BY THIS TIME DODA WAS ASLEEP
- I .~d ,L
- 1i~jii5; U
THE FAITHFUL RECORD
OF ALL THATBEFEL A LITTLE GIRL ONA LONG
E EVENTFUL DA Y.
EDWIN J. ELLIS.
MARCUS WARD & CO., 67, CHANDOS STREET;
AND ROYAL ULSTER WORKS, BELFAST.
L .- .- ,-
'* 'i .
IV.-AFTER LUNCHEON 50
V.-IN MRs. DKTYLONS GARDEN 70
VII.-AFTERNOON TBEA 110
VIII.--THE DIVE 121
IX.-DRESSING FOR DINNER 132
X.--SECOND DRIVE TO LORD WELRYTH'S 143
XI.-THE DINNER PARTY 151
XII.-A NEW PRESENT 165
XIII.-HOMIE IN THE EVENING 184
"BY THIS TIME DODA WAS ASLEEP (p. 88) Frontispiece.
DoDA MEETS HER GRANDFATHER ON THE STAIRS 17
"NO; IT IS NERO," SAID DODA .46
" A FAMILY PORTRAIT ". 94
"DODA'S BIRTHDAY 159
CHAP. L.-TILL BREAKFAST-TIME.
H ER name was Doda. She was just seven years
old. She woke up all suddenly in the morning,
and opened her eyes quite wide, and said, "It's my
And a bird came, that was very round and brown,
and sat on the window, and looked in with its head
on one side.
I wonder if birds have birthdays," Doda said to
herself; "I suppose you have, you look so round and
brown. I suppose you have as many as you like,
because-because"-here the bird flew away. "Ah,
I know now," cried Doda; "when you have done
your birthday in one place, you fly somewhere else
and have another. I wonder what mamma will say
when I go down, or what grandpapa will say, or when
it will be time to get up."
But she lay still for a long time, and no one seemed
to think of getting up. She thought this very odd;
but really it was much too early to awake yet, only
she had pulled up her blind the night before, after
the maid had left her, so as to begin her birthday in
the morning as soon as ever it began to be light.
But this was in summer time, when the days begin
long before any one is ready for them, and never end
till nearly bed-time. So Doda waited and waited,
and no one came, and the house was quite silent.
Suddenly the bird flew back, and perched again for
a single instant, and seemed quite surprised to see
Doda still in bed, and flew off. It was impossible
to bear this, and Doda jumped up. She determined
not to ring for any one, but to dress all by herself,
and go out; and, though some of the things were
difficult to reach, she succeeded at last. She felt
quite certain that something very wonderful and im-
portant was going to happen, for she never felt so
light and happy in her life. She opened the door,
and saw her mother's maid in the passage, who
seemed very much surprised to see her already dressed.
But Doda reminded the maid it was her birthday, and
said she was going out till breakfast-time. So the
maid gave her her hat, which she had forgotten, and
she put it on and rushed away.
She looked up at her grandfather's window as she
got into the garden, but it was shut, and the blind
was quite down. There was no one else but her
mother and i ni,.li r-i, for she had no father or
brothers or sisters, and lived quite alone, and did
nearly what she liked on most days, and altogether
on her birthday.
Till Breakfast- Time.
Their house was in the country, and there were
fields behind the garden, and a little wood with big
smooth, and big rough trees. There she ran through
the tall grass, and went to see what she should find.
The roots were all in queer shapes, twisted about
everywhere, as if the trees had been dancing all
night, and had stopped suddenly to listen to the sun-
rise, and never moved again; and the earth was all
in queer shapes too, like as the bed-clothes are when
one has been dancing on the bed.
She went on, stepping from root to root, and saying
to herself, Oh, what is it ? oh, what is it ?" for she
still felt as if something very important indeed were
going to happen. But it was not behind any of the
trees, nor out in the open field beyond-where one of
the cart-horses was eating as if he could never eat
too much; so when Doda was tired of going about
and wondering, she thought it must be time to go in,
or she would be too late for breakfast.
But first she went to a place where there was a
hill in the middle of the wood. Not a big hill-only
a kind of mound-just the right size to run down,
and so steep that in running down it one nearly
stamped through the ground, or tumbled forward, or
began to float and fly away, as one does in dreams.
Doda thought she would have just one race down
this mound. There was a big tree not far off, on
the level ground, which was always the end of her
run, for it was a beech, and therefore smooth and
comfortable to run up against, and take hold of
with both arms; for when one has a tree to do this
to, it is much easier to stop running down-hill than
if one has to stop all alone.
Having got to the top of the mound-which was
very much too steep to run up-she had to make
separate steps, and sometimes almost say, Oh dear !"
and catch hold of the long grass-Doda looked round
at all the trees, and seemed quite near the tops of
those that grew down below. She could see down on
the garden through the branches, and the top of the
house was hardly higher than she was. The blinds
and curtains were open now in the upper windows,
as the servants slept in that part, and they always
got up first.
Having noticed this, and said to herself that she
would always get up and come out as early-for
it was much nicer to be up, and very stupid to be in
bed-Doda came to the edge of the mound, and, hav-
ing said One! two three!" began to run down.
She began timidly, but it was so steep and so ex-
citing, that in a few steps she was going much too
fast to be able to stop herself in any way-but by
running up against the smooth tree at the bottom.
She was going to do so, when suddenly a man crossed
the path, just between her and the tree, and she ran
up against him before she could get her arms in the
right position, or say Oh !" or do anything.
She banged against him with all her weight, and
then for a moment she nearly fell down, and felt very
much hurt everywhere, but nowhere particularly, ex-
Till Breakfast- Time.
cept all over, and' thought she must have hurt the
man too, most dreadfully, and wondered why he did
not nearly tumble down also.
He was only Deylon, the gardener. Doda knew
his legs directly, before she looked up at him, for he
was a great friend of hers, and often took her about;
but she always called him "gardener," and seldom
remembered what his name was.
"What, Miss Doda what is the matter ?" said he,
stooping down, and taking her hand to support her,
for she was giddy from having stopped so suddenly
when running so fast.
Doda said, Oh 1-gardener-I-hope-I have not
hurt you. I was running to the tree."
He appeared so much surprised at this, that Doda
thought his legs must be very wonderful and strong
not to be hurt at all, for her face had come right up
against them, and was still sore.
"Hurt me, Miss Doda !" he said. "No. How
could it? Are you hurt, hL:,._ ? You must be.
I ought to have thought of that; only you are so
brave, and never cry, that I never know."
Oh, no!" said Doda; I am not hurt really-and
I do cry sometimes. You must be very strong."
"Pretty well; not more than gardeners generally,"
said he, smiling. "Did you come to look for me?
You are up early. Will you come and see what I
was going to do ?"
Every one in the country has to have a gardener,
and Doda had seen a great many besides her own -
but he was the only one she liked. He was good-
natured, and wise as well, and knew everything, and
could talk much better than the others; and her
, ,i .l-,tl always said he was a very superior man,
which Doda was proud of, as he was her particular
friend. He was not old either-that, is, not old for
a gardener-though of course he had whiskers, and
was a great deal older than a gardener's boy.
"I should like to go very much," said Doda. She
would have told him it was her birthday, only that
had nothing to do with what he was going to do, and
it is so exciting to know it is one's birthday when no
one else knows it.
He took her to the glass-houses, and when they
went in he shut the door, though it was very hot
inside, and then did strange things with the queer-
shaped flowers there, that are so soft and thick, and
have such soft, thick stalks, and smell so differently
to all the others that grow out of doors, so that when
one comes away into the open air their scent seems
like a dream, but if one goes back, there it is, exactly
as it was before. The gardener cut some, watered
some, and took some right out of their pots. It
was so warm in the glass-house that Doda leaned her
head against the frame, and then sat down on the
edge of a tub, and began to think she was going to
The gardener moved about on the red brick floor,
and sometimes he was hid by the flowers, and some-
times he came up and showed Doda a particular one.
Till Breakfast- Time. ,
She did not know quite what he was doing or what
he said, and wondered why she felt so sleepy; and
yet her eyes were not at all sore, and she did not
feel inclined to rub them or shut them, nor did she
want to yawn, nor even actually to go to sleep; but
she felt it quite impossible to keep awake, and inside
she was dreaming already, but not of anything par-
She seemed always to be sinking down into the
tub on the edge of which she was sitting, and yet she
never did actually begin to do so. All the place ap-
peared to get very dark, the flowers no longer had any
scent, and the wood against which she was leaning
was no longer sharp and uncomfortable as it had
been, but did not seem to touch her at all-only to
keep her up by being there, in some way of its own.
Suddenly she saw the gardener, at the other end of
the hot-house, throw down a pot of flowers that he
had in his hand, and begin to run towards her. But,
though he was not very far off, and was always run-
ning, the distance got further and further, and he
never seemed to get any nearer. She thought she
must have got into a fairy story, for she was sure she
felt a stream of water or a fountain bubbling up
through the top of her head, and spouting an im-
mense distance, and disappearing. It did not make
anything or anybody wet, and Doda did not feel the
least surprised at it. She still heard the gardener
running towards her, but did not see him.
Then she noticed that she was not in the green-
., Doda's Birlhday.
house at all, but out on the grass on the lawn, and
her face really was wet, perhaps from the fountain.
She thought she would ask the gardener; so she
said, "Is it the fountain ?" but her lips were so stiff
she could scarcely speak-she wondered why.
"Miss Doda !" said he, in a queer voice, as if his
lips were stiff too, and he could not speak as loud as
usual, "Are you better ? How do you feel ?"
Doda did not feel anyhow very much, and had not
been very ill; so she could not understand why he
asked her if she was better. She did begin to feel
ill at last-that is, not exactly ill, but so tired that
her face and head and neck were as tired as the rest
of her, and she could hold up nothing.
Have you had breakfast, Miss Doda ?" he asked.
"No," said Doda.
Then he ran away, and left her where she was, and
came back with some strawberries. She was a great
deal too tired, without knowing what she was tired
of, to take the strawberries herself; but he put then
into her mouth one after the other, and she let him
do so, and ate them; and after eating three or four
she felt inclined to laugh, and did laugh, and found
she could lift her hands. So she took the rest of the
strawberries, and began to eat them herself, while
he sat on the grass and watched her.
When she had eaten a few more she began to won-
der what had happened, and how she was there lying
on the lawn leaning against a tree, instead of sitting
in the green-house on the edge of the tub.
Till Breakfasl- Time. ,
"Was I asleep ?" she said; "I don't feel as if I
No," said the gardener; "you fainted, Miss Doda."
"I fainted!" said Doda. She had thought only
grown-up people could faint. She remembered hear-
ing her nurse telling a story to another servant about
some one who had fainted, and they all thought it a
very dreadful thing. But if this was what it was
like, it was nothing particular after all.
But why did I faint ? How ?" she asked.
"It was the heat, I suppose, Miss Doda, the scent
of the flowers, and being hungry."
But," said Doda, it was not very hot, and the
flowers didn't smell much, and I am hungry now;
but I wasn't till you brought me the strawberries."
Because you fainted, and people don't feel hunger,
I suppose, when they faint," said he.
"Well," said Doda, "I always thought fainting
was something very dreadful; but it is nothing at all
now, and I shall not mind it a bit."
"That's right," said he. "Now, can you get up ?"
He lifted her. She could scarcely stand, but felt
quite well; so she took his hand, and they walked
very slowly to the house. She was excited, and
would have jumped and sung if she could, and felt
more sure than ever that something very important
would happen that day. At any rate it was some-
thing to have actually fainted, and so found out that
it was nothing, and didn't hurt at all, in spite of the
serious way in which her nurse had talked about it;
16 Dodd's Birtlday.
and perhaps all dreadful things would turn out to be
nothing when one once knew about them. Even
cows were not dreadful always, or they could never
be milked. Perhaps they need never be dreadful if
one only understood everything. Doda thought she
would like to understand everything.
When they came to the house, the gardener said,
"Your dress is wet, Miss Doda; you had better get
it changed quick. Can you go up-stairs alone ?"
Oh yes," said Doda; quite well, thank you. I
shall come back to the green-house again, and you
must tell me all about it."
Very well, MViss Doda," said he; and she went in
and left him.
The blinds were all up now, and the glass-door of
the drawing-room was open towards the garden.
Doda knew she should find her mother in there,
writing at a particular little table in a corner; for her
mother was not like other people's mothers, but was
very clever and very fond of science, and used to read
and write a great deal, and sometimes wrote a real
book, and had a collection of curious things, and
often went to London to hear lectures. Besides
which, she was tall, and had a very distinct side-face;
and, though she was not young, was never tired, and
always busy. She was busy now, when Doda came
into the drawing-room-in fact, so busy that she did
not know that any one was there. So Doda went up
to her where she was writing at the table, and said,
" What am I to do ?"
I II i I _I i, I
DODA MES lll'R GRAND-ATHR ON E STAIRS.
