• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I: Three little foreig...
 Chapter II: "Not at all like the...
 Chapter III: The home of the...
 Chapter IV: Another Emily
 Chapter V: A "dreadful" house
 Chapter VI: The separation of the...
 Chapter VII: The pretty Miss...
 Chapter VIII: Brothers, sisters,...
 Chapter IX: In holiday time
 Chapter X: Farewell to Em's...
 Chapter XI: A new acquaintance
 Chapter XII: What Poppy and Daisy...
 Chapter XIII: What Em had...
 Chapter XIV: Miss Wardlaw's...
 Chapter XV: Teddy's brotherly...
 Chapter XVI: Alexander Wardlaw
 Chapter XVII: A change for cousin...
 Chapter XVIII: Death is terrib...
 Chapter XIX: Mr. Dennison's plans...
 Chapter XX: Concerning quarrels...
 Chapter XXI: The last walk...
 Chapter XXII: More disgrace to...
 Chapter XXIII: Home-sickness
 Chapter XXIV: A wanderer again
 Chapter XXV: One taken, the other...
 Chapter XXVI: It is well with the...
 Chapter XXVII: The dawn of a better...
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Little Miss Wardlaw
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065480/00001
 Material Information
Title: Little Miss Wardlaw
Physical Description: 445, 2 p., 2 leaf of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Gray, Louisa M ( Author, Primary )
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: Thomas Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication: London
Edinburgh
New York
Publication Date: 1889
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Cousins -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Holidays -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Uncles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1889   ( local )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1889   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1889
Genre: Family stories   ( local )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Louisa M. Gray.
General Note: Added title page, engraved; title page printed in red and black ink.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065480
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002230753
notis - ALH1118
oclc - 70924310

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Half Title
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Chapter I: Three little foreigners
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Chapter II: "Not at all like the family"
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Chapter III: The home of the wardlaws
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Chapter IV: Another Emily
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    Chapter V: A "dreadful" house
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    Chapter VI: The separation of the children
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
    Chapter VII: The pretty Miss Wardlaw
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Chapter VIII: Brothers, sisters, and cousins
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Chapter IX: In holiday time
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
    Chapter X: Farewell to Em's childhood
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
    Chapter XI: A new acquaintance
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    Chapter XII: What Poppy and Daisy wished for em
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
    Chapter XIII: What Em had chosen
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
    Chapter XIV: Miss Wardlaw's triumphs
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
    Chapter XV: Teddy's brotherly responsibilities
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
    Chapter XVI: Alexander Wardlaw
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
    Chapter XVII: A change for cousin Emily
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
    Chapter XVIII: Death is terrible!
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
    Chapter XIX: Mr. Dennison's plans thwarted
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
    Chapter XX: Concerning quarrels and disappointments
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
    Chapter XXI: The last walk together
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
    Chapter XXII: More disgrace to the Wardlaws
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
    Chapter XXIII: Home-sickness
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
    Chapter XXIV: A wanderer again
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
    Chapter XXV: One taken, the other left
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
    Chapter XXVI: It is well with the child
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
    Chapter XXVII: The dawn of a better day
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
    Advertising
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text



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[T. NELbON AND SONS
London, Edinburgh, and New York













Little


!Miss Wa rdla w


BY


2ouiza MN1. rtar
AUTHOR OF NELLY'S TEACHERS," ADA AND GERTY,'
M INE OWN PEOPLE," DUNALTON,"
&C. &c.



















THOMAS NELSON AND SONS
olndon, Edinburgh, and iNew York


1889




























G onten ts.


I.
II.
III.


THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS, ...
"NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY,"
THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS,


IV. ANOTHER EMILY,
V. A "DREADFUL" HOUSE,
VI. THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN,
VII. THE PRETTY MISS WARDLAW, .
VIII. BROTHERS, SISTERS, AND COUSINS, ...
IX. IN HOLIDAY TIME, ... ...
X. FAREWELL TO EM'S CHILDHOOD, ...


... 9
... 22
38
... ... 38
... 53
... 70
87
98
113
... 27
... 146


XI. A NEW ACQUAINTANCE,


... ..... 164


XII. WHAT POPPY AND DAISY WISHED FOR EM, ...
XIII. WHAT EM HAD CHOSEN, ...
XIV. MISS WARDLAW'S TRIUMPHS, ...
XV. TEDDY'S BROTHERLY RESPONSIBILITIES, ...
XVI. ALEXANDER WARDLAW, ...
XVII. A CHANGE FOR COUSIN EMILY, ...
XVIII. DEATH IS TERRIBLE! ...
XIX. MR, DENNISON'S PLANS THWARTED, ...
XX. CONCERNING QUARRELS AND DISAPPOINTMENTS,
XXI. THE LAST WALK TOGETHER, ..
XXII. MORE DISGRACE TO THE WABDLAWS,
XXIII. HOME-SICKNESS, ...
XXIV. A WANDERER AGAIN, ...
XXV. ONE TAKEN, THE OTHER LEFT, ...
XXVI. IT IS WELL WITH THE CHILD, ...
XXVII. THE DAWN OF A BETTER DAY, ...


... 184
... 204
... 216
... 238
... 259
278
S 296
S 312
331
347
361
381
389
... 400
... 412
428



















LITTLE MISS WARDLAW.




I.

THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.

As it was, indeed,
I felt a mother-want about the world."
E. B. BROWNINo.

ON the outskirts of a bright Swiss town, and looking
down over a sloping garden to a sparkling expanse
of blue lake, there stood, some years ago, the two modest
villas-pension and dependance-which owned the sway
and bore the name of Madame Hoffmann. The pension
proper occupied the more commanding site, and was dis-
tinctly the more attractive-looking house of the two. The
view from its trellised veranda below and balcony above
was wider and freer; an avenue of quite imposing length
separated it from the public road; the shady paths and
green bowers of its garden were the pride and delight of
the good landlady's soul. In this upper villa, as a matter
of course, were the public rooms, opening to the front,
with its ever-lovely picture of lake and mountains; here
were the best bedrooms, and, as a general rule, the wealth-
iest guests; here madame herself dwelt, and distributed
most of the pleasure of her personal presence.









THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


Madame Hoffmann was a charming old lady, whose
sweet, cheerful face looked lovely under her picturesque
cap, and whose kindness and simplicity of heart and
manner were equally plain, whether she expressed herself
in infantile broken English, homely forcible German, or
fluent French with a harsh Swiss accent. It was
madame's personality-madame and that wonderful un-
impeded view of the blue bright water and its giant
mountain guardians-which made the Pension Hoffmann
so popular. In some respects, it must be confessed, the
establishment had its disadvantages: order was at a dis-
count, punctuality was nowhere; the very virtues of the
household rule tended to its vices. .li,.... apparently
engaged her servants for their own benefit, not hers, nor
even her guests': they were orphans, they were delicate,
or they had lost other situations; she loved them for their
amiability or their misfortunes, as the case might be,
and nursed them, cared for them, and planned their future
for them, as if they had been her children. Some of her
handmaidens were too refined, others too uncivilized, for
their work; and while all were obliging and even inter-
ested, and requests for extra and inconvenient meals re-
ceived the kindest attention, visitors might spend days in
the house without being able to find out what was sup-
posed to be the regular time for the table d'h6te dinner,
and were obliged every morning to reiterate despairing
and vain demands for ordinary supplies of tea and coffee.
There was much daily grumbling, or .,1-- angry pa-
tience, according to the dispositions of the hungry sufferers,
in Madame I... ii.. .. .-..... -. r; but, after all, people
forget their grievances soon in holiday time. In the morn-
ing there were rapturous notes about the sunrise to be
compared, and plans to be made for the excursions of the


10









THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


day; and when evening came, all were ready to praise
the good-nature of the landlady, who was more than
pleased to have her rooms ransacked and her furniture
displaced, if the younger portion of her guests could pro-
vide better for their amusements thereby.
The Pension Hoffmann sheltered under its roof repre-
sentatives of most of the travel-loving nationalities; but
the largest part of its changeful population was certainly
English in speech. Madame Hoffmann's English-speaking
people, too, were almost entirely tourists abroad only for
a short time : the wealthy American, familiar with all
famous European towns, was unknown within her doors;
the wandering, poverty-stricken Briton of shabby gentility
and doubtful reputation was very rare. Her season"
was in late summer and early autumn; the period of resi-
dence in her house seldom more than a week or two. It
was something altogether out of the usual course when,
in the cold May weather of one year, there came to her
out of Italy a family speaking all the languages she knew,
with a request for board at a reduced rate, owing to the
likelihood of the party remaining with her for some
months.
An invalid lady, a rough-mannered, swarthy-faced maid,
and three forlorn, uncared-for children under ten years
old, formed a combination which stirred Madame Hoff-
mann's pity at once. She took them in and kept them,
though the lady had to be attended to in her own room,
the maid was ill-tempered and surly with the other ser-
vants, and the children ran wild and got into mischief
regularly. Madame put the invalid at first into one of
her sunniest, largest apartments, on the understanding
that when the season advanced and she grew stronger she
would remove to the dIpendance. But the season ad-


11








THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


vanced, the house became full, and the payments at a
reduced rate had fallen in arrears; yet the lady who had
come in May still kept her bright rooms above the salon.
The other residents in the house hardly knew of her
existence. Beyond her own apartment she was only seen
as an indistinct, ghostly figure, who flitted out to the gar-
den sometimes in the short twilight, and walked up and
down there leaning on the arm of her maid. Madame
Hoffmann used to shrug her shoulders when asked about
her ailments, and avow she did not know what they
were; there were a passivity and inertness about the
invalid, and an apparent indifference to all things but
herself, which wore out even the interest of madame, who
had received her so kindly. In fact, these earliest comers
and longest residents in her house were not favourites.
The children were neither pretty nor engaging, and months
of acquaintance could not endear them as first sight had
endeared to the whole establishment the flaxen-haired
little ones of the clergyman who came to hold English
services in the season. Not that the three, who were in
a manner the children of the house, were specially naughty
children; on the contrary, considering how little they
were looked after, they were wonderfully good. But
three uncontrolled, unwatched, active little creatures are
of necessity troublesome, even when on their very best
behaviour. Em, Al, and Teddy, whose brief names were
familiarly used all over the house, had a bad character
for meddling and questioning, and were inconvenient in
their large possibilities of penetrating everywhere and
understanding everything in the domestic precincts; while
their shabby, untidy appearance, wild shyness of manner,
and most unchildlike independence, made careful parents
among the visitors unwilling to let them associate with


12







THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


their own darlings. Thus the three, though treated with
no actual unkindness, except by their own maid Suzanne
(and even she seldom did more than drive them away
from her), might regard themselves as most fortunate in
being unnoticed wherever they happened to be. It was
a proof of the general want of interest in the family that
though the children took their meals daily at the table
d'h6te, and were constantly to be met with in the garden,
their surname, which Madame Hoffmann could not pro-
nounce, remained an uncared-for mystery to the rest of the
household, and their very nationality was left unsettled.
Yet it was the fate of these somewhat unwelcome guests
to be made suddenly, for a brief space at least, the all-
important ones in the house, whose affairs excited every
one's attention, and stirred depths of mingled feeling in
the general heart. For among the many who went and
came by this place of passage; in the house where the
daily talk was of pleasure parties, and the business of
life was to make holiday; in the height of the season, and
when the town was most crowded, Death's angel brought
its message to the villa by the lake. In the pleasant room
above the salon, between the night and the morning, with
hardly time to have medical aid summoned, and hardly
consciousness enough to turn her dim eyes to the awe-
stricken, bewildered children who were brought to her bed-
side, a human being had to take leave of earth, after only
an hour or two of what could be called real illness. The
poor lady had amply justified her claims to invalidism at
last. Even the loud-voiced Suzanne was softened and solem-
nized; madame was tender and remorseful; the English
clergyman and his wife, who were roused from sleep
and hurried to offer their aid, were full of compassion
and zeal.


13







THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


But a sense of the painful incongruity of the circum-
stances was, whether consciously or unconsciously, the
strongest feeling in the minds of those -who assembled to
wait for breakfast in little groups in the salle-a-manger
next morning. The aspect of the hills in the sunrise was
never mentioned, and hardly a prophecy of the weather
hazarded; the company spoke in low tones as they told
each other of their ignorance or their guesses concerning
the tragedy of the night, and exchanged such information
as the day had brought them. There could be no doubt
that the state of things was, in a worldly point of view,
unfortunate for Madame Hoffmann. A horror-stricken
young couple, eager to turn their bridal tour towards more
cheerful scenes, were already preparing for their departure
by the first steamer; and a large family party, who kept
their own home atmosphere of tranquil kindliness about
them, had, among expressions of the most proper and
sympathetic feeling, decided unanimously in the negative
that question about staying another week at the Pension
I-offnann which had been much debated yesterday. An
Irish widow and her daughters, to whom it was decidedly
inconvenient to change their quarters just then, were sor-
rowing loudly that their friends would go away and they
could not; or by turns pitying the dead lady upstairs,
and congratulating themselves that her illness had been
nothing infectious.
Among the last to appear in the breakfast-room was
Mrs. Pelham, the clergyman's wife, who was usually among
the first. She had been up nearly all night, and bore
traces of the fact in her pale cheeks and red eyelids.
The blooming little children, whom she generally led in,
one at each hand, had taken their morning meal earlier
and gone to the garden; Mr. Pelham was out; and she


14







THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


sat down alone and thoughtful in her own place at the
centre table, her mind occupied with the concerns of that
other family whose history had been suddenly opened up
to her. When the talkative widow and her daughters,
full of mingled kindness and curiosity, accosted and ques-
tioned her, the natural primness and official dignity of the
Englishwoman and the clergyman's wife, which had been
apt to show themselves in Mrs. Pelham's ordinary manner,
were all lost for the time being in the warmth of true
feeling.
"These poor, poor children!" she said with moistened
eyes. And one could do so little last night; it was all
so sudden. Yet I am glad we were there-so glad that
the poor thing could hear her own language about her at
the last; and she was conscious-I am sure she was con-
scious-wihen Mr. Pelham was reading."-" Oh yes," said
Mrs. Pelham in answer to a question, or rather an ex-
clamation of surprise; she was English-a Mrs. Ward-
law-and her husband's relations live in the north of
Scotland. Little Em could give the address of an uncle,
her father's brother, and Mr. Pelham has written and
telegraphed to him."
There followed expressions of satisfaction that "the
poor children had relations," and of admiration for Mr.
Pelham's kindness; the latter Mrs. Pelham waved aside.
But the poor little creatures don't know any of their
relations," she went on. Their father died at Nice,
when the youngest was a baby; and none of them have
been at home since. They've spent their lives in wan-
dering about, and never known what a home is Their
mother has never been strong, Em tells me, since she can
remember ; and I don't think that nurse of theirs is kind to
the children. They don't seem to cling to her at all now."


