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a

man

self, if I ring,” and Mr. Mac- “ Time to the minute,” said the Andrew disappeared.

manager, “ I always do. Order and “Glad to see you,” said the regularity above all things, Mr.” manager, entering the small room (he glanced at the note) “ Carringin which Guy had been deposited ton. Best_take up your quarters by the boy

with Mrs. Dodds." Mr. MacAndrew

“I beg pardon,” said Guy. somewhat below the middle size, “Dear me!” shouted the manabut of considerable girth and ger, “ I hope you are not deaf. You weight. A florid, somewhat hand. had best make arrangements to be some face, with a round bullet head accommodated with lodging and and short cropped hair, was rather with board under the roof of the spoiled by a constant trick of widow of your predecessor, the deelevation of the eyebrows, which funct Mr. Dodds. She is an excellent gave the impression of a suspicious woman, and the house is within temperament. His dress was a suit half a minute's walk of the works. of glossy black, with a sort of wisp “Mr. Pierce arranged for my of white muslin round the neck. residing at Plumville Park. His hands were fat, white, and “At Plumville Park — whew,” well-formed, and he occasionally whistled the manager, “why you'll glanced at them with satisfaction, waste at least an hour and a half although their cleanliness was not per diem in unprofitable walking. such as altogether to correspond to Know Lady Frances ? ” added he, the splendid diamond ring, which with great rapidity. was the only ornament of any “No; I have not been presented description in which Mr. Mac- to Lady Frances." Andrew indulged.

“Well, it is no possible concern “ Glad to see you.

How did of mine," said the manager. you come ?”

strikes me as a bit of intolerable “In a gig from Plumport.” idiocy in Pierce, and as highly “ The Bear gig.'

detrimental to yourself ; but, of “ Yes.”

course, that is nothing to me. I suppose the wheel came off.” Pierce told you as to the wages ?” “ Well, it certainly did," said “Mr. Pierce left all details to Guy, rather surprised.

Ha, ha," laughed the manager, “I should think so. Well, I “ it does nine times out of ten. I like to do things handsomely, what suppose Mr. Pierce fully instructed do

you

ask?" to the nature of your “I leave it quite to you." duties ?

“Keen hand,” said the manager. “Mr. Pierce merely referred me “Don't try to take me on the blind to you, sir.”

side. A man should take his own “Quite right, quite right," said part. Well; as you're rather the manager, “My time is so

green, I'll do it for you. You shall excruciatingly occupied to the

have Dodd's wages,

if
you

do minutest fraction that I think the Dodd's work. Three pound a shortest plan will be for you to keep week. It's guineas, in fact, but accompanying me for the next few three bob comes off for sick fund days, through the works, observe and insurance. All right ? ” all that you see, and if that don't “I suppose so." instruct you, I don't know what Very well. Now you just stick to will. You come at nine."

my coat-tails till dinner time, and Very well."

then, if you'll jump into my phaeton,

" It

you."

you as

we'll have a little more chat,” and years of life could have been Mr. MacAndrew rang the bell. doubled, or even extended to the

"Boy, I'm going round the modest term of a century, the same works; this way, Carrington.” rate of progress would have seen

him, if not the Duke of Plum

something, at least the owner of CHAPTER XI.

good part of South Wales. Even

as it was, at the period of his death, PLUMVILLE HALL,

his infant son was the heir to one PLUMVILLE PARK evinced in one of the oldest English baronies, respect that the power of wealth is with a further contingent claim on not illimitable. In one respect an earldom (the marquisate of his alone was this apparent. Wealth maternal grandfather being limited cannot force forest trees. And in to heirs male). the absence of ancient timber, in Wanting in timber

a want any place that deserves the name made more cruelly evident by the of grounds, lies the sure sign of the conscientious, and truly laudable absence of what La Grande Made- efforts of the landscape gardener moiselle meant, when she said, to supply the deficiency by the sent son antiquité de longue main. time the second baronet should come In fact, shocking as it may seem, of age - Plumville Park enjoyed Plumville Park, the laying out of all that can be formed by art in which, together with the building

the way of garden, without that of the house, had cost considerably essential setting. For flowers, more than a hundred thousand indeed, it was better that the trees pounds, bore the impress of being were absent. Cataracts and jets, the abode of

a parvenu.

