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HOME AT THE LAYTONS.
A STORY FOR CHILDREN.
E. G. E.,
AUTHOR OF "HONEST OWEN AND HIS BLIND SISTER."
Oh let the ungentle spirit learn from hence,
A small unkindness is a great offence;
Large bounties to bestow, we wish in vain,
But all may shun the guilt of giving pain.
Small slights, contempt, unmixed perhaps with hate,
Make up in number what they want in weight;
These, and a thousand griefs minute as these,
Corrode our comfort and destroy our ease."
JOHN S. MARR & SONS, 194 BUCHANAN STREET.
I. LEAVING HOME, ,. 5
II. MINNIE, 17
III. ETHEL'S FIRST IDEA OF SCHOOL-ROOM LIFE, 31
IV. A NEW COMPANION, 42
V. THE UNEXPECTED MEETING, 56
VI. COUSIN GERALD, 68
VII. GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE, 75
VIII. MIss SMITH RESIGNS, 86
IX. THE NEW REGIME, 95
X. GERALD CONFIDES IN ETIEL, 103
XI. AT HOME ONCE MORE, II
XII. THE NEW CURATE OF LLANTARNEM, 121
The tear down childhood's cheek that flows,
Is like the dewdrop on the rose;
When next the summer breeze comes by,
And waves the bush-the flower is dry.
Won by their care, the orphan child
Soon on his new protector smiled."
Sir Walter Scott.
" iTOP crying now, Miss Ethel dear," said a
Kind, motherly-looking, elderly woman.
You wont be fit for your long journey
"e if you don't get a sleep; be a good child,
and I'll sit beside you; don't cry so, my darling."
I cannot help it, nurse," said little Ethel, with
a fresh burst of tears; I cannot bear to think
of going away and leaving you and everyone.
I shouldn't mind so much if you were coming
too-oh, I cannot stop !"
"Now, Miss Ethel," said nurse, wiping her
own eyes, "if you go on like this I must go
away; be a good child, and don't talk any more."
And the good woman sat down beside her little
charge, whom she had nursed from a baby; and
6 LEAVING HOME.
holding one hand, while she tenderly smoothed
the hair away from the little hot, flushed brow,
she sang one of the nursery rhymes familiar to
Ethel from her earliest infancy, till the tearful
eyes closed heavily and the child fell asleep, her
cheek still wet with tears. With one fond look
nurse softly left the room and went down stairs
to her friend, the housekeeper, with an armful of
little clothes to air before packing.
"Poor lamb !" she said, it will be a change
Is she fretting much ?" asked Mrs. Brown.
Fretting!" said nurse, "she cried herself to
sleep. I hope they will be kind to her where she
As if her mother's sister could be anything
else," said Mrs. Brown, indignantly.
I don't mean to say she wont," explained
nurse, but people differ. I am sure the colonel
is a very different man to the poor master, and
yet they are brothers. I wish I could go with
her, just to see her settled, and tell them about
her. Think of sending her off alone -to
"Well," said the butler, I think it's best as
it is, the one parting will do; if you went with
her, there would be the same work when you
"I am sure, Mr. Simms, you know nothing
about it," sobbed poor nurse, collecting her
things and leaving the room, "or you wouldn't
be so heartless. My darling child, that I've
never left since she was born!"
LEAVING HOM.E. T
Poor woman," said Simms sh,: doesn't
agree N, ith me,, of course.; it*.,.xeryh.bardba n other,
-butt!'nam're I'm right-it is best in, the bnd.;lAs
for Mis ,Ethel, it'would be the ruinationr bfiheir
to- l.rave h- r here; the colonel .may, bea,;ery
good man in his waybhut. he i- \xcry -ferenti1b
.hJer poor pApa-he wouIld fri;4hte, helr t,- death
with his harsh manners, arid she so little hoeus-
tomed to it," .. .
"Yes," replied Mrs. Brown, "when she gets
among other children she will cheer :up andr:be
Nevertheless, the two old servants mour'ed
the departure of their little mistress as sincerely
as nurse, who cried bitterly while she folded and
packed one little garment after another with
loving care, shading the light that it should not
disturb the sleeping child.
It seemed to Ethel to be still night when nurse
bent over her, reluctant to wake her. "'Tis a
shame to stir you, darling," she said, "but it's
time to get up. I left you as long as I could."
Ethel sprang up; then, remembering all, she gave
a deep sigh and passively submitted to be dressed
for the last time by her old nurse; tears were in
her eyes all the time, but with an effort, curious
in one so young, she restrained them, and with a
long earnest look at the familiar objects in the
nursery, she took nurse's hand and left the room.
"-" We'll have breakfast in Mrs. Brown's room,
Miss Ethel," said nurse. We thought it would
be more comfortable for you than in the dining-
Ya'.iEllel .eas plwudii1 afn easy,1ohair/,vhile'hurse
,and rth&,ubkidustekeeper prooeeded .t thelp l her eto
eVer (dailty that' loving ifiads' lprodmpted by
kihd hearts, could procdr.j !'With lthe coibinied
influence ofi these;, ai warni fire arid' blight light,
Ethel's spiritss cheered, aridd(she begann to tAlk of
,hr jouineytiandit he Idn'g, letters which she prd-
mised t ri&nd hdr friends. But alas! :the'chder-
fulness was not to last; soon Simms entered,
.sayingilthe)iarriage was at the door and the
e'oadiml waiting. All the tears burst forth afresh,
and poor Ethel clung to each of the servants,
who thronged the housekeeper's room, as if she
could not bear to part with them. At the sound,
however, of an imperative voice in the hall, Simms
hastily caught the weeping child in his arms, for-
getting their difference in rank, gave her a hearty
kiss, and carried her to the carriage, where he
placed her amidst a chaos of parcels, all destined
for her amusement by and by. Colonel Clemence
came to the door, and, uttering an impatient
exclamation, turned away and mounted the box,
preferring a cold drive to the companionship of
an almost heart-broken child. Ethel roused
herself, as they drove off, to wave adieu to what
she considered all that was dear to her, and then
sinking back in the cushion, cried until it seemed
as if she could cry no more.
After a long drive they reached the town,
where Ethel had often been taken by her indul-
gent papa. The streets, and even some of the
faces, were familiar to her; everything seemed
to remind her of her present loneliness. Presently
LEAVING HOME. 9
they stopped at the railway station, which had
always been an object of interest and curiosity
to Ethel. Here the bustle was so great she had
hardly time to think of anything; she was hurried
along the platform and put into a comfortable
carriage, with all her little packages, almost
before she was aware of it.
Colonel Clemence glanced at the sad-looking
little black figure, turned away to the book-stall,
and returned with a gaily bound story book,
which he gave his little niece, then feeling he had
done his duty, seated himself at the other end of
the carriage, and entered into conversation with
his opposite neighbour, a portly old gentleman.
Ethel turned over a few leaves of her book, and
then let it lie unopened, her thoughts far away,
busy with the past.
She remembered only too well the events of
the past year, and child as she was, wished long
and earnestly she could live it over again.
Mrs. Clemence died when Ethel was a baby,
and from that time she was the idol of her father,
who almost lived for her alone. When she was
hardly able to walk, he used to carry her in his
arms, and half envied nurse the privilege of being
constantly with her. As she grew older he bought
her a pony, and walked beside her while he taught
her to ride; or at home, he liked to have her in
the library, while he read or wrote. And Ethel
remembered now how often she had interrupted
him, heedless of his gentle Not now, Ethel," or
" Wait a little; I am busy just now, love." No!
her word was his law; and it is no wonder if Mr.
10 LEAVING HOME.
Clemence sometimes was glad when bedtime
came and relieved him of his troublesome little
companion. But even this was not always easy,
for if she took it into her head to stay up, not all
nurse's entreaties could make her go; she would
seat herself upon her papa's knee, resolutely
refusing to move until she chose, and perhaps no
one but nurse knew how often Mr. Clemence had
yielded the battle by going to bed himself. In
vain his friends remonstrated, saying he was
spoiling Ethel; in vain they urged him to get
her a governess, instead of devoting himself to
her as he did. Mr. Clemence would not hear of
such a thing, and Ethel's tears at the mention
of a governess put the idea finally away. He
proci'red every kind of toy or book by which
learning could be attained, and set himself to
instruct his little girl; but this proved a mere
farce, for when lesson hour came, she generally
preferred a game of romps, and pulling the book
away, she would look laughingly up in his face,
coaxing and kissing him until she got him to
say he was not angry, when, having gained her
point, the books were put aside until some other
time when she was in a studious humour, which
was not often. So it was not surprising that at
ten years old Ethel Clemence was as merry,
ignorant, spoiled a little girl as there could be.
But a change was coming. She little thought
the day her papa complained of cold how very
ill he was, or she would not have insisted on his
riding out with her, and teased him in the even-
ing to tell her stories. It was like a dream from
LEAVING HOME. II
that day when she saw from the nursery window
the doctor's brougham driving up and down, and
heard low voices whispering how very ill her
dear papa was, while she was too frightened to
leave the room, and everyone too busy to stay
with her; till she was told by her strange grave
uncle that she was to go away to live with
another strange uncle and aunt, as he was going
back to join his regiment. For this Ethel did
not much care, as he was so grave and stern he
frightened her, and made her feel sadly the
difference between him and her papa; but she
did care for leaving her happy home, nurse, and
all the servants, besides her pony, garden, and
all her other treasures, of which she thought
and thought in the railway carriage, while being
whirled miles away from her dear old home,
until her heart felt sick and she gave a low
piteous sob, which attracted the attention of her
opposite neighbour, a pleasant-looking young
man, who was so deeply interested in his book
that he had not previously noticed his little
Hollo, little one," said he, kindly, are you
tired already? This wont do, when our journey
has barely commenced. Have you read much
of your book, eh ? Perhaps it does not suit you;
will you look at some pictures ?"
Ethel signified assent, and the gentleman
handed her some illustrated papers and returned
to his book. Soon, however, she had seen all
the pictures, and another weary sigh escaped
her, making her friend look up
12 LEAVING HOME.
"Done with these too?" said he, smiling.
"Well, can I do anything else for you ? Shall
I cut the leaves of your book ?"
Ethel hung her head and murmured "No."
"Surely you know how to read ?" said her
Ethel thought of her idle lesson hours, and
perhaps for the first time in her life felt ashamed
of her ignorance. Her silence and blush made
the other see his surmise was correct.
If that is the case," said he, I wonder your
papa did not buy you something more amusing
than a book which you cannot understand."
Ethel burst into tears. My papa is dead,"
she sobbed; "that is only my uncle."
The young man looked shocked at his mistake.
"Poor little one!" said he; I did not know-
I am sorry I made you cry. I must comfort you
He glanced at his book, which lay open invit-
ingly, and then at the little black frock, and
made his decision.
I think we should be more comfortable, if I
sat beside you," he said, cheerily, moving away
some loose parcels to make room for Ethel. She
put her hand into his, and cried softly; he did
not tell her to stop, but waited a while, then
began to tell her some wonderful story, which
first soothed, then interested her. Gradually the
tears subsided, and her friend felt quite repaid
by her asking for another story in a happier tone
than he had yet heard; so he began a series of
funny stories, which kept Ethel amused for a
LEAVING HOME. 13
considerable time, till at last they began to feel
"the keen demands of appetite," and Ethel
insisted on sharing the contents of her luncheon
basket with her'new friend, who in return gave
her some of his.
By the way," said he, I have not yet heard
your name; what am I to call you ?"
Ethel," she replied.
Ethel !" he repeated ; "that is a pretty name.
When I go home, my little cousins will want to
hear all about you, and it would never do if I
did not know your name. Suppose now, in
return for all my stories, you were to tell me
some, such as where you are going, or where
Ethel obeyed, and began a history of herself,
or more properly of her pets. Of her papa, or
any of her old friends, she felt she could not
bear to speak, and she did not like to think of
her future home, so she took a medium course,
and chatted on about other matters till the short
winter's day began to close, without observing
that her friend was collecting his parcels together
with his disengaged hand, until the train stopped
and he was obliged to tell her he had to get out
"Good-bye, little Ethel," said he, I am glad
we have had such a pleasant day together, and I
hope we may meet again sometime. Good-bye."
Colonel Clemence made room for him to pass,
and civilly raised his hat as a token of acknow-
ledgment of his kindness to his niece; the young
man returned the salute and disappeared.
14 LEAVING IOME.
Can you tell me who is that young fellow?"
asked Colonel Clemence of his neighbour; "his
face seems familiar to me."
Can't say," was the reply; "1 never saw him
Well, he is a fine gentlemanly-looking fellow
whoever he is," said the colonel, I thought I
knew his face."
Meantime all Ethel's sorrow returned with her
friend's departure; she felt indeed lonely, as if
everyone was leaving her, and this little bright
spot in her day's adventures she added to her
visions of the past; but fatigue and grief ere
long overpowered her, and she fell soundly
asleep, to dream she was once more at home
and happy again.
Even her uncle felt it almost a pity to disturb
her, as, some time later, he looked at her sleeping
face, pale and tear-stained; but it could not be
helped, for the train was already in the station, so
sending their luggage by a porter, he gently lifted
the child in his arms and carried her to the cab.
Ethel felt herself placed in it, almost uncon-
sciously, and gazed out of the window at the
multitude of street. lamps, more than she had
ever seen together in all her life before, and won-
dered what could bring such crowds of people
out so late.
They had a good way to go, and the noise of
the pavement, the jolting of the cab, the strange
sights, and the lateness of the hour, combined to
overcome poor Ethel once more; and she was
more than half-asleep when the cab stopped at a
LEAVING HOME. 15
hall door in a broad, well-lighted street, and her
uncle again carried her into a large, handsomely-
furnished room and laid her on a sofa. Three
or four people stood near, but Ethel heeded them
not; she quietly turned round, and with a sigh
of relief fell fast asleep.
Poor child !" said a kind voice, bending over
her with a kiss; she is tired out-she looks
Yes," said Colonel Clemence, "she is done
up-she cried all the first, and slept the latter
part of the journey; but it is tedious for anyone,
and must be specially so for a child."
I think," said another gentleman, the kind-
est thing would be for the poor little creature to
go at once to bed; what do you say, my dear ?"
Yes," replied his wife; "if Colonel Clemence
will excuse me, I will take her there now myself."
