Castle Richmond, by Anthony Trollope

Chapter VIII

Gortnaclough and Berryhill

And now at last we will get to Castle Richmond, at which place, seeing that it gives the title to our novel, we ought to have arrived long since.

As had been before arranged, the two Miss Fitzgeralds did call at Desmond Court early on the following day, and were delighted at being informed by Lady Desmond that Clara had changed her mind, and would, if they would now allow her, stay the night at Castle Richmond.

“The truth was, she did not like to leave me,” said the countess, whispering prettily into the ear of the eldest of the two girls; “but I am delighted that she should have an opportunity of getting out of this dull place for a few hours. It was so good of you to think of her.”

Miss Fitzgerald made some civil answer, and away they all went. Herbert was on horseback, and remained some minutes after them to discuss her own difficulties with the countess, and to say a few words about that Clady boiler that would not boil. Clara on this subject had opened her heart to him, and he had resolved that the boiler should be made to boil. So he said that he would go over and look at it, resolving also to send that which would be much more efficacious than himself, namely, the necessary means and workmen for bringing about so desirable a result. And then he rode after the girls, and caught the car just as it reached Gortnaclough.

How they all spent their day at the soup kitchen, which however, though so called, partook quite as much of the character of a bake-house; how they studied the art of making yellow Indian meal into puddings; how the girls wanted to add milk and sugar, not understanding at first the deep principles of political economy, which soon taught them not to waste on the comforts of a few that which was so necessary for the life of many; how the poor women brought in their sick ailing children, accepting the proffered food, but bitterly complaining of it as they took it — complaining of it because they wanted money, with which they still thought that they could buy potatoes — all this need not here or now be described. Our present business is to get them all back to Castle Richmond.

There had been some talk of their dining at Gortnaclough, because it was known that the ladies at Desmond Court dined early; but now that Clara was to return to Castle Richmond, that idea was given up, and they all got back to the house in time for the family dinner.

“Mamma,” said Emmeline, walking first into the drawing-room, “Lady Clara has come back with us after all, and is going to stay here to-night; we are so glad.”

Lady Fitzgerald got up from her sofa, and welcomed her young guest with a kiss.

“It is very good of you to come,” she said; “very good indeed. You won’t find it dull, I hope, because I know you are thinking about the same thing as these children.”

Lady Clara muttered some sort of indistinct little protest as to the impossibility of being dull with her present friends.

“Oh, she’s as full of corn meal and pints of soup as any one,” said Emmeline; “and knows exactly how much turf it takes to boil fifteen stone of pudding; don’t you, Clara? But come upstairs, for we haven’t long, and I know you are frozen. You must dress with us, dear; for there will be no fire in your own room, as we didn’t expect you.”

“I wish we could get them to like it,” said Clara, standing with one foot on the fender, in the middle of the process of dressing, so as to warm her toes; and her friend Emmeline was standing by her, with her arm round her waist.

“I don’t think we shall ever do that,” said Mary, who was sitting at the glass brushing her hair; “it’s so cold, and heavy, and uncomfortable when they get it.”

“You see,” said Emmeline, “though they did only have potatoes before, they always had them quite warm; and though a dinner of potatoes seems very poor, they did have it altogether, in their own houses, you know; and I think the very cooking it was some comfort to them.”

“And I suppose they couldn’t be taught to cook this themselves, so as to make it comfortable in their own cabins?” said Clara, despondingly.

“Herbert says it’s impossible,” said Mary.

“And I’m sure he knows,” said Clara.

“They would waste more than they would eat,” said Emmeline. “Besides, it is so hard to cook it as it should be cooked; sometimes it seem impossible to make it soft.”

“So it does,” said Clara, sadly; “but if we could only have it hot for them when they come for it, wouldn’t that be better?”

“The great thing is to have it for them at all,” said Mary the wise (for she had been studying the matter more deeply than her friend); “there are so many who as yet get none.”

“Herbert says that the millers will grind up the husks and all at the mills, so as to make the most of it, that’s what makes it so hard to cook,” said Emmelme.

“How very wrong of them!” protested Clara; “but isn’t Herbert going to have a mill put up of his own?”

And so they went on, till I fear they kept the Castle Richmond dinner waiting for full fifteen minutes.

