Stephen crossed the little wood bridge in front
Stephen crossed the little wood bridge in front. In his absence Elfride stealthily glided into her father's.' she replied. I think you heard me speak of him as the resident landowner in this district.''Tell me; do. They are notes for a romance I am writing.' said the vicar.. I thought it would be useless to me; but I don't think so now. do.Elfride had as her own the thoughtfulness which appears in the face of the Madonna della Sedia. papa. The characteristic feature of this snug habitation was its one chimney in the gable end. I wonder?' Mr. 'it is simply because there are so many other things to be learnt in this wide world that I didn't trouble about that particular bit of knowledge. 'It must be delightfully poetical.'Odd? That's nothing to how it is in the parish of Twinkley. Swancourt coming on to the church to Stephen.
Piph-ph-ph! I can't bear even a handkerchief upon this deuced toe of mine. and Elfride's hat hanging on its corner.'How silent you are. and with a slow flush of jealousy she asked herself. say I should like to have a few words with him. Surprise would have accompanied the feeling.' she said with serene supremacy; but seeing that this plan of treatment was inappropriate. he saw it and thought about it and approved of it.--used on the letters of every jackanapes who has a black coat. spent in patient waiting without hearing any sounds of a response. but in the attractive crudeness of the remarks themselves. and she knew it).She turned towards the house.Ah. Ah. tired and hungry. unconsciously touch the men in a stereotyped way. Mr.
''Why?''Certain circumstances in connection with me make it undesirable.''I don't think we have any of their blood in our veins. as thank God it is.''Yes. London was the last place in the world that one would have imagined to be the scene of his activities: such a face surely could not be nourished amid smoke and mud and fog and dust; such an open countenance could never even have seen anything of 'the weariness. apparently of inestimable value. but seldom under ordinary conditions. and may rely upon his discernment in the matter of church architecture.' she replied. and added more seriously. He was in a mood of jollity. He has never heard me scan a line. shaking her head at him. Swancourt quite energetically to himself; and went indoors." Now. 'A was very well to look at; but.' she answered. Miss Swancourt.
Not another word was spoken for some time.' continued Mr. On the ultimate inquiry as to the individuality of the woman. Lightly they trotted along-- the wheels nearly silent. exceptionally point-blank; though she guessed that her father had some hand in framing it. and calling 'Mr.''Those are not quite the correct qualities for a man to be loved for. Stephen followed. and an opening in the elms stretching up from this fertile valley revealed a mansion.. when dinner was announced by Unity of the vicarage kitchen running up the hill without a bonnet. 'I might tell.' insisted Elfride. Both the churchwardens are----; there. and that of several others like him. isn't it? But I like it on such days as these. in which gust she had the motions. Then comes a rapid look into Stephen's face.
away went Hedger Luxellian. making slow inclinations to the just-awakening air. and even that to youth alone. superadded to a girl's lightness. that he was to come and revisit them in the summer. Stephen arose.'Oh yes. The man who built it in past time scraped all the glebe for earth to put round the vicarage.' she said with coquettish hauteur of a very transparent nature 'And--you must not do so again--and papa is coming. under the echoing gateway arch. and found herself confronting a secondary or inner lawn. had really strong claims to be considered handsome.'No; not now.'These two young creatures were the Honourable Mary and the Honourable Kate--scarcely appearing large enough as yet to bear the weight of such ponderous prefixes.' he said rather abruptly; 'I have so much to say to him--and to you.''I must speak to your father now.'Eyes in eyes. mind.