Dr. Layton lifted Ethel, and, followed by his
wife, carried her upstairs. Mrs. Layton assisted
in putting the tired little girl to bed, and when
the servant had retired, gave her a real motherly
Poor little one," she said, looking at her with
tears in her eyes, "we must try and make you
happy. God bless my little motherless girl!"
"You must not trouble yourself too much
about Ethel,Mrs.Layton," said Colonel Clemence
when she re-entered the drawing-room. I am
sure she will be quite happy here directly; it is
exceedingly kind of you to undertake such a
"The fact is," laughed Dr. Layton, "there are
16 LEAVING HOME.
so many children in this house that one addi-
tional will make no difference, whereas in your
case it would be just the reverse."
Colonel Clemence shrugged his shoulders.
"I could not do it," said he. "I confess I
don't care for children, and of a little petted,
spoiled thing like this I could make nothing."
I often wished to have Ethel here," said Mrs.
Layton, but her father could not bear to part
with her, and did not care to come so far from
home himself. I always felt it a pity I should
know so little of my only sister's only child."
My poor brother completely spoiled her,"
observed the colonel. "Among the servants she
reigned supreme. I only hope you will not have
much trouble with her."
Mrs. Layton inwardly resolved she should
spare no trouble on her, and could not help
thinking it was a good thing for Ethel that her
future lot in life lay with her rather than with
her gallant though child-hating uncle. And so
ended little Ethel Clemence's first day's experi-
ences of the troubles of life.
Oh that those lips had language life has passed
With me but roughly since I saw thee last.
Those lips are thine-thine own sweet smile I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
Grieve not, my child; chase all thy fears away.' "
T was very late next morning before Ethel
opened her eyes; and when at last she did
so it was with a sensation of utter weariness.
She could not at first remember where she
was, and felt only conscious of being very tired
but very comfortable. As she lay in bed the
events of the previous day returned to her mind,
and she made a mental survey of the room.
How different it was to the Llantarnem nursery!
Scarcely larger indeed than the closet there,
where nurse used to keep her stores of tea, sugar,
bread, medicine, and all the etceteras for which
Ethel had always had a profound veneration.
There a carpet covered all the room; here was
only a narrow strip beside the bed, extending
from the washing-stand to the dressing-table;
and in place of the spacious wardrobe for her
clothes she saw a tiny chest of drawers; then
again, her bed, instead of being hung with pink-
lined dimity, had curtains of plain chintz; but it
felt so snug, Ethel did not care to quarrel with
it. Having completed her examination, she got
up to see what the view from the window was
like, but again was disappointed. No beautiful
deer park, studded with trees and intersected
with a silver stream, with purple hills in the dis-
tance-such as she saw at Llantarnem-here met
her eye. She only saw a narrow, dismal-looking
yard, paved in the middle, bounded by high
brick walls, and at the end a house with curious
round windows, which Ethel concluded must be
the stable from the prancing of horses, as well
as certain sounds indicative of harness-cleaning
with which she had become familiar in her visits
to the pony at home. To add to the melancholy
picture there was a confused noise outside in the
street of several voices, each calling a different
thing, but not distinct enough for her to hear what
it was ; so, dispirited by her tour of discovery, she
got back into bed to wait for someone to come
and dress her. Here again was disappointment.
She half expected to see a motherly, kind old
woman like her nurse, and only saw a smart-
looking maid, who proceeded to dress her. Ethel
said nothing; and when her toilet was finished,
suffered herself to be led downstairs to the room
in which she recollected having been the night
before. Mrs. Layton was sitting in the window
reading, but instantly laid down her book when
her little niece entered.
"Are you quite rested, my love ?" she asked,
kissing her. I left you asleep as long as pos-
sible, so you must really be ready for breakfast,"
glancing smilingly at the clock on the mantel-
piece. Ethel looked at it carelessly, none the
wiser that its hands pointed to near eleven o'clock,
and sat down. She was very hungry, having had
but little supper the previous evening, so was not
long finishing her breakfast. Mrs. Layton, think-
ing she would be happier left to herself, went on
reading till the click of the spoon and cup ceasing,
she looked up and said-
"Are you wondering where are the children?
They are all out, so you must be content with
"I wasn't thinking of them-I don't want
them," said Ethel, more honestly than politely.
Mrs. Layton took her on her lap. "You and
I must be good friends, Ethel," said she. "Do
you even know who I am ?"
Mrs. Layton," promptly answered Ethel, who
had never heard of her by any other name.
"Aunt Lucy-not 'Mrs. Layton,'" said her
aunt. I hope you will soon love me as dearly
as I do you, for you will be one of my own little
girls. Tell me, dear, do you know this?" and
touching a spring, she opened a large locket
which she wore. Ethel's eyes filled; it was the
fac-simile of one always worn by her papa, which
she well remembered, and now saw that the por-
trait bore a strong resemblance to her aunt.
"It is my own mamma," she said; "papa
The sight of the familiar object touched her
Was she like you ?" she asked shyly.
"I believe so," said Mrs. Layton. "We used
to be considered very like. You cannot remem-
ber her; but, of course, you know all about
No," said Ethel sadly; papa never spoke of
her. Nurse used sometimes to tell me of her,
but not much. I should so like to know more;
please, will you tell me all about her?"
Mrs. Layton's eyes glistened as she took Ethel
completely to her, and with her arms round her
little niece commenced the story of her sister's
life from her childhood until her marriage. Ethel
listened attentively; it was all so new to her
that she felt more the kind of interest she would
feel in hearing a story read, and could hardly
realize that the heroine of her aunt's tale was
her own mother.
"Did you never see her again?" she asked
when Mrs. Layton paused.
Yes," she replied. I saw her twice again;
once when she and your poor papa came here
for a few days, and once more when she was very
ill and I went to see her-that was the only time
I was ever at Llantarnem."
"And where was I then?" asked Ethel with
"You were a baby," answered her aunt. I
remember seeing you, a little unconscious thing,
laughing and crowing in your nurse's arms the
dayyour mamma died; and the sound of your
merry laugh rang so strangely through the sad
mournful house, otherwise so silent."
Oh! why did they let me laugh?" cried Ethel
in distress. Why did they not stop me ?"
You were only a baby, my darling," said Mrs.
Layton; you could not have understood it. I
wanted to take you away with me, but your papa
could not spare you; and as I have always been
too busy to go far from home, I never saw you
since, until last evening, when a little tired girl
was carried in here. So now my story is over,
and I think we might go and explore the house,
which you have hardly seen yet."
This she added judiciously, seeing that Ethel's
tears were ready to flow, and thinking that variety
would change the current of her thoughts. They
had just finished examining the contents of the
drawing-rooms, and were ascending the stairs to
the upper floor, when a servant came with a
"Well, Ethel dear," said Mrs. Layton plea-
santly, "do you think you can find the rest of
the way yourself ?"
The servant was going to offer to conduct her,
but a look from her mistress silenced her, as she
wisely thought it better to let her wander about
at will without the restraint of a stranger; so
with a nod and smile she went away.
Left to her own devices, Ethel went in and
out of the rooms on that floor, and then mounted
higher still; here she found herself in known
latitudes, her own little room being the first she
saw. She thought it looked quite home-like
now, for her box had been unpacked, and all her
little treasures were pleasantly familiar to her.
Cheered by this she opened an opposite door
and found herself in a spacious apartment, differ-
ent to any she had ever seen before. It was
uncarpeted, yet looked the essence of comfort;
the walls were hung with brightly-coloured, well-
chosen prints, nothing valuable as works of art,
but pleasing to a child's taste; there was a row
of tiny beds, with one large one in the middle
keeping guard over them, or looking, as Ethel
thought, like a hen with her chickens. There
were two large cupboards, a nice doll's house in
one corner, and a magnificent rocking-horse in
another. The blazing fire was screened by a
high wire fender with a brass rim, called in nur-
sery parlance "a guard." The mantelpiece was
adorned with a choice medley of ornaments.
First of all the largest and consequently the
grandest, was an elaborate shell-house, with win-
dows framed in cowries, doors of scallops, and
paths formed of periwinkles. This was flanked on
either side by flower vases of different shapes,
one being a highly painted glass, the other,
originally a handsome blue ormolu on a marble
stand, having been broken in its service in the
drawing-room, was banished, and now occupied
a prominent position among the nursery valu-
ables. A china dog, with a corresponding lamb;
a wooden horse with three legs, its rider minus
an arm; a figure of Red Riding Hood in con-
tradistinction to one of Samuel kneeling on a
footstool; Father Christmas glistening with crys-
tallization; a house with a slit in the roof instead
of chimneys, purporting to be a Savings Bank;"
and an egg sand-glass completed the selection,
unless we include a birch rod tied with red tape,
hung as high as an arm could reach, and which
was calculated to inspire terror into the childish
heart. But the object that most attracted Ethel
was a little high chair placed against a plain,
round deal table, from which a baby had evidently
lately been abstracted in a manner peculiar to
nurses, the chair not being moved. The table
was covered with gay pictures, some nine-pins, a
velvet parrot, a broken doll, a whistle, some
wooden toys, and a cotton reel; while under the
chair, on the floor, lay a tiny red shoe, much
worn at the toes and rather soiled, which the
little prisoner must have kicked off unknown to
its nurse in its futile efforts to remain at the
table. Ethel stooped and picked up the little
shoe, regarding it with mingled surprise and
admiration, turning it tenderly round almost
as if it were alive, when a sudden sound of
smothered crying startled her. She looked up,
saw nobody, and thought it was but fancy, when
she heard it again and even louder. Cautiously
glancing around, she at last ventured to peep
through a half open door whence the sound pro-
ceeded; it led into a room corresponding with
her own in every way, at least as well as she
could judge, the shutters being closed. Her
eyes getting used to the darkness, she perceived
on a low stool in the corner a little girl about
her own age, crying bitterly. The two children
regarded each other for a minute, then Ethel
broke the silence by saying-
"What is the matter, and what is your name?"
Minnie," said the child.
Do you know me ?" asked Ethel again.
"Yes-you are my cousin Ethel," she replied.
How do you know ?" she asked in surprise.
"" Because I knew you came last night," said
the little girl. "Mamma told me all about you,
and, besides, I saw you this morning early."
"Why are you crying ?" asked Ethel.
Because I am naughty," said Minnie sadly.
Ethel was too surprised to speak; she had often
cried when she was naughty, but crying because
was quite a new thing. At last she asked in a
subdued tone, thinking it must be something
"What did you do?"
I knew you came last night, and I wanted to
see you," said Minnie, so I went into your room
this morning when you were asleep, although
Miss Smith told me not; so she was angry, and
when the others went out she told me to stay
here in a dark room till she came back. Oh,
don't open the window!" she cried, as Ethel
tried to undo the fastening; Miss Smith will
not be pleased."
Tell her I did it," said Ethel coolly, throw-
ing open the shutters. Now, stop crying, and
tell me who is Miss Smith ?"
Minnie glanced at herself in the glass, then
shrank away from the tearful face she saw in it.
She was a very pretty little girl with blue eyes,
which were, however, all swollen with crying,
and curly hair all in a tangle. In a moment she
looked again, then began to smooth her hair and
wash her eyes, so that she looked quite present-
able, and sat down beside Ethel for a chat.
"Who is Miss Smith?" asked Ethel again,
when Minnie casually mentioned the name.
"Our governess," said Minnie. "She came
when nurse went away. We were so sorry, for
she is very cross."
"Why did your nurse leave?" asked Ethel,
feeling very much for her cousins under such a
She was ill," replied Minnie; "and mamma
thought we were too old to get another, so Miss
Smith came for us, and Anne minds baby."
"Are there other children beside you ?" in-
Minnie laughed. "Oh, yes!'' she said; "I
am only one of the youngest. There are Annie
and Clara-they are grown up, and are staying
with grandmamma; then there are Tom and
Hubert-we call him Hugh for short; then
Florence; then I come; then Arthur, Maud,
and Gracie, and little Reginald, or 'baby' as he
is called. He is such a dear wee thing," she
added enthusiastically. "You are my age-
aren't you ?"
I am ten," answered Ethel.
"I thought so," answered Minnie; "so you
and I will be together. Florence is twelve, so
she is much before me, but you and I can help
each other-at least if you are not beyond me
too," she added humbly. Miss Smith says I
am very backward for my age; I hope it's no
harm to say I hope you are too."
Am I to learn from Miss Smith too?" asked
Ethel in an awe-struck voice, looking at the
window which she had opened in defiance of
"Yes-wont it be nice ?" said Minnie cheer-
fully; "only I hope you wont be beyond me.
It will be fun to help each other; but someway
I am always getting into scrapes."
"What lessons do you learn?" asked Ethel.
"Spelling, sums, geography, grammar, history,
work, French-oh, plenty! Never mind them
now-I hate them all; let us talk of something
So the two children chattered on, until steps
were heard on the stairs, and a voice desiring the
children to put away all their things before going
down. Ethel got very red, and tried to get out
of sight, but Minnie walked boldly out of the
Miss Smith, I am very sorry for being rude
to you. I have stayed all the time where you
told me, but I have not been alone-Cousin
Ethel has been with me. I hope you wont be
Miss Smith graciously signified her forgive-
ness, and came in to see Ethel. She was a little
thin woman, with a sharp nose and eyes that to
Ethel seemed to look through her and say, I
will not be disobeyed," and rather a deformed
figure. Ethel felt she should not like her,
although she spoke very kindly to her, saying
she was welcome, then dismissed both children
to prepare for dinner. Both were ready at the
same time, so ran down together-Minnie jump-
ing two steps at a time, Ethel following more
demurely. To her relief, on entering the dining-
room, she found Miss Smith had not yet appeared.
Well, Ethel," said her aunt, I see you have
made friends with Minnie, so I need not ask
what you have been doing since I left you, as she
does nothing but chatter. Here are Florence,
Arthur, and Maud-all waiting to make your
Ethel shook hands shyly with her cousins;
and Miss Smith coming in, they sat down.
"Where are the others, mamma?" asked
"Tom is out with papa,' said Mrs. Layton,
" and Hugh left word he would not be home. We
are not always such a small party," she added,
smiling at Ethel.
Then the children began to talk, and she was
sufficiently amused listening to them till dinner
was over, when Minnie whispered to her mother
a petition for a holiday, which was quickly nega-
tived by Miss Smith.
"You had one last week, and two the week
before; I do not wish you to have another."
