Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Mr. Vail's advice
 Old London
 A ramble in Hilford
 Hilford castle
 The parting
 A heroine
 Britton marsh
 The deanery woodland
 My heroine
 Little Britton house
 Albert villa
 Miss Bayard to the rescue
 Britton Bay
 A happy evening
 An accident
 Charlie Germaine
 The amethysts
 The Berlin bazar
 Geoffrey Germaine
 Pleasant expectations
 Sir Henry Paulding
 A revelation
 I surprise the Bardistons
 A strange history
 Annie Ross
 A discovery
 Mallerdean again
 I become important
 A "state" visit
 The reconciliation
 My mother's sickness
 A marriage at little Britton...
 Germaine of Germaine
 A visit to London
 Two weddings
 Back Cover

Title: Helen Glenn, or, My mother's enemy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00079966/00001
 Material Information
Title: Helen Glenn, or, My mother's enemy a story for girls
Alternate Title: My mother's enemy
Physical Description: iv, 320 p., 8 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Lillie, Lucy C ( Lucy Cecil ), b. 1855
Henry T. Coates & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: Henry T. Coates & Co.
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Publication Date: c1891
Subject: Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Mothers and daughters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Teachers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fatherless families -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Uncles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courtship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Stepchildren -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1891
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Statement of Responsibility: by Lucy C. Lillie.
General Note: Endpapers printed in colors.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00079966
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002233034
notis - ALH3435
oclc - 70616220
lccn - 07018793

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page i-a
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Mr. Vail's advice
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Old London
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    A ramble in Hilford
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Hilford castle
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    The parting
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    A heroine
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 40a
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    Britton marsh
        Page 44a
        Page 44a
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    The deanery woodland
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    My heroine
        Page 74
        Page 74a
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Little Britton house
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 88a
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Albert villa
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    Miss Bayard to the rescue
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
    Britton Bay
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    A happy evening
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 120a
        Page 121
        Page 122
    An accident
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Charlie Germaine
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 136a
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    The amethysts
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    The Berlin bazar
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
    Geoffrey Germaine
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    Pleasant expectations
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 182a
    Sir Henry Paulding
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
    A revelation
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
    I surprise the Bardistons
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
    A strange history
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
    Annie Ross
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
    A discovery
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
    Mallerdean again
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
    I become important
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
    A "state" visit
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
    The reconciliation
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
    My mother's sickness
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
    A marriage at little Britton house
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
    Germaine of Germaine
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
    A visit to London
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
    Two weddings
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


- .. ... .

p 1

An.. .neet, meeting.
p, ." .p -,
n u mei












XIV. BRITTON BAY, i. .O . no
XXVII. ANNIE Ross, .. 218



S 225
S 234
S 285






T HE "story" part of my life always seems to me to
have begun on a certain spring evening, when I found
myself with my mother being rushed into the great station
at Euston Square, London.
A gentleman of thin, wiry build and with the kindest of
faces-though it was hard to determine his age, I fancied
him quite young-appeared promptly at the carriage win-
dow, smiled, and in a businesslike way said : Mrs. Glenn,
I believe," and, directly my mother said Yes," busied him-
self assisting us out of the train in which we had fairly
dashed from Liverpool, and with very little delay attended
to our luggage; and then conducted us nearby the station to
a huge, imposing looking hotel.
I was wondering who he was, when on nearing the hotel
my mother said, in her sweet way:
"Mr. Vail, this is my daughter Helen. I am much
obliged to your father for sending you."
Mr. Vail smiled in his rapid fashion again, gave me a


quick shake of the hand, and then returned to business.
He saw the clerk of the hotel ; engaged our rooms, two
small adjoining ones; then stood, as it were, ready for
further orders.
Mother seemed a trifled confused. Perhaps, I think
now, she was only agitated by this unexpected return to her .
native land. She walked over to the window of our sitting-
room; looked out on the street throbbing with life,-that
ceaseless ebb and flow of humanity, which is more impres-
sive in London than in any other part of the world I know,-
then she came back, as though suddenly remembering young
Mr. Vail's presence, and said gently :
"You are very kind ; perhaps you will do me a further
service, Mr. Vail ? My pupils, the two Misses Hill, were to
have met us with their uncle at Rugby. You know I
brought them over at their father's request, and they left
Liverpool early this morning. They were not at the
Rugby station."
Good gracious ejaculated Mr. Vail. In his surprise
he sat down on the hard sofa in the room and stared at my
mother. I began to have horrid visions of Stella and Mary
Hill the prey of highwaymen, or perhaps killed in some
fearful accident. It had not occurred to me before as
especially remarkable that the girls had failed to keep their
appointment. I concluded that their uncle had detained
them. Now, Mr. Vail's expression made me fear the very
worst. I presume my mother read in my face some silli-
ness of the kind, for she hastened to say, with the quizzical
look she sometimes gave me:


"There is no need for alarm of any kind. It was an
understood thing that, should they not be at Rugby, I could
find them in town. All I wanted to ask you to do, Mr. Vail,
was to go with me to the address I have here. It is their
uncle's town house."
My mother, with all her self-possession restored, and giv-
ing me a laughing glance, handed Mr. Vail a card, which he
seized and read with a look of relief. When I came to
know him better I understood this startling manner of his
to be, in part, the result of what he considered to be wide
awake" on the part of a lawyer, in part his natural inclina-
tion to make trifles seem of importance.
Quite easy to find, Mrs. Glenn," he said, in what, for
him, was a very sedate sort of manner. "Cromwell Road-
rather a longish distance, though. If you don't object to
the underground now-"
My mother laughed. She looked, I -remember, so
graceful-so young, yet so queenly as she stood there.
I know now how thickly and with how much of sorrow
old memories must have been crowding upon her; yet it
would not have been my mother had she shown in any
way a feeling which would have troubled strangers or her
little girl.
London is changed since my day," she said quietly.
" I think I shall like the underground, and Helen, I know,
will enjoy it. Will you dine with us, Mr. Vail ?"
The young man, whom I knew then to be the son of my
mother's old friend, the Devonshire lawyer, Hubert Vail,
said at once he would be very happy to do so, and left us


to make our toilettes and to send us a most severe-looking
waiter, from whom mother ordered the dinner.
All this time I was wishing that my mother had taken me
more fully into her confidence about this trip to England.
Of course I was well aware that her first reason had been
to chaperone the two Hills on this journey, but I felt
certain there were causes for a far deeper interest in it.
My mother, I knew, was English born and bred; yet in all
the years of our close companionship since my father's
death-companionship such as a young mother and her
only child who live nearly alone, can have-she had rarely
told me anything of the story of her early life. The few
tales, related more because of some unexpected suggestion
in passing events, borrowed much of their charm from the
very fact of her general reticence about England and her
relations there; but now it appeared to my alert young
senses as though, since we were in England, the vague out-
lines might be filled in ; gaps which had puzzled me in the
tales she told might be drawn together by the very course
of our wanderings, if we had any, and while mother and
young Mr. Vail talked on desultory topics, I wondered if
we were not beginning what might prove a veritable ro-
mance. I thought I saw that the young man was on his
guard in some way. Composed as was my mother's man-
ner, I.knew she was avoiding personalities, and at this I
did not wonder, for it was her universal custom. Genial,
sympathetic as she always was, her bearing had a distinct
air of reserve which I had never seen any one try to break


It was certainly no freak which had brought us here;
yet the change to me seemed very important.
The uneventful but happy years of our life together, so
far as my memory reached, had been passed in a New Eng-
land town, a prosperous, comfortable sort of place, encom-
passed by fine hills and with various thriving industries, and
noted for its Young Ladies' Seminary," where my mother
was one of the principal teachers and I a pupil, ever since
I could remember. Our circumstances were fairly com-
fortable, though never luxurious, and I grew up having
more of my mother's companionship than many girls whose
mothers have full leisure; and we were privileged persons,
I now think, enjoying a kind of freedom which made the
school like our own home. In spite of some enforced
economies we had two rooms for what mother called a
" place quite to ourselves, and her exquisite sense of order
and artistic taste had given them an indefinable air which
made them unlike any other portion of the large, rambling
old house, which, as I remember it in those days of long ago,
was primly, rigidly conventional. Mother's ingenuity went
far enough to create so charming a little sitting-room that
the principal was given to bringing strangers there some-
times-too often for our convenience. But looking back
now, I see that Mrs. Flower was nothing loath to introduce
to visitors her very distinguished looking and highly bred
" English teacher," while they were apt, of an afternoon, to
linger for the cup of tea which, true to her early habits,
,my mother always made at four o'clock, brewing, not boiling
it, under a cozy, and serving it daintily in the pretty blue


and white china which was one of the earliest associations
in my mind with our little parlor sideboard.
How eagerly the girls sought for an invitation to "Mrs.
Glenn's room!" and not one but felt herself honored by
such an attention and cheered or comforted or encouraged
by a talk with her ; for, in spite of a tinge of something al-
most melancholy in her expression, I am sure my mother
was to every one a most charming companion, with that in-
describable touch of magnetism in her nature and manner
which is too subtle to be defined, but so quick and happy
in its influence.
Among my mother's favorite pupils were the daughters of
an American gentleman, a widower, who had been engaged
for six months in Russia on some civil-engineering work.
Mary and Stella Hill had won my mother's sympathy and
attention at first from their overpowering homesickness;
and when the first flush of their misery was over, she dis-
covered that they were really charming girls, well bred,
gentle, and quite clever enough to suit her ideas of what a
schoolgirl ought to be in class; so they were allowed to
attach themselves to her in a way which might have made
some daughters jealous; but such an idea would have
struck me as an absurdity. The idea of any girl usurping
one tiniest fiber of my place No such question ever arose,
I rejoice to say, to cloud the absolute trust that existed be-
tween my mother and myself. Mr. Hill was expected home
in April. Instead of this came news of his detention at St.
Petersburg for another year, and a letter couched in the
strongest terms, asking my mother to bring his daughters


to England, where he would meet them. To extend the
journey just then was out of the question for him. I
wonder now, looking back, just what influenced my mother
to accede to this unexpected request, for it involved her
taking a holiday at a most inopportune moment, and plac-
ing some one else in the school to fill her class duty. Pos-
sibly the strivings of a desire at least to see her native coun-
try were undercurrent and stronger than she knew, and in
any case the doctor had long since recommended a change
and suggested a sea voyage.
At all events her decision had been quickly made. On
reaching Liverpool I was far from well, and the Hills, with
a servant, had gone on to Rugby, agreeing to meet us there
during the afternoon, or as mother had explained to Mr.
Vail, in London, whither, no doubt, their uncle had con-
ducted them.
Mr. Vail left us presently, and mother and I went into
the adjoining room to make some changes in our traveling
dress. The sad, or rather reflective look, had come back to
her face, and I stole my arms about her neck.
"Mother, dearest," I said coaxingly, "does England
make you sad ?"
She stroked my hair gently.
Yes, dear, somewhat. I can't forget, my little girl, it
was home once."
"Shall you-shall you see any of your family ?" I said,
in a moment.
"No, dear; I have very few relations living-none near
enough to hunt up."


"Won't they look for you, mother ?" I was so proud of
her, neglect seemed out of the question.
She smiled.
I think not, my darling. Some old friends I may see-
this young man's father. I wrote him we were coming.
But we will not be here long, you know-a month at most,
I should say. I want you to see a little of old London to
freshen up your studies of history."
And was this, I wondered, to be all ? I had the Ameri-
can's natural gregariousness, I suppose; his rather vague
but whole-souled ideas of family life; the recognition of
relations, no matter how many degrees removed ; and it was
rather depressing to come to mother's native land and find
no ties to renew, no kindred awaiting us. However, there
was an unalloyed charm in the idea of seeing" old London,"
as she suggested, and no doubt the Hills and I would go
about together.
At dinner young Mr. Vail was what our old English
teacher at the Seminary would call "sprightly." He
seemed bent on making himself agreeable, and indeed he
quite succeeded, only the same evident air of restraint puz-
zled me, as did a sort of warning glance I once or twice
caught my mother giving him from her dark-blue eyes.
Naturally, I longed to understand it, but I wonder how
many girls ever trust their mother as I did mine ? To have
been suspicious, or jealous, or to sulk over any reticence on
her part would have been impossible. Did I not know not
a girl of my acquaintance ever had a love such as my
mother had for me ? I remember saying to myself, "I'll


wait till mother tells me." I knew she would in good
How well I recall the going out into the gaslit street after
dinner-the entrance to the great station, and hurrying
down the stairs to the underground railway, where, with a
sense of a queer smell, was mingled the "call" of the
stations, the flying figures of the guards, at last the entrance
into the "carriage" holding eight people, four each way,
and then away we dash in the lamplight, past one station
after another in the great city and town, until at last the
call, "South Kensington," set Mr. Vail on his feet, as if by
magic, and we went up another flight of stone steps and out
upon a beautiful neighborhood dominated by a grand build-
ing, the Museum and the Albert Hall, and close to a park
showing faint spring greens, even in the lamplight. A
short walk brought us to a street lined with beautiful
houses, all having low doorways, but very imposing
entrances-balconies above, some glassed in, and bloom-
ing plants.
Mr. Vail rang at No. -, and the door was speedily
opened by a butler in plain black, who solemnly received
our cards and led the way up a wide flight of stairs to a
landing softly lighted and with two or three fine pieces of
statuary. Here he drew aside a rich fortibre, and revealing
a very sumptuous drawing-room, in which two or three peo-
ple were talking and laughing, announced, "Mrs. and Miss
Glenn, Mr. Reginald Vail."
A tall, thin old gentleman in evening dress came quickly
forward and greeted my mother with great cordiality.