Sir in unexpected places, shaven lawns, Robert, first baronet of the stately terraces, broad gravel paths, name, with an income of at least

furlongs of hot walls, acres of as much as that large sum per glass, pineries, and India houses, , annum, was the son of a man and conservatories of every clime, who had risen at four in the and of every form, were among the morning to earn his daily bread, attractions of the estate. and thought himself happy at The house itself was night if he had earned a loaf more mirable structure. If its builder than he had eaten. Early in life, that had been able to invest it so far is, for old Robert Plum had laid with the mantle of antiquity as sure and deep, in frugality, in to enable the man of taste to sleepless industry, and in consis- explain, with “ the fashion of tent, persistent, unwavering selfish- those days you know," any slight ness, the basis of that fortune deviations from the severity of which had been nursed by the the canon of his criticism, it astute intelligence of Robert Plum would have been noble. A broad the second ; by the grace of an flight of steps ascended to the outgoing minister converted into principal

principal entrance, and Jofty a baronet, after “assuming,” the Corinthian columns adorned the letters patent said, “the name of centre, or body of the house. On Plumville.” By persevering in either side wings stretched away, the family tradition, Sir Robert and the castellated bell turret of Baker Plumville, first baronet of the stables rose to the right that name, had so far risen upon behind a nascent shrubbery. The and above the shoulders of his pillars only projected for half father, that if his seventy-two their diameter from the building,

an ad

were

as

and the pediment did not afford worship of Plumville, the door the shadow of a porch ; but lofty above referred to gave the visitor glazed doors gave access to the admission to the great drawingentrance hall, a room sixty feet by room, second only in dimensions to forty, and reaching to the top of the hall-being some thirty feet the second storey of the three that by forty. From either end of the the façade contained. At one end hall opened passages, or corridors, of this hall a projecting gallery right and left. White stone stairshowed that the presence of an cases rose at each end of this block orchestra might readily convert it of building, giving access to the into a ball-room. At the other rooms on the second storey over end a full-sized mounted knight, the apartments flanking the hall. a magnificent bronze casting, bore A glass door, at the end of the the arms, and achievements of corridor lying to the right as you Plum ville (né Plum). The blazon entered, showed the prolongation borne on the shield, on the person, of the gallery through the wing, and on the surcoat of the bronze while a massive scagliola gateway, knight, had been definitely settled under the corresponding staircase, by the authority of the Heralds shut off the private rooms of the College, at a great expense of their master, quite an independent investigating or their inventive house, occupying the left wing powers. Correctly blazoned the of the building. When this door bearings

follows :

was flung open, and the whole suit Quarterly-first and fourth sinople, of rooms was illuminated, a grand on a saltire or, five Orleans plums gallery of two hundred and fifty of the first, with the augmenta- feet in length, pierced the pile tion of a chief argent charged from end to end. with a castle, with three turrets The main entrance fronted to. sable for ville-PLUMVILLE. Second wards the north. The drawing --Sable, on a chevron or, between room looked out on the gardens. three anvils argent, three mar- The great dining room was to one teaux gules-SMITHERS. Third- side of the hall. Northwards a Gules, three pedes in pale argent, corresponding apartment was fitted between six manchets or-BAKER. up as a library. A smaller drawing Over all, in chief, the badge of the room lay eastward of the larger baronet of Nova Scotia, and on a one, and a reading room, a boudoir, scutcheon of pretence argent a and one or two other apartments chief azure-BARTON DE RAVILLE. occupying the angle of the buildCrest, a boar's head, sinople tusked ing, were there set apart for Lady argent, langued or, gorged with a Plumville's own. ducal coronet or, having in its It was only one of those minor, mouth an Orleans plum of the and justly absorbed, opponents to first. Motto, QUOD FECI FECI. the triumphant extension of the

Statues of spotless white marble great Plumville interest, who had stood in each corner of the hall, said that Plumville Hall was built and a bust of the first baronet upon the curses of the poor and frowned over the heavy pediment the pillaged. It was not a common that shadowed a central door sense remark, for so stately a pile opposite to the entrance. So large would never have have rested on was the hall that a full-sized so floating and freshly renewed a billiard table looked only like a base. And it was the fault of the small item of furniture. Passing architect-or of the age—not of through this vast temple to the Sir Robert, that the chapel was quite forgotten. Sir Robert would house, which formerly occupied have beens hocked if the omission the consecrated site. The old had been pointed out, and if more- village graves, or rather their over, it had been once driven into contents, under a faculty obtained his head that it was an omission. from the Lord Bishop of the Sir Robert would have been ex- Diocese, had been carted into some tremely annoyed to have been newly consecrated and out of the thought wanting in such a proper way spot. The little village of mark of respect for Divine Provi- Brierly, which reared its gables dence as ought to have been thus around the old church, not rearchitecturally displayed. And if quiring any faculty for its deanyone had dared to force Sir struction other than that supplied Robert to listen to the positing of by the bankers of Sir Robert, had his syllogism,—“ The houses of the been carted away also. What had old gentry have chapels, Plumville become of the villagers was not Hall has no chapel. Therefore, written in the chronicles of the etc.—etc.! !” Sir Robert would pro- house of Plumville. The parsonbably have pulled down the house age for the church of the Saints -or he would have compromised John, nestling in a copse which the matter, with his usual astute- skirted the park, was yet unness, by putting an organ and a set finished. The grant of this was of prie-dieux in the Billiard Hall. It in the hands of the lay improhas been done by persons more reli- priator. The vicar of Brierly, now giously trained than was Sir Robert. nominis umbra, was the Reverend