"I think Miss Smith is right, Minnie dear,"
said Mrs. Layton; "don't look so downcast."
"Is Miss Clemence to commence her studies
this afternoon?" inquired Miss Smith.
Ethel changed colour, and looked anxiously
at her aunt, who smiled re-assuringly and said-
" Not to day, I think; she shall spend this
afternoon with me, and to-morrow lessons can
begin. I suppose you will walk by and by, Miss
"Yes," she replied.
"Well, Ethel," said her aunt, "you can go
with the rest, and I shall meet you at the cross
roads, and take you for a drive."
Ethel felt relieved at lessons being at least
postponed, and left the room with Minnie, who
danced upstairs, followed by her teacher.
May I walk with Ethel?" she cried, turning
suddenly and consequently bumping against her
Certainly not, if you behave so," said Miss
Smith, shaking her ruffled plumage. I do not
know what your cousin will think of you; how-
ever, if you promise to walk steadily, like a lady,
I shall allow you to accompany her."
Minnie needed no second bidding, but flew to
her room to dress, called then for Ethel, and
taking her hand ran downstairs, but was checked
on the landing by Miss Smith, who asked severely
if she considered that a proper manner to walk ?
which made poor Minnie so penitent that she
walked soberly on with Ethel without a word,
Florence and her governess, Arthur and Maud
following. In this order they proceeded about a
mile, till they reached the cross roads, where
they found Mrs. Layton in her pony phaeton
waiting. The servant helped Ethel in, and Mrs.
Layton, looking round, said-
"I have room for one more. Florence, you
came last time-it is Minnie's turn."
I do not wish Minnie to go to-day," said Miss
Minnie hung her head. Maud was lifted in
instead, and they started. Ethel was very sorry,
and looked back at Miss Smith with feelings of
decided dislike; however, as a turn in the road
soon hid them from view she forgot, and chatted
to her aunt, listening to the amusing talk of little
Maud, and thoroughly enjoying the drive.
It was getting quite late when they arrived at
home, and Ethel found the maid waiting to dress
her for the evening; then the schoolroom tea-
bell rang, and she ran down, meeting Minnie
nicely dressed in her low frock and sash. Miss
Smith, taking her place behind the urn, glanced
at the children.
Minnie," said she, "when will you ever
remember my orders ? Where is your pinafore ?
Get it at once, and desire Anne to fetch one for
Ethel began to say she never wore one, but
Miss Smith cut her short by saying-
My dear, you must do as you are desired."
And as she perceived that Florence, who was
so much older, and Arthur, who was a boy, each
wore one, she submitted to having hers tied on
Tea was just over when a bell rang and the
children rose; but before leaving the room all
the pinafores were taken off, neatly folded, and
placed in a drawer of the chiffonier. They then
ran into the dining-room, where Dr. and Mrs.
Layton were sitting at the fire; little Gracie, a
lovely child of three years old, sitting on her
father's knee, while baby, consciously proud of
his white frock and blue ribbons, crowed and
jumped in his mother's arms. Dr. Layton turned
when the children entered, and warmly welcomed
the little stranger. Ethel felt she should like
him, when he made room for her on his other
knee, and talked so pleasantly to her; then she
began to make friends with the baby and Gracie,
who at first would only peep at her through her
long curls, but was soon engaged with them in a
romp on the floor. By and by Anne came in
and carried them off to bed, and Ethel joined
the other children in building a tent by stretch-
ing the crimson window curtains across chairs,
more to their own satisfaction than the improve-
ment of the curtains. This employed them so
pleasantly that when eight o'clock struck, and
almost at the same moment Miss Smith sum-
moned them to bed, she felt very little inclined
to go; however, the children were too well
trained to disobey, although Minnie, under cover
of the curtains, made an absurd grimace at Miss
Smith's retreating figure, which set all the rest
laughing. So with a loving kiss from her aunt
and uncle, Ethel went upstairs, and fancied her
little room looked brighter than ever, although
in it there was no blazing fire, to which she
had always been accustomed in the Llantarnem
ETHEL'S FIRST IDEA OF SCHOOL-ROOM LIFE.
We two naughty spirits were sent off to bed,
For foolishly forming a wild resolution !
Packed off at broad day, and unworthily fed
On a tasteless refection of gruel and bread !"
EXT morning Ethel was wakened at an
unusually early hour for her. In great
trepidation she dressed, and with a sinking
heart went downstairs with Minnie, just as
the clock struck eight. The other children took
their places at the table, and opened their books;
but Ethel, having no lessons to prepare, went to
warm herself at the fire, when the door opened
and Miss Smith entered. All the children rose
and wished her good morning, then returned to
their lessons. Miss Smith's quick eye fell on
Ethel, who was standing at the fire.
"You are my pupil now," she said to her,
" and must remember whatever I tell you. It is
one of my rules that no one is to go so near the
fire as to stand on the hearthrug; I am surprised
none of the children told you so. Whenever any
of my rules are broken I impose a forfeit, but
as you were not aware of it I will pass it
32 ETHEL'S FIRST IDEA OF
over this time-only recollect it must not occur
Ethel hardly comprehended the drift of this
speech, and only knew she had been in fault, so
moved away to the farthest corner from the fire.
I do not like to see you idling," said Miss
Smith. "Arthur, fetch me a spelling-book." He
obeyed. "Now, my dear, sit down and learn
this column of spelling, so as to repeat it to me
Ethel took the book, but to her it was simply
"Do you not see the place?" inquired her
Yes," murmured Ethel; but it is too hard."
"Hard!" repeated Miss Smith. "Perhaps
you mean difficult-hard has quite another sig-
nification; however, I will give you something
Ethel looked at it despairingly, and began to
remonstrate, but was silenced by Miss Smith
Hush! no more talking; I do not allow con-
versation in school hours-you will disturb your
So she took the book and tried in vain to fix
the words in her mind, till to her relief the break-
fast-bell rang, and they all went downstairs.
Dr. Layton read prayers, and the children
took their places. A seat was assigned to Ethel
between her aunt and Minnie, where she felt safe
from Miss Smith's eye, which seemed to detect
the slightest breach of manners; but the respite
SCHOOL-ROOM LIFE. 33
was not long, and at ten lessons recommended.
They were heard in order, so that it was some
time before Ethel's turn came, but at the first
word she hesitated, then finally broke down.
Miss Smith looked at her severely, and closed
"Geography," said she.
The children opened the atlas.
"The boundaries of Europe ?" she asked of
Ethel, who looked bewildered and said-
I don't know what you mean."
Arthur and Maud looked at each other, and
smiled. Ethel's cheeks burned, but Miss Smith
gave one look at the children, who instantly be-
came grave. Every lesson in succession met
with a like result; at last, in desperation, Miss
"Do you know anything."
Ethel felt inclined to cry. "I can ride," she
said, "and fish, and draw a little."
At this catalogue of accomplishments, the
children fairly laughed out, and even Miss Smith's
countenance changed. Ethel burst into tears.
"I know I am ignorant," she sobbed, "but
indeed I will try to learn, if you will give me
something easy, and if only they wont laugh at
In a moment Minnie's arms were round her
neck. "I'm so sorry I laughed," she whispered.
Miss Smith desired her to sit down, and gave
Ethel permission to leave the room for the pre-
sent, promising to send for her by and by, and
teach her something less advanced.
34 ETHEL'S FIRST IDEA OF
Ethel gladly made her escape, and in the
quietness of her room heartily bewailed all her
past idleness, and made many resolutions for
future amendment; but she felt deeply mortified
when later she was classed with little Gracie,
who barely knew her letters. Florence was in
the drawing-room practising, and Arthur and
Maud were away, so that nobody but Minnie
witnessed this disgrace; yet it was sufficient to
upset Ethel for the entire afternoon, and not all
Minnie's affectionate endeavours could bring
back her usual spirits. After tea, the children,
as usual went to the dining-room, and Ethel met
for the first time her cousins Tom and Hubert;
to her they seemed quite "men," but they spoke
so pleasantly to her, she took a fancy to them at
once, and before bed-time she and they were
For several days the same routine went on-
one day being the counterpart of another. Ethel
worked very hard; she had plenty of talent when
she chose to use it, and as, notwithstanding her
inattention, she could not have remained totally
ignorant during months of her papa's teaching,
she soon recollected all she had learned, and
was able to leave Gracie behind, and join Arthur
and Maud, whom ere long she also passed, and
so fulfilled Minnie's favourite wish of having her
for a class-fellow. Miss Smith had therefore no
cause of complaint as regarded actual lessons.
She was very quick and intelligent, but in general
discipline she was constantly in error. Hitherto
she had been accustomed to do exactly as she
SCHOOL-ROOM LIFE. 35
pleased, and for everyone to be subservient to
her wishes; consequently, she was unwilling to
obey all the rules and regulations, about which
Miss Smith was so particular. Hardly a day
passed without a complaint being made to Dr.
Layton, through the medium of her judgment
book, which it was his duty to examine, and
when on Saturday the total number of marks
was counted, and each bad mark subtracted a
certain number of good ones, it was found that
poor Ethel, so far from receiving any payment,
was considerably in debt to the ensuing week;
added to this, her little stock of pocket-money
was sensibly diminished, as she was utterly
regardless of Miss Smith's rule of fines, and so
every day her purse was called upon. In vain
Florence and Minnie warned her, if she would
do certain things she must pay the penalty; she
never could be persuaded not to warm herself
at the fire if she felt cold, nor to leave her books
about, nor throw her hat on the table carelessly
when she came in. She was continually in Miss
Smith's black books. In vain her aunt remon-
strated and her uncle lectured. Ethel was sorry
at the time and made many promises, but the
very next time she broke the rule again, and the
same scene was enacted over and over.
One of the first uses Ethel made of the newly
acquired art of writing, was to indite a long letter
to her old nurse, from whom she had received a
lengthy epistle, full of love for her darling and
asking if she was happy and well treated. To
this Ethel began a reply, but it was a difficult
36 ETIEL'S FIRST IDEA OF
task and required the undivided attention of all
her spare time; at last, however, it was finished,
and Ethel- triumphantly posted it one day out
walking, well knowing how little her governess
would approve of the contents, for not only was
it badly written and spelt, but she had given
nurse a full account of all her schoolroom trials.
She should be quite happy, she wrote, could she
always be with her aunt and cousins, but Miss
Smith she could not bear; then followed a
detailed account of all her grievances, of harsh
and unjust treatment.
In the course of a few days, an answer to this
came, in which nurse bemoaned the hard fate of
her poor child in having to submit to such
tyranny, desiring her to remember she was a
young lady, and an heiress, and, as such, should
have spirit enough not to be "put upon" by any
governess. Ethel knew quite well how much
she was to blame for having misled nurse, and
her conscience smote her so that she resolved
she would tell no more silly tales, then, fearing
lest the letter should fall into anyone's hands,
she tore it up and burned it.
An idea now took hold of Ethel's mind to be
in some way revenged on Miss Smith, and this
she communicated secretly to Minnie, who was
always ready for anything in the shape of fun.
After much consultation, they decided the best
thing would be to watch for the first thing Miss
Smith should leave about, and hide it; but she
was far too orderly for such an accident to
happen. Minnie and Ethel were ever on their
SCHOOL-ROOM LIFE. 37
guard, lest they should lose an opportunity, till,
by being always first in the school-room, and
last to leave it, they began really to merit their
Now, she was in the habit of wearing, in cold
weather, during school, a pair of brown kid
gloves, to which the children had a perfect
abhorrence. It seemed to them that, when Miss
Smith drew them on, everything looked colder
and gloomier than before, and they devoutly
wished the gloves would either wear out or be
lost! but no; day after day, as soon as she sat
down, the gloves were produced, and there was
no chance of their being lost, as she wore them
again out walking. One morning, Minnie and
Ethel went down as usual to the school-room,
particularly early, on mischief bent, and were
busily arranging their books, when the quick eye
of the former spied under the table the identical
pair of gloves!
0 Ethel," she cried softly, look here would
not these be splendid to hide ?"
Ethel ran over and picked them up. How
can they have got there?" she said, "Miss Smith
is so horridly tidy."
"Most likely she dropped them last night,"
said Minnie, "and Margaret overlooked them
this morning; let us take them away quickly,
and hide them, we can settle by and by what we
Ethel ran off with her prize and hid them in a
drawer under some clothes, then returned and
took her place with the other children before
38 ETHEL'S FIRST IDEA OF
Miss Smith appeared. When she came in, she
looked thinner and sharper than ever from cold,
and seemed half petrified. As she sat down, she
put her hand in her pocket; the little conspira-
tors exchanged glances; Miss Smith looked
puzzled ; she pulled out her purse, handkerchief,
pencil, knife, keys, and tatting, but only to
replace them; she then went to the mantelpiece,
thence to the book-shelf.
Florence looked up, and asked innocently,
"Are you looking for anything, Miss Smith ?"
"Attend to your studies, if you please," was
the only answer vouchsafed.
The children bent over their books, and ap-
peared very industrious; but when, in a few
minutes, Miss Smith commenced to search in the
chiffonier, they could not resist it, and began to
whisper and laugh.
She turned round, saying, Talking in school
-if I have to speak again, you shall each get a
So, until the breakfast bell rang, they had to
remain quiet. At ten o'clock, the search recom-
menced, but, of course, without success; and
they had the satisfaction of seeing Miss Smith's
long, thin fingers, usually comfortably clothed in
brown kid, now bare like their own, and mentally
contrasting them with their ruddy little paws,
they decided they were best off! In the even-
ing, while dressing for tea, they heard Miss Smith
questioning the maid.
"Are you sure you have not seen them ?" she
asked-" a pair of brown gauntlet gloves."
SCHOOL-ROOM LIFE, 39
"Quite sure, ma'am," replied Margaret. "I
should know them well, they are so much larger
than the young ladies'."
It is very singular," mused Miss Smith.
Perhaps, ma'am, you pulled them out of your
pocket out walking," remarked the servant.
"No; it is impossible," returned Miss Smith,
positively, "as I had them on at the time."
"It is very odd, ma'am, but I will look well
for them again."
The children were in ecstasies, and were in
high spirits during tea. When they went down
it was only for a few minutes. They then hur-
ried to Ethel's room, when, having bolted the
door, they took out the gloves, and after a long
discussion and much trouble succeeded in enclos-
ing them in an envelope, which they directed in
what they flattered themselves was a feigned
hand, and wrote on a slip of paper, Please pay
a fine for untidiness;" then, with much laughter,
they went downstairs, deposited it in the letter-
box, and returned to the dining-room. The post
for that night had arrived, so nothing was heard
of the envelope till next morning, when, as they
were at breakfast, the postman's knock sounded.