Mr. Hill, I suppose?" she said, smiling, and then
turned to present Mr. Vail and myself.
"My dear lady," said Mr. Hill, very impressively, "I sup-
pose you were greatly put out that the girls came right on
to London, but you see I had important matters that couldn't
wait. I'm the busiest man, I do believe, in the whole king-
dom. I had intended remaining two or three days at
Rugby, but a telegram brought me right back. Sometimes
I wish there never was a telegram thought of, and yet, and
yet- "
While he was talking he had been placing seats for us all,
and mother said, with a quiet smile:
- "Oh, it is all right, Mr. Vail. I would not have given
the girls up without a clear understanding as to where I
should find them."
Admirable, of course," said Mr. Hill, playing nervously
with his watch-chain; and particularly now, my dear
madam, for my brother is compelled to remain in St. Peters-
My mother looked as though she felt very much dismayed.
Before she had time to speak, however, the girls came
hurrying into the room from an adjoining one and flew at
us both as though we had been parted year. The gentle-
men who had, I found, been dining with Mr. Hill, and who
had been talking together on the hearthrug, now disap-
peared somewhere. Mr. Hill murmured something about
their going to the study to look at some mining maps, and
he requested my mother to take a seat at the farther end of
the room and discuss his brother's "new plans," while Stella,


Mary, and myself and young Mr. Vail were left to
Stella and the young lawyer were speedily engrossed in
a conversation which consisted chiefly of rapid questions
on his part and effusive, descriptive sort of answers on hers,
so that Mary and I, old comrades, were practically alone,
much to my relief, for there was so much to say and hear;
especially since there seemed any prospect of extending
our travels.
"Father's plans are all upset, of course," Mary said,
"but, of course, he can't help it."
"And you are going on ?" I asked, not fully understand-
ing what all these changes might involve.
"Oh exclaimed Mary, "your mother won't think of
deserting us just now. I suppose that is what they are
She glanced at the end of the room where my mother sat
engaged in what certainly seemed a very earnest conversa-
tion with Mr. Hill.
We must have a day or two any way in London," Mary
continued. Only think, Helen, of our seeing all the
famous places we have read about-The Tower and
Westminster Abbey, and, oh, everything !"
My mother and Mr. Hill now came toward us. Her face
showed deep and anxious thought, but she tried to smile as
she saw my look of distress.
"Well, Helen," she said, glancing from one to another of
our little group, what will you do to your old mother when


she tells you she has just promised to go to Russia with the
girls ?"
"I'll-oh, charming !" I cried, and, of course, mother
saw at once I expected to be one of the party.
But, my little girl," she said, sitting down beside me,
while Mr. Hill began talking to young Vail, "I must ex-
plain one thing. It will only be for as short a time as it
can take to make the journey there and back. But I will
have to leave you in England."
I suppose to most of my young readers it will seem very
silly that the mere idea of a separation from my mother,
even for a few weeks, sent a dizzy feeling to my eyes,
which, but for being in company, I know would have re-
sulted in tears-but never since my birth had I been one
day or night away from her, and delightful as the prospect
of spending a month in England might be, it was more than
counterbalanced by the thought of this parting.
Mother didn't speak for a moment, but her hand was in
mine closely. Presently she continued :
"I think I will take you down to Hilford, dearest, where you
can be with my dear old friend, Miss Vail-the aunt of this
young man; meanwhile, there will be a day or two in Lon-
don for you and the girls to ramble about together. When
we get back to the hotel I will tell you all my plans."
I dared not try to speak for the next few moments, and
indeed, I felt, as we used to say, rather "weepy," even
when the girls and I were discussing an expedition for the
next day under Mr. Vail's kind escort. He was profuse in
suggestions, and indeed, I believe, if we had followed his


programme completely, we would have been on the go
twenty-four hours without cessation. Still, there was
something so bright and good-natured in his manner that
it was impossible not to like him, and I quite agreed with
Stella Hill when she said he was unlike the stiff sort of per-
son she had supposed Englishmen were. True, we had
neither of us ever chanced to meet one of the nation, but
there was an idea current in the school that they were
all more or less disagreeable.
Speeding home in the underground once more, I sat
silent in my corner, only half-'conscious of objects around
me, for I could not feel reconciled to this parting. Had I
known then, and had she, what mother's leaving me was
to mean, I wonder what turn the tide in our affairs just then
would have taken. Destiny," I hear some one saying.
Ah, no-Providence-always-even when the results seem
only to add clouds to our horizon



WE were up early the next morning and I felt some-
what cheered, for mother and I had had one of our
" cozy" talks before we slept, in which she had made me
see how unwise and unkind it would be not to accompany
the girls to Russia, and especially as Mr. Hill would be
liberal enough in his remuneration to make it possible for
us to have various little comforts on our return home. I
knew there were certain musical advantages she had longed
to give me, not to be obtained except in a large city; and
she said that Mr. Hill's liberality would enable her, she felt
sure, to give me that "Boston winter" we had talked about.
"His brother made it clear to me," said mother, "that
there was no one to go with the girls but myself-no one,
at least, they would trust-and you see, Helen, all things
considered, my duty seems clear."
She had sketched something of the Vail family for me;
it sounded very attractive, especially with my longing to
see something of English life, but, she said, better not give
me too many impressions in advance. I would form my
own ideas then, and no doubt interest her greatly in them.
We took our breakfast in what was called the coffee-
room" of the hotel, a cafe, where I was much entertained.


observing the different people, all travelers, it would seem;
but this being particularly an English place, the guests
-were apparently all of the same nationality; and while I was
enjoying our breakfast of bacon, eggs, and coffee, etc., I was
much interested in a party at an adjoining table, evidently
father, mother and daughter-the latter a girl of my own
age, with a most blooming complexion, bright blue eyes
and flaxen hair, a very pleasant, fair specimen of girlhood-
but oh, what a costume Writing as I am of the English
girl of twenty years ago, how well I can recall that broad
green and red plaid gown-that huge neck-ribbon of bright
blue, the coarse lace on neck and sleeves of the girl who
was a perfect little lady in her ways ; dignified, but unaf-
fected ; and who colored as our eyes met, and yet we
exchanged a half-smile, the result of mutual sympathy of
our age, I suppose. They were talking of where she was
going that day. Her father said in a deep voice he had to
look in early at Tattersall's," and the mother-a lady in a
green gown and cap, with bright purple ribbons-said:
" Georgiana's governess would see to Aurora "-the name,
I concluded, of the blooming, sweet-tempered-looking girl.
I think seeing her reconciled me to a stay in England. I
thought it would be so pleasant to make some acquaintances
among girls of my own age out here; and while we were
preparing to go out, I begged mother wherever she finally
sent me, to see that there were some "girls" I could know.
Mother was very thoughtful for a little time; the same
sad, pained sort of look crossed her face. My readiness at
romantic conjecture made me at once conclude she probably


knew of some girls I might meet, yet-there was a barrier.
However, she said later that she would do her best in this
way-would talk to dear old Miss Vail about it.
The Hills and Mr. Vail appeared about the same time.
Mother gave us into his friendly care for the day, while she
made some necessary purchases-saw a physician, etc., and
we agreed to meet at Mr. Hill's residence at five o'clock.
Mother's one stipulation with our escort was that he should
take her purse "-she did it so nicely and smilingly, and
said that she had theories of her own on certain subjects.
Later Mary Hill remarked to mother she was afraid Mr.
Vail was hurt, but mother laughingly shook her head, I re-
member, saying: My dear Mary, let me tell you that it
is the worst taste, to my way of thinking, to expect just be-
cause it is a young man, kind enough to escort you to pub-
lic sights, or perhaps travel a short distance with you, he
should pay your expenses. Of course I don't mean a five-
cent car-fare, although I'm not quite sure I like that, but
believe me, no girl should allow more."
He seemed very well off," Mary had objected.
"That makes very little difference; although," she added
gravely, "I have known several young men actually deep
in debt owing to the expense of taking their young lady
friends about."
We girls had some money of our own, which mother
asked Mr. Vail to show us where to spend. We were to
get something as a souvenir of our first English day.
Now, what first?" Mr. Vail inquired, as we sallied


We promptly said "The Tower," whereupon he looked
at us in comical surprise.
"Well, upon my word That old rattle trap -
"Why, Mr. Vail we chorused, and at once proceeded
to tell him how for years it had been our desire to see it;
and he admitted we were probably right, but he'd never
been there, etc., etc. Later I found many people who had
lived years in London and never visited that wonderful,
significant place, teeming with suggestions, whether of its
early days, its middle life, or the last throbs of the eighteenth
Walking down Tower Hill, coming in sight of the irreg-
ular, gloomy old place-palace, fortress, dungeon, court-
house of cruel memory, all in one-my pulse throbbed with
the crowd of feelings it evoked, and from room to room we
wandered: standing in Sir Walter Raleigh's narrow cell;
tracing with our careless, free, young fingers the sadly
written words, lines, names on that dismal chamber where
Sir Thomas More spent his last days, visited so tenderly
by his daughter; where poor Lady Jane Grey passed the
days of her captivity; whence seldom any one, entering its
walls, walked out save to his death.
Turning from it down the narrow staircase, I could not
help saying to Mr. Vail, who was just ahead of me:
Oh, I am so glad to be an American "
I never shall forget the funny look he swiftly turned up
to me.
"Now, really, Miss Glenn," he exclaimed, this is too


bad, and just as I have been thinking of you as a country-
woman "
I shook my head gayly.
"American !" I declared.
"But all your mother's people and the- he stopped
short very suddenly, leaving me again with that miserable
baffled feeling that something of importance in mother's past
was being withheld from me, her "little comrade," as she
often said, "as well as daughter." But I only sighed to
myself and helped him to turn the subject; which, in this
place, surrounded by so much of deepest interest, it was
easy enough to do. Stella was simply transfixed and fasci-
nated by the men in Beef-eaters' costume, who, to quote
Mr. Vail, showed the thing off," even when they were most
mechanical, and rattled their descriptions on at a tiresome
rate, and when, in the wonderful Armory, our guide said
coldly, Hobserve the weapons of the holden times her
fascination was not to be removed; and when at length we
all sauntered out into the morning sunshine, shaking off the
strange sense of dreamland the place had given me, I found
myself quite as ready as Stella and Mr. Vail to laugh and
joke and decide, as he said, to have a jolly day of it."
On the whole I am very sure we did. We sailed up the
Thames to old Hampton Court; wandered through its
series of rooms, where Henry VIII., Charles I., and many
another, familiar to us in our history, had held their court;
gazed at the "beauties painted by Sir Peter Lely, at the
few pieces of homely furniture remaining; lingered in the
room used by poor Queen Katherine, lounged in the win-
dow-seats of the great room where Anne Boleyn and her


"maids used to sit at their tapestry, or virginals, and spent
a happy hour in the famous gardens. We had a great deal
of fun, for very soon Mr. Vail turned over, as he said, all the
questions of history to us, after informing us that Charles
the Second lived here, but later was beheaded, and school-
girl fashion, we teased him greatly, while he solemnly
assured us it was "forty years since he left school," which
set Stella on her most inquisitive track, until he finally gave
in again and admitted he was only twenty-four. He said
he'd have thought we would much rather have gone to
the Zoo and Madame Tussaud's wax-works; and accord-
ingly we told him that, our historical mania having been
somewhat appeased, we would permit him to escort us
there the next day, if he liked.
Looking back, I seem now to hear our gay young voices,
our merry laughter, our banter of each other, our "jokes,"
funnier to us than any wit since then ; our perfect freedom
from thought of care, anxiety, or any darkness in life; and
this perfectly serene, light-hearted day in my girlhood
comes back always associated with that palace of King
Henry's day-the great vacant rooms, once thrilling with
life, comedy and tragedy, strangely hand in hand; the
painted ladies on the walls, all smiling, all lovely, all slim of
arm and hand, and yet who once were living women, some
gay, but nearly all living under some dread of the future as
they danced and sang, jested and made merry, begged for
their lives, or wept tears of despair in these very rooms. I
can see our careless, alert young figures as we stood there,
hear again our jests, and thank God for our wholesome and
natural up-bringing.