DODA MIIlETS HER GRANDFATHER ON THE STAIRS.
Her mother said hastily, almost without stopping
writing, "I am very busy indeed, my dear-do any-
thing-do whatever you like." And she gave her
a little kiss, as if to say, "You must really go
away;" and then turned, and wrote more quickly
But in doing so she caught sight of Doda's feet,
and, after writing two lines, turned back and said,
" How wet your shoes are! You must really change
them. So is your dress! Where have you been ?"
Doda said, I was out;" but she did not the least
mind about her dress; only these words kept running
in her head-" Whatever you like !-whatever you
like !-what must I do ?-what must you do ?-
whatever you like !-whatever you like !" And they
went to a kind of tune, and she felt that the impor-
tant thing had already happened, even though her
mother seemed to have quite forgotten it was her
birthday; and she rushed off to change her dress,
feeling more light and happy than ever before.
At the top of the stairs she found her grandfather,
who was standing waiting for her to come up; he had
a little gold chain in his hand, like a short, thick gold
rope, and there was a locket like a pulley at the end.
Doda knew at once it was for her, and he knew
how to give it; for, while he was wishing her many
happy returns, he had time to give her a kiss, and
put the gold chain round her neck all at once. He
never noticed that her dress was wet-in fact, it was
only splashed with clean water. He was very tall
and beautiful, with white hair, but no beard; and
when he stood up again to look at the locket, he
seemed such a long way off that Doda thought she
would have to run up some more stairs before she
could lean over the bannisters to thank him.
Now," said he, that is the most grown-up locket
I ever saw you wear, and will do perfectly. Of
course there is hair in it-there always is, in a locket.
If you guess whose it is, I will show you how to
Doda put up her hand to feel; but the round,
smooth, heavy, cool chain lay all round her neck, and
the locket was more like one piece than any she had
ever felt. So she guessed, Yours, grandpapa."
Why mine ?" said he.
Oh, because you gave it to me," she answered.
"Besides which," said he, opening it, and showing
her a beautiful gleaming white wave of hair, that lay
quite flat, curled round, and shining, "you will
always keep this, and perhaps I may disappear."
"Oh no !" said Doda. "Why, you are always
here, even when mamma is away at lectures."
Well, I will be here as always as I can," said he;
"but people with white hair and granddaughters are
very movable, though they generally stay in one
place. But, in the meantime, this doesn't matter,
and you must grow up. I think that locket will
help you, for it is quite a grown-up locket. Where
were you going just now ?"
Oh," said Doda, I was going up-stairs."
Till Breakfast- Time.
Well, call for me when you come down," said he,
and went into the library, where he always lived.
Doda went up, and found the maid, and changed
her dress and shoes, and looked at her locket in the
glass, and felt how beautiful and soft the chain was,
and than ran down again, and knocked at the library
door very high up-for she wanted it to sound as
like a grown-up knock as she could. Her grand-
father inside called out, "Come in !" and his voice
sounded like a man in a sack, as it always does when
one calls out and the door is shut.
So she went in, and he got up and took her hand,
and they both went down together to the drawing-
"Very busy?" said he, looking in. "Come, it's
Doda's birthday !"
Her mother got up, and put her hand on her
forehead for a moment, saying, "So it is !-I am so
busy-I didn't sleep. Have you changed those shoes,
. "Yes," said Doda. And then her mother wished
her many happy returns, and they all went in to
As they sat down, the same bird that she had seen
when she first awoke looked in. So Doda showed it
her locket, and it looked a moment with its head on
one side, as if it knew quite well how to open the
locket, and what was inside; and then flew away to
tell the other birds; and Doda and her mother and
grandfather began breakfast.
i--. -' ,- --.-- '_-- .
CHAP. II.-AFTER BREAKFAST.
DODA'S mother did not approve of birthday pre-
sents, perhaps because she was so fond of lec-
tures and science. But she did not absolutely forbid
them; and it was always understood that the grand-
father's present came partly from her-only she was
not to be thanked for it, or anything said. So Doda
only looked at her once or twice during breakfast, to
see if she saw the locket; and at last she did see it,
and said, "Very handsome indeed!-very nice! I
never wear lockets." And then Doda understood the
subject was finished, and they went on with break-
fast as usual, and her grandfather and mother both
looked at the newspaper, as they were accustomed to
do, offered it to each other, and then dropped it on a
chair and forgot it. But Doda herself did not feel
at all as usual. She felt very old and consequential
and responsible, and as if she must go at once and
do a number of very important things. She felt as
old as her grandfather, and as busy as her mother.
So when they got up she got up, and said, "I think
I shall be out a great deal to-day; so if I am late
at dinner-time don't wait for me." For she remem-
bered hearing her grandfather say that once, when he
was away all day, and she never saw him till the
next morning; and she remembered that to-day she
might do whatever she liked.
"Very well," said her mother; "but don't go far."
So she went up to put on her things, feeling how
delicious it was to be old and able to do whatever
she liked, and thought her mother letting her do this
was even better than presents. Then she felt her
locket, and thought, "Especially when I have the
presents as welL"
But as she was going out her mother asked,
"Where are you going ?"
And Doda said, "I must go and pay visits; I have
a great many to pay." And she said, Good-bye !"
and went out alone; for she was old now, so this
was the most natural thing to do.
As she went she wondered that her mother did not
see how old she felt, and how natural it was she
should have a great deal.to do, and visits to pay;
and this reminded her that she had not at all settled
where to go. The nearest house to theirs, and which
she was now walking towards, belonged to a very
nice, very old gentleman, with hair as white as her
grandfather's, who was said to be very wise, and who
had written a great many books. His name was Mr.
Mills; and he had always listened to Doda whenever
she wanted to speak to him, and had never sent her
away. So she resolved she would go and see him
now, and tell him that it was her birthday, and how
old she felt, but that her mother did not see it, and
she did not know if any one would.
So she went to the door, and rang the bell, and
stood waiting for a moment. When the servant
came he opened the door very wide, and seemed
astonished to see her standing there all alone, and
looked over her head and past her to see if there
were any one else.
She asked if Mr. Mills was at home, and the ser-
vant showed her up-stairs into the drawing-room,
where for a moment she was quite alone; for Mr.
Mills lived chiefly in the library, as men who write
books generally do. He had no family, but lived
alone. Doda felt inclined to go about the room and
look at the things, but she thought this was not a
sufficiently grown-up kind of behaviour; so she went
to the arm-chair at the left side of the fire-place, and
sat down to wait. In a few minutes the servant
returned, and asked her if she would go down to the
library. So she followed him to the door, which he
opened quietly, but very suddenly and very wide, as
if he had some one he wanted to hurt, and thought
they might be behind it; and then, as Doda went in,
he said, "Here's Miss Doda, sir;" which she knew
was not the proper way to announce her when she
came alone to pay a visit. But she forgot this
directly she saw little old Mr. Mills, for she was very
fond of him, and they were always great friends.
He was sitting at a table, covered with almost as
many books and pieces of paper as her mother used;
but he swung round his chair as she came in, and
said, "Well, Doda-what an early visit 1 I'm very
glad to see you. You've got something to say to me;
come and let us talk about it." And as he said
this, he held out both his hands, and his eyes seemed
to look straight in through hers, and to see every-
thing she was, and to like to see it, and to like her
"How wise he is !" thought Doda. "He knows
everything. Can it be from those books ? I wonder
what they are, and whether I shall ever read them."
As she thought this she went up and took hold of
his hands, and stood beside his chair. He seemed to
know quite well what she was thinking, for he
smiled, and turned half round, and looked at one of
his books as if he were very fond of it, and gave it
a push a little further on the table.
Doda did not quite know how to begin. She had
thought she would sit down about three yards off
Mr. Mills, and talk to him from there; but instead
of this she was standing by his chair, and feeling in-
clined to play with his watch-chain, and compare it
with the chain of her locket, and ask him if he liked
lockets, which was not at all what she had come to
say. And he still sat there, and held one of her
hands, and seemed to know all she was thinking, and
to be quite comfortable till she should begin to speak.
She must begin somewhere; so she said, It's my
I wish you many happy returns," said Mr. Mills;
24 Doda's Birthday. t
"I must never forget the day." Then he took down
a little calendar from where it stood on a desk before
him, and wrote "Doda's birthday" with a pencil
across the white part under the figures of the day.
And Doda felt that this was not at all what she
had meant either, and it was too much to make Mr.
Mills always think about her birthday; yet she was
very glad that he would, all out of his own head.
When he had put back the calendar, he turned to her
again, and said, "How old you must feel!"
"I knew you would know!" cried Doda. "But
why don't the others ? Grandpapa does, perhaps,
but mamma doesn't; and your servant didn't at all
understand, and looked quite stupid when I asked if
you were in."
One can't always see what people feel," said Mr.
Mills; "though one often hears it, for they usually
tell if they can, unless it is about a secret. Why do
you think it is that one so often does not see ?"
I don't know," said Doda. I suppose you
always do; but other people don't. Why ?"
"Partly because they don't look at what would
show them," said Mr. Mills; "and partly because
they do not understand even when they see. How
old do you think my servant felt when he opened the
door for you ?"
"Oh, I don't know," said Doda. "He brushes
his hair so funnily, and has to dress for dinner in
the morning. He must feel very funny. He doesn't
look as if he felt anything. Besides, he's a servant."
"Well then," said Mr. Mills, "how old do I feel ?"
"Oh, I don't know. Very, very old indeed !-ever
so old !" said Doda.
Then Mr. Mills began to laugh, and said, "Would
you like to see how old I felt before you came in ?"
Oh yes !" cried Doda; so much."
"I was reading for amusement, before I went to
my work for the day, something from a kind of story
called "The Banquet," in Greek, by Plato; and the
people in it-especially the one that was speaking
when you came in-were large and young and strong.
They were brown with living in the sun, which al-
ways shines in Greece, or always seems to do when
one reads about it. They wore sandals, and a sort of
loose coat without sleeves, and sometimes a cloak
twisted all round. And they all ran and leaped and
played, and loved music and long talks together, and
had few clothes and few books, and many friends.
And I felt like one of them. I was one of them,
and laughed when they laughed, and was strong
because they were strong, and all their friends were
round me. I heard their voices, and listened for
everything they said. That is what I felt like when
Mr. Mills opened another book as he spoke, and
showed her a picture of a Greek youth, such as was
at Plato's banquet. Doda almost believed she saw
him turn into the same, for he was looking at her
and thinking it so strongly himself; but as she
looked she saw his white hair and white collar and
dark coat, and that he was sitting in his own chair
like himself, and smiling at her.
But," said Doda, "your hair is like grandpapa's,
and you are like-not the least like this. How
could I tell ?"
But," said Mr. Mills, I don't feel my white hair
inside. I feel myself inside; and one's self is like
whatever one thinks of. And therefore mine is as
happy as the day is long."
Then Doda wondered, for she remembered hearing
people who knew him call him "poor Mr. Mills,"
when they were talking about him; and when she
had asked them why they called him "poor," they
said because he had lost his wife and children, and
was very miserable, and she had better not ask ques-
tions like this, as she could not understand till she
was older. And even her grandfather, when she had
asked him during a particular hour on Sunday after-
noon-when she used to go to him in the library and
ask him all the most difficult things, and he used to
tell her about them-had said very nearly the same.
Of course it was quite impossible to ask Mr. Mills
himself what it meant, and trying very hard not to
ask this made her not able to think what she ought
to say instead, and she stood feeling uncomfortable
and saying nothing.
Suddenly she thought that she would look up at
his face again, instead of at his knees, against which
she was leaning as she stood; so she looked up, and
saw that he knew all that she had been thinking,
and knew quite well that they called him "that poor
Mr. Mills," and even knew how nearly she had asked
him about it, but how it would not do at all if she
did. But he quite made her forget all this by say-
ing, "I should like to give you something nice on
your birthday; but I am afraid I have nothing,
especially in this room, that you would like to have.
What do you think ?"
Doda thought, I like you, and I don't understand
the other things." But she looked round at the
desks, and books, and papers, and ink, and shelves,
and little boxes, and the bust in the corner, and the
dark picture over the door, and the black marble
clock over the fire-place, and more shelves, and the
window, and at last back to his watch-chain, which
she began to play with again, because she wanted to
say, "I like you, and I don't see anything else I
know in the room." But, though it was so easy to
mean the words and say them to herself, when she
tried to do so out loud she could not even begin, but
stood feeling choked and frightened, and played with
his watch-chain. But she was determined to say it,
because she meant it so much, and she wanted Mr.
Mills to know that she did, and she knew she might
never have the chance again if she missed saying it
now. So she began to try; but in her fright she
began at the wrong end, and said, "I don't care for
anything in this room-" and there she stopped sud-
denly, feeling it was quite wrong; but then she
thought she would say except you," to put it right.
