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AUTHOR OF THE PANELLED HOUSE," BOYSS AND GIRLS," &C.
PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE
COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION, APPOINTED BY
THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
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NEW YORK: POTT, YOUNG, & CO.
CONFESS to beginning this little
history with fear and trembling, for the
heroine that I have to introduce to you
L- is not a prepossessing heroine at all,
and I fear that my readers may possibly be dis-
gusted with her, and drop the story at once. A
heroine ought to be tall, graceful, and lovely,
adorned with every virtue of mind and temper, good
and clever; so highly accomplished that every one
admires her, and so -humble that she is not made in
the least conceited by universal admiration; blue
eyes and golden hair are desirable, or, at least,
preferable, and the heroine never deserves to be
found fault with on any occasion, though she often
suffers unjustly for the sake of some one else. Now
Rosamond Ferrars, at her first appearance in this
story, is not this kind of heroine at all. She is a
very naughty little Brighton school-girl, aged thir-
teen and a half; she is a brown-skinned, curly-haired
creature, slight, and angular in figure, who is rarely
known to be still for two minutes together. Pos-
2 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
sibly she might not be an ugly child if her short
fuzzy hair were brushed into lustre, the inkstains
washed from her fingers and the tip of her nose, and
the grease-spotted linsey frock changed to more be-
coming attire; and, above all, if the sulky look that
is generally on her face were to vanish, and she
were to look up frankly into one's face out of the
big, grey, black-lashed eyes, which are really good
in shape and colour. But Rosy's frocks are always
untidy, her hair gets rough five minutes after it has
been brushed, and she moves so abruptly that she
is certain to knock down any book, box, or chair
that can by any possibility be upset. She is always
being reproved for something, and nearly always
with justice. She is rather a favourite among the
girls who are younger than herself, but none of
her own contemporaries can endure her; and Miss
Watson and all her under-teachers fully agree that
Rosy Ferrars is, without exception, the most tire-
some child that ever fell to their lot to teach.
What is to become of her in future they really can-
not imagine. It is not only that she is awkward
and untidy: she is idle, insubordinate, and disobe-
dient; and, though she has excellent abilities, she
is invariably at the bottom of her class, with an
arrear of impositions that she can barely manage to
overtake in term time, and has to conclude in the
lonely holidays, when she and Miss Watson have no
company but one another's for their entertainment.
For Rosy is unfortunate in her circumstances.
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 3
Even her most inveterate enemies in the school pity
her when they go away for their holidays, full of
the delights of home, and leave Rosy standing on
the stairs, with a wistful look that she cannot keep
out of her eyes, although she pretends not to care.
Rosy is an orphan, without a home, and with no one
to look after her except an elderly lawyer, who is
guardian to her and to the thirty thousand pounds
that she will inherit some day. She has no aunts
or uncles who may take compassion upon her, and
ask her to spend the holidays in some jovial circle
of merry cousins; her guardian himself is an elderly
bachelor living in chambers in London, who thinks
it his duty to lecture her, either personally or by
letter, whenever those terminal reports arrive, which
invariably present the same unflattering picture.
"Progress.-Slight if any; idle and inattentive
at lessons, although her abilities are equal to, if not
above, the average of girls of her age.
Conduct.-Not improved ; reckless, defiant,
and insubordinate to her teachers; unpopular
among her schoolfellows. Her only redeeming
points are a certain natural candour and truthful-
ness, which are, however, apparent only in her
On receipt of these reports, Mr. Barrow would
sit down and write a stiff letter to his ward, telling
her how much he regretted to hear that she was
still so troublesome and so naughty, although she
was now growing up to an age in which she ought
4 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
to prepare herself for her future responsibility.
He much trusted that she would endeavour to
amend her conduct, or the consequences would be
deplorable. Rosy used to pout over these letters, and
relieve her mind by tearing them up into the smallest
possible pieces before she burnt them; it -seemed
a little outlet to the discomfort they brought her.
Here is a little scene from Rosy's life at Miss
Watson's school, which may perhaps show her to
you more plainly than any amount of description.
It is a dull day, and the sea-fog is rolling up the
streets of Brighton, and dimming the windows with
its salt breath. The girls at Miss Watson's have
been excused their ordinary constitutional walk,
two and two along the King's Road, and are sitting
in the schoolroom instead, with shawls and jackets
on, to protect them from the chilly air that blows
in from the open windows: for the schoolroom is
always aired in recreation-time, notwithstanding
the grumbling of the girls. Some are working,
some drawing, some illuminating; they are mostly
employed on Christmas presents to be given to
parents and brothers and sisters in a month's time.
Rosamond Ferrars has no inducement to amuse
herself with the manufacture of Christmas presents;
she has a story in her hand which she has read
before, and she is fidgeting desperately with her
feet, calling upon her many reproofs from the other
girls, more especially from one Margaret Dale, a very
neat and correct young person of seventeen, between
whom and Rosy there is overt and perpetual war.
Miss Dale has sandy hair, which she likes to think is
auburn, and Rosy, whose tongue is sharp enough
in school-girl repartee, delights in addressing her as
Sandina, which various small imitators think a
delightful piece of wit.
Miss Watson having
been called out of the I
room by a visitor, and
no other governess be-
ing there at that mo- K(
ment, Rosy springs up
from her seat, yawns,
stretches herself, and -
proceeds to exercise
her muscles by spring- 4
ing upon the window-
sill, where, by dint of
intense exertion she
manages to crane her
neck out of the upper
half, which alone was
allowed to open.
"Rosy, you know that
is not allowed," said
I don't much care
whether it is or not,"
6 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
"My name is not Sandina, and I shall feel it my
duty to report you," said Miss Dale, trying to
keep her dignity, but flushing with wrath.
Rosy looked round at her with a grimace, and a
sudden idea struck her. She sprang down, seized
Margaret Dale's gold thimble, which was on the
table, mounted to her elevation again, and said,
"Now, Sandina, promise that you won't report me,
or you'll never see your thimble again!" And
she held it outside the window-sash, so that the
slightest movement would drop it into the street
"Rosy, Rosy, for shame !" rose in chorus from
the other girls; but Rosy stood upon her sill of
vantage, laughing. It was at that moment the spirit
of mischief rather than of spite that actuated her.
But Margaret made a rush at her, and tried to lift
her off the window-sill. There was a struggle and
a scrimmage; and, whether by inadvertence or
by sudden impulse of anger, the thimble fell outside
into the street.
"She has thrown it out! it's gone!" cried the
other girls, with horror-struck faces. "You nasty
spiteful thing, you, Rosy Ferrars. Poor Margaret's
thimble-real gold, too !"
And a dirty woman has picked it up, and
walked off with it!" said Ada Nixon, who had
mounted to the sill of the other window in her
excitement, regardless of rules.
Margaret Dale sat down and cried. Rosy dis-
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 7
mounted from her perch, and stood looking sulky
rather than penitent.
It was your own fault," she said; you made
me let it go."
"0, Rosy Ferrars, what a story!" arose in
chorus from her schoolfellows. What a spiteful
thing to do We'll send her to Coventry, Margaret.
Don't you cry about it, there's a dear."
Accordingly Rosy was sent to Coventry; and the
public opinion of the school was such that even her
own allies, chiefly small girls of nine and ten, were
compelled to follow suit. Whether the punishment
was deserved or not, it certainly did Rosy no good;
and in about a fortnight afterwards Miss Watson
wrote a letter to Mr. Barrow, which made him take
the unusual step of coming down to Brighton for
the day. In it she had said that she really could
keep Rosamond Ferrars no longer at her school, and
that in her opinion the best thing that could be done
with her would be to place her in some well-ordered
family, to try whether the atmosphere of family life
would suit her better than that of school.
Accordingly, in the beginning of December, Mr.
Barrow was ushered into Miss Watson's drawing-
room. He was a tall, thin, grey-haired man, very
sprucely dressed, and with a dry severity about his
aspect. He certainly was not the sort of man who
looked likely to have much influence upon a naughty
Miss Watson sailed in, arrayed in the sweeping
8 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
silk gown which her pupils called her "visiting
silk." She was an imposing-looking person, and,
withal, a good woman in her way. More than once
she had even succeeded in drawing tears of contri-
tion from Rosy herself, though the impression left
hardly proved to be a permanent one. Now she
had made up her mind that Rosy's stay at her
school was good neither for her nor the rest, and no
consideration of the very advantageous payment
which Mr. Barrow made for his ward would make
her swerve in her determination that Rosy should go.
Mr. Barrow was of opinion that a naughty child
was better managed at school than anywhere else.
He thought that a very strict school, with so few
pupils that none of them were ever to be out of their
mistress's sight, was the only alternative.
"No, indeed," said Miss Watson, who had more
experience of girl nature, and a good deal of insight
into character. Consider, Mr. Barrow, Rosamond
has been at school ever since she was six years old,
with no home-break in the holidays. I do not
think thab there are many children who would not
be the worse for such a fate, although in her case it
was unavoidable; but it is plain that it has not
answered with her. She has feelings that might be
worked upon by home influence; and I wish ex-
ceedingly that before sending her to another school
you would at least try what home life would make
of her. The experiment, at least, would do no
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 9
But how am I to find a suitable home for her ?
Who would take a girl who is too naughty to be
kept by a lady who has so great an interest in her
welfare as you ?"
There are many people to whom it would be so
great an advantage to secure a good governess with
the payment that you would make for the charge of
Rosamond, that they would gladly submit to the
inconvenience for the sake of the benefit to them-
"But would they trouble themselves to correct
her faults, Miss Watson, or would they let her run
wild ? asked Mr. Barrow. Rosamond, you say,
wants a great deal of discipline. Now are you
likely to find that discipline in a family in rather
poor circumstances, such as you suggest ? "
""I think it might be found. Time only would
prove whether it could be in the particular instance,"
said Miss Watson. "At the same time, I must
confess that I do not think there is any risk of the
experiment harming Rosamond's character, while
it might do her good. If it fail, you still have the
remedy of the strict supervision of a small school in
Mr. Barrow yielded at last to these arguments,
and promised that he would follow Miss Watson's
views rather than his own; and then he asked to
see his ward.
It was not a very promising-looking young lady
who stood before her guardian, defiant, ashamed,
10 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
and inky, with a pout upon her lips. Rosy did not
like Mr. Barrow, who never even gave her half a
crown when he came to see her, and only lectured
her upon her naughtiness. She knew she was going
to be lectured now, though she did not know that
\\ .\l l' i '1'
the threat of expulsion, which had hung over her
for the last four years, was at last to be carried
So you have been getting into disgrace again
I hear," he said drily.
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 3 1
"I am sure I don't know what will become of
you unless you reform your ways," her guardian
proceeded. "I suppose you think that you may
take liberties because you are an heiress "-Rosy
was far too childish to have thought of such a thing--
"but I can tell you it won't do. What is to be,
done with you now that Miss Watson has decided
that you are too naughty for her to keep you any
longer, I cannot imagine. You may be sure that
the only thing that it will end in will be a very
strict establishment, where no liberty or pleasure
Rosy was startled. Her two eyes and her mouth
opened wider than usual, and she looked up at
"Yes, Rosamond," said Miss Watson, "I am.
extremely sorry, I am sure; but you know that I
have often told you that I should have to send you
away if you did not improve, and instead of im-
proving, you grow more heedless and more idle and
naughty every term. I have just been asking Mr..
Barrow to take you away. If you had been a dif-
ferent sort of girl, I should have liked to have
kept you with me until you had finished your
education," she added, with some compunction, as
she caught a frightened, piteous look in the girl's
eyes. It was but a momentary softening, however:
Rosy swallowed down the lump that rose in her
throat, and the defiant look came back into her
12 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
Where am I to go to, then ? she said, sulkily.
"That," said her guardian, is a point that
requires consideration. You will be sent to some
place where you will be kept under strict super-
vision, and I hope that you will endeavour to
behave better than you have done hitherto. No
amount of fortune can make your life a happy one,
Rosamond, if you stubbornly refuse to do your
-duty in that state of life to which it has pleased
God to call you."
Rosy's countenance did not change. She stood
there, still looking hard and sulky, and Miss Watson
dismissed her. Rosy ought to have gone up to
the schoolroom at once; but she seldom did what
she ought to have done. She turned aside, instead,
into a little room where the girls kept their hats
and jackets, and crouched down in a corner behind
'some damp waterproofs, where she burst into tears.