Castle Richmond, too, would have been a dull house, as Lady Fitzgerald had intimated, had it not been that there was a common subject of such vital interest to the whole party. On that subject they were all intent, and on that subject they talked the whole evening, planning, preparing, and laying out schemes; devising how their money might be made to go furthest; discussing deep questions of political economy, and making, no doubt, many errors in their discussions.

Lady Fitzgerald took a part in all this, and so occasionally did Sir Thomas. Indeed, on this evening he was more active than was usual with him. He got up from his armchair, and came to the table, in order that he might pore over the map of the estate with them; for they were dividing the property into districts, and seeing how best the poor might be visited in their own localities.

And then, as he did so, he became liberal. Liberal, indeed, he always was; but now he made offers of assistance more than his son had dared to ask; and they were all busy, contented, and in a great degree joyous — joyous, though their work arose from the contiguity of such infinite misery. But what can ever be more joyous than efforts made for lessening misery?

During all this time Miss Letty was fast asleep in her own armchair. But let no one on that account accuse her of a hard heart; for she had nearly walked her old legs off that day in going about from cabin to cabin round the demesne.

“But we must consult Somers about that mill,” said Sir Thomas.

“Oh, of course,” said Herbert; “I know how to talk Somers over.”

This was added sotto voce to his mother and the girls. Now, Mr. Somers was the agent on the estate.

This mill was to be at Berryhill, a spot also on Sir Thomas’s property, but in a different direction from Gortnaclough. There was there what the Americans would call a water privilege, a stream to which some fall of land just there gave power enough to turn a mill; and was now a question how they might utilize that power.

During the day just past Clara had been with them, but they were now talking of what they would do when she would have left them. This created some little feeling of awkwardness, for Clara had put her whole heart into the work at Gortnaclough, and it was evident that she would have been so delighted to continue with them.

“But why on earth need you go home tomorrow, Lady Clara?” said Herbert.

“Oh, I must; mamma expects me, you know.”

“Of course we should send word. Indeed, I must send to Clady tomorrow, and the man must pass by Desmond Court gate.”

“Oh yes, Clara; and you can write a line. It would be such a pity that you should not see all about the mill, now that we have talked it over together. Do tell her to stay, mamma.”

“I am sure I wish she would,” said Lady Fitzgerald. “Could not Lady Desmond manage to spare you for one day?”

“She is all alone, you know,” said Clara, whose heart, however, was bent on accepting the invitation.

“Perhaps she would come over and join us,” said Lady Fitzgerald, feeling, however, that the subject was not without danger. Sending a carriage for a young girl like Lady Clara did very well, but it might not answer if she were to offer to send for the Countess of Desmond.

“Oh, mamma never goes out.”

“I’m quite sure she’d like you to stay,” said Herbert. “After you were all gone yesterday, she said how delighted she was to have you go away for a little time. And she did say she thought you could not go to a better place than Castle Richmond.”

“I am sure that was very kind of her,” said Lady Fitzgerald.

“Did she?” said Clara, longingly.

And so after a while it was settled that she should send a line to her mother, saying that she had been persuaded to stay over one other night, and that she should accompany them to inspect the site of this embryo mill at Berryhill.

“And I will write a line to the countess,” said Lady Fitzgerald, “telling her how impossible it was for you to hold your own intention when we were all attacking you on the other side.”

And so the matter was settled.

On the following day they were to leave home almost immediately after breakfast; and on this occasion Miss Letty insisted on going with them.

“There’s a seat on the car, I know, Herbert,” she said; “for you mean to ride; and I’m just as much interested about the mill as any of you.”

“I’m afraid the day would be too long for you, Aunt Letty,” said Mary: “we shall stay there, you know, till after four.”

“Not a bit too long. When I’m tired I shall go into Mrs. Townsend’s; the glebe is not ten minutes’ drive from Berryhill.”

The Rev. Aeneas Townsend was the rector of the parish, and he, as well as his wife, were fast friends of Aunt Letty. As we get on in the story we shall, I trust, become acquainted with the Rev. Aeneas Townsend and his wife. It was ultimately found that there was no getting rid of Aunt Letty, and so the party was made up.

They were all standing about the hall after breakfast, looking up their shawls and cloaks and coats, and Herbert was in the act of taking special and very suspicious care of Lady Clara’s throat, when there came a ring at the door. The visitor, whoever he might be, was not kept long waiting, for one servant was in the hall, and another just outside the front door with the car, and a third holding Herbert’s horse.