15








THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


Mrs. Pelham paused, really unable to go on; and there
were sympathetic murmurs around. The clergyman's
wife was thinking of her own happy home in England,
and of the little ones there, for whom the light of the
world would be darkened if they lost their mother. Then
she had to remember, somewhat self-reproachfully, that
though she had read a story to the three little Wardlaws
on Sunday night, when Cyril and Florence were safely in
bed, she had gently but firmly repelled all advances they
had made towards her precious infants, even going so far
as to ignore their claims to her acquaintance if her own
children were with her.
The breakfast-room was comparatively empty now; in-
deed, it was late, according to the hours of the place. A
brilliant sun had dispelled the last mist-clouds about the
head of the great mountain across the lake; only the
burdening sense of something awful and unaccustomed
hushed the usual cheerful bustle of departures for the
day. It was positively startling to the detached party
still lingering about the long tables to see-what might
have been seen at any time, and had been seen many a
time, without attracting the slightest notice-Em, Al,
and Teddy coming in single file, silent and swift (the girl
now, as always, at the head of the procession) through
the glass doors from the veranda into the breakfast-room.
The children, for whom the whole feeling of the house-
hold had been changed, looked in all things much as they
usually did; and, evidently intending only to cross the
salle-cn-manger as means to some other end, were neither
inclined to stop nor ready to observe the silence and
attention which their entrance caused. Em was a slim,
straight little girl, in a brown cotton frock, much glazed
about the seams, worn boots and stockings, and a round
(139)


16








THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


straw hat, a good deal sun-burned, which was pushed to
the back of her head, and surmounted a light cloud of
fuzzy brown hair. The little boys were even thinner
than their sister, being almost as thin as it was possible
to be, with knees and elbows of uncanny sharpness ap-
parent under their dingy little suits of tunic and trousers.
Al was the plainest looking of the three children, and had
a sallow little face and a most unbecomingly-short crop
of black hair. Teddy was delicate, very fair in hair and
complexion, and very blue-eyed. The boys followed Em
unswervingly as, glancing neither to the right nor to the
left, she made straight for the opposite door of the room.
She had reached it, when Mrs. Pelham, who had been
making signs to her unnoticed, gently spoke her name.
The child paused, and became suddenly aware of all the
curious and pitiful eyes fixed upon her. For a moment she
stood still, then darted across the floor, and took shelter
at her new friend's side.
Her hat fell off, and Mrs. Pelham stroked her hair
down, and kissed her, and whispered to her. Em was
very passive under her kindness; she had never been
accustomed to caresses, and it did not occur to her now
that she might put her arms round the lady's neck, or
even press closer against the shoulder to which she was
held. She stood still and straight, with Mrs. Pelham's
arm about her waist, and her own eyes fixed on the table;
while the little boys, who had followed her more slowly,
were similarly taken possession of by the ladies opposite.
Every one was trying hard to be kind ; and poor little Em
at heart was intensely grateful. Long years afterwards
she was grateful still, remembering the clasp of the
stranger's arm and the fond words with which she re-
minded her of divinely-promised comfort and care, the
(139) 2


17








THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


thought of which, it must be confessed, had until then
been unfamiliar to the mind of the neglected child.
But at the time it would have been difficult, indeed,
to surmise what were Em's real thoughts, or give her
credit for accepting with softened eagerness either the
counsel or the petting that was bestowed upon her: the
well-meant efforts of those around seemed to result in
even mortifying ill success. One of the Irish girls, with
expressed regrets that she had no bonbons in present
store, and resolves that she would buy some speedily,
had prepared pieces of roll plentifully buttered and
sugared, and presented them to Al and Teddy. Then
Em, who had neither lifted her eyes nor spoken before,
suddenly looked up, and almost interrupting Mrs. Pel-
ham's promise to give her (if she would read it) a little
French Testament, she said a few words low and rapidly
to her brothers, accompanying them with a prohibitory
frown. Both the little fellows at once laid down the
tempting morsels.
We have already breakfasted," said Al in prim En-
glish and a very foreign accent.
And then, receiving another look from their sister, they
broke away as she did from their kind captors; and with-
out a word more, and in a moment, the three children
were out of the room. At the foot of the stairs Em
turned round upon her brothers and deigned an ex-
planation.
"Big people do not like to be troubled with children;
they always wish them to go," she said, repeating, poor
child, what had been the most carefully-taught lesson of
her life. "And you, Al, are so greedy; you make me
always ashamed. Also, do you know where we are
going ."


18








THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


The children were in the habit of speaking French to
each other; but Em, with a belief that she thereby showed
her perception of the fitness of things, now used English,
which, though much better than Al's, was odd and stiff at
times, and somewhat curiously pronounced.
"We are going to mamma's room," she said. "Suzanne
shall not go with us, nor madame; no, nor Mrs. Pelham
(but I like Mrs. Pelham). We go alone."
Then she mounted the stairs, Al and Teddy pursuing
her like shadows. At the top landing they stopped and
looked carefully on all sides, lest the dreaded Suzanne
might come, as she had often come before, and tell them
their mother was not to be disturbed. But that would
never happen again. Suzanne was downstairs now, gossip-
ing with madame's servants; the key of her mistress's door
was left in the lock outside, and Em admitted herself and
her brothers unhindered and breathlessly silent into the
darkened room. All was strangely tidy there; and in-
stead of the loosely-robed languid figure they had been
accustomed to see leaning in the easy-chair near the
window, there was a figure laid straight and all covered
with white upon the bed. The three orphans approached
it slowly and on tiptoe; even then, perhaps, feeling more
excited than saddened, less conscious of bereavement than
of self-importance in taking part, as it were, in a solemn
pageant. Em softly uncovered her mother's face, then knelt
down by the bed, and motioned the boys to do the same.
There was nothing dreadful to be seen: a white waxen
face, delicately featured, and young still (for Em's mother
had been only eighteen years older than herself); white
waxen hands, folded together and holding a white nosegay
on the breast of the white night-dress,-everywhere a look
of dignity and solemnity and rest.








THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS.


To the children all was new and strange. They had no
sad associations to teach them the sorrow of death, and
they did not understand yet how utterly all their past life
was to be buried with their mother. They knelt and
gazed for a little while, tearlessly, and indeed with some
feeling of relief, for they had last seen that face drawn
with suffering; then Em, anxious still, poor child, to do
all that was proper in the circumstances, said, "Let us
pray."
The three crossed their arms on their breasts and
muttered the Lord's Prayer, one after another, rapidly:
Em in English, and not quite correctly; Al, glibly in
French; and poor Teddy getting into trouble, and failing
utterly at last, through a mixture of tongues. It was the
next part of Em's solemn programme that they should all
kiss their dead mother's face, and then retire from the
room as they had come, decorously, slowly, and in silence.
But as she rose from her knees and bent over the bed, it
seemed that suddenly, inexplicably, all things changed to
her. A mighty wave of feeling, which she had to meet
unexpecting and unprepared, swept over her child-heart,
and overwhelmed all her thoughts in a whirl of grief and
wonder. 0 mamma, who would never come back again !
0 days, when Em might have been good and was not! 0
love, which was no use now, when it would have been so
gladly given !
The child was unable to struggle against the physical
effects of her emotion, which in themselves frightened her.
She bowed her head over the face she had kissed, and with
wrung hands wept and sobbed aloud. Madame Hoffmann,
passing and seeing that door ajar, had already turned
towards it. When she entered the room, Em, like a
frantic creature, dashed past her and disappeared down


20









THREE LITTLE FOREIGNERS. 21

the staircase, too quickly for her brothers to follow.
Madame took Al and Teddy back to her own room, where
they had breakfasted, and comforted them with sweets
and a picture-book; but Em was not visible again until
hours had gone by.
She had taken refuge in a favourite and unsuspected
retreat-the very midst of a thick clump of bushes in the
garden, near the house, yet perfectly safe from all observa-
tion. Suzanne had never found out this hiding-place;
even the boys did not know of it. And here, crushed
down among the dry branches and covered close by the
green leaves, stifling her sobs for fear of self-betrayal,
comforted sometimes by forgetfulness, and again roused
into fresh grief by remorseful memory, poor little Em
spent the most part of her first day of orphanhood.


















II.


"NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY."

"The poor duckling did not know where it should stand or walk;
it was quite melancholy because it looked ugly, and was scoffed at by
the whole yard."-HANs ANDERSEN.

N EARLY a week after Mrs. Wardlaw's death, and
towards the end of a very sunny and somewhat
dusty August afternoon, there appeared on the road lead-
ing from the town to the Pension Hoffmann the figure
of a tall, portly, and ruddy-faced middle-aged gentleman.
Hot as he evidently felt it, he carried his own portmanteau
and greatcoat, which he did with the air of one who
esteemed it creditable to accept no more assistance and
pay no more fees than he could possibly help during the
course of his travels. After a single look bestowed upon
him, no one of any discrimination could doubt that he
was a Briton, and a Briton who had but very recently left
home.
He came on at a quick pace, considering the weather
and his burden; and as he walked he turned his looks con-
stantly to left and right, but not exactly with an appear-
ance of interest in the scenery. At Madame Hoffiann's
gate a company of small boys, all more or less ragamuffin
in the eyes of a respectable gentleman, were just finishing








NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


a quarrel-it might have been a fight-in the highroad.
The larger body of forces marched on in front, and two
little fellows, apparently the beaten party, retired slowly
towards the town, shrieking vituperations that waxed
more voluble as well as louder and shriller as the distance
increased between them and their foes. To these, when
they approached him, the stranger addressed himself,
pointing with one arm towards the gate, and repeating
in a loud tone and interrogative accent, "Hoffmann?
Hoffimann "
The younger child, who was the nearer, answered in-
differently, Oui, monsieur." The elder, coming forward
briskly, and wearing a sharp look which aroused at once a
spirit of suspicion and obstinacy in the British traveller's
soul, grinned and said, "Yes, sir-r-r-r."
Determined at once to check any expectations of
pecuniary reward which this affable giver of information
might cherish, the elderly gentleman nodded his thanks
bluffly, and turned away from the children as he passed
through Madame Hoffmann's gate. But to his surprise
and provocation, he presently discovered that the pair of
urchins were following, or rather accompanying him.
They walked by his side for a few yards, though care-
fully disregarded there; then they fell behind for a little,
but only with the intention of examining the object of
their interest from every point of view; for they ended by
getting in front of the irritated traveller, and walking
backwards, one on each side of the path, in order that
they might stare at him the better.
Only a sense of the difficulties of language prevented
the stranger from giving them his opinion concerning
their impudence; but as these difficulties were, according
to his belief, insuperable, he was weakly considering the


23








24 NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.

policy of yielding after all to their silent importunity, and
getting rid of his tormentors by means of a couple of
small coins, when the elder boy suddenly addressed him in
perfectly intelligible English:-
"You can lodge here; madame can give to you rooms.
Many people have left."
The gentleman for the first time gave him a direct glance,
as he removed his hand from the pocket where he had
begun to fumble for centimes. He thought now (still with
irritation) that these were probably the landlady's children,
anxious to do a stroke of business for their mother.
"Ha! yes," he said shortly, and walked on faster,
causing his companions to skip a little in order to keep
their places in front. But he had not yet received all the
information they desired to impart.
"There has been a funeral of one of the boarders," said.
the taller child.
"'The funeral of our mother," added the little one, in
modest yet proud explanation:
Whereupon the stranger stopped short and stared at
them both in helpless consternation. Perceiving his feel-
ings, and interpreting them for themselves, they hastened
to his relief, speaking almost at once this time.
"The disease was not infectious, monsieur," said the one.
It was of the heart," said the other.
But the English gentleman looked in nowise less dis-
mayed; indeed, he looked, if possible, more so.
"What's your name ?" he asked, turning with a glare
upon the children.
The elder, stopping too, and growing meek under the
apparent ferocity of the address, answered rather hesi-
tatingly, Alexander Wardlaw."
Then the stranger uttered an inarticulate sound which








NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


was altogether unintelligible to the children, but which
Was really nearer a groan than anything else. For the
name which the little imp before him claimed was a name
much respected in the far-off northern city from which he
had come: his own father had borne it, and his father
before him; it still distinguished the well-known business
firm in which this worthy Scotsman was a partner; and
it would have been his son's name if Providence had seen
fit to give him a son. Mr. \V i,. -i-,.- was not sentimental,
and it could not be said that he had been fostering tender
fancies about his brother's children; but such thoughts as
he had spent upon them until now were benevolent, and
he had certainly never dreamed that their relationship
could be anything but creditable to him. Grumblingly
but kindly he had gone forth to seek them, not knowing
perhaps what he was expecting to find, until the objects of
his search suddenly introduced themselves in the forms of
those he had treated as beggars and regarded as dirty
little foreigners, and who now proved themselves his
nephews while proving themselves more heartless than he
had believed any little human beings could be.
But Mr. James Wardlaw, even when hot and tired and
taken by most unpleasant surprise, was a man of self-con-
trol; and after that one short involuntary exclamation,
he showed emotion only by the heightened warmth and
colour of his honest countenance.
"Is that your brother he said to Al. "I'm your
uncle, come to take you home. Are you ready to start for
Scotland "
The children showed very little surprise; perhaps they
had already guessed the truth. Teddy gravely and
prudently said, "I do not know," in answer to the last
question. But they came to their uncle's side now as a


25








26 NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


matter of right, and Al offered to carry his coat. Al had
not the faintest doubt that his behaviour was all that was
praiseworthy and ingratiating; while Mr. Wardlaw, look-
ing down at him-lean, perky, small, and sharp-eyed-
tried hard to think that this Alexander Wardlaw of the
new generation was not quite his ideal of a little French
street-boy.
Under the porch of Madame Hoffmann's door stood a
lady in hat and mantle, drawing on her gloves before she
proceeded to follow the footsteps of two chubby children
who had set out before her. The little creatures, a boy
and a girl with long fair hair hanging over their shoulders,
moved on hand-in-hand with a sort of rolling gait, saying
no words to each other, but keeping up a constant inter-
change of blue-eyed glances and li''!, cooing A.;_1
Suddenly there darted out upon the two, from behind a
bush in the avenue, the figure of a little girl in a black
frock. Then followed a weak attempt to escape back to
mamma smiling on the doorstep, screams of d.. ;if- .i!l
mingled fear and joy, finally a surrender to the embraces of
the new-comer, and a general chorus of laughter, in which
the older child's voice was distinctly heard above the baby
ones.
It is Em, our sister," said Al; while Teddy hurried on
to tell whom they were escorting.
"Do none of them care?" asked Uncle James of himself
in amazement; and though he had never in his life been
harsh to his sister-in-law, no thought of her had ever been
so tender before as this pitiful one which smote him now
that she was dead: Poor Lilla poor, unfortunate, young
thing !
But Teddy had by this time announced his uncle, and
Em having grown suddenly bashful (for these children








NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


were ever apt to indulge either in excessive freedom or
excessive shyness), Mrs. Pelham came to meet Mr. Ward-
law, introduced herself, and expressed regret for her hus-
band's absence. The letters which had passed between
them, and the traveller's journey, route, and time of arrival,
formed the first topics of their conversation. Then there
was a pause, and Mrs. Pelham felt that the time had come
for some notice to be taken of the three little Wardlaws.
But their uncle did not begin the subject, and the little
Wardlaws themselves, the boys now infected by Em's
mood, stood in a group at a little distance, silent and shy.
So Mrs. Pelham observed gently, "These are the poor
children."
"Yes," said Uncle James shortly, "these are the chil-
dren. I wouldn't have known them; they're not at all
like the family. The girl's a little like her mother, but"
-here he glanced in troubled disapproval at Em's thin,
little brown face-"her mother was a pretty creature-at
least, she was when I knew her."
She must have been," said Mrs. Pelham gushingly.
Then, desirous of gaining some favour for Em, who had
touched her heart during the last few days by unwearied
devotion to her babies, she added kindly, though infelicit-
ously as a matter of description, "Em is a sweet child,
though-a very sweet child."
At that moment there appeared on the highroad, seen
by glimpses through the trees of the garden, several boyish
figures, recognizable to the children's eyes as the same which
had passed the gate but a little while before. Em's face
lit up, and she pointed with one brown forefinger. Al and
Teddy in an instant became similarly inspired. Then throw-
ing up their arms, the girl's hair flying, all shouting shrilly,
off the three set down the avenue to meet the returning foe.