And she said "except-," but could not say "you"
to his face, after the rest. That is, she thought she
could not, for she was looking at his knees again,
and she felt very red and ashamed; and he said no-
thing, and at last she was obliged to look up, and
then saw that he knew quite well what she was
going to say, so that indeed she need not say it at
all, which made it quite easy, and she said "except
you," looking at him without any trouble.
"Then," said he, smiling, "I ought to give you
myself, and I will do so as much as I can."
Then Doda felt that another of the important
things of this birthday had just happened, and she
wished she could rush straight off and be alone some-
where, where she could jump and scream, and do
anything she liked. But before she could say any-
thing, he went on, But what did you come to say
to me to-day ?"
And this made her quiet again, as she had to think
for a moment before she said, I came because I felt
old, and wanted to make people understand."
"I am very glad you came," said he, "because I
don't feel old; and now we both understand, and the
other people will sometimes find it out and some-
times not, and we must never mind. But we will do
what we can for each other, and next time you come
to see me my servant shall announce you properly."
This was an opportunity for Doda to go; so she
left off leaning against the knee of Mr. Mills, and
stood before him, feeling quite grown-up, and said,
"Don't be severe with the servant because of me, as
I dare say he would have done right if he had under-
stood. When may I come again to see you ?" and
she held out her hand to wish him good-bye.
Come whenever it is a very fine day, and we can
tell each other how fine is is," said Mr. Mills; or
whenever you have something to say which is too
old for the others to understand."
But I stop you reading and writing," said Doda.
But, you know, I have given myself to you for a
birthday-present," said Mr. Mills; so you must come
and ask for me whenever you like, and some day I
will give you some of my writing and reading as well
on another birthday."
"You must have a great many birthdays," said
"A great many," said Mr. Mills; "but I forget
when they are, and every day is so like a birthday
now that I don't know the new ones when they
"Do your birthdays come very close one after
the other ?" asked Doda.
Very close indeed."
Oh, I wish mine did; I should like them to do
so very much," said Doda.
They will some day," said Mr. Mills.
Oh, when ?" asked Doda.
"When you are as young as I am, and people who
don't understand think you are very old."
"Will you come and see me then ?" she asked.
30 Doda's Birltday.
Yes," said Mr. Mills; I shall have turned quite
into books by that time; I am turning into them
very fast now, and in that way I will come and be
with you on all your birthdays." Then he wished
her good-bye, and laughed, so that she could not help
thinking he enjoyed the books he was going to turn
into very much. So she laughed too, but she thought
it very odd, but supposed she would understand
when she had read the books.
So she left Mr. Mills, and returned home.
SUST as Doda got to the gate, there was a little car-
riage with two ponies standing there, and a
childish-looking groom, with pink, smooth cheeks,
and short hair, and a very large hat, looking serious,
and standing by the two ponies.
He touched his hat as Doda came up, and seemed
to expect her to get into the carriage. Doda knew
she might do so if she liked, as it belonged to Mrs.
Thoseby, whom she knew as well as Mr. Mills, and
who very often took her out when no one else had
time. She said to the groom, "Is Mrs. Thoseby
And the groom said, "No, miss. She sent the
ponies, with a note and her love, and I was to bring
Miss Doda back in it, to have luncheon with her."
What the groom meant was easy enough to under-
stand, though what he said might be taken in two
ways. But Doda had long ago been taught to reply
to people's meanings, when she could see what they
meant, and leave the words to take care of them-
She answered,-" I should like very much;" and,
as she said so, she remembered again that it was her
birthday, though Mrs. Thoseby had known better
than to send such a message as, "Many happy re-
turns!" by a groom. Doda thought for a moment
whether she should go first into the house, and tell
them before she started. Of course they ought to
know that she was going out to luncheon, or they
might expect her. But perhaps Mrs. Thoseby's
groom had managed to give them notice. So, to
make quite sure, she asked,-" Did you tell them in
the house ?"
"Yes, miss, they had the note," said the groom.
So then Doda got into the carriage at once, and
said, "Very well; I am ready. We can go now."
So the groom jumped in at the other side, very
briskly, but he was still quite serious. He took the
reins, and the ponies began to move away. As they
did so, Doda heard her grandfather's big dog Nero
barking behind the house, and remembered she had
not yet been to wish him good-morning, and to tell
him it was her birthday. She looked up, and saw
her mother looking out of a window, holding a letter
in her hand. This must be the note from Mrs.
Thoseby; so Doda nodded, to show she understood,
and her mother nodded, and waved the letter, and
went back into the room. Then Doda looked up to
the library window above, where her grandfather
appeared as he heard the carriage driving away over
the gravel; and he nodded too, and waved his great,
wonderful, grandfather's-pocket-handkerchief, which
was as large and soft as a fairy's flag.
As they trotted on, Doda wondered who she should
find at M/rs. Thoseby's; for sometimes she dined
there all alone, and sometimes there were a great
many people. She especially wondered if she would
meet a girl called Essy, whose parents, the Fairtops,
used to live near the Thoseby's, and who was very
beautiful, but whom she had heard of always and
never seen. She supposed, at any rate, there would
be Colonel Thoseby; and Tom T"I.....;.i-, who was a
school-boy, and for whom she did not care much;
and as she was thinking and wondering, several sol-
diers passed, and then after awhile several more-not
ii.,_. 1J,1-. but walking along, as if coming away from
something. She remembered that these were the
militia, who were only soldiers for a part of the year,
and are never sent abroad. She knew some of their
faces, for they belonged to the village, and to a little
town not far off, where she sometimes drove with her
mother. She wondered if Colonel Thoseby had any-
thing to do with these men.
When she arrived at the house, and was shown
into the drawing-room, there were a great many
people; and, as the door was partly open already, she
heard what two men who stood near it were -, I-
to each other. One of them, she afterwards heard,
was Captain Lewis, who had returned from India,
but used to know the Thosebys very well. The
other was a stranger. This is what Captain Lewis
was saying to him, as Doda came in-"Yes, Mrs.
ll.... I,-y is thirty-one-fine woman, isn't she ? And
her mother there, Mrs. Mortlake, is forty-six-fine
woman, isn't she? And her son there is fifteen-
fine boy, isn't he ? You see it runs in the family."
Doda had not time to hear what it was that ran in
the family, for at that moment she found Mrs.
Thoseby, who was tall and beautiful, with nice dark
hair, and had always a nice dress, that looked as if she
never could look better in any other. She came up
quickly and quietly between the people, and bent
down and kissed Doda, and said, I'm so glad you
have come! Many happy returns of the day !" all
in a sort of rapid whisper, but without actually
At that moment Colonel Thoseby put his head in
at the door, and said, I'm horribly late-please for-
give-military exigencies," and Doda saw he had got
a uniform on. I'll be with you directly," he added,
and was just going to draw back when every one
cried together, "Oh no! Do come in. Come, and
do the honours as you are."
"Must I?" he said. "Very well," and dis-
"Will he ?" said every one; and Mrs. Thoseby
assured them that he would.
Then he came back, still in the uniform, but with-
out his sword and gloves, and said, So sorry. Fear-
ful review; but all abolished now. Lord Welryth
was there. The sight of him encouraged the troops.
Ah, Doda Glad you've come. You must attend
and help us next parade."
Then he shook hands with every one, and all went
in to luncheon, Mrs. Thoseby leading Doda by the
hand, and taking her with her to the head of the
"Stop, stop 1" cried Colonel Thoseby. "Where
are you going to run away to with Doda? She must
sit next me."
Doda felt quite helpless; but Mrs. Thoseby smiled,
and let go her hand, and said, Go, then, if I am
to lose you, quickly;" and so she went up to Colonel
Thoseby, who looked very commanding in his uni-
form, and his grey moustache looked twice as big as
"Now Doda," he said, giving her a chair at his
left, I am going to take care of you. I have got you
by all the laws of war, and you shall have everything
you want while I keep you."
Doda knew he often made fun like this, or she
might have been rather frightened. So she got unto
the chair he gave her, and laughed, and said, "I
won't run away, and I'm not at all afraid."
"You shall have no chance," said he. "Essy, take
care the prisoner does not escape at your side."
Oh yes, Colonel Thoseby, I will take such care,"
said the young lady, and looked round, and smiled
graciously at Doda, who thought, "Then you are
Essy, and you have come from France."
Indeed, it was easy to believe she had come from
France, for she was small and pretty, and very skil-
ful in taking off her gloves, and in keeping them, and
her handkerchief, and her fan, and a little bottle with
a gold stopper, and her little parasol, all in her lap
at the same time, without letting any of them fall, or
appearing to have too many things. Besides this,
her dress was the prettiest, and her hair the most
woven and entwined, and designed, and refined, that
Doda had ever seen in all her life.
At the other side of the table sat Mrs. Mortlake,
Mrs. Thoseby's mother, who was like Mrs. Thoseby,
but with a prettier complexion and smaller lips, only
she was not at all thin, and she sometimes shut her
eyes while eating, which she did very slowly and
nicely. She took no meat; only preserve and sponge
cake, which seemed to suit her much better. She
took cream also, and strawberries, and Doda thought
perhaps she lived on them, and that was why, though
she was old enough to be Mrs. Thoseby's mother,
her face was like that of a fair, sad child, with dark
hair, more delicate in complexion but fatter and more
handsome than most other children. She never
raised her eyes, and was gentle and majestic, but
spoke to no one.
There was the man whom Doda had heard speak-
ing about the age at which, in Mrs. Thoseby's family,
they seemed to marry-for this was the thing that
"ran in the family," as Doda discovered, after won-
dering very hard to herself for a little while. It was
now that she heard he was Captain Lewis, as they
were sitting down to luncheon. He sat at the other
side of Essy, and said things very quietly, and not
fast, as if he were quite sure of being listened to, and
liked, and understood, whatever he said. Doda could
see a little bit of his face beyond Essy, and almost
all when he leaned forward. When every one had
begun, and all were talking except Mrs. Mortlake
and Doda herself, who was wondering and listening
to them all at once, he said to Colonel Thoseby, Was
the review nice ?"
A real pleasure," said Colonel Thoseby. "My
invincibles all filed past without one man tumbling
down. They are Trojans!" He said this smiling,
and Doda supposed he must be speaking of the same
men she saw with guns in the morning; for they
looked as if they must clearly knock each other
down if they walked close as proper soldiers do, for
they swung and rolled about, first on one foot and
then on the other, as workmen do when they walk
home after work. Only Doda wondered what Tro-
jans" were. Colonel Thoseby looked at her just
then, and saw her wondering, and offered the mus-
tard, which was not at all what she was in want of.
She thought she would ask him, so she said, "What
are Trojans ?"
"Trojans !" said Colonel Thoseby, more surprised
than she was; "Trojans ? People in Homer-that
is, in a book-who were heroes, and so forth. They
fought the Greeks, and so forth. Is that right, Essy ?
I believe you know more about it than I do."
"Oh, Colonel Thoseby !" cried Essy, I never
learned Greek. How could you say such a thing ? I
am not a radical, you know, and I don't understand
anything. Now, do I ?"
Doda thought people who liked not understanding
things must be very funny. She wished she could
understand everything. She had looked several times
at Colonel Thoseby, and thought how immense his
grey moustache was, and wondered if he felt it inside;
or whether he was like Mr. Mills and felt like the
Greeks; and this was the right moment to ask him,
so she said, Do you ever feel like the Greeks ?"
I dare say I do," said he, smiling, but I don't
know. What do you think they felt like ?"
Doda thought of all she knew about them, which
she had only learned that morning from the picture
and from Mr. Mills, that they, or at least some of
them, ran races, and were brown and strong, with
beautiful faces and short curly hair, and that they
wore cloaks and sandals, and tunics without sleeves,
and nothing else.
So she said, "I don't know; but Mr. Mills reads
about them, and feels like them, and is perfectly
I'm afraid I don't read much about them," he
answered. Mr. Mills is a very clever man, and has
-well, he has imagination, which we grown-up
people very seldom keep, and I'm afraid I lost mine
long ago." Then he became suddenly grave for a
moment, and did not seem cheered, even though
Essy asked him how he could say so, and said that
he knew he was dreadfully clever, and that they were
all quite frightened of him. He scarcely listened to
her, for he was thinking of a little volume of poems
he had written just when he entered the army, on
leaving school. In these poems the serious ones were
like Mrs. IHemans, and the exciting ones like Scott
and Lord Macaulay, and one was even like Pope, and
the worst of all, and was called, To the Imagination."
Doda guessed what he was thinking about, for she
had found the book once when she had been forgotten
in the library at home. It was behind a lot of other
books, and covered with dust. She had read it, but
never spoke of it to Colonel Thoseby, as no one else
ever did, and she thought it a very awful thing.
