Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Back Cover

Group Title: A lonely little lady
Title: A Lonely little lady
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086413/00001
 Material Information
Title: A Lonely little lady
Physical Description: viii, 183 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wyllarde, Dolf ( Author, Primary )
Dodd, Mead & Company ( Publisher )
University Press (Cambridge, Mass.) ( Printer )
John Wilson and Son ( Printer )
Publisher: Dodd, Mead and Company
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: University Press ; John Wilson and Son
Publication Date: 1897
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Loneliness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bashfulness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Social status -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Cats -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Human-animal relationships -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Wealth -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Parent and child -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Nannies -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Stepsisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Runaway wives -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1897   ( local )
Bldn -- 1897
Genre: Family stories   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Statement of Responsibility: by Dolf Wyllarde ; with fifty drawings
General Note: Novel.
General Note: Dodd, Mead publisher's file copy.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086413
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002240108
notis - ALJ0651
oclc - 44908132

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Title Page
        Page v
        Page vi
    List of Illustrations
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Chapter I
        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
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Chapter II
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Chapter III
        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
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Chapter IV
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    Chapter V
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
    Chapter VI
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
    Chapter VII
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    Back Cover
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
Full Text

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The Baldwin Library
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A Lonely Little Lady





Copyright, 1897,



TO HER WITH A SLIGHT BOW .. Frontispiece
DAY" . 23
DUCHESS'" . .. 59
SAUCER . .. .. 75

viii List of Illustrations

PIERROT . ............ 87
A VIKING .. .... 88
RED RIDING HOOD . . .... 90
TRAIN" . 153
"'HERE'S OUR GOOD FAIRY'" .. ... 157

A Lonely Little Lady


,/ HE Brownie's world consisted
Sof a limited circle of intimate ac-
Lqlaintances, beginning with Nurse
a tall, flat body, with a very white
cap at the top, and endowed with
power to take away the night-light and
Slave you in the dark--and ending
S with Papa, a man who lived in a study
at the back of the house, and was oc-
casionally helped into an overcoat by
the footman, who called him Sir Charles,
after which he went out of the front door. The
Brownie sometimes wondered what he did outside
the hall door, since he had no governess to decree
that he should walk in a certain direction; but she
knew the footman better than Sir Charles, and there-

A Lonely Little Lady

fore her thoughts followed the latter into the pantry
more frequently than they did her father, whether
he vanished out of the hall door or into the study.
Between these two extremes in her sphere of inti-
macy (she saw Nurse all day and every day, and
sometimes a week passed without her coming across
Sir Charles), there were a procession of other forms
dwindling in importance as they receded from her
knowledge. The servants were ranged behind Nurse,
--Annie, the under-housemaid, who brought up
most of the meals to the nursery; the chef, who
clapped his fat hands at her and called her Petite"
when Nurse was not in hearing; Thomas Giles, the
coachman, with whom she was familiar from the
vantage-ground of the nursery window; James and
Arnold, the footmen, and Martin, the butler; be-
sides a host of women servants, who came and went
until her little head became confused with them.
Beyond the servants came Belle and Laura, her step-
sisters, whom the Brownie classified thus:-
"Step-sisters superior beings to oneself, and
much more important. Grown up, dressed in silks
and beautiful colours. A combination of the angels
and fairy princesses."

A Lonely Little Lady

Belle was going to be married, Nurse had dis-
cussed it with Annie when she brought up the tray
with the Brownie's supper, and Laura was ex-
pected to be engaged very soon : perhaps he would
come to the point at her sister's wedding. The
Brownie looked forward to the wedding as a strange
event, which was to have a mysterious influence
upon the family rather like a magic spell.
There were two step-brothers also, but they did
not live in the house, and consequently their proper
place was amongst the visitors. The shorter of the
two sometimes wore a red coat and a sword; his
name was Archibald, and he was chiefly to be dis-
tinguished by the fact that he always kissed her
when they met a circumstance which made the
Brownie dread his visits. She disliked being kissed
by men. The younger brother was so tall and thin
that the Brownie had never satisfactorily got to the
top of him. He patted her on the head -one
degree better than the kissing- and spoke in a far-
off tone that frightened her. Then there was a
lady even more beautiful than the step-sisters, who
was Mamma, and who generally was to be met
coming in from a ride with two or three men vis-

A Lonely Little Lady

itors, or else floating out to the carriage with the
step-sisters and more men visitors. And she also
wore beautiful dresses, and sometimes came into the
nursery and nodded to the Brownie, and asked
Nurse if she had all she wanted, and if the Brownie
had any frocks to wear, because she was to come
down into the drawing-room at tea-time, and she
was to look pretty and picturesque. And then
Nurse would suggest the brown velvet, and Mamma
would say, "H'm, what was that? Oh, the little
Greenaway frock. No, she was tired of seeing the
child in that." The Liberty silk, then ? No,
that was not fresh enough. Oh, well, Mamma was
going shopping, and would see if she could get
any ideas. Of course the child must be properly
dressed-she hated ugly, awkward children. Good- .
bye, Brownie: I '11 see if I can't find something
smart for you And, kissing her hand, Mamma
would depart, leaving the Brownie to return to her
story-books or lessons with a heavier heart: she
dreaded these visits to the nursery, because it always
ended in her having to appear in the drawing-room,
generally in a new frock, and she rather disliked
clothes she had not worn before.