27







28 NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.

Mrs. Pelham, rather discomposed, added quickly to her
last remark, "But very untrained; owing to her poor
mother's state of health, no doubt. You need rest, I am
sure, Mr. Wardlaw, and something to eat. And here is
Madame Hoffmann. We shall see each other again in the
evening, I hope. My little children are waiting for me
just now; and I shall send Em away from those strange
boys, if possible."
So Mr. Wardlaw was resigned to the care of Mrs. Hoff-
mann, whom he half suspected and half pitied because she
was not English, and whose talk he scarcely took the
trouble to understand. Yet, if he had only known it, she
could have told him much more of Em, Al, and Teddy
than Mrs. Pelham or any one else could possibly do. Per-
haps it was the old Swiss lady after all who sympathized
most with the forlorn children; certainly she understood
best their great need of pity, which was, not that they had
lost their mother now, but that they had really never
known what it was to have a mother at all. She could
guess, too, how truly, though fitfully, poor Em had been
mourning during the last few days, when she had been by
turns strangely cross and strangely gentle, and had found
her chief comfort in her newly-permitted adoration of the
little Pelhams. Madame did not scold her even to-day
when she came back crestfallen from her warlike expedi-
tion to the gate, slightly tearful after the sharply-expressed
blame of her little idols' mother, yet quite unable to see
that she had done anything but right. For these were
wicked boys, who deserved to have angry things said to
them-yes, and to be beaten, for they were very cruel to
their little brother !
Madame Hoffmann smiled, and brushed Em's hair, and
made her as tidy as possible in her new little black frock








NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


and a clean pinafore; and then, after all, she did not insist
on sending her to sit with her uncle while he dined all by
himself in the salle-a-manger. Em hung back, and con-
fessed that she had been very glad to run away from his
presence in the garden; and madame considered that the
gentleman might not like children, especially when he was
at dinner, and that it was a pity to risk spoiling a meal
which, being impromptu and inconvenient, and therefore
specially attended to, was a remarkably good one.
After he had enjoyed his dinner and a nap, Mr. Wardlaw
was inclined to think more favourably of all things, even of
his niece and nephews. He and Mrs. Pelham got on better
together when they met in the evening ; and though he felt
it painful to be obliged to receive information about family
affairs from a stranger, he could be thankful that the
stranger was English and a lady. Mrs. Pelham, on her
part, was highly pleased with her new acquaintance. He
is quite the ideal Scotsman," she wrote that evening to
her husband, who had gone off for a few days' tour into
Italy. "Mr. Wardlaw is big, and silent, and cautious;
but he quite confided in me, and I am sure he is kind and
reliable. These poor little children will be well taken care
of, and there is really no mystery at all about their circum-
stances. Nothing could be nicer or more respectable than
the Wardlaw family." These last considerations were very
satisfactory to Mrs. Pelham, who, in spite of all her kind-
ness, had been sometimes uneasy about the claims she was
giving her protSg6s upon her, and the chances that their
Scottish relatives might be either unable or unwilling to
take entire possession of them. But there could be no
doubt of Uncle James's good intentions.
I'm sorry I couldn't get here sooner," he said-" indeed
it was very inconvenient for me to come at all, though, of


29








30 NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


course, it had to be done-to settle my poor sister-in-law's
affairs, and take the children home. The sooner the chil-
dren are home the better."
"Yes," said Mrs. Pelham; "an English education is
much the best."
To be sure. They ought to have been at home long ago,
and it wasn't my fault that they weren't. Their mother,
poor thing, took a fancy that living abroad suited her
health; and of course she could do as she pleased. She
had means enough to keep her and the children comfort-
able; but I daresay she wasn't a very good manager.
My brother did everything for her when he was alive-
housekeeping and all. He was nearly old enough to be
her father, you see: he fancied her and married her when
she was a lassie fresh from school. She was a West Indian
sent home for her education, and her people asked us to
look after her. My wife and the rest of the family did
our best to be kind."
Mrs. Pelham fancied that a marriage with a Mr. Ward-
law, old enough to be her father, had perhaps not been
among the family ideas of kindness due to the young
West Indian. But she only asked how long it was since
Mr. William Wardlaw died; a question that was answered
after a moment's thought.
More than six years now; I believe it is so. Yes,
it is indeed. And Mrs. Wardlaw would never come home.
I wish with all my heart now that she had. It was
neither fit for her nor the children to be living on in
places like this. And she was a creature who was accus-
tomed to have everything done for her. Whom had she
to depend on when my brother was gone ?"
"Madame said that her maid ruled everything abso-
lutely."







NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


"L Her maid that Frenchwoman Poor Lilla I won-
der why in the world she didn't come back to her hus-
band's family, as would have been most natural."
He sat for a minute or two in perplexed and sorrowful
meditation, and then turned to Mrs. Pelham with a ques-
tion about his sister-in-law's illness. So she told him all
there was to tell of those last two hours-the sudden
suffering and the final rest, the prayers that had been offered
beside the bed, and the words at which the dim eyes had
brightened.
And God has raised up a protector for her orphan
children now," said Mrs. Pelham with an overflow of
feeling.
"Well," said Mr. Wardlaw bluffly, but with no irre-
verence at heart, "it would be strange if I didn't look
after my own brother's children. My wife and I have
none of our own either." But after a moment, his coun-
tenance changing rather ruefully, he added, I can't help
wishing though they were more-more like these nice
little people of yours, for instance."
Mrs. Pelham was gratified, though not surprised; but
augured hopefully of the little Wfardlaws' improvement
under the benefits of Scottish education and.their aunt's
superintendence. She continued to be Uncle James's help
and adviser during the couple of days he stayed at
Madame Hoffmann's pension, and even mediated between
him and the landlady herself, transmitting to him ma-
dame's opinions when they were necessary. She continued
also to be favourably impressed by most things he said
and did. Uncle James, though chary of bestowing small
gratuities, and inimical, on principle, to beggars, was just
and even liberal in important affairs, and had a very
strong sense of the family honour. All poor Mrs. Ward-


31








32 NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.

law's neglected business was settled, and her debts, even
to the paltriest, found out and paid. Suzanne herself
professed to be satisfied with the terms of her dismissal,
and prepared to return to her own relations with amiable
feelings towards the Wardlaws. (Indeed it must be said,
however, that Uncle James, in his eagerness to get rid
of "that Frenchwoman," allowed her to overreach him;
and the thought of his dealings with her concerning wages,
and also concerning her late mistress's possessions, was
always involved in self-reproach.) Mrs. Pelham had as-
sured him, on madame's authority, that the three little
Wardlaws could quite well travel home under their uncle's
care without a nurse, though it needed all the force of
her own conviction that Suzanne was not very kind to
the children in order to reconcile her personally to the
idea.
"To be sure, Em is quite a little woman in some things.
I find my tinies are perfectly safe when they are with
her, and she is so good to them. And after all, Al and
Teddy are sensible little fellows, and Teddy is hardly
more than three years younger than Em."
The children themselves spoke very little of their ap-
proaching departure, unless they did so to each other
when they were alone. They continued to lead their old
life as much as possible until the last; and being too
young to be consulted or give help in the arrangements
with which their elders were busy, they felt the chief
change in the atmosphere of things through the indulg-
ence they now found everywhere. Even Suzanne had
ceased to scold them; the Hoffmann servants allowed
them to come into the kitchen whenever they chose; they
were supplied with sweetmeats by the kindness of the
guests in the house; and for Al and Teddy at least, these








NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


were happy days which they had no desire to shorten.
Em still found her greatest pleasure in the society of the
little Pelhams, with whom her brothers also showed them-
selves gentle play-fellows, and who regarded the little
Wardlaws as wise, witty, and powerful, to an extent
utterly beyond expression in the most ecstatic baby
language.
When the last evening came Mrs. Pelham took Em
aside and told her kindly that she would miss her, and
Cyril and Flo would miss her very much; and she would
have a great deal to tell Maude (her little girl left behind
in England) about the little Wardlaws when she went
home again. Em did not answer, and indeed looked quite
uninterested, but presently gave a sudden sob, and would
have burst out crying had not Mrs. Pelham caused a
diversion by taking her hand and cheerily proposing a
walk in the garden. This was a mighty honour; for
Cyril and Florence were sound asleep in bed, and if Al
and Teddy were not, they ought to have been so. The
lamps were all lighted in the house, and outside, though
the air was warm still, twilight was fast merging into
darkness, and high, high up, near the crest of the hill
across the lake, there was one reddish gleam shining clear
from the windows of a lonely hostelry.
Em was as silent at first without as within; and Mrs.
Pelham walked up and down the avenue with her, not
able to see her face, but holding her little hand caress-
Singly in hers as she gave her last counsels to the child
who had been so suddenly thrown on her pity. They
were kind counsels, and wise on the whole, though per-
haps not guided by sympathetic imagination. Mrs. Pel-
ham was too apt to regard things as she thought they
ought to be rather than as they were, and judge by com-
(139) 3


33








34 NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.

parsons of cases which could not fairly be compared.
She told Em now she must try to be a mother to her
two little brothers, and fill up to them as much as she
could the place of her who had been taken from them.
Then she urged her to remember that there was still an
ear into which she could pour all her troubles, a refuge
for her heart when it was lonely, and spoke to her of
Him who has promised to be the orphan's God.
Presently Em got her hand out of Mrs. Pelham's, and
moved away a little; a hoarse, shy, childish voice broke
suddenly out of the darkness :-
"Madam, you have been very kind. No lady was ever
so kind. I will never forget you; I will never forget
what you say; I will never forget my poor mamma."
The last well-meant asseveration jarred terribly on Mrs.
Pelham's feelings. Why, it was only a week since the
child's mother had been laid in the grave But Em, who
had really been busy in canonizing her after her own
fashion, burst forth again in the same earnest, trembling
voice,-
"No one was ever so pretty as my mother; and she
was good too-she was good, like you. She wished us to
go to church. It was Suzanne who often said it was too
much trouble to make us tidy. And sometimes-some-
times-we would not go."
0 Em, how sorry you must be now !"
"Yes," said Em; "it was very unkind." Undutifulness,
Mrs. Pelham was forced to see, was a sin which had never
been brought home to Em's conscience. "And mamma
was kind to us," she went on; "she never scolded us. It
was Suzanne who scolded us; it was Suzanne who used to
send us away, and sometimes she did it when mamma did
not desire her. Oh, I think I hate Suzanne !"








NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


My dear, my dear it's very wrong to hate any one.
You must try to forgive Suzanne, even though she was
sometimes unkind."
"But, do you know," said Em, suddenly. She had for-
gotten her wrongs, and her voice softened; she came close to
Mrs. Pelham's side again in the darkness and felt for her
hand. "I will tell you something. Suzanne's cousin once
came to see her, and she went out with him all day; she
wanted to go, and I took care of mamma. I would not let
the children be a trouble to her (the pride with which this
was said was ineffable); and Madame Hoffmann let me
carry her supper to her on a tray; and when Suzanne
came home, mamma said to her (I heard her) that the
children had been sages, and Em had cared for her very
well."
Tears were in Mrs. Pelham's eyes, and she could not
answer; while Em, clinging to her, caught a vague glimpse
wistfully of what might have been the happiest future for
their family life if it had continued-a time when she
could have taken Suzanne's place by superior right, and
guided and protected the mother who had been unable to
guide and protect her. The relationship would have been
far from the ideal one, yet not without its beauties; and
for Em it might have meant a training to gentleness and
self-control sorely missed in after days. But for us who
cannot choose, and who know not even what we want,
how vain to speculate mournfully on the things which
might have been!
Mrs. Pelham patted Em's head after a minute, and said
the day she had been telling of must be a very, very nice
one to remember. Then she proceeded to point out the
path to future happiness in obedience and affection to her
new guardians. Em listened, it must be said, submissively


35








36 NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.

enough, until Mrs. Pelham, carried away by the stream
of her own uninterrupted eloquence, descanted rather too
fully on the natural gratitude owed by a little girl to a
kind uncle who had come a long journey to fetch her to
his home.
Then said Em, showing she could use her friend's
own method of comparison, "Would Maude be well con-
tent to go with a gentleman who considered her ugly and
naughty "
Mrs. Pelham prudently avoided a direct answer to the
question.
"My dear, good children always look pretty, and it
depends on yourself to show your uncle that you are
good."
But she began to feel that the talk had lasted long
enough, and directed her own steps and Em's towards the
house, which they entered in silence. All alone in the
salle-c-manger, the door of which was open, sat Uncle
James in a small, high wooden chair, reading an English
newspaper. His head was thrown back, and his eyes
gleamed through his spectacles-his whole attitude was
expressive of patient discomfort. Em gave him a glance
as she passed, and then darted upstairs as if she expected
him to pursue her. Mrs. Pelham was vexed with her
behaviour.
"The poor dear child has very bad manners," she said,
speaking this time to herself; she has gone to bed, I
suppose, without even a thought of bidding good-night to
me or her uncle."
Mrs. Pelham was right in regard to the want of polite-
ness, according to its ordinary forms, which she ascribed
to Em, but wrong in her supposition that she would see
no more of her until morning. At the door of her own








NOT AT ALL LIKE THE FAMILY.


room she found a little figure waiting, and Em's voice
asked with a tremor of anxiety,-
"Do you like chocolate, madam ?"
Mrs. Pelham had the tact to answer yes, and to do it
warmly.
Then there was the joyous announcement, I have
bought you some; and a little round box was held out.
" It is not large," said Em regretfully, "but I had no
more money."
Mrs. Pelham thanked her with kind effusion, making
Em's eyes sparkle; and then the child darted off again,
this time not to return. Her friend, half-an-hour after-
wards, found her fast asleep in her narrow, little white
bed, in the midst of the room where the disorder all told
of preparation for an early start next day, and where
Suzanne, with no attempt at caution, was bustling about
over the little Wardlaws' packing and her own. Em lay
in peace, hearing none of the noise about her, troubled by
no anxieties for the morrow, remembering no regrets for
the past. She had gone to sleep in forgetfulness even that
she was considered ugly and naughty, made happy by the
success of the gift for which she had given her worldly all.
For our griefs may be keen at nine years old, but, thank
God, they are not long !


37



















III


THE HOiME OF THE WARDLA I/S.

"Ihr Matten, lebt wohl!
Ihr sonnigen Weiden !"-SCHILLER.

T was not without many and natural apprehensions
that Uncle James Wardlaw began his return journey
to Scotland-himself seated at one side of the railway
carriage, with his portmanteau beside him, and Em, Al,
and Teddy, clutching their last-given packets of sweets,
and brushing away a tear or two, placed in a row on the
opposite cushion. But these apprehensions proved in a
very great measure groundless; for the little Wardlaws,
though apt to fail in situations where ordinary children
would have succeeded in pleasing, were also capable of
passing creditably through trials which would have been
far too hard for the courage, patience, and wisdom of
most mortals at their years. To the mingled surprise and
relief of Uncle James, they showed themselves Bohemian
enough to be nowhere so much at home as on a journey.
They were never wearied, never over-excited, never flus-
tered, never bored; it would hardly be too much to say
that they were never troublesome.
After the first half-hour, during which Em and Teddy
wept a little over the recollection of the partings they had








THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


gone through, they cheered up, looked out of the window,
began to chatter French volubly in low tones to each
other, and then to play mild little games with string
and fingers, the meaning of which remained mysterious,
though the pleasure was very evident, to the eyes of grown-
up observers. Uncle James's rather ponderous attempts to
be friendly and jocular every now and then were, however,
received with such frigid timidity and mortifying gravity
that he gave them up entirely after a little. It was not
until he had found himself very helpless in a struggle to
understand and make himself understood at their first
halting-place, and Em had come triumphantly to his
rescue, that the fellow-travellers began to feel more at
ease with each other.
Mr. Wardlaw was -amused and pleased by the prompt,
sensible manner in which the little woman perceived and
smoothed away his difficulties; and Em, quick to see that
she had risen in his estimation, was immensely proud, and
afterwards made him her charge at all the stations, advis-
ing him what to do and explaining what was said as she
kept her place alertly by his side.
At an hotel, too, the children were far more self-pos-
sessed than their uncle; and he never forgot the impres-
sion made on his mind by one table d'h6te dinner, where
the three sat without any appearance of shyness, and Al
looked knowingly at dish after dish, but refused most with
an expression of contempt, making his repast almost en-
tirely upon salad, which he called for again and again. But
it was during a night journey that the unexpected easiness
of Mr. Wardlaw's charge amazed him the most. His
niece and nephews, without waste of words, wrapped
themselves up immediately and lay down-two along the
cushions, one on the floor of the carriage-to sleep un-


39








40 THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


broken sleep until the morning; while he, groaning and
fidgeting, spent long hours in vain search for rest in a
corner, and was truly thankful he had only to seek it for
himself.
On board the steamer, owing to peculiar circumstances,
the children's mode of conducting themselves was less dis-
tinctly known to their guardian. He consigned them to
the care of the stewardess, and gave himself up to his own
fate, which experience had taught him was likely to be a
hard one. But in the midst of his misery he was some-
times conscious of childish voices which he recognized,
calling to each other and shrieking with laughter on deck,
or mingling at meal-times with the odious clatter of knives
and forks in the saloon. Once, when he had staggered
into the fresh air and laid himself full length on deck, he
became aware of a thin little figure standing at his head,
and of Teddy's light-blue eyes looking down on him with
wonder and curiosity, perhaps compassion. But Uncle
James could not muster up spirit enough to greet him
with anything but an interrogative groan; and Teddy,
probably not knowing that the groan was interrogative,
made no reply to it, and presently went away. When the
voyage was over, and Mr. Wardlaw could resume his
natural dignity and responsibility, he found the children
weather-beaten and untidy, but much gayer than he had
ever seen them. The freedom and fresh air of the last
two days had been entirely delightful to them, and they
had struck up a friendship with a German family, whose
powers of guttural volubility seemed to Uncle James in
nowise superior to those displayed by the little Wardlaws
in their turn.
They were approaching the end of their travels now;
nothing remained but the long railway journey northward,







THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


where Uncle James knew every station and almost every
scene they passed on their way. He was happy now with
all his familiar newspapers about him, the comforts of his
own house in prospect, and the woes of the sea-crossing
behind him. Every now and then an acquaintance came
into the carriage for a little, or he could hail one from the
window as the train stopped at some platform. But at
the end, and for the first time, the children began to flag a
little. The novelty and excitement of hearing every one
speak English had worn off all too soon; and the effects
of being up and on the deck of the steamer at four o'clock
were making themselves felt. Em scolded the boys for
crossness, and ordered them to go to sleep; which they
finally did, while she sat curled up in a corner as far away
from them as possible. During the last hour she employed
herself in watching her uncle's bald head as it shone above
his paper, thinking, with some family pride of her own,
that she had seen no other Scotsman yet who, to her
mind, looked so well, and wondering whether all the other
Wardlaws were as admirable. She was the only one of
the children who was really awake when Mr. Wardlaw
pulled out his watch, muttered something about "train
being up to time," thrust his head out of the window for a
little, then drew it back again to say to Em, with a broad,
benevolent smile, and a general air of complete satisfaction,
" Here we are, my dear Home at last."
Em sprang at Teddy and shook him up with an energy
that made her uncle give a scandalized look through his
spectacles and say, Come, come now; gently Little
girls ought to be gentle," he added mildly, as he helped
the still half-sleeping boys out of the carriage. And Em,
a little offended that her zeal had been misprized, jumped
down, without waiting for his aid, to the platform of a


41








42 THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


large, roomy station, where she stood still to stare around
her at her first sight of home.
Uncle James was in his element now, needing no inter-
preter, able to order about porters for himself, and claim
his 1,- i,_ without anxiety. A certain brisk assurance
and dignity of manner had come over him, which had been
conspicuously wanting when he was abroad. He even
took a new and protective tone to the children, and pres-
ently caught hold of the staggering, misty-eyed Teddy, to
drag him with kindly force towards a cab, bidding Em
take Al's hand and follow him closely. While the four
were being rattled over stony streets, and looking out at
rows of white houses in the lamp-light of Deeport, his
easy cheerfulness yet more increased.
"Look now," he said once as they turned a corner
"this house-we are coming to it; don't you see ? here it
is-that's where your papa and mamma used to live, and
you were all born."
"It is a great house," said Em in a tone of satisfac-
tion.
Uncle James was amused at her for a moment, then he
sighed over his own recollections. "Yes; it's a comfort-
able house. Well, you see "-this was said after a pause,
during which his thoughts had returned to the present-
"you are Scotch, every one of you; even Al, though he
looks such a Frenchman."
"We are Scotch," said Em, drawing herself up ....11.,
and sitting very straight, as she continued to look out of
the cab window. Al, at her side, yawned unceasingly;
and poor Teddy, sitting opposite, let his head fall with a
bump at last against his uncle's arm, where it was allowed
to remain.
To Em's further satisfaction the cab stopped ere long in








THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


front of a row of the largest houses they had yet seen in
the town. Here we are," said Uncle James again.
" Wait a little; the man will ring the bell.-Now, Teddy,
take care.-Al, are you awake, laddie ?-That's it, Em;
all right. Run up the steps and ring the bell again; I'll
look after Teddy."
Em, who had got out first, did as she was bidden about
running up the steps, but had no need to ring the bell
again, for before she reached the door it flew open. Em
gazed into a brightly-lighted hall, which seemed to her a
wonder of size and sumptuousness. One pretty maid-
servant, with a cap and apron like snow, stood on the
threshold, and another was visible in the background;
while a large, elderly lady in a heavy silk dress was com-
ing forward, with hands a little outstretched, and an eager
smile on her fresh-coloured countenance, The little dark
child-figure, which was the first thing she had to encounter,
appeared somewhat to dismay her, Oh, my dear !" she
said doubtfully; and then she burst delightedly into, O
James !"
But the rest of her greeting had to be deferred until
Mr. Wardlaw (watched with wonder, and a slight sense of
indignity on his behalf, by his wife and the two servants)
had finished his entry into his house in the new character
of paterfamilias. He had fairly to carry Teddy at last,
and deposited him only half-conscious in the hall beside
Al, whom he had been obliged to push before him. Then,
"Well, Ellen!" said Mr. Wardlaw, and a conjugal kiss
was exchanged, while one out of the three new-comers
looked on with deep interest. Aunt James had been a
Wardlaw before she was married, and a good deal re-
sembled her cousin and husband in appearance. They
were both tall, and had an amplitude of proportions which


43








44 THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


increased the effect of their height. They were about the
same age, both gray-haired, and both bright-complexioned.
Em thought, however, that Uncle James had the nicer
face of the two.
"Well, Ellen," said Mr. Wardlaw again, "here are the
children. This is Emily, of course; and this is little
Teddy; and this is iny father's namesake. Kiss your
aunt, children. And now I suppose, my dear, we are to
get some supper? "
Just immediately, James, immediately.-Eliza, take
missy and the little boys upstairs, and-" The rest of
Aunt James's injunctions were delivered in a hurried and
confidential whisper-" wash their faces, you know, and
try to make them a little tidy, if you can."
So Em, Al, and Teddy, marshalled by the tallest of the
trim maids, stepped slowly up a broad staircase, where
the bright carpet under their feet felt oddly thick and
soft, and presently found themselves in a great handsome
bedroom, gas-lit and curtained, and full, as it seemed to
them, of furniture. Al, aroused from sleepiness now by
exercise and curiosity, exchanged remarks with Em on the
enormous height and breadth of the old-fashioned bed-
stead, and the number and variety of the conveniences for
washing operations. (It was at this time that the children
first realized their opportunities for being impertinent
with impunity by merely using the language that was
most familiar to them.) But though Eliza did not under-
stand French, she was in nowise devoid of spirit, as ap-
peared in her manner of carrying out her mistress's in-
structions. She beckoned Em into a smaller room next
door, where there was another wash-stand, and another
bath, and another bed not nearly so large as the first, and
yet very large according to the little Wardlaws' ideas.







THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


And here she poured out hot water and handed Em the
soap, then brushed and arranged her dress, and brushed and
arranged her hair. After which she went back to the boys,
and finding their desires for cleanliness apparently rather
languid, seized upon them without more ado and scrubbed
them till their faces shone and their hands were red.
Finally, she led the little company down again by the way
they had come, remarkably tidy now, though perhaps
looking thereby even more remarkably shabby than
before.
In another large, brightly-lighted, heavily-furnished
room, which was the dining-room, Uncle and Aunt James
sat at either end of a big table, and beamed upon each
other and the good things before them. The children
were put in their places by Eliza, and gazed wonderingly
at the sparkling display of silver and crystal on the snowy
cloth, but were too bewildered and sleepy to be very
hungry; a state of things which was perhaps fortunate for
them, as Uncle James's tastes, even in the supper way,
were of a solid sort, and Aunt James was quite unpre-
pared to deny her little guests anything they might choose
to fancy. Em tried hard to be wakeful and intelligent,
but found the talk of her elders beyond her comprehen-
sion, the very words they used being often unintelligible.
She only understood that Aunt James was very glad to
have Uncle James back again, and that she had a great
deal to tell him about what had happened in his absence,
which was much more interesting than any news he had
brought home with him.
In the pleasures of their conversation about their own
house, their own church, and their own town, Mr. and
Mrs. Wardlaw almost forgot the presence of the children,
who kept very quiet for a while, the boys being so tired,


45








46 THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


and Em so much weighed down by a sense of ignorance.
At last, however, when Aunt James was enumerating the
principal contributors to some recent charity subscription,
and Uncle James was supplying a commentary on her list,
there came a startling interruption. Teddy, who had
been for some time swaying unnoticed on his chair, lost
his balance entirely, and fell head-foremost on the carpet,
as heavily as it was possible for so small a person to do.
Then, brought back to consciousness by the shock, he sat
up dolefully and began to whimper.
Aunt James had only time to ejaculate, Oh dear, dear
me !" twice in her dismay, and Uncle James to rise from
his chair with well-meaning but uncertain intentions,
when Em had darted from her seat and round the table,
and was squatted on the carpet beside her woful little
brother, hugging him up in her arms. Her aunt, who had
scarcely heard her speak a word before, felt as if her own
breath was taken away by the torrent of French which
poured forth now for Teddy's comfort. But Em's unex-
pected eloquence was not to be directed entirely to Teddy,
as was presently shown. She turned from one to another
of her relatives with bright, indignant eyes, while she still
clasped the weeping little sufferer in her two slender
arms.
He is a very little boy," she said, and he is a very
sleepy boy. He has come a long voyage. Do you not
think, either of you, that it is time he should go to
bed? "
Em's suggestion was probably less impudent in inten-
tion than words; but whether that was the case or not, it
had all the success she could have desired.
Uncle James said in a tone of conviction : "To be sure.
Let him go to bed; he will be all right to-morrow when







THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


he has had a proper sleep." And he went himself to ring
the bell. "You should all go," he added with even
stronger conviction; you will all be right to-morrow
after a sleep."
"I suppose I had better go upstairs with them?" said
Aunt James, interrogatively. Her husband did not say
No, even when she murmured, "Eliza will be there, of
course;" so she rose meekly and formed one of the little
procession as it left the room. Em and Teddy marched
hand-in-hand in front, and Al followed close on their foot-
steps; their indifference concerning their aunt's going or
staying being to all appearance entire.
About twenty minutes later Mrs. Wardlaw appeared
again in the dining-room, where her husband had now
placed himself in a huge chair on the hearth-rug, and was
stretching out a pair of slippered feet meditatively towards
the fire. The good lady's manner was nervous and
hurried, even seriously alarmed.
"But she's a dreadful little girl that, James !" she said.
"The other two will do nothing but what she tells
them; and if you heard her breaking out on Eliza just
now, because she wanted to give the little boy a warm
bath. She said as much as that it was cruel to give a
child a bath when he was so tired !"
Well, there's some sense in that," said Mr. Wardlaw,
taking his niece's part all the more testily that* some
secret misgivings of his own were strengthened by his
wife's evident opinions about Em's temper. Let the girl
alone, and she'll do very well. She did very well with
me."
Aunt James seated herself in the big arm-chair opposite
her husband's, and as she did so she sighed, remembering
the conversation they had held as they last sat together


47







48 THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.

thus, and how Mr. Wardlaw had asserted then that his
house was the only proper and natural home for his
brother's orphan children. That was when Lilla's death
was still a piece of startling news, and the surprise and
pity of it had moved him to say that Lilla had been too
much forgotten, allowed to slip away too easily from her
husband's family; some one should have gone to see the
poor young creature; some one should have persuaded her
to come back to Scotland. Well, as there was nothing
else any one could do now (he had finished up by declar-
ing), the children must be looked after.
Mrs. Wardlaw had not sympathized with these opinions,
either about Lilla's claims or her children's. She had
listened, indeed, to the statement of them with submission;
but that was because she was clinging to the hope that if
James was not contradicted he might of his own accord
give up his terrible plans. For Mrs. Wardlaw had never
wished for children of her own, to say nothing of other
people's children, in her beloved house, which was such a
well-conducted establishment, so orderly, so comfortable,
so all-absorbing in the interests of its prosperity! And
were these little strangers to remain in it now, and dis-
arrange everything ? Why, already, before they had been
an hour in the house, they had given an extraordinary
amount of trouble. Aunt James had not failed to notice
with anguish at supper how Em spilt gravy over the table-
cloth, Teddy scattered crumbs about the carpet, and Al
was scratching the leg of his chair with his boots. She
shuddered to think of the disorder which might be already
made in her beautiful bedrooms by the pranks of their
strange inhabitants, to whom she had begged Eliza, for
peace's sake, to give way. Mrs. Wardlaw's nerves felt all
unstrung by the shock of Teddy's crash on the floor and








THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


Em's passionate eloquence and successful rebellion against
tidiness and authority.
She is a sharp little monkey," continued Mr. Wardlaw
after a minute, as his wife said nothing. They're all
sharp enough in their own way. They'll talk any language
you like, and as fast as you like No; they have no want
of wit."
I'm afraid they're too sharp for me," said Mrs. Ward-
law with some bitterness. James, I wish you would
listen to Catherine; she was here to-day."
What has Catherine to do with it ?" was the answer,
rather irritably given. I'll tell you what it is, Ellen:
you're not accustomed to children; but there's nothing
wrong with these but the want of being properly looked
after."
Oh, very likely," said poor Mrs. Wardlaw, willing to
say anything that would smooth the way to the accom-
plishment of her wishes. But how can I look after
three of them ? If it was only one, and we could send
him to school, that might be managed, I daresay. But
James !-Catherine and Emily are willing to take the girl,
and I am sure it would be the best thing for her. They
are such superior women. There's such a good influence
in their house; and Catherine would be able to cope with
the girl. Besides, you know, James, we've really no ac-
commodation for children in this house; I've had to put
up a bed in the red room dressing-room for Em, and it's
very inconvenient."
Why should it be Catherine that takes William's
daughter ?" asked Mr. Wardlaw. But his wife knew by
his very surliness that he was inclined to yield, and went
on with renewed courage.
I suppose Catherine thinks she would like to do some-
(139) 4


49







50 THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


thing in return for the kindness your family have always
shown hers."
"Stuff !" said Mr, Wardlaw.
"Oh no, James; not at all. I've always said she was
more like your sister than your cousin; that's the way the
Wardlaws hold together-all the different families like one.
Let Catherine have the girl; she'll be sure to turn out
well in Catherine's hands. And if they're determined to
take no board for her (Catherine and Emily are so proud,
I don't believe you'll manage to make them), still, you
know, the child needn't be a burden to them. You'll not
allow them to pay for her clothes or her education."
"Most certainly not," said Mr. Wardlaw with much
decision.
And then," said Mrs. Wardlaw, speaking with less
volubility as she continued, there's Carrie, too. Carrie
is willing-Carrie says she wants to have one of them."
Mr. Wardlaw gave a Iumph of very uncertain meaning.
One would suppose," he said after a minute, that Carrie
had enough."
Oh, but Carrie doesn't feel it. Three or four children,
more or less, make no difference to Carrie."
There was silence again for a minute, and then Uncle
James burst into a laugh. I suppose it is so," he said;
and Dr. Malcolm, honest man! doesn't seem to mind
either. But Carrie's is a dreadful house. Ten children
now, aren't there ? And you and I think we'll have
enough to do with one "
Aunt James made haste to answer a speech which was
in every way so satisfactory to her. "It is a dreadful
house," she said; "you can't hear your own voice in it.
And the paint in the lobby, and the dining-room carpet,
the shabbiness of them would break my heart 1 How any








THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


one can live in such a house, I can't understand! But one
of these boys would never feel that; he would take up
with Carrie's boys, and go to school with them; and the
board would be something there, James. Carrie has
enough to do, I daresay, sometimes with them all; and
she's not much of a manager."
But Aunt James had gone a little too far this time.
Her husband suddenly changed his tone, and took up his
sister's defence with gravity. Carrie has managed to
get on, and pay her way, and bring up her children, and
make herself very much liked in the congregation and the
town for a good many years now," he said. "And, per-
haps, it would be none the worse for that Al if he were
more like Carrie's boys."
Aunt James was not an admirer of the boys in ques-
tion; but she reflected now that they lived in their
mother's house and not hers, and that if Al was only there
with them, it mattered little how like them he became.
Carrie is a good-hearted creature; the boy would get
nothing but kindness in her house, that's certain," con-
tinued Uncle James, pursuing his meditations. And
Aunt James, highly approving of the course they were
taking, did not interrupt these meditations by any re-
marks of her own. "I wonder what would put that
fellow Al about," he said, smiling a little as he rubbed
his hands slowly together and looked at the fire. "Al's a
queer one. The landlady of the hotel-that place where
they were-held to it, they told me, that Em was the best
of them. Perhaps Catherine will know what to make of
her. Well, we will see."
The last words were pleasant indeed in the ears of Mrs.
Wardlaw; but Mr. Wardlaw sighed after he had said
them. In his heart, perhaps, he did not now wish more


51








52 THE HOME OF THE WARDLAWS.


than she did to keep the children; but he was vexed that
things had turned out so, and grieved vaguely that the
children were not different, or that he and his wife were
not different, he hardly knew which. The couple talked
of their own concerns after that for a while, and not a
word more was said of the fate of the three little Ward-
laws sleeping upstairs, until their uncle himself was mov-
ing off towards his bedroom. Then he turned on his slow
way to speak to his wife, who lingered behind to do some
final locking-up ; and his voice, which was at first insinuat-
ing, ended in a firmness of tone which she had learned
to know put all questions between them beyond dispute:-
"Teddy is a nice little chap; you would have no
trouble with him if the others were out of the way.
He's not like William, or any of the rest of us; but
he reminds me of that little brother of ours who died.
After all, I think I take more to him than to any of
the other boys; and he's a Wardlaw, not a Malcolm.
We'll have Teddy here, and see whether we can't make
a man of him."



