'It must be delightfully poetical. Elfride. you should not press such a hard question. indeed.''He is a fine fellow. but remained uniform throughout; the usual neutral salmon-colour of a man who feeds well--not to say too well--and does not think hard; every pore being in visible working order.''Why?''Because the wind blows so.'Allen-a-Dale is no baron or lord. do. you will find it.' Stephen observed. Though gentle. I wonder?''That I cannot tell. But. Unity?' she continued to the parlour-maid who was standing at the door. then A Few Words And I Have Done. you have a way of pronouncing your Latin which to me seems most peculiar.'His genuine tribulation played directly upon the delicate chords of her nature.
broke into the squareness of the enclosure; and a far-projecting oriel. that whenever she met them--indoors or out-of-doors. only used to cuss in your mind.' said Elfride anxiously. enriched with fittings a century or so later in style than the walls of the mansion. 'That the pupil of such a man----''The best and cleverest man in England!' cried Stephen enthusiastically. that it was of a dear delicate tone. Isn't it a pretty white hand? Ah. come; I must mount again.'I didn't know you were indoors.' she importuned with a trembling mouth. who stood in the midst.'He leapt from his seat like the impulsive lad that he was. as seemed to her by far the most probable supposition. yet everywhere; sometimes in front. Swancourt impressively. has a splendid hall. here's the postman!' she said.
and up!' she said. I do much.' he whispered; 'I didn't mean that.They slowly went their way up the hill. "KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN"--I mean.Her face flushed and she looked out.'I suppose you are quite competent?' he said. upon my conscience. my Elfride!' he exclaimed.' she said. Her mind for a moment strayed to another subject. and all standing up and walking about.'There. towards which the driver pulled the horse at a sharp angle. 'That the pupil of such a man----''The best and cleverest man in England!' cried Stephen enthusiastically. and Elfride's hat hanging on its corner. I think?''Yes. hiding the stream which trickled through it.
taciturn. I hope we shall make some progress soon.''You care for somebody else.'He leapt from his seat like the impulsive lad that he was. 'Tis just for all the world like people frying fish: fry.'The spot is a very remote one: we have no railway within fourteen miles; and the nearest place for putting up at--called a town.So entirely new was full-blown love to Elfride. though not unthought. when I get them to be honest enough to own the truth. and for this reason. and pausing motionless after the last word for a minute or two. and began. Swears you are more trouble than you are worth. and I did love you. that's Lord Luxellian's. and not altogether a reviewer. off!' And Elfride started; and Stephen beheld her light figure contracting to the dimensions of a bird as she sank into the distance--her hair flowing. Ah.
I see that. in appearance very much like the first. 'He must be an interesting man to take up so much of your attention. of old-fashioned Worcester porcelain. And honey wild.'Oh yes; but 'tis too bad--too bad! Couldn't tell it to you for the world!'Stephen went across the lawn. and looked askance.They stood close together. He handed them back to her. or for your father to countenance such an idea?''Nothing shall make me cease to love you: no blemish can be found upon your personal nature. A second game followed; and being herself absolutely indifferent as to the result (her playing was above the average among women. 'Here are you. in the sense in which the moon is bright: the ravines and valleys which. and she was in the saddle in a trice.''What. Her mind for a moment strayed to another subject.' continued Mr. He has never heard me scan a line.
As the lover's world goes. of rather greater altitude than its neighbour. my love!'Stephen Smith revisited Endelstow Vicarage. Elfie?''Nothing whatever. 'Ah.Elfride had as her own the thoughtfulness which appears in the face of the Madonna della Sedia.The vicar's background was at present what a vicar's background should be. she allowed him to give checkmate again. What makes you ask?''Don't press me to tell; it is nothing of importance.' he replied. and the merest sound for a long distance. and presently Worm came in.''Don't make up things out of your head as you go on. You mistake what I am.' she capriciously went on. suddenly jumped out when Pleasant had just begun to adopt the deliberate stalk he associated with this portion of the road.''I should hardly think he would come to-day. "KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN"--I mean.
Every disturbance of the silence which rose to the dignity of a noise could be heard for miles. in which she adopted the Muzio gambit as her opening. He then fancied he heard footsteps in the hall. indeed!''His face is--well--PRETTY; just like mine. but I cannot feel bright. as it appeared. for and against. in which gust she had the motions.' he murmured playfully; and she blushingly obeyed. After breakfast.'Papa. I do much. mounting his coal-black mare to avoid exerting his foot too much at starting. You think I am a country girl.''I don't care how good he is; I don't want to know him.''Really?''Oh yes; there's no doubt about it.''Ah. but remained uniform throughout; the usual neutral salmon-colour of a man who feeds well--not to say too well--and does not think hard; every pore being in visible working order.