A Lonely Little Lady 5

The drawing-room was an
endless vista of strange faces,
bewildering in their number
and unfamiliarity to the Brownie
when Nurse had opened the
door for her and left her to
enter alone. Half a dozen
voices spoke to her one after
the other. "You know me,
Brownie?" "Won't you come
and speak to me, dear? "Oh,
Lady Lorraine, what a perfectly
sweet frock and what a darling HER AND,
she looks!"" Quite a little MAMMA WOULD DEPART."
picture, with that old-fashioned
style, and her dear little grave face!" "Brownie
darling, do come here!" And then, before she
could reply, as politeness prompted her in spite of
her agonising shyness, a worse trouble befell her, and
two or three black frock-coats loomed into view,
the owners thereof bending down to her solicitously,
while languid male voices asked, Miss Brownie,
may n't I get you some tea ? "
The Brownie's real names were Hero Lallage

6 A Lonely Little Lady

Davanant St. John Lorraine, which was a long list
for such a little person, but she was always called the
Brownie. She was nearly eight years old, tall for
her age, and very slight, though not a thin, over-
grown child by any means. She had a soft, curly
head of brown hair, which fell round her face and
on to her shoulders, and a pale face with large dark
brown eyes, and brows and lashes of a lighter shade.
The Brownie was convinced in her own mind that
she was very ugly, like one of the imps or elves in
her fairy books, -and the compliments which were
heaped upon her in the drawing-room were to be
traced to her frocks in her own opinion.
Beyond the inner circle, composed of the inmates
of the house, the Brownie recognized various outer
circles consisting of the most frequent visitors, whose
faces and names she could generally remember.
There was Lord Bay, who was going to marry Belle,
and a certain Hon. Elliot Gifford, who would pro-
bably propose to Laura soon, besides two or three
others who were always beside Mamma, and held her
cup or waited on her; and then the less frequent
guests, whom she was in terror lest she should for-
get and hurt their feelings; and then the mere ac-

A Lonely Little Lady

quaintances, whom it was hopeless trying to recognize
again, and whom the Brownie classed very much with
the unknown faces which passed her in the street,-
glimpses of an outer world conveyed by endless
processions of people at whom she gazed awestruck,
as Miss Price, her governess, marched her along,
very much after the style of a gaoler.
Miss Price was a thin lady, with a plain, weather-
beaten face, and no imagination. She disapproved
of the Brownie spending so much time in reading
fairy books; but as Mamma sanctioned it, she
merely shut her lips with an appearance of suffering
at the sight of the well-worn volumes, and said,
"Well, of course, my dear, as Lady Lorraine gives
you the books you are at liberty to read them. But
I think it a pity to fill your head with so much non-
sense. Poetry, if you like, my dear: every young
lady should read poetry; it is a part of education,
and a thorough knowledge of the standard authors
is indispensable. But and Miss Price sighed.
Mamma only laughed when appealed to on the
subject. "I like her to read about the fairies,-
it gives her imagination," she said. (The Brownie
wondered how.) And then it is so pretty to hear

A Lonely Little Lady

her talking about it. She was telling Colonel Howe
about' Puss-cat-mew' yesterday, or some beautiful
princess or other; and he asked her what she
thought the lady was like, and she said, Oh, just
like Mamma! He came and told me afterwards,
he was so delighted. She is much better off read-
ing her fairy-tales, and dreaming over them, than
making a noise and spoiling her clothes like most
children, Miss Price."
So the Brownie was left to read Knatchbull-
Hugessen and Grimm and Andrew Lang and Mary
de Morgan in peace; but in the largeness of her
tender heart she stored up two things to remember
- first, not to read or talk about fairies until Miss
Price had snapped up her black bag and put on her
bonnet, and departed until the next morning; and
secondly, that Mamma liked her to be fond of her,
and to talk of her to her guests, obviously, as she
had been pleased at the comparison to the Princess.
The Brownie had a certain sober affection for
Miss Price. She did not love her: it was difficult
to love any one whose most effusive speech was,
"And now, my dear Hero, I should like to tell
you that I am very pleased with your progress this


A Lonely Little Lady 11

term, and I think you try to do your best, which
gives me much satisfaction," but she liked Miss
Price and tried to show her liking in acceptable
ways, by sticking steadily to her lessons, and
only taking an interest in instructive subjects when
they were out for a walk together. She had dis-
covered that it really made Miss Price unhappy to
see her looking (however vainly!) for fairy rings on
the dried London grass in the Parks, but it pleased
her when the Brownie asked the names of the dif-
ferent trees; and in consequence, the Brownie, with
an honest desire to do as she preferred, dutifully
collected specimen leaves from the trees, and dried
them, and learned their names, and talked about the
different species with Miss Price, though her
whole soul grew sick of botany, and she felt she
hated the kindly trees whose romance was all dried
out of them, for her, by the science.
Before Miss Price the Brownie had had a resident
governess. It was two years ago, but she still re-
membered the merry, round-faced girl who had
romped with her, and sung her songs, and put her
to bed, and loved sweets and fairies as much as her
pupil. Muriel Erne had been little more than a

12 A Lonely Little Lady

child herself when she came to teach the Brownie
how to read and write and sew. She was hardly
pretty, but she had the grace and joy of extreme
youth. A little round face she had, and a mass of
fair fluffy hair that would n't keep tidy, and a high
sweet voice with a laugh somewhere in it even when
she was sad, and she cried sometimes, poor Muriel!
Archibald was more at home in those days; at least
he seemed to the Brownie to be oftener in the
house. He came into the schoolroom at times, and
used to say he was going to do lessons, and draw on
her slate. He could sketch beautifully, and he
drew pictures of Miss Erne. But Muriel used to
look unhappy and frightened, and ask him to go
away in a hesitating manner, for she was very shy,
-as shy as the Brownie. And he wouldn't go,
but used to sit and look at Muriel until she drooped
her head and could n't look at him; and then the
Brownie's gentle spirit was roused at her friend
being teased, and she became quite angry with
Archie. It went on for six months, off and on,
and then for some quite plausible reason Muriel
went away and never came back, and Nurse taught
the Brownie until Miss Price was installed in

A Lonely Little Lady 13

Muriel's place. It was all quite quiet and pleasant,
and nobody was blamed, and there was nothing
further said; but, somehow, the Brownie always
felt that in some curious fashion Archie had been


the cause of her losing her friend, and she was glad
that he never came into the nursery now, and was
less often at the house. But Muriel Erne she never
saw again.
The Brownie had no playfellows, and never went
to see other children, as "it would make her rude
and rough, and she would lose her pretty, old-
fashioned ways," said Mamma. She was not en-
couraged to talk to the children she met at the