“I wish to see Sir Thomas,” said a man’s voice as soon as the door was opened; and the man entered the hall, and then, seeing that it was full of ladies, retreated again into the door-way. He was an elderly man, dressed almost more than well, for there was about him a slight affectation of dandyism; and though he had for the moment been abashed, there was about him also a slight swagger. “Good morning, ladies,” he said, re-entering again, and bowing to young Herbert, who stood looking at him; “I believe Sir Thomas is at home; would you send your servant in to say that a gentleman wants to see him for a minute or so, on very particular business? I am a little in a hurry like.”

The door of the drawing-room was ajar, so that Lady Fitzgerald, who was sitting there tranquilly in her own seat, could hear the voice. And she did hear it, and knew that some stranger had come to trouble her husband. But she did not come forth; why should she? was not Herbert there — if, indeed, even Herbert could be of any service?

“Shall I take your card in to Sir Thomas, sir?” said one of the servants, coming forward.

“Card!” said Mollett senior out loud; “well, if it is necessary, I believe I have a card.” And he took from his pocket a greasy pocket-book, and extracted from it a piece of pasteboard on which his name was written. “There; give that to Sir Thomas. I don’t think there’s much doubt but that he’ll see me.” And then, uninvited, he sat himself down in one of the hall chairs.

Sir Thomas’s study, the room in which he himself sat, and in which indeed he might almost be said to live at present — for on many days he only came out to dine, and then again to go to bed — was at some little distance to the back of the house, and was approached by a passage from the hall. While the servant was gone, the ladies finished their wrapping, and got up on the car.

“Oh, Mr. Fitzgerald,” said Clara, laughing, “I shan’t be able to breathe with all that on me.”

“Look at Mary and Emmeline,” said he; “they have got twice as much. You don’t know how cold it is.”

“You had better have the fur close to your body,” said Aunt Letty; “look here;” and she showed that her gloves were lined with fur, and her boots, and that she had gotten some nondescript furry article of attire stuck in underneath the body of her dress.

“But you must let me have them a little looser, Mr. Fitzgerald,” said Clara; “there, that will do,” and then they all got upon the car and started. Herbert was perhaps two minutes after them before he mounted; but when he left the hall the man was still sitting there; for the servant had not yet come back from his father’s room.

But the clatter of his horse’s hoofs was still distinct enough at the hall door when the servant did come back, and in a serious tone desired the stranger to follow him. “Sir Thomas will see you,” said the servant, putting some stress on the word will.

“Oh, I did not doubt that the least in the world,” said Mr. Mollett, as he followed the man along the passage.

The morning was very cold. There had been rainy weather, but it now appeared to be a settled frost. The roads were rough and hard, and the man who was driving them said a word now and again to his young master as to the expediency of getting frost nails put into the horse’s shoes. “I’d better go gently, Mr. Herbert; it may be he might come down at some of these pitches.” So they did go gently, and at last arrived safely at Berryhill.

And very busy they were there all day. The inspection of the site for the mill was not their only employment. Here also was an establishment for distributing food, and a crowd of poor half-fed wretches were there to meet them. Not that at that time things were so bad as they became afterwards. Men were not dying on the road-side, nor as yet had the apathy of want produced its terrible cure for the agony of hunger. The time had not yet come when the famished living skeletons might be seen to reject the food which could no longer serve to prolong their lives.

Though this had not come as yet, the complaints of the women with their throngs of children were bitter enough; and it was heart-breaking too to hear the men declare that they had worked like horses, and that it was hard upon them now to see their children starve like dogs. For in this earlier part of the famine the people did not seem to realize the fact that this scarcity and want had come from God. Though they saw the potatoes rotting in their own gardens, under their own eyes, they still seemed to think that the rich men of the land could stay the famine if they would; that the fault was with them; that the famine could be put down if the rich would but stir themselves to do it. Before it was over they were well aware that no human power could suffice to put it down. Nay, more than that; they had almost begun to doubt the power of God to bring back better days.

They strove, and toiled, and planned, and hoped at Berryhill that day. And infinite was the good that was done by such efforts as these. That they could not hinder God’s work we all know; but much they did do to lessen the sufferings around, and many were the lives that were thus saved.