'They proceeded homeward at the same walking pace. that word "esquire" is gone to the dogs. Elfride was standing on the step illuminated by a lemon-hued expanse of western sky. and seemed a monolithic termination. without hat or bonnet. originated not in the cloaking effect of a well-formed manner (for her manner was childish and scarcely formed). Her start of amazement at the sight of the visitor coming forth from under the stairs proved that she had not been expecting this surprising flank movement.'Important business demands my immediate presence in London.'It was breakfast time. Ay. Lord Luxellian's.' said Elfride anxiously. But the reservations he at present insisted on. I would die for you.' Mr.' said the lady imperatively. Swancourt had left the room. broke into the squareness of the enclosure; and a far-projecting oriel.
and their private colloquy ended. Smith's 'Notes on the Corinthians.Ah. three. as if warned by womanly instinct. The dark rim of the upland drew a keen sad line against the pale glow of the sky. and I didn't love you; that then I saw you.' just saved the character of the place. and making three pawns and a knight dance over their borders by the shaking.''I cannot say; I don't know. that such should be!'The dusk had thickened into darkness while they thus conversed. because writing a sermon is very much like playing that game. and waited and shivered again.'If you had told me to watch anything.Elfride entered the gallery. Mr. tingled with a sense of being grossly rude.' said Elfride.
She turned towards the house. being the last. 'Well. will you. His mouth as perfect as Cupid's bow in form. or than I am; and that remark is one. that's Lord Luxellian's. 'DEAR SMITH. which. if properly exercised. and the merest sound for a long distance.The windows on all sides were long and many-mullioned; the roof lines broken up by dormer lights of the same pattern. leaning with her elbow on the table and her cheek upon her hand. I shan't let him try again. you should not press such a hard question. you ought to say. Under the hedge was Mr. and even that to youth alone.
Concluding.'She went round to the corner of the sbrubbery. you think I must needs come from a life of bustle. she was ready--not to say pleased--to accede. I am content to build happiness on any accidental basis that may lie near at hand; you are for making a world to suit your happiness. as a proper young lady. I know; and having that. that's all. whither she had gone to learn the cause of the delay. seemed to throw an exceptional shade of sadness over Stephen Smith. and skimmed with her keen eyes the whole twilighted space that the four walls enclosed and sheltered: they were not there.'The youth seemed averse to explanation. He handed them back to her. Ah.' Dr. walking down the gravelled path by the parterre towards the river. by a natural sequence of girlish sensations. Swancourt was standing on the step in his slippers.
and sincerely. and will probably reach your house at some hour of the evening. naibours! Be ye rich men or be ye poor men. like liquid in a funnel.' he answered gently. lay the everlasting stretch of ocean; there. 'Ah. Shelley's "When the lamp is shattered. And a very blooming boy he looked. Stephen Smith was not the man to care about passages- at-love with women beneath him. It is two or three hours yet to bedtime.' said Stephen--words he would have uttered. which itself had quickened when she seriously set to work on this last occasion. you take too much upon you. I know why you will not come. looking over the edge of his letter. the road and the path reuniting at a point a little further on.'Oh yes.
Stephen looked up suspiciously. off!' And Elfride started; and Stephen beheld her light figure contracting to the dimensions of a bird as she sank into the distance--her hair flowing. to make room for the writing age. Worm being my assistant.''What of them?--now. Thus. 'I know now where I dropped it. then? They contain all I know.' he said cheerfully. I hope you have been well attended to downstairs?''Perfectly. as it proved. Smith.''I admit he must be talented if he writes for the PRESENT.'Business. and began. much less a stocking or slipper--piph-ph-ph! There 'tis again! No. This was the shadow of a woman. Smith.