Front Cover
 Half Title
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The rain it raineth every day
 Under the greenwood tree
 Up in the hills
 The hanging firs
 The last day
 A ballad and an adventure
 The wreck
 The children's hour
 Lost and found
 Back Cover

Title: Ella's locket and what it brought her
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028166/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ella's locket and what it brought her
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Dartnell, G. E.
Publisher: Marcus Ward & Co. ;
Publication Date: 1875
Copyright Date: 1875
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028166
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alg5485 - LTUF
60654481 - OCLC
002225213 - AlephBibNum

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 1a
    Half Title
        Page 3
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
    Table of Contents
        Page 6
    The rain it raineth every day
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Under the greenwood tree
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Up in the hills
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    The hanging firs
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 78a
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    The last day
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    A ballad and an adventure
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 104a
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 124a
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    The wreck
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 136a
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
    The children's hour
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    Lost and found
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
    Back Cover
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
Full Text

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BEECH LEAVES (p. 34) Frontisiiece.
THE COMING OF SUMMER (see Cover) 104

-, -j-,, "" -.'-.--- .. ..' ,.- "_ (7. .,



AIN, rain, all day long! and I
Sam at my wits' ends for some-
thing to do. It would be
much better if I was a girl, for then
I could just get out my work basket,
and sit stitching away like mother
there, looking as happy as can be,
though the rain is streaming down
the windows so fast that one cannot
see through them at all.

8 Ella's Locket.

I would slip on a thick overcoat,
and try half-an-hour's roach-fishing
down by the old mill, if there was
any chance of getting within a dozen
yards of the river. But then the
water is out over both banks, and
the fish will be too much disturbed
to feed well. If it clears up by the
evening they will be hungry enough
to-morrow or next day, and that is
one comfort. But what am I to
do till then? At home one might
find something or other at once, but
as ill luck will have it our house
is quite given over to the tender
mercies of carpenters and painters
just now: so here we poor waifs
are, lost in a strange place where

The Rain. 9

we know nobody and nobody knows
Out of the world into D-,
Out of D- into the sea,
runs the old rhyme, and I think it is
a very true one.
I believe we are supposed by our
friends elsewhere to be enjoying the
fine view here, but what that fine
view is I have not discovered yet, as
it has been raining ever since we
came. I've read pretty nearly every
one of the few books in the place by
this time, and looked at every picture
over and over again, till I verily
believe I could say a good part of
Rasselas right off by heart, or draw
that grim-looking old warrior up

Io Ella's Locket.

over the side-board with my eyes
But why need artists always make
a point of placing heroes with their
backs to all the fighting? There are
his men, getting rather more than
their share of hard knocks, right in
the thick of it all behind, and here he
is, taking it all coolly enough, to
judge by his look. I do not call that
at all fair. So I'll try a few pages of
Ossian for a change. There is an
odd volume about somewhere, as
there generally will be in this sort
of place, and I think one can get a
good deal of the real thing out of the
old book, if one does not go too
deeply into the matter.

The Rain. 11

But stop, there is the postman,
and a letter for me too, I declare.
"As I suppose you must have
a fortnight or more of your holidays
left, you can hardly do better than run
down to Ellersley. What say you
to Monday next? Will that suit?
"Your affectionate Uncle,
Well, this is something far better
than I had ever expected such a day
would bring me. It is at any rate
something to think about and to look
forward to. It may be all my fancy,
but I really think it is not raining
quite so fast now as it was before the

12 Ella's Locket.

letter came. However, we shall see
"What do you say to it, mother?
I haven't been at Ellersley itself
since Willie's birth-day three years
ago, and I should so like to be there
this autumn."
"Well, it is very kind indeed of
Uncle Hugh to ask you down, and I
do not see what is to prevent your
going. You know we shall be very
busy at home all next week, tidying
up after the workmen, and putting
things back in their places, and I
daresay you will not be sorry to be
well out of the way."
And so it is all settled in a moment,
and mother takes up her work again,

The Rain. 13

and I write my letter and post it, and
then come back to the cosy window
seat and the old Ossian. But some-
how, instead of those of the great-
limbed heroes and fair maidens of long
ago, the bright-eyed and the brave-
hearted, the faces I remember so well
flash out from the pages before me.
It is no longer D-, with its long
dim streets all dark with rain-streaks,
and its dingy "signals of distress,"
hung vainly out in every other
window, but sun-lit Ellersley, with
its broad sweeps of park and winding
avenues, and trim terraced gardens
at either side, nestling low down at
the feet of the heather-flushed hills,
a gray quaint-gabled Elizabethan

14 Ella's Locket.

manor house, with the ivy clambering
over one half of it, broad-leaved and
with twisted rough stems thick as a
man's arm low down, but delicate as
lace-work higher. A fine old country
house it is now, and yet twelve years
ago, when Hugh Carey came into the
property, it was a mere wreck of what
it once had been.
Losses had fallen heavily upon the
family. Acre by acre their lands had
melted away, and the old house was
fast crumbling into utter ruin. The
glory of the Careys had departed.
But then came my uncle, young
and strong, full of the fresh vigour
breathed into him under far Austra-
lian heavens, and eager to restore the

7/ze Rain. 15

old name to the place it so long had
held amidst its fellows. Little by
little he won the lost lands back, not
all, not even the larger part of them,
but still enough. Quietly, almost
plainly, as he has to live still, there
are few more respected or looked up
to than he is in the county, and none
who are not glad to see him rise up
amongst them, ruddy and broad-
shouldered, a full head taller than
any round him, with his hearty words
and his ready hand.
Then there are his two boys, Hugh
and Willie, merry and mischievous
as schoolboys always are, or at least
ought to be; and little baby Cecily;
and my aunt, frail and delicate, but

16 Ella's Locket.

doing what she can to make those
around her happy. Not that she can
do much herself now, but there is
Ella, the eldest child, who is always
quick to carry out such of her mother's
plans as may safely be entrusted to
the little maiden's helpful hands.
But stay a moment. I am making
a mistake here. We have been call-
ing Ella cousin so long, that we
have almost forgotten she is but an
adopted child, about whom nobody
knows anything, not even her name,
beyond this much:-
When, twelve years ago, my uncle
and aunt were passing through
France on their wedding tour, a
bridge over a narrow ravine was car-