They were all standing behind the counter of a small store that had been hired in the village — the three girls at least, for Aunt Letty had already gone to the glebe, and Herbert was still down at the “water privilege,” talking to a millwright and a carpenter. This was a place at which Indian corn flour, that which after a while was generally termed “meal” in those famine days, was sold to the poor. At this period much of it was absolutely given away. This plan, however, was soon found to be injurious, for hundreds would get it who were not absolutely in want, and would then sell it; — for the famine by no means improved the morals of the people.

And therefore it was found better to sell the flour; to sell it at a cheap rate, considerably less sometimes than the cost price, and to put the means of buying it into the hands of the people by giving them work, and paying them wages. Towards the end of these times, when the full weight of the blow was understood, and the subject had been in some sort studied, the general rule was thus to sell the meal at its true price, hindering the exorbitant profit of hucksters by the use of large stores, and to require that all those who could not buy it should seek the means of living within the walls of workhouses. The regular established workhouses — unions as they were called — were not as yet numerous, but supernumerary houses were provided in every town, and were crowded from the cellars to the roofs.

It need hardly be explained that no general rule could be established and acted upon at once. The numbers to be dealt with were so great, that the exceptions to all rules were overwhelming. But such and such like were the efforts made, and these efforts ultimately were successful.

The three girls were standing behind the counter of a little store which Sir Thomas had hired at Berryhill, when a woman came into the place with two children in her arms and followed by four others of different ages. She was a gaunt tall creature, with sunken cheeks and hollow eyes, and her clothes hung about her in unintelligible rags. There was a crowd before the counter, for those who had been answered or served stood staring at the three ladies, and could hardly be got to go away; but this woman pressed her way through, pushing some and using harsh language to others, till she stood immediately opposite to Clara.

“Look at that, madam,” she cried, undoing an old handkerchief which she held in her hand, and displaying the contents on the counter; “is that what the likes of you calls food for poor people? is that fit ‘ating to give to children? Would any av ye put such stuff as that into the stomachs of your own bairns?” and she pointed to the mess which lay revealed upon the handkerchief.

The food, as food, was not nice to look at; and could not have been nice to eat, or probably easy of digestion when eaten.

“Feel of that.” And the woman rubbed her forefinger among it to show that it was rough and hard, and that the particles were as sharp as though sand had been mixed with it. The stuff was half-boiled Indian meal, which had been improperly subjected at first to the full heat of boiling water; and in its present state was bad food either for children or grown people. “Feel of that,” said the woman; “would you like to be ‘ating that yourself now?”

“I don’t think you have cooked it quite enough,” said Clara, looking into the woman’s face, half with fear and half with pity, and putting, as she spoke, her pretty delicate finger down into the nasty daubed mess of parboiled yellow flour.

“Cooked it!” said the woman scornfully. “All the cooking on ‘arth wouldn’t make food of that fit for a Christian — feel of the roughness of it”— and she turned to another woman who stood near her; “would you like to be putting sharp points like that into your children’s bellies?”

It was quite true that the grains of it were hard and sharp, so as to give one an idea that it would make good eating neither for women nor children. The millers and dealers, who of course made their profits in these times, did frequently grind up the whole corn without separating the grain from the husks, and the shell of a grain of Indian corn does not, when ground, become soft flour. This woman had reason for her complaints, as had many thousands reason for similar complaints.

“Don’t be throubling the ladies, Kitty,” said an old man standing by; “sure and weren’t you glad enough to be getting it.”

“She’d be axing the ladies to go home wid her and cook it for her after giving it her,” said another.

“Who says it war guv’ me?” said the angry mother. “Didn’t I buy it, here at this counter, with Mike’s own hard-‘arned money? and it’s chaiting us they are. Give me back my money.” And she looked at Clara as though she meant to attack her across the counter.

“Mr. Fitzgerald is going to put up a mill of his own, and then the corn will be better ground,” said Emmeline Fitzgerald, deprecating the woman’s wrath.

“Put up a mill!” said the woman, still in scorn. “Are you going to give me back my money; or food that my poor bairns can ate?”

This individual little difficulty was ended by a donation to the angry woman of another lot of meal, in taking away which she was careful not to leave behind her the mess which she had brought in her handkerchief. But she expressed no thanks on being so treated.