She looked round the table now, and saw in the
middle of it a great cake which had white sugar on
the top, with sugar flowers, and which was very dark
at the sides. She guessed what this was, and looked
away to Mrs. Thoseby at the other end of the table,
who smiled and nodded to her, and then spoke to a
servant, who took the cake away and cut a great
piece out of it, and brought the rest back, and then
cut the great piece up into proper-sized pieces, and
began handing them round to each person.
"Who are we to congratulate ?" asked Captain
Lewis, taking his piece.
"You never told us we were to have the pleasure
of hearing of a ..-1.,." said some one else, whom
Doda did not know, to Mrs. Thoseby.
"A wedding !" cried Essy. Oh no that is qgite
impossible;" and had she been any one else, at think
moment either her gloves, or her fan, or her parasol,
or her handkerchief, or her little bottle, or her nap-
kin must have slipped off her lap. But they did not,
nor did they seem in any danger. Essy was like a
pussy cat, and never spilled anything.
"It is a birthday," said Mrs. Thoseby.
"It is Doda's birthday," said Tom Thoseby at once,
"And you are Doda!" cried Essy, turning round
to her. "What a dear little thing you are! And
how nice of you to have a birthday! And how clever
of you not to say anything about it, and give us all a
surprise !" Then she suddenly turned away, and
said, Oh, Mrs. Thoseby, how good of you to let us
have some of the treat !"
Doda could not think what to say. She had never
heard this sort of conversation before, and did not
know what it was made of, nor how to make the
answers to it. But Essy did not wait for an answer
yet; she turned and said at once, And what dread-
ful age have you arrived at ?"
Seven," said Doda, still surprised and uncom-
"Oh, what a delightful age!" cried Essy. And
then, turning to Captain Lewis, at her left side,
"Isn't it a delightful age ?"
Perfectly so," said he, in his soft voice; "de-
lightfulness begins and ends there."
Oh, that's very unkind," said Essy. "Isn't Cap-
tain Lewis unkind, Mrs. Thoseby? Do say some-
thing to him. I know what I mean, but I can't say
"Nothings are better," Captain Lewis was heard
gently murmuring; "they require more education,
and fewer people can say them. Lord Welryth be-
lieves that in Shakespeare's time hardly any one
could. That is why it is so stupid to hear his things
now. It is stupid, isn't it ?"
Doda listened. She knew who Lord Welryth
was, because he had a house near, where he came
every year, and her grandfather often went to see
him, for they were nearly the same age, and had been
at school together. But it was Shakespeare she
wanted to know about, for she had a presentiment
that it would have something to do with her some
time, and at present there was mystery in it. Her
mother had three Shakespeares, and her grandfather
five; and she used to try to read them, but never got
very far, and could never find the place again. She
knew Hamlet was there, and her mother used some-
times to say that Hamlet was mad;" and her grand-
father would answer, "You mean Lear, yes;" and
then her mother would frown, and look uncomfort-
able, and go away. This was all she knew about
Shakespeare, and about his time" she knew nothing
at all. But nothing was to be learned just now from
Essy, who only said, "I don't know; you are very
unkind; you were much nicer before you went
Every one was talking now, and he said in the
same voice, so easy to hear, and so difficult to over-
hear, "We were seven then, you see, which was so
delightful, and now we are only two, and growing
fewer every day."
Essy looked down, and attended to her cake, and
said nothing to this; and no one noticed that it had
been said, except Doda, who did not understand it.
But Essy understood, and Captain Lewis understood,
and so nobody minded if Doda was puzzled. She
had time to wonder during the next few minutes,
while no one was speaking to her, whether seven
really was a nice age or not. She settled at first that
it was when one was alone, but not when there was
a lot of people; because, though one felt so old, their
way of talking sounded quite childish, one was in
reality so young that one did not know how to make
the right sort of childish answers, and wished they
would only always talk like grown-up people, which
is so much easier. But then after awhile she thought
that this was only true of people one did not like,
and that one could always talk to people one did like,
whether they were seven years old or not. So then
she supposed Essy must be one of the people she did
not like, in spite of her prettiness, and the prettiness
of her dress, and of her fan, and her gloves, and her
parasol, and little bottle, and handkerchief. Then
she began to wonder why she didn't like her or dis-
like her either. She had just discovered that this
would be one of the most difficult wonders she ever
wondered, when Mrs. Thoseby, glancing down the
table, saw that Mrs. Mortlake had at last finished the
birthday cake and strawberry preserve that she had
been eating slowly and prettily and silently for a long
time, and that every one else was ready to go, and
that luncheon was over; so every one moved.
"May I have Doda ?" said Essy, getting up, and
cleverly gathering up all her things from her lap in
one hand, while she gave the other to Doda, adding,
"Will you come with me ?"
"Where ?" asked Doda.
Captain Lewis, at the other side, was heard to mur-
mur, "Anywhere, anywhere, into the world," which
appeared to mean something to Essy, though Doda
thought it was so childish it meant nothing at all.
Somewhere where Captain Lewis shall not find
us," said Essy in answer; and, taking her hand, led
Doda out into the garden, through the glass-doors.
When they were alone, she went on, "That is Cap-
tain Lewis. Don't mind anything he says. He is
allowed to say whatever he likes, and no one ever
"He seems very childish," said Doda.
Essy laughed, and said, Come, let us run. I
know where there are some beautiful roses, and you
shall have the birthday ones. I know Mrs. Thoseby
She ran, and, as she had hold still of Doda's hand,
Doda ran too, but thought it very odd. Essy seemed
very fond of her. The moment when they stopped
running, she began again-" My name is Esther
Fairtop, and every one calls me Essy, and you shall
too; and I am very fond of dear Mrs. Thoseby-
every one is; and I am seventeen; and I live in
London, in Berkeley Square, with my aunt; and I'm
an heiress, and I'm out now; and I hate London, be-
cause they ill-treat heiresses there; and I know who
you are quite well; and you are an heiress too, and
so we ought to be very fond of each other; and you
must never, never, never go to London-at least, not
with an aunt, because she watches you, and takes you
away from a ball before the end, when you were
going to dance with Captain Lewis-at least, when I
say 'you,' I mean me, and when I say Captain Lewis,
I don't mean this one in particular, because there are
such a lot, and they are all alike, and that is why no
one minds what he says. How shall we get that
rose ? I can't reach it, even with my parasol. Don't
you think it is very unkind of Captain Lewis not to
come and help us to get that rose ? He is dreadfully
unkind, you know, and one can't do anything to him,
he's so pachydermatous. Do you know what pachy-
dermatous means ?"
"No," said Doda.
"You will some day," said Essy. "You will be
educated--'higher education,' you know. I go in
for it partly because it is my duty as an heiress, and
partly because my aunt hates it so. I go to lectures."
Oh," said Doda, "mamma goes to lectures, when
she is in London."
"Does she take you ?" asked Essy.
Oh, no," said Doda; "I stay here with grand-
papa, and we have such fun! He draws pictures for
me, and puts me on the chimney-piece, so that I
can't get down, and teaches me the piano, and i.1 -
in the evening after bed-time, and rides with me, and
puts me into the big round jar, as big as a tub, where
the rose-leaves are, in the drawing-room, and then
he sends Nero to look for me. I mean that is what
we used to do when I was young-I mean when I
was little-I mean last spring."
"Do you feel very old now?"
"Yes, it is my birthday," said Doda, beginning to
think Essy understood her.
Essy asked, "Have you always lived with your
"Always," said Doda, feeling that this made her
"Then," said Essy, unexpectedly, "you must be
very young for your age, and quite a child. You
don't understand a word I say when I talk to you-
do you ?"
"No," said Doda.
That is why I think you so nice," said Essy. I
should hate you if you understood me, because it
would be so absurd. How nicely you are dressed !
Do you like my dress ? Do you like old people ? I
am sure you do. You hate me-don't you ?"
"No," said Doda; I don't understand you."
"What fun you are !" said Essy. "There, those
roses will do, and they will look very nice. Now,
come and let us look for the other people, as they
won't look for us. It is so stupid to be out here all
Just then they saw several people coming along,
with Captain Lewis among them, and from behind
him Nero rushed out, and charged down the path
Oh," cried Essy, trying to get out of the way,
"what an awful creature! He's not muzzled, and it
is July, and I'm sure he has hydrophobia."
"No; it is Nero !" said Doda, "and he never has
anything. Nero, poor boy!" and she caught him and
seized hold of his neck.
Oh, look!" cried Essy; "he has been swimming,
and he is all wet, and he will spoil me if he comes
near me. Do keep him away. Oh, Captain Lewis,
what shall I do ?"
"Nero," said Captain Lewis, gently and sadly,
"explain to Miss Fairtop, with all the dumb elo-
quence you possess, that her nerves betray her. You
have neither been swimming nor indulging in any
other hydrophobiac symptoms; and then bow, Nero,
and retire; but don't go near her and spoil her, as
all her friends have already done so, ever since she
Oh, Captain Lewis, now you are unkind, and I'
won't stay," cried Essy; and she actually ran away,
looking as pale as her gloves, for she really was
afraid of Nero, and thought his unkindness a great
deal more formidable than that of Captain Lewis.
"NO! IT'S NERO," SAID DODA.
"She's afraid," said Tom Thoseby, with contempt.
"Yes," said Captain Lewis, to whom Tom had
spoken, "so am I; but on account of my profession
I have scruples about showing it. Nero is very
terrible. Were you never afraid of Nero, Miss-ah
"I?" said Doda; "why, I'm older than he is;" at
which every one laughed.
Doda thought that people were odder to-day than
she had ever noticed they were before.
"I wonder," said Mrs. Mortlake, who had come up
a little after the others, "I wonder, Doda, how you
can let a dog lick your face. I consider it not at all
nice. Come, and give me your hand. The servant
is come, and you must go; but you shall have another
piece of cake."
So Doda gave her hand, and let herself be led
away, but she kept fast hold of Nero with the other
hand. It took a long time to get in with Mrs. Mort-
lake, and Doda often wanted to run on; but Mrs.
Mortlake, though she was always a little out of breath
when she walked, and could not talk, kept hold of
Doda the whole way.
As they got near the house they saw Mrs. Thoseby,
who had been saying "good-bye" to some of the people
who had just gone away. She said, Ah, Doda, I am
so sorry I have not been able to have you for a
moment; but now I am free, and we can do whatever
A servant has come for her," said Mrs. Mortlake,
"and she is to go home; but I have promised she
shall have a piece more cake, as it is her birthday."
Mrs. Thoseby smiled a little, perhaps because she
was not so fond of cake as other people, and said,
"Very well, mamma; while you give her the cake I
will get ready. I must really have a little of you,
Doda; so we will order the ponies, and I will drive
Then they all went into the dining-room together,
and Mrs. Thoseby rang the bell and went out, spoke
to the servant as she crossed the hall, and then went
up-stairs to dress. Then the servant came in, and
Mrs. Mortlake ordered three cups of tea and the cake
from luncheon. Then the servant went out, and
Mrs. Mortlake, without a word, closed her eyes, and
slept peacefully as she sat upright on a chair.
Doda sat still, holding Nero for protection, for Mrs.
Mortlake's silent manner of going to sleep suddenly,
without moving from the position in which she sat,
frightened her more than anything.
At last the man came with the cups and the cake.
Mrs. Mortlake opened her eyes without moving, and
said, Out the cake, Brewster." He did so. This
took another minute. Doda could hear the pony-
carriage being brought round to the door.
"Take some cake, Doda," said Mrs. Mortlake,
Doda took a piece.
Nero was switching the floor with his tail as he
sat, and putting both his ears forward, while he
looked at Doda's piece of cake with an air of beseech-
ment that would move even a biscuit. For fear of
disturbing Mrs. Mortlake, Doda whispered to him,
"Now, dear boy, this is my birthday, and I am older
than you are, so I shall allow you to have this piece
of cake. Now-catch !"
She threw a little piece up. Nero caught it. The
snapping of his jaws sounded in the awful silence of
the room like the clapping of the hugest sheers.
"Doda i" said Mrs. Mortlake, in a voice not loud,
but very clear and alarming, that dog is a great deal
too large to be allowed cake. He ought not to have
come into the room. Do you know that many poor
people would be glad of that piece you are wasting
now? How dare you ?"
Her eyes were wide open, and the expression,
which was the first Doda ever saw on her face, made
her unable to speak or breathe.
At this moment Mrs. Thoseby came into the room,
dressed, ready to start. "Never mind this time,
mamma," said she. "It is Doda's birthday, and she
may do whatever she likes."
< -.!1 <_ 1. J
CHAP. IV.-AFTER LUNCHEON.
R S. THOSEBY put Doda into the carriage, and
then got in at the other side, after patting the
ponies, and saying something to each of them. Then
she told the serious, but apple-faced little groom that
he might stay behind, as they should not need him.
Then they began to drive off, and Nero began to bark
and roar and leap about; and all Colonel Thoseby's
dogs, out of sight in the yard, heard .it, and began to
bark, and shake their bars, and yell, and cry, and
make such torrents of noise that at first nobody could
speak. When the carriage got into the road, and
Nero galloped away, and the other dogs were left be-
hind, Doda thought she ought to say something, to
make up for the way in which she had run from Mrs.