The Rain. 17

ried away late one night by a sudden
landslip, and the result was that, just
before daybreak, half the train they
were in went crashing down into the
chasm without a moment's warning.
Fortunately they escaped almost un-
hurt, their carriage being one of the
two or three that somehow remained
on the very edge, but for all that it
was a terrible wakening.
My uncle and some young Oxford
men who were there made a bonfire
of the broken wood as quickly as
they could, and worked on by its
light, getting out the moaning suffer-
ers from under the wreck.
Strangely enough, as it seemed to
all who saw the place afterwards, few

18 Ella's Locket.

were killed outright, but amongst
those few lay a fair young English
girl and her husband.
Poor thing! she looked a mere
child herself, though, clasped close
to her breast, without even a scratch
or a bruise, was a little girl about
two years old, who had slept on
through all the tumult and horror,
only to waken when Hugh Carey
lifted her tenderly in his strong arms
and carried her to his wife. The
wee thing smiled up in his face so
prettily as he bent over her, that he
quite fell in love with her at once.
She said her name was Ella, and
that they were going home, and spoke
at times afterwards of a strange

SThe Rainz. 19

country over the sea, where every-
thing was brighter than here, and
where the 'people had dark faces.
But very little more could be got out
of her, or indeed out of anybody else,
except young Tom Kingscote, of
Magdalen, one of those who had
been the first to come upon the child.
He had met the three a month or
so before in Rome, and had spent a
very pleasant day with them once,
somewhere in the Campagna. His
impression was that they had but
lately come from India, and were
abroad for the husband's health; but
he either had never heard or else had
quite forgotten their name. Their
linen too was marked only with the

20 Ella's Locket.

initial C, and as their luggage had
all been in a van which was crushed
to fragments under the engine, no
further clue could be very readily
And so, as nobody knew anything
worth mentioning about her, there
was nobody to make any objection
when the Careys came forward and
offered to take the child themselves
and bring her up as their own. Only
one or two Frenchmen shrugged
their shoulders over their wine, and
smiled with a polite sort of pity at
the folly of those mad English, who,
not content with looking after their
own children, must needs be looking
after other people's too.

The Rain. 21

And so it was that the little un-
known orphan became Miss Carey
of Ellersley,4and right well did she
repay all the love and care that was
lavished upon her.
And as the years went by, the
child's few memories of the past
grew dimmer and dimmer, and those
who knew the truth fewer and fewer.
Kingscote took holy orders, and went
out as a missionary to some wild
South Sea Island: one Morton settled
down in Canada, and another was
lost at sea: and so one by one they
passed out of the Careys' quiet little
world. Indeed I think that except
myself there is no one now who ever
speaks to Ella of that dim past, no

22 Ella's Locket.

one who knows how often she steals
aside to muse over the tiny locket-
picture, with its braid of bright hair
and its one word Margaret," set in
tiny pearls, that is all now left her
of that fair young mother who lies
in the quiet graveyard of a little
Protestant chapel, far away on the
vine-hung slopes of Southern France.

r. C -

I -- .. '^- ... ..
.__ ..' -. -..,


HE rain is over and gone, and
the wheat shows golden bright
against the brown arms of the reapers,
as they stand with the purple corn-
flowers tangling round their feet, far
down in the west country.
It is a bright sunny afternoon
there now, and the low, far away
gray hills look very beautiful through
the sudden breaks in the skirts of
the little beech-wood in which I

24 Ella's Locket.

stand, a mile or so away from Ellers-
And the wood is beautiful too with
its short mosses under foot, and its
slight interlacing boughs, bright with
strange colours, brown and crimson,
yellow and flame-like: and very
quiet it is too, save for the light stir
that the fallen leaves make round
one's feet. There are not many as
yet, but wait awhile, and sharp frost
and rough wind will in a few ruinous
hours strew them ankle-deep.
But hark, what is that? It is a
girl's voice, singing near at hand,
so near that I can hear almost every
word of the German cradle-song she
is singing-

Under I/te Greenwood Tree. 25

Hush thy little eyes, sweet, close,
Like twin buds upon a rose;
With the morrow's dawning, too,
Will they4bpe as roses do.

So runs her song. Ah it is just as
I expected it would be.
There are my cousins, four of
them, under that great rough-rooted
beech-tree by the hedge. The two
nearest to me are boys, one about
eight years old, and the other ten,
and behind them is a girl some two
or three years older, with a little
crimson-hooded child by her side.
She has just stopped singing, and
is leaning over the little one fondly,
while the two boys lie anyhow on the
dry earth, tumbling over one another

26 E/las Locket.

with the most perfect disregard of
rumpled hair or crumpled collar.
"I say, Ella," breaks in one of
them suddenly, what do you think
Uncle John told Hugh this morning
when he couldn't say his Latin?"
I don't know," says Ella.
"Why, that he was just like a
kangaroo, always getting along by
jerks and starts." Ella holds up her
finger and says hush! but it is too
late. Hugh makes a dash at his
brother, loses his balance, and comes
tumbling head over heels down the
slope, just at my feet, amidst a burst
of laughter. Quick as I am in slip-
ping behind a bush, Willie's sharp
eyes are quicker, and I am obliged

Under the Grewoa'ood Trce. 27

to come forward and join the party
rather sooner than I had intended.
Well, Elia, and how is wee
Cecily ?"
"I don't think there is much the
matter with her," says Ella. She
ate up all Hughic's chocolate just
now, so I cannot have you giving her
any more, Charlie. She has had
quite enough already."
What, not one big red bull's-eye ?
That would be very hard on me
when I have had the trouble of
bringing them all the way from
D- on purpose. What do you
say to it, Cissy? You like sweeties,
don't you ?"
"Es, me like 'weeties, me have

28 Ella's Locket.

'weeties," says naughty little Cecily,
with a tiny stamp and an injured air,
and Ella has to give way just a little
for once, as I am afraid is very often
the case, and to allow the forbidden
bull's-eye to find its way somehow
from Cousin's pocket to Cissy's open
mouth, where it soon disappears, leav-
ing behind it a good deal of stickiness
and a very happy-looking face.
"Cousin 'Tarlie has by this time
thrown himself down on the slope
like the rest, while Cissy, who is
very good now that she has got all
she wants, nestles close up to Ella,
with now and then a grateful glance
across at him.
"And what's the news now, Ella?