Arthur ran for the letters, and dealt them out
all round. Ethel and Minnie began to feel
Here is one for you, Miss Smith," said he.
" Such a big one, and such funny writing!"
You should never examine anyone's letters,"
said Miss Smith reprovingly; it is not polite."
"Someone is sending you a present, Miss
40 ETHEL'S FIRST IDEA OF
Smith," said Dr. Layton, glancing at the bulky
A token of affection from a former pupil!"
whispered Tom to Florence, who looked amused
but dared not laugh.
Miss Smith, who, though pleased at being sup-
posed to receive a present, was far too well bred to
open it at table, put it in her pocket; and Minnie
and Ethel were glad of even a short respite.
They were demurely at their lessons by and by,
when Miss Smith entered, looking very black.
Ethel," said she sternly, leave the room; it
is you only who can have played this low, mean,
unladylike trick, in which I see neither sense nor
wit. Go to your room."
Minnie looked up in terror, the others in sur-
prise. Ethel gave her a look meant to convey
that, as she was not suspected she need not accuse
herself, but Minnie's honourable feelings would
not permit this.
Miss Smith," she cried, "don't be angry,
please; it is my fault too, for I helped Ethel,
"Then do you leave the room also," inter-
rupted Miss Smith. If you consider it right to
steal, I do not-yes, steal," she added.
We did not steal them," sobbed Minnie. "We
found them on the floor, and only meant a little
But Miss Smith was too angry to hear an
explanation, and the little girls not daring to
disobey, left the room. For a long time they
remained upstairs, till they were summoned to
V SCHOOL-ROOM LIFE. 41
the study, where they found not only Dr. Layton,
but Mrs. Layton, Miss Smith, and Tom. The
offence was stated. Mrs. Layton looked grieved,
but Minnie thought she detected a smile in her
papa's eye, and Ethel was almost sure that Tom
held the paper he was reading before his face to
hide his laughter. The two little culprits stood
near the door, and heard a long chain of evidence
against them, which they could not contradict,
and which now sounded very shocking. At last
Dr. Layton, as judge, passed sentence, and con-
demned them to spend the rest of the day in
durancee vile ;" and the little prisoners, glad to
be let off so easily, ran away to their rooms,
determining they would not again try to play
tricks on Miss Smith, though in Ethel's case it
proceeded rather from a dread of the results than
from a lively sorrow. Minnie was sincerely and
heartily sorry; and before she went to bed, was
not satisfied until she had kissed with many
tears Miss Smith's grim visage, and heard from
her own lips that she was forgiven, when, quite
content, she went happily to sleep. It is to be
feared Ethel, after the first shock, looked on it
all in the light of a very good joke, and much
enjoyed Tom and Hubert's many sly allusions
to Miss Smith's voluminous correspondence,
which, though great fun to her, disturbed poor
Minnie's tender little heart almost more than
she could express.
A NEW COMPANION.
On ne perd pas le temps seulement, en ne faisant rien,
Ou en faisant le mal, mais on le perds aussi,
En faisant autrechose ce que 1'on devrait. Quoique
Ce que l'on fait, soit bon." Fine'lon.
OR some time after the incident of the
gloves matters went on pretty smoothly in
the school-room, although there certainly
was no increase of love on Ethel's part
toward her governess; and when the first feeling
of contrition had subsided she would gladly have
entered into another conspiracy, but Minnie
steadfastly refused to join; and as Arthur and
Maud were too young, and Florence too steady,
to think of enlisting in such a plot, Ethel was
obliged to work at her lessons, and brood in
secret over her imaginary wrongs. She had
really improved very much, and her judgment-
book was no longer a wilderness of bad marks.
She even began to try to be tidy; and on Satur-
day evenings, when, with her cousins, she went
to be paid for her conduct tickets, she felt she
need not be afraid of receiving a lecture or
punishment. Nevertheless, from Miss Smith she
gained little approbation and still less affection,
A NEW COMPANION. 43
and between them there seemed to exist a slum-
bering though decided feud.
One day, about a month after the events of
the last chapter, Mrs. Layton announced at
dinner that she had some news to communicate,
and was immediately assailed with inquiries as
to what it was. Knowing how dearly the chil-
dren loved a mystery, she did not for some time
tell them, but let them guess, while she could not
help laughing at their extraordinary surmises.
Even Miss Smith's iron face relaxed into a smile;
she evidently knew all about it.
"Well, do you give it up ?" at length asked
The children all said Yes."
How should you like," she said slowly, "to
have a new companion and school-fellow-for a
time at least ?"
"O mamma, how nice it will be!" exclaimed
Minnie. Shall we really? Why, we shall soon
be a regular school; first Ethel came, and now-
what is her name?"
How old is she, mamma ?" asked Florence.
"When is she coming ?"
"Who is she ?"
Gently, gently," said their mother; "one at
a time; I cannot answer all your questions at
once. Firstly, her name is Carrie Beaumont.
Secondly, she is about eleven; but as well as I
can judge, from once seeing her, she is taller
than any of you. Thirdly, she is to be here
to-day; so I am going to beg a holiday for you
all, if Miss Smith has no objection, as I dare
44 A NEW COMPANION.
say she will be lonely and sad coming among
strangers, and it will be pleasanter for her to
have you all for company."
Miss Smith never refused a holiday when
asked by Mrs. Layton, so that important event
was arranged to the general satisfaction.
"Aunt Lucy," said Ethel, "you have not yet
told us who she is, or what brings her here."
I was just wondering the same thing," said
She is the daughter of an old friend of
papa's," said Mrs. Layton, "who is obliged to go
abroad, and he asked us to allow Carrie to stay
here while he is away."
Why did you not tell us that she was coming,
mamma?" asked Florence.
"Your mamma does not consider it necessary
to acquaint you with all her plans, my dear,"
reproved Miss Smith.
I did not mention it before, because until
this morning it was quite uncertain even whether
she would come at all," said Mrs. Layton.
"Really," she added, laughing, My establish-
ment is becoming so large I shall soon have
to build a wing to it, I hardly know how to stow
away so many. Ethel, love, I shall have to put
Carrie into your room; I hope you won't mind ? "
Oh no," said Ethel gleefully, it will be great
fun; I hope she is nice."
"There must be no talking at night," said
Miss Smith decidedly, I shall impose a heavy
fine, so you must be very particular."
I am sure they will be very good, and not
A NEW COMPANION. 45
need any fines," interrupted Mrs. Layton, adding,
"I think our little visitor will be more a com-
panion for Florence than for the others, as she
has had the advantage of being at school in
France, so is doubtless rather advanced for her
"I do not think that by any means follows,"
said Miss Smith, with a shade of annoyance in
her tone, she may speak the French language
more or less fluently, but I have invariably found
a foreign education sadly deficient in the elemen-
tary knowledge which forms the solid basis of
an English one; such, I trust, may not be the
case, but I greatly fear it." So saying, she led
her pupils out of the room.
During the afternoon walk Minnie and Ethel
held a long conversation on the advent of their
new friend, forming strange ideas of what she
was like, and finally concluding it would be a
great bore having her at all. None of Mrs
Layton's conversation had escaped them, and
from the fact of her having been at a French
school, they decided, she must be a fashionable
fine lady, who might perhaps sometimes deign
to assist Florence in her more advanced studies,
but would utterly ignore them. Mrs. Layton
had mentioned she was tall for her age, so they
magnified her height into something gigantic, so
that on their return, being summoned to the
drawing-room, they were agreeably surprised to
find Carrie Beaumont certainly tall and large
for her age, but with a round merry face, brown
eyes, a decidedly snub nose, laughing mouth,
46 A NEW COMPANION.
and hair, which instead of being dressed as they
expected, in the most fantastic of Parisian styles
(their ideas being taken from the pictures in Le
Follet), was simply turned off her forehead with
a comb. Lastly, to their infinite relief, she
did not seem to be at all low-spirited or shy,
which won their hearts completely, so that in a
short time they were quite at their ease, and all
on confidential terms. In the evening, as usual,
they went down after tea, but found the dining-
room untenanted, the elders of the family were
dining out, and the little ones in the nursery
with colds, so Florence ensconced herself at the
fire with a book, while the other three, having
built their favourite habitation with the curtains,
sat down in it, and initiated Carrie into the
mysteries of the schoolroom and Miss Smith's
peculiarities, so that she was quite prepared to
regard her new instructress in the light of a
Next morning Carrie's lessons commenced,
and, as Mrs. Layton predicted, Miss Smith
found her considerably advanced. The pleasure
of having such a pupil for once was however
slightly damped by the feeling that her prophecy
of the incompleteness of her education was in-
correct; nevertheless she seemed disposed to like
her, and out of school treated her most affably,
a compliment hardly appreciated by Carrie, who
would have much preferred being left to her
chosen friends, Ethel and Minnie.
Ethel was not long discovering that Carrie
was just the companion she had wanted; she was
A NEW COMPANION. 47
lively, and brimming over with mischievous fun,
ever ready for any escapade that might suggest
itself. She also possessed the enviable quality
of not being in the slightest degree afraid of Miss
Smith, at which all the children marvelled,
while to their surprise and horror, on that unfor-
tunate lady no end of harmless jokes was
perpetrated. It was Carrie who changed the
marks in the history which Miss Smith read
aloud; she who carefully opened all the books in
wrong-places; who filled the heavy inkstand with
water instead of ink, and rejoiced over Miss
Smith's puzzled face as she vainly tried to set
the headlines of the copies, or who politely would
hand a slate pencil, if asked for one, to mark a
lesson, which, with a hundred little things, kept
the children in a state of despair lest she should
go too far. Fortune, however, favoured her with
MIiss Smith's particular amity, and after playing
innumerable tricks, she was generally selected
as her walking companion. Ethel enjoyed it
all excessively, but conscientious little Minnie,
though feeling much amused, did not think it
right, so in some respects she now became rather
isolated, Carrie and Ethel being more together.
One day Florence and Minnie were visiting in
the country with their mamma, and, the after-
noon turning out too wet to walk, Miss Smith
retired to her room, leaving the children to their
own devices. She was quietly reading some
abstruse scientific work when Margaret knocked
at the door and said that a lady downstairs wished
to see Miss Smith. Now it so happened that,
48 A NEW COMPANION.
for some days, she had been expecting an aunt,
whom she had not seen for many years, and,
though seldom alluding to her family, she had
spoken of this lady in connection with some
foreign country in which she had lived; conse-
.quently, though considerably flurried at her
"arrival, she was not surprised, and desired
Margaret to say she would be down directly.
She then proceeded to change her dress; five,
ten minutes passed without her appearing, and
the lady seemed to grow impatient, for Margaret
knocked again to say she could not wait much
longer. At last Miss Smith came out, attired in
her best silk dress, never worn except on festive
occasions; a handsome brooch, the gift, as she
loved to tell, of her former pupils; and a lace
and velvet head-dress, put on for the first time.
In this gala costume she went to the school-room
and met Carrie coming out. Her face darkened.
"You have no right to my private room out
of hours," she said, "pray do not intrude
Carrie murmured an indistinct explanation,
and darted upstairs, where, on the first landing,
she sat down to indulge an uncontrollable fit of
laughter, and watch through the bannisters the
movements below. In the school-room window,
stood a very little woman with a long dark dress,
a large cloak, and a bonnet and veil which com-
pletely concealed her face. She did not heed
Miss Smith's first exclamation of My dear
aunt!" but at her second, "Have I the pleasure
of seeing my dear aunt ?" she turned round,
A NEW COMPANION. 49
slowly advanced, and, without a word, shook
hands. Appearing to think this a very cool
reception after several years' absence, Miss
Smith made some trifling remark, which, to her
surprise, elicited no answer except a kind of half
grunt, half gasp, which she fancied was a
symptom of faintness.
"Let me ring for assistance," she cried, "a
glass of water or something; and pray allow me
to remove your bonnet, or at least your veil; I
fear you are not well."
To her utter amazement, her extraordinary
relative made no answer, but, facing round,
before Miss Smith could do anything to detain
her, she bolted out of the room! The large
cloak, however, caught in the door; its fastening
gave way and fell off, disclosing to view the well-
known figure of the unhappy little Ethel, who,
unable any longer to suppress her laughter and
sustain her part, was trying to make her escape.
Miss Smith's fury knew no bounds. For some
moments she could not speak from rage, and
Ethel's laughter was speedily checked by her
unmistakable wrath and indignation.
You wicked, naughty child," at last she cried.
"How dare you do such a thing ?-an unlady-
like, vulgar, senseless, wicked trick Leave my
presence instantly; you shall be severely
punished for this impertinence. Go to your
room, and remain there until your aunt returns;
I shall acquaint her with your unpardonably
insolent conduct, and unless you receive a due
reward for it, I shall not consent to remain an
50 A NEW COMPANION.
inmate of this house; I will not submit to be
thus insulted, and by you."
"0 Miss Smith," cried Ethel in tears, "please
don't be so angry. I only did it for fun. Indeed
I meant no harm. Please, please forgive me this
once. I promise I will never do it again."
"Forgive you," uttered Miss Smith. "How
can you ask such a thing? You ungrateful
child; leave the room at once!"
In despair, Ethel caught Miss Smith's dress,
imploring forgiveness; but it only irritated her
still more, as she bitterly recollected it was her
best silk, and that the grasp of the little hot
fingers would not improve it; so, in her un-
governable rage, she lifted her hand and struck
the child a severe blow, then forcibly dragging
her upstairs, and regardless of her prayers and
protestations, locked her into her room. As she
was returning, she met Carrie on the stairs with
a book in hand.
"Did you see Ethel?" asked she innocently.
She is in her own room," replied Miss Smith
sternly, "and I desire you will not go to her."
Carrie bit her lip and passed on. Hour after
hour went by, and Ethel was still alone. She
cried till she was tired-first from anger, then
sorrow, and at last, nearly worn out, she sat on
her bed wishing, yet dreading, to see her aunt,
and firmly resolving never again to play practi-
cal jokes. When Carrie had suggested this to
her, she thought it great fun, but now it appeared
to her in quite a different light. After a long
time, the maid came in with her supper and a
A NEW COMPANION. 51
message that, when it was finished, she should
go to bed; and so, for the very first time in her
life, Ethel lay down in disgrace, without a good-
night kiss from any one.