IV.


ANOTHER EMIL Y

"If thou bear the cross cheerfully, it will bear thee, and lead thee
to the desired end-namely, where there shall be an end of suffering,
though here there shall not be."-THOMAS A KEMPIS.

T HE three little Wardlaws, as was their wont after
a long journey, fell asleep soon, and slept soundly
in their new quarters, and awoke in the morning per-
fectly refreshed in body, and curious but by no means
anxious in mind about the experiences which awaited
them. Mrs. James Wardlaw's was a household of early
habits; but before it was astir, Em, with her out-door
jacket over her night-gown, was seated at the foot of the
bed where her little brothers lay, and the children were
all chattering like magpies. Soon afterwards they arose,
and in a half-dressed condition went exploring-quietly
at first, and within the bounds of their own rooms; but
presently, made bolder by meeting with no hindrance,
they pattered upstairs and down on their little bare feet,
and peeped through every door which silence within
tempted them to open. Unmistakable sounds of a human
being in deep slumber fortunately kept them out of their
Uncle James's room ; and their morning raid might have
remained a secret among themselves had not the un-








ANOTHER EMILY.


familiar joys of the bath-room taps proved altogether
irresistible to their meddlesome fingers.
It was Al certainly who turned on all the water at
last, and couldn't turn it off; then ran away in a fright,
and said nothing about what he had done. But it was
Em who went for help when she found it out, flying
down two flights of stairs to the kitchen, which the ser-
vants had just entered, and bringing back the amazed
and enraged Eliza to see the bath overflowing, and one of
her mistress's beloved carpets soaked, and to guess only
too well how the water was now pouring through the
floor to the ceiling of the room below. And it was Em
who, by common consent of the offended household, was
esteemed the chief culprit; Em, who was accused by
Eliza when she went to awaken her mistress and tell
the terrible tale; Em, at whom Aunt James cast looks
of reproach and alarm out of eyes to which tears were
very near during the whole of breakfast-time; Em, who
was told testily by Uncle James (privately exhorted to
severity by his wife) that she must learn to let things
alone;-come, come now, this wouldn't do." _'.I- was too
shy as well as too loyal to defend herself, besides being,
after the manner of children, by no means clear about
the proper amount of blame she deserved; and she had
neither the wisdom nor the good breeding to amend
matters by :,,...1....-. She remained quiet and cowed
during the rest of the morning; and Al and Teddy, as
usual, taking their cue from her, the three children looked
only less uncomfortable than their aunt herself.
When Mr. Wardlaw went to his office, his wife re-
mained in the dining-room, watched the little creatures as
they peeped over the blind into the street, whispering to
each other while they huddled together, and felt that


54








ANOTHER EMILY.


she was left to the mercy of three conspirators, who were
successfully plotting the ruin of her domestic peace.
Presently she was constrained to say, in tones tremulous
with entreaty,-
"Al, Al !-no; Teddy, I mean-don't, like a good boy,
scratch the blind so."
1 To do the children justice, Teddy desisted from his
irritating occupation at once; and when his fingers went
voluntarily back to it a minute or two afterwards, Em
Snatched them away with vituperative words.
S"Em, my dear," said Aunt James after a little, "what do
you -i-1i 1-, do with ,-i if' f Have you got a nice doll?"
Em looked round upon her with considerable surprise.
"No, madam, I have no doll. I am too old to have a
doll; I am nearly ten years old."
Mrs. Wardlaw felt herself snubbed; but housekeeping
cares claimed her morning hours, and it would be too
unafe to leave these children alone without some suitable
occupation. So she tried again.
What do you like to do, then?" she asked with as-
suned cheerfulness. "To sew?"
"I detest sewing, madam," said Em, speaking quietly,
... t ..:il;! that she was very polite.
"Oh!" said Aunt James with a little gasp of dismay.
Surely you all like reading, then ?"
This question, as being a general one, was considered
mor important, and a short French conference took place
before it was answered. Then Em, as spokeswoman for
the bhree, replied,
"We cannot read English very well; Al and Teddy
cannot read at all. But if you would have the goodness
to laid us a book of French stories, I will read aloud, and
manae the children listen. We like fairy tales best."


55








ANOTHER EMILY.


"I have no French books," said Mrs. Wardlaw. I
used to learn French when I was a girl; but I don't
think I've kept any of my lesson-books. I wonder what
I can get for you to do."
She sank back in her arm-chair and considered the
question despairingly. The children gave her no help
but turned again to the window and whispered, generally
inaudibly and always unintelligibly to her, about whai
they saw there. At last Em looked round and said
briskly, "A lady ascends the steps."
"What sort of lady ?" asked Aunt James sitting up.-
" 0 Teddy, you're a good little boy, I know. Good little
boys never stand on chairs with their feet."
Teddy slipped down dutifully, albeit -1..i-fi.l;,-, from his
convenient post of observation; while Em answered, '{A
beautiful lady; very tall."
Aunt James did not seem to recognize the description;
but after a minute or two of interested expectancy on her
part, and continued attention to what was going on inithe
street on the part of the children, Eliza appeared at the
door and announced that Miss Wardlaw was in the
drawing-room.
Dear me; so early !" said the mistress of the hcuse,
bustling out of the room at once to greet her visitor. i.;.:
stopped, however, when she was half-way across the hall
and listened for warning sounds of mischief ; but the riom
she had left might have been empty, to judge froni its
silence, and, with a sigh that was half of relief for the
present and half of fear for the future, she went on her yay.
For perhaps ten minutes afterwards, Em, Al, land
Teddy, models of good behaviour, kept their places al the
window; then Em turned round, and attracted through
one swift glance by the length and breadth of the cditre


56







ANOTHER EMILY.


table as conveniences for a game, darted towards it, with
a shrill challenge to her brothers to catch her. The three
were light-footed enough; and at first the girl was mind-
ful of the necessity of quietness, and checked herself and
the others promptly when they shrieked. But the excite-
ment of play was soon too much for their caution. The
sober dining-room became the scene of a romp, such as it
had never known before: tidies were flung about, curtains
twisted and trampled, chairs (prohibitions being all for-
gotten) clambered over; and when Aunt James's horror-
stricken face appeared once more at the door, Al was
sprawling at full length across the table, howling and
clutching at his brother and sister as they danced, scream-
ing, just beyond his reach.
"Assez!" said Em imperiously, when she saw her
aunt; and by way of promptly restoring order, she seized
Al by the legs and dragged him down, he bringing the
table-cloth about him with a horrible clash and clatter of
something else unknown, which made the housewifely
heart quail before thoughts of breakage. Teddy, with
ostentatious virtue, went and smoothed, or rather tried to
smooth, the sofa-blanket, then took his stand beside his
sister; Al also helping to form the row as soon as he had
risen and disentangled himself from the folds of the
table-cloth. And thus it was they met the gaze of Em's
beautiful, very tall lady, who had come in after Mrs.
Wardlaw, and was now regarding the children with grave
interest, and a sort of far-away compassion in her eyes.
(',;I1. children !" cried poor distracted Mrs.
Wardlaw. Then, with a backward glance to her com-
panion, she parenthetically questioned, Did you ever
see the like?" before demanding finally, in almost an
agony of apprehension, What was it that fell?"


57








ANOTHER EMILY.


It was Al," answered Em in some surprise.
But Aunt James had already pounced on the heap of
table-cloth, out of the midst of which she rescued her
overturned basket of household keys, with mutterings of
thankfulness about "nothing worse" and "a mercy."
The new-comer kissed the children one after another
softly, and asked them how they did in a low and gentle
voice; and Em was impressed at once with a sense of
her own roughness, and untidiness, and general unworthi-
ness. But Cousin Catherine said nothing about the chil-
dren's looks, not even-what Em was learning to expect
now-that they were not like the Wardlaws. When she
had kissed the children, she moved away and stood upon
the hearth-rug, waiting, as if desirous now to go, but
patient until the time came. She was as tall as Aunt
James, but to poor little Em's fascinated eyes very grace-
ful and stately; her complexion was fair and soft, and
her light brown hair had the sheen of gold rather than
silver on it still, though her youth had long gone by.
Her dress, which was a long black mantle and plain but by
no means unpicturesque black bonnet and gown, gave her
something of the appearance of an ideal Sister of Charity,
the effect harmonizing with the calm expression of her
dreamy eyes and firm mouth. Em gazed at her, and felt
over-awed, and was proud that she had a relation like
this. Aunt James (though she did not think her par-
ticularly beautiful) was afraid of her cousin too, and
anxious for her good opinion.
You see, Catherine, I can't," she said querulously yet
apologetically, as she re-covered the table. "You see
yourself what it is."
"Yes, I see," was the grave answer. "I think the
arrangement made is best."


58








ANOTHER EMILY.


I'm sure I'm grateful to you," said Aunt James with
considerable warmth. "But how will Emily stand it?"
she added apprehensively.
It was Emily's own proposal," said Miss Wardlaw;
and Em, who had been listening attentively to this mys-
terious conversation, first for the pleasure of hearing her
cousin's soft tones, and then in surprise at the introduc-
tion of her own name, gave up all hope of understanding
it, and all idea that it concerned herself, in the wonderful
perception of the fact that there was yet another Emily
Wardlaw in the world.
Emily is so well this morning, she would have liked
to see all the children at once," Cousin Catherine went on.
" But you say they are going out with you?"
My dear Catherine, they haven't a thing fit to go to
church in, or even to be seen in the streets. I couldn't
have any one know they're Wardlaws till we have them
properly dressed. It's a positive necessity to look after
that first," said Aunt James with animation. I'm going
to bundle them all into a cab, and take Eliza with me in
case they get unruly, and go straight with them to Mac-
nab's, and then to Marshall and Innes's. After that, I'm
sure I'll be very happy to let you and Emily do what you
like with them. Only you had better let me give them
their dinner, for I've ordered it-a bit of roast mutton
and a plain bread pudding; I suppose that's what chil-
dren ought to have. I'll send Eliza with them to your
house afterwards, Catherine, if you like; and I only hope
they won't be a trouble to you. But, by-the-by, some of
Carrie's children called at the door early this ~- ..... ,
and said they wanted their cousins to go to tea there at
four o'clock."
"Very well. I will send them on to Carrie's after


59








ANOTHER EMILY.


Emily has seen them," said Miss Wardlaw, who had been
hearing Aunt James's plans rather as if it was not worth
while to object than as if she approved.
"You see they need everytl,;, -- 1" Mrs.
Wardlaw went on as she accompanied her to the door,-
" underclothing and all. But, Catherine, if you're sure it
wouldn't put you about-"
The two ladies passed into the hall, the door was care-
fully shut behind them, and Aunt James's voice became
low. Em could not hear what was to be done if Cather-
ine was sure it would not put her about. The matter
was agreed upon, however, for low, grateful murmurs
were soon audible, mingled with calm-toned assurances;
then Mrs. Wardlaw came back almost smiling, and told
the children she was going to take them out with her to
some shops.
Em understood that her wardrobe had been despised,
and would have been resentful but for the delight of
having it renewed; a delight that was greater, as it proved,
in expectation than in reality. For though, after extreme
patience in waiting until Aunt James was ready for the
promised treat, the three children drove off gaily, all more
or less full of good hopes and good resolutions about their
own conduct (the whole responsibility of which, Em felt
sure, rested on her and not Eliza), the expedition was by
no means a distinguished success. Mrs. Wardlaw suffered
even more than she had feared from the shabbiness of her
little relatives' out-door garments, as seen by the light of
day, and was nervously anxious to keep them from the
notice of any acquaintances she met. To the trades-people
with whom she dealt, and who all knew Mrs. James
Wardlaw well, and served her with extremely respectful
interest and alacrity, she explained the case a little.


60








ANOTHER EMILY.


These, she would remark, were her little nephews and
niece just come home from abroad; their poor mother
was dead, and their clothes had been chosen by foreign
servants, and were not (indeed, how could they be ?) at all
suitable for them. But in spite of all her representations
and the sympathetic zeal of those who listened to them,
it was impossible to get more than a small and compara-
tively insignificant portion of the new outfits ready at a
day's notice; and the morrow would be Sunday, when
every eye in the church, as Aunt James felt, must turn
!,i n l 1 ill, towards the Wardlaw pews.
Miss Wardlaw would never consent to leave a child
at home from church, if it had a rag to cover it," com-
plained Aunt James; and I don't believe Mr. Wardlaw
would allow it either."
I've seen the little Miss Malcolms nearly as shabby
as missy," observed Eliza consolingly.
And with what comfort she could get from this thought,
and from the sight of the ill-dressed little figures crowned
with pretty and expensive hats (which she was half-afraid
made their ill-dressing only more noticeable), Aunt James,
after two hours' hard shopping, had to be content. As
for the children, they were utterly wearied out long be-
fore then. The first pleasure of seeing Scottish shops and
their ways had soon palled; and standing still to be fitted,
or watching the lengthened examination and comparison
of various pieces of black cloth which seemed to them all
very much the same-these were experiences which could
only be disagreeable all the world over. The three grew
fretful and quarrelsome, though in a subdued fashion;
and now that it was plain the new clothes were not to be
fully attained until next week, Em had leisure of thought
to feel keenly her aunt's shame of her and her brothers.


61







ANOTHER EMILY.


She grew restive under a dressmaker's hands, and was re-
buked, not sharply but despairingly; Al brushed some
things off a counter to the floor, and Mrs. Wardlaw and
Eliza only exchanged glances; finally, the children ex-
pressed in English an agreement of opinion that Deeport
was not a nice place at all. In the cab they kicked and
pushed each other a little, then viciously accused each
other of violence.
"Some children are very affectionate at their age," said
Mrs. Wardlaw wonderingly to Eliza.
"The Miss Malcolms are always so kind to the younger
ones," said Eliza.
"Oh, you see they have been brought up at home," re-
plied Mrs. Wardlaw.
Em pricked up her ears at the sound of her cousins'
name, and asked,-
"Will they play with us this afternoon ?"
"I wonder what they will think of you," speculated her
aunt, adding after a moment, "They are very good chil-
dren." And indeed this was an idea about the little
Malcolms which had just struck her for the first time.
Thus in ever accumulating disgrace the three little
Wardlaws were brought back to their dinner of roast mut-
ton and pudding, when they further exemplified their own
wickedness, and the virtues of the Malcolms, by not liking
it at all. Em became sulky and silent at last under the
burden of her sins, comprehensible and incomprehensible.
Why should any one be shocked because children preferred
oil to milk, and mentioned the fact l And did her aunt
mean to send her to bed for a punishment, that her talk
with Eliza about arrangements for the children's afternoon
included questions concerning the readiness of a clean
night-gown for missy ?


62







ANOTHER EMILY.


Anxieties on the latter account were soon set at rest,
however, when coats and hats were put on again-Em by
no means connecting the night-dress question with a little
bag Eliza carried over her arm when she set forth to
accompany them to Cousin Catherine's. The children's
quickly-recovered spirits were all gay again in the delights
of air and sunshine and their own unrestrained society.
They danced downstairs and into the street, where they
executed some peculiar but not ungraceful pas seuls on
the pavement by way of celebrating their freedom; then
as Eliza followed in alarm about what they might do next,
they promptly formed a line and marched on swiftly, but
with perfect propriety, in the direction she indicated.
They had their half-conscious revenge for her unfriendly
remarks of the morning by leaving her altogether out of
their conversation now. They felt strong in their num-
bers and their union, and even through their growing per-
ception of poor Aunt James's terror of them. Em walked
in the middle, with a little brother at either hand, and
the maid a few steps behind. More than one passer-by
loitered a little to notice them, attracted by their foreign
air and fluent French chatter.
To the end of the quiet handsome terrace, built of glit-
tering white stone, where the James Wardlaws lived, and
again into the long handsome street, white and bright too,
where the morning's shopping had been done, then turn-
ing to the right and down between two rows of smaller,
older, darker houses, went the children and Eliza. When
the party came to a halt near the end of this street, the
children were all rather disappointed. They were eager
for more walking; and Em mentally contrasted the out-
wardly dingy dwelling they were now about to enter with
the imposing front of her uncle's house, and stigmatized it


63








ANOTHER EMILY.


as unworthy of her belle cousine. She and Al expressed
their feelings to each other by silent shrugs of the shoul-
ders, while Teddy rather pathetically alluded to a hope
that he had not many more relations. He thought he
had seen enough, he said. Em turned upon him, however,
with one of her sudden bursts of eloquence. Didn't he
want to see Cousin Catherine .1i,-I..: tlriul Cousin
Catherine ? and didn't he want to see Cousin Emily whose
name was the same as Em's And had he really forgotten
that they were going next to visit little cousins who would
certainly play with them, for were not children always
allowed to play with their own relations ?
She was proud but not surprised to have him brought
to submission and patience again by the time the door was
opened; Em herself at least never doubted the excellence
of her own influence over her brothers. She looked on
with satisfaction to see them meekly allow themselves to
be kissed by an elderly woman who welcomed them as
"Mr. William's children," and received them and the
little bag in charge from Eliza, who departed again with-
out entering the house. Inside all things looked plain and
small in comparison with Uncle James's; but there was
a general atmosphere of refinement and stillness which
hushed the children's steps and voices, even before old
Martha told them to take care, for Miss Emily couldn't
bear noise. They were led first into a dining-room, quietly
furnished in dark colours, which room (though she guessed
nothing of that then) was destined to be the most familiar
place of Em's girlish days and years. She and her brothers
only remained in it for a minute or two now, while Martha
went to seek Miss Catherine; and there was such a sense
of strangeness over them all that they did not exchange a
word or move a step while they were alone. The three


64








ANOTHER EMILY.


were found again exactly as they had been left, standing
in a close group near the door.
Come up to the drawing-room," said Martha, half
kindly, hilf crossly. "Why did you no come when Miss
Wardlaw went for ye ? Miss Emily's always better in the
forenoon. I'se warrant ye'll need to be good if ye stay
here !"
The last words were addressed in particular to Em, and
emphasized with a heavy but evidently caressing pressure
of a hand on her shoulder; but she understood them no
more than she did the next piece of information she
received.
"Ye'll no be feared up in the attics," the old woman
went on, pointing to another staircase when they had
nearly climbed the first; I'll be there too."
This reference to higher regions appeared indeed alto-
gether irrelevant. The children were almost at the draw-
ing-room door by this time, and were required to ascend
no further. Martha ushered them into their cousins' pres-
ence with something of a flourish. (Martha was one of
the few people whom Em used to count up in after-days
as those who were really glad to see the little Wardlaws.)
The room they entered was pretty and bright, but had
more the appearance of a sick-room than a drawing-room.
There were plants and flowers, books and work, little
tables, and low chairs; but they were so arranged that the
principal thing in the room, with reference to which all
else was grouped, was an invalid's couch which stood in
the middle of the floor, with an Indian screen to shelter it.
Cousin Catherine, tall and fair and pale, in her long black
dress, rose from a seat beside the couch, and came forward
to lead the children towards her sister; but they shrank
back. Their mother had been something of an invalid
(1i9) 5


65








ANOTHER EMILY.


ever since they could remember; but her invalidism had
been vague and pretty like herself. Cousin Emily was a
weird-looking, little, deformed woman, with a face all lined
with pain and weariness, hair that had grown gray and
thin before she was old, and a pair of unnaturally brilliant,
restless eyes. She held out two pitifully thin hands to
the children, and bade them, with a slight laugh, come near
and not be frightened :
"I won't hurt you, and you needn't kiss me.-So these
are the dreadful little creatures I have heard of These
are the children that need everything Sit down there
and let me look at you."
And when the children had done as they were told, and
sat in a meek little row in front of the couch, the invalid
looked at them until it was doubtful, from the gleams in
her eyes and the quiver about her mouth, whether she was
on the point of laughing or crying. Then she began to
question and make them talk (she being the first of their
relations that had tried to do so), and spoke half-mockingly
and yet kindly as she asked them for their opinions about
their native land and their native city.
How do you think you will like to live with us, Em "
she said at last.
But here her sister checked her very gently.
"Dear, that is scarcely a fair question."
"Well, perhaps it isn't fair to tempt the child," Cousin
Emily allowed; "but they are all so extremely prudent."
And indeed this was true. "We do not know yet,"
had been almost invariably the answer to her previous
questions, and would probably have been the answer to
this one, which Em understood as being put in the name
of the Wardlaws in general, if not of the whole Scottish
nation. But after that, Cousin Emily amused herself by


66








ANOTHER EMILY.


testing the children's knowledge of different languages,
making them turn sentences from one into another; and
finally, by way of summing up their characters, she re-
marked that they were strange little monkeys. Then
suddenly, with the manner of a petulant child, she turned
to her sister and complained that she was tired.
"I will take them away," said Miss Wardlaw, rising at
once.
"No; wait a minute. I want them to have something
pleasant to remember in connection with me-not to go
away only thinking they have seen a horrid old woman.
Will you bring that plate, Cathy ?"
Miss Wardlaw, in silent obedience, brought a plate
loaded with hot-house grapes, and stood patiently while
her sister, with weak nervous fingers, divided a bunch,
larger and more beautiful than the children had ever seen
before, into three portions whose generosity made their
eyes sparkle.
"You are giving away nearly all your present, Emily."
Cheap kindness 1 Let my present go where it can give
pleasure. Here, Em-Al-Teddy. Em, when I was a
little girl like you, and your father a big boy, he used to
climb trees and get down cherries for me, and I was very
fond of my Cousin William. Do you believe I was ever
a little girl like you, and could run about too?" (" That
child has the Wardlaw eyes distinctly, you see, when she
opens them wide; Lilla's were brown.") "Yes, yes, take
the creatures away now; I'm tired.-Good-bye, you poor
little monkeys."
And as the children, dazed with new impressions and
the splendour of their gifts, were put gently out of the
room by their Cousin Catherine, the invalid sunk back on
her pillows with a weary sigh. Miss Wardlaw closed the


67








ANOTHER EMILY.


blind of the nearest window, and sat down again by the
couch with her work-some soft loose knitting which
needed neither her eyes nor her thoughts. The peaceful,
meditative expression of her face changed at once to loving
anxiety, however, when her sister presently made a move-
ment of restless impatience.
"Is it pain, dear ?"
"No, not exactly. I was thinking of these children."
"They have been too much for you. That was what I
was afraid of."
"It was my own fault then. Poor little souls! I wish
we hadn't had a hand in separating them. Whose thought
was it first to do it ?"
My darling, I only hope you won't find one of them
more than enough for you," said Miss Wardlaw gently.
"Nothing more likely," was the captious answer. "But
why not get a governess-some suitable person, of course-
to take charge of them all, and make a home for them
here together in a house by themselves ? "
It would be very difficult to find a suitable person,"
Miss Wardlaw answered. But though she did not always
yield to her sister's opinions, she always yielded to her
wishes; so she asked very tenderly after a moment, "Are
you sorry now that we are to have the little girl? I
would never have proposed it myself; perhaps I ought
to have objected when you proposed it. But to leave
William's daughter to Ellen's upbringing seemed hard-"
Didn't I know that was how you felt ?" said her sister,
looking at her with her brilliant eyes. "Ellen thinks the
child needs everything-and means new clothes; and you
think there is one thing needful for her, and this world
cannot give it. And you will take her for that reason,
although she is another hindrance from the work you


68







ANOTHER EMILY.


really want. And if William knows up in heaven, he will
be glad you have his daughter. You're the nearest to a
saint of any one I ever knew, Cathy! But don't be too
hard on the poor little girl."
Miss Wardlaw's look of bewilderment over the last ex-
hortation nearly brought her sister to laughter.
"Yes, you are right in your thoughts," she said; "I
shall be horribly cross with her sometimes, and you will
never be cross at all. But, supposing I were well and
cheerful, I should like to have the child-for the mere
pleasure's sake-and you never would; it would be always
duty with you. Oh, what a wretch I am !" cried poor
Emily, with sudden and entire change of feeling. "How
can I doubt that you will do nobly all the duties that can
be no pleasures ? But I would fain keep other burdens off
you I only wish I could deliver you from the one you have
borne all these years. It is strange, strange that William
should be taken, and poor little Lilla too, and I should be
left !"
And then her stately sister bent over her, and took her
poor worn hands in hers, caressing and chiding her with a
fond foolishness of words which was half motherly and half
girlish, and altogether unlike the Catherine Wardlaw whom
the outside world knew. And when she had soothed her,
as often before, with blame for doubting the human love
between them, she reminded her, as often before too, of the
higher Love which fainteth not, neither grows weary, and
to whose will and wisdom she might well yield up her own.
"You will understand it all some day It will not be
long at the longest; and, dear, can you not be content to
stay for a little with me ? Is it no happiness that we are
together ?"


69

















V.


A "DREADFUL" HOUSE.

"I think of the Bishop of I .,.: ,
In his mouse-tower on the Rhine."-LONGFELLOW.

L ITTLE Em and her brothers pushed _. il:., grapes
in hand, out of their cousins' room, hesitated a little,
open-mouthed and silent, consulting each other's eyes, and
then proceeded downstairs in their usual order. With
remarkable good sense they betook themselves to the
dining-room, where they sat down and occupied themselves,
by no means unpleasantly, in eating, while they waited for
what should happen next.
The feast was over, and Em had invented and put in
execution the excellent plan of hiding away the remaining
stalks and skins behind the summer ornamentation of the
grate, which she thought a triumph of tidiness, when the
silence of the house was broken by the sound of the door
bell. Martha's footsteps were heard next, coming slowly
up from the kitchen regions; the door was opened, and
there followed a parley, in which the listening little Ward-
laws were sure they distinguished youthful voices; then
it seemed as if a whole softly-whispering, giggling company
were approaching the dining-room; and when Martha ap-
peared, she swept before her playfully, rather than ushered
in, no fewer than six children.








A DREADFUL" HOUSE.


The Wardlaws had risen to their feet in the excitement
of expectation, and stood motionless; the new-comers
stopped in the surprise of so soon i.li-,l those they were
seeking, and then hung back. Introductions and explana-
tions were left to Martha.
"Are ye here ? I thought you were in the drawing-
room. Here are your cousins come for ye. They hadn't
the patience to wait till I had time to take ye to them.
Have ye nothing to say to each other now? "
Apparently they had not. The terrible shyness of
childhood had come over them; only when Martha pushed
them towards each other did they even remember the pro-
priety of shaking hands. The little M1.l..i:.-!.- were all
plump, well-grown children, with brown eyes and velvety,
crimson cheeks, singularly like each other, and sharing
with great equality such good looks as they had among
them. The first thought now with those of them old
enough to entertain critical thoughts was, it must be con-
fessed, that their cousins were very ugly. As for Em, she
thought immediately, and with a burning blush, that but
a few minutes ago she had had wherewithal to entertain
her visitors hospitably, and alas, all was gone now Al
thought of the grapes too, but with satisfaction that they
had been finished in time to be all their own. Teddy only
thought that here were more new relations, and was by
no means sure that young ones were at all more delightful
than old.
"I'm thinking I'll need to go with ye," said Martha
doubtfully. "Will ye behave if ye go alone, Daisy?
Where's ;.
"Aren't Poppy and I put together as good as Sissy ?"-
"Aren't Daisy and I as good as Sissy asked the two
eldest of the velvet-cheeked children, who matched each


71







A DREADFUL" HOUSE.


other exactly in looks, and were apparently a year or two
older than Em. They were evidently in nowise afraid of
Martha, though she answered their blithe defiance with
more grumbling as she accompanied them again to the
street door and swept the little Wardlaws along with them.
"I don't know what Miss Catherine '11 say. I'm think-
ing I'll need to go with ye; ye're not fit to be trusted
yourselves; ye're not fit to be trusted with these lambies.
-Bodgie, will Martha go with ye?"
The last words were addressed to the youngest of the
party, a sturdy little sailor about four years old.
But Bodgie was to all appearance satisfied with his
sister's escort. Miss Catherine in the drawing-room made
no sign, and as it was evidently not convenient for Martha
to join the children just then, they set off alone. The little
Malcolms were, in their own fashion, as well accustomed
to take care of themselves as the little Wardlaws, and it
was pretty to see the twins in charge now gathering and
guiding their flock at a crossing. Their way was at first
the same as the stranger children had come with Eliza,
then led almost straight across the principal street to
another of the older and quieter sort, and through a square
with a garden, into a pleasant street which was no
thoroughfare. Em, who had pounced upon Bodgie at once
and possessed herself of his hand, noted, amid all her
pride that the child consented to walk with her, every
feature of the path they were taking. Al and Teddy
kept together, and ignored their cousins except as guides;
and the company was an almost entirely silent, though
intensely excited and happy one. On the pavement in
front of the Malcolm mansion they formed rows, and
went on skipping and glancing at each other sideways,
while waiting for Poppy's loud peal at the bell to be


72








A DREADUL HOUSE.


answered. The door was opened at last by a boy, who, to
the Wardlaws' eyes, looked almost grown-up, for he was
-!.' than the twins. Behind him, in the lobby, two
other boys about the same size were peeping and grinning.
"I thought it was you," said the first boy, who was of
the already familiar Malcolm type.-" Well, how are you?
Do you speak English?" And he shook hands with his
cousins affably, and with an air of mingled patronage and
amusement.
"That's Edward," whispered Daisy as they entered,
making in extreme sisterly pride her first introduction and
almost her first remark to Em; "and these are Edward's
friends. They come here every Saturday."
Down the shallow steps of a shabbily-carpeted stair a
nurse with a plump baby in arms was descending, while
another plump baby just able to walk clung to her skirts.
The boys who had been in the house before got up a
playful scuffle with the boys they had admitted, and the
noise from behind almost drowned the little girl's eager
question, "Where are mamma and Sissy?"
"In the kitchen," some one shouted.
"Making jam," added another voice.
Come then, we'll go to them," said Poppy and Daisy,
beckoning to their cousins.
In the kitchen, which was hot indeed in the September
afternoon, a tall figure in a shabby print gown stood, spoon
in hand, before the fire. As the flood of children poured
in the figure turned at once.
Back already? Where are the little Wardlaws ?-Oh,
my dears !"
The words of the last exclamation were like those of
Aunt James's greeting, but everything else in it was
different. Welcome and pity, and tenderness and memory


73








A DREADFUL" HOUSE.


-no dismay and no perplexity-were in Aunt Carrie's
tones. Em and her brothers found themselves hastily
folded by turns in a pair of long arms, and their faces
pressed fondly against a hot flushed one, from which a tear
or two had to be wiped away afterwards. A much quieter
and soberer greeting was given by the rosy-cheeked damsel
(two sizes larger than the twins), who was interrupted in
the important occupation of weighing fruit and sugar in a
pair of scales, and at once identified as the Sissy several
times alluded to before.
"You see I've a great many children to be your brothers
and sisters," said Aunt Carrie, smiling out of kind, promi-
nent, short-sighted eyes, which were tearful still. And
even as she spoke, as if to give force to her words, the
kitchen grew fuller and fuller of little people. "I hope
you will all love each other as if you were," she added
somewhat incoherently, and then she made a plunge back
to the fire and her big brass pan, where the jam was
threatening to burn.
Sissy meanwhile tried bravely but ineffectually to defend
the stores under her charge from the depredations they
were exposed to on every side. Gently, Bodgie !-Ruby
dear, don't snatch.-Trotty, not a piece in both hands.-
O Poppy, is that a good example ?-Mamma dear, don't
you think some of these children should go now, or we
shall really have no sugar left?"
"My babies must have a tasting," said Aunt Carrie,
turning rapturously towards the door, at which the nurse
and her two charges now appeared. My beauties-
there! Nice, nice. Oh, fie! not give your own little
cousin Em a kind kiss ? Yes, that's a good darling."
Mamma dear, the jam," said Sissy mildly.
And Mrs. Malcolm, thus recalled to her cooking duties,


74








A DREADFUL HOUSE.


became entirely absorbed in them once more for the space
of about two minutes, during which the strife over the
sugar waxed ever noisier, without in the least losing its
good-humour. At last she said, without looking round,
"Let each of them have one bit-give the little Wardlaws
each a big bit-give the little Wardlaws two bits, Sissy-
and then, children, go away all of you. Take your cousins
to the play-room, and have a good play till tea-time."
"Yes," said Sissy, as if she said Amen.
And out of the kitchen again streamed the happy crowd,
carrying the willing little Wardlaws along with it, and
bringing them into the joy of a great unfurnished, un-
carpeted room upstairs, which was the children's sole
domain. Dr. Malcolm's house had formerly been a school,
and this had once been the schoolroom par excellence.
There was nothing of school about it now, however. A
swing hung at the door, balls and skipping-ropes lay about
the floor, and Daisy and Poppy led Em at once to the
farther end to introduce her to their dolls. If all the toys
were more or less dilapidated, what mattered it? They
were all the dearer for use and wont's sake. And here
began at once that glorious thing which Aunt Carrie
(knowing something of it through observation and memory
still) had called a "good play "-a time when all troubles
are forgotten as only childhood can forget, and pleasant
fancy becomes sweet reality for a while, yet leaves no
bitterness when the dream is over. Shy Em, who had
hardly said a word before, proved herself when she was
tried the princess of playfellows. She had imagination
and spirit to enliven any make-believe game, and a power
of organization sufficient to arrange and popularize it.
The leader's place was hers soon (though only half-con-
sciously given and taken) among her more gentle cousins.