A Lonely Little Lady

dancing-class to which Miss Price accompanied her,
either; and partly perhaps from the forbidding
aspect of that lady, partly because of her own ex-
treme quietness and reserve, she never did grow
intimate with any of them. She thought about
them a great deal, and noticed things in a way she
would not have done had she been more associated
with them. She knew which of them were friends,
and stored up scraps of their conversation which
she overheard, to think about; and she had her
favourite partners for the dances, but as she never
said so, they thought that she was dreamy and
The only other opportunity which the Brownie
had of mixing with other children was at the parties
to which she was invited, and to which she invited
them or rather to which Lady. Lorraine invited
them in her name, the Brownie being a passive
factor in the arrangements. At these ceremonies,
- they were nothing else to the Brownie, for to her
mind they consisted of a daintier frock than usual,
with short sleeves and a low neck, being sent in the
brougham all alone to a strange house, a glare of
light, the unaccustomed sound of many children

A Lonely Little Lady

laughing and talking, a rich supper, hundreds of
eyes staring at her curiously, and the drive home
again very much later than her usual bedtime,
when she usually fell asleep on the way, at these
ceremonies, I say, there was generally a sprinkling
of elder people, who came either to see the children
- it was such a pretty sight or else to help
amuse the children, and start the dancing and
games," upon which occasions they generally
danced with each other, or else picked out the most
attractive amongst the little folks to play with.
The Brownie could not only waltz perfectly, but
her usual association with grown-up people rather
than children drew her instinctively to this older
portion of the guests. There were invariably two
or three young men there, who would find out in
some occult fashion that she could dance, and told
each other; and after the Brownie had waltzed with
them, and talked to them in her serious grown-up
fashion, she was allowed to return to the children
no more. Even at supper she was usually carried
off and set down amongst her elders, who amused
themselves very much with her, and petted her to
their hearts' content.

A Lonely Little Lady

Once or twice a year the Brownie returned these
civilities, as Sir Charles Lorraine's daughter should,
by Mamma sending out invitations for her to over
a hundred children whose names she did not even
know, and whom she failed to distinguish from
each other. And then the great drawing-room was
cleared for dancing, and there were fairy-lights in
the conservatory, and a band, and a big supper,-
all the paraphernalia of these other parties to which
she went, in fact, except that she escaped the going
alone in the brougham, or accompanied only by
Nurse. But she had to stand at the door of the
great empty room, with the polished floor stretch-
ing away from her and reflecting endless
lights, and shake hands with her guests
as they came in, which was dreadful;
Il and Mamma was somewhere in
the background, and Laura and
SBelle too, but they were not
to be appealed to, be-
cause it was ridiculous
S for the Brownie to be
a baby and too shy to
FONDEST." receive her friends -

A Lonely Little Lady 17

Heaven save the mark and besides, Mamma had
once openly said that she liked the picturesqueness
of that tiny silk-clad figure, with its air of lonely
dignity in the big room, the lights flashing over it
from the curly brown head to the exquisite little
slippers, and all the pomp and splendour of thegreat
house as a background. So the Brownie choked
down the lump in her throat, and greeted her guests
on these terrible occasions with solemn sweetness.
And no one knew that, as she stood there so
quietly, she was trembling in every excitable nerve,
and the hands which clung to her huge bouquet
could hardly hold it still. She never thought of
appealing to any one to come and help her, or at
least not to stand quite so far off: that would have
been babyish, and mamma would have been merrily
satirical over her nervousness. She had a great
desire to do as her beautiful mother wished, admir-
ing her from the bottom of her heart with a child's
Papa never appeared on these occasions until
supper-time: then he was generally to be seen eat-
ing a solitary supper near the sideboard, in a hungry
fashion, and speaking only to one or two of the

A Lonely Little Lady

grown-up people present. He was a tall, thin man,
with hair which was quite grey, though still plentiful,
and tired grey eyes. He embodied the Brownie's
idea of age. In her own mind she always depicted
Time, and Saturn, and Father Christmas as just like
her father.
These were the Brownie's pleasures and duties at
eight years old. She lived a life quite self-contained
and separate from the rest of the household, in her
nurseries, and comings and goings from the drawing-
room and the street. As far as she could, she loved
whatever cared for her affection. Perhaps the ob-
ject of which she was fondest was a large cat, which
had originally belonged to the kitchen, but preferred
to trot soberly upstairs to the nursery, where, as he
was well behaved and Nurse was afraid of mice, he
was welcome. Master Pinnock was his name, and
he was an English-bred tom -the sort of cat you
always see depicted in old-fashioned story books;
the breed is growing rare now. He was a long,
sinewy animal, with a close, thick coat, very short
and rather rough to touch, in colour a grey and
white tabby that is to say, he had a saddle of
greenish-grey largely striped with black, and four

A Lonely Little Lady 19

white legs, which looked as if he had on high white
boots. Owing to a careless cook having spilt boil-
ing fat on his head when he was a tiny kitten, one
of his ears was burnt half away and curled up, giving
him the appearance of a feline cow with a crumpled
horn. He had a long white nose, very pink at the
end, and a little pink mouth. His eyes were beau-
tifully set, like a human
being's rather than a cat's,
with a very large black pupil
inside the green iris; when .
he looked up at you they
almost spoke, and he seemed
as if he had a soul which
was rather troubled to find
itself in that soft furry body.
I am careful to describe
Master Pinnock in detail, be- EAR SHE CONFIDED HER
cause he was the Brownie s
only real friend and playmate. Into his whole and
entire ear she confided her dreamiest fancies and as-
pirations against his thick sleek side she hid her
face when the loneliness of existence and the yearn-
ing for she knew not what drove her into a storm of

20 A Lonely Little Lady

sobs, which she trembled lest any one should hear -
and much comfort did she derive from the weight
of his eleven pounds resting against her breast when
she strained her muscles to carry him about in her
Upon this animal the Brownie lavished her ca-
resses and her deepest affection. Had she been
asked whom she loved best in the world, she would
have replied by rote, and with unconscious satire,
" Mamma and Papa" ; but, as a matter of fact, their
sudden removal would not have left nearly such a
blank in her life as that of the grey cat with the torn


'~'- ILLIAM the Conqueror,
Io66; William the Second,
surnamed Rufus, 1o87;
William the Third, -no, Henry
the First, Io -- Oh, Pin dear, I
can't remember "
The Brownie was learning her
SIlessons for the next day, sitting with
one leg tucked under her, and
Master Pinnock curled up asleep in
her lap, which he entirely filled, thus
pinning her to the big armchair
where she had settled herself. Nurse was sewing
at the window on the farther side of the nursery.
The room was so large that she was quite out of
hearing of the Brownie's crooning repetition of the
Kings and their dates, with interpolated conversa-
tion to Pinnock. I oo (I wish I hadn't had

22 A Lonely Little Lady

to look). Oh, I forgot, surnamedd Beauclerk.
Stephen the Usurper, 1135 '- aren't you com-
ferble, Pin ? "
The grey cat stretched himself, yawned, showing
a sudden pink cavity in his white fur, and twisted
himself further over with his head completely hid-
ing the lesson books, down which the Brownie was
conscientiously moving a small hand, uncovering
the dates as she said them. She gave a little laugh,
and adapted the book to his new position, using his
head to cover the dates instead of her own fingers.
Henry the Second, what was he surnamed ?
I must look Curtmantle. Oh dear!" She
heaved a little sigh, and set to her task again.
"'Henry the Second, Curtmantle, I 154-- '"
There came a knock at the door. Nurse put down
her sewing and said, "Come in," and one of the
housemaids appeared on the threshold.
Please, Nurse, m'lady says Miss Brownie is to
go down to tea. And will you dress her carefully ?
The Duchess of Rosborough is here, and wants to
see her."
Nurse rose hurriedly. Come along, child,"
she said, in the snip-snap way that the Brownie

C__ _~


A Lonely Little Lady

knew meant business. "Did my lady say what
frock she was to wear? she asked.
Yes, my lady had said the satin.
The Brownie gave vent to a heavier sigh than
she had over her lessons, and began to carefully
unpack herself without causing an earthquake in
her lap and so upsetting Pinnock. Her movement
was necessarily slow, and Nurse was impatient.
She crossed the room to the rescue, and was on the
point of picking up the sleeping cat by the scruff
of his neck with scant ceremony. "Oh, please,
Nurse !" exclaimed the Brownie, dropping her
book, and throwing her arms round her friend.
Well, be quick, then!" Nurse said sharply.
She picked up the lesson book while the Brownie
deposited Master Pinnock carefully on the chair, in
the place which her little body had made warm.
Then she turned to Nurse and held out her hand,
looking up with her soft, serious eyes in a question-
ing fashion. Nurse did not stay to analyse expres-
sions, however. She hurried her charge into the
night nursery, and proceeded to array her in the
prescribed frock, a garment fashioned something like
a nightgown, of thick white satin, which reached

A Lonely Little Lady

almost to the Brownie's feet, and hung in heavy
folds from the embroidered yoke.
"Nurse, who is the Duchess of- something?
I did n't hear," said the Brownie, as Nurse combed
her curly head.
She is a lady who is a friend of your Mamma's,"
was Nurse's reply. "And she's only just got to
know her, and never been to the house before, so
you must be very good and polite, to give her a
nice impression, and let her see what a well-behaved
-__. little girl you can be." Then her
tone of moral diction changed to
one of more usual brusqueness-
I" Dear me, I've for-
gotten to change
your shoes and
S stockings,
and her


A Lonely Little Lady

ladyship so particular you shall wear everything to
match! Come along, and mind you don't rumple
that frock!"
She lifted the Brownie and sat her on the bed,
while she changed the black stockings and shoes with
steel buckles for white satin slippers, embroidered
Sto match her frock, and fine open-worked stock-
ings, the child sitting listlessly as she was placed,
with passive endurance of the whole business.
The Brownie was busy wondering whether the
Duchess would be like the one in "Alice in Won-
derland who was so fond of pepper, as Nurse took
her hand and led her across the landing and down
the broad shallow stairs. Half way down the flight
she paused.
"There, you can run on by yourself," she said.
"The drawing-room door is open, I can hear by
the voices. You can just push it open alone, and
I 'm busy."
She dropped her charge's hand and went upstairs
again, without even taking the trouble to glance
behind her and see if she were obeyed. But the
Brownie always did as she was told. She had
neither precedent nor inclination to teach her other-

A Lonely Little Lady

wise. She went down the rest of the flight slowly
and rather carefully. The drawing-room door was
open, as Nurse had said, but between her and it
lay the big square hall, and a long corridor with
lounges and stands of flowers and alcoves, to break
the monotony of its straight lines. As the Brownie
stepped down the last stair, she saw a man standing
before the hall-table with his back to her. She
thought it must be a visitor, but waited until he
should turn round to see if she recognized him,
before going forward. When his face did become
visible, however, she came to the conclusion, after
a minute's hesitation, for she was used to having
some one to prompt her on the subject, -that it
was her father, and went to speak to him.
The footman did not happen to be present, and
Sir Charles appeared to be vaguely hunting for
something in the bewildering drawers of a piece of
furniture half table, half sideboard, and all carved
oak before which he stood. There was a mirror
beside it, and as he moved he happened to catch
sight of a little white figure reflected there, and
turned round abruptly.
"Oh, ah -it's you, is it? he said, with a faint

A Lonely Little Lady

smile. All the wrinkles in his face seemed to start
into prominence as he did so.
How do you do ? said the Brownie, with some
uncertainty. She had a vague idea that Good
morning" would have been the more correct for-
mula for the occasion: when Mamma came into the
nursery for the first time in the day, she always
bade her good morning, though it might be five
o'clock in the afternoon. But, as it happened, she
had not seen Sir Charles for the past week, and
" How do you do ? was her natural salutation, as
if to a guest.
The smile lingered round Sir Charles' lips, but
he said, I am quite well, thank you," with due
gravity. It seems to me that you grow a good
deal. How old are you ?"
I'm seven just now," returned the Brownie.
She was rather surprised at his ignorance on a sub-
ject every one else seemed to know. "But I 'm
going to be eight soon. I do so want to be eight.
Do you think I ought n't to?" she added earnestly,
standing with one foot twisted round the other ankle
in a favourite attitude of hers, and looking up at Sir
Charles for his opinion.