Under the Greenwood Tree. 29

What have you all been doing with
yourselves for the last week ? When
old Martha told me where to find
you, she said you had been getting
into a rare pickle all the time."
"I should just think we had.
There is more than I can tell you in
a hurry," laughs Ella, as she takes
Cissy's plump fingers in hers, and
checks off the days on them, one by
one, Cecily looking upon this oper-
ation as some new game, and very
much interested therein. First we
went over to the Mortons' for Lucy's
birth-day, and saw all the world there.
And I do believe we played every
game that was ever invented. And
then we went down to Janet's Cove

30 Ella's Locket.

the next day, and got heaps of sea
tangle and frill, and shells, and sea
anemones, and the prettiest pebbles
you ever saw, all full of curls and
whorls and circles, and eyes like
peacocks' feathers, when they are
polished up a bit. Hughie has a lot
of them at home, and you shall have
what you like for your collection."
"Yes, for a consideration," says
Hugh, who has just made Sir Wal-
ter Scott's acquaintance, and, boy-
like, is very full of him. You will
have to tell me the names of them
all, and something about them, and
help me to- "
"Stop, stop! I can make no rash
promises. Perhaps I shall not know

Under the Greeniwood Tree. 31

what one haKf of them are, unless
they are agates or something of that
Why, what's the use of your
being in the lower sixth if you don't
learn all that kind of thing ? "
"Very little use, as far as I have
yet found out," I answer. "What
between cricket, and foot-ball, and
races, and one thing and another, one
has to pay a great deal more every
half, and that is about the end of it."
But here Ella breaks in, open-eyed :
"Why, I thought the Doctor told
papa lately that you were getting on
splendidly, and would be sure of one
"Ah, don't you see I am not the

32 Ella's Locket.

Doctor, and that makes all the differ-
ence in the way we look at a thing.
But I want to hear more of what you
have been doing, so please go on,
"Well," says she, "of course we all
got as wet and as sandy as we well
could be, down at the Cove, and old
Martha gave us such a scolding after
it. You should just have heard her!
But I haven't told you the best of it
yet. Papa came in right in the
middle of it all, and made such a
long face that she had to stop and
run away to keep from laughing
right out. And then-the other
hand, Cis, there's a dear-we went
over to Uncle John's yesterday, and

Under tI/e Greenwood Tree. 33

we are to go. again in a day or two
now that you are here."
And how did you like Clare
Morton's new governess ?"
0, I didn't like her at all. She
was very cross, but then perhaps it
was all our fault, because we got
giggling at her."
"Well, and how could one help
it?" says Hugh, with an injured air.
"I know I couldn't, though it was
very rude. Willie did look so funny
when she put on her great green
spectacles, and told us how wicked
it was to go robbing the poor dear
little birds of their eggs. Why, if
we didn't take a few sometimes, there
would be so many birds about that

34 Ella's Locket.

they would be eating us all up for
breakfast some fine day or other."
"That they would !" cries restless
Willie, jumping up at the drooping
boughs overhead, and shaking down
a shower of crisp crackling leaves all
over us. "That's all she knows
about it!"
And he goes on jumping and
shouting, while Cissy looks up ap-
provingly, and claps her plump little
Cousin Charlie thinks it best to
change the subject at once.
And where are we to go to-mor-
row? "
0, up to the hills for the whole
day. Katie and the Mortons and a

Under the Greenwood Tree. 35

lot more are coming, and we are
going to have the spring-waggon
out, and pic-nic under the trees, and
do all sorts of things. Won't it be
jolly? Hip, hip, hurrah!"
And Willie's ill-used cap goes
spinning up through the air, startling
a stray swallow who has got into the
wood somehow, and is trying very
hard to find his way out again.
"Yes," says Cousin Charlie, "es-
pecially if we can get a chance shot
at a stray kangaroo or two."
But Cousin Charlie is but ill pre-
pared just now for the volleys of dry
leaves and beech mast that come
pelting, down on him from Hugh's
brown hands faster and faster, and

36 Ella's Locket.

so is very glad to make his peace by
promising all manner of things all
Hugh is to be shown how to catch
the little brook trout up there, if
any can be found; Willie to boil
the kettle gipsy fashion, and roast
the potatoes properly in the hot em-
bers; Ella how to sketch the Hang-
ing Firs, and (last, not least) Cissy
how to find the whorts. Truly a
very fair day's work, harder than that
under Dr. Carson sometimes is.
However, it serves me right.
But now the sun is beginning to
drop down behind the far hills, and
the light comes slanting in on us, till
the leaves flash like gold as they fall

Ulder the Grecenzaood 7'rcc. 37

round Willie's merry face, reminding
us that it is drawing on to tea time,
and we must go.
And so we start; Hugh and Willie
darting in and out amongst the
bushes in chase of butterfly or moth,
Cissy half asleep on my shoulder, only
waking up from time to time when
one or other of the boys comes back
with a fat blackberry to be swallowed
up by those ever-ready lips, and Ella
in her capacity of elder sister trying
to look older than she really is,
and to keep us all in some sort of
It is a pleasant walk home, on
through the wood where there is no
proper pathway, following the course

38 Ella's Locket.

of the little rivulet that flashes down
to the river.
Once or twice a startled pheasant
goes whirring up through the under-
wood, leaving half a dozen bright
feathers to flutter slowly down again
to the ground, and once a bright-eyed
ruddy-furred squirrel, who has been
feasting on the fallen mast or acorns
round, springs up a great chestnut-
tree, and sits there just over our
heads, curling his bushy tail with
wrath, and scolding us heartily for
spoiling his supper. Willie must
needs swing himself up after him,
hand over hand, from bough to
bough, almost to the top of the tree;
but it is no use. Even a schoolboy

Under the Greenwood Tree. 39

is no match for a squirrel, and so he
has to drop down again, only to be
laughed at for his trouble.
Every now and then we come to a
stand-still, where the bushes close in
upon the stream rather too suddenly
for us to pass by. So we have to
wait until the boys can with much
splashing and laughing make a rough
bridge of the larger pebbles near, for
us to cross by. After all, as one of
us soon finds out, they are very poor
bridge-builders, and you must step as
carefully as if you were walking on
egg-shells, or in you go. One bridge
is crossed safely, and then another,
but midway across the third the
treacherous stones give way, and in

40 Ella's Locket.

a moment I am getting as good a
ducking as I have had for many a
Luckily Ella's quick hand has
caught Cissy away just in time to
prevent her going in with more than
one foot, but it is a minute or so
before I can scramble out, muddy
and wet, and without my cap, which
has gone sailing down on a voyage of
discovery somewhere or other, I sup-
pose, most likely with some tiny
Columbus of a dead leaf in it.
At any rate it can't be found, so I
bind a strange-coloured handkerchief
of Hugh's round my head, and start
off for home, while the boys follow
with Cis between them, keeping up a

Under /he Greenwood Tree. 41

running fire of jokes (and very bad
ones too !) on my appearance. And
so we trot on out of the wood, and
on by meadow and cornland thick
with eye-bright and hawk-weed, the
trailing toadflax and the corn-cockle.
Nobody is looking, so Ella does
not mind running a bit too, though I
hardly know what her governess, who
happens to be away just now for her
holiday, would think of her, were she
by to see.
But here is the old manor-house,
with the bright lamp-light streaming
out from its low mullioned windows
to welcome us, showing warm and
ruddy against the rich brown of the
"carved oak wainscot-panels within.