Mrs. Thoseby seemed busy with the ponies at first,
and Doda had only her side-face to talk to. How-
ever she began, and had got as far as saying, Mrs.
Thoseby-I-am very sorry about that. I hope you
don't-I mean I hope I didn't hurt Mrs. Mortlake.
Will you get her to forgive me ?" when Mrs. Thoseby
began to smile, and turned to her, and said, "Don't
think about it. How did you get on with Essy ? I
suppose Miss Fairtop told you her name was Essy ?"
Yes," said Doda, when she took me away it was
the first thing she said."
"But what did you think of her?" said Mrs.
I don't know," said Doda. She was afraid of
"Oh, you must forgive her for that," said Mrs.
Thoseby. "She lives so much in London, and was
at school in Paris, and is not used to big dogs like
Nero, and doesn't know what he means when he
opens his mouth. She mixes him up in her mind,
perhaps, with the wolf in 'Little Red Ridinghood.'"
Oh, please, don't say that !" cried Doda.
"May not I ? What does it remind you of ?" said
"I think it is true," said Doda, frightening herself.
Indeed, she never could bear the story of "Little Red
Ridinghood." Once one of the servants had told her
the story to amuse" her, when her mother was ill
and her grandfather was away, and she was ordered
to be kept quiet. And the servant, who knew the
story very well, told it all through without a mistake.
And that night Doda cried and cried, till she went to
sleep full of misery, and she thought the servant
iht,!i-lly cruel to smile over the story, and that she
must think her very wicked to expect her to be amused
by it. And, besides, she thought they had not told
52 Doda's Birthday.
her all, because, after it had eaten Little Red Riding-
hood, what did the wolf do next? It must have
done something, and perhaps just as bad. Then they
came and told her it wasn't true, at least not exactly
true; and what was called the wolf was really some-
thing else. Then she asked them what it meant, and
they got impatient, and said it meant that "Little
girls should not loiter," and would say no more. Then
she knew that she could never know what she wanted
till she was grown up, and as for loitering, how could
she help it ? She could not be eight any sooner by
being in a hurry to be eight. She had never thought
before, and now no one helped her. They even told
her it was very ungrateful to cry all night, and then
ask silly questions when the servant had told her a
nice story to amuse her. The housekeeper said that.
She was very fat, and had dreadful eyes, like glass
and slate-pencil, though she was not at all blind.
And this made Doda more miserable still. And then
they sent her to take some toast in to her mother's
bed-room, and go and say good morning." And as
she knocked at the door, the housekeeper in the
passage behind her said, "Pull the bobbin, and the
latch will go up," just as the wolf in the story does to
Little Red Ridinghood. Then when she went into
the room, there was her mother sitting up in bed in
a night-cap, as the wolf does, and she said as Doda
came in, Ah, I'm glad you brought the toast, or I
should have had to eat you 1" which was meant in
fun, only for a moment Doda was so full of the story
that she took it in earnest, and did not find out till
her mother began to laugh.
"But," said Mrs. Thoseby, did they not tell you
that it never happened really and truly, with a real
four-legged wolf, and a real grandmother, and a real
Little Red Ridinghood? It is only a kind of story,
with a meaning."
"Then why do they tell it ?" said Doda. .
"Well," said Mrs. Thoseby, when they had once
begun, you remember you could not help letting them
go on till they got to the end, even though you did
not like it. The story says, doesn't it, that after
speaking to Little Red Ridinghood in the road, the
wolf went on first to the cottage, and got in, and ate
up the grandmother, and got into the bed, and pulled
the bed-clothes up to his chin, and when Doda-when
Little Red Ridinghood got to the door and knocked,
he cried,' Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up,'
just as the grandmother had to him. Then little Red
Ridinghood went in with her basket, knowing she
was much too late, and saw her grandmother, for she
did not think it could possibly be the wolf, sitting up
in bed, looking even more impatient than usual,
And she looked at her, and could not help saying--
what did she say?"
"'What very long ears you have, grandmamma,'"
said Doda, wondering that the beginning of that
awful conversation did not frighten her so much in
the pony carriage, when she was close to Mrs.
Thoseby, and the two fat little ponies were trotting
54 Doda's Birthday.
on in front, and the sun shone, and Nero rushed about
the hedges-as it did when she used to hear it whis-
pered by all kinds of voices alone in the night, when
there was no one anywhere.
"And then," continued Mrs. Thoseby, "the wolf
"'The better to hear you with, my dear,'" said
"And then," said Mrs. Thoseby, "Little Red
Ridinghood came near the bed, and saw the wolf's
claws on the coverlid, and said-"
"'What very odd hands you have,"' answered
Doda, when Mrs. Thoseby waited.
"To which," she now went on, the wolf replied-"
"' The better to tear you with,'" said Doda, follow-
ing the conversation.
"But in saying this," continued Mrs. Thoseby, "the
wolf could not help smiling, and Little Red Riding-
hood saw all his great, greedy fangs, and cried out in
a terrible fright-"
"'What very large teeth you have, grandmamma!'"
recited Doda, faithfully.
"Then," said Mrs. Thoseby, taking up the story
and conversation together, and making a rush for the
end, the wolf answered, 'The better to eat you with,
my dear,' and with that he jumped out of the bed,
"Oh, don't-don't-don't !" cried Doda, "I can't
bear that part !"
"Well, we won't mind the rest," said Mrs. Thoseby,
"I see they have told you the story the same way
they told it to me, when I was six years old."
Oh, said Doda, but you can't have been six years
"Why not ?" said Mrs. Thoseby, laughing, "You
were six years old once, were not you ?"
Oh, yes," said Doda; "but that is different."
"Well," said Mrs. Thoseby, "I was six years old
once, but then it was different too; for I was some-
This explanation seemed to Doda more reasonable,
and she was satisfied with it; so she said, "But
what did you do when they told you the story ?"
"Well, it was at night," said Mrs. Thoseby, after
I had gone to bed, and they told it to me to make
me go to sleep; and I shut my eyes at the end, to
-make them go away. So they went away, but they
took the candle too, and when they were gone it was
quite dark. So I opened my eyes when there was
no one to see, and cried all night."
Oh," said Doda, I think every one does."
No," said Mrs. Thoseby; a great many people
would like it very much, and sleep quite comfortably
But they must be very cruel people," said Doda.
"What becomes of them after they are grown-up ?"
She was thinking of an awful story that Tom
Thoseby said once had been told him when he was
a little boy-because he was killing flies-of an
Emperor of Rome, with a queer name beginning with
56 Doda's Birthday.
a V, who killed flies after he was grown up, and
killed all his friends too, and was so cruel that when
a stranger came to ask for him, he was told he would
find the Emperor alone, for not even a fly would go
They are not always very cruel people," said Mrs.
Thoseby, "for liking to hear Little Red Ridinghood,
because they don't really hear it at all, because they
don't imagine it properly, only half properly, just
enough to make themselves feel a little, which they
"But," said Doda, "what do they do when they
grow up ?"
"Well," said Mrs. Thoseby, "they read the news-
"The newspapers !" cried Doda, opening her eyes
very wide, because she had seen every one reading
newspapers at different times, even Colonel Thoseby
and Mr. Mills.
I mean," said Mrs. Thoseby, "a particular part;
because newspapers, you know, are so big that they
are about all kinds of things: one part about one
thing, and another part about something quite dif-
ferent, which no one need read unless they like; and
there is always a particular part about nothing but
horrid things, much worse than Little Red Riding-
hood, ever so much worse, and sometimes quite true,
and not "once upon a time," but really yesterday.
Then they read that part, while other sorts of people
read quite other parts of the paper."
"But," said Doda, remembering what her grand-
father had once told her mother she had for break-
fast instead of treacle, what sort of things ?"
"Oh," said Mrs. Thoseby, horrid things."
"Fires, with conflagration and great loss of life ?"
Yes," answered Mrs. Thoseby, astonished. How
did you know ?"
"And murders, with atrocious something, and
trials, and adjournments ?" went on Doda.
Yes; how can you know ?" said Mrs. Thoseby.
"Why," said Doda, "that is what grandpapa tells
mamma she has to breakfast instead of treacle."
Mrs. Thoseby suddenly turned away to look at
something at the other side of the road, and at that
moment her whip dropped and fell out of the carriage,
so they had to stop and pick it up.
Doda did this, and they had not been able to stop
quite directly, as they were going very fast, so she
had to go back a little way to get it. Mrs. Thoseby
had been blushing, for when Doda returned she was
still a little red, and said, "Really it was very
awkward of me to do that-thank you-I am quite
When they were comfortably settled, and trotting
on again, she said, I was going to tell you why they
made up the story of Little Red Ridinghood. Well,
it was for children to have instead of newspapers,
because it is very awful; but it isn't true, and yet
there is a wolf, so they have their little fright all for
58 Doda's Birthday.
nothing, and no one is hurt after all. This is what
But I don't like it," said Doda.
"No more do I," said Mrs. Thoseby.
Well, tell me a new story-a nice one," said Doda.
"Shall it be sense, or nonsense?" asked Mrs.
Oh, sense, of course," said Doda.
"Well, then," began Mrs. Thoseby, obediently,
"there was once upon a time a man who had two
backs to his head."
"Where was his face ?" asked Doda.
In the usual place," answered Mrs. Thoseby; "he
only had one back to his head at once. But the two
were quite different. He did not take off one to put
on the other, but he used to make the back of his
natural one into whichever he liked, by brushing his
hair differently. When he brushed it downwards, it
was brown and straight; but when he brushed it up,
it was grey and curly. In this way he used to de-
ceive people, so that they often thought he was some-
"But they would see his face," said Doda.
"Of course they did, when he was walking towards
them, but not when he was walking away from them,"
answered Mrs. Thoseby; "and that was why they
used to think they did not know him, for they were
sure of his face till he got past, and when they looked
at his back, and noticed that it was quite different to
what they had expected; then they would suppose
they had made a mistake, and would be quite sure
now that he must be some one else; and they would
say to each other, 'What a very extraordinary like-
ness !-really, from his face, we were quite sure he
must be the very man !' But by this time he would
be a long way off, and quite safe from being run
after, and looked at again. It never occurred to any-
one that he could possibly have two backs to his
head, and in this way he was taken for some one else
quite as often as for himself. In this way he used to
He must have been a very wicked man," said
Oh, no-a very good man; he never did anybody
any harm on purpose in all his life," answered Mrs.
"Well," said Doda, "but he did deceive them ?"
"But then," went on Mrs. Thoseby, "there was
another thing, which I had not come to yet. He did
not know that he had two backs, and, though he very
much wished to have the use of them, he never under-
stood how it was that things turned out so well."
Oh," said Doda, "then it was not his fault-was
"Not in the least," said Mrs. Thoseby. "Well,
one day he was in Spain. Spain is very hot, and very
cold, and very dry and dusty, and very rainy and
miserable; but it is not all these things at once, as
England is, but each has its time; and while one lasts
it seems as if all the country was going to be like
60 Doda's Birltday.
that always. In some parts the sun stays longest,
and there the roads are made of dust, and there are
very small trees, and the people are very brown, and
wear dresses of queer shapes and colours, as you have
seen them in pictures, with short jackets and flat hats,
and sashes round their waists, and big knives. And,
like most people with dark complexions, they are
very furious indeed when they are in love; and if
everything does not happen exactly as they want it,
they kill themselves or each other, and are in such
a rage that they don't think that is half enough, and
wish they could do a great deal more."
What horrid people !" said Doda, trying to ima-
"But then," said Mrs. Thoseby, "they are not
always doing that, and at other times they are more
clever and polite to each other, and much quicker in
understanding each other and in doing things nicely
than most people are here; so that, if one of the
peasants from there comes over and gets among our
country people, he thinks them so rude to each other
that he wonders why they do not all kill each other,
to teach themselves better manners."
And what do we think of him ?" asked Doda.
Oh, we think him a bowing, scraping, knife-
bearing, grinning, monkey-hearted foreigner, and that
he ought to be soused in a mill-pond to teach him
manliness and simplicity."
Doda was silent for a moment, trying to think
which was right. Mrs. Thoseby saw what she was
meditating, and went on; Well, they are both right
in their way, only they don't understand each other;
and poor people, and others who are always working
and busy, never have time to understand any one
different to themselves ; and besides that, they never
travel, so they do not even know properly what there
is to understand. They think it doesn't matter, and
that foreigners were only made to be written about
in books. But I was going to tell you what hap-
pened to the man with two backs to his head. When
he was travelling alone in Spain, he came once to a
village where every one was a thief. Thieves are
not all alike, you know; some of them in Spain treat
each other quite nicely, though they do not always
show the same kindness to us. Well, while he was
in the village, he never had the least suspicion that
all the people were thieves. There were a lot of
handsome men in dirty clothes of gay colours, some-
thing like those you see in pictures of Spanish shep-
herds. They all had dark faces, bright brown eyes,
and black hair. They had among them their wives
and children and grandmothers. The only thing that
made them not quite like shepherds was that when
you were not looking at them they looked at you
with an odd expression, as if they were calculating
what could be done with you, and not putting the
slightest consideration of how you would like it into
their sum; just as a man looks at a tree to guess
whether there is enough timber in it to serve for the
planks he wants, before he decides whether he will
cut it down. That is the way thieves look at a
traveller before they rob him in Southern countries.