A Lonely Little Lady

"Why shouldn't you want to be eight?" he
asked, looking rather astonished. Children always
do grow. You could n't stay the same age."
Well, you see," said Brownie, puzzled in her
turn to express her ideas (which, to say truth, were
rather misty to herself), there are seven days in
the week -and the world was made in the week.
God did a good deal in seven days, did n't He ? -
and I thought perhaps He'd be annoyed if I wanted
to be eight years old to do things in. I might be
content with seven, I suppose."
Sir Charles stood and stared at her, as she spoke,
in a vacant manner. Then he said: Well, of all
the odd children That's a very smart frock," he
broke off. "Are you going to a party ? "
"Oh no; only Mamma is at home. And the
Duchess is here. Do you know the Duchess ? "
If it is the Duchess of Rosborough, I have that
pleasure slightly. But I know the Duke her
husband, you know better."
"I don't think the Duke has come," said
the Brownie musingly. Mary did n't say so.
What is the Duchess like? Does she like
pepper ?"




-------zk 111

A Lonely Little Lady

Pepper!" repeated Sir Charles, evidently amazed.
"Why should she ? "
"Well, Alice's Duchess did Alice in Wonder-
land, you know: surely you 've read 'Alice in
Wonderland' Why, even Laura and Belle have
read that!"
The Brownie's shocked surprise at the neglect of
his education seemed to amuse Sir Charles.
I don't believe I have," he said cautiously;
" but if you recommend it, I will. Are you bound
for the drawing-room ? Then I '11 be off."
"Yes," said the Brownie, with a half-sigh. I
suppose you're not coming too ? she added, with
a faint hope. "Shall I help you on with your coat ?
James has gone away, I think."
I am afraid you could n't reach, could you ? "
said Sir Charles.
He smiled still more broadly as the Brownie
reached up her hands for the overcoat, and the
wrinkles gathered about his eyes like a network.
The coat was heavy; the Brownie strained her arms
to hold it, but she managed to raise it sufficiently for
Sir Charles to get his arms in, and then he gave it a
tug and a jerk, and it slipped on to his shoulders.

34 A Lonely Little Lady
"Thank you," he said, taking up his hat and
turning again to the Brownie. "That was a great
help. I don't think I could have managed it alone."
"No," said the Brownie simply; I know James
always has to put you in: like Nurse does me."
"Oh ah !" said Sir Charles, as if he had
hardly regarded it in that light. "I wonder whether
James thinks of himself as my nurse ? it never
struck me before. Well, good-bye, what's your
name, by the way? I 've forgotten."
Brownie," said the Brownie. It did not sur-
prise her that he should forget her name after not
knowing her age. She had never regarded herself
as very important, only as a useful adjunct.
Sir Charles disappeared behind the hall door as
usual--the Brownie would have liked to ask him
what he did outside, but she was afraid of being
impolite and his daughter turned away slowly
and went down the corridor to the drawing-room.
There was quite a buzz of voices as the Brownie
pushed the door open quietly and came in.
Mamma did not perceive her at once, but Belle
turned round and said, Oh, here is my little sister,
Duchess. Brownie, come and be introduced."



I "




A Lonely Little Lady

The Brownie had stopped to speak to Lord Bay,
S who had caught hold of her as she passed, and as-
serted that she had cut him in the Park that morning.
"I saw you there with that severe lady who
chaperons you so well," he said, teasingly.
The Brownie did not understand the meaning of
the word exactly, but she fancied that he wanted to
make fun of her, and acknowledged the effort with
a little smile.
"I didn't see you," she said, looking gravely
into the young man's laughing eyes. Lord Bay's
face was always represented in her memory by a
smile and a brown moustache; she could not recol-
lect more of it when he was not present, but she
thought he had a hooked nose.
Several people had ceased their conversation,
and turned round to listen in evident expectation
of being entertained. The Brownie's heart began
to beat faster. It always frightened her to hear the
sudden cessation of sound which generally preceded
her speeches, and the half-familiar faces round her
danced before her eyes, a blur of amusement.
I was going to take off my hat to you, but you
would n't look," Lord Bay said.

A Lonely Little Lady

"Perhaps if you took it off next time without
waiting for me to bow, I should catch sight of you
doing it!" suggested the Brownie. Her soft little
voice sounded dreadfully clear to her own ears,
and she heard the laugh which followed in hope-
less wonder.
"She says he is to take off his hat another
time without waiting for her to bow! The whis-
per went round the group like an echo. Why did
they repeat her words and laugh ? She had said
it in all good faith, with an honest effort to avoid
being rude. There was nothing so terrible as little
girls who were rude-or shy. It was ill-bred.
To be ill-bred was the depth of degradation. The
Brownie's daily lessons came back upon her mind
in bewildering confusion. She turned her serious
brown eyes away from Lord Bay in search of a
refuge, and saw Belle watching her with the same
expression -of amusement as was on all the other
faces. But Belle had called her to be introduced to
the Duchess; at least that important person was
a woman, and not a young man. In the Brownie's
innermost conception of Heaven there were no
young men.

A Lonely Little Lady 39

She left Lord Bay and slipped her hand into
Belle's, who laughed and said, "Has Lionel finished
his accusations, Brownie? Lionel being Lord
Bay's Christian name; but, to the Brownie's relief,
she went on, without waiting for an answer, This
is the Brownie, Duchess," and led the Brownie up
to a lady who was sitting in the middle of the room.
The Duchess was a stout woman, who wore
handsome mantles and moved in an atmosphere of
good-nature and prosperity. The Brownie looked
straight up in her customary manner, and saw a
broad plain face, without a single feature to stamp
it as more aristocratic than Mrs. Turpin's, the
housekeeper, but with something in it that made
her put her hand out willingly and come a step
nearer of her own accord. There was kindliness
beaming in the Duchess's eyes, and her large mouth
had a generous curve.
How do you do ?" she said, in a pleasant voice
that the Brownie liked. So you are Lady Lor-
raine's little girl ? Do you know, I fancied from
her description of you that you were quite big!
I expected you to be a much larger Brownie than
you are."