42 Ella's Locket.

It is just such a house as Mrs.
HFemans sings of.
"The stately homes of England !
How beautiful they stand
Amidst their tall ancestral trees
O'er all the pleasant land !
The deer across their greensward bound
Thro' shade and sunny gleam,
And the swan glides past them with the sound
Of some rejoicing stream."

But, alas! the deer have long since
given place to sheep, though the
swans are still there; and the sounds
that greet me as I slip up the back
stair-case are hardly those of some re-
joicing stream, for old Martha pounces
down upon me, and after making sure
nothing worse than a wetting is the
matter, gives me a hearty scolding.

Under the Greenwood Tree. 43

I ought to be ashamed of myself,
that I ought! I might just as well
ha' drowned missie while I was
about it! and so on. However all
good things must have an end some
time or other, and at last I am
allowed to get into a dry suit, and
join the nursery tea, which we all
vote much cosier and nicer than the
"grown-up" dinner down stairs.
And then the dreaded Martha
marches in, with her coom to
beddie, coom !" and Cissy departs,
nothing loath, whilst we go down
stairs and finish up the evening with
music and riddles and round games
by the dozen. And then to bed,
where I lie watching the moonlight

44 Ella's Locket.

creep down the wall, inch by inch,
until at last I fall asleep with Ella's
last song, a German one her governess
gave her, ringing through my dreams.

Tired am I, to rest I go,
Close mine eyes on all below;
May Thine eye, my Father, keep
Watch about me while I sleep !
If to-day in sin I've trod,
Do the stain away, O God !
Thro' Thy grace and Jesus' blood
Out of evil cometh good.
All that are akin to me
In Thy hand lull graciously.
All mankind, both small and great,
For Thy word of power wait.
To the weary send Thou sleep,
Close the eyes that watch and weep.
Bid Thy Moon in Heaven arise,
Watching earth with gentle eyes *
SAfter the German of Louise Hensel.


'\: ORNING at last! And a bright
Morning it is too, with fair
promise of a yet brighter day. I
do not think we could well wish for a
better than it will be for the hills.
You may be sure we do not lie over-
long in bed to-day. There is too
much to be done for that.
Willie is pounding away at the
wall just by the head of my bed as
soon as ever it is light, and before

46 Ela's Locket.

I am well awake I hear Hugh's voice
shouting through the key-hole some-
thing which, after a good deal of
trouble, I find out is meant for Scott's
"WVaken, Lords and Ladies gay!"
However it might be Bonnie Dundee
itself for any resemblance it bears
to the proper tune.
My efforts to discover what it is
have so thoroughly roused me, that
I turn out at once and join the rest
with as little delay as may be.
There is plenty for us to do:
sketch-books and crayons to get out,
tin flower-boxes and trowels to be
hunted up, half-a-dozen baskets to
be lined with white paper, so that
the juicy hill berries may not leave

Up in the Hills. 47

too many stains behind; rough ash
and hazel alpenstocks to be cut in the
thicket behind the garden, and last,
but certainly not least, hampers to be
crammed up to the very brim with
all manner of good things. That is
old Martha's share of the business,
and she makes a great mystery of it.
However we are none of us much
afraid of the result, as we by this
time ought to know right well what
her notion of a pic-nic is. Besides,
Willie every now and then slips up
a certain apple-tree outside, that
commands a very fair view of the
kitchen window, and reports to us
thence how things progress inside.
So we go on with our work very

48 Ella's Locket.

contentedly on the whole, till the
gong sounds for breakfast, and in we
scamper with the very best of appe-
And so an hour or two slips by,
and then our friends begin to drop
in. First and foremost come the
Mortons from the Vicarage, Clare
and Lucy, Teddy and Jack.
Willie at once seizes upon the
latter two, and carries them off to
assist in catching our three rough
Shetland ponies down in the pad-
dock, so that he just misses having to
welcome the next arrival, Miss Ellis,
whose horror of bird's-nesting must
be as strong as ever, if one may
judge by the look she gives an un-

Up in the Hills. 49

lucky tray of fine hawk's eggs, the
pride of Willie's heart, that is lying
on the side table ready for Ted Mor-
ton's inspection when he comes back.
She is soon followed by Mr.
Hazlewood, the new curate, who has
charge of an outlying hamlet down
by the sea. And then quiet Con-
stance Graham appears, with an
escort of half-a-dozen laughing Les-
lies, reminding me somewhat of the
Lady in Comuzs, till she comes nearer
and I can see her eyes full of sober
enjoyment of the fun.
Katie Morton is not with either
party, but she is to ride up with her
father in time for our tea if she feels
well enough, for poor Katie is not

50 Ella's Locket.

very strong now, and cannot always
get out when she would like to.
But here comes the spring-waggon
round to the door, and one after an-
other the children are stowed away in
it. Big as the waggon is, it is a hard
matter to get them all in; and as it is
a warm day, Hugh and Ella and I
congratulate ourselves on being able
to take our ease on the ponies. At
last all are safely in, though not with-
out much crushing and rumpling of
hats and dresses. But nobody minds
such a trifle as that. We have all got
on things that can't be much damaged
by scrambling about through the
bushes, so that it really does not
matter. The worst of it is that Miss

Up in the Hills. 51

Ellis's great green spectacles tumble
off somehow in the confusion and get
broken. She is rather put out at first,
but brightens up a bit when Mrs.
Leslie tells her that she looks a good
ten years younger for the loss of them.
It is certainly the truth. And so off
we go, with the old squire driving,
and Mr. Hazlewood and the Morton
boys sitting with their feet dangling
behind for want of room. I only
hope neither of them will be shot off
before we have got half a mile on our
If they are, we three have not much
chance of seeing it, for that madcap
Willie has somehow contrived to get
hold of an ancient-looking horn, on