75







A "DREADFUL" HOUSE.


The little Malcolms admired and liked her immensely.
Even Teddy flushed a little, and looked happy and laughed
as he played; Em knew what parts he could fill and would
like. Al, to be sure, needed no sisterly help to make him
feel at home. He was soon running and shouting with the
Malcolm boys, speaking English too, and good-humouredly
repeating his mistakes for them to laugh at again. Indeed,
during the visit to the kitchen, he had been snatching
sugar along with the rest.
At about five o'clock the sound of a bell very long and
loudly rung summoned the household to tea. Em lingered
with Daisy and Poppy to put their playthings (for safety,
not tidiness) out of the boys' way; and after going down-
stairs with a twin on either side, she stopped outside the
dining-room door to part Teddy's hair with her fingers.
Within, Aunt Carrie was already seated behind a huge tea-
pot and great array of cups and mugs. Two long rows of
faces, among which Al's dark sallow one grinned con-
spicuous, stretched in apparently unbroken lines from her
place to that of her husband, far off at the other end of
the table. Mrs. Malcolm wore a black cashmere dress
now, which had the appearance, however, of having been
put on in great haste. Her cap was slightly awry, and
her face still flushed with the exertions of the afternoon,
as she bent her tall bony figure and short-sighted eyes
eagerly over her tea-making. Sissy sat at her right hand
to help, and had the smaller children gathered about her;
and in some mysterious way, when the new-comers arrived,
she drew closer the living lines at each side of the table,
and caused empty places to appear.
Em was directed to a chair beside Dr. Malcolm's, and
felt not at all alarmed, though the opposite seat was occu-
pied by a young minister, who was talking to her uncle


76








A "DREADFUL HOUSE.


77


about sermons. Dr. Malcolm was a little, dapper gentle-
man, with beautiful white hair, and a peculiarly sweet,
almost courtly, smile. His dress and everything about
him, even to his manner of speech, bore the stamp of
exquisite neatness and care. He was rather deaf, which
was perhaps fortunate for him who had to live and study
in such a house; but his infirmity gave him in conversa-
tion only an air of particular and personal attention, which
his friends and admirers (and he had many of these) found
charming. This old gentleman devoted himself now to
the entertainment of little Em Wardlaw, who was by no
means insensible, after her own fashion, to the quaint con-
trast between him and his surroundings-thinking that
nice as he was, and nice as they were, he was not at all
the sort of papa she would have imagined for her cousins.
And as she was coaxed and flattered into frank liveliness
by his kindness, and laughed-as she was meant to do-at
the rusty specimens of his youthful French and German
he brought out for her benefit, every one else at the table
listened, and was pleased, and laughed too. In after days
when, even to Em, Uncle Malcolm's jokes and stories had
grown old, she found that his family could laugh at them
easily, naturally, and admiringly still.
"'You have quite made my little niece come out," said
Aunt Carrie joyously, when the children, all but Sissy,
had trooped off to play again.
She seems a bright little girl," said the young minister,
who was Dr. Malcolm's assistant, and a very frequent
visitor in the house.
"And I shouldn't wonder if she turned out good-looking,"
added Mrs. Malcolm. But to this too sanguine prediction
the answer was given only in amused and expressive
silence.








A "DREADFUL HOUSE.


"The little girl is Catherine's share, isn't she ?" said Dr.
Malcolm. Well, I've no doubt she's a very fortunate
little girl Do you think you will ever make that new
little son of yours look at all like the rest of your flock,
my dear ?-Mr. Smith, my wife has so few children she is
going to adopt another. I believe she would willingly
take in three more, if she could stretch even this most
elastic house wide enough to hold them."
Mrs. Malcolm laughed at the imputation; but when the
two clergymen had gone to the study, which was a room
built out at the back, and the one place in the house held
sacred to quietness and tidiness, she said dolefully to Sissy,
"All the same, I wish it hadn't been left for me to do."
"I think Aunt James and Cousin Catherine might at
least have prepared them for it," said Sissy, with judicial
severity. "Perhaps they won't care much though. Aunt
James says they're not at all affectionate," she added more
hopefully.
But Aunt Carrie could take no comfort of any sort from
the thought that children might not be affectionate; and
did not brighten up, even when her daughter, by way of
diverting her mind, proposed that they two should go to
the pantry and observe the result of their afternoon's work,
as shown in the newly-filled jam-pots.
Up in the playroom Em's game went on again with
unabated zest and fewer interruptions, for the big boys
had gone out, and the little ones had gone to bed. Al and
Teddy were shipwrecked mariners, clinging with various
doll-children in their arms to the rigging of the swing, and
the little girls, as an excited crowd on the shore at the
other end of the room, were planning their rescue and
wildly deploring their condition, when, between seven and
eight o'clock, Sissy's head was put in at the door.


78








A DREADFUL" HOUSE.


"2.l ,u,_ 1, wants the little Wardlaw boys to come to her
just now."
"And me?" questioned Em in some astonishment.
"No, Em, dear. Not you yet."
Em reflected for a moment or two, and the little boys
grumbled over the stoppage of their game.
"Come," said Sissy invitingly, but vainly.
"Go at once !" said Em, with a stamp of her small foot.
"Is it not enough that Aunt Carrie wants you 1"
"They do what you tell them!" said Poppy, express-
ing the general amazement and admiration of the Mal-
colm sisterhood as the two little fellows walked meekly
off.
"Without doubt," said Em indifferently; "I must make
them good. Now, what shall we do!"
Ruby was of opinion that reminiscences of Cousin Em's
past life would now be the best entertainment, and the
twins agreeing with her, Em, nothing loath, was voted to
the story-teller's place on the swing, while the other little
girls squatted on the floor about her to listen.
"Eh bien what shall it be of ?" she asked with spark-
ling eyes. "Of Italy, or Switzerland, or Germany
Whatever you like I will tell you about."
It must be confessed she grew rather boastful; but then
she was so happy in her social success, and had known so
little of such success in her life.
Sissy, Sissy, Em has been telling us such funny things
-such funny things. Come and hear," cried Daisy and
Poppy when the door opened again at last.
"It's got nearly quite dark," said Ruby, becoming all at
once conscious and apprehensive of things around her.
"Long past your bed-time, chickie.-Em dear, mamma
wants you to come to her now."


79








A DREADFUL" HOUSE.


"Where are Al and Teddy ?" demanded Em, like Ruby
rousing up.
"Mamma will tell you," said Sissy, with some hesi-
tation.
Downstairs the lights were burning, and Aunt Carrie
stood in the lobby beside the dining-room door, Em's coat
and hat in her hand.
"Is it time to go back to Aunt James "
"It's time to go, dear. Come in here, and I'll put on
your things. Martha has come for you, darling."
"I had thought Martha was the servant of Cousin
Catherine," said Em, struggling slowly through much con-
fusion of mind.
"So she is now, but she used to be one of your grand-
mamma's servants. She knew your father when he was a
boy. Oh, you will be very fond of Martha, Em, and she
will be so glad to have a child in the house again."
"But-VMARTHA !" said Em, in sore perplexity, amidst
which her English failed her. She kept silence altogether
for a minute, while Aunt Carrie nervously buttoned up
her jacket for her. Then she asked with a sudden sharp
look, and a tone in her voice to match, Madam, where
are my two little brothers?"
Oh," said Mrs. Malcolm, hugging her because she dared
not face her, "you mustn't call me madam. Call me
Aunt Carrie. Your little brothers are quite safe, dear;
you'll see them to-morrow-you'll be constantly seeing each
other. But you are to sleep at Cousin Catherine's, in such
a nice room. My Poppy and Daisy have slept in it, and
they thought it delightful. You see, Aunt James can't
very well keep you all-such a great company." Here
Aunt Carrie tried to be playful, but was really far more
inclined for tears.


80







A DREADFUL" HOUSE.


"Are Al and Teddy at Aunt James's house now?"
demanded Em.
"Yes, dear. They went away more than an hour ago.
Why, you're all going to bed and to sleep now, my dear,
and you'll see each other to-morrow. It's not separation
when people live all near each other in the same town-a
great traveller like you must know that. Al and Teddy
are both to stay for a few nights at Aunt James's, until
I've got another bed put up in a big attic we call the bar-
racks, and then Al is coming to me."
"Aunt Carrie," said Em, fli .,iii. her arms about Mrs.
Malcolm's neck, "take us all. Let us all come to live
with you. I will be so good-we will all be so good."
My poor little darling," said Aunt Carrie, fairly crying
now, and utterly forgetful of her own scorn of her hus-
band's imputation, "I would take you all most gladly, if I
had a hole to put you in. But you must come here every
day, you know, you and Teddy. You can never come too
often, or stay too long. And there couldn't have been
better children than you've been here to-day." This was
said with a defiant thought of Mrs. James Wardlaw and
her opinions. But you will go home with Martha now,
dear, and be good at Cousin Catherine's, and to-morrow
we'll all meet again. We Wardlaws like to see a great
deal of each other, Em."
Then Mrs. Malcolm smiled and kissed Em, whose hold
round her aunt's neck had relaxed, and who stood still and
thoughtful, nbt crying at all, nor seeming inclined to pro-
test any further against her fate. Her gloves were handed
to her, and she put them on. Aunt Carrie was mightily re-
lieved and a little disappointed to see the child so submissive
and reasonable. In the lobby old Martha stood waiting
when the two came out of the dining-room hand-in-hand.
(139) 6


81








A DREADFUL HOUSE.


"Here is such a good little girl for you, Martha. I
envy you having her."
Martha gave a sarcastic yet friendly grunt, and opened
the street door.
Good-night!" said Aunt Carrie, standing under the
gas in the lobby.
Good-night said Sissy, appearing from one of the
back rooms.
Outside the lamplight fell on wet paving-stones it
had been a showery evening; and Martha halted on the
step, after closing the door, and proceeded to unfold a
large umbrella. "What'll Mi --. James say to us if ye
spoil your hat? Come under here, Emmy.-Is the lassie
daft? "
The last words were spoken to empty air, or to Martha's
own soul. All that was heard of Em in reply was the
click of her boots on the stones of the square, which she
had already reached; all that could be seen of her was in
glimpses of an indistinct little dark figure moving swiftly
just under the garden railings. The moment her feet had
crossed her aunt's threshold she had begun to run at her
hardest. Martha, hopeless of catching her against her
will, could only trust that she knew her way, or would
stop when she was doubtful about it. Em's sense of
locality was clear, however, and well exercised, and on she
flew unhesitatingly till she reached the principal street of
the city. For one instant she paused here before the wide
steps of some county buildings, but it was through breath-
lessness, not indecision.
Across the street, as she knew very well, lay the path
to her cousins' door; behind her, marked by two long
rows of brilliant lights, beautiful like stars to Em's fancy,
were the scenes of the morning's shopping expedition; in


82








A DREADFUL" HOUSE.


front, the two bright lines wound round after a little-or
rather, they changed into four lines, and divided. There
was Em's way-on, and then to the right. After a little
she passed again into quieter regions; but she cared not.
Busy streets or empty streets were all the same to her;
she was not afraid-for once she was not observant-her
mind was set wholly on the end before her. Tricked,
deceived, almost overreached, as she felt herself, she would
triumph yet: within her childish heart there was a blaze
of indignation strong enough to heat her courage for any
act of daring which her childish fancy at that moment
might suggest. Shyness, family pride, anxiety for appro-
bation, existed no more for Em. Uncle James, whom
she had taken care of on the journey, Cousin Catherine,
who was so beautiful, Aunt Carrie, whose children had
played with the little Wardlaws in such sweet friendliness,
were all equally hateful to her now. Her brothers-she
must have her little brothers No one should take them
from her! Whoever wanted Al and Teddy must make
room for Em too; any one that was content to take Em
must take with her Al and Teddy. She clenched her
little hands and ran the faster while she thought; and so
came at last (and after no long time) in front of the great
house she had been so proud to enter last night as Uncle
James's.
Fortune, which favours the brave, seemed to smile upon
Em now. Mr. and Mrs. Wardlaw were dining out that
evening, and the energetic Eliza had gone forth on some
business of her own. Missy" was admitted by the
cook, who hardly recognized the child that startled her
by springing into the house and disappearing upstairs
without a word. By the time the worthy woman remem-
bered that only Mr. Wardlaw's little nephews were ex-


83








A DREADFUL" HOUSE.


pected to return that night, and understood that neverthe-
less here was Mr. Wardlaw's little niece, Em had burst
like a whirlwind into her brothers' room. The light
streamed in when she opened the door, and they both
moved sleepily in the big bed. Al half sat up and rubbed
his eyes, and Teddy tried to pull the blankets closer
about him.
"Ah, c'est Em !" Then (and Em noticed that Al spoke
E.ih'1., "IWhat is it, Em? Why are you come?" were
the greetings that met her entrance.
"I am come!" said Em, as if that was explanation
enough.
"But I thought you were to sleep at Cousin Cath-
erine's," remarked Al, utterly uncomprehending.
"And leave you !"
Em made a spring on the bed at Teddy's side, and
crouching in a heap there, hid her face in the pillow and
sobbed.
Why did you leave me ?" she asked brokenly.
"Mais you told us to do what Aunt Carrie desired."
The answer was unanswerable. But though Em said no
more, she still sobbed on; and Teddy wakened up thor-
oughly and sobbed too, putting his arms round her neck.
And thus they were found by the servants, who, after a
private and perplexed consultation together, came and lit
the gas, and looked at them, and wondered over them.
Em would reply to none of their inquiries; but her own
reflection told her she could not remain long in the security
of mystery. Martha would come to seek her, and the old
woman's story would show forth the rebelliousness of her
flight. Then Eliza might be capable of .1 ,. .;,._ her away
from her brothers by force, and taking her a prisoner to
Cousin Catherine's in a cab. Em intrenched herself in


84








A DREADFUL HOUSE.


silence and immobility until housemaid and cook had de-
parted again, in order to meet their fellow-servant and lay
the case before her; but they had hardly gone when she
dashed from the bed and locked two doors behind them.
Al sat up excitedly and applauded; Teddy was fright-
ened and concerned. This was defiance in earnest! this
was preparation for a real siege Three children in two
rooms with an open door between them, and a locked one
at each side-what fun Em boasted loudly and fiercely
all the time she was swiftly undressing herself by the
little white bed in her own quarters, and Al leaped
about like a monkey in the big bed in the big room, and
laughed and shouted questions to her gleefully. What
plans of folly the two suggested to each other, and encour-
aged themselves in, it boots not to tell; but their excite-
ment was by no means left to die away for want of notice
from the outer world. Eliza came and rapped at both
doors, and spoke severely through the key-holes; and in
the course of time, old Martha, truly relieved to find that
her truant charge was safe, though not at Miss Wardlaw's,
arrived too, and tried coaxing and remonstrance. Then
all the servants held half-audible conferences in the pas-
sage, and Al tittered within.
Em would not allow the little boys to speak, and herself
gave very brief answers to such appeals as she thought
worthy of notice; and after a while the besiegers aban-
doned their position, and Teddy was happy in being able
to go to sleep. Only Em was awake when there was
another and last attack made on their fortress; and Aunt
James rustled upstairs in her best silks, whispering to
Eliza, her aidedee-camp, and halting at the dressing-room
door, ordered a surrender in tones that were fierce through
utter cowardliness. Em lay still within, and said never a


85








86 A "DREADFUL" HOUSE.

word; and she heard it decided upon that she was asleep,
and would surely come to her senses in the morning, and
had better be left alone for that night.
But she began to cry again even in the recognition of
her triumph; and after she had fallen into a doze, started
up crying more bitterly still, and ran into the next room
in her night-gown to ask her brothers if they weren't glad
she was with them. But though she asked them in French
and in English, whispering as loud as she dared, and though
she shook them at last and scolded them, they would not
be roused to give her any answer. She had to go back to
bed unsatisfied, and comfort herself and compose herself
to sleep again as best she could-no heroine after all, but
a very lonely and frightened little child.


















VI.


THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.

But, 0 blithe breeze and, 0 great seas 1
Though ne'er, that earliest parting past,
On your wide plain they join again,
Together lead them home at last."
ARTHUR H. CLOUGH.