A Lonely Little Lady

I don't think I 'm very big," said the Brownie.
"But then I 'm not eight yet."
No; well, that is n't very much, is it? And I
expect your sisters are too big to play with you,
are n't they ? Don't you wish you had some little
folks sometimes ?"
I don't generally think about it," said the
Brownie candidly. "You see, every one is always
grown up, and I don't know any children very well."
She was leaning against the Duchess's knee by
this time, with one hand absently stroking the fur
on her cloak. She wondered why that lady sud-
denly put an arm round her, and, looking up,
wondered more at the expression in her eyes. But
it was very restful : the Duchess did not laugh at
her, or say things she could not understand, and the
Brownie's nerves grew quiet again from the strain
Lord Bay had put upon them.
"You must come and see me, will you?" said
the Duchess. I have n't any little girl of my own
to play with you, but I have a lot of nephews and
"I should like to come," said the Brownie with
sincerity; and to see you," she added, with a grace

"t; :s-Z-


A Lonely Little Lady

which was charming because she evidently meant it.
"You have n't brought the Duke with you, have
you ? she asked after a moment, with interest.
"No, not to-day," said the Duchess. "He is
very busy, and can't go and visit people much."
I want to see him," said the Brownie confi-
dentially, "because I think it would interest Papa.
He knows the Duke."
"You shall see him when you come to Ros-
borough House. He is very fond of little girls."
The Duchess sighed, and stooped to kiss the
Brownie. "He would like to have one of his
own," she said. -" Good-bye, Lady Lorraine; I
really must be going. I have stayed an uncon-
scionable time for a first call, but I have been
making friends with the Brownie. May she come
and see me? I should so like to have her."
"Thank you very much, Duchess," said the
Brownie's mother. I am sure she would like it
Will you send her some afternoon, then? Not
my calling day, because I should see nothing of her.
Would next Thursday do ? As soon after lunch as
you like."


A Lonely Little Lady

"Thank you; yes, it would do perfectly. But
are you sure you want her all the afternoon ? Please
don't be bored with her," said Mamma, laughing.
"She will not bore me at all. I love children,"
said the Duchess.
And she is not noisy or tiresome," said Mamma.
You will find her quite a grown-up and companion-
able little mortal."
The Duchess looked at the Brownie with another
of those strange smiles almost as if she were sorry.
Then that is settled," she said. Good-bye again,
Lady Lorraine."
"Good-bye," said Mamma. Laura, dear!"
Laura rang the bell, and James appeared to bow
the Duchess out. The Brownie caught sight of his
powdered hair and long legs down the length of the
corridor as the Duchess left the drawing-room.
She was just at the door when another visitor was
.announced, who stood aside to let her pass. It was
rather late for any one to be arriving now, and the
Brownie looked with unconscious interest to see who
it was. She had caught the name Major Maude
- and it was one she did not know.
Her mother was standing behind her, with one

A Lonely Little Lady 45

hand on her shoulder, as she had been when the
Duchess left. Somehow the Brownie had known by
the way she did it that she was
pleased, and liked the invitation for
her to Rosborough House. She
waited now for her mother to move
forward to meet this last arrival; but
the hand was not removed from her
shoulder, -instead the pressure be-
came suddenly heavier, until it was \
a spasmodic clasp as Major Maude
came up the room. He was a tall,
broad-shouldered man, with a dark
face, which even at a first glance "JAMES APPEARED
was undeniably handsome. He came DUCHESS OUT."
threading his way slowly through the
visitors and furniture, but half-way up the room he
hesitated. Neither Belle nor Laura seemed to know
him, no one attempted to help his uncertainty, -
all the Brownie's instincts of courtesy were aroused.
She turned in astonishment to her mother, and
looked up at her with wondering eyes. There was
a bright pink flush on Mamma's face, and her eyes
were flashing; the Brownie thought how beautiful

A Lonely Little Lady

she was. She was looking straight at Major Maude,
but still she did not stir, and he advanced again
until he reached her.
c How do you do? she said then, in her usual
musical voice. Mamma had such a sweet way of
speaking, and such a pretty laugh. "What a long
time it seems since we met!"
"It is nine years," said Major Maude. I feel
a good deal older. But you you have not altered,
Nine years The Brownie was eight years old,
nearly, so that was before she was born. She re-
garded Major Maude with interest. He was no
older, not so old, indeed, as many of the men whom
she saw constantly. When he knew Mamma they
must have been quite young. The Brownie stood
beside her mother and looked at him. He had
thick black hair cut close to his head, and a big black
moustache. His brows were very black, too, and
his eyes too dark to distinguish their colour; his
jaw was square, his forehead low and broad, his fea-
tures massive, and his skin very bronzed from the
edge of his collar to the middle of his forehead, where
there was a line as if he had worn a cap, and the skin

A Lonely Little Lady 47

above it was comparatively pale. The Brownie ad-
mired him silently, with intervals of admiring
Mamma, too, whose lovely flush kept on coming
and going, and her eyes sparkling with a new bril-
liance. And these two, who had not met for nine
years, talked on over her head.
I thought you were in India," said Mamma.
"I am invalided home my time was nearly
"You have got your majority, I notice."
"You are quick to notice changes- Lady Lor-
I cannot return the compliment, Major Maude.
You said I had not altered."
You have not outwardly."
"Nonsense. I am nine years older; I have been
married all that time, too. I have quite a large
daughter. You must see her; then you will realise
the difference. Brownie! "
The Brownie stepped forward and stood be-
tween them. There was a little mocking smile
on Mamma's lips as Major Maude looked down
"Brownie, I am going to give Major Maude

A Lonely Little Lady

some tea," she said. Stay and talk to him while
I get it."
She moved away, the sweep of her gown over the
polished floor giving her progress an imperial air of
its own. Major Maude sat down and drew the
Brownie towards him. He was very strong -she
could feel that through the gentleness of the touch
- and the breadth of his chest struck .the Brownie
afresh as she stood between his knees where he had
placed her. He was looking at her critically when
Mamma came back with a cup of tea.
"I have done you the honour of bringing it to
you myself," she said, placing it beside him, "be-
cause you are an old friend. Well, what do you
think of her ? She is not much like me, is she ?"
"She is too fair, but she has your eyes," he said
briefly. A little pleased flush stole into Brownie's
face: she had never thought that her eyes were like
Is n't she a quaint little figure ? said Mamma
lightly. I do so enjoy choosing her frocks. It
is like dressing a big doll."
It would be. But you to have a child "
"Why? Am I so very unfitted, Rorie ? "