Of coarse England, where we are, is quite different.
Well, one of the girls in the thieves' village was very
beautiful, and she looked at the man I am telling you
about, and he looked at her, and they both liked each
other; and then, without saying anything, she held
out a bunch of grapes to him, which she had just
plucked. So he came up, and took one off the bunch,
and eat it. Then she took off another, and eat it, and
held the bunch out to him. So he took another.
When they had done this a few times, they began
passing the bunch backwards and forwards more and
more quickly, and both began to laugh, as people do
when they race for fun. All the others in the village
stood about, and resolved that, as soon as they got
him alone, they would kill him for making fun with
one of their girls."
Oh," said Doda, with perfect frankness, "I don't
like this story !"
"You forget," said Mrs. Thoseby, "that the man
had two backs to his head."
Feeling that this contained an immeasurable source
of safety against everything that would happen to
him, Doda was re-comforted, and prepared to go on
Mrs. Thoseby continued-" Well, when he went
away in the afternoon, to return by a long, lonely
walk over a hill to the town where he was staying,
and which he had left early in the morning, two men
from the village crept away, and ran to a place in the
road where they thought he would be sure to pass,
and where they meant to attack him. But as they
were afraid to meet him face to face, they resolved
to let him go by, and then hit him from behind."
"I hate them!" said Doda.
"Never mind; they live a long way off," said Mrs.
Thoseby, and then went on-" But, though he was
going to pass this part of the road, before he reached
it he was very tired, and lay down on a bank to
watch the sunset. Here he thought about the girl
who had given him the grapes, and how nice she was,
and what queer-looking people she lived amongst.
And as he thought, he slipped a little further down
the bank, and rubbed all his hair the other way, so
that only the grey back to his head showed now.
When he at last got up and went on with his walk,
he forgot to put on his hat, which he carried in his
hand without noticing what it was. So he came to
the place where the men were hid who meant to jump
out and attack him. They were both brothers of the
girl, and both very young. They chiefly wanted to
kill him because their sister liked him, and wanted
to marry him instead of some one else whom they
wanted her to marry. So they waited till he had
gone past, and then they jumped out, and were just
going to kill him when they saw that the back of his
head was that of an old man. At this they both
began to laugh, and he turned round. It was too
dark to see faces well, but he saw they were robbers.
However, they both made him a bow, and requested
him, in the name of their sister, for a lock of his hair.
He thought it best to take them at their words. So
he pulled out a little pair of travellers' scissors which
he had, and cut off some hair from the back of his
head. He chose the underneath part, so that the
place where he cut it might not show. When he
held out the hair, he saw it was white. This asto-
nished him more than anything he had ever seen.
He thought, Can I possibly have been so frightened
at meeting these men in the wood that my hair has
turned white ?" for he had read of people to whom
that happened. But he had not been particularly
frightened; so he could not understand it. They took
the hair, with a great many bows and thanks, and,
assuring him that all they possessed was his-which
was their way of being polite-they left him and re-
turned home, where they showed the white hair to
their sister, and laughed at her for wanting to marry
a grandfather. This made her so angry, that she
changed her mind, and married the other man they
wanted her to have-and that was how Lord Welryth
discovered once that he had two backs to his head."
Oh, was it Lord Welryth ?" cried Doda.
"Yes, really; he told me himself," said Mrs.
Thoseby. But he has only one back to his head
now, for he is grey all over. He was younger then.
The moral of the story is, that some people gain as
much by loitering on a bank as other people lose, and
that, because it did so much harm to Little Red
Ridinghood, that is no reason why it should be
equally bad for every one else. That is philosophy."
"Is it ?" said Doda. "I understand it quite easily."
"Why not?" said Mrs. Thoseby. "It is much
easier to understand than anything else. Girls are
expected to find it out for themselves. That is why
they are not taught it."
Then what does pachydermatous' mean ?" asked
Mrs. Thoseby was so astonished at this question
coming unexpectedly, that Doda had to explain that
Essy had used the word, and told her it was a part
of "higher education." So Mrs. Thoseby explained
it, and said that it was scientific, and that Essy used
it in fun, because she thought scientific words funny,
because the people who went about using them when
they ought not, in ordinary conversation, never see
how funny they appear; and Essy did see, which
made her feel a great deal wiser than they were.
But is she wiser ?" asked Doda.
"We are going into very deep subjects," said Mrs.
Thoseby. "Yes, in some ways she is. She has man-
ners of a certain kind, which she can make to suit
the people she is with; and manners are a kind of
wisdom." Have I manners ?" asked Doda.
"Yes," said Mrs. Thoseby, smiling. "But then
you are used to it, and you always notice what people
expect each other to do; and we are all such old
friends here, that it is the best manners in the world
to like each other as much as we choose, and-"
Here Mrs. Thoseby stopped a moment. Then, as
if she meant to say all the rest in two words, and end
the subject, she went on-" and not treat each other
worse than we would treat strangers, though people
who like each other often do. They think that is the
privilege which liking gives them."
But how do we treat strangers better?" asked
"We have gone far enough for once," answered
Mrs. Thoseby. Wait till we have another birthday."
So they went on for a little without saying any-
thing, and Doda thought how pretty Mrs. Thoseby
was, and yet she was as wise as Mr. Mills, and said
everything rightly, and she thought it would be worth
while not being seven years old if one could become
like that. Then she thought how nice the carriage
was, and how like a shield the black-shiney leather
thing in front of them, and how funny the backs of
the two little ponies looked beyond it, bobbing up
and down quickly as they trotted, like the little
leather things inside a grand piano do, if you look
in while some one is playing. The road was very
pretty where they were driving, the hedges made queer
shapes, and the trees were tall, and the bank was
higher in some places than in others, with flowers on
it, and in the brown part the roots of the trees coming
through like the hands of some one who was just
going to come up out from under the earth. And
beyond were the hills, and everywhere there was
summer, and the wonderful feeling of the warm air
that seems alive. Doda wished they could trot on
and on for ever, but they were near the village now,
and her own home was still nearer. She saw the
garden-gate, and the trees, and the house through
them, and then Mrs. Thoseby pulled up.
Oh," cried Doda, is that all ?"
"All for the present," said Mrs. Thoseby; "but
we will have another drive whenever you like."
So Doda had to come out of her silence, which she
had liked so much; for with Mrs. Thoseby near her
she liked it quite as well sometimes as talking. She
had to get off the carriage, and say the right things,
as it was her own house they had come to; and so
she said, Won't you come in ?"
I have left the groom," said Mrs. Thoseby; "so
I am afraid not, as there would be no one to look
after the ponies."
Our groom would," said Doda.
Perhaps your grandfather wants him," said Mrs.
Thoseby, "and then I would be giving trouble. So
I will come another time. What a pretty locket
that is !"
Oh said Doda, "I forgot. Grandpapa gave it
"How nice of him !" said Mrs. Thoseby. Then
she drew out a parcel, looking like a box, but done
up in brown paper. It was not very big, but not
very small-bigger than a jewel-case, and smaller
than a desk. She gave it to Doda, and said, "This
is my present. Now good-bye;" and leaning down,
68 Doda's Biritday.
gave her a kiss as well, and the next moment had
rattled away again, the two ponies trotting, faster
than ever; and Doda was left alone at the gate with
So she went inside, and sat down on a little place
where there was a seat in a bush, and undid the
brown paper. The box was a long narrow one,
covered with beautiful dark browney-red leather, and
it was locked, with a little key hanging by a piece of
silk. So she opened it, and the lid had scissors and
thimble, and everything to sew, all very small, that
went under little leather bridges, and so was lifted
up with the lid; and there was in the box a new
photograph of Mrs. Thoseby, in a little frame that
would stand up when you took it out; and under the
photograph were new gloves-some of light kid and
some dark-all the way to the bottom of the box.
There were twelve pairs, all the size Doda wore.
Doda sat looking at the box a long time, opening
it and shutting it, and taking out the little pointed
scissors with handles like wreaths, and opening and
shutting them in the air. And the more she looked
at everything the prettier she thought it: and then,
it was such a grown-up present. She scarcely knew
whether she liked it or the locket best.
Suddenly she heard some one coming down the
path, and she locked the box and put the key in her
pocket, and waited to see who it was. It was her
mother's maid, who told her she had been sent for,
and wanted to know where she had been, and whether
After Luncheon. 69
she had had dinner. Doda said she had had dinner,
and had been at Mrs. Thoseby's. The maid said they
supposed she must be there, and then seemed to ex-
pect Doda was going to come into the house with her.
Doda did not want to do so at all, so she gave the
new glove-box, safely looked, to the maid, and said it
was a present from Mrs. Thoseby, and asked the maid
to put it in her bedroom, as she was not going in just
yet. Then, as soon as she was alone, she rushed out
of the garden and stood in the lane, wondering for a
moment where she should make up her mind to go
next, feeling with one hand the key of her dear box
safe in her pocket.
CHAP. V.-IN MRS. DEYLON'S GARDEN.
W HILE she wondered she began to walk slowly
down towards the village.
The sun was shining in the way that makes very
old people in villages come out and sit before their
cottages, in their little gardens, where there is always
a seat, and generally far too many flowers round it
and beside the one path, so that the flowers tumble
over each other if the least wind blows.
At the first cottage to which Doda came there was
an old woman sitting. "I wonder what she is think-
ing of," said Doda to herself, but she did not quite
succeed in finding out. The old woman, in fact,
though she sat in the sun, and flowers were about
her, was thinking of her teeth, and wondering how
long the remaining ones would last her; at the same
time she was thinking of her grandchildren, and of
how different to them she was at their age; and how
foolish it was of the eldest boy to save money to buy
a watch, when she had lived, and in good health, to
her time of life without ever a watch to bless herself
with; and she had known other people younger than
she that had had watches, and yet they were dead,
and there she was still.
In Mrs. Deylon's Garden.
Doda could not quite discover all this, as she did
not know the old woman's history, or what she was
likely to think about it; so she wondered at her
wrinkled, brooding face, and went on.
Then she saw an old man sitting before his door,
with his hand on the head of a big dog that sat be-
side him, and which he patted now and then, but
scarcely looked at. His face was not like the wo-
man's, and he half smiled to himself, and was not
unhappy for the time. He was thinking-though
Doda did not know it-that the dog beside him was
another that he had had forty years before, when he
himself was a newly-married man, and had just come
to the cottage. It had been summer-time then, as
it was now; and he sat leaning back in the sunshine,
and making believe to himself that now was still the
same summer, till it seemed almost as good'as if it
had been really true.
Then, as she went on, she came to a number of
children, all running and playing in the road and on
the grass and pathway. These were thinking many
different things not at all shown in their faces. Some
were thinking that they would be called soon, and
must play quickly. Some were thinking how un-
fairly the others played, and what a shame it was,
and wishing they were strong enough and big enough
to fight the ones they were angry with. Some thought
of nothing but the cricket, and of where the ball was
then, and where it might be struck next, and how
well they would stop it, and how hard they would
throw it if it came their way. And one was thinking
of a punishment which he was told he should have
in the evening when his father came home, and was
wishing something would make his father change his
mind, and not come home for ever and ever.
As Doda passed through, the game stopped for a
moment, and they all looked at her, which was natu-
ral, as she was pretty, and well-dressed, and alone;
and any one seeing her coming down the lane in the
sunshine would have stopped a moment to look at
Then, when she had passed them, she met a cow,
which frightened her, for it went fast and was very
big; but it did not look at her. And then she met
a little boy running, who did not frighten her, but
who frightened the cow.
And then she saw a cat steal out of a garden, where
it had hid till the cow got past, and rush across to
its own garden, which was at the other side of the
road. Here it leaped up unto the lap of an old wo-
man, who sat there reading, and she put down her
book, and received the cat, and made it comfortable
in her lap.
And Doda looked at this old woman, and thought
she looked very nice, and not at all like the other.
For she was nicely dressed, and had bright eyes,
and a head shaped more like that of a lady; and her
white hair was nice, and she had only three clear
lines on her forehead, and had a handsome face, and
she wore a white handkerchief fastened round her
In Mrs. Deylon's Garden.
neck by a brooch. Besides which, her hands were
nice, and long, and white; and then, too, the flowers
in her garden were not too many for the garden.