52 Ella's Locket.

which he makes most unearthly noises
at intervals, much to Martha's disgust,
and to that of our ponies too, for the
very first blast sends all three of them
off as hard as they can tear, and we
must be the best part of a mile ahead
of the waggon before they begin to
get out of breath, and consent to be
pulled up.
However there are many worse
things in this world than a good race,
and I think we should be starting off
for another in a very few minutes,
were it not that we have by this time
got over most of the level road, and
so shall have it all up-hill for the
next two or three miles.
So we dismount, and walk quietly on

Up in tle Hills. 53

up the winding road, sweet with the
wild thyme in the hedge-rows, for a
couple of hundred yards or so, until
we reach the brow of the first hill.
There we tie the ponies up to a gate,
and sit down on the bank to wait till
the rest can come up.
Very beautiful the country at our
feet is. Far below us lies Ellersley,
looking a mere cottage now in the
midst of its broad park and picturesque
covers; and the great reedy pond is
shining like a sheet of silver just now,
as the sun flashes across it; and be-
yond lie the sudden curves of our own
little river, and the straggling village
with its massive gray Norman church-
tower, standing out boldly against

54 Ella's Locket.

the out-lying oak-woods and hazel-
coverts. And beyond these again are
open downs, with a few dim moving
spots that may be sheep feeding there,
on to the very edge of the sail-dotted
channel, with its broad brown sand-
banks, showing dark amidst the shal-
low water, stretching far away across
to the Welsh coast.
0, how pretty it all looks! I must
try and sketch part of it," says Ella.
And she turns to her basket for a
pencil. Alas! it is stowed away some-
where in the waggon, half a mile be-
hind, and so the view will have to go
unsketched for to-day at least. Just
at this moment Hugh, who has been
exploring the ruins of an old cottage

Up in the Hills. 55

near the road, comes running up, out
of breath, with two or three flowers of
a pale gold, veined with rich shades
of the same colour, in his hand.
"I say, Charlie, I wish you'd tell
me what this is. I found it down in
the ruins there, and I don't believe I
have ever seen any of it before."
It is a handsome-looking plant,
with leaves of a curious grayish green,
through which the slender stem runs
up and branches out into three. Each
of these three divisions again branches
out into three flower-stems, each with
a tiny pair of leaflets at its base.
"0 what a pretty flower it is !" says
Ella, turning it over and over. The
leaves have got the very colour of the

56 Ella's Locket.

sea this morning, far out there by the
islands. And just look at the flowers.
The middle one is shut close up, and
there are only the side-buds open. I
wonder how that is. Do you know
what it is, Charlie?"
"I think it must be the yellow-wort;
but I did not know it grew anywhere
near here. Perhaps it came out of
the garden of that old house, as it
grows so close to it. You see one
flower always twists itself up like a.
screw somewhere about the middle of
the day, and then those on each side
of it come out. But that is only when
the sun is shining. I don't think they
come out at all on very dark days."
How funny! I must get a root

Up in the Hills. 57

as we come back, to plant in my wild
flower garden. It would look very
pretty there, up in that corner by the
rock-work, it is so bright and sunny-
Well, I am not sure how it would
get on there. But you might try it
at any rate. I fancy though that it
seldom does well, except on chalk or
limestone, and both are scarce enough
about here. But here comes the
waggon at last, so up with you as
quick as you can, and we'll ride on
by the side of it a bit."
"WVe ride back a little way to meet
the waggon, and Ella exhibits her
prize with great glee. Miss Ellis
tries to improve the occasion, as they

58 Ella's Locket.

call it, by giving a very learned lecture
on the Chlora ferifoliata, for so she
will persist in calling it, as if the
simple English name was not good
enough, and old enough too, for the
matter of that. However, for a wonder
she does happen to know which vowels
should be long and which short in the
Latin, and that is something in a
I am sorry to say that Constance
Graham is the only one of us who
seems to take much interest in the
lecture. So Miss Ellis stops short
in the middle of it.
Somehow we English boys have a
very natural clinging fondness for
our own old English names of wild

Up in the Hills. 59

flowers, when we do happen to think
of them at all, which is not every
day, I fear. Long Latin names are
luxuries fit only for those who can
have their green-houses and ferneries
by the dozen, if they want them.
Botany is bad enough in that way;
but as for geology-! Why, we went
up to old Dr. Gray-Gray-wacke, as
we called him-one day last half, and
asked him what was the good of giving
things names half a yard long, that
nobody could remember, and that
often hadn't any meaning in them;
and he only laughed and said they
had used up all the short names with
any sense in them long ago, and were
now trying a little nonsense for a

60 Ella's Locket.

change. I know he was only making
fun of us; but still I don't think he
was far wrong after all. But here is
the inn we are to put up at, just on
the outskirts of a straggling little
village, nestled cosily under the hills.
So we all turn out, leave the waggon
there, sling the hampers like a pair
of paniers across the back of one of
the ponies, and start up the steep
rough road that leads to the planta-
tion where we are to lunch. Almost
every minute we seem to be looking
down into some new coombe, with its
steep bushy banks, and its short green
turf or tall ferns, and may be half a
dozen tiny rivulets leaping sheer down
from under the road into it.

Up in the Hills. 61

Here it was that Wordsworth strode
along years ago, startling the cottagers
with his sudden bursts of song; and
yonder bright-eyed Coleridge sat by
the wayside dreaming over that weird
tale of the "Ancient Mariner;" or, it
may be, young Southey set his friends'
wee children running to their mothers'
knee, half with fright, half delight, at
some grim ballad.
For this is close to that western
home of theirs, where more than one
of their most beautiful earlier pieces
was written. I think in its way it is
almost as beautiful as that Lake Coun-
try they so soon left it for. And yet
very few of the thousands who go
every year to Rydal Mount ever find

62 Ella's Locket.

their way down here. Perhaps it is
better so. More than half the quiet
charm the places made sacred by their
memory have for us would surely be
lost, were they once overrun by that
incessant locust-like swarm of tourists
one can so seldom get away from

a,^ -K



OW am I to describe this day
of ours amongst the hills ? It
is pretty much like all others there,
I suppose; a pleasant thing to have
part in, and a pleasant memory to
keep, but vague and shadowy after-
wards from its very pleasantness. For
the numberless little surprises and
pleasures that come across you there,
crowd one another out of the memory,
and leave behind them only their de-

64 Ella's Locket.

light. You cannot call any one of
them up with real distinctness, even
a little while after; you know that you
were happy there, and yet can hardly
say what it was that made you happy.
And so it always will be. And yet
let us take what we can from this one
day, before it fades away into the past.
Perhaps there may be some one mo-
ment in it that may not fade quite
away like the rest, but keep for us
somewhat of its first freshness and fra-
grance long years after.
Coombe after coombe is left behind
us, as we toil on up the narrow way,
stopping from time to time to take
breath and look back down the steep
ascent by which we have come.