"Nasty, horrid man! she sobbed to herself;
" I know it's all his fault-and Miss Watson needn't
tell him of everything I do wrong-it's like telling
tales of me. Telling tales out of school, too! I
wonder how she'd like anybody to tell tales of her
to her guardian ? I wish I'd got no guardian I
wouldn't be so naughty if I had a papa and mamma
to go home to at Christmas, and to send me birth-
day presents, and be sorry, like Nelly's mamma,
when she had a bad report. Nobody's sorry when
I have a bad report: Mr. Barrow 's glad, because,
then, he can scold me. And now he's going to
ROSAMOND FERRAES. 13
send me somewhere awfully strict-a place where
the girls wear back-boards, and sit with their feet
in stocks, I dare say! a place where I don't
know anybody! They are very unkind. Miss
Watson knows all the big girls hate me, and then
she tries to prevent the little ones being with me,.
because, she says, I make them naughty, and set
them a bad example. And that Margaret Dale,
too, trying to do the same, and giving little Edie
Turkey sugar to entice her away from me-I won-
der how she'd like it done to her!
"Sending me away, indeed! I should like to
know what I've done. Lizzie Bray tells stories,
and nobody expels her; and Lucy Nixon ate half
Nelly's cake, and nobody expelled her. I don't
tell stories, and I'm not greedy; and as to being
one of Miss Watson's good girls, like that sneak,
Sandina, I wouldn't be anything so nasty!
But, O dear, dear! and Rosy broke out into
fresh sobs, "it is so horrid to have to go away L
I don't know anybody in all the world outside the
school. I've been here seven years-more than
half my life. I wonder if it would be worth while
to try to be good? It must be so awfully dull!
besides, what is the use of being good when
nobody cares? I suppose I shall have to get
good when I get old; but I don't see why I should
begin yet. And if they do send me to some horrid
school with back-boards, I'll be so naughty that
they'll expel me from there. I'll make Mr. Barrow
14 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
see that I am not to be treated as he treats me;
and, perhaps, Miss Watson may be sorry, too, then
as she says she always wants my good."
And then, having given vent to these amiable
-reflections, something better seemed to rise up in
Rosy's heart in spite of herself; something which,
though she did not put it into words, made her
tears fall more penitently, and less angrily; for, at
"the bottom of her heart, she did wish that she had
,been a better girl. She still had a lurking affec-
tion for Miss Watson, though she would not own
it, which made her feel that she would be sorry to
go quite away and never to see her again. And
"now she had gone on with her naughtiness too long,
and she began to realize the meaning of the word
"4C too late."
Yes, it was too late for Rosy to retrieve her cha-
racter at Miss Watson's school; but not too late
for her to learn under other influences, of which she
dreamed little at present. The world was larger
than she knew, and good and beautiful things were
to come to her of which she, in her childish igno-
:rance, guessed but little.
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 15
OOD-BYE, Rosy, my dear. I hope you
will try to be a good girl, and improve
very much under Mrs. Waterhouse's
These were Miss Watson's parting words as she
put Rosy into a first-class carriage at the London
terminus, whence she was to travel down under
charge of the guard to Beversham, her future home.
What it would be like, Rosy knew hardly at all. She
had been much too shy to ask questions of Miss
Watson, and Miss Watson did not know much
aboi-t it herself, except that Mr. Barrow had taken
her advice, and had found a home for Rosy in the
household of the Reverend Guy Waterhouse, Incum-
bent of St. Clement's, Beversham. Rosy supposed
that this was to be the establishment where she was
to live under strict supervision, and being an
imaginative young lady, she had quite made up her
mind as to what Mr. and Mrs. Waterhouse would
be like. Probably the illustrations of some antique
tract had supplied the type under which she
shadowed them forth in her mind. She imagined
Mr. Waterhouse as a thin, parchment-faced man,
16 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
in a swallow-tail coat, with spectacles, and with the
corners of his mouth very much turned down, who
would talk through his nose; and Mrs. Waterhouse
as a tall, thin lady with mittens and very scanty
skirts, who also had the corners of her mouth very
much turned down, and talked through her nose. She
supposed that as the supervision was to be so strict,
there would be no children, unless perhaps there
might be a grown-up daughter, who would also
wear mittens, and assist in Rosy's education.
"Anyhow, she shall find I can give her some
trouble," said the rebellious little person, setting
her red lips together, and winking her eyes hard
to keep out the tears.
For the first quarter of an hour after leaving
London Rosy was alone in the carriage; but by-
and-by two ladies got in, who had "Beversham "
written upon the label of their shawl-straps, and
Rosy looked at them with interest. Presently they
began to talk, and Rosy amused herself by listening
to their conversation. Probably they thought the
little school-girl opposite too insignificant to check
the speed of their tongues.
"By the by," said one, "did you hear the
piece of luck that has fallen in the way of the
No; what is it?"
Rosy pricked up her ears.
"They have got the charge of some rich little
girl who is to have a first-rate governess; and so
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 17
Madge and Cecy will be able to pick up a good
education after all."
I am delighted to hear it. Cecy is such a clever
little thing, she ought to have a good education.
I suppose the Waterhouses are very poor ?"
"Of course, they must be that, with all those
hungry creatures to feed and clothe."
Rosy wondered whether the hungry creatures
belonged to the family or only to the parish.
"And the living is so small, too. It is quite
marvellous to me how they manage as they do."
"This rich child will certainly be a great help."
"I should have thought they had enough without
her for Mrs. Waterhouse's comfort."
house never con-- -
siders her own -
comfort. She is _
my idea of a
saint" said the
other lady; and
Rosy, not know-
ing what the
lady's idea of am
saint was, was J -
quite confirmed i
in her notion of
Mrs .Waterhouse ,
as a tall, thin
lady in mittens,
18 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
with the corners of her mouth turned down.
After this, the conversation became less interest-
ing to her, and nothing further occurred until
the train arrived at Beversham, where a very
tall, broad-shouldered clergyman, with a merry
face and a deep resonant voice, put his head into
the carriage, saying, "Any young lady here of the
name of Ferrars ? Rosy's two travelling com-
panions greeted him warmly, and looked curiously
at her; but he gave his attention to her rather
than to them, and after a few moments of bustle,
she found herself deposited in a fly with her luggage.
Her breath was almost taken away by the thought
of this being Mr. Waterhouse: he was so different
from her conception of him. All right ?" he
said, in an inquiring voice, with a merry nod: I
shall get home as soon as you to welcome you; "
"and then she saw him walking away with great
strides along a paved footpath which led towards a
high green hill, dotted with houses, and crowned
by the tall spire of a great church.
Her road lay up this hill, and, to this impatient
child, it seemed a very long one. She could not
quite get over her surprise at finding Mr. Water-
house so very different from the thin, severe-looking
man whom she had pictured. He looked awfully
jolly,' she said to herself, in the school-girl par-
lance which came most naturally to her lips. 'C It
must be Mrs. Waterhouse who is so strict and
horrid," she said to herself, and began to wonder if
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 19
Mr. Waterhouse would sometimes interfere in her
favour when she was to be punished. She thought,
with a thrill of hope, that, perhaps, he might not
insist upon her wearing a back-board after all,
though it remained firmly settled in her mind that
back-boards must be used in the penitential abode
to which she was going.
At last the fly stopped at a small wooden gate,
from which a footpath led through a garden to a
gabled house, with a tiled roof and mullioned win-
dows. Here Mr. Waterhouse was standing with
a tall, fair, pretty girl of fifteen beside him. This
is Madge," he said, in his pleasant voice: "she is
going to take you in to my wife while I act porter
to your boxes." And, to Rosy's surprise, her host
and porter shouldered the largest of the boxes and
carried it off, while Madge Waterhouse took her
hand, and said: "Why, how cold you are! Come
in and get warm: we have had our dinner, but
there is some kept hot for you. Here is mother,"
she added, as they reached the door; "we would
not let her come out to meet you because she has a
And instead of the stern lady with mittens and
the corners of her mouth drawn down, Rosamond
beheld a sweet-looking, little, plump woman, not
nearly so tall as Madge, with soft blue eyes and a
smiling mouth. So this is Rosamond Ferrars,"
she said, drawing the child towards her and giving
her a hearty kiss. "You poor dear child, how
20 ROSAMOND FEREARS.
cold your cheeks are. Come in at once and have
something to eat," and she put her arm round
Rosamond, and led her into a shabbily-furnished,
but cheerful dining-room, nearly filled up with a
large table. As for the aspect of the room, how-
ever, Rosy saw little of it: the strangeness of her
situation, and the utterly unexpected warmth and
kindliness of her reception, made her feel "all
nohow," as she called it, so that she really had to
use some self-control not to cry. But it was not
an unpleasing sensation, and she really was hungry
enough to do justice to the hashed mutton and
potatoes which were brought in,-not by a servant,
but by Madge.
Then Mrs. Waterhouse said that she must have
a glass of wine after her journey, and hurried off
for the key of the cellaret, which was not,
apparently, in daily requisition here; and,
during her absence, Rosy found courage to say
to Madge,-" You are not the only one, are
you ? "
Madge laughed at this as if it were a very
amusing idea. "No, indeed," she said; "why,
there are ten of us, but I am the eldest, so I had
the first chance of seeing you. The boys are gone
off to school, and Cecy is keeping the little ones
quiet. I will take you to see them as soon as you
have had your dinner. I do hope you will like
Beatrice: she is such a little pet."
How old is Cecy ?"
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 21
", Thirteen. I am fifteen, and Guy is twelve.
How old are you? "
"That is nice: we shall be all in a bunch. We
were so pleased when we heard you were coming,
and we were to have a governess. It is particularly
nice for Cecy, because Cecy is so clever: much
cleverer than I am. Are you clever, I wonder ?
I hope not very, because I shall be nowhere if you
are as clever as Cecy. I'm not clever a bit."
Here Mrs. Waterhouse returned, and Rosy re-
lapsed into silence; but Madge went on talking,
with few pauses, until her mother said-" My dear,
you will quite oppress Rosamond if you chatter so.
Are you called Rosamond, or Rose?" she pro-
ceeded, putting her hand on Rosy's shoulder, and
looking into her face.
"Rosy," said the girl, feeling a thrill run through
her at that tender, motherly touch, and the back-
boards vanished for ever out of her small mind.
"Then we will call you Rosy, too. I hope you
will be happy with us, little woman, and that we
shall all do one another good while we are together.
Now, do you like to come up to your room and un-
pack, or will you come and see the others first ? "
"The others first, please," said Rosy: and she
was conducted into a fairly roomy drawing-room,
where all the furniture was draped with very worn
and faded chintz; and the only pretty things about
the room were the various Indian curiosities, and a
22 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
large dinner-plate, full of moss, covered with snow-
drops and primroses. Children of various ages
were playing about the room, under the care of
a boy of eight, and on the hearth rug sat a thin-
faced, bright-eyed, rough-haired girl, reading, and
a great brown retriever with a wise expression on
his face. The reading girl sprang to her feet when
Rosy entered, and was introduced as Cecy. The
eight years boy was Leonard; below him, in various
steps of height, came Molly, Katie, Harry, Bea-
trice, and baby Jim: and Guy and Teddy were
away at the grammar school in the town. Happily,
Rosy was very fond of small children,-not babies
-and she admired little Beatrice enough to con-
tent even Madge.
Then Madge took her to her bedroom, which
really looked wonderfully pleasant and snug. A
ROSAMOND FERRAES. 23
bright fire was burning in the grate to welcome her,
and there was a green rug and a little white bed,
which looked as if it would be extremely inviting
when bed-time came. The walls were decorated
with one or two pictures and several illuminated
texts. I daresay you have pictures and texts of
your own which you would like to put up," said
Madge: "" Molly and I took them out of our
room to make the place look cheerful; but we will
take them down again if you like."
"I haven't any at all," said Rosy. 0 how
awfully nice the room does look! I say, what is
the governess like ? "
She does not come for a fortnight. We are to
get used to each other first. I'm sure I shall soon
get used to you: I hope you will to us."