T HE short time of our stay in London sped all too quickly;
yet there was eagerness enough on my part to see the
country where I was to pass the time of mother's absence.
Young Mr. Vail attended to everything for us, but had to
say good-by before we started for Hilford, in Surrey, very
early one morning, as business for his father called him to
the north. Naturally enough, the Hills and I parted with
various assurances of letter-writing and talk over the events
for the past few days, hoping to renew the same kind of
amusement later, in that vague, wonderful sometime,"
which belongs to every age, I suppose; and it was with the
assurance so happily a part of youth, that the future lay all
brightly before us, that I set out. Through a lovely coun-
try our train sped, mother never once taking her eyes
from the flitting landscape, and showing her complete
familiarity with it all by her frequent comments and ex-
planations of points of interest we were passing.
Hilford was soon reached. We left the train to take a
cab at once, in which we drove up a hilly street to Mr. Vail's
office, mother saying she preferred seeing her old friend
there first.
The office was in a curious-shaped brick building, up one
wide, short flight of stairs. We passed to a room where an


obliging clerk at once gave us seats, and in a moment the
old lawyer appeared.
I almost smiled tpo broadly, he was so precisely like an older
edition of his son. It was as though, suddenly, we had been
shown a picture of what young Mr. Vail might expect to be
thirty or forty years hence. But his manner was graver-
just as kindly, but his sentences more carefully, thought-
fully prepared and uttered.
After my introduction mother and the old gentleman
talked in low tones at one end of the room, while I remained
seated in a window overlooking the quaint old street.
Fragments of their conversation floated toward me. I
heard mother saying, "As you know everything, and were
such a friend that time "-then something which he answered
by two propositions, one of which was that I should re-
main as his guest-the other that I should go down to a
place in the country called Britton-Marsh," where a client
of his took two or three girls of my age to board and teach.
It is really fortunate, I think, that you brought your
daughter with you," said Mr. Vail, with a kindly glance in
my direction.
Oh, I could not have left her," declared mother, and
after all, I like to think she will see something of Eng-
"Ah !" he exclaimed quietly. "I felt sure in your
heart, my dear Ada, you meant to.renew some old friend-
ships-and it is sixteen years since-"
He broke off suddenly, warned by a glance from my
mother. Her blue eyes seemed to say a "No" and her


fair, delicate face flushed painfully. "Helen and "knows
nothing of it," reached me from the.next whispered sen-
tence, and I felt myself confused and perplexed, but pres-
ently Mr. Vail's cheery accents sounded in a higher key.
"Well, well, I'm glad you care something for your coun-
try, any way. And now you'll go off and come back from
Russia brighter and stronger."
"Oh, stronger !" interrupted mother with her pretty laugh
"I am always strong enough. I tell that tall girl of mine
I had never had rosy cheeks such as she has It wasn't
natural to me. And she is taller than I am now. Stand
up, dearest. Mr. Vail remembers me, I dare say, at your
"Yes, yes," murmured the old man, adjusting his spec-
tacles as we laughingly stood before him, and I can see
now the reflection of our two figures-mother and daughter
-which the tall, narrow mirror on a wall across the room
gave back. My mother, so fair and youthful-looking for
her eight and thirty years-a slender little figure, always
wearing black but in exquisite quiet taste; a face nearly
perfect in outline and finish, the eyes deep, gentian blue,
as the girls at school used to declare, and shaded by gold-
colored lashes; the hair a perfect golden, save where some
lines of silver touched it. But with all that was undeniably
beauty there was something about my mother, something
which it would seem the sorrow from God's hand had stamped
upon her, which set her apart from all demonstrative admi-
ration. No one ever thought of paying her the kind of
careless compliments which any merely "pretty" woman


generally receives. No one ever suggested her altering the
simplicity of her mourning dress because this or that or the
other would be "becoming" or was "fashionable." My
mother's beauty, I think now, had a sort of sanctity about it
which made such intrusion impossible, and yet I, her care-
less young daughter, used to wonder about it and believe
that it had always been so; that my mother never could
have known the harmless vanities or satisfactions of bloom-
ing youth-and who would have fancied me her daughter !
Let me tell you what I remember of the other figure in
the mirror. A tall girl, with vitality, good spirits and light-
heartedness in every line of her smiling face; not beautiful
face, then or ever, but with the charm of youth and the joy-
ousness of an untried future giving the eyes their look of
happy and yet perhaps a trifle wistful expectancy. Brown
eyes, not a bit of "gentian" in them. A fairly good nose and
a rosy mouth, not very small, but showing fine white teeth,
and the hair which coiled about my head in heavy braids
was nut-brown, and just-to my distress-tinged with
"We must be off now," said mother, moving suddenly,
so that the picture before me was dissolved. Helen and
I have just this one day together, and I am going to take
her for a ramble. Then, if you will leave the two offers
open, dear Mr. Vail, we will come back, as you kindly sug-
gested, for luncheon with you and your sister, and I will
decide what to do with my-big baby here "
So it was settled. Mr. Vail accompanied us to the door,
directing us how to find the old castle of the town, among


whose ruins we meant to sit down for a time while mother
told me the story of the place, and we passed out into the
sunny old street, conscious that this was our last day
together for weeks and yet bent on making a genuine holi-
day of it.



THE High Street of the old town was crowded when
mother and I went out into it, and I enjoyed observing
all that was novel and picturesque in the people and objects
about me; for it was market day, and farmers from all the
neighboring villages had come in, their carts well laden, and
generally presided over by some feminine members of the
family. A buxom matron in her best gown and gayest
bonnet and shawl, perched high on the box seat," or a
blooming maiden whose wide-open eyes traveled up and
down the street, eager to take in every evidence of town "
life or exhibition of town manners and styles, perhaps to
report or imitate them, as the case might be, on returning
home again. The farmers not infrequently walked beside
their carts, well dressed in corduroy or homespun, and pre-
senting fine, weather-beaten countenances, as a rule good-
humored and healthy, while there were plenty of boys to be
seen in smock-frocks and broad-brimmed hats, and occa-
sionally old men similarly attired,while here and there a group
of purchasers or a gig-load of people marked the upper class
of farming or trades-people, but all with a certain mingling
of holiday and business aspect which gave the town an
air of importance, half festive and half solidly prosperous.
" Market dinners were advertised at various inns, and it


was evident were in process of cooking, from *the savory
odors which reached us as we made our way past some of
the smaller inns or hostelries, one of which was quaint enough
in architecture and casements to have stood just where it
did, on a corner near the Town Cross, since the days of the
Protector. We had a little shopping to do, and selected one
of the principal shops in the High Street, mother lingering
over the purchases lovingly, since they were for me, and
doubtless reflecting somewhat ruefully, as I did myself, that
for the first time in my life I would be away from her when
I first wore the dress and gloves and pretty jacket she was
selecting. I was delighted and soon engrossed by a dressing-
case, very much such a one, mother said, as she had when a
girl, and the stocking of it was a fascinating employment,
mother enjoying it, she said, quite as much as I did myself,
and choosing pretty although inexpensive articles.
Now then," she said, linking her arm in mine as we left
the shop after concluding this last purchase, let us take
a nice walk. Come, Helen, we will explore the old ruins."
The "keep" of the old castle of Hilford crested the
ridge of an eminence scarcely to be called a hill, and
yet which gave us, when we left the thoroughfares of the
town, a little climb. When we entered the grand, although
half-ruined, archway forming the entrance to the keep, we
were glad to sit down for a few moments any way before
exploring the ruined chambers, whose floors were now of
grass and weeds, yet within which the flower of English
beauty and chivalry had once bloomed and, alas! too
often in those old days, languished and died alone.


The place in which we found ourselves-I with a thor-
oughly American spirit of investigation, and feeling in no
degree connected with this interesting old England-was
a large inclosure,.which perhaps in the days of the Nor-
mans formed an outer hall, since it was set apart appar-
ently from the dwelling part and public offices of the castle.
Its walls were pierced with but few windows, although
those of the ruins beyond showed many, now richly hung
with ivy and catching all the sparkle and sunshine of the
The spot where we sat was in an angle formed by a bit
of still solid masonry, whence we could see the country
for miles around-mother's country, not mine-yet I felt
my heart thrill with something which I believe all Americans
experience in beholding the land of their forefathers-an
emotion not to be called patriotism, but rather loyalty to the
ages which precede; nay, may we not say, have formed us ?
But mother's eyes were gazing on the landscape, softly,
not with any tourist-like alertness ; half-tearful, and evi-
dently dimmed by remembrances which this peaceful scene
brought up. The downs and the stretch of gorse-covered
moor to the right were full of dancing sunbeams. Through
the shadowy portions of the old town a river wound its
way, sparkling with every bend and quiver, while beyond all
this-beyond the turrets, gables, red roofs and hilly streets
of the town-broad waves of sunlight showed us meadow
lands and forest, the sheltered glades of a park" or
"place," the fairness of some upland which the spring-
time had already touched with its smiling caress.


It was a picture hard to associate with the fierce period
which called its divisions and its architecture into exist-
ence. Yet I was fresh from my studies of English history
which illustrated the stories mother had to tell. I knew
That King John in his most reckless days had held high
revel in the town; that under Richard II. a cruel constable
had made the people live-often hide away-in terror, while
even where we sat the groans of prisoners in secret dun-
geons of the castle used to be heard, giving rise to many a
weird tale of the old place being haunted. Yet there were
happier associations, too, picturesque and romantic. Hither
came Queen Eleanor and her pious court. Here danced
the Ladies Brandon in the happy days before their brother's
death, and from that old monastic doorway one might
almost fancy even now the fair face and figure of Queen
Margaret as she doled out the Christmas alms to the poor
who trooped up the slope with smiling eyes and uplifted
O, mother I exclaimed, suddenly linking my arm in
hers after a fashion I had, and cuddling" closer to her so
that I could put my head down comfortably on her shoul-
der (only long practice had made this possible and
easy). "Mother, what are you thinking of ?"
My mother smiled.
"What do you suppose ?"-she spoke with unusual ani-
mation. Look, Helen, do you see, across there, that strip
of roadway winding over the moors? See how it divides
the bushes of gorse. Well, do you know I was conjuring
up, bit by bit, the picture which might have been seen


there one day. First a donkey, carrying a saddle-bag or
pannier at one side, on the other a pair of sturdy little legs
and feet. Mine, my dear; for I was sitting on the donkey,
and very proud because I was allowed to ride up there and
see the gorse, or furze, cut. My brother Allan was with
me, and another brother was coming to meet us. I remem-
ber that day so well because, you see, I was strictly brought
up, and not often trusted out alone just with the boys. But
what a day it was "
She went on sketching various details, amusing and
happy, which were impressed on my mind not only because
they belonged to a personal reminiscence of my mother's
but for the reason that my eyes were resting on the actual
scene of the girlish adventures she was relating. The road
wound like a white ribbon across the slope of the stretch of
moor, dividing the furze bushes and forming a distinct if
dusty track, on whose crest, while we watched it and
talked, an object appeared slowly defining itself against
the horizon as a caravan drawn by donkeys, at each side of
which some men and women were leisurely walking. Only
a suggestion of something florid or unconventional in their
costumes could be observed from where we sat, but mother
exclaimed, laughing, "Why, there are some gipsies, too-
and there was a caravan of them that day But," she added
in a moment, no doubt lest I should, as usual, begin
indulging in some romantic notions on the subject,
"it's perfectly natural, however, to expect them on any
fine day at this season," and immediately began to tell


me about the gipsies she remembered as part of that
especial experience.
I was a bit over-romantic, or enthusiastic, or something
akin to it, and my mother had the wisest, gentlest way of
keeping my mind wholesome and steady. She never laughed
at me for any thing unless an absolute folly; never tried to
ridicule me out of an enthusiasm, but quietly let me see that
another point of view "-one of her favorite expressions
-was more preferable, more earnest" or sincere," above
all, more "real," and so I could bring my silly little head
promptly down out of the clouds with no dread of mortifi-
cation in applying myself to terra firma and its realities
"Go on, mother dear," I exclaimed. "Do tell me some
more. Where were you living then ?"
You can't see the house from here. I was only visiting,
any way."
I fancied a change in her voice. We sat silent for a mo-
ment. Then mother looked at her watch.
Come, dearest, we must be going back to Mr. Vail's.
As I remember her, old Miss Vail is very punctual."
We rose to our feet, I rather disappointed that mother's
spirit of reminiscence had carried her no further, and a
little sorry we had not investigated the rest of the ruins;
but it was certainly fun to think of lunching with old Mr.
and Miss Vail. All English experiences were fascinating
to me. Mother went ahead, going down the little slope
slowly, pausing once or twice to pick up some bit of the
first of the spring blossoms showing their heads so daintily


among the pale April greens. At the foot, just where the
last piece of solid Norman wall rose to mark the place once
so boldly guarded, she paused suddenly. Some one was
standing there-a tall, elderly gentleman with a pale and
handsome face-who was regarding her with eyes in
which a glow of most mournful intensity seemed to be
All the softness and happiness had gone out of mother's
look. Something I had never seen was there instead-
scorn, sorrow of a bitter kind. Even now I hardly know
what to call the thing which had driven out of my mother's
eyes the look I knew and loved. The gentleman stood
absolutely still for an instant, then without further evidence
of recognition passed on, while mother, catching my hand
in hers, fairly swept me away and out into the High Street
"Mother," I exclaimed, eagerly, "who was, that man?
Why did you look at him like that?"
Helen," mother answered in a low tone that was
tremulous with emotion, don't ask me, dear. 0, come on,
my darling I had no idea he was here. I have decided
now. You had better go to stay with Mr. Vail's friends at
Britton-Marsh. Yes, I have decided."
"But, mother dearest," I pleaded, won't you tell me
something more?"
0, you would not ask if you knew it all, my love,"
said mother. She had to wipe some tears out of her eyes.
" Don't ask me. Here is Mr. Vail's garden. Thank for-
tune we can hurry in "


Perhaps something in the pleading of my eyes struck her
"My dear," she said, in a very low voice, "you must
never talk or think of him again. He was, perhaps-no
doubt-is, my enemy."