The Hanging Firs. 65

Now the road is open on both sides
to the slope, and now it turns sharply
off to the right, past a low lichen-
stained wall, under an overhanging
brow, rough and dull red with the
great irregular blocks of sandstone
that jut out from it. The earth just
here is red with their crumbled dust,
and the very sheep that graze over it
seem to have tried to imitate its deep
hue, their short coats are so strangely
veined and stained with it.
But in a few minutes we have passed
on beyond them, over the crest of
the hill, to where the road suddenly
broadens out into a long open grassy
space, just outside the rough split-
pine fence of a young plantation, and

66 Ella's Locket.

edged to the westward with two or
three clumps of old fir-trees, bent and
bowed by the winds into the likeness
of some strange animal.
Here it is that we are to camp for
the present, as I fancy most people
who come here do, the turf round has
so many charred circles left by their
The pony is relieved of his load,
and tied up by the palings where the
grass is longest in the shade, and is
soon as busily engaged in eating his
lunch as we are in unpacking ours.
A foraging party under Ted Morton
is at once sent out to collect dry wood
for the fire, and we very soon have
quite a respectable pile heaped up on

The Hanging Firs. 67

the grass. My work is to drag toge-
ther enough of the felled pine trunks
round to make seats for those who do
not prefer the ground itself; and by
the time I have got together the half
dozen or so that will be wanted,
Willie, the self-appointed head cook,
has set the fire blazing up in fine style.
After all he might as well have left it
alone, for we shall really not need it
before tea-time. However, there it
is, blazing away, and the only thing
to be done now is to make use of it.
So a score or more of plump brown
potatoes are soon merrily roasting
in their skins among the hot em-
bers, while two or three of the girls
are setting the lunch out on the grass.

68 Ella's Locket.

It is a pleasant meal, hearty enough,
as most such are, with plenty of laugh-
ter over the droll mishaps that always
will occur at picnics; the big beetle in
his rusty-looking suit of black, stalk-
ing about solemnlybetween the plates;
the impertinent wasp prying into the
contents of the various dishes, and
very indignant at being considered
an intruder; or the suddenly dis-
covered ants' nest that somebody has
very innocently been sitting upon for
the last ten minutes.
All these and more too come in due
course of things, varied every now and
then by a shower of dry leaves, or a
heavy fir-cone that comes rattling down
from above upon somebody's shoul-

The Hanginzg Firs. 69

ders. And then we break up, and set
to with a will at the real business of
the day, which of course is to get our-
selves as tired and tattered as we well
can. Jack Morton and Willie, with
a full determination to let nobody be
beforehand with them in this, at
once set off, helter-skelter, for a race
down the steep sides of the knoll. It
was one mass of dense hazel covert a
year or so ago, but all has since been
cut down close to the ground, and
now there are only this year's shoots
in soft clumps rising knee high, so
that with the aid given by the steep-
ness of the hill itself, one can jump
or break through them pretty easily.
Away the two go like mad things,

70 Ella's Locket.

with their caps flying off behind them,
taking longer and longer strides as
they come nearer the bottom, where
there is a lowhedge skirting the under-
wood. At it they go, of course, for
one can't stop anyhow in such a place
as this, and then there is a tremendous
splashing and spluttering somewhere
behind it, before they struggle out into
our sight again, pretty well plastered
over with the red mud from the un-
suspected brook there.
However the whorts are fairly plen-
tiful along the upperbank of the hedge,
rising some nine or ten inches high,
with their stiff slightly-branching
stems, dark jagged-edged leaves, and
tiny rich-hued berries, wine-dark, as

The Hanging Firs. 71

the Greeks would have called them,
when you rub off the delicate sea-gray
bloom upon their surface. To most
of us they taste poorly enough by
themselves; but if we can only wait
till they have been mingled with some
sharper fruit and made into a tart, I
do not think we shall find much to
complain of.
So we are very soon busily engaged
in filling our baskets with the juicy
privet-like berries, and laughing over
the hedge at the two boys, who are
wading about after the few roots of
water-cress that happen to grow there.
Miss Ellis and Ella are still under
the firs, trying to sketch the little
church down in one of the hollows

72 Ella's Locket.

below, and Mr. Hazlewood and Hugh
have stayed up there to look after
them, which duty they perform very
much to their own satisfaction by cut-
ting a couple of tough ash-wands, and
practising single-stick with them,
until we come clambering up again,
our baskets very much heavier than
they were half an hour ago.
We sit down by them on the short
springy grass, and put all our berries
together in one great basket, so as to
have the smaller ones free for flowers
and roots and whatever else we may
come across that is worth the gather-
ing. The Welsh coast shows out very
plainly to-day. Every dark red mound
of waste ore, and every white cottage

The Hanging Firs. 73

along its hills, seem visible; and just
behind the Holme lighthouse we can
catch a glimpse of the crowded masts
and sunlit roofs of Cardiff.
"Yes," says Miss Ellis, when we
point this out to her, I was looking
at it a while ago, before you came up,
and so I asked a man who was going
by with some sheep whether it was
Cardiff. And what do you think he
said, Mr. Leigh ?"
"' Dun knaw,' I suppose. That is
what they generally say here when
you ask them about anything, and then
five minutes after they will tell you
all about it."
No, he wasn't quite so bad as that.
He only said he'd seed it a sight o'

74 Ella's Locket.

times when he wur a young un, and
some folk did say as how twur houses;
but he knawed for sartain-sure twur
they old women t'other side a hangin'
their clothes out on the hedges to
And Miss Ellis laughs heartily over
the recollection.
"Then I am quite sure he never
belonged to these parts. But you
should have asked him why they call
these hills the Quantocks."
I did think of doing so, but was
afraid of putting my foot into it again,
if he gave any very absurd answer.
But do you know why it is ?"
"O! I thought every one had heard
the story. I dare say you have seen

The Hanging Firs. 75

a German ballad, which tells how,
when the allied generals were con-
sidering whether they should invade
France or not, old Marshal Blucher,
after sitting silent for a long time,
suddenly started up and settled the
question, by saying he had always had
a notion that champagne would taste
best where it was grown, and he for
one was going to try it. Well, Julius
Caesar had long ago done just the
same thing. One day he took it into
his head that English oysters would
taste much better upon the banks of
Thames than they did on those of
Tiber, and so he just stepped across
the Channel to see if he was right.
But the British of those days were

76 Ella's Locket.

not much civiller to strangers than
they are now; and so when he landed,
they turned out and pelted him very
rudely from the cliffswith oyster-shells
and pebbles. However, that is all to
be found in the histories, so I shall
say nothing more about it. All we
need care about is, that after he had
had his dish of oysters he got down
here somehow, perhaps to try the
laver on the rocks, and somebody took
him up to the top of one of these hills.
He looked across at the Welsh coast,
and then cried out, 'Quantum hoc!'
which was as much as to say, 'What
a bother! I thought I'd conquered
all the world by this time, and now
there's another country to look after !'