A Lonely Little Lady

Mamma's voice was very low and soft then.
"You are -yourself, Lallage."
Major Maude had released the Brownie and
stood up. They looked at each other again over
her head.
"I must introduce you to my step-daughters,"
Mamma said suddenly, and rather hastily.
Do you get on with them ?" he asked, with
something was it mockery ? in his voice.
"Perfectly. At first, you see, they were girls at
school; but they always came home for the holi-
days, and they did me the kindness to adore me."
"So you forgave them their existence."
"And when they grew up I made them com-
panions. It is so vulgar to be jealous of one's
step-daughters. Besides, we never interfered with
each other, and they were a success from the first.
Belle is engaged to Lord Bay, and Laura is on the
verge of being engaged to another eligible. Don't
lose your heart to either of them, please."
"Supposing I have no heart to lose ?"
"Are you married, Rorie? "
Engaged ? "

A Lonely Little Lady

Lallage, don't try me too far."
There came a pause. The Brownie felt as she
did before a thunder-storm, and trembled without
knowing why. Then Mamma spoke very quietly.
Rorie, if we are to be friends you must remem-
ber that I am Lady Lorraine."
"If you think there is danger of my forget-
ting it, you have but to give my name to your
butler as one of those to whom you are not at
Mamma tapped her feet against the fender. The
Brownie unconsciously watched the beading on her
slipper catch the firelight.
"Why cannot we be friends ? she said at last.
" There is no reason why we should not be. We
are older and wiser by nine years. Let us enjoy
the present. Allusions to the past would be im-
possible between us."
Then perhaps I had better not come here."
Perhaps I want you to come here."
It was as Greek to the Brownie; but her instinct
recognized a dangerous atmosphere. She waited
for Major Maude's reply with strained senses.
Ah, Lallage, have it your own way. I am to

A Lonely Little Lady 5

meet you on a new footing-- is that it? So be it:
you have always decreed the impossible. But I
warn you-"
And now come and be introduced to Belle,"
said Mamma, and there was a laugh in her voice.
" Belle, this is one of my oldest friends, Major
Maude, Miss Lorraine. Is the Brownie's tea
waiting, Nurse ? for Nurse had made her appear-
ance, as she usually did near seven o'clock, with a
deprecatory air. "Very well; but I 'm afraid she
won't eat any more. The men will give her so
many sweet biscuits. Say good-bye to Major
Maude, Brownie." The Brownie glanced at her,
caught a hint by instinct (for Mamma did not even
smile), and lifted her face to be kissed. It was an
unusual honour, though Major Maude did not
know it.


,W) s House was large
and square, with an
7 air of Early-Vic-
torian furniture and
-._ solid comfort about it.
S ^ When the Brownie first
i r made its acquaintance
she recognized its lack of
taste under the stigma that
it was not nearly as pretty
as her own home, Mam-
ma's house" she called it, with unconscious
significance. Perhaps having no children had
kept the Duke and Duchess old-fashioned in
taste, but as a fact they preferred the familiar
ugliness around them to having their house done
up in the modern style with ancient furniture.
They were extravagantly kind to the Brownie,
whom they petted and spoiled to their hearts'

A Lonely Little Lady

content, but it was a kind of spoiling to which
the child had never been accustomed, and which
she appreciated accordingly.
The Duke was a big, florid man, with a rich, full
voice which rang like a deep-toned bell; he was
rather fat, and he wore rough tweed of a startling
plaid pattern whenever respectability did not force
him into a black coat. His collars always looked
whiter than any one else's in contrast to his red neck,
and his large ties were generally very light and clean.
The Brownie clung a little tighter to the Duch-
ess's hand on the first occasion when she was led
into the ducal presence, and took her courage in
both hands to go forward and speak to him. Oh
that going forward" How she dreaded it, and
how paralysed her limbs felt, until her feet seemed
weighted with lead!
"This is the little girl I told you about, Tom,"
said the Duchess, in her pleasant voice. She clasped
the little hand sympathetically, and walked with the
Brownie up to the deep arm-chair in which the
Duke's portly figure was reposing.
"Eh? What? Why, bless my soul! So this
is Sir Charles Lorraine's little daughter, is it? "

54 A Lonely Little Lady
He threw down the paper, and his blue eyes lighted
up with a very friendly smile. (After all, a Duke
is a human being, thought the Brownie, and not a
king, so he can't order people's heads to be chopped
off.) "What a very grave little lady Supposing
you come and sit on my knee, my dear. I 'm an
old gentleman, and may be allowed that privilege."
It was the Duchess who lifted the Brownie on
to her husband's knee, but the child sat there very
There! I thought you could n't be going to be
afraid of me he said.
I don't think I am ever afraid of people," said
the Brownie thoughtfully. "I can't be, you see,
because I always have to talk to them. But I
never saw a Duke before."
"Oh!" said the Duke, with a twinkle in his
eyes, "and now you do see one, he is very like
other people, eh ? "
"Well, I suppose you are the same as other
people, are n't you ?" said the Brownie, puzzled.
"I did n't think you would be different yourself
exactly, only I could n't remember if I had to go
out of your presence backwards."

A Lonely Little Lady

The Duke burst into a hearty laugh, and after a
second the Brownie joined in. When the Duchess
returned (she had gone away to consult the house-
keeper about a certain jam for tea), she found them
conversing happily, the Brownie having examined
her new friend's watch, and asked the meaning of
the seal hanging to the chain. She was busy trying
to get the motto under the crest into her head -
" Flecti, non frangi," and gravely demanded the
"Well, it's the motto of the family," said his
Grace. It means Bent, not broken.' "
The Brownie knit her brows. How could you
be broken ?" she asked. Does it mean your legs
and arms ?"
"It's a kind of parable, Brownie," said the
Duchess, coming to the rescue. "It means some-
thing hidden which it only hints."
Like the Sower?" said the Brownie with inter-
est. The Sower was her favourite among the Par-
ables in the Bible, chiefly on account of the hymn
"A sower went forth sowing," which she loved
with all the intensity of a poet's nature.
"Yes-one thing shown by another," said the