Lady Frances Plumville, however, Samuel Splatt, D.C.L., chaplain to on the completion of the contract the most noble the Marquis of of alliance between the only Branksea. The curate of Dr. daughter of Reginald Plantagenet Splatt was the Reverend Lucius Fulque Archambaud

Archambaud Branksea, Blaise Reredos, A.M. second Marquis and fifth Earl The viceroy over all this magni. Branksea, by his first wife, the ficence of the house and Park, in sole daughter and heiress of the absence of Lady Frances Plum. Francis Lord Barton de Raville, ville and the infant Sir Robert, and the son of Bobby Plum, and then newly completing his third Betty Smithers, had bent her

year, was one Mrs. Watkins, the strong will, clear sense, and good housekeeper. Mrs. Watkins was taste, which qualities were never a very little woman, with a delicate known to fail her, save in that one complexion; the pattern of neatlittle matter of the alliance in ness and the pink of cleanliness. question (as to the means of in- Never was pin or plait out of place ducing which strange tales were in her attire, never did a speck of told) to the best method of sup- dust dare to rest on her silken plying that unintentional oversight apron, or snowy cap.

Her small of the existence of the Almighty features, a little pointed it may be, A very perfect early English wore a bland and contented expresChurch, under the invocation of sion, only marked at times by a SS. John the Evangelist, and John slight sense of responsibility. Not the Baptist, Apostle and Martyr, that her sense was slight, for of all rose in the precincts of the newly exact and conscientious stewards, extended park, replacing a small, Mrs. Watkins

brilliant ancient, and dilapidated structure, example, but that the expression half way

between a barn and a was slight. Yet if anyone should pigsty, with a cross of the pigeon

presume

all this patience

was

on

and gentleness of demeanour, to beautiful. She had skin like a try and ride roughshod over Mrs. lily, brown eyes and hair, carnation Watkins, they would find that they cheeks and lips, the carriage of a had reckoned without their host. duchess, and the voice of an angel. Somehow or other, that mild little A native of the birth-place of the woman always had her own way. lovely Nell Gwynn, she shared the At Plumville, where she arrived magical charms of that famous only at the period of change in all orange-girl. But while poor Nelly domestic arrangements that imme- had only one frailty, although that diately preceded Sir Robert's was a royal one, Betsy was never marriage, she ruled supreme. Even accused of any. She was as good had, which is inconceivable, any and as simple as she was beautiful. difference of opinion arisen between Yet her approach to the hall, her Ladyship and the housekeeper, especially if any gentlemen were a man of judgment would have staying there, seemed to effect the betted on the latter. Appeal against whole demeanour and plumage of her mild dicta there was simply none. Mrs. Watkins, as a turkeycock is

One weak point, or it may be affected by the display of a piece thought strong point, was remark- of scarlet, or by the imitation of able in the character of Mrs. his arabic gobble. Watkins. Though good-looking, It was about seven o'clock in the and, indeed, unusually pleasant- evening when Guy Carrington, a looking herself, she had an extreme little fatigued, and perhaps more intolerance of good looks in her than a little discomfited, by some own sex. A pretty housemaid hours of the society of Mr. Macwould have been a thorn in her Andrew, rang at the hall door. flesh. The maidens over whom It was promptly opened by a sershe ruled, by some process of vant in the Plumville livery, not natural selection proper to her the state dress, green and gold, but sphere, were stout, cleanly, hard- the half dress, green and yellow. working, well-conducted lasses, but Am I expected here—Mr. Carall unexceptionably, and

rington," said Guy. “Yes, sir. remarkably, plain. This feeling Please to walk this way, sir,” said that, because she was virtuous,

the man. there should be no more cakes and The servant piloted Guy across ale for persons of different taste, the lofty hall into an apartment reached its utmost intensity, it connected with the drawing-room may almost be said acerbity of suite which was intended for a card expression, when any mention was room, and saying: “Will you made in the hearing of Mrs. please to take a seat while I go Watkins of certain Betsy and tell Mrs. Watkins," withdrew. Jenkins, an itinerant fish-woman, He shortly reopened the door, and well-known in South Wales. Betsy Mrs. Watkins, smoothing down her was a person who might well have unruffled apron, entered with a been the heroine of a romance, had civil little curtsey: there been any

more romantic Mrs. Watkins had expected Mr. incidents in the poor creature's life Carrington since the morning. than her trudging backwards and She knew it would be her ladyforwards from the little fishing ship's desire that Mr. Carrington village where she lived, to the should find himself comfortable at market town, laden with a heavy the Hall. She had not sent Mr. creel of fish, or of oysters. But Carrington's portmanteau into a she was simply and perfectly chamber, because Mr. Carrington

even

а

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