Thze Hanging Firs. 77

The histories may say he never came
here, if they like, but that does not
matter in the least. The hills have
been called Quantock ever since, and
that ought to be the best of proofs."
It may be true," says Miss Ellis
doubtfully, "but for all that I think I
would rather take the other derivation
of the name, whatever that may be."
"And so would I. I only tell you
the story as it was told to me. But
we promised to find you some sun-
dew, I think, and it will be running
our time rather short for that and the
fishing, if we do not go soon."
I am quite ready now, if you like,"
says Miss Ellis, rising and putting
her sketching tools away. The two

78 Ella's Locket.

fencers have by this time splintered
their sticks pretty fairly about each
other's shoulders, and so are quite
ready to follow with the rest, on
through the close-set fern, which rises
knee-high almost everywhere over the
slope we descend by, into the mouth
of one of the lower coombes. Through
its centre runs the stream the boys
got into just now, full of little eddies
and swirls and tiny shaded pools, in
which we shall be sure to find a trout
or two soon.
But the flowers are first on our list,
and so we cross the stream at a broad
shallow place by the stepping-stones
there, and go a little way up the other
side, to where several springs come


i. ,



The Hanging Firs. 79

bubbling out from the hillside, and
try their best to make a real bog, a
famous place for flowers.
-It is very bright this afternoon
with low-growing century and sun-
dew, and the quaint square-stemmed
yellow-flowered St. John's wort, one
of those "herbs of might" to which
so many strange magical powers were
once attributed.
It is certainly handsome, and so is
the century, but the sundew is my
favourite; it is such a curious little
old-fashioned thing. Smooth wiry
stems, curled over like a young fern-
frond, and slowly uncoiling as the
tiny pale flowers begin to unfold in
the warm sunshine, spring from the

80 Ella's Locket.

centre of the round-headed leaves,
all set about with gummy red hairs,
amongst which many a hapless insect
lies dead or dying, with his delicate
wings glued together. Some plants
of this tribe are so irritable that the
moment an insect lights upon the
leaves, they close in on him and
crush him to death; but I do not
think it is so with this one, which
seems to me to be content with
catching them in its thick juices
and netted hairs. The fibres of the
root have so slight a hold on the
ground, that we can get up as many
plants as we want without using
anything but the hand.
Hugh and I, after gathering a

The Hanging Firs. 81

basket full of the finest specimens
we can find, leave the others to
arrange them in proper order, and
go off to look after the trout below.
Two or three long tapering hazel
wands are soon found amongst the
bushes, cut slantingly, and bound
firmly together with waxed twine,
so as to form a very serviceable ten-
foot rod.
I have a short line and fine hook
in my pocket, and this is soon tied
on, and I begin to dangle my bait
on the surface of a nice rippling run
close under the bank.
At first I think we shall get no-
thing, so quiet the fish seem; but
after a while an inquisitive little

82 Ella's Locket.

fellow of some four or five ounces
floats lazily up through the brown
water to have a look at the orange-
bodied fern-fly I am using, makes a
pretence of taking it once or twice,
and at last dashes boldly at it.
A turn of the wrist and I have
him firm. Splash! splash! splash!
up stream and down stream he goes,
fighting too hard not to tire soon.
Three or four of these sharp short
runs so exhaust him that he floats
in breathless, and is easily lifted out
on to the grass.
Clare Morton, a bonnie little
brown-faced maiden, some two years
younger than Hugh, whom she looks
up to as a very great person indeed,

7he Hanging Firs. 83

has never seen a trout before, and is
in high delight over the little fellow's
dark handsome jacket, with its red
buttons edged with white, and the
gold lace down the sides, and the
beautiful broad blue "finger-marks"
across it, showing clearly how young
he is.
Hugh and I between us soon get
half-a-dozen more of about the same
size out, as we crawl down stream
through the thick fern on our hands
and knees. And then Clare begs to
have a try too, it looks so easy she
is sure she can manage it; so Hugh
hands over the rod to the little hands
for which it is almost too heavy,
having no proper butt to balance it,

84 Ella's Locket.

and gives her a first lesson in the
gentle craft.
But a quarter of an hour passes
away without a rise, and Clare's
pretty brow looks sadly vexed, though
she still tries her best to rival her
teacher. And at last she has her
Near the lower end of the coombe
there is a still deep pool under a holly
bush, where I heard a trout rise a
little while ago, but could not get at
him very well. I point this out to
Clare, and she slips quietly down
stream, and lets her fly drop towards
the water. It can hardly be within
two inches of the surface yet, when
there is a bright flash, and a trout

The Hanging Firs. 85

leaps up, curved like a bow, through
the air. There is a splash as he
falls back again, and a little startled
scream, and then the struggle begins
in earnest.
Her first impulse is to drop the
rod, but she does not do so; and by
the time we come up she is fully
absorbed in trying to keep the fish
on. He is a nice one, quite three-
quarters of a pound, and strong too,
and he fights his way steadily round
the pool in a way I like to see.
He certainly deserves to get off,
and he does so too, for Clare lets the
line slacken for a moment, and he
gets his tail across it, with the jerk
snaps a badly tied knot, and departs

86 Ella's Locket.

rejoicing to his hole under the sunken
Poor Clare! It is rather hard upon
her to lose her first trout like this,
and very little consolation to hear
that I did just the same thing myself.
I have no second hook with me,
and so we string the half-dozen
"speckle-backs" already caught on
a twig, and start off to join the rest,
who are just beginning to turn back
towards the plantation, their arms
and baskets full of flowers.
Mr. Carey, who has been looking
over some land of his near here most
of the afternoon, is there, waiting for
us, and Clare gets a compliment from
him, when he hears of her exploit.