Meantime, Florence and Minnie had come
home, and, in high spirits, ran to the school-room
to tell their governess that Mrs. Layton had
been persuaded to remain behind for two or
three days, as their grandmamma was expected
immediately, and Annie and Clara were coming
with her. They had been brought home by a
servant, and had delightful news for Ethel and
"Of course they are in bed," said Minnie,
"but I daresay they are not asleep yet; may I
go and tell them, Miss Smith ? I shall not stay
"You may tell Carrie if you wish, my dear,"
replied Miss Smith. "She is in your room
"Why ?" hastily interrupted Minnie. "Where
is Ethel ? Is she ill?"
"She is in disgrace," said Miss Smith shortly.
Minnie was sadly concerned, and begged to
know the particulars, but Miss Smith was silent
on the subject; and Carrie she found asleep, so
she was obliged to go to bed, uncertain what her
cousin could have done to merit such disgrace.
Next morning the post brought a letter from
Mrs. Layton relative to a plan for the children's
amusement during Easter week, which was now
at hand, and giving Miss Smith a holiday, which
so mollified her that when Minnie entreated to
52 A NEW COMPANION.
be allowed to see Ethel she graciously assented.
Carrie had not given a satisfactory account of
the affair, and Minnie was most anxious to hear
it from Ethel herself; but even this was a very
abridged tale, and she could only gather that
Ethel had been very naughty, and had irrevocably
displeased and offended Miss Smith. So, turn-
ing to livelier subjects, she recounted the pleasures
of the day before at Grange-William, her Uncle
Stanhope's place, which was popularly supposed
to contain every delight known to children.
Oh, but Ethie !" she continued eagerly, "the
best part is to come yet. Only fancy-Uncle
Stanhope has asked us all to spend Easter week
there. Wont it be delightful! We are all going,
even Carrie; and you are particularly invited, as
he has never seen you. Mamma is there now;
they made her stay last night; and we are to go
either to-day or to-morrow with Tom and Hugh.
Why, Ethie, what is the matter ?" as Ethel burst
into tears. "Don't you understand ? You are
"Oh! has Aunt Lucy not returned?" sobbed
Ethel. "What shall I do? Miss Smith said I
must stay here till she came home."
Nonsense!" said Minnie cheerily; that was
before she knew mamma was staying. I am sure it
is not likely you would be left to spend your holi-
days shut up here! So, don't fret, for though I
can't make out yet what has happened, I am sure
it is nothing very shocking. But I must go on
and tell you of our plans. Grandmamma is to
be there, and Cousin Gerald, Uncle Hubert's son,
A NEW COMPANION. 53
who lives with her, is coming too, and they will
bring Annie and Clara home-they have been
away an immense time-so we shall all meet at
Grange-William; and next week they will return
with us. Wont it be nice ?"
Minnie then gave a glowing description of
what they would all do, the games they could
have, what a splendid place it was for hide-and-
seek, and how kind everyone was, until Ethel
became almost equally excited on the subject.
Presently Minnie was called; and Ethel heard
Anne getting orders to pack the young ladies'
things, as they were going away that afternoon;
but no message came to her; and through the
long morning she waited and watched, but nobody
came near her. At last, just before dinner, Miss
Smith entered, stern and uncompromising. Ethel
saw by her face her doom was sealed. In a few
words she told her that immediately after dinner
the children were going with their brothers, and
that she herself intended leaving at the same
time with them, to spend the holidays with her
friends, but that Ethel should remain at home.
In an agony of tears Ethel implored to be for-
given, but Miss Smith was inexorable. She said,
in Mrs. Layton's absence, she would inflict the
punishment herself, and Ethel might consider
herself fortunate to have it mitigated to being
allowed to roam over the house, instead of being
confined to her room; then, having finished her
hard speech, she went away without a word of
farewell to prepare for her journey.
Soon Minnie ran up to say good bye, and was
54 A NEW COMPANION.
almost as indignant and sorry as Ethel. She
was assuring her how angry her mamma would
be to find she was not of the party when Miss
Smith called her, so with many kisses and tears
they separated, and poor Ethel, from the nursery
window, watched the cab driving away. Minnie,
with tearful eyes, waving adieu, but Carrie
studiously not looking up at all.
She might have even spoken to me," thought
Ethel bitterly. She need not have left all the
blame on me, it was she who planned it all, yet
I am the sufferer; while she goes away to enjoy
herself I must stay here."
Poor child, it was very hard to bear, and not
all Anne's kindness, or indignant abuse of Miss
Smith, could console her. She would not go
down in the evening for her uncle to see her dis-
grace, and he, thinking she had gone with the
rest, made no enquiries, so poor Ethel felt herself
neglected and miserable.
Next day she wandered about lonely and un-
happy, wishing her own papa was alive, and that
she was back at Llantarnem. She felt mortified
at having to dine in the nursery, and go to walk
with Anne and the little ones, although they,
with childish instinct, perceiving something was
wrong, were doubly kind. Gracie clung to her,
and baby tried to pat her cheek with his little
fat hand, smiling and cooing to try and make
her laugh or play with him as usual.
In the afternoon she could not tell if she were
glad or sorry when Anne told her the coachman
had just driven his master to the train, and he,
A NEW COMPANION. 55
too, had gone to Grange-William. She also told
her that Miss Smith had written to Mrs. Layton
a letter that would make her very angry, and
think that Ethel's conduct quite justified the
severity of her punishment. This was the final
blow; until now Ethel expected her aunt to
stand her friend, and the idea of having made
her really angry, and forfeited her love, rendered
her so extremely wretched that, unable any
longer to bear the maid's conversation, she ran
away to hide herself, and give vent to her bitter
sorrow and regrets.
THE UNEXPECTED MEETING.
Loving she is, and tractable, though wild;
And innocence hath privilege in her
To dignify arch looks and laughing eyes;
And feats of cunning, and the pretty round
Of trespasses, affected to provoke
Mock chastisement and partnership in play."
THEL was brooding thus on her misfor-
tunes, and wondering were they her fault
or her fate, when she was startled by hear-
ing a cab drive up to the door, then a
loud knock, followed by a bustle and voices.
Naturally her first idea was that some one had
been sent from Grange-William to fetch her, and
she ran out on the stairs, hoping such might be
the case, but the voices she heard were strange,
and her name was not even mentioned, so more
disappointed than ever, she went slowly back
to her room, not caring now in the least who the
new arrival might be. Soon she heard a foot-
step draw near, and somebody said, "Is there
no one at home?" while Anne answered "No
miss, except little Miss Ethel."
How does it happen she is here alone ?
THE UNEXPECTED MEETING. 57
Where is she?" was the next question, and
before Ethel could think her door opened, and a
tall young lady entered.
"You don't know me, so I must introduce
myself," she said smiling, and holding out her
hand, I am your cousin Annie, and I want you
to tell me where every one has gone, for I can-
not get an intelligible account from the servants;
and, above all, why are you here by yourself ?"
Ethel looked at her, but seeing she had a kind
pleasant face and a cheerful voice, so extremely
like Minnie's, she took courage and told her all.
I cannot understand though why you were
left," said Annie. "Are you sick ?"
Ethel coloured. "Miss Smith was angry with
me about something and would not let me go, as
Aunt Lucy was away," she said in a low tone,
looking very much ashamed.
"It is too bad," exclaimed Annie, as her
sister entered the room; "really Miss Smith
takes too much authority upon herself during
mamma's absence; fancy, Clara, this poor child
vexed her in some way, and she has not allowed
her to go with the rest to Grange-William; is it
not a shame ?"
Then Ethel had to go over her story once
more to her other cousin.
"Did you not expect us?" inquired Annie.
"I wrote to mamma, saying we would all be here
I know some letters came for Aunt Lucy,"
said Ethel, "but they were sent on to her, and I
am sure the servants did not expect you."
58 THE UNEXPECTED MEETING.
"Well, fortunately, it is no matter for us," said
Annie, "but it is the merest chance grandmamma
did not come. She only changed her mind this
morning. We intended going direct to Uncle
Stanhope's, but that Gerald hurt his foot badly,
and wished papa to see it. It is provoking as
he is there now, but it cannot be helped, and, as
Gerald is downstairs, we must make the best of it."
I suppose," said Clara smiling, "Miss Smith
does not mean to shut up her prisoner entirely.
You can_ come with us."
Ethel laughed and gladly went down too; she
was tired of the nursery floor, and liked a change.
Entering the dining-room, she saw on the sofa a
gentleman reclining, who rose stiffly as they went
in, but seemed in pain.
Here is the only representative of the family
that can be found, Gerald," laughed Annie.
"Allow me to introduce Ethel Clemence, a
cousin by courtesy, if not by blood."
Gerald smiled, and was going to shake hands
with the little girl, when she suddenly stopped,
looked earnestly at him, and then, taking his
hand in both of hers, cried in tones of joy:
"Oh, I am so glad to see you again so very,
very glad !"
The two girls and Gerald looked astonished,
as well they might, at this unexpected greeting,
and evidently thought their little cousin was out
of her senses. After a minute, however, Gerald
seemed to recollect something, and, drawing
Ethel nearer the light, he looked at her steadily,
the,'n affectionately kissing her, said,
THE UNEXPECTED MEETING. 59
"Why, Ethel, my child, is it possible you are
here ? This is a very curious coincidence. I
remember you perfectly now, though at first I
did not. So you were coming here that day
we met in the train ?"
Ethel's eyes sparkled with delight, as she
tightly held his hand. She had recognized in
her lame cousin the kind companion of her
dreary journey with Colonel Clemence. She
had not forgotten his face; his very tones were
familiar, and she now felt much gratified and
elated at his recollecting her too.
Gerald turned to his wondering cousins and
said smilingly, Ethel and I are by no means
strangers; on the contrary, we are old friends.
Do you not remember when I was coming from
college last winter, my telling you of the little
girl I met in the train ? I never thought since
of her name being the same. She knew me first,
which I didn't deserve."
Annie and Clara remembered it perfectly, and
felt all the more friendly towards Ethel; for
Gerald's account of the lonely little orphan had
touched them deeply, although, strange to say,
at the time, they did not think of connecting her
with their cousin. Soon they left to prepare for
tea, leaving the two old friends together.
"Why, Ethel," said Gerald roguishly, "have
you done nothing but cry since I saw you ? I
think I am fated to see you in tears! Your eyes
look as if you had been crying ever since, little
Ethel hung her head, saying, "I have been
60 THE UNEXPECTED MEETING.
very happy ever since until now, but I know the
last two days I have cried plenty, though I could
not help it-indeed I could not. I will tell you
about it sometime, but not now; please don't
look at my eyes, for I feel almost happy again
since you came."
Gerald laughed at the child's implied compli-
ment, and when the girls came down, and tea
came in, a merrier party could not be found.
During Dr. Layton's absence, another doctor
was sent for to see Gerald's foot, who told him
not to attempt to use it for a few days, that he
might then venture to the country, but meantime
must remain where he was, and keep on the sofa.
This occasioned a discussion. Annie and
Clara could not remain in town, and they did
not like to leave him alone, so they knew not
what to do, although Gerald repeatedly told
them not to mind him. In the first pause Ethel
left her seat and went up to Gerald.
Will you let me take care of you ?" she whis-
pered. I will be very good and quiet, and will
run all your messages, and do everything you
want. Do let me, please."
But Ethel," said Annie, "we intended taking
you on our own responsibility to Grange-William.
Would you not rather come with us ?"
Ethel hesitated. "Of course I should," she
said; but I think I ought not until either Aunt
Lucy or Miss Smith gives me leave; but if I
may stay with Cousin Gerald it will make up to
me for not going, for I should so like to be with
THE UNEXPECTED MEETING. 61
They laughed; and Clara said she was almost
afraid to undertake the charge of Ethel to the
country, as they never liked to interfere with
Miss Smith; so it was arranged to general satis-
faction, and Ethel's in particular, that she should
remain in town with Gerald, while the girls
departed by the mid-day train.
Ethel was now comparatively happy. She
had conceived the warmest affection for her
former travelling companion; and to be able,
even in part, to return his kindness pleased her.
But she had one secret cause for uneasiness; she
had not heard from her aunt, which she thought
boded no good. She feared lest she too was
unappeasably offended, and would not allow
even Minnie to write to her. Besides, there was
a feeling of desolation she had never before
experienced; and she felt for the first time that
she was only Ethel Clemence, the orphan niece,
and not one of the family. They were all away
enjoying themselves, while she, unmissed, was
at home, and for all they knew alone. These
thoughts filled her mind, as she sat on a stool
beside Gerald's sofa, and gave her face a grave,
anxious look, which attracted his notice. He
stretched out his hand, put it on her head, and
gently smoothed back her hair. She looked up.
"Out with it," said he smiling; "I see you
have something on your mind, and will be all
the better for telling it."
How do you know?" asked Ethel.
Because you have been looking as grave as
a judge. Did you think I did not see you?
62 THE UNEXPECTED MEETING.
Besides, you have been sighing and groaning
desperately. I know you have wonders to tell."
She laughed and said, It is not quite so bad
as that; but I do want to tell something, only I
wish it was to Aunt Lucy. May I have a chat
with you, if you are not busy?"
Certainly," said Gerald, moving his books
and papers. Now I am ready, and am yours
till dinner time."
Ethel drew nearer the sofa, and seated herself
demurely. She hesitated, and at last began.
I don't know whether I ought to tell you or
not, but I think I must. -I have wanted dread-
fully to see Aunt Lucy, and as she is not here I
will tell you, for I cannot keep it to myself any
She then told Gerald the whole story of the
trick played on Miss Smith, hiding nothing, and
What makes me so angry is that Carrie, who
planned it all, gets no blame. Even Minnie,
though she was away that day, was suspected at
first; if she had been at home, nothing would
persuade Miss Smith she had not been in it. It
is so unfair of Carrie to leave all the blame on
Gerald heartily sympathized with her, and
thought Carrie ought to be ashamed of herself.
Ethel went on:-
Of course I did not tell Miss Smith of her,
it would have been so shabby, but I determined
to tell Aunt Lucy. Perhaps I ought not to
have told you, but you wont say anything-
THE UNEXPECTED MEETING. 63
promise me," she added, laying her hand on his,
and looking up into his face. Gerald promised.