Doda did not know her at all, but the old woman
looked as if she knew her quite well, and had often
seen her, and would not be the least surprised if she
came up and spoke to her. And while Doda was
thinking this, she had already stopped at the gate
without noticing that she did so, and the old woman
and she were looking straight into each other's eyes,
so that some one must say something. The old wo-
man said,-" Will you not come in ? Would you like
some flowers ?"
Then Doda remembered, for the first time, that she
had left the flowers that Essy had given her on the
table when she had had cake and tea with Mrs.
Mortlake, but she thought she should like these much
better, and would not leave them anywhere, for she
did not know yet how many new things she would
have to wonder about, before the day was over.
She said, I should like some flowers very much,
if I may."
Come in, then; I am Mrs. Deylon," said the old
woman. "Are you alone ?"
Yes, quite alone," said Doda. "It is my birth-
"I wish you many happy returns of the day, Miss
Doda," said Mrs. Deylon; so that Doda knew for
certain that she was known. Then she remembered
that Deylon was the name of their gardener, who was
very nice, and whom she always called "gardener,"
and had thought it funny that her grandfather called
him sometimes "gardener," and sometimes "Deylon."
She supposed he must be this Mrs. Deylon's grand-
son; so she said, Does your grandson do your gar-
den as well as ours ?"
And then Mrs. Deylon knew that Doda knew now
who she was too, and said,-" He does the hard work,
and I do the rest. Which flowers are you fondest of?"
Doda chose which she liked, and they made a
bouquet. Doda picked the ones that grew near the
ground, so that Mrs. Deylon was not obliged to stoop,
and Mrs. Deylon picked those that grew high up on
the wall, where Doda could not reach. Then they
tied them up, and cut the loose ends off, and both
washed their hands in the watering-can.
Then Mrs. Deylon gave Doda the flowers, and
seemed to expect that she would go, but not to want
her to go; and, as Doda did not want to go either,
and in this garden they were very quiet, and no one
saw them or disturbed them, she thought she should
like to stay. So when she had thanked Mrs. Deylon
for the !..i .-. she stopped a moment, and said, I
have kept you away from your book a long time."
"No," said Mrs. Deylon, "it was pussy that made
me put my book down, and I do not think I shall
go on with it just now."
What shall you do ?" asked Doda.
I think I shall sit here and tell myself stories till
my grandson, your gardener, comes home."
In Mrs. Deylon's Garden.
May I hear one of the stories ?" asked Doda.
"Yes, certainly, Miss Doda," said Mrs. Deylon;
"which shall it be ?"
"Oh, any one," said Doda; "but not Little Red
"Why not Little Red Ridinghood?" said Mrs.
Oh, I can't bear the wolf," said Doda. Make it
about something quite different."
"Well," said Mrs. Deylon, "what shall it be about
Doda thought a moment, but at last gave up trying
to think of anything new, and said, About some one
whose birthday it is."
It is my birthday," said Mrs. Deylon.
"Your birthday!" cried Doda, in astonishment.
Then she thought, might she wish Mrs. Deylon many
happy returns, and then decided that she might, and
did so, and then Mrs. Deylon was pleased; and then
Doda thought she would like to ask her how old she
was, but did not like to do so straight out, as she
seemed so very old; so she said, I am seven years
Mrs. Deylon smiled, and said, "I remember being
seven years old too. That was sixty-eight years
"What happened then?" asked Doda; adding, to
herself, "Then you must be seventy-five now."
hen," said Mrs. Deylon, after thinking a moment,
" my father became a Roman Catholic, and so did my
mother, and I had to learn a fresh set of prayers, and
forget the ones I had before."
"Oh," said Doda, "that must be dreadful. Did
you quite forget them ?"
"Yes," said Mrs. Deylon, "but I remember them
now, and sometimes I like them best."
What did your father do," asked Doda, when he
became a Roman Catholic ?"
He died," said Mrs. Deylon.
Oh," said Doda, trying to draw that question back,
and give another instead, "but what was he before ?"
A clergyman-a curate," said Mrs. Deylon.
They were silent, and Doda added up the story in
her head, as if it were a sum, and saw that the result
was why Mrs. Deylon was poor, and yet did not talk
quite like other poor people. But still it did not
show yet why her grandson was a gardener, so she
said, And then I suppose you lived alone with your
mother and grandfather ?" to make her go on with
the story, and tell the rest.
No,' said Mrs. Deylon, "my grandfather was not
there, and my mother was young, and married a rich
man, who was very good to us. He was a merchant
gardener, and his partner was Mr. Deylon, who
married me afterwards. Then my son had the busi-
ness afterwards when we were left alone, and he
married, and brought his wife home; but she never
liked it, and persuaded him not to like it. But my
grandson always did, and used to be all day working
and talking with the gardeners.
In Mrs. Deylon's Garden.
"But where is the garden ?" asked Doda.
"It was bought for a railway, because it was near
London," said Mrs. Deyloh; "and then they wanted
to go to London, and we lived there a short time till
we lost almost all the money, and then we were un-
happy; and the end was that I came back with my
grandson to live here where my father used to be
curate when I was seven years old, and I used to
wish then that this cottage belonged to me, for it was
the oldest of all the village, and now I live in it."
Doda did not ask what became of the rest of the
people, as she supposed they were all dead. She sat
Now I have told you a story," said Mrs. Deylon,
"which was about some one whose birthday it is, and
was not about Little Red Ridinghood."
"No," said Doda.
And there was no wolf in it," said Mrs. Deylon.
"And yet," said Doda to herself, "the garden is
gone, and the money is gone, and all the people are
dead." And she thought, after she had sat silent a
little longer, that some stories without a wolf were
worse than some stories with a wolf, and she won-
dered how Mrs. Thoseby would have told Mrs. Dey-
lon's story; so she said, "May I tell this to Mrs.
Mrs. Thoseby knows it already," said Mrs. Deylon.
May I ask you some more things ?" said Doda,
looking up. "I will never talk about it afterwards,
except to Mrs. Thoseby."
"Yes; what are the things ? Ask anything," said
So Doda said, Is that all your story ?"
Yes, all," said Mrs. Deylon.
Doda remained looking at her, and thought how like
a picture of Marie Antoinette she was, that her grand-
father had, only her eyes were brighter. And Doda
said, almost without meaning to do so, "Your eyes
are very beautiful, and you are like Marie Antoinette."
Mrs. Deylon smiled, and blushed slightly. Doda
blushed a great deal, for she never knew before that
an old woman could blush, or have the feeling that
goes with blushing. But they can, and some old men
can also, as Doda found out afterwards from Lord
Welryth. But now she thought she must say some-
thing at once, to get over the uncomfortableness;
and, looking about for something, she saw Mrs. Dey-
lon's book lying on the bench, and said, "May I see
what you were reading ?"
It is a book written by Mr. Mills, which I have
had for a long time," said Mrs. Deylon, "and I think
I am now beginning to understand it."
"Do you like it very much ?" asked Doda.
"Very much indeed," said Mrs. Deylon; "it is one
of my favourite books."
Oh," said Doda, do you think I could under-
stand it ?"
Some of it, perhaps," said Mrs. Deylon. Did you
understand my story ?"
"' No," said Doda, "not quite all, but you said I
In Mrs. Deylon's Garden.
might ask Mrs. Thoseby; but I always understand
Mr. Mills, and he understands everything, and I am
so fond of him, and I know him quite well, and he
reads about the Greeks, and people call him 'poor
Mr. Mills,' which is such nonsense, like- she
"Like when they call me 'poor Mrs. Deylon,' said
"Yes," said Doda, blushing again at having be-
Mrs. Deylon did not blush, but smiled, and took
up the book.
What are 'Essays'?" asked Doda, looking at the
"Short things, not much longer than a story, but
not stories, only all about something-what it is like,
and what people think of it, and why they think it,"
said Mrs. Deylon. Then they make one think too,
even if one knew about the thing before. Indeed, if
one knew nothing about it, one could never read the
Oh," said Doda, I'm afraid I don't know any-
thing. But do read me some, because it is Mr. Mills';
any part will do-where you were reading just now."
But that is a very difficult part, indeed," said
Mrs. Deylon. "It is about the changes different
people go through after they are grown up. You
could never understand it."
"Never mind," said Doda; "let me try."
Mrs. Deylon smiled, but made Doda settle herself
comfortably on the bench, leaning on her shoulder,
with her feet tucked up. "Then, taking up the book,
she went on reading from where she had left off and
what she read was this:-
There is a time in a man's life when what he does
is the whole of himself, and action is the whole of his
life; and sometimes this time lasts during all his best
years, and then he is known as the man of action, and
this appears to him the greatest thing in the world.
But there was most probably a time when he was
younger, when what he felt seemed much more im-
portant to him than what he did, and action only
seemed worth while when it was caused by feeling,
or brought feeling for its result. He was then a
lover, or enthusiast, proud of his passion, and humble
about the deeds, even if they were heroic, which the
passion or enthusiasm made him do. He used then
to look upon a man who praises action because it is
action, and thinks that this is reality, as being a kind
of machine-a thing with much motion, but no real
life of its own, and not even knowing what reality
was. Perhaps when he was younger still there was
a time when what he was, even without feeling and
action, appeared to him to be complete, and to be
really himself, and feeling and action appeared dis-
tractions that would hurry him away, and cheat him
out of his attention to the reality of being. His own
body and hands, his face, his name, his rank, and the
thought of his soul, seemed to him to be himself.
This is a stage in life which generally only detains a
In Mrs. Deylon's Garden.
man for a short time, but remains often with a beau-
tiful girl until she falls in love, and sometimes longer,
if her beauty happens to be great, and her experience
of life little. To this stage a man often returns when
he is very old, and his feelings are worn out, his
actions gone away from him, and, with all his mind
still conscious, he sees his last hour come patiently
and wisely, and unhindered by any distractions. If
he has been well educated, and has read a little of
the poets and philosophers, and has been abroad and
seen the works of the artists, then probably there was
another time in his life when it seemed to him that
his mere being and his name were not himself at all,
but only the space he lived in, and that action was
only necessary because there were things that wanted
doing, unfortunately, and he felt obliged to do them
merely because he could, and therefore might not
leave his power unused or wasted; but this was not
himself either, nor at all the great reality of life.
Even his feelings-the great passion of love itself-
seemed then like half a distraction from life, although
,i,. i- ,*i found to have been necessary in giving a
complete preparation. Yet at the time it was a thing
apart, a madness under whose motive he would have
gladly given away his life and died, before indeed
knowing what life was; for now it seemed that
tl.,iRi was the chief Ibi., and that true feeling of
being mature, only belonged to the man who found
in his imagination the power to make reality out of
the feelings, action, and self, that were like the tissue
and cloth from which it might be pieced and put to-
gether. This is the fourth stage, and the one in which
artists and thinkers of all sorts spend their lives when
they have had all the other changes, just as rulers and
workers and fighters spend it in the stage of action,
lovers in the stage of feeling, and no one, except,
perhaps, the sleeping princess of the fairy-story, alto-
gether in the stage of merely existing as a passive
self with a name.
Every one knows these four stages, and many who
cannot enter fully into them will choose one to imi-
tate, that they may have the praises, and plead for
their faults the excuses, which belong to it. In adopt-
ing the title of a quarter of life, they persuade them-
selves that their want of the other three quarters is
the result of the choice they have made, and not of
their incapacity to go further. Even the part they
select is only a shadow and imitation, but they do
their best to persuade themselves and every one who
sees them that, though they are not like some of the
great ones of the earth, of whom we may have read
the 'lives,' that at least they are like others. They
bustle, and demand that this shall be called 'action;'
their want of aim is 'many-sidedness;' their coldness
is 'self-control;' their timidity is sensitivenesss.'
Then selfishness supposes, often falsely, it has a self
to be selfish about, and thoughts are stolen, imagila-
tion is made of brooding, art is imitated by rule, and
in this way the counterfeit people of the world, call-
ing themselves by the names of the real ones, bring
In Mrs. Deylon's Garden.
the four stages of life and the four types of men into
disgrace, and cause these to share with them the
derision and contempt that belongs only to them-
selves, while stealing in exchange half the reputation
and indulgence that belong to the names they have
By this time Doda was asleep.
Then she had a queer dream-a dream about a
dream; for she dreamed she sat on a chair, and a big
book was brought and opened, and held up for her to
read; and it was all about her dream, which, some-
how, she was to be allowed to read about, though she
might not absolutely dream it. She looked at the
book, and there were all kinds of words, like those
she had been listening to, and the names of the people
she had been seeing that day. She tried to read, and
it began, "This is about the four stages-action,
thinking, feeling, and being yourself,-now you are
Doda-that is the stage of being oneself-and Cap-
tain Lewis and Essy are lovers-that is the stage of
feeling or experiencing;"-and she dreamed she said,
" Oh, I never knew that," and that some one said,
"Look at them again next time you see them." It
was the dream speaking; and she answered, "When
shall I see them again ?" and it said, "To-day.-
Who is in the stage of thinking ?" And she said,
" Oh, I don't know-I suppose Mr. Mills, but it
seems very funny to think of him in any stage; he
used always to seem Mr. Mills, and that was all."
