his Lingen, drily. * But that doesn't mouth, 6. that means ?-Excuse matter now, as I prevented it.” me, you forget I am not English. “It was amusing too, when I I suppose you mean that Rod- pretended to make her tell me riguez and I agreed to part. about it. Ha, didn't the minx's You know," he went on, confi- eyes flash! The cat had been dentially, "it never pleased me friendly, but she could scratch!” to be under him-it was not the “I don't want to hear about right position for a brother-in-law that,” interrupted Mr. Lingen, of the house of Chirruca."

with a lingering feeling of respect “Well,” said Mr. Lingen, drop- for the Doldy family.

" The ping his eye-glass suddenly, and question is, what are you going to leaning back in his chair, “I don't do? I should never have lent you care what reason you give for it,

had you not made it plain or under what circumstances it that your marriage with the occurred; the point that concerns heiress whom you professed to me is that you have been keeping have in your power was an inme under the impression that you evitable thing. Unless you act at

a penny

in

once I shall have you arrested, my sister who is married into the and go straight to the Chirrucas." Chirruca family."

“ Dios! don't do that,” cried He led Mr. Lingen through the Yriarte, starting to his feet in a rooms and upstairs. They passed fluster; "you'll ruin me, and get on the way a luxurious little place no good by it! And moreover, I full of cushioned seats, with plants am acting-why, my good friend, in large tubs, which made it look I am doing splendidly. Last night like a conservatory. This, Yriarte I won two thousand.

said, was his smoking-room. Then 66 At cards?

they looked into a very handsomely "Yes-at cards. To-night I furnished drawing-room; and beplay again, and the next night, hind it was Yriarte's own bed-room. and the next. I tell you fortune Some fur rugs lay on the carpet at is always with me. Don't fear- the sides and foot of the bed, and if I have lost the rings, here are a beautiful silky one upon it. An the fingers still, as we say my open French novel, which was left country. I am never without money upon the not long deserted bed, -I think it is bad to play cards too shewed that Yriarte had not been much,” he said, with absurd sleeping all the time he occupied gravity, “but I will play now, it. Ona

table at one side of the room and I always win.”

stood an old cabinet of some black “Humph!” said Mr. Lingen, wood, with carven and dome-like " and you can always spend also.” top. It had a sort of ecclesiastical “Ah, well, I can get money to

appearance, and indeed seemed spend in other ways. Don't be like the model of some sacred alarmed, my good friend ; if I building. Yriarte went to it and don't catch another heiress, I will opened the doors in front, shewing be winning the money

for a shrine where a light was burning you in some

way.

And for beneath the figures of a Virgin and my expenses—I can always get Child in metal and of very beautimoney, as I say. I could get a ful mediæval workmanship. The good deal from Miss Laura if I “ Maria” shone upon the chose; I have not altogether given pedestal in letters of gold. up my power over her.”

“You see,” said he, “I am very How?"asked Lingen, quicklyreligious.” “That's my affair,” answered He

spoke

condescendingly, Yriarte.

though quite in earnest; his Mr. Lingen said nothing further, manner suggested that he confor there was nothing to be said. secrated religion by professing it. His unspoken thought

The lurking smile made itself “Laura Doldy is a greater fool visible at the corners of Lingen's than I think her, if she has let mouth; he turned away, and rethis boastful monkey keep any marking that he had already stayed real power in his hands."

too long and must hurry off, led “If you have finished break

downstairs. Yriarte fast, Mr. Yriarte," he said, bowed him out with effusion, and aloud, “I will just have a look at returned to the smoking-room, the house."

where he settled himself down Certainly,” said Yriarte, with with a sigh of content to lie upon the greatest amiability. "You a couch, smoking, and pretending will find I have some nice things to go on with his novel. Spaniards. of considerable value. Some of are not particularly sleepy, but them have been given me by how ineffably lazy they are! Give

name

was

the way

THE

them but cigars and warmth and Paris, she was full of the idea that they are happy. Wild excitement is she had not had enough experience necessary to them now and then, to commence practising on her own but the intervals of repose are account. With her characteristic enjoyed to the utmost. Yriarte had thoroughness, she was anxious to no call to make in the City to-day; place herself under a doctor no reason to exercise his cunning and so to see something of Eng. brain until the evening ; therefore lish practice before attempting to he prepared himself for a long gain a livelihood. Her little inday of absolute idleness.

heritance had been mostly spent on her education but she had

retained enough of it to feel free CHAPTER XI.

for a year or two to follow her HOSPITAL.

own wishes. So she had looked Ernestine’s unexpired six months around her when she arrived in of hospital duty lay heavily on London for some opportunity of Dr. Doldy's mind. He did not the kind she needed. know how to act about it.

It had presented itself, and He could not help thinking that though not quite what she would had he been engaged to any other have wished, she had taken it. A woman under such circumstances, lady whom she knew came to her he would at once have settled the as soon as she heard of her being matter off-hand. But Ernestine! in England, anxious to see There was a look he had seen once whether Ernestine was to be seor twice in those dark eyes which cured for the work she herself was made him feel that if he were not in, for she well knew how, if very careful how he argued any Ernestine's sympathies were once matter where she saw a right and really enlisted, she would work in a wrong, that even yet he might genuine earnest. lose her altogether, and have to Mrs. Marland assistant face the loneliness of his heart-a house-surgeon at a hospital which thing intolerable now once so fully was somewhat languishing for realised.

want of funds, as very useful Ernestine herself, meantime, charities often will. went perhaps the more ardently It was intended to alleviate that abont her business than ever, after sore problem of illness when it comes having withstood the temptation to decayed gentlefolk, that unhappy of evading it.

class whose sorrows have produced For of course that was atempta- such a definite and ugly shape in tion. Ernestine was not made of a the midst of the many beautiful different flesh and blood from forms of our modern civilisation. other mortals. And she was wear- It was a hospital for the especial ing herself out at her work; and use of ladies and gentlemen : who, that without any reward but the paying a moderate sum, could obconsciousness that she was being tain good nursing and proper care of use to people who were more within its walls. often ungrateful than anything Its principal promoters were a else. She could have done with- gentlemanly but poor member of out the additional experience she Parliament, and a man of philanwas gaining, for she had gone thropic crotchets ; the former was through the usual hospital course. of influental position and connecWhen she first came over to Eng- tions, but of next to no means. He land after taking her degree in had many a time been ill in lodg

was

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »