e B Fwin ibcrM
*1'~ s 'c~~
AND HIS LUAIDEN AUNTS.
AUTHOR OF ELLERSLIE IIOUSE," ETC.
SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION,
56, OLD BAILEY;
NEW YORK: THOMAS NELSON AND SONS,
62, BLEECKER STREET.
JAMES SEARS, PRINTER, BOLT COURT, FLEET STREET, B.C.
I. IIARnY LAWLEY AND IIS AUNTS 3
II. ALMOST A FIGHT 13
III. SNORT COMMONS : .23
IV. IIAY Is MISSING 31
V. HAnRY IS FOUND 41
VI. HARRY INDISPOSED.-FURTHEI TROUBLE 51
VII. EMILY'S TROUBLE.-HARRY'S NEW NAME .61
VIII. THE ExcuRSION 71
IX. TIE STRANGE MEETING 79
X. ANOTHEr, DISASTER . 87
XI. SELF CONQUEST .. 97
XII. GOOD AND BAD TIDINGS . .107
XIII. IMPRovIGs .. 117
XIV. BOTH BETTER o 125
-IST OF ENGRAVINGS,
HABRY LAWLEY AND HIS AUNTS. .. 1
ALMOST A FIGIIT 11
SIIOIT COMIOnS .. 21
HARRY Is MISSING. .. 29
A LODGING ON TIIE COLD GROUND 39
OUT OF SORTS .. 49
IN TROUBLE 59
WHAT WILL IT STRIKE? .. .69
IN DANGER 77
AN UNPLEASANT INTERVIEW .. .. 85
IMPRISONMENT. .. . 95
SAD NEWS FOR HARRY . .. .. 105
LILLIE'S PIGEON . 113
BOTH BETTER 123
PARRY AWLEY AND HIS UNTS.
Harry flung himself into a chair, and after a minute's silence, Miss Jenijna, in a
solemn tone, said, You have been committed to our care by your parents, Henry "
(his aunts ne er calle Ihim Harry, though every one else did).-Page 9.
ERNFIELD was a pretty little village in the
country, but within easy walking distance of a
-- considerable town. Everybody in Fernfield
:' knew the Misses Lawley: they were two maiden
Ladies, tall, square-built, and not very amiable-
looking, but stiff and stately at all times. They lived at the
moated Grange, a large, old-fashioned, rambling house
that always looked as sombre and gloomy as its owners,
for the sun was never allowed to dart any of its imper-
tinent rays in at the Grange windows for fear of spoiling
The morning on which our story begins, the two
ladies were sitting at breakfast, sipping their coffee, and
discussing what colour their new caps should be trimmed
with, when Miss Jemima, the elder, noticed that a stray
sunbeam was stealing through one of the windows.
Oh, Lydia," she exclaimed, do rise and draw the
blind of that left window, the tiresome sun will spoil the
curtains, and take the colour out of the carpet." Miss
Lydia did as her sister desired, but there was still a
little crack through which a sunbeam stole.
"No, Lydia, that will not do," said Miss Jemima;
"I shall have that ottoman spoiled. Roger must go and
close the shutter outside," and the lady gave the bell-
rope a sharp pull as she spoke. The old serving man
soon appeared, bearing a massive silver tray, on which
lay a letter.
Oh, Miss Tickle has written at last, I suppose," said
Miss Lydia, as she took it.
The Misses Lawley," she said aloud, glancing at
4 HARRY LAWLEY
the direction. Who can it be from ? It is not for me,
at all events," she said, handing it to her sister.
Miss Jemima put on her spectacles, and examined the
envelope minutely. "I do not think I have any right
to open this," she said slowly; "it may concern only
you, Lydia, and I have a great objection to opening
other people's letters." Miss Lydia again took the letter
to examine it more closely, and a further discussion took
place as to who should break the seal.
At length it was decided that Miss Jemima, as the
elder, had the greater right to perform this most impor-
tant task ; and then they discovered that the letter was
from their brother in London, and had been directed by
his son. Mr. Lawley informed them of this fact, alleging
as a reason that as his sisters were skilled in reading
people's characters by their hand writing, he had sent
them a specimen of his son's, as he very much wished
them to take charge of him for some time, as business
and his wife's health compelled him to leave England
shortly. My little fairy pet Emily will give you no
trouble," was the next sentence; at which point Miss
Jemima dropped the letter, and held up her hands in
silent horror and amazement.
"Edward must surely be crazy," she exclaimed,
"to think of sending his children for us to take care of!"
Children !" repeated Miss Lydia: does lie think
we can be plagued with a parcel of tiresome children in
this house ? Well, if they are to come, I hope they are
girls, for I detest boys."
You forget that Edward has but two, a boy and a
girl," said Miss Jemima ; and if their parents are
compelled to leave their country, we are, as Edward
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 5
justly observes, their only natural guardians." Miss
Jemima had concluded the letter by this time.
"Well, but why not send them to boarding-school
for the time said Miss Lydia.
"Boarding-school, indeed!" said Miss Jemima, in
an angry tone, I thought you knew our brother
better than to suppose he would ever entrust one of his
children to a boarding-school master or mistress. No,
there is no help for it that I can see. If Edward must
go away, his children must come here. At all events,"
she added, "we must take the matter into our serious
consideration; and I will write and tell Edward that we
will do this, and let him know the result in a few days."
But before the allotted "few days" had expired,
another letter arrived from Mr. Lawley, saying that in
consequence of business matters he should be compelled
to leave England much sooner than he at first antici-
pated, and that he might therefore be expected to arrive
at the Grange, with Harry and Emily, early the follow-
How very inconsiderate men are," was Miss
Jemima's first exclamation after reading the letter.
To think of Edward's giving us no time to prepare
for these children. The blue room must be done up
before it can be used, and the green room ought to be
"Well, if Edward will act so absurdly," said Miss
Lydia, he ought to put up with the inconvenience. I
should not put myself out of the way to get the bedrooms
ready. If lie comes, and they are not ready, he must
go to the hotel in town for a few days, and wait until
6 HARRY LAWLEY
But this going to the hotel for a few days did not at
all accord with Miss Jemima's views of propriety and
hospitality, and immediately after breakfast, Roger was
despatched to the village in search of some one who
would come and prepare the two rooms for their
The following week Mr. Lawley arrived with his two
children. Harry, the elder, was about fourteen, a tall,
handsome boy, with dark hair and merry black eyes,
that seemed to twinkle with suppressed fun and mischief.
His sister presented a striking contrast in every par-
ticular. Although not more than two years younger,
her diminutive figure and fair flaxen curls gave her the
appearance of not being more than eight or nine. She
was naturally of a timid, shy disposition, and shrank
behind her father when her aunts came forward to greet
her. This was not unnoticed by the two ladies, who
resolved to correct this fault in her education, and teach
her better manners.
They had no reason to complain of Harry's shyness.
Not even the gloomy old Grange or his aunt's stiff
formality could entirely repress the exuberance of his
spirits, and it was not until the following day after his
father had left that he complained of the place being
Mr. Lawley had made arrangements with the principal
of a large school in the neighbourhood for i-arry's
attending as a daily boarder, but he was not to commence
until the following week.
Whatever shall I do with myself, Em, I shall be
moped to death before next 31.iL.,ly in this ghostly
place," he said to his sister. I'll tell you what," lie
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 7
added, I shall spend the next two days in exploring
Fernfield, and ferreting out the natives."
This latter remark was overheard by his Aunt Lydia,
and she said in a severe, stately tone, I hope you do
not think the people of Fernfield a set of heathens,
What are they, then, aunt ?" he said, with provoking
coolness; and then, without waiting for a reply, he
began whistling a tune, and marched across the room
to the window.
Oh, Henry, you must not do that, it is so exces-
sively vulgar," exclaimed Miss Lydia, putting her hands
to her ears.
"What is," asked Harry, in amazement.
Why, whistling, and I particularly desire you never
to do it again."
Harry left off, but instantly bounced out of the room,
muttering something about its being a bother to be
compelled to live with old maids, and went in search of
his sister, who had left the parlour as Miss Lydia entered.
He found her in her own room, and poured out his
griefs to her, complaining bitterly of his aunts. Well,
never mind, Harry," she said gently ; aunt Lydia did
not mean to be unkind, and you know papa told us to
be careful not to give them any unnecessary trouble,
and so, for his sake, and dear mamma's, we must be
very good." After a little more coaxing, Harry was
induced to promise not to whistle in his aunt's hearing
again. But in less than half-an-hour after the promise
was given, he had forgotten it, and went down stairs
two steps at a time, whistling a popular song tune as
loudly as he could.
8 LIARLY LAWLEY
Oh, that horrid boy," exclaimed Miss Lydia, when
she heard it. What shall we do, Jemima we shall
certainly be ill if this is allowed to continue."
I don't know, I'm sure," said her sister. Cannot
you think of some plan by which it may be stopped ?"
Suppose we send for him, and talk to him seriously
about the impropriety of such behaviour. It seems to
me that these children have been very badly brought
up. Children were differently educated when I was
Well, I think it will be the most advisable plan to
adopt," said Miss Jemima; and she rung the bell, and
despatched Roger in search of the delinquent. It was
some little time before the old man could find him,
but he was at length discovered busily cutting his initials
in the table of the summer-house.
Master Henry, your aunts want you," said the
old man, panting for breath.
"All right, I'll come directly," said Harry, care-
lessly, without leaving off his employment.
But you are wanted now, sir," said the servant.
Well, I'm coming; I shall be in, I daresay, before
you are." The old man turned and went up the path,
and before he reached the house Harry galloped past
at the top of his speed.
"Roger said you wanted me, aunt," he panted,
after bursting into the draving-room, breathless with
We did send Roger for you," said Miss Jemima, in
her most stately tone; "and if you will sit down, and
not pull the fringe of that table-cover, we will tell you
why we sent for you."
AND IIIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 9
Harry flung himself into a chair, and after a minute's
silence, Miss Jemima, in a solemn tone, said, You
have been committed to our care by your parents,
Henry" (his aunts never called him Harry, though
every one else did), and therefore we are your lawful
guardians, to whom you owe obedience and respect;
and I therefore hope we shall not have to complain
again of your transgressing our commands by con-
tinuing the very improper habit of whistling.- It is
most unbecoming in a gentleman's son, and I hope
I shall never hear it again while you are with us."
Harry wished he had the opportunity of getting out
of the lady's hearing altogether, and resolved to do
so for one day at least.
The following morning he set out, immediately after
breakfast, on his exploring expedition, and he found
plenty to amuse and interest him in the fields and
blooming hedgerows, so that he did not think of returning
for some hours. This long-continued absence made his
aunts very uneasy; and as the dinner hour drew near,
and still he did not come, they grew very anxious for
fear some accident had occurred, or he had lost his way
in the woods.
Dinner was put off for half-an-hour (a most unheard-
of occurrence in their well-ordered household), and
Roger was sent in search of the truant.
Emily did not participate in her aunt's anxieties, and
tried to allay them by saying she had no doubt he would
come home safely enough by and by.
We do not wish to make you uncomfortable, child,"
said her aunt Jemima, in reply; "but, for my part, I am
afraid the poor dear boy has fallen down some pit, or lost
10 HARRY LAWLEY AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS.
himself in that horrible forest. I told him not to go
near it, but boys are so forgetful, he has very likely
gone there." Emily thought so too, but she had very
little fear of her brother's losing himself.
At length Roger returned, but without any tidings of
the runaway, and with heavy, anxious hearts, the two
ladies, with their niece, sat down to dinner.
The dining-room opened upon a small flower-garden,
and had been modernized by the introduction of a low
French window. This innovation had been for the con-
venience of Miss Jemima, who some years previously
had been an invalid, unable to get up and down stairs,
and this had been her room, from which she could step
into the garden, without any fatigue. Flanking the
garden, and divided from it by a low railed fence were
'-> *- ,'' ,
ALMOST A FIGHT.
, -. :.-- so-, C-.. r -
'f, ^ ^ ,!.' i -
'- ,, .'iS -. . -
In a moment Harry rushed forward to strike his tormentor, and a regular fight
would have ensued, had not Rawlings stepped before Harry and received the blow
intended for his companion.-Page 19.
I.-' 7 OW it so happened that Harry had reached the
farthest of these fields in his rambles, when
I the thought crossed his mind that it must be
near dinner-time, and then he began to feel
"-- very hungry, and resolved to go home the
nearest way instead of round by the road, and
he was close to the fence that divided the fields from
the garden, when Emily saw him. Oh, there's Harry,"
she exclaimed, laying down her knife and fork, and
springing to the window.
"Oh, where? What is the matter? Why have
they brought him round this way ?" said Miss Lawley,
following Emily to the window. But instead of seeing
her nephew being carried pale and bleeding, as her fancy
had pictured, she saw him vault lightly over the fence
into the garden. In an instant her feelings towards him
changed, and the impropriety of his proceeding made
her very angry.
"Come away from the window, Emily," she said,
sternly, as Harry took off his straw hat and waved it in
recognition of them.
"Why, aunt, aint you glad?" said Emily, in
Glad, child? What have I to be glad about ?"
Why, that Harry has come home safe, instead of
being hurt or lost," said Emily.
I don't see that I have much to be glad about,"
said Miss Lydia; that boy is enough to send anyone
out of her mind. I'm sure I shan't recover this fright
for weeks to come; it has quite shaken my nor-; "
14 HARRY LAWLEY
before the sentence could be concluded, her nerves were
still more shocked by Harry abruptly opening the
window, and entering the room.
"What a lovely day it is, aunt," he exclaimed.
You had better go and wash your face and hands,
Harry," said his sister, for she feared he would make
his aunts still more angry by attempting to come to the
dinner-table as he was.
"All right, Em," he said, good humouredly. "I
suppose I'm pretty dirty. I'm jolly tired and hungry,
I know." Emily looked after him deprecatingly as he
left the room. This speech, she knew, would vex her
How very improper for a young gentleman to speak
in that manner, and use such language to his sister, and
it is quite unbecoming for you to allow it, Emily."
Harry forgot himself, I think, aunt," said her niece,
colouring; papa has told him several times of it, but
I suppose as boys talk in this way to each other, they
forget when they are speaking to other people."
Then, if that is the case, I would not allow him to
associate with other boys," said Miss Lawley; "and I
shall prevent it as much as possible while he is with us.
Of course it cannot be prevented entirely, as he will go
to school, but I shall take care not to allow him to mix
with them at any other time.'
Papa thought it was good for Harry to have com-
panions," said Emily, in a timid voice, and colouring
deeply; "and he used to like him to bring them home,
that he might see what sort of boys they were."
"Very bad judgment, very bad, indeed, quite
erroneous," said Miss Lawley.
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 15
For my part, I think boys are like infected animals,
and therefore ought to be kept apart from each other,"
said Miss Lydia. Emily could not help exclaiming,
" Oh, aunt !" and laughing at this comparison. But her
aunt stopped her with a stern reproving look, as Harry
entered the room again.
The two ladies drew themselves up stiffly as he took
his seat, and motioned to Emily not to speak, and in
solemn silence the three sat watching the hungry boy
eat his dinner. They had themselves finished before he
commenced, but they would not think of leaving the
table until he had likewise concluded.
After dinner was over, they communicated their
intentions of not allowing him to form any companion-
ships beyond what he was compelled to do in school.
Oh, Fairy," he said, when telling his sister of it
afterwards, I don't know what I shall do ; Aunt Jem.
is a perfect tyrant, and Aunt Lydia is enough to tor-
ment a fellow out of his mind. Do they suppose, I
wonder, that I am going to be confined in this horrid
old house with no one to speak to but themselves,
because if they do, they are mistaken. I mustn't whistle,
because it is not genteel; and I mustn't sing or make a
noise because it gives them the head-ache; and I mustn't
go with other boys because they use vulgar words.
"What may I do, I wonder ?"
"Well, Harry, it is hard, I know," said his sister,
soothingly; "but you see they think their plans are
better than papa's, and-"
But I don't, and I know they are not," said Harry,
impetuously; and I'm not going to abide by them. I
believe they both hate me, and do allthis to plague me."
16 HARRY LAWLEY
Oh, no, they don't hate you," said Emily, quickly;
"you should have seen how anxious they both were
this afternoon, because you did not come home. They
called you a poor dear boy," she added, laughing
That was when they thought I'd broke my nr'k, I
expect," said Harry. I know they detest all boys,
and look upon them as so many wild animals."
No, infected animals," said Emily, laughing, her
aunt's comparison recurring to her mind ; but still,"
she added, "aunt thinks you may be cured, I think."
She won't cure me, I know," said Harry, "for I
won't let her."
Oh, don't say that," said Emily; I believe aunt
means all in kindness to us, and therefore we ought to
do all we can to please her. What do you think," she
added, "they have sent to hire a cottage piano for me.
That shows they want to make us happy and comfort-
It shows they want to save their own old-fashioned
thing, and they're afraid you would spoil it," said Harry.
And in spite of all Emily's i ... :;I. he continued to
grumble at his aunts, and all their sayings and doings.
"There's one thing I'm precious glad'of," he said, in
conclusion, and that is, that Aunt Lydia is not going
to superintend my studies as well as yours. She'd just
like the chance of doing that, I believe, to see how much
she could provoke me, and if fairies can be worked into
a fury, you will be, I prophesy, in loss than a week.
At all events, it won't be Aunt Lydia's fault if you aint
in a towering passion the first day."
I hope I shan't get out of temper," said Emily.
But, at the same time, it must be confessed that ihe did
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 17
look forward with some fear to the dread ordeal that
awaited her, and she would have preferred almost any-
one else to be her instructress.
The following Monday, Emily took her school-books
and went down to the library to be examined by her
Aunt Lydia, as to her attainments in the various
branches of education.
Miss Lydia commenced by giving her a poem to read.
This Emily got through very well; but the next thing,
which was drawing, was a signal failure. Then followed
geography, grammar, history, &c., in all of which her
aunt declared her to be lamentably ignorant; and poor
Emily was deeply impressed with the fact of her own
short-comings, and the great need for constant and per-
severing efforts to improve.
A heavy weight of care from this time seemed to settle
upon the child. Her merry, ringing laugh was seldom
heard, and she had not time to spare to play, as she told
her brother that evening when he returned from
Oh! put that book down, and come out in the gar-
den," he said, in reply; I can't, Harry, indeed," said
Emily. You can't think what a dunce I am. I did
not think I was until to-day, when Aunt Lydia told me
how many things there were in the world that I knew
"Well, I don't care about that just now; I want to
tell you how I got on at school, so come along," and he
snatched the book out of his sister's hand, and threw it
to the further end of the room.
Oh, it's a jolly school," he exclaimed, and there
are some first-rate fellows there too. I am going into
18 HARRY LAWLEY
the second-class, and mean to be dux if I can. Won't
papa be pleased if I can take that place!"
"Howmanyboys are there in the class ?" asked Emily.
"About twenty, I should think."
Twenty in one class," exclaimed Emily; why it
must be quite a large school, then."
Oh, yes, it is," said Harry ; "most of the fellows
live in the town and board at school, the same as I do.
There's one of them, Rawlings I think his name is, I
know I shall like him, and I mean to ask aunt to let me
bring him home one half-holiday."
I wouldn't just yet, Harry. Wait a little while,"
said his sister, until we have convinced our aunts that
boys and girls are not so tiresome as she thinks."
Harry promised to act upon this suggestion of his
sister's, and for the next few days he was particularly
careful when in his aunt's presence or hearing not to
whistle or make use of any "boy's words;" or, in
short, do anything that was at all likely to displease
them; and this improvement in his behaviour the old
ladies flattered themselves was the result of their care-
fillly keeping him from associating with other boys; for
they had sent Roger to escort him to and from school
each day, that he might not have the opportunity of
I say, Lawley, here's your nurse waiting for you,"
called one of the boys, when he saw old Roger hobbling
"up the lane one day the following week. I say, old
fellow, your baby says he wont come," he said, address-
A burst of laughter from the crowd of boys followed
this speech, and Harry was greeted with the epithets of
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 19
"Baby Lawley," and Miss Lawley," and "Auntie's
darling," as he pushed his way through to where old
lRoger was standing.
Go back," he said, angrily, and tell aunt I can
come home by myself. I shall be there as soon as you
My orders, sir, was to wait for you," said the
But I shan't come now, I'm going for a walk before
I come home. You need not wait," he added, seeing
the old man did not move.
"Oh, won't you catch it, Miss Lawley," said one,
as he retraced his steps.
"Auntie will be wondering where the darling has
gone," chimed in another.
I tell you what, you fellows had better hold your
tongues, or I shall make you," said Harry, flushing
crimson with rage.
Now don't get angry, dear; it might hurt you, and
auntie would not like that."
In a moment Harry rushed forward to strike his
tormentor, and a regular fight would have ensued had
not Rawlings stepped before Harry and received the blow
intended for his companion.
Get out of the way, Rawlings," said Harry, push-
ing him aside.
"No, I won't. If you want to fight, fight me."
I don't want to fight you, it's that Robinson I want
to pay out, and I will, too," he added.
Now Lawley, look here," said Rawlings, "I
suppose you don't want to go down in Dr. Goode's
black books, do you?"
20 HARRY LAWLEY AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS.
No," moodily responded Harry, but I don't mean
to be insulted for nothing."
We will leave that for the present," said Rawlings,
" and now let me tell you that nothing makes the
doctor more angry than fighting, so if you want to keep
in his good graces you had better keep out of that."
After a little more persuasion, Harry consented to
accept an apology from Robinson, who was quite
willing to give one, and the affair ended by Harry's
asking these two and two other boys to spend the
following Wednesday afternoon with him at the
Rawlings took his seat, and began rather awkwardly to put sugar into each of
the cups. But he had not enough for all, and Harry, in some trepidation, rang the
beI, and desired Roger to bring suoe more.-Page 28.
S '"^HE invitation was given upon the impulse of
t, he moment. It was exactly what he would
have done had he been at home, and he never
"D- ^' thought of his aunts until he remembered the
summary manner in which he had dismissed
Roger. When he came in sight of the Grange,
he was met at the gate by Emily.
"Oh, Harry, where have you been?" she said,
reproachfully, aunt is so angry because Roger came
home without you."
"Well, I can't help it, Emily; I won't have that old
man d1.I_. inI_ after me. The boys called me a baby and
a girl," he said scornfully, and I won't put up with it."
Well, why did you not tell aunt at first that you did
not want Roger with you; it would have been better
than sending him back, and making aunt angry."
"Is she very angry, Fairy?" asked Harry, anxiously,
"because if she is I am in a fix."
"Why?" asked Emily. Oh, Harry, what have
"Nothing to be frightened at, only I almost got into
a fight to-day, and finished up by asking four of the
fellows here to tea next Wednesday."
"1 Oh, Harry, how could you think of such a thing ?"
said his sister.
"I didn't think at all," replied Harry; I ust asked
them, and they'll have to come now."
But what will aunt say? She will never consent,
I'm afraid," said Emily, with a troubled look.
She could not send them away again if they come,"
24 HARRY LAWLEY
But you will ask her first. It would be better to
tell her all about it, I think."
Yes, I think so too," replied Harry. So when
she's done about Rogers being sent back, I'll tell
her this, and ask her very humbly to give them
some bread and butter, and then I shouldn't wonder but
what she comes out handsome with cakes and jams, &c.
&c. Oh, she couldn't behave mean to the fellows, for
her own credit's sake; so I shall do what I've said, and
bring them this time, if I never do again," and with
this resolution he went in to meet his aunt.
What did you mean by sending Roger back this
afternoon?" said his aunt Jemima, as he entered the
Because I can come home from school by myself,
aunt," said Harry, boldly.
Your ability to come by yourself I do not dispute,"
said MissLawley ; but when I send a servant for you,
it is your duty to come with him."
But, aunt, the boys make game of me. You should
have heard how they laughed this afternoon when they
saw Roger walking up and down."
"Then they are very rude boys," said Miss Lawley;
" and quite unfit to be your companions; and therefore
I shall continue to send Roger, that you may not be
contaminated by them."
Oh, aunt, don't do that," said Harry, beginning to
lose his patience; there was no end of a row this after-
noon through it. It almost came to a fight at last," he
Oh, shocking," said Miss Lawley, with uplifted
hands. What do you think will become of you?"
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 25
"Well, 1 expect Dr. Goode would have been in a rage
with me if Rawlings hadn't caught hold of me, and
taken the blow I intended for Robinson. I quite forgot
I was not at home with papa, and asked him afterwards
to come to tea with me next Wednesday; and then, of
course, I had to ask Robinson and White, the two I was
going to fight; so I hope, aunt," he added, you'll give
them some tea this once."
To say that Miss Lawley was surprised at what her
nephew told her, would not express a tenth of the
astonishment she felt.
Have four strange boys in my house!" she said,
"it is too ridiculous to be thought of." And without any
farther comment, she stalked out of the room.
You should have waited for a day or two," said
Emily, when they were left alone.
I did mean to do so," said Harry, but somehow it
all came out when I began."
Well, at all events, you will have to tell them now
not to come," said Emily.
so, I shan't, aunt will come round before then, or,
at least, she won't send them away. I should look a
pretty stupid to go and toll them they mustn't come. No,
come they must now, and aunt will be all right when
she sees they're here."
Early the following Wednesday afternoon the four
guests arrived; Harry met them at the door, looking
rather woe-begone and anxious.
He had returned from school that morning to find that
his aunts and sister had gone out. This had sadly
disconcerted him, for he had still clung to the hope that
his aunts would receive and hospitably entertainhis guests.
26 HARRY LAWLEY
He took them up to his room, and shewed them his
books, puzzles, drawings, and floral album, as he chose to
call the collection of dried flowers and grasses, and after-
wards proposed a game of cricket in the Home Field,
as the meadow was called at the bottom of the garden.
In the excitement of the game, Harry almost forgot his
anxiety, until tea-time drew near, and the tired looks
of his friends reminded him that they needed some refresh-
ment. He asked them to sit down and rest a fewminutes
while he ran indoors and told them to get tea ready.
"I say, Roger," he exclaimed, bursting into the
old man's sanctum of a pantry, has aunt come home?"
"No, sir," answered the old servant, I don't think
she'll be home yet."
"Well, then, we must have tea by ourselves, that's
all," said Harry; "set it in the drawing-room for four,"
he added, carelessly.
"I can't, sir, the drawing-room's locked up," said
Oh, well, set it in the dining-room," said Harry.
" I don't care much what room it's in."
"The dining-room's locked up, too, sir," said Roger,
" and Miss Lawley's got the key."
"Nonsense," said Harry; my aunt dosen't lock the
rooms up like that when she goes out," and he went and
tried the door.
She has to-day, at all events," said the man,
hobbling after him, and Harry found that what he said
was true. He turned and twisted the handle, and pushed
the door but all without effect; it remained obstinately
closed. He then tried the drawing-room and breakfast
parlour doors, but they too were locked.
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 27
"Well, I am in a fix now," he exclaimed, as he stood
and wiped tlre perspiration off his forehead.
"Must the young gents come here to tea?" asked
Yes, that they must, for I asked them a week ago,"
replied Harry, beginning to lose his temper.
"Well, couldn't it be managed in the garden;
though what they're to eat is more than I can tell," he
Why, haven't you got any cake in the cupboard?"
asked Harry, with growing fear.
There may be; most likely there is, sir, for cook
made some yesterday, but it was all put away in the
store closet this morning, and that 's locked up as well as
the rooms. What Miss Lawley could have took such a
whim into her head for I can't think, I never knowed
her to do such a thing before all the years I've been in
"Whatever is to be done ?" said Harry, scratching
his head in dire perplexity. Something to eat we must
have," he said at length, in sheer desperation; "' so bring
us up whatever you can get hold of, and put it in the
library," and he ran to join his companions, and do
the best he could by way of explaining that his aunts
and sister were all out, and that he did not know where
they had gone. He would have liked to have been able
to add that they knew nothing of his inviting them to
tea, but this he could not do, as he was a truthful boy,
and despised the meanness of an untruthful statement at
The boys were soon assembled in the little dark study
or library that looked like a monk's cell, as Robinson
28 HARRY LAWLEY AND IIIS MAIDEN AUNTS.
whispered to White. Harry caught the whisper, and
coloured furiously, but just then Roger appeared with
the tea-things, which caused a little diversion greatly to
Rawlings, will you preside; my sister would have
done it for us if she had been at home," said Harry,
placing a chair for his friend. Rawlings took his seat,
and began rather awkwardly to put sugar into each of the
cups. But lie had not enough for all, and Harry, in
some trepidation, rang the bell, and desired Roger to
bring some more. The old-man, who really pitied poor
Harry, and was willing to help him out of his predica-
ment, said, Yes, sir," at the same time motioning for
him to follow him out of the room.
I really can't bring any more sugar, sir," he said,
"I've brought up all that was left out."
Oh, Roger, whatever is to be done? My aunt has
done it on purpose, I believe," said Harry, who was in
a great mind to cry, now that things were getting so
"I'll ask the maids to let you have some of their
brown sugar, if you like."
Oh, do," said Harry, greatly relieved, and bring
up some more milk, and a pot of jam if you can get it."
"There's plenty of milk," said Roger, "but no jam
to be had."
"Well, never mind; we shall manage with the bread
and butter and radishes," said Harry, recovering all
his good humour at the prospect of surmounting his
difficulties. But when he entered the study a fresh
trouble awaited hin.
"HARRY IS ,IISSING,
"A i. Il .1
1 ', ,, *'" t"H
-. ,* ,1 ": -
But lie had n sooner reaclied the pavement outside thau the loaf was, tlirown
from his hands into the road, by his coming in contact with a lady, who staggered
backwards, and almost fell from the violence of the blow.
"Clumsy Boy I" said a will known voice. -Pae :2.
'M ERE, Lawley, we've eaten all the bread and
butter while you've been talking outside,"
"said Robinson, handing him the empty
Harry took it mechanically, and with it
another load of anxiety. He rushed out of
the room and down the kitchen stairs.
Here, I say, Roger," he exclaimed, almost knocking
the old man down in his hurry, make haste and cut
us some more bread and butter."
"I don't know where it's to come from," said the old
servant, with a lugubrious shake of the head. Cook 's
been going on at a fine rate about having all the things
"But the bread is not locked up, surely?" said
"' Yes, sir, it is ; there was only just enough for the
day left out, and now the maids have had their tea it's
Oh, dear whatever is to be done now?" said Harry.
" Can't you suggest any way for me to get out of this
hobble?" he said, imploringly.
I could go into the village and get a loaf," said the
That's a lucky thought," said Harry, quickly, and
diving his hand to the bottom of his pocket, he pulled
out sixpence. Will that be enough?" he said.
Oh, yes; more than I shall want for halfa quarter
loaf," said the old man, and he went as fast as his
rheumatism would allow him in search of his hat. Harry
32 HARRY LAWLEY
watched his tottering steps, and the thought was
,.I_-_.-.,--.,] that he had better fetch it himself.
Here, Roger," he called, at the same time snatching
his cap from the peg, I will run for the loaf; I shall
be there and back in half the time it would take you to
get there only. You just go and ask those young
gentlemen to excuse me; tell them I shall be back in a
minute;" and he tore off round the garden, trampling
over Miss Lawley's flower beds in his precipitate haste,
and vaulting over the fence, he was soon across the
fields, which was the nearest way to the village.
Panting, almost breathless, with his run, and the
perspiration pouring down his face, he went into the
first baker's shop he saw. Give me half a quarter
loaf, quick," he said to the woman who was standing
behind the counter. The woman gave him the loaf,
with a stare of astonishment, and Harry threw down
the sixpence, and bounded out of the shop. But
he had no sooner reached the pavement outside than
the loaf was thrown from his hands into the road, by
his coming in contact with a lady, who staggered
backwards, and almost fell, from the violence of' the
Clumsy boy !" said a well-known voice; and Harry,
looking up as he recovered his loaf, saw his aunts and
sister. It was his aunt Lydia he had so nearly thrown
down. It was evident his aunt had not recognized him
when she spoke, but the recognition was mutual when
he turned and faced them.
Emily was the first to speak. Oh, Harry," she
exclaimed, what has brought you here ?"
"Ask aunt why she locked up all the cupboards,"
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 33
said Harry, fiercely, and without another. word he ran
across the road, and scrambling up the bank was half-
way across the field before the two elder ladies had
recovered from the fright and astonishment his sudden
appearance had awakened. Miss Lydia was the first to
recover the use of her tongue.
"The boy is certainly mad," she gasped, as she
pointed to his retreating figure. "What could have
brought him down here ?-buying bread, too, above all
things. Jemima, he has disgraced us for ever; we can
never hold up our heads again; we are hopelessly
ruined." And the poor lady, who had talked herself
almost out of breath, applied her pocket-handkerchief
to her eyes.
Nonsense, Lydia," said Miss Lawley, sharply, when
she saw the pocket handkerchief. The boy is not mad
-it is only his wickedness. Very likely he has brought
those rude boys home to tea with him, and as I took
the precaution before coming out to lock everything up,
they, of course, have not enough to eat. That is the
only thing I can think of as having caused him to come
upon such an errand."
It is very disgraceful," grumbled Miss Lydia, "that
our nephew should come to a village baker's to buy half
a quarter loaf."
"That cannot be helped now," said Miss Lawley;
" but I will take care if these boys are in my house, to tell
them they are never to come there again."
As Miss Lawley entered the gate, loud peals of ringing
laughter were borne to her ear on the evening breeze.
"What is that ?" said Miss Lydia, as she caught the
34 HARRY LAWLE7
Henry and his friends, I presume," said her sister,
drawing herself up with the air of a general.
The street door was opened by Roger, who started
and turned pale when he saw who it was, and he waited
a moment, (':l.C I to be called to account for the
noise; but Miss Lawley without deigning to ask a single
question, marched across the hall and threw open the
The scene that there met her astonished gaze can be
better imagined than described. The four visitors,
growing tired of waiting for their tea, and Harry's
reappearance amongst them, had amused themselves by
putting one-half of the room in a state of siege, as they
chose to term it. That is, they had dr:._c..1 all the
furniture out of their places to form a barricade, behind
which the besieged stood, while the assailants tried all
in their power to drag away the defences. At the
moment of Miss Lawley's entrance, Langton stood behind
the defences, and Robinson had just succeeded in
dragging away a chair, and lay sprawling on the ground
with that on top of him.
"Well, young gentlemen, I think you might wait
until you were invited before presuming to enter a
lady's house; and your behaviour in thus coming
uninvited, and turning it into a bear-garden, is quite
This was said in Miss Lawley's stiffest style, and the
guests hung their heads in abashed amazement, scarce
knowing what to reply. Langton, however, summoned
up courage enough to say, fiercely but respectfully, We
did not come uninvited, ma'am; Harry asked us a week
AND IllS MAIDEN AUNTS. 35
And I ask you to leave now," said Miss Lawley, and
motioning to Roger, who still stood in the hall, to open
the street door, she followed her sister up-stairs. As
soon as Emily had taken off her bonnet and things, she
hastened down to inquire of Roger where her brother
was, that she had not seen him.
I can't tell at all, Miss," said the old man, scratch-
ing his head in perplexity, "he went out into the
village about an hour ago, and he hasn't been back
Hasn't he ?" said Emily, in amazement, why we
saw him there as we came along, with a half-quartern
loaf in his hand."
Did Miss Lawley see him too?" asked Roger.
"Yes, he almost knocked aunt Lydia down, and the
loaf was thrown into the road," said Emily, scarcely able
to repress a smile as she recalled the scene; but where
can he be ? he was coming through the fields; I watched
him as long as I could, and so he ought to have been
home long before we were."
"Yes, that he ought, Miss," said the servant.
"Where are the boys now ?" she said in a whisper.
Gone, Miss, and I wish they'd never come."
"Did they have their tea?" asked Emily.
Well, not much; you see there wasn't much for
'cm, that was why Master Harry went for the bread."
How vexed he will be about it," she said, with a
sigh; I wish he would come home, aunt will be cross
about that next."
She went up to her room again, and closing the door,
sat down by the open window to watch for his return.
It was a calm, bright evening, and she could hear the
chirping of the grasshopper, and the rustle of the leaves
3( IIADRY LAWLEY
as the gentle breeze moved them to and fro, but the
sound she most longed to hear-her brother's footfall-
did not come. The evening shadows deepened and the
stars came out one by one, and at length the moon rose
clear, calm, and lovely, and she could see across the
fields, but no shadow of her brother fell across the
shining path, and with a shiver and undefined sense of
fear, she at last closed the window, and went down to
"Why, I thought you had gone to bed long ago,"
said her aunt, as she entered.
No, aunt, I've been looking out of the window," said
"Looking out of the window! why, what is the
matter, child? you look as white and seared as pos-
Has Harry come home ?" she said, in a whisper.
Come home ? of course he has; didn't we see him
run across the fields as we came through the village ?"
But he didn't come home then, aunt," said Emily;
" I've been to his room two or three times, and Roger
hasn't seen him either," and she burst into tears.
There, don't cry, my dear; we will send Roger to
look for him."
And you won't be angry with him, aunt, will you?"
said Emily imploringly.
I cannot make any promises about that," said Miss
Lawley; Henry has acted in a very improper
"Yes, aunt, I know he has," said Emily; but do
forgive him. He is afraid to come home, I think, and
is staying out because of your being so angry. Say you
will forgive hhi, please aunt."
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 37
No, Emily, I cannot say that now; he must himself
ask my forgiveness, and humbly beg my pardon; and if
he is staying out of doors now because he is afraid to
come in, I can only say he is a very wicked as well as a
very foolish boy."
May I go with Roger to look for him ?" asked
Emily, for she was afraid that if he was found lie might
refuse to return, although whore lhe could go or what he
was to do, she had no idea.
No, Emily, certainly not," replied her aunt; and
I think you must be crazy to think of such a thing."
Roger was immediately despatched to look for Harry,
while Emily went up and took her post at the window
again. She watched the old man cross the field until
his figure was lost in the distance, and then she returned
to the drawing-room to await his return. He was gone
more than two hours, and then returned without any
tidings of the absent one.
"Where have you been ?" asked Miss Lawley, now
A'most everywhere," replied the servant. "I went
all through the fields, and then to Mr. White's, where
one of Master Harry's friends lives, but they hadn't seen
him since he left here at tea-time."
"Where can the dear boy have got to ?" said Miss
Lydia, in a great fright. Do you think, Jemima," she
added, "he has fallen into the mill-stream? you know
he scarcely looked where he was going when he ran
across the road; he might have made a mistake, and
jumped in instead of crossing the bridge."
Oh, aunt, would he be drowned if he did so?"
gasped Emily, turning deadly pale.
"' I wonder you haven't more sense, Lydia, than to
38 IIARRY LAWLEY AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS.
frighten the child in this manner," said Miss Lawley.
" Here, Emily," she said, pouring out a glass of wine,
"drink this, and go and lie down on the sofa, and don't
be alarmed, the mill-stream is not deep enough to drown
your brother even if he fell in," and she left the room to
give Roger further directions to get other assistance
from the village to continue the search, while she her-
self with her maid-servant visited every part of the
garden and orchard.
No one at the Grange went to bed that night, for hour
after hour passed, and no tidings of the wanderer
reached the anxious watchers. The mill-stream had
been searched for several miles; inquiries had been made
at the homes of several of his school-fellows; and poor
Miss Lawley was at her wit's end to know what to
do next. Her sister could ii _:-t. nothing; the fright
had rendered her almost as helpless as Emily. Her
grief, poor child, was most touching. They had always
been strongly attached to each other. Harry was to her
the embodiment of all that was noble and generous; and
now in her heart she bitterly reproached her aunts for
their harsh and unwise treatment of him.
Oh, if papa had only been here, this would never
have happened," she said to herself again and again, as
she wandered from one room to another.
Emily, you had better go to bed," said her aunt at
length, fearing she would be ill.
I can't go to bed until you bring Harry home again,
aunt," she replied. She spoke tearfully and reproach-
fully, and yet withal respectfully. Miss Lawley looked
at her neice, and, for the first time, the thought crossed
her mind that perhaps her management of Harry had
not been wise.
J4AF.- IS FOUND,
i' ' ,
'r "H- 7 "1
A LODGING ON THE COLD GROUND,
"Well-a-day!" said the old man, as soon as he cold recover from his astonishment,
"Why, master Harry, what made you stop here all night ?"-Page 46.
IIE thought thus awakened continued to trouble
"Miss Lawley, and she half regretted the part
-.-9- -he had acted in trying to keep Harry from
\i- all association with companions of his own
,-, age, and thought that, perhaps, after all, her
brother's plan, which she had thought so
erroneous, was the best, and that her treatment was
likely to drive one of Harry's disposition to rebellion
instead of obedience. But these thoughts had come too
late to alter what had occurred, and now only served to
aggravate her distress on Harry's account. All possible
and impossible conjectures were formed as to what had
become of him. But morning dawned and no solution
of the mystery came.
Aunt," said Emily, as Miss Lawley sat down beside
her on the sofa, just as the early sunbeams shot across
the eastern horizon, I'm afraid Harry's far away from
here by this time."
"Why, what makes you think that?" said Miss
Lawley. Emily knew nothing of what had been passing
in her aunt's mind, or she would not have said what she
did; as it was she hesitated and coloured deeply as she
Because I heard him say one day that he would run
away if-" and she hesitated again, "if you were
unkind to him."
Unkind to him! What do you mean, child?" said
Miss Lawley, starting and trying to appear angry,
although it was evident she was more hurt than angry
at her niece's words. Have I not been kind to both of
42 HARRY LAWLEY
you; have I not taken every care of you since you
Oh, yes, aunt," said Emily, "you have done every
thing you could for us, but somehow papa and mamma,
without taking so much care of us as you do, made us
happier. I know poor Harry has not been happy; he
was always afraid of making you angry about something,
and then your not liking him to have any companions
troubled him very much. Oh, poor Harry," she sobbed,
and the tears flowed afresh at the recollection of her
dear brother. How she had got through such a long
speech she could not tell. At any other time she would
have been afraid to say half a dozen words to her aunt,
and would have dreaded her knowing that she even
thought what she had now said, but under this terrible
doubt and anxiety all fear of her aunt had gone, and
she felt compelled to ,eil her what she did, if only in
extenuation of Harry's fault.
We will now go back a little way in our story in
order to inform our readers what happened after Harry
had left his aunts in the village. We left him flying
across the fields towards the Grange. He had purposed
reaching home, and after hastily finishing tea
accompanying his guests to the field to join in another
game of cricket. This he thought could be easily
accomplished before his aunts reached home, and thus
they would not have the opportunity (which he now
doubted not they would do if they came home and found
them there) of summarily dismissing his guests. In
order to save time, therefore, he did not keep to the path
across the fields, but taking the shortest cut, ran at the
top of his speed through the clover and stubble. He had
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 43
crossed two, and was preparing to spring across the
ditch that divided them from the meadow or Home field,
belonging to the Grange, when by some means his foot
slipped and became twisted, and instead of alighting
safely on the other side he rolled to the bottom.
Fortunately there was no water in the old moat, nothing
but a little mud, and after rescuing his loaf, Harry tried
to scramble up again, but to his dismay he found he
could not stand, and his foot soon became so painful,
and swelled so much, that he was glad to take off his
boot and sit down on the bank. He had sprained his
ankle, and as hour after hour passed, it got worse rather
than better. He could just see the gabled ends of
Fernfield Grange from where lie sat, and he wondered
whether Emily would come out to look for him In
some faint hope of this being the case, he several times
shouted her name as loudly as he could, but no
answering call came in reply, and as he looked up and
saw the sun sink behind the trees, and then the stars
come out, a chilly feeling crept over him, and he wished
he was safe in his own room. He made another attempt
to clamber up the bank, and had almost succeeded in
reaching the top when all at once the tuft of grass to
which he was holding gave way, and he came down
splash into the mud again. Nothing daunted, he got up
and tried again, this time using his injured foot, but he
was obliged to give up the attempt, for the movement
caused him such agony that in spite of his attempts to
restrain them, the tears rolled down his cheeks with the
violence of the pain. Faint and sick, he again sat down
by the loaf that had caused all this trouble, and as he
looked at it he wondered whether his companions, tired
44 IARRY LAWLEY
of waiting for him, had left the Grange before his aunts
reached home. He hoped they had done so, and then
this accident would account for his non-appearance
among them, but if they were still there on his aunt's
arrival, and she summarily dismissed them, he knew it
would become a standing joke in the school, and he
should be frequently reminded of it.
These thoughts raised angry feelings in his mind
against his aunt, and the discomfort of his present
situation rather increased than diminished them.
"If it had not been for her, I should not be here
now," he said half aloud, as the cool evening breeze
swept past and made him shiver. There's one thing,"
he added, this will give her a good fright. I wonder
where she thinks I have gone to, whether she thinks I
have run away. I will do that if she keeps me so strict.
But she shan't in future, I'm determined. I've tried to
please her, and done as she's told me, as papa said, but
it's all of no use. I believe she hates me or hates to see
me enjoying myself, so now I shall study her no longer,
but do just as I please. Yes, that I will," he said in a
more determined tone. I'll not be treated as a child
any longer, I'm not one, and I'll not be treated like
one." At this moment he heard a footfall on the distant
path, and tried again to clamber up the bank, but his
injured foot prevented him doing this, and he was
obliged to content himself with shouting at the top of his
voice, hoping by this means to attract the attention of the
person who was passing.
Had not Roger been afflicted with deafness as well as
rheumatism he must have heard this shout, for it was he
who was crossing the field in search of Harry, but no
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 45
sound reached his car, and he passed on, leaving Harry
in his forlorn situation, almost hopeless of being rescued
from it for that night.
Several hours passed, and Harry tried to go to sleep,
but the pain of his foot and the uncomfortable position
in which he was obliged to sit to avoid the mud,
prevented him doing this, and he was thankful to see the
dawn of day, as he hoped that would herald deliverance
for him. He knew that it was not often people came
that way, but he had seen children carrying their
father's meals go along the path and through the fields
instead of along the road, and he resolved now, as it was
his only hope of escape, to creep along towards the
path, and when he heard a footstep, to call out for
But many weary hours passed before a single person
came. The first was a little girl who came skipping
along humming a tune. Harry called out Help, help,"
as loud as he could, but at the sound of his voice the
child ran away as fast as she could, screaming at the
top of her voice.
What a little stupid!" exclaimed Harry in his
vexation, and he had to sit down again and wait for
Then he heard a well-known voice saying, Did you
look all along here, Roger ?" and then Roger answered,
"Yes), Miss, right across the path and all along the
banks of the stream, he would come."
Did you look along this old moat ?" But before
Roger could reply, a faint hoarse voice called
" Emily." Emily started and screamed. That's my
brother, that's Harry, I know," she exclaimed, joy-
46 HARRY LAWLEY
fully. Harry," she called, raising her voice, where
Here," he answered, down in the ditch." Emily
was soon at the top, and would have jumped down had
not Roger held her back by main force.
Well-a-day !" said the old man, as soon as he could
recover from his astonishment. Why, Master Harry,
what made you stop here all night ?"
Because I couldn't get out," said Harry, and
can't now unless you help me, for I've sprained my foot
Sprained your foot, why how did you manage
Oh, I'll tell you that by and by," said Harry,
impatiently; help me up out of this muck if you
Well, I'll try, Sir," said the old man, if you
won't wait, but I think you'd better let me fetch
somebody; you can't do much yourself if your foot's
Oh, letRoger fetch some one," said Emily. "There's
a man working down in the other field I can see; let me
run and fetch him." Harry rather ungraciously gave
his consent to let her do this, and she ran across the field
and soon returned with the labourer.
"Well, you are in a pretty mess, young master," said
the man, as he helped Harry up the bank. Harry was
indeed in a sad plight. He had lost his cap and left his
boot where he had first fallen in, and the sleeve of his
jacket was torn from top to bottom, and his face
scratched in several places. Added to this, the mud in
which he had twice rolled, nearly covered his clothes, so
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 47
that altogether he presented such a pitiable, but withal
such a ludicrous appearance, that Emily could not
repress a merry burst of laughter as he scrambled up
and sat down at the top of the ditch. It's a pity you
haven't got something to laugh at that's worth the
trouble," he said, in no pleasant tone of voice.
Oh, Harry, you would do the same if you could
see yourself," said Emily, you do look so funny."
Roger and the man who helped him np had likewise
joined in the laugh, and this might have vexed him
"Am I to sit here all day?" he said, turning to
"I'll run and tell aunt," said Emily, "and Roger
can stay by you," and the little girl tripped gaily across
the field, and was soon in the hall of Fernfield Grange.
Where is aunt ?" she asked of a maid-servant. Oh
we have found Harry," she exclaimed the next minute
as her aunt came out of the drawing-room.
Found him! Oh where?" said Miss Lawley, with a
sigh of relief.
Down in the moat, aunt; he fell down there and
sprained his foot, and he has been there all night. You
won't scold him when he comes home, will you?" said
Are they bringing him home ?" said Miss Lawley,
going to the dining-room window, from which she
could see the Home field.
I don't know, aunt; I don't think they can, because
he can't walk," said Emily.
And Roger had not the sense to come here and send
for help," said Miss Lawley, in a vexed tone. But at
48 HARRY LAWLEY AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS.
this moment she saw Harry borne between two labourers,
and immediately dispatching a servant to see that his
room was all ready, she went into the hall and awaited
his arrival. Her sister stood by her side as Harry was
JARRY JNDISPOSED.- FURTHER TROUBLE.
.i, ,, ,
OUT P SOltTS.
As soon as ie saw her, he took up a book which was lying near, and pretense, tc
be deeply engrossed with its contents.-Page 5.
f [I i
be deeply engrossed with its contents.-P:age 52.
'.. .._. ,.
"f- CN my opinion it's a judgment upon him for his
:.,. wickedness," said Miss Lydia.
Hush," said her sister. But it was too
late ; Harry had heard the remark, and he cast
a look of defiance at the two ladies as he was
carried past them upstairs.
His clothes were soon changed, and his foot bathed
and bandaged; and after he had had some refreshment,
lie went to bed.
Emily, whose joy knew no bounds at the return of her
brother, crept into his room several times to peep at him
while he was asleep. Her aunt tried to persuade her to
follow Harry's example, and go and lie down for a little
while, but she declared she was not at all sleepy or
tired, and preferred moving about. At length she settled
herself in a chair by her brother's bedside and watched
for his awaking.
Oh, Harry! how glad I am," she whispered, as soon
as he opened his eyes.
There, don't tease, Emily," he said impatiently,
turning his face away.
Is your foot very painful ?" she ventured to ask, in a
minute or two.
"I should think it was," rather ungraciously
responded her brother.
At this moment Miss Lawley entered the room.
How are you now, Henry ?" she asked. But Harry
vouchsafed no answer.
Does your head ache ?" she asked, drawing near to
the side of his bed.
52 HARRY LAWLEY
"No," replied Harry, and he flung himself over to
the other side.
Do you want anything ?" said Miss Lawley.
No, only take Emily away, and leave me alone," he
said, in the same impatient tone.
Emily could not restrain her tears when she heard him
say this, and with a heavy, almost breaking heart, she
followed her aunt out of the room.
Emily, by Miss Lawley's advice, did not go to Harry's
room again until the evening.
When she entered 1, he was sitting up by the window
in an arm-chair, his injured foot resting in another; but,
as soon as he saw her, he took up a book which was
lying near, and pretended to be deeply engrossed with
Do you feel better now, Harry ?" she said gently,
after waiting in vain for him to look up from his book.
Did aunt send you to inquire?" he asked, sneeringly,
"because if she did not, I wonder you troubled
yourself to come after staying away all day."
You would not let me stay with you this morning,"
said Emily. But it must be dull up here all by
yourself," she added ; "I will stay with you this evening,
and to-morrow aunt says you must come down and lie
on the sofa in the drawing-room."
I shall do no such thing," said Harry; I shall
stay where I am, I'm not dull, and I don't want you to
leave aunt for me; I can do very well by myself."
But you'll come down to-morrow, won't you, if aunt
wishes it ?" said Emily, pleadingly.
"No, I won't," replied her brother, I'm not going
to submit to aunt's whims and fancies any longer. I'll
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 53
be my own master for the future, and have my own
Emily tried in vain to alter her brother's determin-
ation upon this point. All her former influence over
him seemed to have vanished, and he evidently regarded
her intervention with jealousy and suspicion.
The cause of this came out a few days afterwards,
when Harry asked if she had heard what Miss Lawley
said when she discovered the boys in the library.
No, I did not hear what was said," replied Emily,
"but I know aunt was very angry, and sent them off
"Which greatly pleased you, I have no doubt," re-
Oh, Harry, how can you say such a thing!"
exclaimed Emily, indignantly.
"Because it's true," replied her brother. "You take
part with aunt against me in everything; but I'm not
going to be ruled by either of you any longer, so I can
tell you. Aunt says, I'm not to attempt to go to
school next week. She thinks I've not been punished
enough for asking them to tea. I heard what was said
about its being a judgment on me. But I won't stay at
home here, to gratify them, any longer. I will go to
school next week, if I can possibly get there. At all
events, no one in this house shall keep me at home."
Oh, Harry, don't talk like that," said Emily, the
tears fast filling her eyes as she spoke; "think of what
papa told us before we came here."
I do think of what papa said," replied Harry, "but
when he told us to be obedient and conquer ourselves,
he did not mean us to be crushed and trampled on. Of
54 HARRY LAWLEY
course, it is all very well for you to preach, because you
never have anything to put up with, but aunt hates me,
and is always putting upon me, and so I am resolved to
have my own way."
But you won't go to school until aunt gives you
leave, will you ?" said Emily.
Yes, I will," replied Harry, I'll go as soon as ever
But aunt would wish you to go, as soon as your
foot was well enough," said Emily; do wait until
that has got quite well."
Aunt's wishes are nothing to me, and my foot is
nothing to aunt, so you may as well leave off talking
about it." Emily saw there was but little hope of
altering her brother's determination, at present, and with
a heavy, anxious heart, she went to her own room.
His unkind treatment was not the only cause of her
present sorrow. Her aunt had said that, unless he
altered in his behaviour, she would write to his papa,
and request him to remove him at once from Fernfield
Grange ; and the thought of being parted from her only
brother was a great trial to Emily. What she should
do without him, she did not know, and at length she
resolved to ask her aunt to delay sending the letter for
the present, urging as a reason, Harry's confinement to
the house, and the anxiety he felt to get back to school
in extenuation of his many acts of disobedience and
disrespect. She succeeded beyond her expectation, and
her aunt consented to postpone it for a month. But,
if," she said, I find he does not improve during
that time, I shall certainly not delay it longer, and you
had better tell him so."
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 55
Emily ventured to do this the same evening, but it
made little impression upon her brother.
1 am glad you have told me," he said, carelessly,
"because I shall know how to write to papa now."
Emily saw it had failed to alter his previous determination,
and so, as her only hope, she determined to hide his
faults as much as possible from her aunt. She knew
what pain it would cause her parents to receive such an
account of Harry as his aunt would send, and how sorry
he too would be at having caused this pain, when the
perverse fit was over. Though how it was it continued
so long, she was at a loss to know. She had known
him act hastily and disobediently before, but he had
never been cross or out of humour with her, and it had
all been over in a few hours, and he was deeply sorry
for what he had done, and willing to make any
reparation. Therefore it was that his present conduct
was to her so utterly inexplicable.
It was with some anxiety that she went to his room
the following Monday morning, hoping, yet almost
dreading, to find him there, for she had been sent to
desire him to come down stairs as Miss Lawley wished
to speak to him. She pushed open the door after knock-
ing twice, but Henry was not there. She looked about
the room, and discovered that his strap of books was
gone, and therefore concluded that he had gone to school.
She walked slowly down stairs again, revolving in
her mind how she should tell her aunt of this fresh and
flagrant act of disobedience. Her cogitations were cut
short before she had made up her mind what to say, by
her aunt coming through the hall and telling her to
56 HARRY LAWLEY
Is Henry coming?" she added.
He is not in his room, aunt," said Emily.
Where has he gone, then ?" asked Miss Lawley.
I don't know, but I think perhaps he went,-" and
Went where ?" said Miss Lawley, sharply; why
don't you speak out, child ?"
"I know he wanted to go to school very much to-day,"
But I told him last week he was not to go until his
foot got quite strong. Do you mean to say he has gone
in defiance of my commands ?"
Emily knew not what to answer, and so she stood still
and silent at the foot of the stairs.
Why don't you answer me ?" said Miss Lawley,
angrilyy, has your brother gone to school?"
Yes, aunt, I think he has," said Emily, slowly.
Then I will write to his papa at once, and send the
letter by the next mail," said her aunt. But before the
letter could be written, Harry was seen limping up the
garden, and Emily immediately bounded off to tell her
aunt she had made a mistake, Harry had not gone to
A pretty mischief-maker you must be," he said, a
short time afterwards, to go and tell aunt I had gone
to school. You pretended to be my friend, too A
pretty friend you are; it would have pleased you, I have
no doubt, if aunt had written to papa, but I shall take
care for the future what I say to you now I know you
tell aunt everything."
"I did not tell aunt until I was obliged," replied
Emily, and I am sure you have no cause to accuse me
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 57
of unkindness, for I have done everything I could for
She could not stay to say any more, as her aunt Lydia
had already gone to the study, and Emily knew she
would be very angry if kept waiting.
It was not Harry's fault that he had not gone to
school, he had started with the intention of doing so, but
his foot became so painful that he was obliged to turn
back and submit to a longer term of "imprisonment," as
he chose to call it. But he would not tell Emily this.
He was trying to persuade himself that his sister had
acted unkindly towards him, and did not deserve his
confidence. Had not his reason been blinded by his
perverse and passionate obstinacy he would have seen
that this was not the case. Had he reviewed the past
impartially he would have seen that he had no just cause
of complaint against her, but, on the contrary, that she
had ever been gentle, kind, and self-denying in all her
actions. But, unfortunately, Harry was not guided by
reason just now, he had given the reins to his temper,
and it was fast becoming his master; he had not governed
that, and now it was governing him and making him
miserable too; for how could he be happy in the thought
that he was acting in a way that would cause his parents
great unhappiness if they heard of it. Brave it out as
le would, this thought did trouble him sometimes, but
it was not strong enough to make him determine to
conquer this enemy in his heart, this passionate, obstinate,
Poor Emily suffered more from this than any one else.
It had been arranged when they first came to the Grange
that the elder Miss Lawley should take the management
58 HARRY LAWLEY AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS.
and care of Harry, while Miss Lydia undertook the
charge of Emily. This lady very much wished to see
her niece grow up a clover and accomplished woman,
and under the idea that there was no time like childhood
for learning, determined to make her profit by her
present opportunities by the very injudicious system of
cramming. The child was seldom seen without a book
in her hand. All day long she was closeted with her
aunt in the musty old library, and her evenings were
generally spent in preparing lessons for the following
At first Harry protested against this, and made her
lay aside her books for the evening to join him in some
amusement or a walk. But now he took no notice of
the little pale, weary face, and listless step, or the anxious
eyes that were so often lifted to his as if hungering for
a kind look and smile. He never asked her now to lay
aside her lessons, or scolded her for trying to make
herself ill in her efforts to become over wise as he had
done at first, and this difference in his behaviour, this
failing to notice her, was felt keenly by Emily, although
she hoped day after day that each would be the last, and
that the next evening would see him come in his old
playful fashion and snatch her books away. But he
did not. The following week he returned to school,
and then she hoped he would come up to her room when
he returned as he had before done, but she was disap-
pointed, and with a weary sinking heart she burst into
tears as she heard him pass on and enter his own room
and shut the door.
EMILY'S TROUBLE- ARFPY S >EW NAME.
She was sitting on a low footstool in the doorway of her own room, her head resting
against the side post.-Page 62.
. . .,i i
againtthesid pot- Pg .
'.A P.tiY'S return to school rather increased than
S!.'i ..li,,nished his ill-humour. Lawley's tea
partly" had become a standing joke among
his companions, and he had to endure no end
of banter and witty sarcasm on account of it,
and this, while it vexed him considerably,
made him more firm in his resolve not to submit to his
aunt's authority in anything.
By his especial desire Roger had discontinued
accompanying him to and from school, but it was upon the
promise that he (Harry) would always come direct home,
and never loiter on the way. The first few evenings
after his return there was no temptation to break this
promise, for it rained fast when they were dismissed,
and each one hastened home.
The beginning of the following week, however, it was
fine, and a group of boys were gathered in the play-
ground during recess, eagerly discussing a point of
apparent interest to each of them.
I'll ask Lawley to join us, lie's such a jolly fellow,"
Harry heard one of them say.
Oh, what's the good ?" said another; he can't do
it, his aunts would never consent to such a thing."
Well, couldn't he do it without their consent?" put
in a third.
Oh, ah, catch him at it," said a fourth.
"You'd catch me asking my aunt everything,
wouldn't you ?" said another.
Please, aunt, may I go out to play?" drawled out
the speaker. A shout of laughter followed.
62 HARRY LAWLEY
But Harry had heard enough, he would not listen to
any more. As they were leaving a few hours after-
wards, one of the party called to him to wait a minute.
" Come and have a game at cricket with us on the
common before you go home, will you ?" said his com-
"All right," answered Harry.
Your aunt won't mind, will she?" asked the boy.
"I don't care if she does," replied Harry ; "I'm not
going to ask her what I may do."
It was late before Harry got home that evening.
Miss Lawley was very angry, and delivered a long and
severe lecture, which Harry received with dogged
indifference. But if his aunt's scolding had failed to
touch him, he could not resist altogether the touching
anxiety of his sister. She was sitting on a low footstool
in the doorway of her own room, her head resting
against the side-post. She had been listening anxiously
for his return nearly an hour, and when he came up the
stairs, she started to her feet, exclaiming:-
"Oh, Harry, I'm so glad," and then burst into tears.
Her brother was touched by this exhibition of feeling,
and, resuming something of his old manner, he put his
arm around her, and led her into the room.
You little goose, Em," he said, to cry because I
happened to be a little later than usual; why I thought
you were too much of a fairy to let such things trouble
Things do trouble me now," said Emily, with an
effort to stop her tears, and I can't help it, I feel some-
times as though I should like to cry all day long."
Why, fairies never cry," said Harry, "but then,"
AND IIIS MAIDEN AUNTS. C3
he added, picking up a book she had dropped, they
never try to be overwise; they never trouble their little
heads with any of the ologiess."
Ah, that's just it," said Emily, aunt says I've been
living just like a kitten all my life, and that now I must
begin to think and act like a woman."
You'd better act like a sensible little girl, and go
out for a walk, instead of making yourself ill over those
dull, miserable books of aunt Lydia's; I declare," he
added, you are looking quite pale, and you will be
seriously ill if you mind what aunt says."
Oh, no, I shan't," said Emily, I should not fee
ill at all if "-and she hesitated, "if you were different,
and would mind more what aunt says," she added in a
Harry turned towards the window, and looked out
without making any reply. The remarks he had over-
heard in the morning in the playground recurred to his
mind, and kept back the soothing words he would now
fain have spoken to his little sister, for he could see that
she was weak and ill, and knew that she must have
suffered to bring that anxious, weary look into her face,
and his conscience smote him with being the cause of
most of it. But he stifled its voice as quickly as he
could, and with an assumed carelessness pushed back the
clustering curls, and kissed the upturned face of his
sister, saying, as he did so,-" You must not trouble
about me, I shall manage to get through all the battles
with aunt, I dare say."
But, papa, Harry, think of papa!" she said,
64 HARRY LAWLEY
You think too much, I believe, and are too obedient.
I can't pretend to do everything just as aunt wishes."
"But you don't try to do anything she says. You
know she told you last week not to go to school without
an umbrella, and to be careful about buttoning your
coat up, because it was so wet, and you went off each
time, and left it hanging on the peg in the hall; and the
only day you took an umbrella you broke it."
Which was a very good reason for my not taking it
again," said Harry, laughing.
"Ah; but it is those things that make aunt so angry,"
said Emily, seriously; "I always hear about it at
Oh, yes, I have no doubt but that you have the fact
daily impressed upon your mind that you have a very
wicked brother, and that he is going headlong to ruin,
or somewhere else. Well, I don't care," he added, if
it amuses them to say that, they're quite welcome
to the amusement;" and he went off to his own room,
whistling a popular air.
Emily heaved a deep sigh as she looked after him.
She saw nothing but trouble in the future. Her aunt
was daily threatening to write a full account of Harry's
behaviour to his father, and yet it made no impression
upon him, or at least failed to have the desired effect.
What was she to do? It was evident her brother was
changing, and her mamma had charged her always to
be kind, and to be careful not to lose her influence over
him if ever she noticed anything like an alteration in
his behaviour towards herself. But of what use was
her influence now, or her kindness either? she could
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 65
not win him to do a single thing her aunt wished.
These thoughts frequently troubled her, and, added to
her anxiety to improve herself, were fast undermining
her health. If her aunts failed to notice her loss of
appetite and increased weakness, it was because being
always with her the change was not to them perceptible.
Things went on in this way for several weeks, the
breach still widening between Harry and the authorities
of Fernfield Grange. He never came direct from
school now, and not unfrequently absented himself until
after dark: in fact, so notorious had his breaches of
discipline become, that one of his companions said, one
day, his name ought to have been Lawless" instead of
Lawley, for he set all law and order at defiance.
What a ninny you made of yourself in construing,
this morning," continued the speaker, "you were
floored six times in about as many lines, and then walked
off without an imposition."
Exactly so," said Harry, bowing with mock gravity.
"Lawley never does his lessons decently," said
another, who came up at this moment.
Why don't you say Lawless, and call the fellow by
his proper name ?" put in a third. Now mind, you
fellows all, he's Lawless from this time forth and for
evermore; that's our edict, as unalterable as the law of
the Medes and Persians."
All right," shouted half-a-dozen voices, Harry's
being one of the number.
Well, now, you Lawless, as you are living in open
defiance of the powers that be, we may as well ask you
to join us in our plan for a half holiday."
What is it ?" asked Harry, eagerly.
66 HARRY LAWLEY
Oh, nothing very bad," replied his companion,
" only we were saying a week or two ago, that it would
be of no use asking you on account of your aunts, for
they would be sure not to favour the plan."
But as my aunts will not be asked to do so, you will,
perhaps, let me know what it is ?"
",All right; but you must remember it is quite a secret,
for if the thing should get wind, there'll be an end to
our fun, or we should have half-a-dozen men with the
drags sent after us."
What do you propose then? a bathe in the mill
stream close to the water wheel?" asked Harry.
Bathe your grandmother! No, we mean to go to
Rushbrook, about three miles down, where they let
boats, and to hire two or three for an hour or two ?"
"But who's to row ?" asked Harry.
Row ourselves, to be sure; that's the fun."
"But is it safe?"
"Well now, that's good, coming from you. Here,
Robinson, Lawless wants to know if it's safe."
"He's turned chicken-hearted all at once, I should
think," replied Robinson.
"No, I've not, I'm not afraid," rejoined Harry.
But you didn't ask that question last week, when
you were climbing up that elm, and you didn't care
when we told you it was unsafe."
And I don't care now," responded Harry, I'll go
with you if it's- "
"To the bottom," interrupted another boy who had
joined the group.
There, we don't want any of your croaking, Hart,"
exclaimed two or three boys together.
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTSi 67
Who was croaking? I only said where Lawless
was willing to follow you to."
"But we're not going to the bottom; I tell you
there's no danger. I'm sorry we let Hart into the secret
now," he said, addressing the rest of his companions.
Oh, he won't split, it's all right," said two or three.
"We'll send him to Coventry, if he does," shouted
Well, I've no intention of telling anybody of your
plans, but I do wish you'd take my advice, and give it
up. The water's deep at Rushbrook, and I've heard it's
Hear the young Solomon now," cried cwo or three,
" as if it made any difference whether the water was
deep or not, we're not going to bathe."
But the boat might capsize."
"Time enough to think about that when it does,"
"Then we can call to you to bring your line and fish
us out," said another.
We shall all be good bites," joined in a third.
"Bring a strong line," said Harry, "for if Letts
should want it, he might break anything less than a
cable, he's such a porpoise."
The Wednesday week following was the day fixed
upon by the boys for their excursion. About a dozen
were going, but six only had made up their minds to
take boats, the others being afraid to venture without a
Harry was in some difficulty about getting the money
to pay his share of the expenses, for he had spent his
month's allowance of pocket money, and already owed
68 HARRY LAWLEY AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS.
half of the forthcoming month's, so that he could not go
into debt any further with his companions, and it was
useless to apply to his aunt, for she would not give it to
him a single day before it was due. At last he deter-
mined to apply to Emily the day before he needed it;
he would not ask her for it before, for fear he should
spend it. But a circumstance occurred that day after
he went home from school, which lie regarded as very
fortunate. He was on his way to his sister's room to
ask her for the money, when Miss Lawley called him
into the drawing-room, where she sat writing a note.
"Henry," she said, as she folded the paper, and
slipped it into an envelope, I am sorry to deprive you
of your half holiday, but I have just received an invita-
tion to go out to-morrow, which I feel compelled to
accept, and as my sister is included in the invitation,
we shall take Emily with us, and therefore I have
written a note requesting your schoolmaster to allow
you to remain there all day."
Oh aunt !" exclaimed Harry, in blank disappoint-
ment, when he thought of the termination this would
put to all his fun.
I'm sorry you should have to be kept at school all
day," said Miss Lawley, as she saw a tear steal up to
Harry's eyes, and which lie hastily brushed away with
the sleeve of his jacket, "but perhaps one of your
friends would stay and keep you company. Here,"
she added, "is something to buy a little fruit with;"
and she handed Harry half-a-crown, at the same time
ringing the bell for Roger to take the note.
Harry took the money with a moody air, scarcely
thanking his aunt for it, and immediately left the room.
WHAT WILL IT STRIKE?
"Without waiting a moment to consider the proximity of the windows, and the
damage he incurred of breaking them, Harry picked up a large stone and threw
"4 1tHERE now," he muttered, things always do
happen at the most unlucky time. I know it
will be a glorious day to-morrow, and the
Fellows will have such jolly fun, and I shall be
out of it all, mewed up in that horrid old
school. I wish I could go with them, it will
be fine to-morrow on the water. I wish Roger would
lose the note; I would if aunt had sent me with it, and
then I could go. Oh, I must go," he added, "and I
Scarcely knowing why he did so, he hurried down
the road after Roger.