The hardest burden which had to be borne by those who exerted themselves at this period was the ingratitude of the poor for whom they worked; — or rather I should say thanklessness. To call them ungrateful would imply too deep a reproach, for their convictions were that they were being ill used by the upper classes. When they received bad meal which they could not cook, and even in their extreme hunger could hardly eat half-cooked; when they were desired to leave their cabins and gardens, and flock into the wretched barracks which were prepared for them; when they saw their children wasting away under a suddenly altered system of diet, it would have been unreasonable to expect that they should have been grateful. Grateful for what? Had they not at any rate a right to claim life, to demand food that should keep them and their young ones alive? But not the less was it a hard task for delicate women to work hard, and to feel that all their work was unappreciated by those whom they so thoroughly commiserated, whose sufferings they were so anxious to relieve.

It was almost dark before they left Berryhill, and then they had to go out of their way to pick up Aunt Letty at Mr. Townsend’s house.

“Don’t go in whatever you do, girls,” said Herbert; “we should never get away.”

“Indeed we won’t unpack ourselves again before we get home; will we, Clara?”

“Oh, I hope not. I’m very nice now, and so warm. But, Mr. Fitzgerald, is not Mrs. Townsend very queer?”

“Very queer indeed. But you mustn’t say a word about her before Aunt Letty. They are sworn brothers-inarms.”

“I won’t of course. But, Mr. Fitzgerald, she’s very good, is she not?”

“Yes, in her way. Only it’s a pity she’s so prejudiced.”

“You mean about religion?”

“I mean about everything. If she wears a bonnet on her head, she’ll think you very wicked because you wear a hat.”

“Will she? what a very funny woman! But, Mr. Fitzgerald, I shan’t give up my hat, let her say what she will.”

“I should rather think not.”

“And Mr. Townsend? we know him a little; he’s very good too, isn’t he?”

“Do you mean me to answer you truly, or to answer you according to the good-natured idea of never saying any ill of one’s neighbour?”

“Oh, both; if you can.”

“Oh, both; must I? Well, then, I think him good as a man, but bad as a clergyman.”

“But I thought he worked so very hard as a clergyman?”

“So he does. But if he works evil rather than good, you can’t call him a good clergyman. Mind, you would have my opinion; and if I talk treason and heterodoxy and infidelity and papistry, you must only take it for what it’s worth.”

“I’m sure you won’t talk infidelity.”

“Nor yet treason; and then, moreover, Mr. Townsend would be so much better a clergyman, to my way of thinking, if he would sometimes brush his hair, and occasionally put on a clean surplice. But, remember, not a word of all this to Aunt Letty.”

“Oh dear, no; of course not.”

Mr. Townsend did come out of the house on the little sweep before the door to help Miss Letty up on the car, though it was dark and piercingly cold.

“Well, young ladies, and won’t you come in now and warm yourselves?”

They all of course deprecated any such idea, and declared that they were already much too late.

“Richard, mind you take care going down Ballydahan Hill,” said the parson, giving a not unnecessary caution to the servant. “I came up it just now, and it was one sheet of ice.”

“Now, Richard, do be careful,” said Miss Letty. “Never fear, miss,” said Richard.

“We’ll take care of you,” said Herbert. “You’re not frightened, Lady Clara, are you?”

“Oh no,” said Clara; and so they started.

It was quite dark and very cold, and there was a sharp hard frost. But the lamps of the car were lighted, and the horse seemed to be on his mettle, for he did his work well. Ballydahan Hill was not above a mile from the glebe, and descending that, Richard, by his young master’s orders, got down from his seat and went to the animal’s head. Herbert also himself got off, and led his horse down the hill. At first the girls were a little inclined to be frightened, and Miss Letty found herself obliged to remind them that they couldn’t melt the frost by screaming. But they all got safely down, and were soon chattering as fast as though they were already safe in the drawing-room of Castle Richmond.

They went on without any accident, till they reached a turn in the road, about two miles from home; and there, all in a moment, quite suddenly, when nobody was thinking about the frost or the danger, down came the poor horse on his side, his feet having gone quite from under him, and a dreadful cracking sound of broken timber gave notice that a shaft was smashed. A shaft at least was smashed; if only no other harm was done!

It can hardly be that Herbert Fitzgerald cared more for such a stranger as Lady Clara Desmond than he did for his own sisters and aunt; but nevertheless, it was to Lady Clara’s assistance that he first betook himself. Perhaps he had seen, or fancied that he saw, that she had fallen with the greatest violence.