MY mother's enemy The words seemed to darken the
very sunshine which a moment before had made the
old street radiant. But there was no opportunity to discuss
the subject further, and even had there been time I am
sure my mother would have forbidden it. But it was
impossible for me to keep a dozen wild conjectures out of
my mind, and as we knocked at Mr. Vail's door-the house
was a quiet-looking one, of brick half-smothered in ivy-the
vision of mother's enemy," the pale, elderly face and deep
set eyes, rose before me, and in spite of all my interest in
the visit we were about making I could think of little else.
Who was he? Where had mother known him first?
Where did he live? Shall I ever see him again? These
questions danced impatiently through my mind as we stood
on the old-fashioned doorstep of Mr. Vail's house. Can
you not fancy the eager, restless, girlish figure, the eyes
that would have liked to pierce all the future, the impatient
young lips which would have asked any questions just to
'nave the problem of the moment solved? Whether mother
read all of this in her daughter's face I do not know. Some
of it of course was apparent to that keen discrimination of
hers, and as the door was opened she laid one of her hands
on my arm and, smiling, just gave her head a little shake


that I understood. It was her way often of advising me
to "keep cool or quiet.
A trim-looking young maid-servant admitted us into a
rather somber hallway with a spidery-looking staircase, a
great many engravings, and just one bit of color-in the
open doorway below which looked into a bright garden.
Thence we were ushered into a large old-fashioned room
where Mr. Vail and his sister, a tiny little old lady, were
evidently waiting to receive us.
Mother's delicate face flushed all over as the old lady
took her hands, called her Ada," and kissed her on both
cheeks; and then I had to be made known, and Miss Vail
said :
"Dear me dear me Ada Not possible this girl is
And mother laughed, and the old people laughed, and
we were all very merry for a few moments together. But
before luncheon even mother had made known her decision
to the old lawyer, thanked him for his kindness, but
expressed her desire to have me go to Britton-Marsh at
Did you not say you were going there this afternoon ?"
mother inquired, so anxiously that I wondered if he would
not see that she had a special reason for hurrying me away
from Hilford.
To-morrow morning," he answered. "But surely you
will leave her with us for one night ?"
We were on our way across the hall to the dining-room,
and for a moment mother seemed inclined to draw back


and say something apart to him. But there came a second
thought, and she was silent. How much in the future, I
used afterward to think, depended on that hesitation and
final silence, for it so chanced that she was obliged to hurry
away after luncheon, and, I know, said not a word to her
old friend of her encounter with the dark stranger I already
called the enemy."
The dining-room, if a trifle shabby and old-fashioned,
had a bright center in the table so daintily laid and
sparkling with glass and silver, and as it was my first meal
in an English home I concluded that every thing was
typical; and a very nice, tempting sort of meal it was.
Miss Vail's manners were so sweet and "ladylike "-a
term seldom to be used, for it is seldom thoroughly under-
stood, but it fitted the dainty little old maiden whose
manners had the fine finish and yet quaintness of a century
ago, and they were like what a lady" should be-kind
and always considerate.
When she addressed the maid it was as politely as when
she spoke to mother and me, and I remember her tone in
Jane, will you please see if there is not a draught on
Mrs. Glenn I think the window is too wide open."
And Jane's :
"Yes, miss," was prompt and respectful, and when the
window was adjusted Miss Vail said :
That's very nice. Quite right, Jane," and a quick
smile passed between the two, mistress and maid, savoring
in no way of familiarity, but just what it ought to have


been, a pleasant recognition of a little skillfully rendered
service, arid the maid went about her duties, I am sure, all
the more anxious to earn another such friendly glance.
I clung to mother with dim eyes when the hour of part-
ing came. It was our first separation, and all the delights
which I had fancied it involved were forgotten, as we said
good-by. I pity girls-and mothers, too-who have not
known the sort of friendship, of comradeship, which ought
to exist between mother and daughter, and which did in the
most perfect way exist between my mother and me; yet no
doubt I was selfish enough, as all children are to their
parents, fancying the world was all mine and forgetting
some of what was mother's share in it.
But just then all the .cry in my heart was to go with her.
I kept it choked down, of course. Above all things I hated
looking silly, and when mother had driven away, when I
had caught the last glimpse of her sweet pale face in the
carriage window, the last wave of her hand, I felt I must
control myself and remember I was among strangers. Miss
Vail's voice just at my shoulder sounded very friendly.
Now, my dear," she was saying cheerily, don't you
want to come up to my room for awhile ? I always have to
take a rest every afternoon, but you can sit by me and I'll
tell you all I can about Britton-Marsh."



MISS VAIL explained, as we went into her room, that she
was" something of an invalid," and had to allow herself
certain indulgences, like this rest of an afternoon. But
dear me, Helen," she said, smiling upon me, "years ago,
when your mother was at home, as she will remember, I was
very different Ready for any kind of excitement or
fatigue Did your mother ever tell you about one famous
Hilford Fair-time when she was young ?"
I shook my head.
Mother-doesn't like to talk of those times," I said, a
trifle sadly. Miss Vail's tone changed at once. She was
preparing to make herself comfortable on her lounge, and
also to arrange a little low chair close by for me, and she
said briskly,
"Oh well, well! No doubt it is foolish to keep living
in the past, but I own to enjoying nothing more than to talk
or think of old times."
We talked very sociably until the spring twilight was fast
approaching. Still, Miss Vail had given me few points of
information. Britton-Marsh, it appeared, was an old-fash-
ioned town, with some manufacturing interests, but a
distinctly aristocratic center of its own, "haughty and exclu-
sive," to quote her phrase. I cared nothing just then for
this. I wanted to hear about the people I was likely to


meet. And dimly, but with a consciousness of disloyalty
to mother which forbade my asking questions, I wished she
would give me some hint of the enemy." But none came.
She seemed anxious to interest me in the household I was
to be in, and at last I forced myself to forget the subject
and person which had so piqued my curiosity and to listen
attentively to what she was saying about my future com-
panions, the Bardistons.
They are very worthy people, my love," said dear old
Miss Vail in her indulgent, charitable sort of voice. But
life has been a sort of struggle with them. Mr. Bardiston's
father was an army officer, and I am afraid-that is I think-
he was not always as wise or prudent as he might have been,
and brought his children up with an idea of unnecessary
luxury and extravagance. Poor Mr. Bardiston was-well,
born a failure, I may say. Very improvident and over hope-
ful, and he died, I understand, when he felt most sanguine
about the success of some of his speculations. The children
are very nice."
Oh, are there children ?" I was more interested in
them than in the luxurious captain or the speculative Mr.
"Well, Cecilia is hardly a child," said Miss Vail, thought-
fully; quite your age, I should say, and a fine, good girl-
a little-apt to be morose or bad-tempered, perhaps. And
Cuthbert, when I saw him last, was a promising boy."
"But isn't it a school ?" I inquired, charmed by the
prospect of Cecilia," in spite of her tendency to morose-
ness or bad-temper.


Well, yes. That is what it is Mrs. Bardiston's desire to
make it. At present, I believe there are very few pupils;
but, Helen, there is a possibility of your finding a friend in
Miss Bayard."
I echoed the name, not remembering ever to have heard
of it. Does she live there ?" I inquired. And will she
come to see me? Did she know my mother ?"
"Oh, yes; I mean she knew your mother, but I can not
say for certain whether she will come to see you. But, my
dear Helen, I .want to impress one thing upon you. Of
course I am well aware that your mother has her own
reasons for not caring to renew old associations here; it
was very kind of her not to include us; still, if Miss Bayard
should show herself friendly I am certain your mother
could not object to it, and it would be a most fortunate
thing all around," she added.
How will she know I am there ? Where does she live ?"
I asked eagerly.
"I presume there will be chances ; there always are, some-
how, in this world," said Miss Vail, with the contented phil-
osophy which belongs to a quiet life. And you will be
sure to find out where she lives. She is a very well-known
person, a rich woman, and rather lonely, I fancy. Not very
benevolent. She was a famous beauty in her young days.
Dear me I well remember her at a splendid party twenty
years ago She was the loveliest creature. If I give you
my keys you can fetch a scrap book from my secretary over
there and I'll show you a little water-color sketch which


:came into my possession rather oddly. It was done by-
well no matter-you would not know the name."
I gladly took the keys, and after a slight search found the
scrap-book of twenty years ago, which I brought back to
the sofa, turning its pages over under Miss Vail's direction,
skipping various bits of landscape and architecture, until
she said "There and laid her hand on the important
The face of a beautiful, spirited, and imperious girl
looked up at me. She was dressed in a dark-green riding-
habit made brilliant by scarlet facings, the broad-brimmed
beaver hat having plumes of green and red. If there was
a fault to be found in this girlish beauty, it was in a certain
domineering pride, which must have been in her expression,
since even this sketch reproduced it. The dark eyes seemed
to challenge fate or even contradiction, but the lips were
curved in a charming smile. I was perfectly delighted,
and after one or two "Oh's!" of satisfaction begged to know
more of this wonderful Miss Bayard, whom I might chance
to see; and, holding the page up to catch the full light, saw
under it in masculine characters :
"My name, Miss Vail! I exclaimed: And Amabel
-what a beautiful name like Amy's-darling Amy in the
Heir of Redclyffe. Oh, how perfectly splendid !" (N. B.-
Girls, we said "splendid" then as you, nowadays, say
"grand. ")
S" So it is your name! Why, I wonder if your mother
could have done it for that reason ? Miss Vail was quite

Ii" '(


___ ,

She said There," ada

The said there," and laid het hand an the important page.


excited over this coincidence and its suggestion,. I put my
head on my hand for a brief consideration of the case.
".Yes," I said, suddenly, "I do remember now mother
told me she had named me for an English friend."
SMiss Vail as an old lady, I am afraid, was nearly as
romantic as I was as a young girl, and after dinner, while
her brother dozed in his arm-chair, we sauntered about the
garden, a trifle too chilly, no doubt, but very much absorbed
in discussing Miss Bayard ; and is it to be wondered at if
I went to bed with my girlish head full of fancies and pro-
jects, none of which were very practical or even probable !
Yet one among them seeming to me quite proper and
feasible : I would wait a certain length of time at Britton-
Marsh hoping for an accidental meeting with this beautiful
Miss Bayard, after which I would send her a little note tell-
ing her I thought I was named for her and would like so
much to see her before leaving. England. What gave this
idea its permanent impression was the fact that on confiding
it to Miss Vail the next morning she declared it might do
very well, and added: I am sure your mother couldn't
Now as it never any more occurred to me to do any thing
without mother's permission and advice than it would to
walk boldly into open danger, I decided that after allowing
Miss Bayard one week to discover my vicinity I would
write and ask mother just what to do.
I felt quite excited when the time for leaving came. Mr.
Vail was to meet me at the station, having business at his
office until the last moment, but Miss Vail, and Jane


carrying my hand-bag, escorted -me to the train, my
trunk having been sent on, and the dear little old lady
wias as friendly and affectionate in her leave-takings as if I
had known her always, while I found myself no longer
depressed but feeling sure I was about to step into the
midst of something wonderful, and events as exciting as
any thing which had ever happened to my beloved heroes
and heroines of romance. Well, of course, if nothing had
occurred I should have had no story to tell you-but stories
are only chronicles, after all, of the strangeness and peculi-
arity of circumstances. For the most part I am inclined
to think very romantic events few enough in real life, in
spite of the old adage about truth being stranger than fic-
"Good-by, my dear," said Miss Vail, for the third time,
when I was comfortably in my corner of the railway car-
riage. Geoffrey, take good care of her ; and Helen," this
in a whisper, if you meet Miss Bayard be sure to write
and let me know."
-I nodded and said as fervent an Oh, yes," as if Miss
Vail had been one of the girls at school waiting to hear
how some adventure would turn out. Then her dear old
face was withdrawn, and I found myself whirling through
a country of pale spring green and blossom, and as the
train curved about a bend in the little river I caught sight
of the old castle keep," where yesterday I had sat and
watched the furzy downs with my mother. Oh, if only I
knew where she had lived-whom she had visited that time,
and who was Allan and the other brother. Could it be


-Oh no, brothers couldn't be enemies, I argued to myself,
as, curled up comfortably, I watched the fleeting land-
scape, the jumble of roofs disappearing swiftly, conscious
that one of them might once have sheltered the little
" sturdy-legged girl on the donkey of long ago ; but my
most enjoyable reflections centered about Miss Bayard,
whom I felt certain what I called fate would lead me
to see.



IT has been my good fortune to spend many happy days
in the country of my mother's birth and to see many
charming places, but for some reason, difficult to define,
Britton-Marsh retains the permanent association of a first
love in my mind, and no breath of landscape, no beauty
of architecture elsewhere makes up to me for the fascina-
tion of the little rambling town, encompassed by a richly
diversified country, through which late on that spring after-
noon Mr. Vail and I drove from the railway station, up and
down crooked and wide streets to the "Villa," fronting a
quaint old green, where Mrs. Bardiston lived. Such elements
as I observed-the prominent market buildings, hoary with/
age, and, it being market-day, their porches filled with
country people of all classes, from the prosperous farmer
to the shepherd in a smock frock, the streets of quiet antiq-
uity, or the high garden walls that sheltered some fine
secluded dwellings, the lanes running here and there out of
streets well built though straggling, the High Street, with
its variety of shops and air of contented although old-fash-
ioned prosperity-all captivated my fancy and made me
decide that, whether I found a hero or heroine or not, I at
least, should have the comfort of a most fascinating "setting"
for creatures of my imagination.


The streets of quiet antiquity.