Then, when she had wondered a long time over this,
the dream said, And Colonel Thoseby ?" But she
could not think. And the dream said, "You know,
people always say, 'What a great deal of good
he does here !-what a man of action he is So
they do," said Doda; "I have heard them often, only
I always forget what people say, unless it is a story."
" Or a dream," said the dream. Oh, I am afraid I
sometimes forget that when I am awake." "Or a
book," said the dream, "like that Mrs. Deylon is read-
ing." "Who is Mrs. Deylon ?" asked Doda, and with
that she heard a great noise, and awoke.
A carriage with two horses drove down the lane
It awoke Doda, who leaped off the bench, and said,
Oh, I am afraid I was asleep. I didn't mean to go
to sleep, but I had such a queer dream, that came
and talked about the four stages. May I get up
again, and go on reading? I think I do understand
it, though I couldn't tell, and it is so funny, and I
never knew any of it before."
"It is getting late in the afternoon," said Mrs.
Deylon. "Are they not expecting you somewhere ?"
Perhaps," said Doda, thinking that, besides, she
should like to get away, and be alone, and think
about the dream; for she had been just enough asleep
to hear voices and remember things she forgot when
she was more awake, or more asleep; and it seemed
to her as if some one had come and spoken to her,
while she was really making it up to herself the
whole time without knowing how.
In Mrs. Deylon's Garden.
She picked up the flowers, which she had knocked
down in jumping up so suddenly when she awoke.
"Why not come again some other time, and hear
the rest," said Mrs. Deylon.
Oh, I should like that so much!" said Doda. "I
want to hear everything he ever wrote. But do
people really go and have stages ?"
Really and truly," said Mrs. Deylon, smiling.
"Well," said Doda, "I hope you don't mind my
going to sleep."
"Not a bit," said Mrs. Deylon.
"Then I will go," said Doda; "but you will let
me come back; and thank you very much for the
She got on the bench, and gave Mrs. Deylon a kiss,
because her face was nice, and she was like Marie
Antoinette, and was not like other people. Then she
said good-bye," and ran away.
', '.. "--"2)
i. -- .-*-
W HiEN Doda ran away from the cottage of Mrs.
Deylon, she did not run home, because she
could have got home in two minutes by i i ini.,-, and
she wanted to think a very great deal first about what
she had heard, and wonder whether, when she grew
up, she should think most of what she did (stage
No. 1), what she felt (stage No. 2), what she was
(stage No. 3), or what she invented or thought (stage
No. 4), if she ever invented anything. And this
went round and round in her head, till all the world
seemed like a ladder of four steps, which people ran
up and down till they were grown up, trying each
step. And then when they were grown up, she sup-
posed they sat down on the step that suited them
best, unless they were not good enough for any of
them; and then she supposed they went to the sham
ladder with the counterfeit steps, and became coun-
terfeits themselves, to sit on them.
So she went on walking and thinking till she left
the village behind, and came to the edge of a very
large park, which belonged to a very large house, and
which she knew belonged to old Lord W.: 1. whom
her grandfather often went to see. and she thought
he might be at home. This made her suddenly think
she should like to go and see him, for she had not
seen him since the year before, and then only for a
moment, and before that she hardly could remember
when, but she was so young that then it was quite
There were big gates, and a little house near them;
and the gates were open, and a nice-looking girl was
sitting outside the house doing some kind of work.
Doda thought she really would go in, though if it
had not been her birthday she would no more have
had the courage to do so than to stop at Mrs. Deylon's
garden. But to-day she might do whatever she
liked; so she went in. The girl, who was '::.if ( ti .
seemed as if she was going to speak; so Doda went
up to her, and said, Are they out ?"
Yes, miss, out driving," said the girl.
Then Doda remembered the carriage with two
horses that had passed when she was on the bench
with Mrs. Deylon, but she had not seen who was in it.
"Is there no one at all ?" she asked.
Yes, miss, there's his lordship," said the girl.
Doda thought that was all she wanted, as she knew
no one else, and did not even know who the others
were, and so was very glad that they were safely out
driving. She now determined to go to the house;
but she suddenly 1t,- .1-il .-suppose she had grown so
much that Lord Welryth did not know her; or sup-
pose he was different, and she did not know him.
This idea made her stop for a moment.
Just then she heard a carriage coming up the road.
It had not the heavy roll and loud stamping of a
carriage like the one that passed before, but the'
quick tread and light rattle of the one in which Mrs.
Thoseby used to drive the two ponies. Very soon
the ponies appeared, and Mrs. Thoseby, who pulled
up, very much surprised to see Doda, whom she
thought she had left at home an hour before.
"What, Doda !" she said. "Did I leave you at
this gate ?"
"No," said Doda, "you left me at my own gate,
and I had no time to thank you for the box; but it
is beautiful, and so are the gloves, and the photograph,
and the key" (here she plunged her hand into her
pocket, and felt the key); but I have done a great
deal since, and now I am here."
"That is a very clear explanation," said Mrs.
Thoseby; and I am very glad you liked the box and
the key. But what are you going to do here ?"
"I was going to think about such a number of
things!" said Doda, whose ideas went back to li,
Deylon and the book; but then, remembering her last
project of the call, she came quite close, so that the
girl from the lodge might not hear, and said, "Do
you know Lord Welryth ?"
Yes," said Mrs. Thoseby, rather surprised.
"Grandpapa does, but I am afraid I don't," said
"Well ?" said Mrs. Thoseby.
And I want to know him, if I may," said Doda.
"Well," said Mrs. Thoseby, smiling, "come with
me. I was just going to see him, and we will go to-
gether." So Doda got into the carriage again, and
the ponies turned in at the gate, and rattled away
down the long, open drive, that went from the lodge
all the way across the park and up to the garden.
"And what makes you want to know Lord Wel-
ryth ?" asked Mrs. Thoseby.
"I don't know," said Doda. "I want to know
"No other reason ?" said Mrs. Thoseby.
"Why," said Doda, "I don't know, This is so
nice, and the house looks so nice, and grandpapa used
to go so often, and I have always thought I should
come to have something to do with Lord Welryth
"You have presentiments already!" said Mrs.
"What is that ?" asked Doda.
Knowing things that are going to happen," said
Mrs. Thoseby; "or, at least, feeling before something
happens as if something were going to happen."
Oh, yes," said Doda; always and always."
"Well," said Mrs. Thoseby, Lord Welryth is very
nice; but he will say a great many things to you
you won't understand, on purpose for you not to quite
understand them. But you must remember and ask
me afterwards if there is anything you want to know
about, because he does not like to be asked what he
"Well," thought Doda, "he can't mean anything
worse than the "four stages," and I understood that,
or I think I did, only I can't quite remember it now."
While Doda was wondering that she had already
forgotten so much, they trotted along across the park,
down one slope, away from the lodge, and up the
other slope towards the house. The park was very
wide at both sides of the road, with large trees grow-
ing in different places, some very old, and in queer
shapes. In one place, round a very big tree, but
quite a long way off, there were a lot of deer, most
of them lying down. While Doda was looking at
these, the ponies trotted on and on; and so, without
knowing how, she found suddenly that she had ar-
rived at another gate that stood open, where from
each side hedges stretched away to right and left,
and that in front were gravel paths winding among
great bushes, with dark, smooth leaves; and so in a
moment, as soon as they had passed through the
gate, they were out of sight of the park, and were
winding along quite a shaded path.
Suddenly they left the winding path and the big
bushes, and trotted out into an open gravel space,
where they saw the house standing up right in front
of them, with its large door in the middle, from which
two flights of steps went down, one to each side, while
between them was a bronze fountain always I..
To the left of the house was a wall that shut in the
garden on that side, but which had gates in it through
which the carriages could drive away towards the
yard and stables, and to the right was the open gar-
den, with grass, and !I.-. i.-, and l.. They
were so high on the hill that they could see over
the tops of the bushes in the lower part of the garden,
and away beyond to the park, where the deer could
be seen still round the old tree, only now further off
Mrs. Thoseby stopped the ponies without driving
right up to the house, and said, "Here he is."
Where ?" said Doda.
There," said Mrs. Thoseby, getting out of the car-
riage. Then Doda saw Lord Welryth coming towards
them from the garden, and she knew him directly.
He was a tall old man, almost as tall as her grand-
father, and more upright. He walked quickly and
easily, and when Doca looked at his face she could
scarcely help ] ,.l,;.,_. for his eyes twinkled with
amusement, and his long, queer mouth, that had such
a funny, mischievous shape, looked as if it could
scarcely help talking from morning till night about
all the queer things it knew, and wanted to laugh at.
He had short, light-grey whiskers, and short hair, and
a long face, very wide at the top, but pointed at the
chin, and altogether rather like a kite, only that it
had such funny eyes and such a funny mouth, and
such a hooked nose.
He really is not," began Lord Welryth in a loud,
comfortable voice, before he came near. Then he
went on, taking Mrs. Thoseby's hand, No, my dearest
friend, he really is not here, upon my sacred honour
and that of all my fathers. I know whom you have
come to look for. Why did you not come yesterday,
or on Sunday morning, or on Wednesday night, or on
Tuesday afternoon ? He was here then."
"I have not come to look for Colonel Thoseby,"
began Mrs. Thoseby, as they shook hands, laughing.
"What! will you try subtilties with me?" said
Lord Welryth, stepping back. "Totally useless;
absolutely profitless. I haven't got him. Now you
don't believe me." He turned away. But you may
look!" said he, coming back suddenly. "You may
search. My house, my garden, my desk, my piano,
my pockets, and my park shall never be closed to
you. Wander about freely, and conjure for Colonel
Thoseby. If you find half a spur-"
"But really, Lord Welryth," said Mrs. Thoseby,
interrupting him in despair, "upon my honour I did
not come to look for any one but you. Colonel
Thoseby is with his militia."
"I forgive his militia," said Lord Welryth, kindly,
just as if they were somewhere out of sight, but close
by, among the bushes, where they could hear him.
Then he turned towards Doda, and said, "Is this-
is this-?" He looked at Mrs. Thoseby, who said,
" Yes, this is Doda. It is her birthday to-day, and
she wanted to come and see you."
My dear Doda," said he, taking her hand, "I am
delighted to find that, though so young, you already
know how, even on your birthday, to combine instruc-
tion with amusement. You could not possibly have
done more wisely than to come and see me. But
tell me one thing. Now you have seen me, do you
feel most amused or most instructed ?"
Hle looked so funny as he stooped down to say this,
with his big, kite-like face expressing all kinds of
hidden mysteries at once, Doda could not help laugh-
ing, and she said, I like you very much."
"Upon my honour," said Lord Welryth, laughing,
and standing upright again, I never in my life knew
what to say to a child, but this one knows perfectly
what to say to me. My dear Doda," he went on,
bending towards her again, and looking as grave as
he could with at least half his face, I am very much
obliged to you, and I return your affection. I mean
I am very much obliged to you for returning mine,
for I was first, but of course was silent till you en-
Doda thought he had a very funny way of being
Did you bring me those flowers ?" he asked next.
"Mrs. Deylon gave them to me," said Doda.
Mrs. Deylon is the best woman in the world,"
said Lord Welryth. "What shall I give you ? Some
"Oh no, please don't I" cried Doda. I had lun-
cheon with Mrs. T1i...1 -,- a little while ago; but I
should so much like to see some of your things, if I
"You are perfectly charming," said Lord Welryth.
Give me your hand, and, if Mrs. Thoseby will come
with us and take care of us, we will go and see every-
,hing I have."
Mrs. Th,:-1.. laughed, and said, "I am afraid you
want a great deal of taking care of;" and they all went
Inside the door the passage was very large and
wide, and the staircase that went up from the end,
and turned and went on, going up at the two sides,
was very wide as well. The next thing that Doda
saw were the enormous eyes of a huge stuffed fish in
a glass-case on a marble table against the wall.
"A family portrait," said Lord Welryth, seeing
Doda fascinated by the awful fish. "We have many
family portraits, each like a particular member of the
family, and which the housekeeper describes. This
one is more or less like all the family, and the house-
keeper would be quite at a loss to describe it. I may
add that I myself am the first of my race to show no
personal resemblance to it."
Doda would certainly not have known this unless
he had said so. She looked from Lord Welryth to
the fish, and from the fish back again, and thought
-1'. .: growing more like each other every moment.
'.- said, Oh, do let us come away, and look at
They moved on. She did not see Lord Welryth
and Mrs. Thoseby glance at each other over her head;
but they did so. Lord Welryth's look said, "I shall
get further than I wish if I talk this kind of nonsense
any longer." And Mrs. Thoseby's look, which was