Halloo," he said, just before he came up to the old
man, where are you going, Roger, in such a hurry ?"
Well, I am in a bit of a hurry to-night, sir, for
the gardener's gone out, and I promised to cover up
his frames for him before dusk, for the evenings get
chilly now;" and the old man tried to walk faster, as
he looked across the fields and saw the sun already
But you haven't answered my question now," said
Harry; I asked you where you were going, and you
told me, to cover up the frames, but the frames are not
out here, are they ?"
No sir, no;" replied the old man, laughing,
"they're safe enough in the garden, where I wish I
was this minute, but Miss Lawley has sent me with
this note to the school. I hope," added the man,
seriously, "you haven't been getting into any trouble,
Master Harry ?"
72 HARRY LAWLEY
Oh no, it's all right," said Harry, I know what
that note is about; aunt told me herself she is going
out to-morrow, and I am to stay at school. She might
just as well have let me take it in the morning as send
you with it to-night. But there," he added, you
need not go any further. I'm going right past the gate,
and can take it just as well as you can, so you may as
well give it me, and go and save the plants from being
But would it be proper, sir,-what would Miss
She need not know, unless you go and tell her,"
said Harry, and as to its being proper, I'd like to
know why its improper. At all events," he added,
"give me the note." Roger, who was by no means
unwilling to relinquish the long walk, gave it up,
charging Harry again and again not to forget it, as he
saw him thrust it in his pocket.
Oh, I shan't forget it, old fidget; don't alarm your-
self," replied Harry, as he walked on. He watched
the old man out of sight, and then turning into a
meadow took the note out of his pocket, and, after
reading it over, tore it up and threw the pieces into the
hedge, which divided it from the road. "There's the
end of that," he said half aloud, "now I can go all
right, and without borrowing of Em, either." And
he commenced whistling a tune, and walked on up the
road past the school and round by the lane home.
He avoided meeting Roger that night, and set off to
school the next morning in high spirits, at the antici-
pation of the pleasure that had been planned. It had
been arranged that each boy should bring his dinner,
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 73
and have it on their way to Rushbrook, but Harry had
not been able to bring any, owing to the arrangement
that all the servants knew had been made for him to
stay at school all day. But this did not trouble him
much, he bought some buns before they left the town,
and in high good humour the merry group hastened on
It was a beautiful day, the sun shone warm and
bright, and a gentle breeze stirred the leaves that were
just beginning to change from green to red, and brown,
and yellow. But they did not stop to look at anything,
only occasionally a stone was thrown at some bird as it
started up from the hedgerow. Harry was particularly
fond of this amusement, and never lost an opportunity
of indulging it upon every occasion. Not a bird could
rise from the hedges, or a dog pass along the road, but
a stone followed it instantly; but cats he especially
delighted in stoning. It was a temptation he could
seldom resist, if pussy was sunning herself anywhere in
the neighbourhood of stones, not to throw one at her,
"just to make her fly," as he said. It was a never-
failing source of discord with his aunts, this propensity
for tormenting their poor cats, for each owned a pet
grimalkin, which Harry invariably scared out of the
room the moment he entered it. They almost knew his
footstep now, and the most gently breathed ss-cat"
would send them flying anywhere out of his way.
They had nearly reached Rushbrook, and were in
the midst of a hot debate as to who should row and
who take the rudders, when one of the boys noticed a
cat sitting on the window sill of a cottage they were
74 HARRY LAWLEY
There's a mark for you now," he said, turning to
Harry. Without waiting a moment to consider the
proximity of the windows and the danger he incurred
of breaking them, Harry picked up a large stone and
That's hit her," he said, as he saw the cat jump
down. Oh, she's gone into the middle of them
flower-pots, and turned some of them over," he added,
Yes, and you've hit something else, I expect," said
one of his companions; I heard a crash, I know, and
I believe it was one of the windows."
Oh, fiddlesticks, it was one of the flower-pots, and
the cat did that, not me."
Well, I expect if the people come out they'll make
you pay damages, so we'd better make haste on."
Its all cram about there being a crash at all, Lawless;
Hart's only trying to frighten you."
Oh, I'm not so easily frightened, don't you think
it," observed Harry; "I don't believe myself I more
than touched the cat. Didn't she fly, though ? It was
fine to see her jump bang into them flower-pots," and
he burst into a merry laugh.
When they reached the bank of the little river at
Rushbrook, a difficulty presented itself they had not
calculated upon-the owner of the boats refused to let
them have any unless accompanied by a boatman.
"The river's deep and dangerous in places, gentlemen,"
said the man, and it would not be safe for you to go
Oh, there, tell that cram to somebody else," said
one impatiently; I tell you we can manage a boat all
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 75
right. You need not fear, we shall not lose it for
"I'm not afraid of that, it's yourselves I'm thinking
about. I tell you there was a young gentleman drowned
a month or two back, when the tide was considerably
lower than it is now."
But that's no reason thatwe shouldbe. I dare say he
was somemuff whohadneverseen an oar before. I tellyou
I've rowed on this very stream half-a-dozen times, and
here I am, not drowned yet," said the speaker,
I'm sorry to disoblige you young gents, but I can't
do it. I couldn't let you have a boat to go out in by
yourselves," and the man turned on his heel and walked
The old curmudgeon, let him keep his boats," said
"Ah-, but there's no others to be got," said one.
"Well, give it up, as the man said," replied Hart,
" We can get some more lines, and I know where there's
swarms of roach a little higher up."
Then go and get'em," replied Harry, "but don't
bother us with your croaking about what that old stupid
said. I for one mean to go on the water if we can get
a boat anywhere," he said, turning to the rest of his
"Robinson says there's a place about a quarter of
a mile further on, where he thinks we can get a
Oh, let's come and try, then," said Harry, eagerly,
and the whole group set off towards the spot indicated
76 HARRY LAWLEY AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS.
They had little difficulty this time in persuading the
boatman to let them have his boats. He demurred a
little at first, but his scruples were soon overcome when
he found they were quite willing to pay a good price for
his crazy old boats, which very few people would venture
to go in at all, and two were soon untied from the posts,
and three boys jumped into each, and pushed off towards
the middle of the stream.
Keep away from the opposite bank," shouted the
man as they were starting. All right," answered
two or three, without taking much notice of what was
Very little labour was required to cany the boats
along, for a strong current was flowing in tne direction
they were going, and the breeze was likewise in their
favour, so that there was little to do beyond guiding the
Oh, this is delightful," said Harry, enthusiastically,
as they gently glided down the stream, and he hung his
hands over the boat's side, and let the water ripple
through his fingers.
THE STRANGE MEETING.
Pulling the oars into the boat, he stood up, and, moving aside the branches of
the trees, pointed out the object of dispute.-Page 80.
AKE care there, Lawless; don't lean over," said
Robinson, who had the oars, it wouldn't do
to have a tip over just here, as none of us can
Where's Hart? he ought to keep pace
with us along the bank, and have his line in
readiness in case of a mishap," said Harry, laughing and
jumping up to see if he could see anything of those who
had brought their fishing tackle with them.
I say, Lawless, sit down, or we shall certainly make
a meal for Hart's roach. You mustn't keep jumping up
like that," continued Robinson, seriously, or we shall
certainly be capsized."
Thus admonished, Harry did manage to sit still for
the next half-hour, and the boat pursued its gentle course
down the stream, the branches of the overhanging trees
almost sweeping their heads as they passed under them,
for, in spite of the boatman's injunction, they had
drawn very near to the opposite bank in order to see
the different gardens which sloped down to the water's edge.
Oh, stop a minute here," said Harry, at length,
This is just like fairy land. Look at that fountain and
"And there's the presiding genius of the place, I
shouldn't wonder," said Robinson. She looks as much
like a fairy as anything.
Where? I don't see anybody," said Harry, again
standing up in the boat.
There, look through the trees, don't you see a little
girl in white ?"
80 HARRY LAWLEY
I can see a stone figure which looks about as much
like a fairy as Achilles might be supposed to do."
I tell you it's a little girl with flaxen curls," said
And I tell you it isn't; it's the figure of Diana or
some of those old heathen goddesses."
"You'll tell me I can't see next," said Robinson,
angrily, and pulling the oars into the boat he stood up,
and, moving aside the branches of the trees pointed out
the object of dispute.
Is that Diana or Achilles," he said, picking those
flowers ?" Their companion, who had hitherto taken no
part in what was going on, now jumped up.
Let's look," he said. I'll be-" but before the
sentence could be finished, the boat tipped on one side
and two of them were thrown into the water. Robinson,
who was holding fast by the boughs of the tree at the
time, now seized hold of a stronger one which kept him
out of the water, but Harry, with a piercing scream,
sank almost immediately. His scream, however, had been
heard, and the little girl with the gardener and his boy
came running down the path to see what was the matter.
Help, help, help!" cried Robinson. There's two in
the water drowning," he said, when he saw the man.
"I was going to say it serves you all right," said the
man, crossly. "What business have you to come
poking about other people's places?" But as he spoke
he pulled a rope out of a box that stood near, and threw
it towards them.
One of them caught it almost immediately, and was
pulled ashore. Harry's cap was dragged up at the same
time, but he was not to be seen now.
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 81
"There's another, that's his cap," gasped the boy that
had been saved.
The little girl stooped and picked up the cap. The
next moment she uttered a piercing scream, Oh, my
brother, my brother Harry ?" she cried, and fell sense-
less to the ground.
Run to the house quick, Jack," said the man as he
plunged into the water after Harry.
He's lost his senses, I'm afraid," said Robinson,
who had scrambled to the bank by the help of the friendly
tree. I saw him go down twice. I called to him to
catch hold of the rope, but he didn't appear to hear me."
I see him now," said the man, who being a good
swimmer, soon reached him. He saw at once that
Harry was insensible, and it was, therefore, the more
easy to save him. The tide drifted him some little
distance from the shore, so that by the time he reached
it, a group of frightened servants had arrived from the
house, and some of these ran back again to prepare for
the reception of the brother and sister so strangely
They were soon carried in and put to bed, and a doctor
sent for. After some time, Harry's consciousness
returned, but Emily still remained insensible; and the
doctor feared her brain must be seriously affected, as hour
after hour passed, and no improvement in her condition
took place. All night she lay calling for her brother,
and screaming for some one to come and save him; and
then she would grow calm, and beg him to be more
obedient to his aunt.
In the morning Harry was so far recovered as to be'
able to get up and go down stairs; and his first question
82 HARRY LAWLEY
was for Emily, for they had carefully concealed from him
the fact of her being ill. But now it could be kept from
him no longer ; they were obliged to tell him, and,
moreover, to let him see her.
As he entered the darkened room where she lay, she
was lying comparatively quiet; but as soon as she
saw him, she started up wildly in the bed, screaming-
You were with him -you were with Harry! Oh,
save him save him! he's sinking I he will be drowned !"
I am saved, Emmy, dear," he said, gently taking her
burning hand in his, and brushing back the tangled
mass of curls off her forehead. I am safe now."
Then save him-save my Harry See-the water
is going over him again!" she cried; he's lost-he's
drowned Oh, my brother, my Harry!" and with a
deep groan, she fell back exhausted on the pillow.
Harry's tears fell fast as he bent over the pale, worn,
agitated face of his little sister; and his conscience spoke
to him then with a voice that would be heard, and
accused him of being the cause of all this sorrow and
suffering he was so helpless to remove. He looked across
at his aunt, who sat watching on the other side of the
bed, expecting to meet with a hard, reproachful look, for
he knew that she must be acquainted now with his
deceit and disobedience; but when he saw the look of
sorrow with which she gazed upon him and Emily, he
was quite broken down. Sternness and harshness he
was prepared to meet, with his old dogged defiance, but
when lie saw the tears gather in his aunt's eyes, his own
filled too; and going round to the other side, he threw
himself on his knees, and putting his head in her lap,
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTb. 83
Oh, aunt, pray forgive me I am so sorry now !'