..s,- ~

u' ,LU~p~'


And the sea was not far away. Mr. Vail had told me of
this, and I fancied the rich salt scents were in the air. There
had been a little rain, scarcely enough to disturb the tender
azure of the sky, but the air was pleasantly cool, almost
windy for an August day, as, in what Miss Vail had spoken
of the day before as the "half-lights," we drove up to
Albert Villa, by which name Mrs. Bardiston's dwelling was
known. A little garden fronted it; the house, built of stucco,
was painted a sort of reddish-brown, and the windows on
the lower floor were curved or bowed, those above having
swinging casements, within which I caught sight of pretty
chintz hangings. The rooms below showed fire-light and
moving figures. Somehow, though by no means "fine," or
in any way suggestive of the surroundings which I sup-
posed would be Miss Bayard's, this place looked home-like
and inviting.
Our carriage, or "fly," as Mr. Vail called it, had barely
stopped before the door of the house was opened. A maid-
servant came running down the path and two figures
appeared on the threshold ; a lady in a widow's cap and
with a kind and anxious sort of face, a girl rather older than
myself, tall and despondent looking. My small belongings
were taken by the maid, and in a few moments I found
myself shaking hands with Mrs. Bardiston and being intro-
duced to her daughter Cecily, the depressed-looking young
girl, who brightened, however, as she greeted me, a sort of
color creeping into her sallow cheeks and making her almost
pretty for the moment.
Mr. Vail explained at once that he had to hasten off to


see his client, but that he would call in the morning before
returning to Hilford. Always quick in his movements, the
kind little old gentlemen had vanished almost before we had
time to appreciate that he was going,.and I was led by my
hostess into the sitting-room whose fire-light had gleamed
so hospitably through the windows.
I don't know how it was that I formed a very swift but
definite impression that the Bardistons must be poor people,
with that kind of poverty hardest to bear, since it is endured
with a constant effort at concealment. The sitting-room
seemed to have been very freshly put in order. Accustomed
to the every-day homeliness and simplicity of my mother's
parlor in New England, I was quick to detect where there
had been an impromptu attempt at cheap decoration, and
wondered why some really good engravings were hung
almost out of sight and some very shiny looking colors with
a high glaze brought into prominence, while the chairs, sofa,
and footstools, the center table with its gay cover and illus,
treated gift books, were arranged with an air of mathematical
precision which only produced an effect of barrenness on my
mind, and made me feel as though anything homelike or
sociable would be impossible here. But my welcome was
all that could be desired. Mrs. Bardiston, in spite of the
anxious puckers in her face, was all brisk cordiality as she
begged me to lay aside my wraps and have a cup of tea
before going up stairs.
Here, Cecily," she exclaimed, take Miss Glenn's hat
and jacket-oh with a glance at the tall girl's retreating
figure, she has gone for the tea things, I suppose. There,


my dear, sit right down by the fire. It isn't very bright.
You see we make the room off the dining-room more ,out
general parlor." I could not help a feeling of relief. "And
so it is scarcely worth while to keep this fire always going.
But of course if it were ever wanted-if you preferred sit-
ting in here of an evening-"
I felt very much ashamed that she should think of such
a thing for an instant, and hastened to say that I would be
most comfortable, I was sure, in any room they used, and
hoped I would give them no unnecessary trouble. Mrs.
Bardiston looked pleased.
Very nice of you, my dear Miss Glenn," she said in a
confidential sort of tone, I am sure you will only be a
delightful addition to our home circle."
I could not help feeling a trifle flattered, as it was very
evident she thought me older than my years, and I fancy
most girls of fifteen would enjoy such a misapprehension,
and remain silent, as I did, beaming my approval upon my
kindly, anxious little hostess, who now rose, as though with
a sudden idea, and began removing the objects from the
table as Cecily's footsteps and the jingle of cups and sau-
cers were heard without.
"We generally have supper about eight o'clock," said
Mrs. Bardiston, as she began to pour the tea, Cecily in
silence guiding her to the necessary articles, but to-night,
as I thought you would like a little stroll about the town, it
will be at six-and this, you see," handing me my cup, is
literally only a cup of tea-but you will have an hour for
rest before supper-time. Now, Cecily, as Miss Glenn


won't take a second cup, suppose you show her to her
I followed Cecily up a pretty little staircase to a corri-
dor and the front room, whose chintz hangings I had seen.
They formed the chief effect of furnishing in the room, which
was as bare as possible, cleanly but uncarpeted, and having
only the merest necessaries. A small bed, a chest of draw-
ers, washing-stand and little dressing-table hung with
chintz, as were the windows, completed the objects in the
room, and perhaps my sense of its chilly barrenness was thor-
oughly shown, for Cecily suddenly put my bag on a chair
and turned sharply.
"I suppose it isn't nice enough," she exclaimed. There,
I told mother so Especially one of Miss Bayard's rela-
tions "
I laughed-yet I felt confused.
"Oh, indeed it is nice I exclaimed warmly, and taking
hold of the girl's hand. "And I am not-" I was about to
say not one of Miss Bayard's relations," yet how did I
know ? It was certainly very awkward and confusing to
stand there pressing Cecily's hand all the harder because I
did not know what to say-scarcely, indeed, if the truth
were told, who I was !
"You see," said Cecily, sitting down unexpectedly on
the edge of my bed, and evidently glad to talk," we are
poor, and we know it, and the pupils don't mind : but when
Mr. Vail telegraphed and asked mamma if she could take a
young lady from America to board-why, I was frightened.
Americans are so hard to suit, so rich-"


I burst out laughing.
"Oh, Miss-"
"Cecily," she interposed, laughing too. "You needn't
say Miss Bardiston ; of course the pupils do, but that's
because they wouldn't respect me otherwise."
"Well, then, Cecily, and my name's Helen, you know;
we're not rich people at all, my mother and I. We're-
well, not exactly poor, but mother teaches in a school at
home, and now she has only gone to Russia to chaperone
two of the scholars. That's how I happened to come
Cecily's dark eyes brightened.
Well, I declare, I'm glad," she said, with much good
humor. "I was inclined to dread you. Now you're just
in time to make ready for supper. And then we'll go for
a walk. We can take Cuthbert, so we won't be afraid if it
gets a bit late."
And who is Cuthbert ?" I asked, beginning to brush my
hair at the little chintz-covered mirror.
"Oh, my brother! He's only a boy, but he's very good-
natured. He is working so hard for a scholarship."
Cecily departed in much better spirits, and I decided I
should like her. At all events she was a girl near my own
age, and even a difference in nationality can not prevent
very young people from feeling sympathetic. I began to
like various things about me ; the view from my windows,
for instance. As I brushed my hair I could see the little
green across whose well-trodden pathways people were
coming and going in the spring twilight. Some quaint


houses dotted the roadway beyond, and a smithy door
wide open showed its ruddy fire, while the faint click
of the anvil smote the air every now and then with a cheer-
ful note.
Six o'clock brought Cecily back to my door, and I was
ready enough for supper, whether it proved hot or cold, but
some savory odors reached us as we neared the dining-
room. To reach this room we passed through the family
parlor of which Mrs. Bardiston had spoken, and, shabby as
it was, there were home-like touches which made it inviting.
The motherly looking work-table in one window, the
writing-desk and small stand littered with papers, and the
old fashioned book-shelves and capacious sofa-all of these
ancient belongings had an air of fitness and proprietary
right unknown to the more vivid decorations of the little
drawing-room, and I was entirely sincere in telling Cecily,
or Sissy," as they seemed to call her, that I thought it a
" dear old room."
Around the supper table the rest of the family were
assembled. A tall boy with a clever, plain face and sandy
hair, and two small girls of about ten and twelve years, were
formally introduced as the Miss Goodwins." The boy I
rightly guessed to be Cuthbert-and the Miss Goodwins
were the pupils ; but all three were too shy to talk much,
and Sissy relapsed into her former dejected silence, as soon
as we were at the table, Mrs. Bardiston, however, chatting
amiably. There was a cold leg of mutton, a salad of some
sort, and an apple tart, the latter partaken of only by the
Miss Goodwins and myself, although Mrs. Bardiston


made a show of genially offering it to Cuthbert and Sissy,
before she remarked she rarely touched sweets herself; "
and I felt a little miserable about having taken any, I must
confess, and glad when the meal was at an end, and Sissy
promptly suggested we should start for our walk. All of
the young people prepared to go, and as we were starting
Mrs. Bardiston called after us:
You had better take Miss Glenn around by Little Brit-
ton House, Sissy," and Sissy explained that Miss Bayard
lived at Britton House.
Miss Bayard I felt quite thrilled by this piece of infor-
mation, but my ideas of the haughty looking beauty in the
green riding habit were on a scale which the term Little"
somewhat dashed.
Why is it called Little P" I asked, as we started to cross
the Green. Sissy was occupied in settling one of the Miss
Goodwins' frock, and when this was accomplished and the
young person admonished to "walk straight and hold her
head up" she returned to my side and said, somewhat
"Oh, I don't know exactly. Do you, Cuth ?"
Because of the Manor up at Torberry being called
Britton, I suppose," was his ready answer. But then I
like Miss Bayard's home best."
Has she always lived here ? I inquired, feeling this at
least was a subject on which I could afford to satisfy my
No-although I believe she did live here as a girl. But
then her uncle had the place. It is only three years since


she came for good. I don't exactly remember where she
lived just before that,"
Near Hilford, wasn't it? suggested Cuthbert.
It flashed across my mind that perhaps it was in the house
mother visited that eventful day long ago. It was hard to
hold my tongue, hard not to dash into the conversation,
asking questions and gaining information, but I was re-
strained, remembering my mother's reticence.
Sissy continued:
Miss Bayard came here when old Mr. Ford was dying,
and then she stayed right on. She owns the largest of the
mills, you know, and she takes a great interest in the work-
ing-people. Here, Miss Glenn, this is the High Street."
We had turned up a long irregular street lined with shops
showing their closed doorways in the summer dusk. And
now up this way we'll come to Little Britton."
We passed the business street and went up one of quieter
purpose, where the houses were set apart and all of an
enduring kind. Brick-walled gardens gave an air of seclu-
tion if not actual aristocracy to most of these. In the faint
dusk we could sometimes hear voices laughing and talking
on the other side of these august inclosures, and Sissy, who
knew where every one lived, gave me names of the occu-
pants, and now and then paused a moment, as the voices
floated over the walls, with a regretful sigh and a wistful
glance out of her dark eyes. Poor Sissy She was a very
impatient Peri at the gates of Britton-Marsh paradise !-
otherwise, the society of young people in the town who con-
sidered her not their equal.


A longer brick wall, richly hung with a dark pur-
pling vine, odors like jasmine, I think, the rich bloom of an
almond-tree showing against the evening sky-these were
my first impressions of the place I was destined to know
later so well-to love so dearly. Then as we young people
strode along, laughing nnd talking, Little Britton House
came in view, disappointing me at first in that it possessed
no grandeur ; little to suggest its being the home of the
sparkling girl in the gay riding habit whose picture I could
remember line for line. But in another moment I felt an
irresistible charm about the solid brick mansion whose door-
way opened on the road. It was an imposing if very quiet
place. The three tiers of windows looked as though they
might belong to spacious chambers, and beyond the garden
wall to the left we could see an angle or L of the house
ivy-hung, and with a gracious bow window, on the second
story, overlooking the bloom and verdure of the garden
There," cried Sissy, in a soft whisper, that is Miss
Bayard's house. Oh, if you could only see it inside But,
of course, you will."
Would I ? I stood still with the others, tremulous with a
queer kind of excitement as I caught Sissy's hand in mine
and looked up at the rows of windows within which lights
were not yet gleaming. It possessed all the charm of mys-
tery and romance for me. Something seemed brooding
over the dusky gardens that drew me toward them. The
evening star was shining above the almond-tree and the
widespreading cedars. The sky was softly clear-a sum-


mer sky in which the lamps of heaven were beginning to
throb and burn. Had my mother ever been here ? Could
this have been perhaps one of her homes when she was a
girl like me ? I felt very oddly, I must say, as having gazed
at the old house in deep silence for a moment or two, we
turned to go back, and Sissy began talking even more
volubly of Miss Bayard herself.
She has heaps and heaps of money," Sissy was saying
in her sweet high voice, but she is very quiet, people say.
If I was in her place, I would dress magnificently every
day and give grand parties, and fill the house with company.
Oh, it must be perfectly delightful not to care what you
spend !"
And Sissy sighed, probably with a reflection that six-
pences, or even pence, were as valuable at Albert Villa as
bank notes in Little Britton House.
"Does she dress very simply?" I inquired, feeling
interested in the smallest details connected with my
"Oh, her clothes are fine enough, I suppose," said Sissy,
with a slight curl in her lip ; "that is, they are always rich
material, but so plain."
"But she is very beautiful, of course," I insisted.
Sissy turned a critical, contemplative gaze up to the sky
while she decided this important question. Then, looking
at me with a most judicial air, she said,
H'm-yes, I believe she is considered so. Mother re-
members the time when she was the beauty of the county,
but of course she's old now. Why," added Sissy, with the