I'm sure I shall," said Rosy, gratefully; and,
indeed, the acquaintance made such rapid progress
that, in a very short time, Rosy had confided to
Madge how very unlike she and her father and
mother were to the images formed in her own mind.
Madge laughed: she was a merry girl, and did not
require much to call out the ripple of laughter
which sounded so pleasant in Rosy's ears.
24 ROSAMOND FEREARS.
OSY was at the age when little girls often
begin to keep journals, especially when
anything unwonted occurs to them, and
as one of her little friends at Miss
Watson's, namely, the fickle Edie, who had once
been enticed from her embraces by Miss Dale's
Turkey sugar, had given her a parting present of
a little blank book, she thought it an excellent
occasion to begin. This is what she wrote :-
"January 26. I came here. Old Tabby took
me to the train, and preached:-
O may I never, never be
Again in that academy.
I like this place. They are much jollier than I
expected, and don't turn down the corners of their
mouths. Teddy and Madge are the jolliest. I
Don't think Mrs. Waterhouse is like a saint. I
like her. I like him, too, and the dog. I think it
will be much nicer than school. I am sleepy, so I
shall write no more to-night."
This was the first entry in a journal which went
on for a week, and was then dropped. The last
entry was as follows:-
"Got up at 7. It rained. Had prunes and rice
at dinner. Went to bed at the usual time."
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 26
"c Well, Mary, what do you think of the young-
lady ?" said Mr. Waterhouse as his wife came
into the study, where he was writing his sermon.
"I don't think there is anything very wrong
about her," said Mrs. Waterhouse. "' Perhaps not
more than may be very well accounted for by her
homelessness. Miss Watson, in her letter, com-
plains of insubordination and defiance as the child's
chief fault. Now I am quite sure she will find no
one among the children who will assist her in being
insubordinate; they have their faults, but I can trust
them all to be obedient; and Rosy will not find
much encouragement in that kind of naughtiness
I suppose they know nothing of the cause of
her being sent here."
"Nothing at all. I see no reason to tell them;
do you ? "
No; every reason against it, rather. What do
they think of her ? "
"Madge likes her, as she likes every one; and
Teddy says she is a jolly sort of fellow ; but Cecy
cannot get over her having remarked that Bee is a
sweetly pretty child. She treats the expression as
an insult to Bee rather than a compliment."
Mr. Waterhouse laughed. "Cecy has some toler-
ation to learn yet."
Mrs. Waterhouse went upstairs, and knocked at
Rosy's door. Rosy was just in bed, but not yet
asleep; and to her surprise and wonder Mrs. Water-
26 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
house sat down in the chair by the side of the bed,
saying, Are you quite comfortable, dear ?"
"0 yes, thank you," said Rosy sitting up in bed,
and opening her eyes wide.
"Well, Rosy, and do you think that you can
manage to be happy with us ? "
The kind voice and the tender touch found their
way to Rosy's heart at once. Poor little girl; they
were so new to her that she could hardly under-
stand them. "0, yes!" she said warmly, "I'm
sure I shall! Everything seems so funny, so
different from school. I hate school!"
"I was very happy at school when I was a little
girl," said Mrs. Waterhouse.
0," said Rosy; but I dare say it wasn't a
school like Old Tabbv's. That's what we called
Miss Watson, you know."
Not a very respectful name, I think. But what
was the matter at Miss Watson's that made you
hate it ? "
"c O, it was such a horrid place, and they punish
you so, for all sorts of nonsensical things. I was
always naughty there," continued Rosy, waxing
I hope you don't intend to be the same here,"
said Mrs. Waterhouse smiling.
0, no. At least, not if I can help it. There
was a girl there who always used to make me
naughty, because I couldn't bear her. I'll just tell
you what she did--"
ROSAMOND FEREARS. 27
"No, no; I don't want to hear uncomfortable
stories about other people at this time of night,
when you have said your prayers and all. Besides,
Rosy, I don't believe in any one making us naughty;
the naughtiness is in ourselves."
Rosy was silent.
"To tell the truth," said Mrs. Waterhouse, a
little bird has whispered to me that Rosy Ferrars
was not such a good girl at school as she might have
been; and I wanted to remind you, dear, that this
is a new beginning for you. Nobody knows any-
thing about the past except Mir. Waterhouse and
I, and we don't
intend to say i i
it. Will you tr ryI :
and be a good
girl while young J. is
are here ?"
And Rosy felt
her and pressing
her close; and
choky came into her throat, though she felt
strangely pleased and happy. Yes," she whis-
That's right. I think you will, for I am sure
28 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
vou have an honest little face. I want you to be
good and happy, for that is what God wishes us all
to be, you know. Now, good night, little woman.
And, with another kiss, Mrs. Waterhouse de-
parted, leaving behind her a little heart won to
Rosy was a very affectionate child, though her
affection had as yet scarcely been drawn out, except
towards those small children at school, whom she
had been accused of injuring by her bad example;
and when Mrs. Waterhouse was gone she said to
herself, half aloud, Oh, she is a dear! I'll always
do what she tells me! She's not a bit like Old
Tabby. I will be good here; I really will!"
And when next morning she came down stairs
and mingled with the merry, happy, orderly family
party, Rosy still felt that it would be quite easy to
carry out her intention. Everybody was cheerful
and busy; and Rosy, who had energy enough when
she chose to exert it, was delighted to share in
their occupations. The Waterhouses had hitherto
kept only two servants, besides a little nurse-girl,
who came for part of the day. They were going to
keep another now, in consequence of the addition
to the party of Rosamond and her governess; but
the new servant had not yet arrived, and as the staff
was necessarily so small, Madge and Cecy, as they
had always been accustomed, made themselves use-
ful in various household matters. They took it in
ROSAMOND EERRARS. 29
turns to help in the toilet of the babies, and to
superintend the nursery breakfast; and Rosy was
allowed to help in these avocations, which was very
novel and delightful to her. Madge, too, went
into the kitchen after lessons, at twelve o'clock,
to help in the preparation of the dinner. She was
very clever at household matters, and her bread
and her pastry were always pronounced to be better
even than her mother's. On this first day, for a
treat, Rosy went into the kitchen with her, and
amused herself with rolling a piece of dough into
biscuits of various shapes. Mrs. Waterhouse
warned her that this delight could only be very
rare, for the kitchen was a place for work, and not
for play. During the chief part of the morning,
when Cecy and Madge were doing lessons for their
father, and the boys were at school, and Mrs.
Waterhouse was teaching Molly and Katie, Rosy
amused herself with story-books from the girls'
shelf; and one delight after another seemed to
unroll itself before her as the day went on. How
different from what she had expected !
She was a good deal impressed by the united
learning of the family. At tea, for instance, talking
over an essay which Guy had to write, on the
Feudal System, they all grew quite excited, some
for and some against it. Cecy was eager in defence
of the Feudal System, because, she said, it involved
the theory of chivalry. Teddy supported her, be-
cause it must have been so awfully jolly" to live in
30 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
your own castle, and do what you liked, and go and
fight with other people when you saw fit. Madge
said that the old barons were barbarous savages,
and Cecy really looked as if she could have boxed
her ears for saying so; her eyes filled with tears,
and her cheeks grew scarlet, especially when Guy
sided with Madge.
What do you say, Rosy ? said Mr. Water-
house turning to her.
"I-I don't remember much about it," said
Rosy; "but I think I agree with Teddy."
Hurrah Rosy agrees with me," said Teddy,
looking quite pleased at having found support.
"Yes," said Rosy, "I think it must have been
very nice always to do what you like, and to have
nobody to say you must do this or that."
This was the first natural sentiment to which
Rosy had yet given utterance, and Mr. and Mrs.
Waterhouse looked at each other and smiled; but
Cecy said vehemently-" That's not my reason at
all. It is because it was such a grand thing for
them to feel that everybody looked up to them,
that they had a station they must live up to or be
no good-father, don't laugh: you know what I
mean! Now, do say you agree with me."
No, don't," said Teddy and Madge; and the
voices grew so eager that Mrs. Waterhouse had to
tap the table with her spoon, and Bruno, the black-
faced retriever, got up from the fire and looked up
at them all in surprise. Rosy was amused: she
ROSAMOND FEERARS. 81
had never seen people get so excited about an ab-
stract matter of history before, and she looked
eagerly for Mr. Waterhouse to decide the question
upon the side she had espoused. It does not take
much to make a strong partisan, even if you know
little or nothing about the point in question.
I agree with all of you except Teddy and Rosy,
and their view I can't accept," said Mr. Water-
house at last, when silence had been produced.
(" 0 father you might reproachfully from
Teddy.) It was just what you envy them for-
doing what they liked and being responsible to
nobody-that made some of them into barbarous,
savages. That is the very essence of savage life,
Teddy. The more civilized we are-not to say
Christian-the more we find that we can't do what
we like, and the more people we are responsible to.
Don't you think so, Rosy ? "
"I know people always make us do what
we don't like, and say it is for our good," said
Rosy, encouraged to talk by the freedom of the
"And you don't believe them ? said Mr. Water-
house, with an amused smile upon his lips.
"Well, you can't always, you see," said Rosy,
candidly, "because they won't let you do anything
you like. They won't let you stand on the window
sill and look out of the window; and they won't
let you go and play on the beach; and they won't
let you talk English in playtime; and they always
-32 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
want you to copy nasty girls for your example;
and they won't let you buy buns at the pastrycook's,
or even the least little bit of sugar-candy "
This tirade diverted the attention of the assem-
bled company from the feudal system, and Cecy
said, rather scornfully, Why, you don't want to
buy things at the pastrycook's at your age, do
you ? "
Rosy felt rather small, but Teddy plunged gene-
rously to her rescue. "Of course: at a horrid
school she does. You don't get anything good at
school-the boarders don't here: they live on old
horse and bread buttered with tallow; I know they
kdo because Robertson minor, told me so."
"That's the sort of thing Old Tabby gives us,"
said Rosy, quite elated.
"I beg your pardon ?" said Mr. Waterhouse, as
if he did not hear her quite plainly.
"I mean Miss Watson," said Rosy, getting red.
Oh, Miss Watson; I understand now."
This was all that Mr. Waterhouse said; but it
was enough to prevent Rosy from speaking of Miss
Watson as Old Tabby" again.
She wrote in her journal that night :-
January 27. I have been quite good all to-day :
I think I always shall be, here; it is so different from
school. I wonder why people ever send girls to
school: they must be naughty at school, and they
need not be at home. When I have little girls
They shall never go to school all their lives long !"
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 33
Poor Rosy was yet to learn that temptations to
naughtiness will come in one place as well as in
another, and that the only way to meet them is to
face them with a resolute will in a strength not our
own. She knew little of all this at present.
34 ROSAMOND FERRAES.
OSY quickly became at ease in her new
home. Mr. and Mrs. Waterhouse did
not make a visitor of her, but treated
her like the child she was; and as it
was not at all the custom of the family to sit silent,
with the corners of their mouths turned down, but
rather to laugh and chatter, and make all the fun
that could be made out of the circumstances of
their daily life, she did not very long keep her
"company face" on. Some people would have
said that Madge chattered too much, and, indeed,
there were times when she deserved the casual
nickname of Magpie, for she dearly loved the sound
of her own voice; but Madge's chatter was not of
"a gossiping nature, for gossip was a thing which
was never allowed to lift up its head at the Rectory.
Teddy was much of the same nature as Madge,
except that he was cleverer at his books. He was
just as sweet-natured and good-tempered, and it
was equally impossible to make him angry. He
was more like his mother than any of the other
children, and Rosy took a fancy to him at once.
A boy of eleven and a girl of fourteen can make a
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 35
very pleasant pair of friends: and of the two,
Teddy was, if anything, the least boy-like. Rosy
had much more daring and enterprise than he had;
but he was not a coward by any means, and wil-
lingly followed her lead, though he did not often
originate the plan.
When Teddy was at school, and Madge was busy,
Rosy did not at all disdain playing with the little
ones. Lenny and Molly confided to each other
that Rosy was as jolly as she could be-really,
Lenny almost thought she was jollier than Cecy.
"0 no, Lenny," said the faithful little Molly,
"for Cecy's our sister, you know."
"Being a sister doesn't make a girl jolly by
itself," said Lenny, who had a metaphysical turn.
"Does it, Alice ?" appealing to the nurserymaid.
0 no, Master Lenny," said the small authority
appealed to. "There's some sisters aren't at all
kind: I knew a girl, named Jane Brown, what had
a sister as used to beat her."
"I don't care : Cecy isn't that sort." said Molly;
"c and I'm not going to say Rosy's best for a sister,
though Rosy may be best to play with."
It was not long, in this unrestrained kind of life,
before Rosy's faults began to appear. She was a
heedless child, and had a sort of idea that it was
rather an admirable thing than not that she
should be so. She had never exercised her
thinking powers enough to be able to think a
thing clearly out by herself, and then she had a sort
36 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
of notion, when she dressed herself in a hurry, and
came downstairs with the parting of her curly hair
in a beautiful zigzag, ending somewhere over the
left eye, that it was a fine thing to be wild and
free," and not "particular," like her old enemy,
Margaret Dale. Mrs. Waterhouse, however, did
not seem to admire this wildness and freedom, as
it deserved. She remarked, "My dear Rosy, you
cannot have looked in the glass this morning when
you parted your hair. Pray, go upstairs and put it
tidy at once." Rosy obeyed, though not with the
best grace; but she was not an ill-tempered child,
and soon recovered her equanimity. But, she
thought, how tiresome if Mrs. Waterhouse is going
to be as particular as Miss Watson!
The next occasion was after dinner, when sho
was having a romp with Lenny in the drawing-
room, and Cecy was sitting on the hearth rug,
writing a story in pencil between the lines of an
old copy-book. The effect was somewhat startling
to the reader, the young author's literary work
mingling with the copy-book axioms, thus-" The
sun was setting in the west, and Ethelfled walked
along the top of the cliff. She heard a groan,-
SProcrastination is the thief of time' : she looked
down, and cried out in her native Saxon tongue-
" Who is there ? There was no answer, but-' Pro-
crastination is the thief of time.'" And so on,
and so on, highly to the amusement of Mr. Water-
house, who was Cecy's critic, but quite satisfactorily
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 37
to the young author herself, who was so much en-
grossed with her work that she did not attempt to
see what Rosy, Lenny, Molly, and Katie were doing,
although the little ones were really in her charge.
The shrieks and screams of delight, as the children
raced Rosy about the room, did not disturb her in
the least, nor did she wake up to consciousness
until there came a great thump on the floor, and a
crv of Oh! succeeded by an alarming stillness.
Ti tablecloth had succumbed to a convulsive tug
from Rosy, as she tripped up over a footstool, in
her race round the room, and at this moment she
was lying buried under it, like fidgety Phil in the
Struwelpeter, shaking with laughter, and perfectly
unaware that she had not only upset all the books
over her, but also the large inkbottle which lay on
the table from which was pouring a black stream
upon the much-enduring and faded carpet.
"Rosy, Rosy, get up!" cried Cecy, roused at
length. "The ink-the tablecloth will be quite
spoilt, and the carpet too! Mother will be vexed
Rosy crawled out at this, saying solemnly as she
did so, out of the children's book :-
"Where is Philip, where is he ?
Fairly covered up, you see ;
Cloth and all are lying on him,
He has pulled down all upon him !"
"You have spoilt the carpet, anyhow!" said
38 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
Cecy. "Run, Molly, and get a sponge, and some
water. How did you do it, Rosy? "
There was so much blame evident in Cecy's
voice that Rosy began to feel cross.
It doesn't matter how I did it; it's done now,"
said Rosy, rather sharply.
Mother would not at all like it if one of us had
spoilt the best tablecloth. I don't know what
she'll say to you."
"I'm sure the tablecloth looks old enough," said
It's our best, anyhow."
Well, I'll pay for it. I shall have lots of money
when I'm grown up, and I'll write and ask Mr.
Barrow to let me have enough now to pay for the
tablecloth. What does it signify ? An old thing
like that! "
"It does signify," said Cecy, roused into wrath
by Rosy's contemptuous tone. Mother cares for
that tablecloth. Aunt Annie worked the border,
and there's a great stream of ink all over it. It's
all very well for you to think so little of other
Well, then, go and tell, if you're so cross," said
Rosy, in her silly little school-girl tone. But what
would have been a deep insult at Miss Watson's,
fell perfectly harmless here.
"Tell? Tell what ? "
"Tell that I did it, and get me punished."
Whereat neither Cecy nor Lenny could
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 39
help laughing, angry as the former had been.
"Punished for a thing like that? Why, Rosy,
what a goose you must be!" said Cecy, now
busily mopping up the black stream with the
"I'm not a goose," said Rosy rather sulkily.
"I beg your pardon, but you really talk like
one," said Cecy, now recovering her good humour.
" Telling, and being punished, about a thing like
spilling ink !
I should have been at school," said Rosy.
"But what are you punished for, then ? Telling
stories ? "
We none of us ever tell stories, I should hope,"
said Cecy, between indignation and amusement;
"and we are scarcely ever punished, either. Once,
when I was about as old as Molly, I hit Guy with
my fists, and was put to bed for it; and the little
ones stand up on what they call the disobedient
box in the nursery when they don't do what they
And yet you seem pretty good," said Rosy
musingly. "I wonder why ?
"Because we don't like to make mother look
sorry," said little Molly.
Rosy had no answer to make to this. She had
often had a tight feeling at her heart when she had
seen other girls with their mothers; and it began
to come back again now. She said nothing, but
gazed upon the ink stain with such a serious face
AJ0 EROSAMOND FERRARS.
that Cecy, now quite inspirited with the sense of
her own usefulness, said to Molly, Run and ask
mother to come now, Moll. I really think this will
do! Really, Rosy, you need not be afraid of being
punished unless you do something much wickeder
than spilling ink."
Mrs. Waterhouse came at Molly's summons, and
Rosy turned to her at once, with a very red face.
I did not mean to. I am very sorry. We were
romping, and I pulled the cloth over me by
Never mind, my dear. You will be more
careful next time, and put the ink out of the way
before you begin to romp. It is no more use crying
over spilt ink than spilt milk, is it ?" said Mrs.
Waterhouse philosophically. "I think you have
got it out as well as it can be done, Cecy. There
will always be a stain, but accidents will happen
,even in the best regulated families, like ours, Rosy,"
she added with a smile.
"'Please, Mrs. Waterhouse, I could write to Mr.
Barrow, and ask him for some money to buy a new
one, as I did it," said Rosy.
Mrs. Waterhouse laughed. No, my dear, that
would not do at all. The money that Mr. Barrow
pays us for your board and education covers all the
damage you may do to the furniture; so, though I
hope for our sake you will do as little as you can,
it would never do for you.to write to Mr. Barrow to
ask for money for anything of that sort. The only
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 41
thing is for you to learn a little carefulness, I think,
And Mrs. Waterhouse drew Rosy to her, and
kissed her. And Rosy wrote in her journal that
evening, It made me feel so odd and silly. I half
felt inclined to cry; but I liked it awfully !"
42 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
URING the next fortnight Rosy met with
so few adventures that she had nothing
to put into her journal, and gradually
Dropped it entirely, as we have said.
It was rather a novelty to go on for a whole f
It was rather a'novelty to go on for a whole fort.-
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 43
night without a regular fit of naughtiness; but
really it seemed as if there were so many pleasant
things to be done at Beversham, that there was no
opportunity to be naughty. There was a tea-
party one night at an old lady's house, where the
girls all dressed dolls for the Children's Hospital;
and a missionary meeting, at which Mr. Water-
house made a speech, and Rosy learnt that he had
a brother who was a missionary in India. Rosy had
never been to a missionary meeting, and did not
think it at all dull. Sunday, too, were pleasant
days. On Sunday afternoon, after the children's
service, Mr. Waterhouse took all of them, even
down to Molly, for a walk in the country, which
about Beversham was very pretty, though the
town was large, and it took a long time to get out
of it. It was winter still, but the primroses were
beginning to peep out among their rough leaves,
and Molly told Rosy confidentially how splendid it
was in summer when the bluebells were out in the
woods, and the nightingales sang. Then there
were all Madge's and Cecy's books to read; and
when she got tired of the story-books, there were
the little ones to play with; and to Rosy little
children were a new and delightful entertainment,
so that she felt quite flattered when little Bee came
and climbed on her lap and said, Rosy, take Bee
for a walk." Although Rosy did not suspect it,
she was all this time carefully watched and managed
by Mrs. Waterhouse. It was Mrs. Waterhouse who
44 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
suggested new and delightful employment when
she saw Rosy looking listless; it was Mrs. Water-
house who thanked and praised her for usefulness
if she performed any little service for her; and it
was Mrs. Waterhouse who diverted the conversation
adroitly if she saw Rosy getting into that heedless,
random way of half-boasting talk, which must have
been sharply rebuked if it had gone on as far as it
would have done at Miss Watson's school.
Home girls though they were, the Waterhouses
were thoroughly well disciplined; fixed hours were
always kept to, though household exigencies some-
times forced them to change their plans for the day.
Rosy would have found no one to sympathise with
her had she wished to rebel against the family
arrangements; for though Madge and Cecy both
wished for more leisure than they had, they had
sense enough to see that under the present circum-
stances of the family this was unattainable. But,
in fact, Rosy rather liked the bustle and stir of the
busy family. She had many faults, but want of
energy was not one; indeed, it was probably the
cause of much of the mischief she had got into at
school. So she found her level quickly at Bever-
sham, and Mrs. Waterhouse began to hope that,
with judicious management, the naughty girl of
Miss Watson's school would not give so very much
trouble after all.
Madge was always kind and sweet-tempered, and
ready to talk about any subject under the sun; but
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 45
Cecy did not open out to Rosy at all for some days,
nor perhaps would she have done so then but for
very decided advances on Rosy's part. For Madge
had told Rosy that Cecy was writing a story which
she hoped would be good enough to be published.
Madge thought it very beautiful indeed; but then
Madge was always ready to admire anything that
other people did. Accordingly, Rosy asked a
humble question upon the subject one evening,
which was received very graciously by Cecy: and
the young authoress then confided to Rosy the plot
of the story she was now engaged upon. It was of
a historical character, and went boldly back to
the days of Canute, or Knut, as Cecy took care to
spell the name, heedless of the difficulty of its
pronunciation. The heroine was a Saxon maiden
of the name of Ethelfled, and there was a self-
sacrificing Danish hero, called Eric, who was to
yield her up to her Saxon lover, and then to die
somehow at the end of the story with tragic forti-
tude in a pit full of serpents. Rosy admired Cecy's
cleverness extremely in thinking of the story at all,
but objected to Eric's tragic fate. Could not Cecy
let him marry a nice wife, .and live happily ever
Of course not," said Cecy indignantly; there
would be no Nemesis! "
It struck her as she said it that perhaps she was
not using quite the word she had intended,,but it
did just as well for Rosy, who was duly impressed
by Cecy's wisdom.
46 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
I am not going to read The Sorrows of Ethel-
fled' to any one till it is done," said Cecy. "But
I wrote a poem yesterday, Rosy, which is in my
pocket now. I will read you that, if you like."
"Oh do! said Rosy.
Cecy pulled out of her pocket a crumpled little
bit of paper, scribbled over with pencil, and pro-
ceeded to read the following effusion :-
It was a minstrel knight
In the northern land of song,
Pledged for seven years to a lady bright
To help the suffering wrong."
"What was the suffering wrong?" said Rosy
"How stupid you must be! Don't you see,
those who were suffering wrongfully; but of course
I couldn't get all that in a short line," said Cecy
"0, I see; I thought it was a thing. I'm very
sorry. Please go on."
"It was a warrior brave
For that cause fought the foe,
And some fled over the blue wave,
And the dead lay below."
"The same man ?" said Rosy a little doubtfully.
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 47
It was a blue-eyed maid
Was wandering on the strand,
Seeking in vain for help and aid
From the oppressor's hand.
It was the minstrel knight,
It was the warrior brave,
Found in her his own lady bright,
And bore her home o'er the wave !"
"And what happened then ? said Rosy.
"Why they married, I suppose," said Cecy.
"But he was to go about the world for seven
years to help the suffering wrong."
"This was the end of the seven years."
"But it seems such a very short poem to take in
seven years. It is very pretty, I think; but don't
you think it is rather short ?"
That is the merit of it," said Cecy. "I tried
to make it as terse as possible, and write it in shape.
Papa says I don't put my things into shape gene-
rally. Now, I really think this is, don't you ?"
And I am sure I have concentrated my ideas. I
couldn't have made it shorter, could I?"
"No, I am quite sure you couldn't."
And then I thought I would write one poem
without killing anybody; for they say I always kill
somebody, and I think I generally do. You see, if
one has very good heroes, it always seems as if
one couldn't help killing them, they are too good
"Then what do you do with the heroines ?"
48 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
"They used to die of grief generally, but papa
objected to that: he said Christian people had no
business to die of grief. I think, myself, they
might in poems, but papa is so particular about
little things like that, so I make them go into con-
vents. They would in those days, you know."
"Do you always show him your poems? "
"Nearly always. Sometimes he throws cold
water on me, though. I thought of such a nice
poem a little while ago, and wrote the beginning
of it. It was about a knight who always wore a
white plume in his helmet, and had a sister who
went about with him-
Through sunshine and through stormy weather
Sir Louis the Knight of the White Feather
And Verena, his sister, were together."
And papa laughed, so that I never went on with it :
he said he should recommend Sir Louis to change
his device as soon as possible, because a white
feather was a sign of cowardice. So I never wrote
any more: I couldn't, when the central idea of
the poem was spoilt, and the rhyme too !"
"You might have made him wear a black fea-
"No, I wouldn't for anything. The whiteness
of the feather was a type of his character, you
know. Do you ever write, Rosy ?"
"No: I only draw a little. I like drawing illus-
trations to poems. May I have that poem of yours
about the 'suffering wrong' to illustrate ?"
ROSAMOND FEERARS. 49
"Yes: I'll write it out for you," said Cecy,
rather flattered; and this was the beginning of a
certain friendliness between these two, who had,
hitherto, liked each other least of the family.
By the day on which Miss Marlow arrived at
Beversham, Rosy had settled down into her accepted
place in the family, and Beversham life was begin-
ning to lose its novelty. Miss Marlow was not to
arrive until the afternoon, and great had been the
girls' curiosity all day as to what she would be like.
Mr. Waterhouse was the only person in the family
who had seen her, and he laughingly refused to
give a single word of description of the new-
comer. Teddy drew a fancy portrait of her for
Rosy's benefit, with goggle spectacles and a high
cap, with the following pleasing legend issuing from
her mouth: Miss Rosamond Ferrars, I desire you
to go to bed at once, and to stay there till to-mor-
row morning without dinner or supper."
Cecy was, perhaps, the only one who looked for-
ward to Miss Marlow's arrival with pleasure. Madge,
though she acquiesced readily when her mother
said how good it would be for her to have regular
lessons, would much have preferred, for her own
part, to go on as she had done before, combining
education with practical experiments in kitchen
and nursery work. This pleasure would now be at
an end; for arrangements had been made by which
the new servant was to take off much of the work
which the two girls hitherto had been obliged to
50 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
do, so that they might devote themselves to their
lessons. And Madge privately thought this a great
Rosy would have liked these delightful holidays
to go on for ever: she was an idle little puss, and
hitherto she had never arrived at taking the slightest
interest in any one of her lessons except her draw-
ing. But Cecy, besides an unfeigned love of
learning, had a very satisfactory idea of her own
abilities, and was pleased to think that she should
certainly be the first in the schoolroom, though
Rosy and Madge were both older than she was.
She had always had visions of going to school, and
there outshining all her companions by her clever-
ness. To be sure, these visions were vague enough,
for Cecy knew that her father and mother could not
afford to send her to school, unless something should
happen to increase their income, but they were
very delightful all the same.
Cecy was ambitious and fond of praise, but she
was so reserved that she kept her day-dreams to
herself. Mrs. Waterhouse said one day to her
husband, "Cecy is a good child on the whole, but
I feel that I know her less than any one of the
children: she never seems to open out to anyone.
Yet, I believe, she thinks a good deal, and earnestly,
in her way."
"I daresay she will open out in time," said Mr.
"In time! but when?"
ROSAMOND IERRARS. 01
"When she has found out that there is nothing
specially grand or admirable in putting on a cloak
of reserve, and shutting out the sympathies that
naturally flow and ebb all round her. At present,
I take it, Cecy tries to ape the demeanour of some
of her favourite heroes and heroines in story-books,
who are generally represented as interesting in
proportion to the depth of their reserve."
"I wish children could be brought up without
story-books !" said Mrs. Waterhouse with a sigh.
" They would be so much more simple and natural
than they are! "
I don't think a girl could be more simple and
natural than our Madge, notwithstanding the story-
books. No, Mary: depend upon it, it is a matter
of temperament, not of circumstances; and when
Cecy has learnt to think less of herself and more
of the world around her she will open out to us as
she has never done yet."
52 ROSAMOND FERREAS.
HE elder children were all assembled in
the drawing-room when Miss Marlow
was to arrive. Mr. Waterhouse had been
I-- to the station to meet her, and when the
sound of wheels made itself heard, all the eyes grew
eager, and all the cheeks flushed. Another moment
and Mr. Waterhouse was bringing into the room a
lady neither old, ugly, nor spectacled, but young,
pretty, shy, and delicate, with a refined and clever
little face under her black straw hat.
Mrs. Waterhouse kissed the new-comer in that
sweet motherly way of hers, and introduced Madge,
Cecy, and Rosamond. Madge responded courteously
and prettily to Esther Marlow's dry endeavours to
talk to her future pupils : Cecy and Rosy hung back,
both looking awkward and schoolgirlish, much as
Cecy despised schoolgirls. It was Madge who per-
formed all the duties of hospitality in her own pretty
way, simple and hearty; Madge who fetched warm
water for the new-comer's chilled hands; Madge who
made a raid on the nursery tea, and cut delicate slices
of bread and butter temptingly thin, and who made
the stranger feel welcome not only to Mrs. Water-
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 53
house, but to her future pupils, or at least to one of
them. Cecy might have done these things if she had
been told to do so,but they came naturally to Madge..
Well, Mary," said Mr. Waterhouse, rubbing
his hands as he often did when he was pleased,
" what do you think of my choice? A ladylike little
girl, isn't she? "
Rosy's eyes opened wide to hear her future gover-
ness spoken of as a little girl, and in truth it was
only a figure of speech, for Miss Marlow was nineteen.
Whatever Mrs. Waterhouse might think, she was
too wise to say anything before those two very long-
eared pitchers in the corner, Cecilia and Rosamond.
She glanced round at them, and Mr. Waterhouse
Prudent as ever, mother! "
Prudence is a cardinal virtue," said his wife. I
keep comments for your private ears."
Rosy instantly felt an intense desire to know what
the comments would be. So perhaps did Cecy,
but Cecy was of a less curious nature than Rosy.
What do you think of her, Cecy? whispered
Rosy, I think she's a soft."
The Waterhouse girls were too well-bred to whis-
per, and Rosy's elegant expression did not find
favour in Cecy's eyes. I like the look of her on
the whole," she said aloud.
Girls, I think the nursery tea must be over by
this time," said the mother, "run upstairs and fetch
the little ones down, if you please?"
5O1 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
Me too ? said Rosy, who hitherto had not been
treated like a child of the house in respect of per-
forming these little duties. She did not mind them,
but she had not yet perceived that they were ex-
pected of her.
Yes, you too, my dear, if you don't object. And
then I shall be very much obliged if you will amuse
them for me for a little while. I want to be in
the study with the father for a quarter of an hour
Rosy and Cecy obeyed, and brought down the
troop of nursery children: but as they passed the
study door, Rosy perceived that it was not shut, and
that it was very plainly possible to hear what Mr.
and Mrs. Waterhouse were saying. Now Rosy was
very anxious to hear what was said about the new
governess, and not being a particularly high-minded
child, she instantly felt an intense desire to stand at
the door and listen. It was impossible for her to
do this at the moment, with all the babies at her
heels; but in another minute Madge came down, and
Rosy slipped away, and stood outside the study door,
in the dark hall. Just as she had supposed, Mr.
and Mrs. Waterhouse were talking about Miss
Marlow, and she could hear plainly what they said.
What business it was of hers-whether it was a par-
ticularly creditable thing to stand and eavesdrop at
the cracks of doors,-Rosy did not stay to think.
All that struck her was that she was curious, and
here was a way of gratifying her curiosity.
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 55
She heard nothing very interesting at first, but
presently she heard her own name mentioned, and
her curiosity was highly excited. I am inclined
to think that she will have a handful in Miss Rosy,"
said Mrs. Waterhouse.
Why, the child seems to be a bright intelligent
little thing, with no particular harm about her," said
No, but she is so undisciplined. It is always
her impulse to do just what she is inclined to at the
moment. She is goodnatured enough, and very
kind to the little ones : but I really think that Cecy's
laborious kindliness is worth more than hers: there
is more principle in it."
must instil prin- l iili i
ciple into her be- ii
fore we have done i
with her, poor i
had not heard o
much good of her-
self, and her pe-
nance was not to
end here. The
hall door opened !Tr
close to the door
of the study, and
at this moment
56 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
Guy and Teddy, coming home from school, burst
it open with schoolboy rush and noise. Rosy
could not escape: her impulse was to hide behind
the inner door, or the boys must have rushed over
her. If the income had been a quietly moving
individual, who had opened the door just as far as
would admit himself or herself, and no further, she
might not have been discovered: but Guy and Teddy,
of course flung the door open as far as it would go,
when, to their astonishment, it rebounded back from
some soft substance behind it. The hall lamp had
not yet been lit, but Teddy with an exclamation,
shut the door, and pulled out Rosy into the light of
the drawing-room saying: So you wanted tojump
out upon us Miss, did you ? We were too sharp for
you, you see." And he proceeded to quote the nur-
"There was a young lady of Norway,
Who was casually shut in a doorway,
When the door.squeezed her flat
She exclaimed, 'What of that ?' "
What has made you so red, Rosy? interrupted
Why did not you call out, if you meant to jump
upon us ? It was amzuffish way to do it proceeded
I don't believe she meant to jump out at all. Did
you, Rosy?" said Guy.
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 57
Yes, of course I did," said Rosy, feeling despe-
rately ashamed of herself as she told this story. She
who had hitherto prided herself on never telling
Well, you oughtto have done it better," said Guy.
I don't care," she said crossly: and forthwith
rushed away to her own room, where she burst into
a flood of tears.
It does sometimes happen that a grave piece of
wrong-doing is the best thing for us, because it
shows us in what direction we are letting ourselves
drift, and frightens us into trying to be better. Rosy
sat and cried on her bed: she felt so fearfully humi-
liated in her own sight. Perhaps this fortnight at
Beversham, among people who had so much higher
a standard of right and wrong than any that she
had hitherto known, had wakened up her conscience
a little. She remembered the tone in which Cecv
had said, We none of us ever tell stories, I
should hope!" What would they say if they
Perhaps it would not have comforted her much
could she have listened at the drawing-room door,
and heard the conversation going on about her
I don't believe she did mean to jump out," said
Guy. She's not a muff in that sort of thing, what-
ever she may say."
She said she did."
Then she would have done it: and why should she
58 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
get so red and so cross about nothing? I believe
she was after some mischief."
What mischief? said Teddy. Nobody could
be after any mischief behind the hall door."
Some people might listen to what was said in
the study," said Guy.
Guy, for shame! How can you accuse anybody
of being so dishonourable ?" said Madge. Parti-
cularly when she told you herself she had meant to
jump out! "
Guy whistled, and the conversation was diverted
by a roar from Bee, who had amused herself by
mounting unperceived to the top of the sofa, and
tumbling off it to the ground.
When Rosy came down to tea that evening she
looked so unlike herself that Mrs. Waterhouse asked
if she were ill. The old look that used to be so fre-
quently on her face at Miss Watson's-that hard,
sulky look had come back, and Miss Marlow won-
dered whether this pupil of hers always looked so glum
and spoke so little. No. one knew what could be the
matter with her. Madge pressed her to eat all sorts
of things that she did not want-oh, how she wished
that she had never thought of listening behind the
door, or telling a story to prevent herself being found
out. Her head really began to ache, and she was
quite glad when Mrs. Waterhouse sent her to bed at
the same time with Teddy. It's not a bit of use
my trying to be good," she sobbed to herself. I
thought I should be good here, but I can't be." Poor
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 59
little Rosy! she did not yet know that the change
must be in herself, not in the place where she lived.
As usual, Rosy woke up in the next morning's
sunshine resolving to think no more about what was
gone and past. She would be quite good in future:
she would do her best with Miss Marlow when they
began lessons. How she hoped they would say
nothing more about the young lady of Norway
casually shut in a doorway! After all, too, it was
not such a very bad story: it had not brought any
one else into trouble. Rosy settled that she would
forget all about this story, and never tell any more:
and having settled this, she began to feel much as
usual. She had succeeded in lulling her conscience
to sleep for the time.
The examination of Miss Marlow's pupils began
next-day. The dining-room was to be the school-
room, and there they all brought their books and
slates, and answered questions which Miss Marlow
put to them in a gentle, timid manner. Cecy was
the most advanced, and the only one of the three
who thoroughly enjoyed learning. Madge was accu-
rate in what she knew, though the amount was not
so great as it might have been. Rosy knew very
little, and was inaccurate in that. Her drawing
was the only thing in which she showed any promise
of excellence, and it was arranged that she should
go twice a week with Cecy to have lessons at the
School of Art in the town. The girls were to work
for three hours and a half in the morning, and two
60 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
hours in the afternoon: and Cecy, who had been
disposed to be critical, was at least satisfied that
her new governess knew a great deal more than
she did herself.
How the three girls got on we will describe in
ROSAMOND FERRARS 61
-T was a grey day in Lent, with a chilly
east wind, which had a bad effect on
some people's temper. Miss Marlow
had been about three weeks at Bever-
sham, and the novelty of her coming had worn off.
The dining-room fire was apt to smoke when there
was an east wind; not enough to make you cough
and sneeze, but enough to bring a vague sense of
discomfort into your mind. Altogether, people
were more conscious of the prose of existence than
of its poetry on the morning of which I am
Enter Madge, Cecy, and Rosy from their Bible-
reading with Mrs. Waterhouse ; Madge neat in her
attire, and with a healthy pink in her cheeks, not-
withstanding the east wind; Cecy pinched, blue and
shivering, the judicious looseness of the make of her
frock causing it to seem three times too big for
her, and one strap of her apron, which ought to have
gone over her shoulder, hanging half-way down her
arm; Rosy, who was hardy enough not to mind the
cold in general, hiding her red hands in the pockets
of her apron, which gave her a martial and deter-
62 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
mined aspect, not, alas, typical of the way in which
she intended to attack her lessons.
Poor gentle little Miss Marlow was worse off
than any of her pupils, for the cold had given her a
neuralgic headache, not bad enough to prevent her
from working, but bad enough to give her plenty of
discomfort in doing so. However, she said nothing
about this, and the lessons began. History first.
The three girls had had to read up a chapter of
English history, and were now to be questioned on
it. This was the style in which they went on; not
at all, we fear, as those admirable young people,
Mary, George, and Richard Markham were wont
Miss Marlow: What do you think were the
causes which made the Norman conquest possible ?
Madge (whose strong point is not thought) :
"William was able to get ships to come over in,
and the Saxons could not prevent him."
Cecy: That's no reason at all, is it, Miss Mar-
low ? I think it was that the Normans had the
feudal system developed, and chivalry, and all that,
and the Saxons were much more barbarous, so of
course they could not stand against them."
Rosy, giggling: "Because the waves didn't like
being ruled by Canute, so they wouldn't let Britannia
rule them, and Britons had to be slaves."
Miss Marlow: "Rosy, my dear, we are not at
Rosy: "Please, Miss Marlow, I don't think my
history said anything about the causes."
Miss Marlow: "Did you read your history,
Rosy ? "
Rosy: "I read my history, only not this chapter.
It was so dull. I read about Charles I. instead. It
always is dull where I am reading."
Miss Marlow : What is that sheet of paper in
your history ? Draws out a striking and beautiful
illustration of the execution of Charles I. When
did you do this ? she says naively.
O, when I was learning my history," says Rosy
"Take your book and learn it now. I cannot
teach you with the others, you are too idle," says
poor Miss Marlow, trying hard not to seem as angry
as she felt. "But, first, Rosy, show me your
Three pencils, a thimble, and a piece of barley-
sugar, were the produce of this search. Miss
Marlow abstracted the pencils, which were sticky
to an extreme, from their contact with the barley-
sugar, and, indeed, were a penance to her to touch.
She no longer wondered that when Rosy sat down
to needlework, her thread speedily became as black
as if a tinker had been working with it. I
am not at all pleased with you, Rosy," she
"I'm sure I didn't do anything!" said Rosy,
with her most innocent face.
64 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
Cecy laughed, "Exactly: you didn't do any-
Miss Marlow stopped Cecy; but in her heart she
thought how pleasant it would have been if she
only had had Madge and Cecy to teach, instead of
being hampered with this tiresome, naughty little
Rosy, who did not know what it was to work. In
fact, Rosy looked upon Miss Marlow's gentle rule
much as Topsy did upon Miss Ophelia's after the
slavedriver's. It was a thing to be amused at
rather than to obey; and Rosy did not dream of
obeying it. Poor little Rosy! if she had had any
notion of what duty was, it might have been better
Rosy's naughtiness was for the most part good-
humoured naughtiness, which made Miss Marlow
dislike scolding her. For she was really an obliging
child: she was quicker in doing little kindnesses to
her governess than Cecy, who had positively fallen
in love with Esther Marlow by this time, and who
chiefly showed her affection by nestling into her
governess's pocket whenever such an endearment
was practicable; and if Rosy had had any con-
scientiousness in her character, she would not have
been an unpleasant child to teach. For some time
Miss Marlow forbore to complain of her to the
higher powers; but at last she spoke to Mrs.
Waterhouse, and Mrs. Waterhouse gave Rosy a
little lecture. The only result of this was that Rosy
confided to Teddy that Miss Marlow was a tell-
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 65
tale-tit, whose tongue should be slit: and soon after,
Mr. Waterhouse had a talk with Miss Marlow about
Miss Marlow said
that the difference was
that Madge and Cecy "
sat down to their work 1 K
with a will, and Rosy, ii
without a will. She i,,
did not seem to know '
how to concentrate her
attention on what she
was doing. If she had '
a pen in her hand, she
drew pictures on her
blotting-paper (these i
are very entertaining to ;
idle people, because
they always turn out
quite different from what they are intended to,
be); if she had a lesson-book, she looked at some
other part, where it seemed more amusing than her
lesson, which was always, of course, at the very
dullest part: some people's lessons always are.
Mr. Waterhouse promised to see what he could do.
with this obstreperous young lady.
"Rosy," he said, the next day after breakfast,
"I want you in my study for a minute or two."
He spoke lightly; but Rosy's guilty conscience
made her quite aware that she was to have a
66 ROSAMOND FERIARS.
scolding. She followed him into the study with a
very culprit-like expression.
"Now, then, sit down, young woman," he said,
"and don't look so scared. I am not going to eat
Rosy smiled a little, and began to recover her-
self; but still she was a good deal alarmed, though
the chair she was sitting in was Mrs. Waterhouse's
own-a delightful low chair with a straight back,
which her husband had presented to her once on
her birthday, when he had earned an unexpected
five pounds by sending a paper on Beversham
Fossils to a scientific magazine.
"C So you don't seem to get on with your lessons,
as you might; I wonder why?" said Mr. Water-
Rosy said nothing.
"It might be because Miss Marlow can't teach,"
said the Vicar, in the same tone; "but I should
hardly think it was that, because Madge and Cecy
seem to get on well."
"i Made is older," said Rosy.
And Cecy is younger. Or, it might be, because
you are too stupid to learn. In that case, I should
have no right to blame you. It would be your
misfortune, not your fault. Do you think it is that,
Rosy felt herself between the horns of a, dilemma.
She did not wish to confess herself stupid; and she
did not like to confess herself idle. She might
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 67
have got cross if Mr. Waterhouse had not looked
so imperturbably merry and good-humoured: as it
was, she looked sheepish and gave a little laugh.
"Well, is it that ? You don't give me the im-
pression of a girl who is not as bright as she should
be; but still, you may be for all that," said the
No, -it's not that," said Rosy, sheepishly, forced
into an answer at last.
What then ? That you won't learn; or that
you don't care to try ? Which, Rosy ? "
"I suppose I don't care to try," said Rosy,
finding that she was not to be let off without an
Well then, young woman, I want you to care
to try. It is not a trifle -it is very important
indeed. How important you can't fully know yet-
nor I either, I imagine."
Rosy was silent, but she looked up with interest
in her eyes. What was Mr. Waterhouse going to
tell her? How could it be important whether she
learnt her lessons or shirked them ?
Mr. Waterhouse got up and stood leaning against
the chimneypiece, looking down on little Rosy.
He looked very tall and broad indeed, but yet Rosy
did not feel afraid of him, though she wondered
what he was going to say. Rosy," he said at last,
" you and I are Christians, and we believe that there
is a choice for us, all our lives long between good
and evil. I daresay that some day when you are
68 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
older you will meet with people who will try to
persuade you that there is no such thing, that we
can't help our actions any more than a clock can
help going when it is wound up. To me that is
nonsense, and so it is, I think to most people."
Rosy looked up and smiled.
"You don't agree with that sentiment? You
don't think that you are obliged to follow what-
ever inclination of yours comes uppermost as the
animals are ?
"Not obliged," said Rosy.
"No. Then what do you suppose makes you so
idle ? "
Rosy was silent.
I will tell you what I think it is. You don't
exert your will to conquer your inclinations, Rosy;
you will never be good for anything unless you do.
You are naturally inclined to be idle at your lessons,
and you don't take pains to be industrious, do
No," said Rosy.
Well then, you must try. Say to yourself I
won't be beaten: I will conquer this lesson, and do
it well.' That is the only way by which you can
prevent yourself from becoming a slave to your-
self-which no Christian girl, who is God's child,
ought ever to be, Rosy. Will you try, my dear? "
Rosy said that she would try: and she left Mr.
Waterhouse's study with sundry new ideas stirring
in her foolish little heart. Mr. Waterhouse had not
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 69
said much; but perhaps Rosy took it in better than
if he had preached her a sermon. Rosy had excel-
lent sense when she chose to exert it, and it struck
her that there was some truth in what the Vicar
had said about growing into a slave to oneself. For
when she had these idle fits, it really seemed as if
she could not shake them off, even if she wished to
do so: and though Rosy could be as silly as any
little girl ever was, she would not have minded
doing her lessons if she could have done them with
interest, as Cecy did.
That afternoon for the first time, Rosy brought
Miss Marlow a French exercise, which was not dis-
gracefully careless; she won praise for it, and began
to think that she would always work in future. For
two or three days she was really better and brighter
at her lessons: and then came a brilliantly fine day,
which made her long to be out of doors, instead of
at her work, and that was the end of her brief
improvement. The choice between good and evil
was before her, as Mr. Waterhouse had said; and
all the good influences of this happy and well-
ordered Christian home were at work upon her
heart, but Rosy had not yet arrived at making an
individual choice of the good. If inclination and
duty led in opposite ways, Rosy was pretty sure to
choose the easiest. There is nothing but single-
hearted resolution which can lead us out of the
broad road into the narrow, and wishes are of little
use to us as long as the will is not set firm.
70 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
T was May, and Rosy and Cecy were
sitting side by side at the School of Art,
drawing an onion and a red jug, set
together upon a willow pattern plate.
Rosy was permitted to use colour, while Cecy had
not advanced beyond sepia: and Miss Ferrars was
somewhat cock-a-hoop on her superiority to Cecy,
who beat her in all other branches of learning.
There is Mrs. Burton," said Cecy, who indulged
in a little conversation while waiting for her brown
wash to dry, and I suppose that is the niece she
told Madge was coming to stay with her. Look !
That girl with sandy hair."
Rosy gave a great jump, as she turned to the
other end of the room, where the master was talk-
ing to a lady, who was apparently introducing her
niece to him as a pupil.
"Why she said, "it's Margaret Dale "
"Who ?" said Cecy, mystified.
"Margaret Dale. She was the head girl at Miss
Watson's, and I hated her! I do hope she won't
see me! Nasty thing! "
"What did she do ? Why do you hate her ?"
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 71-
Oh, because she was always bothering, and pre-
tending to be so good, and telling tales of me to
Miss Watson. Now Cecy, don't look at her. Mrs.
Burton will see you and come up to speak; I know
she will! There, how tiresome you are, she has
caught sight of you. I shall pull my hat over my
face and pretend I am somebody else."
The little ruse was not over successful, though
Rosy bent over her drawing, and appeared to have
no object in life but the stripes in her onion. Mrs.
Burton came up to Cecy, saying, "yMy dear Cecy,
how glad I am to have this opportunity of meeting
you! I wished so much to ask you and your sister,
and that excellent governess of yours, I forget her
name, to come to tea with me next Saturday, to
meet my niece Margaret. This is Margaret :
Margaret, this is Cecy Waterhouse.
0 thank you! said Cecy, for the Waterhouse
girls were easily pleased, and even a quiet tea party
at Mrs. Burton's was a treat to them. "Miss Marlow,
and Madge, and me-and Ro-?" she was pro-
ceeding in a questioning tone, when a nudge from
Rosy checked her in the midst of the name.
Ah yes, I forgot your little friend. Why there
she is. How do you do, Rose? "
There was nothing for it, but for Rosy to lift up
her head, and return the greeting: while at the same
moment Margaret Dale exclaimed, Why, it's Rosy
Ferrars How very odd! How do you do ? "
Her tone was not especially warm, and the greet-
72 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
ing appeared to be an afterthought. Rosy was not
more affectionate in tone, and a person of more
penetration than Mrs. Burton would probably not
have said, What do you know Cecy's little friend ?
What a pleasure for both of you to have this un-
expected meeting! I had no idea that you were
friends! You must certainly come with Madge and
Cecy on Saturday, Rosina, that is your name I
think ? "
Mrs. Burton always hesitated over names, and it
was a remarkable occurrence when she got one
right, Rosy replied abruptly, Rosamond is my.
name, not Rosina."
Cecy nudged her companion to remind her that
she ought to thank Mrs. Burton for her invitation:
and thus counselled, Rosy went on hurriedly, "Thank
you for asking me to come-only I never know my
lessons on Saturday, so I am sure I shall have to
stop in and learn them."
Margaret Dale laughed a disagreeable little laugh:
Rosy had often heard it before, and her cheeks
"A Ah, but now that you know there is a little treat
for you in store, you will try: and I am sure dear
Mrs. Waterhouse will let you come if you are a
good girl," said Mrs. Burton. Come, Margaret, we
must be going on, if we are to buy your drawing
things before we go to Mrs. Flynn's."
"I won't go!" said Rosy, when Mrs. Burton
and Margaret were safely out of hearing. "I won't
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 73
go to meet Sandina, unless they drag me there with
wild horses I hate her "
Really, Rosy, that is not the way to talk," said
Cecy, who had no objection to giving good advice at
times. I should be ashamed to say that I hated
"Well, I don't care. I hate Margaret Dale, and
I won't go to tea there."
Rosy's determination was firm, and great was her
wrath and disappointment when Mrs. Waterhouse
laughed at her, and said, decidedly, Of course, my
dear Rosy, you must go when you are asked. It is
an act of courtesy, and it would be wrong not to go,
even if you don't wish it. Now don't let me hear
any more about it."
It was the first time that Rosy's will had come
into direct collision with Mrs. Waterhouse's. She
tried hard to get Miss Marlow to say that she was
too idle to be allowed to go out to tea: Mrs. Water-
house decreed that the neglected lessons, which
Rosy had left undone purposely, were to be done
after dinner, in the time set apart for the half-
holiday walk. Rosy had by this time worked her-
self up to a state of wilfulness in which she would
not have scrupled at anything which might gain
her point. She thought of many schemes, all more
or less impracticable. Should she go and hide in the
apple-loft ? She would be found. Or should she
cut her hair short all round, so that she might make
herself too much of a fright to go out to tea ? Vanity
7 EROSAMOND FERRARS.
suggested that this might be a pity, and perhaps,
that tyrant Mrs. Waterhouse might still insist upon
her going. She tried cutting her finger with a
pen-knife, but she found it was not easy to sum-
mon up resolution, to make a cut more than skin-
keep, and barely a drop of blood would come. At
last a brilliant idea struck her. She had but one
frock tidy enough for the occasion. It was a pretty
checked brown and white silk, and Rosy always felt
it rather a pleasure to put it on. Still, the sacrifice
must be made. Rosy slipped into her room, rolled
up the silk in a bundle, wrapped it in a towel, and
called from the window to her great ally, Teddy,
who was reading The Last of the Mohicans in
the garden below.
"Will you do something for me ? "
"Depends what it is."
"Hide this bundle somewhere for me. I don't.
want to know where. Don't look inside "
"Whose is it ? said Teddy, rather suspiciously.
"Mine. Honour bright, it is. I want to get
rid of it. And don't tell any one where you put it.
Don't put it in the well, or anything of that sort."
All right; and Teddy, suspecting what he
called an awful lark," hid the bundle in a corner
between the garden roller and the greenhouse wall.
It was a damp place, but that was of no matter, of
course, in Teddy's eyes.
9 g 1 -----^ -
... .- ---- -
ROSTy S HIBBETF Brss,
~ c~ ;--~s=:'-
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 756
An hour afterwards there was a great commotion
in the house. Rosy had gone into her room, and.
opened all her drawers, and had called Madge, and,
Cecy, and Miss Marlow, and Jane the maid, and at
last Mrs. Waterhouse herself, to inform them that
her silk frock was nowhere to be found, and that-
as she asserted again and again-she did not know
where it was. Accordingly, as she had nothing
else tidy enough to wear, her stratagem succeeded,
in so far as that the others had to go without her
to Mrs. Burton's, and she had to stay behind and
look for it. Mrs. Waterhouse could not but suspect
that Rosy herself had had some hand in the
timely disappearance of the frock, though she could
not tell her so in the face of her repeated and posi-.
tive assertion that she did not know where it
The bundle was discovered some time after tea
by Lenny, who brought it in in triumph, and Mrs.
Waterhouse was more and more convinced that
some mystery lay behind its abstraction. Teddy
had taken himself off after tea to play cricket in the
school cricket-ground, and as every other person
in the house denied having spirited Rosy's frock
away, Teddy was now asked whether he had any-,
thing to do with it.
"Yes," he replied, rather sheepishly; "I put it
"Really, Teddy," said his father, sharply, I
should not have given you credit for being such a.
76 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
baby. I suppose you hid it to further Rosamond's
.scheme of not going to Mrs. Burton's ?"
I did not do it for anybody's scheme. I did
not know what it was. It was only an old bundle
in a towel," said Teddy, "when I took it. I didn't
"Did Rosamond give it to you to hide ? said
Mrs. Waterhouse, gravely.
Teddy was silent; but Rosy burst out, "Yes,
then, I did, and I don't care twopence about the
nasty thing; but you needn't scold Teddy. He
didn't know, for I told him not to look. So there "
"Well, Rosy," said Mr. Waterhouse, drily, "I
,certainly should not have suspected you of such a
childish trick, or of being so untruthful over the
matter; and he walked out, leaving her to feel
I wasn't untruthful," said Rosy. I never said a
word that was not true. I didn't know where it was."
My dear Rosy," said Mrs. Waterhouse, "if you
think over the matter you will see that you tried all
through to make us believe that you had nothing to
(do with the affair, which was not true, just to gail
your own ends. I am not going to argue the point
with you, but I am certainly very much dis-
appointed. I should not have thought you would
have behaved so. Now, good-night; it is your
bedtime and Teddy's too."
Rosy went slowly upstairs, feeling as if the point
she had gained were hardly worth the price she had
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 77
paid for it. The disappointment in Mrs. Water-
house's tones went more to her heart than punish-
ment would have done. There was less pleasure in
being naughty where you were expected to be good,
as you were at Beversham.
And Rosy suffered in other ways for this day's
piece of naughtiness. If she had gone to Mrs. Bur-
ton's, all the girls would probably have joined toge-
ther in some game, and Margaret and she would
have talked together a little about old acquaintances,.
and there would have been an end of it. Whereas
her non-appearance excited a good deal of remark:
and after tea, when Margaret Dale and Cecy were
walking down the garden together, Margaret said
confidentially, I want so much to hear about poor-
Rosy Ferrars. I suppose you find her rather queer ? "
Cecy was rather flattered at being talked to on
equal terms by this grown-up young lady, and in-
vited to criticise Rosy. Cecy was at all times
slightly inclined to be critical.
She is, rather," acquiesced Cecy.
She was uncommonly queer at school," pro-
ceeded Miss Dale. She was always in scrapes, and
some of them were not nice scrapes at all. We were
all so glad when we heard that she was to be sent
Do you mean that she was sent away for naughti-
ness ? said Cecy.
Miss Dale laughed. You don't mean to say that
you did not know that ?" she said. Miss Watson
78 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
,did not like us to use the word expelled: but it was
virtually that. But you must have found her odd
enough to prepare you for anything."
She was odd, to-day, certainly," said Cecy,
laughing: nothing would persuade her to come,
,and at last her silk frock disappeared in the most
,unaccountable way. Madge and I looked for it for
"' I suppose she did not care to meet me," said
Margaret, recollecting the history of my gold
thimble," and she laughed.
What was that ?" said Cecy.
Why, I had a gold thimble that I prized very
much, and Rosy Ferrars knew it. One day I had
been suggesting to her that it would be better if
:she did not break rules when Miss Watson was out
of the room, and my young lady deliberately takes
up my thimble and throws it out of the window into
the street. Of course there was no getting it back
again : in fact, we saw a beggar pick it up, and walk
Koff with it."
How horrid of her! But are you sure she meant
it?" said Cecy.
"As sure as I am that I am walking here with
"you now, She was always doing that sort of thing,
.and then saying it was accidental. I was more asto-
nished than I can say to see her with you at the
Art School. What did she say when she saw me?"
She wouldn't let me look at your aunt for fear
you should see her," said Cecy, laughing.
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 79
I expected as much. Well, I am glad I have been
able to enlighten your mind a little about her: for
I think you ought to know what sort of a girl you
are dealing with. And you and your sister seem
such a very different kind of girls !"
"Of course," said Cecy, truthfully, "we have been
looked after all ourlives. It would be a horrid
shame if we were to be as naughty as Rosy."
None the less, however, did Cecy walk home by the
side of Miss Marlow and Madge, pluming herself
upon her superior virtue, and rather pleased than
not that she knew so much about Rosy's former
history. It was exciting-quite like a story-book.
Cecy was always looking out for scenes in life which
were to be like story-books, and at present did not
often see them. She forgot, or had not yet realized,
that we have more important links with our fellow-
creatures than their imaginative aspect to us; as
much more important as love is better than intellect.
80 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
HE next morning was Sunday, and a lovely
May Sunday it was, as delightful as any
one could desire. Birds were singing,
and flowers blooming, and it seemed
difficult to believe that any one could be cross on
such a day : but none the less it appeared plain that
Rosy Ferrars had, as children say, got out of bed
wrong leg foremost.
In the first place, Rosy was ashamed of her yes-
terday's conduct: in the next, there was a practical
memento of it left on the front of her Sunday frock
in the shape of an ugly green stain from the laurel
stem against which it had rested: Rosy's perfor-
mance in wrapping it up having been somewhat
ineffective, as her performances were wont to be.
Then she had tried washing it out, but had only suc-
ceded in making the place look worse-" just as if
I were in an allegory !" she thought to herself, im-
patiently feeling as if her very clothes were in league
to preach to her, and not being in the humour to
profit by the sermon. After this she had come down
to breakfast looking half shy, half sulky-the old
Brighton look upon her face: and all that Madge
ROSAMONI FEFRARS. 81
and Cecy said about their yesterday's treat and
Margaret Dale, made her cross. After breakfast
she had to go to Mrs. Waterhouse with the rest of
the children down to Molly to read the Collect, Epistle
and Gospel before the mother. Miss Marlow and
Madge went off to the Sunday School. Rosy gene-
rally rather liked this, but to-day she gave no answer,
and looked, as Guy remarked, "as sulky as a bear
with a sore head." Mrs. Waterhouse took no notice,
knowing by experience that children in sulky fits
can often get rid of them best if they are not noticed:
and she hoped that Rosy would recover before long.
Rosy did begin to tire a little of her sulkiness soon,
but after dinner it came back again more decidedly
than ever, in consequence of Cecy accusing her
wrongfully of having taken her gloves by mistake.
Rosy wrathfully denied the charge; Cecy persisted
in it: and' the argument was only put an end to
by Rosy's discovering the missing gloves under
Cecy's chair, and tossing them rudely into their
owner's face. Madge and Miss Marlow both cried
out at this want of courtesy, for the little Water-
houses were all brought up to be courteous to each
other, and Rosy walked off affronted.
It is all very well," said Cecy, whose own temper
had not been improved by the jangling or by being
proved in the wrong, but Rosy gets more tiresome
every day now. She used to be just the same at
that Brighton school. Margaret Dale told me lots
of things about her."
82 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
What did she tell you?" said Madge.
She told me one thing that I was surprised at
Rosy never breathed a word of it: I should not have
thought a girl like her would have had so much
secretion in her mind."*
Secretiveness, I suppose, Cecy," said Miss
Is it? I'm sure there is a word secretion."
But you have not told us yet," said Madge, who
had plenty of curiosity in her nature. Teddy, the
only other member of the group, who was lying on
the grass with a book, looked up and listened.
What? Oh, no more I have," said Cecy, who
meanwhile had been knitting her brows over the
rival merits of her word, and Miss Marlow's. "It was
that she was expelled from that school at Brighton
because she was so tiresome, and always bothering,
and doing nasty things. What do you think she
did once? Jhe threw Margaret Dale's beautiful gold
thimble out of the window, just out of spite, and
then told stories about it."
I don't believe a word of it," said Teddy man-
I should think Margaret Dale knew more about
it than you," said Cecy in her superior tone.
I believe she made it up. Rosy's an awfully
jolly girl, up to all sorts of larks, and I should be
ashamed to listen to a fellow that sneaked like that,
just for no reason at all. I call it mean, and what's
more, I don't believe it's true."
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 83
Well, you can't deny that your dear Rosy tells
stories. She did something very like it yesterday."
She didn't! She never tells stories! As to that
old gown, it was only a lark. I tell you what,
Cecy, you're much more likely to be telling stories,
and bearing false witness and all that than Rosy,
if you go and listen to a lot of tales a fellow tells
you like that. I should be ashamed "
I believe it is true," said Cecy; "Margaret
Dale is more likely to know than you."
"I hope it's not true," said Madge anxiously.
tiss Marlow said nothing: she could have con-
firmed parb of Cecy's story, for Mrs. Waterhouse
had told her Rosy's history; but she did not wish
to do this, though she could not deny the facts,
and therefore thought it better to let the children
argue it out.
Well, ask her," said Teddy.
No no, don't," said Cecy.
I will! It's only fair! People ought to have the
chance;.given them of denying things like this. Or
perhaps you think," added Teddy with scorn in
his tone, "that she's such an awful liar that she
won't tell the truth?"
I think perhaps you had better leave it alone
Teddy," said Miss Marlow gently.
I won't be such a sneak, thank you," said Teddy,
forgetting his good manners in his championship.
" I'm going this very minute to ask Rosy if she's been
expelled, and if she threw that sneaking girl's gold
384 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
scissors out of the window, and all the rest of it.
And, if Rosy says it's all stuff, nothing shall make
me believe it, if you all said it till you were black in
He got up as he spoke, and then for the first time
turned round, and gave an exclamation of surprise,
for behind the girls stood Rosy, her face scarlet,
her eyes full of tears. She had evidently heard the
last speech. The others looked round and saw her,
and were for the moment too confused to speak.
Before they had recovered themselves, Rosy was
gone, and Teddy after her: and they all felt more
,or less in the wrong. How much had she heard?
Madge looked inclined to cry too. She had
been too curious to check Cecy in her communica-
tion; and she felt that she could not go after Rosy
and comfort her with a free conscience as Teddy
could do. Miss Marlow, is it true ?" she said ap-
pealingly. Do you know?"
I-I believe it is true," said Miss Marlow.
"' Perhaps it was not very kind of Miss Dale to spread
the report; -but you had better tell your mother all
about it. She will tell you how to behave to poor
Rosy, under the circumstances. I wish it had not
Miss Marlow felt that a little presence of mind on
her part might have diverted the conversation, and
much she now wished that she had had it. Though,
after all, Margaret Dale would have let people know
about Rosy without any scruple, and therefore per-
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 85
haps it was as well that it should have come out at
Meanwhile Rosy had fled to what had of late grown
to be a favourite hiding-place of hers: a dry ditch
in the glebe field, where you might sit for half an
hour at a time and never be found. Rosy had
hidden here sometimes when she was afraid that
( -;y /1- -
Miss Marlow would send her to learn imperfect
lessons or work unworked sums, if she did not escape
from view: and now she was lying on the grass,
which was soft and mossy, sobbing as if her heart
would break, when Teddy tracked her steps there.
Rosy! he said, rather timidly.
i I // i '/l, ""
86 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
Rosy made no reply, and Teddy descended into
the ditch, and threw himself along the bank by
I say, never mind that sneaking girl. I know
it's all lies, from beginning to end."
Rosy only. cried the more.
I say, leave off crying, Rosy. You might, you
know. I tell you I don't believe it."
Rosy sobbed out at last. ".It's no use my trying
to be good, not a bit. I knew she'd tell and poison
all their minds against me-and I thought I should
be good here, and now it'll be just like Brighton
"' What did happen, then?" said Teddy, rather
puzzled, his heart beginning to sink in spite of his
What she said, except that I didn't mean to throw
the thimble out, nor tell stories. But I always was
naughty at Brighton, and now I always shall be
Oh, rubbish! said Teddy. Well, I knew you
didn't tell stories: at least, I told them so. They
said you did, you know," he added consolingly.
But once I did, Teddy," said Rosy, the instinct
of confession so strong that she felt absolutely obliged
to be honest. I was listening at the door the day
Miss Marlow came, when I said I meant to jump
out on you."
Teddy whistled a little to relieve his feelings.
Well, never mind. You won't again," he said.
ZOSAMOND FEREARS. 87
I dare say I shall. I think I was born naughtier
than other people," said poor Rosy, dejectedly.
Teddy paused for a little while: after which he
said: Father says being good is like fighting; but
we can win if we try."
I can't win if I try," said Rosy.
"I expect you can," said her youthful adviser,
kicking his heels together: and then there was
another pause, after which he gave vent to this ele-
gant sentiment: It's awfully rum, isn't it?"
What is?" said Rosy.
Being good. Sometimes it seems quite easy,
and sometimes it seems quite hard."
It's always hard to me. I think I will try some-
times, and then it always goes away and I feel as if
I didn't care."
But you do care all the time," said Teddy. Of
course you do."
Why of course? "
Because we are Christians, so we can't help it,"
said the little boy. Why don't you talk to mother,
Rosy? She's awfully jolly to talk to, I can tell
you: she seems to know everything before you
I haven't got a mother of my own like you,"
Mother's just the same now. You're one of us
you know, all the same as if you were our sister,"
No, I'm not! said Rosy bitterly. "Cecy would
88 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
not have been so pleased to hear bad things said
of me if I had been her sister."
Well, never mind Cecy. I know you are to me,
and Lenny, and Molly. We all like you awfully,
Rosy; I can tell you we should be jolly sorry if
you went away."
The emphasis of this last curious superlative went
to Rosy's heart. Teddy, you are a dear boy: I
wish I was as nice as you !" she said impulsively.
Stuff !" said Teddy modestly. "There's the bell
beginning," he added, as a chime struck up from
the tall spire, you won't have more than time to
wash your eyes and get on your traps."
There was a warmth at Rosy's heart which made
her forget all her troubles now. She really felt as if
she could be good now that Teddy had said such
delightful things to her. And he really meant them,
she knew. The poor little homeless girl now began
to feel as if she really had a place to belong to-as
if she were not just a waif and stray who did not
matter to anybody, but one who had somebody to
care about her. She met Madge and Cecy, who
were both penitent, with no signs of indignation:
and Madge made much of her after church, and
walked with her and Teddy, and gave her all the
white bluebells out of her bunch-reckoned as
great treasures by the young Waterhouses. In fact,
this Sunday, which had begun so uncomfortably,
ended very happily for Rosy; and Teddy enlightened
his mother as to the change in her manner in a
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 89
private talk which both the schoolboys always
had separately with Mrs. Waterhouse on Sunday
It isn't fair, mother, is it, to bring up those old
things against her? I wish you would tell Cecy so ;
Rosy says she wants to be good now, and I'm sure
she is much jollier some ways than Cecy, don't you
think so? Because you know she's three years older
than me, and Cecy is only two, and she doesn't give
herself half the airs about her age that Cecy does..
And I don't think a girl is so particularly old at
thirteen, do you, mother ?'
"0 ROSAMOND FERRAES.
FTER this explosion Rosy seemed to settle
down to her place in the Waterhouse's
family, as she had never done before.
SMargaret Dale soon went away, and the
,episodes of Rosy's school life which she had men-
tioned were referred to no more. Mrs. Waterhouse
(had a talk with Madge and Cecy on the subject,
.and succeeded in making Cecy for once thoroughly
ashamed of herself. Cecy had good feeling enough
when it was roused, and whenMrs. Waterhouse spoke
of poorRosy's homelessness and loneliness, she grew
,crimson and appeared to have a bad cold in her head.
This was so extraordinary a manifestation of feeling
in the reserved Cecy that her mother was satisfied
that she would not allude to the subject any more.
Teddy and Rosy were now inseparable. Rosy's
lessons prospered by the intimacy, for the delight
of Teddy's companionship in the summer evenings
caused her to avoid the risk of forfeiting it by having
to perform her neglected work at that time, as had
too often been the case: but Teddy's lost in some
,degree from the same cause. There were two corn-
petitive foundation scholarships at the great public
ROSAMOND FERRARS. 91
school of Stanchester, which were limited to
Beversham boys; and Mr. Waterhouse was very
anxious that one of his boys should succeed in
getting one of them. He could not afford Guy
and Teddy anything better in the way of educa-
tion than could be had at Beversham grammar-
school, and he hoped that one of them might get into
Stanchester, which had remarkably good University
scholarships attached to it. Now Guy had gone up
this very summer to try for a scholarship, but though
"studious and intelligent,he was the kind of boy who
never shows off in an examination, and he had come
in nowhere near the successful candidates. Mr.
Stanchester, which had remarkably good University
scholarships attached to it. Now Guy had gone up
this very summer to try for a scholarship, but though
studious and intelligent, he was the kind of boy who
never shows off in an examination, and he had come
in nowhere near the successful candidates. Mr.
92 ROSAMOND FERRARS.
Waterhouse, however, still built his hopes on Teddy.
Teddy was more forward for his age than Guy, and
though less plodding, he was more brilliant. If
he worked, both his master and his father thought
that he might yet succeed, and therefore they were
not best pleased when Waterhouse minor brought
his lessons day after day so ill-prepared that he went
steadily down his class instead of keeping up as usual.
Mrs. Waterhouse at last took upon herself to
speak to Rosy on the subject.
Rosy, my dear," she said one pleasant fine
evening, coming up to the girl as she stood under
the big elm-tree in the golden sunset light, and
putting her arm round Rosy's waist, I want you
to help me very particularly. Will you? "
0 yes, indeed I will," said Rosy, who with
all her faults was both affectionate and obliging.
I want you to use your influence with Teddy
about his lessons."
Rosy felt disappointed, and looked so.
You see, I speak to you because I look on you
as Teddy's special friend: as I should to Cecy if
Guy was in question, or Molly-if she were older-
if I wanted the same thing with Lenny. You are
quite one of us now, aren't you, Rosy ? "
Rosy was pleased at this, and nestled up affec-
tionately within Mrs. Waterhouse's kind arm. Then
Mrs. Waterhouse went on to talk to her about the
Stanchester scholarship, and how Teddy had no
chance of a University education without it.