"Hush, Henry!" said Miss Lawley, as soon as she
could speak; Emily must be kept quiet, the doctor
says, and you will disturb her."
Oh, I've killed her !-I've made her ill!-it's all my
fault !" he went on, still sobbing. But oh, aunt, I am
so sorry! I have been very wicked and disobedient. I
did not deserve to have such a sister, because I was
unkind to her, and would not do as she wished. But,
oh! if you could only save her, aunt, I would do any-
thing, everything you wished I I have been wicked and
disobedient to you, I know; but if you will forgive me,
and save Emily, I will never act so again-I won't,
indeed, aunt!" he said, solemnly.
As Miss Lawley looked down upon his earnest,
upturned face, she was so moved by the boy's words and
impassioned manner-it was altogether so different from
what she had expected from the careless, harum-scarum
school-boy-that for a few moments she could only gaze
in silent wonder; and Harry, fearing from her silence
that she did not believe him, or doubted his sincerity,
renewed his petition for forgiveness, and his promises of
At length, Miss Lawley, fearing that this painful scene
would have an injurious effect upon Emily, rose from
her seat, and led him into another room, and after
a time, calmed him by promising him forgiveness, and
also that she would do everything possible for the
restoration of Emily.
But I will not deceive you, Henry," she said; "the
doctor thinks Emily in great danger. He has ordered
all her hair to be cut off, as he fears this attack will prove
84 HARRY LAWLEY AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS.
to be brain fever. I cannot save her-no mortal power
can save her."
Oh, aunt! must she die, then ?" gasped Harry.
I hope not-I sincerely hope not, for your papa's
sake, as well as yours. But when I said no mortal
power could save her, I meant no merely mortal power.
Her life is in God's hands, and He only can prolong it.
And won't God save her, do you think ?" said Harry,
Ask Him, Henry," said Miss Lawley, in a whisper;
and the next minute she was gone, and Harry was left
alone, with the words still ringing in his ears, "Ask
Harry Lawley had been taught from his earliest
infancy to seek God in prayer, and he had always said
his prayers regularly morning and night. He had done
it, as a duty, almost mechanically; and, therefore, when
his aunt said to him, Ask God, Henry," he scarcely
comprehended, at first, what she meant; but as he sat in
the quiet room, and thought over all that had passed
within the last few weeks, and the dreadful termination
of his day's frolic, and then considered his aunt's
words again, the thought or conviction gradually
dawned upon him that this asking with the expectation
of receiving was something quite different from what he
had been accustomed to regard as praying; and he knelt
down, and, for the first time in his life, really prayed.
He asked that God would forgive him, and restore his
sister to health and strength. This latter petition was
urged again and again, with tears and entreaties;
for it seemed to him that his whole life's happiness
depended upon the request being granted.
AN UNPLEASANT INTERVIEW.
"Well, my good man, what is your business with us ?"
The man rose from his seat, and touched his forehead, but without making any
answer for a minute.-Page 89.
i- N hour or two after, he entered his sister's
S room, again hoping, and almost expecting,
U, that a favourable change had taken place;
Sbut, to his surprise and disappointment, his
aunt told him that she was worse, rather than
better. Her bright golden curls had all been
cut off, and lay on the table. Harry took one up,
and twisted it caressingly round his fingers, while
the hot tears gathered in his eyes, and almost shut out
from his view the restless eyes that followed him round
the room. It was evident that the sight of Harry
recalled the painful scene of the previous day, for Emily
became violently agitated as soon as she saw him; and
again starting up in bed, she screamed out-
"Oh, bring him back!-bring my brother back to me!"
Henry, you agitate your sister; you must leave the
room," said Miss Lawley, gently putting Emily back
upon the pillow.
Harry went out instantly, his heart full almost to
bursting; for he had hoped that his prayer would be
heard and answered immediately.
Shortly afterwards his aunt Lydia came into the room
where he was sitting, and desired him to accompany her
to Fernfield Grange.
"I may come back again, may I not, aunt?" said
Come back! What for?" said Miss Lydia, sharply.
Of what use do you suppose you would be here."
But I should be near Emily," said Harry, in a
88 HARRY LAWLEY
Emily does not want you near her; she is much
better without you," said Miss Lydia, without noticing
the subdued manner of the boy.
But if I might stay here where she is, I should be
happier than at home.
But you are not wanted here-you are in the way,
and, therefore, you must come home with me," replied
But Harry resolved not to go, if he could help it; and,
therefore, he went to his sister's room, and tapping
gently at the door, asked to speak to Miss Lawley.
Aunt, I will not ask to come in if it makes Emily
worse; but do let me stay here instead of going to
Fernfield with aunt Lydia. I will promise to be
obedient and quiet, and not give you any trouble."
I hope you will not, indeed, just now, Henry,"
replied Miss Lawley; but I am sorry to say it is not
in my power to give you leave to stay here; and I
think it is, perhaps, as well you cannot, but are com-
pelledtogo back and resume your ordinary school duties."
"Am I to go to school directly, aunt ?" asked
That I will leave you to decide," said Miss Lawley.
"If you like to have a few days' rest and holiday, I have
no objection; and you may walk over here once during
the day and see your sister."
"9 Oh, thank you, aunt !" said Harry, in a much more
reconciled tone of voice; and he immediately prepared
to return with his aunt, although he still felt it very hard
to leave his sister in her present state.
When they reached Fernfield, they found an elderly
man sitting in the hall, waiting their arrival. Harry had
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 89
never seen him before, and was, therefore, greatly
surprised when he exclaimed, "Ah, that's him !"
Roger took Miss Lydia aside as soon as she entered,
and explained that the man had come the previous
evening, and asked to see Miss Lawley, bringing a note
with him, which he left.
I will ask him what he wants before sending it to
my sister," said Miss Lydia; and she stepped forward,
and said, Well, my good man, what is your business
with us ?"
The man rose from his seat, and touched his forehead,
but without making any answer for a minute. At length,
conquering his agitation, he said, in a husky, choking
You have a young gentleman living with you?"'
Yes, we have a nephew; but what can he have to
do with you ?" asked Miss Lydia.
Ah, I wish he never had had anything to do with
me or mine !" said the man, heaving a deep sigh.
Why, what has he done ?" asked Miss Lydia.
"Well, the doctor can't rightly tell at present whether
it will end in blindness, or not; but he has finely cut
my Lillie's eye."
Who is Lillie? and how came Master Lawley to cut
her eyes ?" said Miss Lydia, quickly, and somewhat
"Lillie's my granddaughter. She was sitting yester-
day at the parlour-window, looking at her cat, which sat
outside, when a stone was thrown by the young
gentleman, your nephew: and it broke the window, and
struck her in the eye, and cut it."
What time in the day was that ?" asked Miss Lydia.
90 HARRY LAWLEY
About one o'clock, as near as I can tell," replied the
Then I think there must be some mistake made by
those who said it was my nephew, for he could not have
left school at that time."
"No, there is not, aunt," said Harry, now darting
forward from the drawing-room, where he had heard
every word. I left school at twelve yesterday, and I
remember throwing a stone at a cat as I was going to
Rushbrook, but I did not know it hit anyone else."
Well, it did, sir," said the old man, sternly; and
what'll be the end of the business I don't know. The
doctor says my poor child is in great danger of losing
the sight of one eye through the blow."
"How was she sitting?" asked Miss Lydia. "It
seems almost impossible that a stone could come through
the window and strike her with much force."
She was on the window-sill-a favourite seat
of hers-with her face pressed close against the glass."
I did not see her," said Harry; "I only saw the
cat, and threw the stone at her."
What business had you to throw stones at all ?" said
Miss Lydia, sharply.
Harry did not attempt to make any excuses; he felt
very sorry, and heartily ashamed of himself.
What can I do to repair the mischief I have done ?"
he said, turning towards the old gardener. I am very,
very sorry for it now, and will do anything I can to
make amends to you."
It isn't to me, young sir-it's my Lillie that is hurt;
and I'm afraid all the money in the Bank of England
can't buy back what she seems to have lost."
AND HIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 91
"Can't she see with the eye that was struck ?" asked
"Not a glimmer, ma'am; and the poor child
frets about it, which will make her worse, the doctor
Who is the doctor ?" asked Miss Lydia.
Dr. Ransom, of Rushbrook," replied the man.
"Well, I will call upon Dr. Ransom this evening,
and hear his opinion about your granddaughter; and
if he thinks it necessary, a physician shall be sent for
from London;" and with a stately bow, Miss Lydia
But Harry still detained the man, to ask whether the
doctor gave no hope of the sight being recovered.
Very little," answered the man.
Poor Harry! This last blow fell with an almost crush-
ing weight upon his heart, and with a groan, he sank
into a chair, and burst into tears.
The man rose to leave;, but before he went, Harry
asked if he might call the next day at the cottage, and
see the little girl.
"Yes sir, if you like," said the man in a softened
tone; for the sight of his distress moved him.
Let her have everything she wants," said Harry;
"and what I cannot pay for my father will. I will
write to him at once, and tell him all about it."
And Harry kept his word. Before he went to bed
that night, a long and penitent letter was written, in
which he told his father everything that had occurred,
and earnestly begged his forgiveness. He did not try
to conceal or excuse his faults; he frankly confessed
that he had been disobedient to his aunts and unkind to
92 HARRY LAWLEY
his sister, and concluded by repeating the promise lie had
made to his aunt that morning, and begged that he
might be allowed still to remain at the Grange until his
parents returned to England.
The next day he rose early, almost before daylight,
and walked over to Rushbrook, to inquire after Emily.
She was much the same, the servant told him. She
had passed a very restless night, and Miss Lawley was
herself unwell. This was said as he stood at the street-
door. The servant did not ask him to come in, or gc
upstairs, to make any special inquiries. She spoke
coldly and indifferently, as though she thought it was
of little importance to him whether his sister was better
"It's a shame to treat me like this ?" said Harry,
half-aloud, as he turned and went down the steps
again. She might have gone upstairs, and told aunt
I was here. But I suppose," he added, heaving a
deep sigh, she thinks if it had not been for me
Emmy would not have been ill;" and he battled
against his rising anger as he walked on to the
gardener's cottage to make inquiries about Lillie's
Harry had conquered his angry feelings against the
servant by the time he reached the cottage. The
grandfather himself opened the door, and to Harry's
inquiry said that Lillie was rather worse.
"But if you will step in you shall see her," said the
old man, sorrowfully.
Harry entered the neat, old-fashioned parlour, with
its broad, cushioned window-seat, where Lillie had sat
watching her cat when the stone struck her.
AND IIIS MAIDEN AUNTS. 93
Presently the door opened, and an old lady entered,
leading a little girl by the hand. The child's eyes were
bandaged, so that Harry knew it must be Lillie.
Grandmother, it's all dark here," said the little girl,
as she came in; "I can't see anything."
Hush, Lillie A gentleman has come to see you,"
said the old lady.
Is it the doctor?" asked Lillie.
"No," answered Harry; "I am not a doctor; I
have come to see how your eyes are to-day."
"Will you take this handkerchief off, and let me see
you, please ?" said Lillie.
"No, dear, the gentleman mustn't touch it; grand-
mother mustn't take it off till the doctor comes," said
But I want to feed my chickens, and it's all dark;
I can't see 'em with this over my eyes. Do, grand-
mamma, take it off, and let me see the sun just for a
minute," pleaded the child.
The old lady's eyes filled with tears as she took her
on her knee and kissed her, and Harry could not speak
for emotion. Oh! how bitter were his feelings when
he heard Lillie pleading to be allowed to see the light,
and thought that, but for his rash heedlessness and dis-
obedience, she would now be skipping merrily about
the house And if she should never be able to do this
again-if she should, as it was feared, lose her eyesight
entirely-how that one act would embitter his whole
future life The thought of this so overcame him, that
he burst into tears, in spite of all his efforts to the
contrary; and when the old gardener came in, a few
minutes afterwards, he was sobbing like a child.