feeling of fifteen, "I should think she must be every day
of thirty-eight or forty."
I agreed with her' in considering this decidedly old, but
at the same time I could not feel that Miss Bayard was less
a heroine of romance for the fact. The spirited pose of the
picture in Miss Vail's scrap book was still present to my
mind and I could not realize that time had been allowed to
do its work with the beautiful original.
The Miss Goodwins, who were still somewhat ahead of
us, had fallen into a dispute about something, and, forget-
ing Sissy's martial air, they allowed their voices to rise,
finally separated in a spirit of defiance, and insisted upon
each having a side of the road to themselves. Upon this,
Miss Bayard and her magnificent possibilities were for-
gotten; Sissy swept down upon the children and, taking
the youngest by the hand, led her up to me, saying, Now,
Hilda, you'll just take Miss Glenn's hand, if you please, and
behave yourself," clasping in her own the hand of Muriel,
the older girl. Unfortunate as was the cause, it proved to
be the beginning of quite a friendship between little Hilda
Goodwin and myself. She was soon reconciled to walking
at my side, and when I gave her little hand a soft pressure
she looked up at me, smiling in such a wistful way that I
seemed to understand the sort of comfort the poor little
creature needed. Not that I would have it for an instant
appear that the Bardistons were any thing but kind to their
pupils. But the fact was, as I soon discovered, everything
connected with the house or school was an anxious finan-
cial care, and Sissy, naturally of a sweet, energetic tempera-


ment, had been made irritable by the strain put upon her
young shoulders at the very time when she needed what
was bright and happy in life.
The dusk of the spring evening had closed entirely by
the time we re-crossed the common. The blacksmith's
forge was darkened, but ruddy beams of light shone within
his cottage windows, and I begged of Sissy to pause long
enough for a glance at the cheerful interior. She looked
at me, intensely surprised that any thing so common-place
should be of interest; but the picture of a bright kitchen
where a happy looking family were assembled, the black-
smith reading a daily paper on one side of the table, his
wife and daughter busy over some patch-work opposite, the
cosy fireside with a wooden settle, a kettle swinging, and a
cat comfortably asleep in the glow, all made up a picture
which fascinated me, having that homely charm which in
English households affects Americans so keenly. Doubt-
less the blacksmith had been born and bred in the little
stone cottage I was gazing upon, and his children's
children half a century hence might be living there The
sense of permanence in family tradition had always stirred
me curiously, but my mother used to say it was the only
evidence of my English parentage, for at heart I was the
most down-right and loyal of young Americans !
"Well, I can't imagine," said Sissy laughing, as we took
the footpath leading to Albert Villa ; what you can see in
the Burges' kitchen to interest you in this way."
I offered no explanation, because I knew nothing that I
could- say on the subject would be intelligible to her; but


we chatted pleasantly on other topics ; and when I was in my
own room for the night Sissy appeared to let me know, she
said, that her room, was close to mine.
"Suppose you just come and see where it is," she
whispered, holding her candle high above her head as she
stood just outside my doorway ; then if any thing happens
you'll know where to come."
We crossed the hall, entered a good sized room, uncar-
peted, with the merest flaps of curtain, and furnished with
bare necessaries. A double bed at the further end revealed
the curly heads of the Miss Goodwins as they lay there
sound asleep. A cot which Sissy occupied was nearer the
door. Small carpet mats were placed in front of the beds
and the two washing stands, but areformatory could scarcely
have presented a more chilling exterior, and by contrast my
little chintz-hung bedroom looked very homelike, and I fell
asleep wondering why the Bardistons tried to keep a school
on such meager resources. But then, as Miss Vail had said,
Mrs. Bardiston's father had very genteel ideas," and I
suppose she would have considered any other means of
livelihood beneath her dignity as the captain's daughter.



W E were breakfasting the next morning about eight
o'clock, when a double knock sounded on the front
door ; the Goodwins started to their feet, glancing at Sissy,
who said, in a rather stately voice :
Hilda to-day."
And the little girl flew to take the letters from the post-
man, Mrs. Bardiston explaining that the children took turns
in answering the postman's knock, their good behavior
while dressing deciding which it should be. I expected
something from my mother, and could scarcely wait until
the little girl returned; and her beaming face as she came
towards me showed that I should not be disappointed.
But besides mother's long, affectionate epistle was another
letter, addressed in an unknown hand, the envelope crested,
and emitting a delicate odor of perfume when I opened it.
An exclamation from Sissy, as she glanced at the crest,
was followed by the announcement, From Miss Bayard, I
declare !" and so it proved to be !
I read it, scarcely taking in its meaning, it seemed so
extraordinary an answer to all my conjectures of the even-
ing before; for, in a few friendly lines, Miss Bayard said
that Mr. Vail had called the day before at Little Britton
House and left word that I was with the Bardistons. "I


am obliged to go over to Exeter for the day," wrote Miss
Bayard, in a fine old-fashioned hand, but will try to see
you, my dear child,. on my return. Your mother was once
one of my dearest friends," and the welcome note was
signed, Affectionately your friend,
Well, upon my word cried Sissy, let me see. She
will take the train for Exeter-then-" she made a rapid
mental calculation, her glowing eyes fixed upon me, "you
may expect her this evening."
It certainly gave a stimulus to all the events of the day,
although they had an interest in themselves; for, after a little
talk with Mrs. Bardiston, it was decided that I should be
treated exactly like one of the family," which I never
shall forget caused Cuthbert to say in a quizzical undertone
that he pitied me if that was to be the case;" but the first
result was my assisting in the bed-making, with Sissy,
after which, while the Miss Goodwins had their "morning
class," with Mrs. Bardiston, a large bell being rung to
summon them to the dining-room for the purpose, we set
forth on a marketing expedition. Cuthbert had already
departed for school.
It was a delicious morning. All the tenderness of the
spring-time, in this land of green and blossom, was in the
air, and Sissy declared that if there was time we should go
to the Deanery woods for wild flowers that afternoon. It
will help to brighten up the drawing-room for Miss
Bayard's visit," she explained, "and besides it will be fun
for us as well," an opinion I heartily concfirred in. Mean-


while, however, the practical household details were decid-
edly interesting. Sissy had a little basket on her arm, and
a small list of necessary purchases written down, the
butcher's, baker's, and grocer's books lying at the bottom of
the basket, so many reminders, Sissy said with a sniff, of the
fact that there would soon be three horrid accounts to
We turned down the quaint old High Street of Britton-
Marsh, through which I had driven in the gloaming of
yesterday, but which in the soft sunshine of the morning
revealed many new elements, and I saw clearly the Town
Cross, the market place and jumble of quaint old shops
whose upper stories belonged to a period when solid stone
work was the first consideration, and whose projecting
windows, tiny casements, and low-ceiled interiors were
doubtless more picturesque than comfortable. Our first
visit was to the butcher's, and here I was amused by Sissy's
careful discrimination in the question of quantity and
quality for her money. She knew exactly what to buy,
and held an animated discussion with Mr. Sprinks, who
wanted to induce her to buy a round roast when she
had decided in favor of the rib. Mrs. Sprinks, as cashier,
was seated in a sort of little box at the end of the shop,
with a window in it whence she eyed us rather disparag-
ingly, and took Sissy's book between two greasy fingers,
entering the amount of the purchase, and inquiring whether
" Mrs. Bardiston wouldn't kindly manage to pay something
in a day or two," to which Sissy answered calmly that she
would report the 'request to her mother.


The grocer was next visited, with various small results,
after which we went up a hilly side street, pausing before a
funny little shop built on to a tiny cottage, and where a
variety of fresh-looking green vegetables were displayed.
On entering, a boy, who was sorting potatoes from bags on
the floor, informed us, with a pull of his forelock of sandy
hair and a little bob of a courtesy, that Missus were out in
the garden," and Sissy led the way through the shop and a
tidy little parlor in the rear, into the prettiest kitchen
garden I have ever seen, wheie, among currant bushes and
lettuce beds, an enormous good-natured-looking woman was
at work. She turned abroad, smiling countenance upon us,
and waited for Sissy to speak. We wanted some fresh
vegetables, and these Mrs. Meggs chose carefully, asking
after Mrs. Bardiston's health; and, when the purchase was
concluded, adding something nice from one of her glass
frames, saying, Perhaps Miss Sissy's ma would like it for
a relish," and as we returned to the street Sissy remarked
with a sigh, that she wished all the Britton-Marsh
trades-people were as kind hearted as Mrs. Meggs, but,"
she continued, with a desperate air of doing every body
justice, I suppose it is only natural they should expect
their money. It's all very well for people like Miss Bayard,
and Sir Peter, and the old Lady Dowling, to let their
accounts run for a year-not that I suppose Miss Bayard
would do it-but there's some security with people of that
sort, whereas, of course, they know just how we are situated.
Here's the dairy woman's," she said suddenly, as we turned
down a bit of lane running from High Street. This is


the last place we have to go to." The lane was very mud-
dy, and bordered on either side by cottages of a poor de-
scription, which seemed to be overflowing with children, and
in one of which a cobbler was at work, in another a tailor,
who sat cross-legged on a large table in his front window;
but beyond these was the entrance to a sort of small farm-
yard, on either side of which were cottages, the one consti-
tuting the dairy part of the establishment, and the other
the residence of Mrs. Burge, the dairy-woman,who, as Sissy
explained, was married to the blacksmith's brother. No
one was to be seen in the dairy or milk-room when we
entered. Rows of shining tins hung upon the walls, and
some filled with milk were standing on shelves below, while
baskets of fresh eggs were near by, and through an open
door I caught a glimpse of a second room where a bright
fire was glowing and upon which pans full of milk were
scalding, preparatory to the manufacture, Sissy explained,
of the famous Devonshire cream." Finding no one here,
we crossed the yard, Sissy opening the cottage door with-
out ceremony and calling from the foot of the stairs, Mrs.
Burge and then Jane Ann," in answer to which a very
pretty, blooming-looking girl appeared above, hastening
down, explaining that hermother had just stepped out for a
moment. I thought, as we retraced our steps to the dairy,
that Jane Ann was one of the prettiest girls I had ever
seen, but later experience in the Devonshire country proved
her blooming type, blue eyes and golden hair, to be very
usual among the poorest even of her class, and in Jane
Ann's case a certain heaviness of expression prevented her


beauty from being as attractive as its perfection of coloring
would warrant.
Oh yes," said Sissy carelessly, in answer to my expres-
sions of admiration when we were once more in the High
Street. "I suppose Jane Ann Burge is a pretty kind of
girl, but you see so many like her, and she is so stupid.
However, they say she is to be married to a very nice young
farmer near Exeter, and she understands the dairy business
thoroughly; and Sissy expatiated upon various elements in
the life of the Britton-Marsh trades-people, evincing an
interest in them which might have made her aristocratic
grandfather shudder, could he have listened to some of her
We returned to deposit our purchases in the kitchen,
after which Sissy took the Goodwins in hand for a music
lesson, while I found a place in the sitting-room for my
writing-desk, and time for a letter to my mother, in which
I mentioned having seen Little Britton House and received
a letter from its mistress.
I was conscious at the one o'clock dinner, which, Mrs.
Bardiston explained, was eaten at that barbarous hour"
on account of the children, of the same effort and self-denial
on the part of the family which had made supper last night
decidedly uncomfortable for me, and after thinking the
matter over some time in my mind, trying to determine
what mother would do under the circumstances, I decided
to be as frank with Mrs. Bardiston on this subject as I had
been about making myself useful earlier in the day. She
was alone in the sitting-room, a huge basket of mending


piled up on the table before her, while Sissy was occupied
in some mysterious way in the drawing-room. I stood for
some time in the window, in silence, trying to frame appro-
priate and sufficiently delicate sentences in which to show
her that I did not desire any luxuries at the table such as
it was evident were introduced on my account. But finally
it seemed best to plunge at once into the subject, and to my
surprise Mrs. Bardiston took it most genially.
"You seem so sensible, my love," she said in a confiden-
tial tone and laying down her work, "that I am sure we
shall all get on admirably. You see the expenses of the
school this year have been enormous. I may say enormous,"
she added, glancing around the sitting-room, as though to
indicate some signs of this lavish expenditure, and conse-
quently we are obliged to economize wherever we can. In
order to keep up my connection, I have to entertain visitors
from time to time and appear as prosperous as possible;
for, singular to say "-Mrs. Bardiston spoke with the most
deliberate enunciation, as though each word were to be
polished off-" nothing succeeds like success.'" I could not
help a passing reflection as to the amount of success which
the Miss Goodwins as her only pupils indicated, but of
course I said nothing, and she continued :
My poor papa always trained us .to be most particular
about appearances."
She paused, and leaned back with a reflective smile.
Later, when Ihad learned to know Mrs. Bardiston and to
love her for her many sweet and really noble qualities, I un-
derstood that her foolish little bits of pride, her love of


idealizing her past, of dwelling on its tokens of elegance-
dim suggestions of aristocracy, even-were as much the re-
sult of the petty shades of difference in the "society" of a
provincial English town as her romantic nature.. She de-
lighted, for instance, in descriptions of her "poor papa's "
gallant service in the Crimean war, and really brought her-
self to believe in him as a great soldier; whereas, in point
of fact, I was told the Captain was a very slow soldier
and "pompous little man." I think the mere fact of his
having had himself so constantly photographed in martial
attitudes and full uniform went rather to proving such was
the case, but the half-faded photographs were his daugh-
ter's proudest possessions, and if Cuthbert or Cissy occasion-
ally sniffed at them, it was never done when their mother's
feelings could be hurt by the fact. I admit I was a well-
pleased listener to all of Mrs. Bardiston's reminiscences.
To begin with, I delighted in hearing of former days in the
lives of people I knew-perhaps more so because of my
mother's reticence; then English life was all new. Mrs.
Bardiston had a peculiar charm of manner. I thought,
until I knew Miss Bayard, I had never heard a sweeter
voice than hers; any way, I enjoyed our talks, and recall
them gratefully, even if they now and then bring a
Yes," my hostess went on presently; I well remember
when white muslins were the correct thing for young people
to go to dances in ; I refer, of course, to girls. My sister
Maria and I for some time could not appear in company
together for some months, because we shared one frock be-