“Speak, speak,” said he, as he jumped from his horse close to her side. “Are you hurt? do speak to me.” And going down on his knees on the hard ground, he essayed to lift her in his arms.

“Oh dear, oh dear!” said she. “No; I am not hurt; at least I think not — only just my arm a very little. Where is Emmeline? Is Emmeline hurt?”

“No,” said Emmeline, picking herself up. “But, oh dear, dear, I’ve lost my muff, and I’ve spoiled my hat! Where are Mary and Aunt Letty?”

After some considerable confusion it was found that nothing was much damaged except the car, one shaft of which was broken altogether in two. Lady Clara’s arm was bruised and rather sore, but the three other ladies had altogether escaped. The quantity of clothes that had been wrapped round them had no doubt enabled them to fall softly.

“And what about the horse, Richard?” asked young Fitzgerald.

“He didn’t come upon his knees at all at all, Master Herbert,” said Richard, scrutinizing the animal’s legs with the car lamp in his hand. “I don’t think he’s a taste the worse. But the car, Master Herbert, is clane smashed.”

Such being found to be undoubtedly the fact, there was nothing for it but that the ladies should walk home. Herbert again forgot that the age of his aunt imperatively demanded all the assistance that he could lend her, and with many lamentations that fortune and the frost should have used her so cruelly, he gave his arm to Clara.

“But do think of Miss Fitzgerald,” said Clara, speaking gently into his ear.

“Who? oh, my aunt. Aunt Letty never cares for anybody’s arm; she always prefers walking alone.”

“Fie, Mr. Fitzgerald, fie! It is impossible to believe such an assertion as that.” And yet Clara did seem to believe it; for she took his proffered arm without further objection.

It was half-past seven when they reached the hall door, and at that time they had all forgotten the misfortune of the car in the fun of the dark frosty walk home. Herbert had found a boy to lead his horse, and Richard was of course left with the ruins in the road.

“And how’s your arm now?” asked Herbert, tenderly, as they entered in under the porch.

“Oh, it does not hurt me hardly at all. I don’t mind it in the least.” And then the door was opened for them.

They all flocked into the hall, and there they were met by Lady Fitzgerald.

“Oh, mamma,” said Mary, “I know you’re quite frightened out of your life! But there’s nothing the matter. The horse tumbled down; but there’s nobody hurt.”

“And we had to walk home from the turn to Ballyclough,” said Emmeline. “But, oh mamma, what’s the matter?” They all now looked up at Lady Fitzgerald, and it was evident enough that something was the matter; something to be thought of infinitely more than that accident on the road.

“Oh, Mary, Mary, what is it?” said Aunt Letty, coming forward and taking hold of her sister-inlaw’s hand. “Is my brother ill?”

“Sir Thomas is not very well, and I’ve been waiting for you so long. Where’s Herbert? I must speak to Herbert.” And then the mother and son left the hall together.

There was then a silence among the four ladies that were left there standing. At first they followed each other into the drawing-room, all wrapped up as they were and sat on chairs apart, saying nothing to each other. At last Aunt Letty got up.

“You had better go upstairs with Lady Clara,” said she; “I will go to your mamma.”

“Oh, Aunt Letty, do send us word; pray send us word,” said Emmeline.

Mary now began to cry. “I know he’s very ill. I’m sure he’s very ill. Oh, what shall we do?”

“You had better go upstairs with Lady Clara,” said Aunt Letty. “I will send you up word immediately.”

“Oh, don’t mind me; pray don’t mind me,” said Clara. “Pray, pray, don’t take notice of me;” and she rushed forward, and throwing herself on her knees before Emmeline, began to kiss her.

They remained here, heedless of Aunt Letty’s advice, for some ten minutes, and then Herbert came to them. The two girls flew at him with questions; while Lady Clara stood by the window, anxious to learn, but unwilling to thrust herself into their family matters.

“My father has been much troubled today, and is not well,” said Herbert. “But I do not think there is anything to frighten us. Come; let us go to dinner.”

The going to dinner was but a sorry farce with any of them; but nevertheless, they went through the ceremony, each for the sake of the others.

“Mayn’t we see him?” said the girls to their mother, who did come down into the drawing-room for one moment to speak to Clara.

“Not to-night, loves. He should not be disturbed.” And so that day came to an end; not satisfactorily.

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 18:43