Do you mean," said he, that all this fuss
arose from that little joke ?"
Ethel said Yes," but her colour rose at the
thought of Miss Smith's harshness; and when
Gerald made some unflattering remark about
her, she worked herself into quite a passion.
I never said it before," she cried, but I hate
Miss Smith; she is odious-she----"
"Ethel!" Gerald gravely interrupted; "I can-
not listen to this. I am sure you do not know
what you say."
Ethel's fury was spent, and ended by a burst
"Are you going to turn against me too ?" she
sobbed. I thought you would take my part,
or I wouldn't have told you."
Gerald was in an awkward predicament; it
was a new thing for him to be in the character
of mentor, but his sense of duty prevailed, and
nervously at first he commenced a kind, sensible,
affectionate exhortation to his wayward little
cousin. As he warmed with his subject his
difficulties vanished, although he would not have
liked a third person to hear his discourse.
Ethel listened, but could not at first be con-
vinced ; she argued that Miss Smith disliked her,
and that she was justified in returning it, but to
this Gerald would not agree.
"Tell me, Ethel," said he, do you think you
ever deserved to be punished, or did you always
try to be good and obedient, and to please her ?"
64 THE UNEXPECTED MEETING.
Ethel said No," with a conscious blush.
"Then can you wonder she was annoyed?"
Ethel was silent, and he perceived his ad-
"But," cried she, "Miss Smith is cross to every
one ; she is as bad to Minnie as to me, and to
the others too; although they work so hard at
their lessons, and do everything she tells them,
they are always being scolded. So now what
do you say ?"
Gerald smiled, "If I were to tell you of a
temper soured, I don't think you would under-
stand me," said he. Nevertheless there is such
a thing, and do you know, so far from disliking
Miss Smith, I think she deserves your pity very
Pity," echoed Ethel opening her eyes very
wide. "Why ?"
"Were you happy the day I met you in the
train ?" asked Gerald.
No indeed, I was not," replied Ethel."
"Well," he continued, "you were unhappy
because you were leaving your old home and
coming among strangers, but when you got here
you found every one so kind that you speedily
felt quite at home, and you know you are the
same to aunt and uncle as one of their own
children. They take the same care of you as of
Florence or Minnie, so that instead of losing a
home when you left Llantarnem you in fact
gained one. Now, with Miss Smith, it is quite
the reverse, she came here through the recom-
THE UNEXPECTED MEETING. 65
mendations of a friend of grandmamma's who
knew all her history, so I heard it too, and
though I cannot pretend to like her, I am per-
fectly sincere when I say I pity her greatly, in-
deed I do, Ethel, and so would you, if only you
knew as much of her as I do."
"Well," urged Ethel, I might pity her per-
haps, but I do not see what right it gives her to
be disagreeable and cross to us. Even out of
school she hates to see us enjoying ourselves."
"O Ethel," interrupted Gerald, "are you sure ?"
"Well she might leave us alone," said Ethel,
"but if she sees us doing anything she begins
her everlasting scolding."
"That quite depends on what the 'anything'
is," said Gerald laughing. "If you mean doing
wrong I don't think her by any means to blame;
it is her duty to correct your faults, else what is
she here for?"
To teach us lessons," answered Ethel.
Then according to your theory," said Gerald,
"people ought to learn as much as possible
during school, and then be left to run wild
after, so that I suppose by your own plan, in ten
years hence say, you would be a highly accom-
plished young lady, for of course you would
wish that, but without any manner, a great stoop,
a bad way of speaking, awkward walk, untidy to
the last degree, your hair awry, your dresses
torn, your --"
Oh stop, cousin Gerald," cried Ethel, laughing
at the description, "I could not be so bad as
that, for even if Miss Smith were not to correct
66 THE UNEXPECTED MEETING.
me at all, Aunt Lucy would not allow me to
grow up with unladylike habits."
"Well, Ethel, Aunt Lucy has a great many
other things to occupy her. She could not give
up all her time to pointing out your faults; so
you see it is necessary for her to get some one to
do it instead. Besides," he added slyly, "per-
haps you would get equally tired of her if she
had to be finding fault perpetually."
"How can you say so?" said Ethel in-
dignantly. "I never could be tired of dear
Aunt Lucy. Oh! that reminds me of all my
troubles. What shall I do if she is very angry,
and will not forgive me? I wish I had not
listened to Carrie, or that she had not left all the
blame on me. Do you think, cousin Gerald,
she will ever tell ?"
"Cheer up, Ethel," said he, "don't be down-
cast. I am sure all will come right in the end."
"But if Aunt Lucy were not angry," said
Ethel sorrowfully, "she would have written to
me. There has been time for half-a-dozen
letters since, and the story she has heard is
from Miss Smith. Nobody will take my part."
"Annie and Clara will plead for you."
But they know nothing either," said Ethel.
"I told no one but you, so Aunt Lucy will
believe Miss Smith still."
"You are determined to look at the dull side
of the picture, Ethel," said her cousin. I like
to see the most cheerful. For instance, I don't
at all like spending this Easter time shut up
with a lame leg, but I do not say to myself, 'I
THE UNEXPECTED MEETING. 67
am very bad; I don't think I shall ever be
better,' or begin to fancy my foot worse than it
is, and think it will perhaps have to be ampu-
tated, and that I shall be the rest of my life a
miserable object going about on crutches. No,
I say rather, 'I will stay quiet, as the doctor
says, and take his advice, so that in a few days
I may be quite well, and my lameness will be a
thing of the past.' I see you laughing; you
think it has nothing to say to your case; but it
has. If you make up your mind that you will
never get out of this scrape, you are like me
thinking my leg is so bad that it must be cut
off; but if you bear this present disgrace bravely,
hoping soon to be reinstated in favour, you will
be like me, feeling much better, and intending,
as I do, to go out for a while to-morrow."
0 cousin Gerald," cried Ethel, "indeed
you must not; remember the doctor said you
were to stay quite quiet till he gave you leave."
"Bosh," said Gerald good humouredly, "he
knows nothing about it."
"But I am your nurse," said Ethel, "and I
wont let you out yet; you must be obedient."
"Well," said Gerald, beginning to think he
was hardly practising what he preached, I don't
want to go immediately, so we shant fight about
it, shall we ? I think it must be nearly dinner
time, so we had better dissolve Parliament; in
other words, you run and get ready for dinner,
but first hand me the book I was reading. We
will postpone the remainder of this weighty
debate until another time."
"Life is made up not of great sacrifices or duties, but of
little things in which smiles, kindnesses, and small obligations,
given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and
secure comfort." Extract.
ARTLY from good sense and dutiful
obedience to the doctor's orders, and
partly from a fear of showing his little
cousin a bad example, Gerald did not
adhere to his plan of going out, but remained
quietly at home for a day or two; it was no
doubt very tantalising to both him and Ethel to
hear the church bells ringing merrily, and to
remember it was Easter Sunday, while they
were virtually prisoners unable to go out; but of
the two Gerald felt it the more, he had so counted
on spending a happy Easter with all his family,
yet he was as cheerful and apparently contented
as if he were in the height of enjoyment. Ethel
of course could not go alone to church, and
she did not like going with the servants; but
as soon as breakfast was over she and Gerald
had an impromptu service together; he read aloud
to her, and then gave an interesting account of
COUSIN GERALD. 69
a book he had lately read on the meaning and
origin of Easter," altering the sense to suit her
Ethel listened earnestly, and when at length
he stopped she drew a long breath, exclaiming,
" cousin Gerald how nicely you speak, you
have made all that so clear to me. I never under-
stood it quite before. I could not have attended
half so well in church. No matter how much I
try, when Mr. Holmes or Mr. Clarke preach, I
cannot listen, and every minute I find myself
thinking of something quite different, but to-day
I heard every word you said, and I do not think
I should be tired if you went on for an hour."
Thank you for the compliment, Ethie," said
"But indeed I mean it," said Ethel, "you
spoke so clearly and nicely I really could not be
tired. Cousin Gerald, you ought to be a clergy-
man, so that other people might hear you too."
Gerald coloured deeply. Perhaps I shall be
one some day," he said in a low voice.
Oh! I am so glad," cried Ethel, "it would be
so nice. I should like Aunt Lucy to hear you
preach just as you did to'me now."
"Look here, Ethel," said Gerald hurriedly,
"mind you must not say a word of this, I have
only thought of it, nothing is yet decided, so
that indeed I ought not to have said anything
to you about it, but as I did remember you
must promise to keep it a secret."
Ethel readily promised. She was so pleased
and elated at being her tall cousin's confidante
70 COUSIN GERALD.
on such an important subject that she had no
wish to lessen the honour and glory by sharing
the secret with any one else, and she amused
herself and him by building castles in the air for
the future, until to her vexation Gerald advised
her to go out for a walk with Anne and the
children. She would have much preferred stay-
ing at home, but dared not disobey her cousin,
so went. While they were out Anne expatiated
on Gerald's kindness in spending so much time
with Ethel, implying how dull it was for him,
till the poor child felt quite uncomfortable, and,
although longing to go to him again, resolutely
remained in her own room, till dinner, when her
cousin asked what had become of her, and
reluctantly at first she was obliged to tell him
what Anne said.
Gerald was annoyed. What nonsense," said
he; Anne ought to know better. When I am
tired of you I shall tell you myself. Why, what
should I do without my little nurse ? I assure
you I wanted you badly all this afternoon."
Ethel, charmed to hear this, looked gratefully
up and chattered away merrily.
By and by, Gerald bade her ring the bell, and
when James came in he got his sofa moved in
front of the piano, when, by dint of raising him-
self on cushions, he was able to play chants and
hymns, Ethel sitting beside him delighted at the
unexpected discovery of his musical talent, and
much gratified at being asked to join in singing
to his accompaniment. Then he played for her
some simple sonatas and voluntaries from
COUSIN GERALD. ,71
Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn, which she con-
sidered by far the finest music she had ever
heard. He told her what a companion his piano
was to him in his college life, that, when lonely
or tired reading, he would sit down and enjoy
the classical music of the old composers. He did
not profess to be a musician, but, loving music,
as he did in his heart, when he played he put his
entire soul into it, and, such as it was, Ethel was
enchanted, and would gladly have sat for hours
listening to his performance; however, at ten
o'clock, Gerald closed the piano and dismissed
her, as it was already considerably past her bed-
time, and Ethel went away quite happy and con-
tented atthewayshe had spent herEaster Sunday.
Great was Mrs. Layton's surprise when, on
Thursday evening, the carriage drove up to the
door at Grange-William, and all her own children
alighted, but no Ethel. Anxiously she inquired
where she was, but could get no satisfactory
She had displeased Miss Smith, who would
not allow her to accompany them," Florence
said, but what the fault was she knew not.
Minnie could not tell either, so Mrs. Layton
turned to Carrie for information, but she merely
said she had not been allowed to see her since
the day before; so, knowing that no amount of
questioning could induce Miss Smith to give any
particulars she did not wish, Mrs. Layton was
obliged to remain in ignorance patiently waiting
for further enlightenment.
"Arthur will tell me when he comes," she re-
72 COUSIN GERALD.
marked to her sister-in-law; "indeed, I expect
he will bring the little culprit with him."
It is rather a severe punishment for Miss
Smith to inflict of her own accord," said Mrs.
Stanhope Layton, "does she often do so?"
I fear she is a little harsh and over particular,"
was the reply, "but she is so thoroughly
conscientious, and such an excellent teacher,
I do not like to interfere too much; however, I
shall certainly inquire into this."
Late next day the carriage again drove up,
and Dr. Layton with his mother, whom he had
unexpectedly met at the junction, got out, but
no Annie, Clara, or Gerald! Old Mrs. Layton
was much surprised to find her son and his
family in the country, as she quite thought they
were at home, and inquired had they not received
a letter from Annie, saying they would all arrive
that evening at her father's house. They had
intended going direct to Grange-William, but
Gerald's accident had altered all their plans, as
he wished to see his uncle, but, only that morn-
ing, Mrs. Layton, not feeling well, had decided
to go to her other son's house in the country,
while Annie, Clara, and their cousin went on to
town expecting to find all the home party there.
Mrs. Layton felt provoked at such a contre-temps
-she so seldom left home, it was the more
annoying that this should occur now, and so, in
the bustle of the arrival, it was not surprising
that poor little Ethel was forgotten.
"I cannot think why you did not receive the
letter, Lucy," said the old lady presently.
COUSIN GERALD. 73
Really," said the doctor to his wife, putting
his hand in his pocket, "I believe I have some
letters for you; perhaps the missing one may be
Of course it is," said Mrs. Layton, looking
at them. Why, Arthur, you might have known
Annie's writing. I wish you had opened and
"Well," returned her husband, "firstly, I
never thought of looking at it; and secondly, I
would not open any letter not addressed to
myself without being told to do so."
"Arthur," exclaimed his wife suddenly,
"where is Ethel ?"
"Ethel!" he repeated in surprise, "what
about her? Is she not here with the children ?"
Mrs. Layton told him of their arrival the
evening before without Ethel, and how she
expected to have seen her with her uncle.
To tell the truth," said he, I never thought
of her at all; if I had, the unusual silence in the
house might have made me sure they were all
away; but I came in late, and had barely time
to see some patients, take my lunch, and catch
the train. I saw nobody but James, who gave
me these letters for you."
"I wonder Miss Smith did not write," said
You may be sure she has done so," returned
he. I wonder what scrape that poor child has
got into now. She and Miss Smith are always at
daggers drawn, but this must be something off the
common to deserve such condign punishment."
74 COUSIN GERALD.
"I think this Miss Smith must be rather a
tartar," laughed Mr. Stanhope Layton. I
don't envy the children their preceptress. De-
pend upon it to-morrow's post will bring an
explanation. Meantime, the child is well off for
Now Miss Smith had written a full and
lengthy account of poor Ethel's misdemeanours,
and before leaving, had given it to James to
post; but, his mind being full of his unexpected
holiday, occasioned by the unwonted absence of
his master and mistress, the letter was forgotten
and lay in his pocket, thereby causing great in-
convenience, and making Mrs. Layton, Miss
Smith, and Ethel each wonder why she did not
hear anything further. Of course the morning's
post bought no letter, and Mrs. Layton was be-
ginning to feel seriously uneasy, when, to her
great relief, a telegram arrived from Annie,
merely saying, in its usual laconic style, "Arrived
last night-much disappointed to find all away;
send to meet us this evening." So, feeling quite
sure that Ethel and her cousins would come
together, she dismissed the matter from her
mind, and enjoyed the fresh country breezes all
the more when she saw what a treat it was to
her husband, generally so hard worked in the
professional routine of his busy city life.
GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE.
One there lives whose guardian eye
Guides our humble destiny;
One there lives who, Lord of all,
Keeps our feathers lest they fall.
Pass we blithely then the time,
Fearless of the snare and lime,
Free from doubt and faithless sorrow,
God provideth for the morrow."
O long a time had elapsed since the brothers
and sisters met, that the boys determined
to go with the carriage that evening to the
train, not that they thought their escort
necessary, as they were fully sure their cousin
would be there too, but they longed to be once
more together, and had much boyish curiosity
to have explained the mystery of Ethel's non-
appearance. It was, however, but increased
when the train puffed into the station, and their
sisters got out alone. Some eager questions
passed between Annie and Hubert, while Clara
went with Tom to point out their luggage, but
there was no regular conversation, until the car-
riage door was shut, and they were rolling home-
76 GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE.
wards when the pent-up stream of inquiry began
to flow. The girls told all they knew, which
was not much.
"Whew," whistled Tom, "wont the mother be
in a state when she finds you have left Ethel
We thought at first of taking her with us,"
said Clara, but on second consideration did not
like to interfere, besides we did not wish to leave
poor Gerald quite alone, he would be so dreary."
Both boys laughed.
I don't know which is most to be pitied,"
said Tom, "Gerald or Ethel, left to their own
That is the strangest part of all," exclaimed
Annie. "They are old friends, and were de-
lighted to meet again."
Old friends," echoed Tom.
Last winter Gerald travelled in the train
with Ethel when she was coming to us. He
did not know Colonel Clemence, and felt great
pity for the lonely little child. I think he must
have been exceedingly kind to her, for nothing
could equal her joy at seeing him again."
What a nice child she seems," said Annie.
"I wonder what she has been doing now,"
said Hubert. She is always in Miss Smith's
black books. I really think she takes pleasure
in seeing Ethel in disgrace."
"I cannot imagine why you boys did not take
the law into your own hands and find out what
the matter was before you left," remarked Clara.
GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE. 77
Hubert and Tom looked funnily penitent.
Because we were stupid," said the latter.
"We went off in such a fuss, and there seemed
so many of us I'm afraid we never thought of
poor Ethel, besides our minds were too full of
the thought of coming here. It was very unkind
though, and I am awfully sorry now."
I feel inclined to go up and fetch her to-
morrow," said Hubert.
You kind old Hugh," said Annie, laying
her hand on his affectionately, be easy, she is
all right and happy with Gerald."
I think we ought to go for Miss Smith and
shut her up," said Tom drily. I'll be bound
she is the most to blame."
The others laughed, but just then the carriage
stopped, and they were assailed by eager greet-
ings and loving welcomes, while, in the bustle of
an arrival, poor Ethel once more was almost for-
gotten by all save heraunt, who was now seriously
uneasy and annoyed at Miss Smith's silence.
She was more satisfied when she heard how
happy her little niece was in the company of
Gerald, but she and her husband privately
decided they were better at home, as, whenever
they were absent, things were sure to go wrong;
so she contented herself by writing a loving little
note to Ethel, saying how grieved she was to
hear she had been naughty, and begging her to
write her at once a full confession, the surest way
she said, to obtain forgiveness. To Gerald she
wrote asking him to make inquiries on all sides,
and to let her know the particulars, giving him
78 GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE.
full power to act as he thought best in the
matter, trusting to his discretion and judgment.
Then, sealing her letters, although knowing they
were late for the village post that evening, she
tried to dismiss the subject from her mind, and
give herself up to the enjoyment of her elder
daughters' society, which she had not had for a
Monday morning brought the long expected
letters, but the delay had so excited the curiosity
of all at Grange-William, and caused them to
speculate on the nature and enormity of Ethel's
fault, that when Miss Smith's epistle was read
detailing all the particulars of the trick played
upon her, and full of angry, invectives against
her pupil, it was received by the younger portion
of the family with a shout of laughter, and with
unconcealed amusement by the elders. Even
gentle Aunt Lucy could not help joining in the
general mirth, although vexed at poor Ethel
being made the sufferer. Naughty she certainly
was to do such a thing, and had they heard it at
the time she doubtless would have been punished
severely for her temerity; but, after four days'
suspense as to what had occurred, for such a
trivial thing to cause so much anger on Miss
Smith's part seemed simply ridiculous, and she
would have been mortified had she seen the
amusement her indignant letter occasioned round
the breakfast table. FortunatelyMrs.Layton had
sent the children away before she allowed it to
be discussed, as she knew that many unflattering
remarks would be made which she did not wish
GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE. 79
them to hear; and she thought, as they left the
room, that Carrie's colour was higher than usual,
and that her eye, as it fell on the well-known
handwriting, looked ill at ease. Glancing from
her to Tom she found him keenly regarding her,
and as their eyes met the thought flashed through
both their minds, Is it possible she could know
anything about it ? "
The post that morning also brought welcome
letters to Dr. Layton's house. Anne took them
from the postman, and recognizing her mistress's
writing, goodnaturedly took up Ethel's to her,
knowing how anxious she was to get it. Eagerly
she took it, almost afraid to open or read the
contents, and longing, yet fearing to do so, the
first few words reassured her. Aunt Lucy,
strange to say, had not received Miss Smith's
letter, and though grieved and sorry for her little
niece's disgrace still spoke of forgiveness, begged
her to write a full confession, and to tell Gerald
all about it if she had not already done so.
Ethel felt more sorry than ever for having done
anything to vex or annoy such a loving, gentle
aunt, and inwardly resolved never to do so again.
She was sitting on a stool in front of the dining-
room fire, the sun shining on her golden curls
which hung over her black frock; her blue eyes
full of tears as they re-read the letter which lay
open on her lap, into which the large grey cat
was trying to purr her way, when the door
opened, and Gerald, assisted by James on one
side, and leaning heavily on a stick, hobbled into
80 GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE.
Good morning, little Niobe," said he, kissing
her, "you look as if you had received official
bulletins to decide the fate of nations."
Pussy, with a dexterous twist, sprang into an
easy chair to save being tumbled ruthlessly into
the fire as Ethel jumped up, exclaiming gladly,
" 0 cousin Gerald, I have heard at last from Aunt
Lucy, and she is not so very angry; here is her
letter, wont you read it ?"
Gerald took it, but said nothing of one he had
just received too; he had his reasons for remain-
ing silent about it for the present. When he had
finished the letter he gave it back to Ethel, who
said with great satisfaction, Is it not well I told
you all my story, now that Aunt Lucy said I
She was in great spirits, her aunt's letter
seemed to have taken a load off her mind, and
she chatted merrily during breakfast, while she
did the honours of the table.
She was going to ring to have the things
removed, when Gerald, with a half laugh, said,
" I am going out for a drive this morning, Ethel,
do you feel inclined to come with me ?"
Ethel paused, with her hand on the bell; You
must not really," she said aghast, what will the
doctor say ?"
I am all right now," said Gerald lightly, "a
little fresh air will do me good ; there is no use
in staying for ever in the house, so I shall
take the liberty of ordering Uncle Layton's
brougham as he is not at home, and if you like
to come too, I shall be very glad."
GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE. 81
Ethel hesitated for a moment, but seeing her
cousin was determined, she decided there was no
use in her staying at home, so promising to be
ready to start at twelve o'clock, she ran off to
write her long letter of confessions to her aunt.
Writing was still a formidable task to her, so in
hopes of being inspired, she took her desk into
the sacred precincts of the school-room, which
looked lonely without the bright childish faces,
or even Miss Smith's stern figure in its accus-
At last the letter was finished, the writing and
spelling might have been better; but there was
no mistake in the frank, truthful, unvarnished
tale within, and with a light heart Ethel gave it
to James to post as she went to prepare for her
drive. She was standing in the hall pulling on
her gloves, and feeling very important, when
Gerald appeared, trying not to walk very lame,
and looking bright with expectation, although
amusingly conscious of his escapade. He was
helped into the carriage. Ethel followed, bent
on piling him up with rugs to keep him warm,
an attention against which he remonstrated; the
door was shut and off they drove, the coachman
having evidently got his directions.
It was a lovely morning; the streets, even,
looked pretty, bathed in a flood of spring sun-
shine; everything wore a holiday aspect; and
as they left the town, the budding trees, fresh
green fields, and young lambs combined to raise
Ethel's spirits, and so exhilarated her that her
tongue rattled away unceasingly. They passed
82 GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE.
a school excursion, and she smiled so pleasantly
out of the carriage window that some of the little
girls smiled and nodded back at her in answer;
till Gerald, with a boyish dislike to being made
remarkable, told her she really must be still, or
people would think she was a little lunatic and
he her keeper! By and by they reached the
outskirts of another town, at the sea side, and
Ethel was charmed with the vessels in the har-
bour, and the tiny boats dancing on the little
"O Cousin Gerald," she exclaimed in dis-
may, as they turned up a dreary-looking avenue,
"where are we going ? It is such a pity to leave
the lovely sea."
But, for once, Gerald was too pre-occupied to
answer her, and she watched with disgust the
dingy, old-fashioned, cottage houses, with dila-
pidated gardens and stunted trees, which now
took the place of the white villas or red brick
terraces she had so admired in the more fashion-
able part of the town.
At the door of the least promising of these
the carriage stopped. Gerald painfully alighted
and knocked, then hearing the person he had
come to see was at home, returned, and saying
he should probably be some time inside, desired
the servant to drive back into a more amusing
locality for a while, until he should be ready to
leave. Ethel was too well employed gazing at
the unwonted sights to think for a moment why
they had come here, or who her cousin had
gone to visit, although a person with little more
GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE. 83
discernment would readily have perceived his
Gerald was shown into a little, dark parlour,
where it seemed as if the sun never shone; the
stiff horse-hair furniture, faded carpet, and old-
fashioned inlaid side-board, combined to give it
a dreary look, which was by no means lessened
when the door opened and Miss Smith walked
A long conference ensued. Gerald pleaded
his little cousin's cause with all his heart, showing
that, although a foolish, childish trick, it was
done without any unkind intention, and that she
was only a tool in the hands of one, cleverer and
older than herself, who had arranged the plot so
as to escape detection.
Miss Smith felt mortified that she should have
been so duped, and by her favourite pupil too;
but her sense of justice felt how harshly Ethel
had been treated.
I see how it is, Mr. Layton," she said. "My
unfortunate temper is the cause of all. I am not
fit to be the guide of others when I cannot con-
"It was only a mistake, Miss Smith," said
Gerald cheerfully; 'all's well that ends well,'
No," said Miss Smith steadily, a fault that
for forty years I have vainly tried to overcome
is no mistake. I have often thought, and now
am sure, that I am not a suitable person to
teach a young mind. I feel myself more to
blame in this transaction than Ethel."
84 GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE.
"Then, may I tell her she is forgiven ?" asked
Gerald, quickly seizing this unexpected admis-
sion; and, as the brougham slowly passed the
window, he added, "There she is now; may I
call her in, that she may hear from yourself that
you forgive her ?"
Miss Smith assented, and he hurried to the
door, beckoning to the coachman to stop, and to
Ethel to come in; while she, tired of the mono-
tonous driving up and down, gladly obeyed, and
ran in; but her dancing step was stayed, and
her bright face grew grave, when to her great
surprise she saw her governess. To their mutual
comfort, Gerald came to the rescue.
"I have been telling Miss Smith all about it,
Ethel," he said, "and she has promised to accept
your apology, and make friends again."
Ethel's feet and hands wriggled uneasily.
"Please, I will never be so foolish any more,"
she whispered. I am awfully sorry."
Miss Smith heard her graciously, and a
warmer kiss than ever before passed between
them sealed the compact; then Gerald, feeling
that a meeting so uncomfortable to all parties
could not too soon come to an end, stood up to
say good-bye, and in another minute they were
seated in the carriage, homeward bound.
"Oh I am so glad that is over," said Ethel,
with a sigh of relief. But why did you not tell
me where we were going ?"
Because I was afraid you would be frightened
if you knew," said Gerald.
"Well, I daresay I should. I think you were
GERALD'S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE. 85
right," said Ethel, nestling cosily up to him. "I
feel so happy I really think it is almost worth
the trouble of getting into a scrape, for the
pleasure of getting out of it again."
Gerald laughed. "A dangerous theory, Ethie,"
he said, "and one I advise you not to practise.
But are you not getting very hungry? What
do you say to some luncheon ?"
Ethel declared she was starving, so Gerald
ordered the servant to stop at a confectioner's,
where Ethel's joy was crowned by being allowed
to choose whatever she pleased for lunch; and
seated at a little marble table, she chattered
so unceasingly and merrily that the various
strangers, and even the shop assistants, could
not help listening to her funny remarks, which
caused general amusement.
MISS SMITH RESIGNS.
Time that is past, thou never canst recall;
Of time to come, thou art not sure at all;
Time present, only, is within thy power,
And therefore now improve the present hour."
Duty by habit is to pleasure turned;
He is content who to obey has learned."
Sir Egerfon Brydges.
"AAY I come in, mother?" asked Tom,
knocking at the door of Mrs. Layton's
room, as she was prl'-' iin,-; for dinner
that evening; then satisfying himself
that she was alone, he came in and said mys-
Mother, I am sure that Carrie knows all
about this affair."
"What makes you think so," asked Mrs.
Why, she got so fiery red when it was men-
tioned," said Tom, and denied so stoutly having
anything to do with it, that I am sure she is at
the bottom of it all."
"My dear Tom," said his mother anxiously,
"I hope you did not speak to her on the subject;
MISS SMITH RESIGNS. 87
if she says she knows nothing, we are bound to
believe her; remember it would be very hurtful
to her feelings to accuse her of it without proper
grounds for supposing it."
No fear of hurting her feelings," said Tom
scornfully. If she has done it, she deserved all
I said, and far more; if not, I will make her the
most humble apology; but I am not afraid of
"I hope you may not be right," sighed Mrs.
Layton. "But do not say anything; if she is
innocent, we must not prejudice anyone against
her; if not, she certainly is not a fit companion for
the children: however, I shall hear from Ethel in
the morning, I expect, and in any case I shall
return with papa to town to-morrow."