tween us, varied by different-colored ribbons; and, although
I possessed a good cashmere at the time,-a most lovely
shade of apple green, and cashmeres were certainly worn by
the nicest people,-papa would never permit us to appear
in the evening in anything but white, such as the Miss Don-
lings, and other of the county ladies wore in company, as-
suring us such details might mean our settlement in life.
Poor Maria would, no doubt, have married very well had
she lived, for every one admired her figure and her fine
color, and she looked particularly well in muslin-but-
well, my dear-as a bit of warning to you, I may say she
had a most unfortunate love affair I am afraid-yes, I
often feel I encouraged it, for it was so romantic. We
were spending a few weeks at *Brighton, a mostfashionable
resort. An intimate friend of my father's, indeed, an
uncle of these very little Goodwins, had invited us and we
were delighted to go; but, between ourselves, found it a
trifle dull after getting there. For Mr. Musgrave and his
wife, admirable people, had no idea that young people
like a bit of fun, and in consequence we had all the tor-
ment of knowing what a gay place we were in and yet ac-
commodating ourselves to such a prim life. However, our
one privilege was to walk out of a fine afternoon, and thus
poor Maria met her fate. How well I recall that day !
We were sitting on one of the small benches overlooking
the sea when Maria suddenly turned a little faint, and I
looked around a trifle alarmed. A young man sprang for-
ward, touched his hat-most politely-indeed, as I have


often thought, quite elegantly, and inquired if there was any-
thing he could do. My poor Maria recovered almost at
once-recovered her senses, at least; but, alas my dear
Miss Glenn, her heart was caught. We were young and
eager for-craving amusement-when the stranger, a
handsome man with a most polished manner, walked home
with us, saying that we should not go unprotected lest
Maria feel ill again. We contrived to let him know that we
were visiting friends; we dared not invite him in, yet dis-
liked to seem rude, and were, I assure you, relieved when
he said he must leave us now, but hoped our walks would
improve our acquaintance. Now, I am well aware such a
speech a respectful gentleman could not have made to two
young girls, but it sounded, as we thought, like something
out of a novel, and we thought only of meeting him again.
We nicknamed him 'Lord Orville,' after our favorite hero,
and could scarce wait until the next day's walk. Of course
he was there-our walk only increased our admiration for
the unknown; but, as I later learned, he and Maria contrived
to meet-he to exact a promise of correspondence. We re-
turned home, and when Maria confided to me that she had
received a letter from Colonel Kingsbury,' as he told us
was his name and rank, I begged her to tell my father.
This she did-also that she had promised to marry the
"Poor papa set off at once to Brighton, only regretting
how we had met Maria's lover. He considered a colonel of
a good regiment a good enough match for Maria, and for


two days we built castles, and, I assure you, we had quite de-
cided upon the very gown and gloves for Maria's wedding
costume. Shall I ever forget the night of papa's return.
He looked terribly After gazing at us, he said in a tone
which made us tremble : What did you girls mean by meet-
ing a scamp, such as I find this creature calling himself the
colonel to be ?' And then it appeared he had tracked him;
found him to be a swindler and gambler named Dick Peters !
Maria's nerves were fearfully shaken, but, oh, what a lesson
for us ever after "
Did it break her heart ?" I asked, for the somewhat dra-
matic tale made me conclude, to be like a book," of course
poor Maria's heart ought to have broken.
"What, love ?" said Mrs. Bardiston "oh, no-she al-
ways cherished a fond recollection, she often said; but she
was engaged to a very estimable young man in the mer-
chant service, when she caught measles-very trying at
nearly thirty, the medical man said from the first, and so,
poor dea', died after twenty days' sickness."
I am not at all sure the picture of a heroine dying of
measles, at nearly thirty," did not dispel the charm of
poor Maria's romance, but in a moment Mrs. Bardiston
picked up a large knitted sock and began darning it while
she said cheerfully :
"To return to business, my dear; I feel that, paying
thirty shillings, you ought to have every comfort."
I eagerly assured her that I had the very simplest tastes,
and it would really be a source of pain to me if my being


with them was any great increase of expense ; and evidently
to Mrs. Bardiston's relief, certainly to my own, the conver-
sation ended in her'agreeing to make no difference for me
whatever, but I felt positively abashed by her expressions of
gratitude and appreciation of this "very considerate be-
havior on my part."



T HERE proved to be time for a walk to the Deanery
woods, and shall I soon forget my first ramble in what
seemed to me a veritable Arcadia We all set out, Cuth-
bert, the little girls, with Sissy and myself, about three
o'clock, each provided with baskets for the flowers we
were sure to find, and my spirits rose with every step, so
that by the time we had left the High Street and turned
down a broad lane leading to the lower gateway of the
woods I felt like some bird newly freed from its cage, every
thing within me exulting in the sweetness of the air, the
fairness of the sky, and spring green and blossom of the land-
scape. Sissy explained that there was no Dean at Britton-
Marsh, but the fine, rambling old house to which the woods
belonged had been known for generations as the Deanery,
for what reason it was impossible to tell, while, in spite of
various attempts on the part of old Lady Dowling, who
resided there, to prevent it, the public still had a right of
way, granted a century before, through not alone the wood-
land but the park.
She tried to put a stop to it," said Cuthbert, "about
five years ago, Dan Burge told me, but there was no end of
a row in the town about it, so she had to give way."
I was very thankful this was the case when, passing


through a little gate, we took a footpath which led us into
the cool depths of the most beautiful woodland, fairly
carpeted with the vild flowers which from early spring till
late autumn make Devonshire a land of blooming delight.
And, like many English girls, Sissy Bardiston was well
versed in flower knowledge-I can scarcely call it a scien-
tific acquirement-for she had studied very little on the
subject, but she knew more of the life of these woodland
blossoms than any one I had ever met, and cared for them
as I did myself, tenderly, lovingly, as though they were
living things, so that on this as on many a future occasion
the time flew by sympathetically and to me full of instruc-
tion as well as charm. With what delight did I greet my
first glimpse of a primrose bank, the pale yellow blossoms
like stars among their deep furry leaves, and I would have
filled my basket with them but for the fact that violets,
wood anemones, and the tender little celandine claimed
some of my attention. Trailing vines full of delicate
blossoms were found, and the last of the March daffodils,
while ferns, already green and thriving, were in profusion, so
that the question was not what we could find but how much
of all this wood and blossom we could carry home. Our
baskets laden to their utmost capacity, Sissy said we had
better walk home by way of the Deanery, so that I might
see the old house even from a distance ; therefore we left
the woods by their upper entrance, striking a footpath
across a bit of meadow, and thence into a road which
skirted the small park and luxurious gardens of Lady
Dowling's home. At a certain bend we paused, and


through the pale green foliage on a lawn I could see very
clearly a rambling mansion of brick and stone, with a
rather somber though imposing facade, and with one tur-
reted wing in which Hilda Goodwin whispered to me was
"the ghost chamber," while Cuthbert pointed out that a
certain yew walk to the right of the old Plesaunce was
where the ghost was said to walk at stated periods in the
year. A blood-curdling tale was outlined to me as we
strolled on, but Sissy said she had never heard all the
details. Tradition said that a former Lady of the Deanery
had given evidence to some of Cromwell's soldiers which
betrayed the king, and in despair and remorse she had
drowned herself in the pond beyond the yew walk, her
spirit appearing from time to time during the same season
of the year in which she had betrayed her king. Sissy
enjoyed relating this story in an impressive voice, and I
would have been greatly interested and anxious to pursue
the subject but for the fact that little Hilda's hand was
trembling in mine, and I whispered to Sissy that we had
better talk of something else, whereupon she good-
naturedly rushed into the question of what time Miss
*Bayard would choose for her visit.
It proved rather later than we had expected. The draw-
ing-room, which Sissy had arranged in the most elegant "
manner possible, was further decorated with our flowers, tea
had been long over, and we were all seated in the little par-
lor, an anxious air of expectancy pervading the whole party
for more than an hour, when suddenly there came down the
road which we could see from the side window a fine car-


riage drawn by white horses and with liveried servants. A
rat-tat on the door was followed by Sissy's darting into the
kitchen and producing the little maid who had been miser-
able in her best cap for a long time, and who now hastened
to the door with the air of importance due the occasion. A
breathless pause ensued, followed by the return of the maid
with a card on a small salver. It was for me. Miss Bayard
was in the drawing-room. Feeling myself quite as excited
as the Bardistons, and with a sense that I might be in a con-
fused dream, I made my way down the hall and into the
drawing-room, where Miss Bayard was standing in the half
lights of the evening.



HOW is it we gain first impressions of things or people
which later become permanent associations in our
minds? The causes seem in the first place so trifling
that I have often wondered, as I look back over events in
my girlhood, just what made them so fixed in my mind.
Going into the drawing-room that May evening I was
as swiftly and definitely impressed by the lady whose
face and figure were only half revealed in the shadows of
the room as though I had seen her by clear noonday with
time for a close and definite inspection. A tall, graceful
figure, a pair of quiet eyes out of which all the fires of youth
-if there had been any-must have died away, brown hair
tinged with gray and smoothed back from a placid brow-
must I confess it ? much to my disappointment I realized
at once that this lady, this Miss Bayard, was not at allithe
beautiful young creature of the scrap-book in Hilford, but
decidedly an old maid," beautiful, certainly, but with a
middle-aged loveliness which I was too young at first to
appreciate, seeing it, especially, as I did for the first time
when my head was full of fancies about the imperious
beauty in the riding-habit of scarlet and green.
Miss Bayard was standing with her face turned toward
the door, and even before the little maid had contrived to


Miss Byard drew me toward the little sofa.


light the lamp I saw that she was smiling pleasantly, and she
moved forward, holding out her delicately gloved hand.
"I am so glad to'see you, my dear," she said in a low,
very quiet, but sweet voice. She held my hands in hers,
drew me nearer to the lamplight, and gazed down at my face
with the very kindest, although keenest scrutiny. I knew
your mother so well," she added, without loosening her hands
from mine, and then continued with some abstraction in her
tone : I loved her very dearly Do you think, Helen, she
will come here ? "
Miss Bayard drew me towards the sofa, where I sat beside
her, my heart beating fast between a desire to make friends
at once with this lady, and yet not knowing in the least
what mother would wish me to do or say. But something
in Miss Bayard's face, its perfect sincerity-a certain nobil-
ity of expression which was its greatest charm-made it easy
for me to go on without much embarrassment.
I don't think mother will come here," I answered, speak-
ing earnestly. I don't know just why it is, Miss Bayard,.
but she does not care to talk about old times in England,
or to see people, I think. She has told me very little of her
home. I think something very painful must have happened
when she was young."
"You are right," said Miss Bayard, quietly. There was
a pause, and then she said, smiling in a way which I thought
made her eyes much sweeter than those in the picture,
" but I hope, Helen-perhaps-we may be able to make her
forget all that was sorrowful in the past, or," she added in
a lower tone "forgive it. However, my dear, I can not think


she would object to your knowing me." She smiled a little
curiously. I suppose it struck her as odd that the great
lady of Britton-Marsh should have to ask as a favor that I
should visit her! But she went on directly. "Mr. Vail
seemed to think there could be no possible harm in your
visiting me-and I will write your mother at once."
I am sure a glad light must have leaped into my eyes.
The prospect seemed so delightful.
I wrote to-day," I explained, and told her about see-
ing your house when we walked out last evening and also
that you had written me. In her letter to-day she said she
might stay a little while longer than she expected in Russia,
to see something of St. Petersburg, if I wrote her that I was
Very good," said Miss Bayard, I suppose you will soon
have an answer, and meanwhile, as I am going away for a
time to Paris, will you spend to-morrow with me for a nice
long day ? I will undertake to explain it to your mother."
My answer may well be imagined. Miss Bayard's taking
the responsibility out of my hands made it easy enough for
me to be at rest in the matter, and I only regretted that she
could not stay longer now, I felt as though I had so much
to say to her and to hear; but there was the happiness in pros-
pectof the "long day," and when a moment later, she rose, say-
ing that she must hurry home, I felt almost as though she must
have been known to me before, so sympathetic, although
quiet, was her manner-nothing of the grande dame in it so
far as assumption went, yet much in the exquisite refinement
,and simplicity of what was her perfectly good breeding.