T HE clash and clang of the church bells were filling
the bright autumn air, and the quiet Sabbath-
morning streets were changing rapidly into crowded ones,
when the door of Dr. Malcolm's house opened wide next
day and child after child came forth. The minister him-
self had gone off quietly to church some time before, and
alone; but Mrs. Malcolm joined this party along with
Sissy, who led Bodgie by the hand; and Edward followed
it, after lingering behind to give a final brush to his spruce
Sunday coat, and shut the door with a bang which could
leave no doubt in the mind of any one left in the house
that the family had now departed.
Through the square the Malcolms flocked, changing
places and moving irregularly in their lines (all but Sissy,
who kept close by her mother, and watched that she did
not let her dress trail on the ground); and as they came
in sight of the High Street, the James Wardlaws ap-
peared there. Uncle James smiled and passed on, holding








88 THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.

Teddy's hand. It was late already, according to his ideas
of church time; but Aunt James fell behind him, and
manifested by her looks a strong desire to talk with her
sister-in-law. Mrs. Malcolm's easy mind saw nothing odd
in the fact that Em, tightly clutching Al, walked after
her uncle and Teddy; the Wardlaws, as depicted by her,
rejoiced in mingling their different family lives together.
When three little Malcolms, however, eager to meet again
their lively cousin of the night before, ran after Em and
her brothers, they were received with frowns and few
words; and it was soon evident that Mrs. Wardlaw was
only seeking a sympathetic feminine ear in order to pour
forth a terrible tale.
"To think that the child should be so deceitful !" was
the final remark, after all Em's exploits of the night
before had been related, so much to the amazement of
Mrs. Malcolm that Sissy was almost forced to become her
permanent train-bearer.
"Do you think she is deceitful?" asked poor Aunt
Carrie, remembering sadly how well she had once hoped
to be able to defend Em's character in a conversation like
this. "She didn't tell me she was going to run away, to
be sure and I never doubted all this time that she was
safe with Catherine. It was very naughty of her, of
course; and I wouldn't have thought she was cheating me
when she left me so quietly. I thought she really seemed
to trust me," she added, feeling more hurt by Em's want
of confidence than by her insubordination, and forgetting
that for the young rebel to announce her purpose would
only have been to ensure its failure.
"Oh, I've no more patience left !" said Mrs. Wardlaw,
with unusual vehemence; "and James is quite weak
about these children."








THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.


"Poor William's children! No wonder," said Mrs.
Malcolm softly. For though the Wardlaws were a great
and united family, still, she felt, there were Wardlaws and
Wardlaws.
"James won't allow a word to be said to the girl now
about her behaviour, and he has written to Catherine that
she isn't to go to her till to-morrow, at any rate; and he
says he doesn't know that the girl ought to be made to go
then if she doesn't want to. It's surely nothing but
ruination to begin with yielding like that," continued
Aunt James, her voice trembling with emotion.
"One thing is," now said Aunt Carrie, who had been
meditating meanwhile over the events in discussion with a
good deal of shocked feeling, and yet a determined hope
to find something satisfactory in them-" one thing is, the
child must have a warm heart when she is so anxious not
to be parted from her brothers.-I wonder, Sissy, if we
couldn't put them all up somehow, just for a few days,
until they got accustomed to the thought-"
She has a good deal of wilfulness," interrupted Mrs.
Wardlaw peevishly. "I don't know much about her
heart; and James himself says none of them seemed to
feel their mother's death at all. There is not the least
reason why you should put yourself about on their ac-
count, Carrie."
And Sissy said, "No, we couldn't, I'm afraid, mamma.
You know we promised Mr. Smith that if his mother and
sister came to-morrow we could give them a bed."
Mrs. Malcolm murmured something about a shake-down
being put in the play-room to accommodate a boy or two,
but no one took any notice; and Mrs. Wardlaw went on:
"I declare I never knew I had nerves until these children
came Now, I'm in a constant panic. There's never any


89








90 THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.

possibility of counting on what they may do next. I had
a most uncomfortable night. I thought the end of it
would be getting in a locksmith to open the door, Sunday
though it was."
And what was the end ?" inquired Edward, who with
Sissy had been listening, much edified, to the talk of his
elders. How did you get them out "
Oh, as to that-Al opened the door and came out in
the morning as cool as possible, and said to Eliza it.wasn't
his fault, it was Em that locked the door, and he wanted
his breakfast. Em was asleep still then. She wakened
up afterwards quite sulky, and has hardly opened her lips
to-day; and, as I told you, she is not to be scolded."
The party were drawing near the church now, on the
wide steps of which Uncle James stood waiting with
manifest impatience, the three little Wardlaws all huddled
together beneath him, and the bells swinging out their
last most urgent summons overhead. The foremost divi-
sion of Malcolms had gone on by themselves, and were
already, as their mother placidly took for granted, safely
established in their own pew. Mrs. Malcolm and Mrs.
Wardlaw, while busily exchanging salutations on all sides
with the people who streamed now rapidly towards the
church door, found time to glance apprehensively at Em,
who kept a little behind her brothers, averted her eyes
from her aunts', and scowled darkly under her smart
feathered hat.
"It's dreadful to be made afraid in one's own house,"
said poor Aunt James; "but I am. What I'm to do
with them to-day-a Sunday too-I do not know."
"Perhaps," suggested Edward gravely, "it would be the
best thing, after all, if they locked themselves up again."
"Ned !" whispered Sissy, with reproof in her tone and








THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.


admiring amusement in her eyes for her brother's wit.
And by this time they were all on the church steps.
"James," said Mrs. Malcolm .,_. ,1-,-, as she passed Mr.
Wardlaw, "send them to me again to-night-for tea and
Bible stories."
"No, no, Carrie," said Uncle James smiling, but shak-
ing his head as if he would remind her that her manage-
ment had not been very successful the evening before.
And the bells stopped, the clock struck slowly eleven
times, and the minister's wife and elder children hurried
to take their places in the church before the minister came
into the pulpit.
The James Wardlaws sat in the front seat of the front
gallery, much to the delight of Al and Teddy, who appre-
ciated highly the advantages of their view, especially of
the heads beneath them. Uncle James composed himself
in his place at the end of the pew, and thought of his
brother, when a short-cropped or fuzzy head, bending
forward to peer into the aisle below, came across his line
of vision; and Aunt James spread her silks out beside
him, and was thankful to observe that the book-board in
front was high enough to conceal from public view most
of the outlandish little tunics and frock at her other side.
Em was the envied possessor of the seat nearest the clock
(she could lean forward if she liked, her brothers thought,
and touch the hands unnoticed during the prayer); but
she neither seemed to enjoy her position, nor was she dis-
posed to make the most of it; and when Al 1 i,;i.:.1 to
her that he intended to try the effect of dropping a pea
upon a bald head below, she frowned at him so fiercely
that he was obliged to give up the idea.
Seated downstairs, a little in front of the pulpit, Em's
keen eyes distinguished Cousin Catherine, stately and


91








92 THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.

golden-haired. What was she thinking of, the child won-
dered, that she sat so still and looked so calmly happy ?
The long, long row of little cousins, in the pew next the
wall and under the side gallery, were busy for the most
part apparently with private affairs-passing sugar-plums
along, whispering a little, smiling a little sometimes, but
seldom indecorously enough to attract the admonitory
attention of Sissy, or disturb Edward, who was taking
notes of his father's sermon with an air of criticism and
self-importance. As for Aunt Carrie herself, she looked
in her own way as absorbed as Cousin Catherine. She
was leaning forward, with her elbow on the desk and her
cheek on her hand, her eyes fixed eagerly on Dr. Malcolm,
and her lips parted in a smile of delight and admiration
as she listened.
Appearing smaller, paler, and more silver-haired than
ever, as seen among the black draperies of his Geneva
gown and the crimson draperies of the pulpit, the minister
stood and read his sermon in a quiet voice, his eyes seldom
raised from the paper in front of him, his hands only
moving to turn the leaves. Behind him there were two
tall windows of dim glass bordered with crimson: the
little Wardlaws wished much they had been transparent.
There were no pictures anywhere, no altar, no organ.
Teddy whispered fretfully after a while that he liked a
Catholic church much the best.
Em also was keenly conscious of the difference between
this square, plain, comfortable, modern building, filled
from end to end with well-dressed people, and any other
place of worship she had been in before; her thoughts
naturally going back to the room in the big Swiss hotel
where Mrs. Pelham had taken her to hear the English ser-
vice read to a small congregation of tourists, for the most








THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.


part in travelling costume, and the great gray old cathe-
dral into which the Wardlaw children used to wander with
Suzanne sometimes, attracted by the music, last summer.
But most of all, and through everything, poor Em was con-
scious of herself-a most unhappy, much-disgraced, defiant,
and yet, as she only knew, and knew only in the depths of
her heart, a nearly defeated rebel. Wild little creature as
she was, nothing was more characteristic of her (alas this
poor child's characteristics were for the most part un-
known !) than a certain reasonableness, which was con-
vincing her now in time and silence, and after the first
gusts of her passion had blown over, that prolonged re-
sistance was vain.
Though Uncle James had in a sense taken her part, he
was shocked and perplexed, more than pitiful, after all;
and without exactly infringing his orders that she was not
to be scolded, Aunt James and the servants had contrived
to make their sentiments about her conduct very plainly
known to Em. These all wanted her to go; and Al and
Teddy did not want her to stay-at least, not very much.
Al and Teddy did not see that the separation which Aunt
Carrie said was no separation was a thing that could not
be borne. They were sorry, but quite inclined to submit.
What could Em do then against the whole world All
morning she had been naughty and miserable, minding no
one but her brothers, and minding them only to scold
them; clinging to them till they felt her a bore, and yet
knowing better than they did how soon she must leave
them. The church service was but a part of the long
wretchedness of this strange day, gone through mechan-
ically, or borne with impatience. If Em had given it
attention, she would probably have failed in understand-
ing even its language.


93








94 THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.

At last it was over. Teddy rose with a sigh of relief,
and then he and his brother were happy for a minute or
two, allowed to stand on stools and watch and remark
upon the retiring congregation below. The Wardlaws
were quite the last to leave the gallery, and the children
loitered behind, gazing and whispering. When the three
reached the foot of the stair they came upon what seemed
a family conference, and Em hung back still more. Uncle
and Aunt James, Aunt Carrie, and some of the little
Malcolms, stood within the church-door. Cousin Catherine
had just reached the end of the aisle, supporting on her arm
a very old lady in an old-fashioned bonnet, who stopped
there, planting her stick firmly on the floor, then looking
briskly round through a gigantic pair of flashing spectacles,
demanded loudly, "Where are William's children?"
"Here, aunty," said Mrs. Malcolm, ever kind and eager;
and Al and Teddy were first pulled forward and presented.
"This is your grand-aunt-Aunt Wardlaw."
Teddy looked gentle and timid and rather pretty, Al
amused. Another relation-an old woman who was the
aunt of their aunts and uncle How terribly strange I
how extremely funny were their several thoughts. Then
Em was produced, sulky and unwilling, and on her the
old lady passed a remark which she long remembered,
because of the sensation it evidently made among the rest
of the Wardlaws :-
"A little brown thing like her grandmother when she
was her age."
Every one looked at Em with surprise and curiosity
much greater than the comparison obviously accounted
for; then, after a minute, Uncle James said kindly, "You
are the only one that can remember that, you know."
"Yes," said the old lady. I remember the faces I knew








THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.


in my young days better than those I saw yesterday.
Emily Balfour was my friend at school; send her grand-
daughter to see me sometimes."
And Uncle James led Mrs. Wardlaw carefully down
the church-steps, and, with her maid's assistance, put her
into a cab that was waiting for her. Teddy followed
them, having by this time come to believe that it was
generally best to follow Uncle James; and Al was re-
ceived into the midst of the company of Malcolm children.
Em was left standing alone, sullen and self-conscious, star-
ing through the door up at the blue sky, but ready to note
with sharp and suspicious ears all the words that passed
between her elders. There was a little low-toned talk
about aunty's looks, and Emily's health-nothing else,
Em was sure; and then Cousin Catherine said she must
go. She passed the little solitary child-figure in silence,
and reached the door-steps; then she half turned and said
quietly, slightly holding out her hand to Em, Will you
come with me ?"
There was an almost breathless pause of waiting, during
which Aunt James trembled with anxiety, Aunt Carrie's
lip quivered and her eyes filled, and the children all stood
still and gazed. Mr. Wardlaw returned, and, half-vexed
and half-hopeful, regarded the present state of matters in
perfect readiness to blame womankind again if there was
to be another failure in managing the child.
Em wheeled round slowly, and surveyed the whole com-
pany with scowling brows, defiant to the last. For per-
haps a minute longer the suspense continued, while the
little creature turned her back upon every one next, and
kept her eyes fixed on the ground. Then Em flung up
her head with a jerk, looked her cousin straight in the
face, and said, "Yes."


95








96 THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.

She waited for no good-byes, nor even turned to observe
the effect of her decision; and presently she was walking
quietly but rather quickly along the street with her hand
in Miss Wardlaw's, and the sunshine, or something else,
blinding her eyes. Cousin Catherine told her, as she
believed afterwards, about some little children in a ragged
school; Em's own flight of the night before was never
alluded to then or at any other time by Miss Wardlaw
in her hearing. She understood little, and cared less,
about what was told her, and was hardly wise enough to
be grateful that she was being spared personal talk. But
the way came to an end at last. Old Martha opened the
house-door, and shook her fist playfully at Em, calling her
" Ye gipsy." Miss Wardlaw only asked, How has Emily
been And Em passed in at the door, and into a new
life of quietness, and comfort, and rest, and-was it home ?
Al and Teddy, deprived thus of the sister who had been
at once their absolute mistress, chief playfellow, and con-
stant example, felt the strangeness of their own position
even more than its sadness, and were very subdued in
behaviour all day. Any triumph poor Em might have
felt in harm done to Aunt James's valuables, now that
her protection of them had been scorned, was denied her;
and the opinions of those who thought the girl the moving
spirit of mischief among the little Wardlaws were strength-
ened. In Uncle James's big dining-room in the evening
the scene was indeed calmly domestic, as the master of
the house sat in his arm-chair with his youngest nephew
on his knee. And Aunt James herself smiled affection-
ately upon Teddy when he observed, after gazing about
in gentle silence for a time, I prefer this house to that
of Aunt Carrie; I prefer it also to the house of Cousin
Catherine."








THE SEPARATION OF THE CHILDREN.


Capital!" said Mr. Wardlaw, much amused and pleased.
"And what do you say, Al ?"
But Al had been very dull as well as very good since
Em went away; and the damson-tart at dinner, and seed-
cake at tea, though keen pleasures, had been brief ones
compared with those he remembered yesterday. So he said,
"Aunt Carrie's house is so jolly!" using easily a new
adjective he had learned from the Malcolms.
And this speech, though not commendatory of Al, was
also, in its own way, a satisfaction to his uncle and aunt.
Then once more the little fellows slept together in the
big red room, but this time Em did not return to the little
one next door. And on the following day Aunt Carrie
had another bed put up in the attic that was called the
barracks; and after school was over, a detachment of her
boys went to the house in the terrace to fetch Al. He
departed with them cheerfully, while Teddy stood at the
window watching him till he was out of sight, and letting
big slow tears trickle down his own cheeks. When the
boys came to the street corner, the Malcolms nudged Al
to make him look back; and he turned, and waved and
nodded farewell with much i. 1. i .
Thus it was that the three little Wardlaws were
separated.


(139)


97



















VII.


THE PRETTY MISS IWARDLA Wf

"The duckling beheld its own image; and lo it was no longer a
clumsy dark-gray bird, ugly and hateful to look at, but-a swan "
HANs ANDERSEN.

THE three little Wardlaws were separated; and time
passed on, and they became accustomed to the
separation-very soon, after all, it was generally thought.
School life began for them, and the various interests of
their different homes closed around them. Em and Teddy
had to be content to see Al and each other as they saw
their cousins, and Al became more familiar with the little
Malcolms than with Em and Teddy.
Yet before this state of things was established the little
orphans had all suffered. Even Al, good-humoured and
callous little philosopher as he was, felt longings some-
times among the mirth of the Malcolms' playroom for the
old days when there were three little Wardlaws playing
together and alone; and poor Teddy needed much patience
and fortitude at first to reconcile him to the awful loneli-
ness, repression, and strangeness of existence for him in
his uncle's house. But it was Em, older than her brothers
more by heart and mind than by years, who suffered most
in every way. She never forgot the first winter nights,




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