0 mother!" cried Tom, "surely you will
not leave so soon; you so seldom go from home,
it is a pity."
"That is a greater reason why I should not
stay," returned Mrs. Layton smiling. Things
always go wrong when we are away; so, as papa
must go home, I have decided to go with him."
"I wish Miss Smith and all her whimsical
vagaries had gone to Jericho, instead of spoiling
your visit with all this bother," exclaimed Tom.
" Hollo! there's the first bell, and instead of
dressing myself, I have hindered you."
Tom's words made Mrs. Layton uneasy all
the evening; she tried to think he was mistaken,
but Carrie's manner convinced her he was right,
even before Ethel's letter arrived, with its
childishly simple tale.
88 MISS SMITH RESIGNS.
Carrie was summoned, told its contents, and
desired to prepare to return to town at once
with Dr. and Mrs. Layton.
Nobody was sorry for her, even the children
held aloof-old and young alike were indignant
at her conduct; at last, as they were about to
start, Minnie's little, loving heart, which could
not bear to see anyone in trouble, relented, and
she went up to give Carrie a good-bye kiss, but
the other turned away her head, and drew back,
and Minnie, with a grieved look, watched the
carriage till it was out of sight.
"What are we to do with this child ?" said
Dr. Layton to his wife, as they, seated at one
end of the railway carriage and Carrie at the
other, whirled homewards, the noise rendering
their conversation quite private. "Even for
poor Beaumont's sake, I do not think we could
keep her with our children."
"I pity her, poor child," said Mrs. Layton.
"A motherless girl, brought up in a foreign
school, has many evils to contend with; but, as
you say, she cannot associate with our children,
her example would be so bad for them."
"I am afraid Miss Smith is too harsh," remarked
Dr. Layton. I wish we could make a change."
I fear I have been so occupied with the little
ones, and various things, that I have not
attended to the schoolroom," Mrs. Layton said;
"but I felt so confident in Miss Smith, I did not
I believe her to be thoroughly conscientious,
but I do not think she is suited for so many
MISS SMITH RESIGNS. 89
children; she could better manage one or two,
but a flock like ours is a serious charge," said
Dr. Layton laughing.
As the cab drove up to the door, the first
familiar face was Ethel's, her little nose flattened
against the window pane, as she peered down
the street to get the first sight of the arrival.
Then, with an exclamation of joy, she bounded
downstairs in a manner at defiance with Miss
Smith's rules for ladylike deportment, and flew
to welcome the three travellers in the hall.
At this, Carrie's cold, defiant look gave way,
and she felt ashamed to meet the servants' gaze;
so wishing only to escape notice, she hurried to
the empty schoolroom, and was fastening the
door when Ethel followed her.
"It is only me," she said. I want to come
and tell you it is all right; so that we may be
Carrie hung back ashamed. "You are very
good," she said. I don't deserve it after treat-
ing you so badly. I didn't think you would
speak to me."
I was very angry at first," said Ethel, "but
I am not now. Everything has turned out so
much better than I hoped, and people have been
so kind, even Miss Smith; so cheer up. I feel
so happy now, that I want you to be the same;
indeed, I am not a bit vexed."
But Carrie could not cheer up, and to Ethel's
dismay, retreated to her own room, where it was
considered best she should remain for the pre-
sent at least.
90 MISS SMITH RESIGNS.
Mrs. Layton had felt both shocked and grieved
at Carrie's deceit and falsehood. She was utterly
unaccustomed to such faults in her own children,
so shrank from speaking to a stranger on the
subject; however, a sense of duty, as well as
intense pity for the misguided child, prevailed;
for she felt that this was an opportunity to say
"a word in season," which might never occur
again, and might have a lasting effect on the
little girl's character, if properly used; so nerving
herself for what was to her really an effort, she
went to seek her in her room.
Carrie had gone early to bed, and was lying
awake with no pleasant thoughts, when she
heard a step outside her door, so quickly turn-
ing her face to the wall she feigned to be asleep;
but Mrs. Layton had seen the hasty movement
of the bed-clothes, and guessing the cause, went
up to the bedside, laid her hand on the child's
shoulder, and said softly,-
"Poor child, what would your mother say, if
she could see you now?"
Carrie tried to throw off her touch impatiently,
but in doing so their eyes met, and hers fell
beneath the earnest, reproving gaze of her kind
"I have not come here to scold you," she said
kindly, nor even to tell you that you have done
wrong, for that you know well yourself; but to
see if you are sorry for your fault."
Of course I am," said Carrie petulantly. I
wish I never had thought of doing such a stupid
thing; I might have known how it would end."
MISS SMITH RESIGNS. 91
"Why are you sorry?" asked Mrs. Layton.
Carrie looked surprised. "Why?" she re-
peated. "Because I treated Ethel very badly,
and have vexed you. I meant only a little bit
of fun, and-"
"And is that your only reason?" interrupted
Carrie was silent.
Of the trick, I am not going to speak," said
Mrs. Layton. "It was, as you say, only a bit of
childish fun, although you should have known
that Miss Smith would not like it. No, it is
nothing compared to the train of falsehood and
deceit which followed. You began by getting a
child younger than yourself to do a foolish
thing, then you left the blame on her. Had you
confessed your share in the mischief, and borne
half the punishment, much trouble would have
been spared; but you denied the whole thing.
Thus one untruth leads to many, and for every
one you spoke you had to act several. Even
trying to appear gay and happy at Grange
William was one; for I am sure, in spite of all
the pleasures there, you were not at ease."
"No, indeed," murmured Carrie.
"Ah! my dear little girl," said Mrs. Layton
solemnly, laying her hand on Carrie's shoulder,
"Believe me, it was a wiser person than I who
said, 'Be sure your sin will find you out.'"
Carrie jerked away from the light touch; Mrs.
"I hardly know how I am to tell your father,
he will be so dreadfully disappointed in you."
92 MISS SMITH RESIGNS.
0 Mrs. Layton!" cried Carrie, springing
up, "please, please don't tell him. I promise
I'll never do it again. Oh! don't tell papa, he
will be so sorry; punish me any way you like,
only don't tell him. He need never know."
"I am afraid, Carrie," said Mrs Layton sadly,
"that though you feel so much for vexing your
earthly father, you forget how much more you
should grieve for disobeying your Heavenly
Father. I fear that you forgot that 'The eye
of the Lord is in every place, beholding the evil
and the good,' and did not remember to say to
yourself,-' Thou God seest me.'"
Carrie was now crying. Mrs. Layton went
on :-" How many foolish and wicked things
we would leave unsaid, if we could only think
and realize that God hears them all, and that
for every 'idle word' we shall have to give
account hereafter. If we are so particular not
to let any human being hear or see us doing
wrong, how much more so ought we to be before
Him who is above all ? However, it is a comfort
to know that His eye, which sees all our evil
deeds, sees also when we are really sorry; and
His ear, which hears our bad words, is still ever
open to hear the very first acknowledgment that
we are sorry, and to forgive us if we truly ask
Him, for His dear Son's sake."
"But what has that to do with me ?" sobbed
"What would you do if your father were here
now, knowing everything that has happened, and
deeply grieved, yet loving you still ?" asked
MISS SMITH RESIGNS. 93
Mrs. Layton. "Ah! I see you understand me;
you, of course, would ask him to forgive you, and
promise to try to do right in future. Now, will
you not ask your Father in Heaven to forgive
you, and to help you by his grace to keep from
sinning again ?"
Carrie's proud spirit was overcome, her heart
was touched by the simple earnestness of Mrs.
Layton's words, and with childish humility she
"I am really sorry now, and will try never to
do so again. There is no good in promising,
for I might not be able to keep it; but, indeed,
I will try hard to be good, and," she added in a
whisper, "I will ask God to help me."
After the children were in bed, Mrs. Layton
having gone her rounds, and seen each rosy
little one snugly tucked in its pretty white bed,
and given her usual good-night kiss, returned to
the dining-room, where she, her husband, and
Gerald held a long consultation.
The evening post had brought a letter from
Miss Smith, formally resigning her situation, for
which, she said, she did not feel competent;
consequently, a new difficulty appeared. Dr.
Layton suggested that the elder girls should
undertake the younger ones' education; but his
wife, not having much faith in the advisability
of sisters' teaching, negatived the proposal. She
then mentioned a plan which had just occurred
to her. She knew Miss Smith's means were
very slender, and that not only was she de-
pendent on her exertions for her support, but
94 MISS SMITH RESIGNS
that she contributed considerably to that of her
family also; which would cause her to feel the
loss of her salary severely. Mrs. Layton knew
Miss Smith, notwithstanding her unfortunate
temper, to be a thoroughly good woman, and
thought that, if she would agree, they could not
do better than entrust Carrie to her care, at
least for the present. She felt satisfied she
would be well cared for, and with no companion
of her own age, she could neither get into mis-
chief nor teach it to others; for although deeply
interested in her, especially after their recent
conversation, she felt it would be an injustice to
her own children to allow them to associate
freely with one in whom she had completely lost
Dr. Layton and Gerald cordially approved of
the scheme, so a letter was written at once, and
despatched, proposing it to Miss Smith. It was
then arranged that the Easter holidays should
be prolonged indefinitely, at Grange William,
until a suitable governess could be procured,
and that Ethel should accompany Gerald there
as soon as his foot would permit him to leave.
This, Dr. Layton pronounced might be almost
immediately, so that the day on which Carrie
was confided to Miss Smith's charge, saw Ethel
once more seated beside her cousin in the train,
hurrying towards Grange William, which to her
had ever been a land of promise, full of joyous
glee at the prospect of again meeting all her
cousins, especially her beloved Minnie.
THE NEW REGIME.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But when they seldom come, they wish'd for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents."
T would be vain to describe the delights of
Grange William; suffice it to say they far
exceeded even Ethel's most sanguine ex-
pectations. Grandmamma, and Aunt and
Uncle Stanhope, as she too called them, were so
kind; the children so merry; Annie, Clara, and
the boys always pleasant; and Gerald-why
he was just Gerald, which expressed all that
Ethel could wish to say. Each day brought
some new pleasure : sometimes an excursion in
the conveniently elastic donkey carriage, which
held, beside a host of children, a substantial
basket of dinner; sometimes the mornings were
spent in fishing, from a rustic bridge across the
pond in the pleasure grounds, for perch and
roach, when Tom, Hubert, or Gerald helped them
to bait the hooks, or take off the little wriggling
victims. Playing shop, too, was a never-ending
96 THE NEW REGIME.
source of amusement, the summer houses around
the grounds acting as stalls, pebbles as money,
while the wares consisted of anything that came
to hand; the children bargaining and trafficking
as busily as if their living depended on it. The
only drawback to Ethel and Minnie's pleasure
was that Aunt Lucy was not there to share it,
and the remembrance of poor Carrie's disgrace
But these halcyon days could not last for ever,
and the children were just beginning privately
to suspect that holidays all the year would be a
very doubtful pleasure, when a letter arrived
from Mrs. Layton, saying that she had at last
succeeded in getting a lady in every way suitable
as governess, and as she did not wish any more
time to be lost, the school-room party was to go
home directly. Of course, this announcement
was received with dismay; but as "variety is
charming to most people, especially juveniles,
and "home, sweet home," very tempting after
some weeks' absence, there were as many smiles
as tears among the little party as they waved
adieux and kissed hands to the group of young
and old well-wishers gathered on the hall door
steps to see them off.
"And now for lessons," said Arthur dolefully,
when the lodge gates closed after them.
Maud's lips puckered up suspiciously; Florence
and Ethel looked gravely out of the window, but
Minnie said bravely,--
"I don't care, indeed. I think I shall rather
like some good stiff lessons again; at least," she
THE NEW REGIME. 97
added, if I had a governess like Miss Porter at
Grange William, but Miss Smith-," and she
made a grimace.
Many were the speculations as to what their new
teacher was like ; a second like their cousins' gover-
ness seemed hardly possible, and they dreaded
another edition of their own. It was, therefore, a
relief, on reaching home, to find she had not
arrived yet, and they indulged to their hearts'
content in noisy greetings to papa, mamma,
babies, and servants, running wild through the
rooms, playing "peep with baby, and winning
Gracie out of her shyness by gifts of peacock's
feathers, cones, and such-like treasures with
which they were laden.
After tea, Dr. Layton went to meet the lady
at the train, and for a wonder the children on
being told it was bed time went at once, instead
of begging to s-it up a little longer-Florence
even did not seem to care for the dignity of
waiting; but if the stranger, on entering the hall
some time later, had glanced upstairs, she might
have seen little white-robed figures, leaning over
the banisters, anxiously peering down at her.
Ethel and Minnie were half asleep, when
Florence ran into their room, on her way to bed,
and breathlessly whispered,-
"She has come, and I have spoken to her;
I'm sure you will like her, for she looks nice."
A greater contrast in manner and appearance,
than Miss Cameron was to Miss Smith, could
not be imagined. She was tall, young, and
pretty, with a lively manner and a very sweet
98 THE NEW REGIME.
voice ; yet there was a look of dignity about her
which told the children that she would expect
obedience. They soon found she was as great
a disciplinarian as Miss Smith; rules were made
and as strictly enforced, although given in a
quiet tone; Minnie's wish for "stiff" lessons was
gratified, and every moment of school hours was
fully occupied; yet each day the pupils seemed
to grow fonder of their teacher, lessons became
really interesting, and Mrs. Layton was glad to
see how much more successful was the "reign of
love than the reign of terror." There was no
more incessant reproving at meal time, yet Miss
Cameron was most particular about manner and
deportment. By joining in innocent amuse-
ments, and interesting herself in the children's
occupations out of school, she won their love;
while to Mrs. Layton and her elder daughters
she became an agreeable and valued friend.
So the weeks flew by. Saturday, always hailed
with joy, was kept as half-holiday, and in fine
weather was spent somewhere in the country.
When November set in, Ethel could hardly
believe it was already a year since she first came
to her uncle's; although she almost felt as if she
had always been there, it was so homelike.
About this time, Colonel Clemence wrote
saying, that as business compelled him to re-
visit Llantarnem, he hoped to call enLpassant to
see his little niece and her kind friends, adding,
with characteristic brevity, that he had been
married since his last visit, so would be accom-
panied by his wife. The Laytons were greatly