7The Hanging Firs. 87

He has made up the fire again for
us, so that we have not long to wait
before the kettle is slung over it, and
singing away merrily.
Willie wants to broil some of the
fish amongst the hot embers, and
really there are many worse ways of
doing a trout than this schoolboy
one. But unluckily it would take
more time than we can spare now,
and so the fish are packed in some
soft damp moss instead, to wait till
the morning.
Half an hour later, as the evening
is just closing in on us, we put up
the scanty remains of our provisions,
and begin the downward march to
the village, where the waggon is to

88 Ella's Locket.

be ready waiting for us. Half-way
down the hill one of the innumer-
able springs gushes out over a moss-
grown rock, and there we see two
ruddy-faced children, like poor crazed
Setting their little water-mills
By spouts and fountains wild,"
as merrily as she once set them up
in these same Quantock Hills.
We stop to watch them a few
minutes, and then the Squire divides
what is left of the cake between them,
and sends them home rejoicing, while
we pass on towards Ellersley under
the early starlight, tired and silent,
but none the less well content with
our day up in the hills.

I .., "-- ,s :, .'- -.. :I _-


ND so one day passes, and
another, and another, and the
last afternoon of my stay at Ellersley
is come.
Hugh and I have been down on
the shore all the morning, foraging
about amongst the reefs, which just
here run out a long way into the
sea, full of shallow sandy pools,
where the crabs lie basking. When
they see you, of course they at once

90 Ella's Locket.

scramble off sideways to the nearest
stone, and get under it, tucking up
their long legs in a wonderful way,
and lying as still as the stone itself.
But it is not hard to catch them
then, if you will just put on a stout
glove, or wrap your hand round with
your handkerchief, so as to avoid
getting your fingers nipped, and feel
carefully under for them. With a
little trouble you may get as many
as you want in an hour or two. Only
be careful that while you are watch-
ing them you do not step back into
a bank of the tough white-brick mud
that lies round so many of the best
holes. It is almost as bad as a quick-
sand. Once well in it, you may tug

The Last Day. 91

and strain away for a long time before
you can lift your feet clear of it, it
clings so heavily round them. There
are few shells here, and those very
common ones, whelks and limpets,
mussels, cockles, and sea-snails being
about the most plentiful. I like to
watch the latter clambering about
over the damp sea-tangle, under which
lurk those bright sea-flowers, the ane-
mones. Very beautiful they look in
the deep shady pools, with their deli-
cate tentacles, purple and blue, crim-
son, carnation, deep chocolate, and
clear sea-green, waving and trembling
like flower-leaves in the wind.
One might lie for hours watching
them, so fair and innocent they seem.

92 Ella's Locket.

And yet those slender floating threads
are feeling warily about, as a blind
man's hands would do, for the tiny
things on which they feed, and the
flower-like centre is hungrily waiting
for its prey.
It is a pity that they are so deli-
cate. Only think what a case would
be full of these living carnations and
dahlias, flowering in the still water
amongst frond and rock-work. But
it is hard to keep them so. I have
tried it over and over again, and
never succeeded. They mostly fade
and die in a few days.
If you want to take something
home with you, here is a little heap
of bright red sea-weed, delicate as

The Last Day. 93

lace-work, and close by it is some
coralline, branching stems covered
over with the hard white or pink
casing, full of tiny cells that a few
days ago were all alive with the
wonderful little things by which they
were fashioned.
Either of these is well worth
taking, to dry carefully and spread
out with thin gum on a sheet of
paper, as you would do with a leaf-
And here, in the sandy nooks be-
tween the rocks are tasselled black
sea-purses and pale sea-grapes, the
empty egg-cases of skate or dog fish,
mixed up with soft white cuttle-bone,
dry star-fish, broken razor-shells, and

94 Ella's Locket.

thin pink baby-oysters, and all the
strange drift of the sea.
But listen, there is some one call-
ing from behind the sandy point
I start up from the rock I am lean-
ing over, and run in the direction
of the sound, jumping from rock to
rock, with the slippery bladder-weed
snapping and popping under me like
Christmas crackers. Now I almost
fall over a great goggle-eyed cuttle-
fish, with his long arms all limp and
his hideous warty body sprawling
helplessly over the sand; and now
a round pebble slips from under me,
and sends me stumbling on for the
next half-dozen yards. Once round

The Last Day. 95

the point all is clear enough. There
is a gray pony standing patiently
under the cliff, and farther on Ted
Morton and Hugh up to their knees
in a long pool, narrow and deep at
the lower end, but very shallow above.
Close by the edge a girl is standing,
leaning on one crutch and striking
at something in the water with the
As I come up, she turns half round,
showing a thin pale face, worn and
lined with pain, but for all that a
pleasant and even happy one. It is
Katie Morton, Clare's eldest sister.
Two or three years ago, one day they
were both sitting near the edge of
the low cliff just beyond this, when

96 Ella's Locket.

suddenly the dry sand crumbled
away from under them. Clare caught
at some grass tufts and so broke
her fall, but poor Katie was thrown
against a rock and taken up sense-
less. Her spine was sadly injured
by the shock, and the doctors say
that even if she lives long, she will
never be any stronger than she is
"So, Mr. Leigh, you have come
up just in time to help us," she says,
pointing to a great fish struggling
lustily in the shallow water. "Ted
and I found our friend there just
making his way back to the sea, and
drove him up into this pool. I think
he has had almost enough of it by

77he Last Day. 97

this time. At any rate I don't want
him to serve me as the trout did
Clare on Tuesday."
I jump in after Hugh, and between
us all we drive the fish right up on
the sand, and secure him there. He
is a fine fellow, several pounds weight,
and very plump. We tie him up in
some grass, and fasten him on behind
Katie's saddle, and walk back with
her to the Vicarage, where we find
Ella and Mr. Hazlewood and Willie.
Ella and Katie are going down into
the village to visit some of their old
bed-ridden pensioners, so I offer to
carry the basket for them, but they
take Miss Ellis instead. To be sure,
as Katie says, I should be certain

98 Ella's Locket.

to get into the wrong with some of
those old women, who are the dearest
people in the world, but so easily put
out, especially if you don't remember
all their ailments and call them by
the right names.
So I go down into the yard instead,
to have a look at some of the boys'
pets. There are a good many pigeons
about, all very tame, some of a curious
Indian breed, with long feathers like
a second wing growing out of their
feet. And there is a wicked-looking
old magpie, with one eye and a
wooden leg, limping about and dig-
ging his strong beak viciously into
everybody's heels. He persecutes
Lucy's poor little puppy most unmer-

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