I walked with her to the little gate, before which the pon-
derous old-fashioned looking carriage with liveried servants
was standing; saw the last of her as she drove away, and
turned back to meet Mrs. Bardiston and Sissy, both of
whom were full of inquiries as to what the great lady had
said about my going to Little Britton House. They were
evidently relieved when I told them that I was only invited
to spend the day.
I was afraid," said Mrs. Bardiston, "that we were going
to lose you at once. Sissy, are the children in bed ? Then
call Cuthbert, that we may have supper at once."
Supper at Albert Villa on this occasion consisted only of
cold meat, bread and cheese, served on a tray in the dining-
room, not over-daintily it is true, and yet I often look back
to those eight o'clock meals with the Bardistons, remember-
ing how keen an appetite I brought to them and how satis-
factory they always seemed. During the progress of sup-
per on this eventful evening, Mrs. Bardiston discoursed on
various points of recollection suggested by Miss Bayard's
visit, and I gained an impression that she was comparatively
little known to the Britton-Marsh townspeople, having spent
most of her girlhood in Surrey, only coming down here on
rare occasions, and having literally no relations, since her
uncle's death, in the neighborhood. All this was interest-
ing enough in spite of its being interspersed with various
anecdotes relating to the Captain and Maria," or Mr. B-,'
as his widow always called the late Mr. Bardiston; but I
longed for a tMte-a-tete chat, girl-fashion, with Sissy in my own
room, and was thankful when prayers were over, and the


little Goodwins comfortably in their bed, she came into my
room for a cosy talk.
I verily believe Sissy was more excited than I, over Miss
Bayard's visit. She curled herself up on the foot of my
bed, her eyes sparkling with interest, and her thin young
face showing the most alert animation, while she held forth
as to the possibilities and the probabilities which would
result from this acquaintance.
I never heard of Miss Bayard's taking up any body be-
fore," said Sissy, who was watching me, her chin resting on
her hands against the foot-board. Now, suppose she
should just adopt you, and make you her heiress? They
say she has very few relations."
I burst out laughing. The idea of any body's adopting
me-with mother alive !
"I would not be adopted by the queen," I answered.
"Why, Sissy, you don't know how much mother and I are
to each other. I am very glad to know Miss Bayard, but I
would never speak to her again if I thought it would take
me away from mother."
Sissy simply stared. But after a moment she said,
reflecting :
"Well, I am fond of mother, too, but I do believe if my
grandmother in Wales were to ask permission to adopt me
we would both of us think it too good a chance to lose.
But there! My grandmother would as soon think of flying
in the air as adopting any body, although she has promised
me a legacy."
"And such a thing would never occur to Miss Bayard,"


I said decidedly. But, oh, Sissy, I do think it is really
I stopped short suddenly, finding myself on the verge of
a remark as to my mother's former acquaintance with Miss
Bayard, but Sissy was decidedly too engrossed in specula-
tions of another character to observe my hesitation.
She has a fine house, I believe, in London," Sissy said
presently. Mary Andrews, the doctor's daughter, was there
once when she went to town with her father, but Miss
Bayard is rarely in it. I am sure I wonder how she passes
her time."
A long time after this I used to think, with a smile, of
Sissy's remark and my own conjecture on the same subject;
for, unversed as we were in the ways of the world, or I might
say of life, it did not occur to us that a rich, independent
woman who made so little external, demonstration as Miss
Bayard had any particular object in her daily life. How
much a few years taught me !
I might laugh at or with Sissy's imaginative fancies, but
the same sort of spirit, although it took a different form,
certainly animated me. And when the young girl had said
good-night, and I found myself alone, lying awake in the
darkness of my little room, I could not help indulging in
speculations which were no doubt as foolish as Sissy's, if
they were not quite so mercenary. I had no scruples about
visiting Miss Bayard, and I had decided to write old Miss -
Vail immediately, and also to give mother a detailed
account of my visit to Little Britton House as soon as it
was over. So, planning and thinking for the all-eventful


morrow, I fell asleep, losing myself in dreams wherein
unimportant trifles of the day were prominent; and I awoke
to find a flood of sunshine in my room and the breakfast-
bell ringing.



SISSY was waiting for me in the dining-room, with an air
of dignified importance. She held a letter in her hands,
a dainty little note on the pink paper then in vogue, and as
soon as she gave it to me I saw that it came from Miss
Bayard. It ran as follows:
I will send the carriage for you, dear Helen, at half-
past nine, which I suppose will not be too early. Please
say to Mrs. Bardiston that I will see you safely home by
eight o'clock. A. H. B."
Sissy watched me with an admiring sort of fondness while
I read the letter, and she waited on me at breakfast with
the same manner, helping me to every thing, as though I
were a person of remarkable importance, giving Muriel
Goodwin a little tap on the back when she asked me to
help her to some more porridge, and attending to this
merely practical detail with an air which plainly showed
that she considered it beneath my dignity to do any thing
but attend to my own repast. Dear Sissy I have no doubt
it was a fortunate thing that she was capable of indulging
in a little harmless romance of the kind, for her life at this
period of my friendship with her was in many ways a singu-
larly trying one, and if she could obtain any happiness from
idealizing my position I rejoice that she did so.


To pin the attention of the Goodwins to their lessons
when Miss Bayard's fine carriage and liveried servants
were expected would have required more than Mrs. Bardis-
ton's authority; and, indeed, when the moment came my
departure was witnessed by the entire household, even
Susan the maid lingering in an upper window to observe the
state in which I drove away, while I felt not a little excited
and decidedly elated by the prospect of the day at Little
Britton House in the company of the remarkable Miss
In less than ten minutes the carriage had paused before
Miss Bayard'sdoor; the very ceremonious footman assisted
me to alight, and knocked with a sharp rat-tat-tat, while I
felt my heart beating with anticipation and delight.
I was admitted by a bright-faced maid-servant into a
hall, spacious and fine in some of its appointments, yet
having a homelike air. There were engravings on the
walls, huge pots of blue china, filled with feathers, peacock-
plumes, and the like, while the staircase of darkly polished
oak had two comfortable little landings before it curved to
the second floor. Either side of this sociable hall-way
were heavy oaken doors, one of which opened almost as
quickly as I entered, and Miss Bayard herself appeared.
She greeted me most affectionately, and led the way up to
the drawing-room, which opened from the second little
landing, and which was, I saw at once, the room in the L
with a fine, curving bow-window overlooking the garden.
I can scarcely do justice to the charm of that room, which
had much that was very stately in it and much that was cosy


and homelike, yet all harmonious and complete. Near the
bow window low book-shelves skirted the wall, above which
two or three old portraits were hanging. There was a
deep window-bench, cushioned in dark-red silk, with a
flowered pattern upon it, two easy chairs, Miss Bayard's
writing table, a work-stand, and low revolving book-case,
beside a capacious lounge placed against the wall, near
enough to the window for one to look out upon the old-fash-
ioned glories of the garden, the great cedar, the apple and
peach trees, now laden with blossoms. The further end
of the room contained many beautiful objects, richly
inlaid cabinets, pictures of priceless value, and furniture
antique in design, solid and stately looking; but it was
evident that Miss Bayard herself preferred the bow-
window side of the room, to which she led me at
once, sending my wraps away upstairs, when the servant
For a moment Miss Bayard stood looking at me intently
-sadly, I fancied-while she held my hands in both of her
beautiful white ones; then she smiled.
My dear," she said at last, "you can't think the pleas-
ure it is to me to have your mother's little daughter in my
house. Yet it seems strange-I don't know if you can guess
how I loved her-nay-there can't be a past tense for such
-love her still."
"I am your namesake," I said, feeling my shyness disap-
pearing fast.
"Yes," said Miss Bayard, as she pushed forward a comfort-
able chair for me and took her own seat in the bow-window,


looked very pleased. "I have no other-you are Amabel
-I was generally called Amy."
Do you know," I said eagerly, I have heard my mother
speak of her friend Helen, after whom I was named."
The beautiful face of my hostess clouded.
"I was always Amy," she said, trying to laugh; but I
know now it grieved her to think how slight my knowl-
edge of her as mother's earliest, doubtless dearest, friend
must be.
"But you see, Miss Bayard," I said quickly, "mother
never talked of home, I may say-perhaps-well you know
I feel such a thorough American-but I used to tell mother
there was some strong English blood in my veins, I was al-
ways so anxious to come here-to talk about it with her."
Then-you really know nothing of her girlhood ? "
I shook my head sadly. "I did not even know her
maiden name until last month," I said.
Miss Bayard looked absolutely shocked.
"What! my dear child-" she broke off, then added:
" Bit from your father. Surely he must have told you
Her quiet, dark eyes had a quick sparkle in them. She
looked more like the girl in Miss Vail's sketch-book.
"Why, perhaps you did not know-papa died when I was
only six months old."
Oh now I understand. But your mother-surely you
have asked her ?"
"Once," I answered.
i I recalled the day perfectly. In a far off Western town


where we were living, almost in poverty, mother had been
ill ; it was before she took the position in the school. I was
seven years old, I think, at the time.
We were out West," I continued, while Miss Bayard
watched me critically, and with the sad look on her face
again. Mother had talked a little to me that morning about
England. She was quite sick-perhaps-I think she felt
very blue. I asked her what her name was before she mar-
ried papa. What it is now, dearest,' she answered-' Ada.'
But, she said if the time ever came when she thought it best
to tell me more-her father's name-she would do so, but I
must never ask her again."
"Extraordinary !" murmured Miss Bayard, leaning her
arms on the table before her, and looking beyond me with
an absent gaze on the gardens. "But how did she finally
tell you ?" she said suddenly, and looking around again.
Oh, when we were coming here she just. said, Helen,
as we are going to England, I will answer a question you
asked in Kebok long ago. My father's name was Marsh;
I was Ada Marsh when I married your dear father."
But, is it possible," exclaimed Miss Bayard with a tone
of almost impatience at the idea, that a mother and daugh-
ter could live on such distant terms with each other "
"Distant!" I echoed-then I fairly laughed, "why Miss
Bayard, you don't know what motherland I are like to
each other we are the most intimate friends we tell each
other everything! only-it's just this one point, and I know
from-from-something that just happened the other day,
her life in England must have been very sad, and, so no doubt


she was perfectly right in not talking about it to me, and
much as I would like to know it all-oh, you can't think
how much-I wouldn't ask a question, for I know mother
- doesn't wish it."
i I spoke rather proudly. Perhaps I fancied Miss Bayard
felt hardly toward my mother and that word "distant"
Miss Bayard smiled, and coming over to where I was
sitting, laid one of her hands on my shoulder, and stooping
down, kissed my forehead.
"Helen, you are a loyal little daughter, and not for
worlds would I touch the trust I see lies between you and
Ada-and believe me, my dear, I only spoke-because I
knew her so intimately, and have grieved and wondered so
over her absence and silence, and then to hear her child
never heard of-as "
Miss Bayard," I said; looking up at her gravely, there
is some one in England she must not meet, I know ; some one
who was her enemy."
"My dear I this is-why, how do'you know?"
Oh-well-it was just a little while ago; I only heard
her say that-oh, perhaps," I exclaimed in confusion, I
ought not to say any more."
No, dear-perhaps not. I shall see your dear mother, I
Shop; and I shall hope and pray, too, that all will come
Much as I liked talking to her, I felt confused and was
rather glad of an interruption. The maid appeared with a
note. A messenger from the Deanery was waiting below.


Miss Bayard read the letter, hesitated, then said : Say I
will go at once; and bidding the maid send Mrs. Buck-
stone to her, she explained that it would be necessary for
her to leave me a very short time, but she added : Martha
Buckstone, who used to be my maid, and is housekeeper
now, will keep you well amused. She will take you for a
chat to her own special sanctum."
The door opened upon a stout, elderly woman, with a
most good-natured sort of countenance, and who looked at
me with affectionate interest while Miss Bayard said :
Martha, this is Miss Helen Glenn, Miss Ada Marsh's
daughter, you know, and I am sure she will not mind my
asking her to excuse me for an hour, because it will be so
pleasant for her to go to your room for a while."
Mrs. Buckstone, or Martha, as I soon came to call her,
smiled broadly, saying :
Dear me, dear me, just to think of Miss Ada's daughter
being with us," and with a very kindly look in her blue eyes
she led the way down stairs and to a comfortable room just
under the drawing-room, which she said that Miss Bayard
was good enough to let her appropriate to her own use. It
was very evident that Martha's own personality was im-
pressed upon the room. The walls were decorated with a
variety of objects, pictures, some of which must have been
cut from illustrated papers, but which were neatly framed,
portraits of the Royal Family, the Queen, and a group of her
then youthful children, some naval heroes, a group of little
silhouettes in black ebony frames, brackets with a queer col-
lection of objects on them, but with all of which I was des-


tined later to make an intimate acquaintance. These gave
the very walls of the room a fascination which captivated
me at once, while the furniture was of the most inviting sort,
from the very large, square table, with its gay cover, work
baskets, books, and odds and ends, to the chintz-covered
easy-chairs and sofa, and the recessed window like the one
above, which was pleasantly occupied by a second table, near
which were comfortable chairs. The fireplace contained
-one of the high, old-fashioned grates with a place either side
on which to rest the tea-things or the hot-water kettle, and
above it was a chimney-piece ornamented by a variety of
objects, among which were the china figures of a shepherd
Sand shepherdess and some of the prickly looking china dogs
which belonged to Martha's childhood.
We are in great hopes that you can come here for a visit,
my dear," said Martha, when she had seen that I was com-
fortably ensconced in the window. "Miss Bayard's going
Sto write to your mother, she tells me, at once about it."
"Oh, how delightful! I exclaimed, and, I added a little
timidly, Martha, did you know my mother?"
Martha looked at me curiously. Yes, indeed, Miss
Helen, I knew her well."
But she spoke with the manner of one who, however much
there may be to say, prefers silence, and I, of course, felt that
it would.not be obeying my mother's wishes to ask any ques-
tions. Martha had taken up her sewing, and in the silence
-which followed my gaze drifted out across the garden and
Sa side roadway which skirted the low hedgerow of an adjoin-
Sing place. Set in the midst of what looked- like a neglected



Where I sat I could see across the garden and a side roadway that skirted the hedgerow.




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