56 A Lonely Little Lady
Duchess. "'Bent, not broken,' means that we"
(she always identified herself with her husband)
"may be persuaded, but not forced to do a thing.
And it also means that, though fortune may go
against us, we never give up hope, we have courage
to the end." She laid her hand on her husband's
shoulder, and a glance passed between them which
beautified the two plain elderly faces with a sym-
pathy to which the Brownie was a stranger. The
child, moral orphan that she was, looked from one
to the other as she sat on the Duke's knee, and
wondered at that unfamiliar flash between husband
and wife which spoke of perfect understanding and
Bent not broken,' she repeated slowly, and
then "' Courage and hope.' I wish it were my
motto! Have we a motto ? Papa and Mamma as
well, I mean."
"Why, of course," said the Duke cheerfully.
"Get Debrett, Mary, and see what the Brownie's
motto is. I have forgotten."
Debrett proved interesting, for the Brownie found
all the names of her innermost circle there set forth
in full -" Charles Edward Lorraine," that was

A Lonely Little Lady

Papa, and later the Brownie's own name, or rather
list of names, which awed her considerably.
I don't like the crest as well as yours," she said,
regarding the clenched hand on her father's shield
with disfavour. "Your crooked tree is much
nicer." For so she described the heraldic device
of the Dukes of Rosborough, which represents a
sturdy branch curved gracefully towards the left -
"bent, not broken."
"Why have we got a fist, and what is the
The motto was in English, I have and hold."
It displeased the last daughter of the Lorraines.
I think it's horrid," she said, pushing away
the book with indignation. It sounds as if you
had grabbed something."
And meant to stick to it," added the Duke,
"It's like Pinnock with a mouse," said the
"Who is Pinnock? asked the Duke.
Thereat followed an explanation, and a detailed
account of the grey cat's virtues, which lasted until
tea; soon after which the carriage arrived for

A Lonely Little Lady

Miss Lorraine, and she departed, after hugging her
new friends, feeling quite sorry to go, for no one
had ever been so interested in the things that made
her small world, and she had chatted happily to her
host and hostess without nervousness or constraint.
Usually the Brownie had to talk to people about
what interested them, not her, and they chose diffi-
cult subjects in order to get her small ideas thereon
and then laugh. But the Duke had really listened
to her accounts of Pinnock's hunting feats with
interest, and the Duchess had encouraged her to
give her impressions of the children at the dancing
class, and in return had told her of the tricks her
nieces and nephews played when they stopped with
her, both at Rosborough House and Coombe
Weald, the great estate in the country. "They
were a merry, noisy crew," said the Duchess,
laughing; "the boys were dreadful pickles, and the
girls were nearly as bad." But she seemed to like
them none the less because they romped and made
a noise; and the Duke's highest recommendation
was for a little grand-nephew named Ethelred,-
" Silly name for a boy," said the Duke sturdily;
"tempting the others to call him Ethel, only he



A Lonely Little Lady

was too manly to stand it," because this ten-year-
old hero was just the pluckiest little chap of the lot,
never knew when he was beaten, and had sharp wits
to boot. "And yet," added his Grace, "he's a
regular boy, and loves games like a puppy. He
has no modern mawkishness about him. I 'm
dead against boys putting on airs and pretending
to be men "
The Brownie thought it must be a good and for-
tunate thing to be related to a duke and stay at
Coombe Weald. She jumped into the carriage glad
and merry, and looked forward joyfully to her next
visit at Rosborough House. Only when she stood
once more in the hall at her own home, the elation
died out of her little figure, and the sparkle out of
her dreamy brown eyes. She was once more the
quiet, self-possessed little lady who was dressed and
undressed "like a big doll"; and when Mamma
chancing to sweep downstairs on her way to the
drawing-room, paused to smile and ask her how she
had enjoyed herself, she answered with her usual
seriousness: "Very much. I saw the Duke, and
they asked me to go again next Tuesday, if I may."
Mamma nodded, smiled, and passed on. She

A Lonely Little Lady

looked pleased. The Brownie, turning to follow
Nurse upstairs, suddenly encountered the unexpected
appearance of Sir Charles in evening dress, also on
his way to dinner.
Oh!" he said, stopping short, and looking at
the Brownie with the same untranslatable expression
as before; "so there you are. Where were you this
afternoon ?"
The Brownie stopped too on the lowest stair,
leaving Nurse to proceed by herself.
"I had gone to Rosborough House to see the
Duchess,-and the Duke," she added, as a point
of further interest for him.
Sir Charles rubbed his chin meditatively.
There was no one to help me on with my coat,"
he remarked, with a faint smile somewhere back in
his weary eyes.
"Oh, I am sorry! said the Brownie. Where
was James ? "
"I sent James away. I thought perhaps the
fairies would come to my rescue again."
The Brownie did not quite understand what he
meant, but her instinct saw enough to help her out.
I would have been there if I had known," she

A Lonely Little Lady

said. I think I could have done it. What time
did you go out?"
"About five o'clock."
I '11 be there to-morrow, if that will do, at
least, I think I can. I generally go down to the
drawing-room, you know."
It was plain to her mind that Sir Charles pre-
ferred her to help him to the footman, why, she
neither knew nor asked herself. The giving pleas-
ure to some one else was a necessity to the Brownie,
if it were in her power. It was enough for her to
be sure that it would give Sir Charles pleasure to
see her at five o'clock to-morrow to make her wish
to contrive it.
Miss Brownie! called Nurse from somewhere
up the house; and then, catching sight of a grey
head disappearing down the passage, she changed it
to a more suitable appellation, Miss 'Ero -to
which the Brownie replied, "Yes, Nurse; I'm
coming," and followed thoughtfully, turning over
ways and means in her mind.
Nurse was surprised and a little relieved the next
afternoon, when, on her way to the drawing-room
with the Brownie in charge, the child stopped her at
the head of the stairs.

A Lonely Little Lady

"I can go alone, Nurse," she said, gently but
firmly. You need n't trouble to come any further,
Nurse's tea was growing cold upon the tray up-
stairs. It had appeared simultaneously with the
order for the Brownie's appearance in the drawing-
room. She let go the small hand with inward satis-
faction and outward reluctance.
"Well, to be sure, you're not a baby now. But
be sure and go straight there, Miss Brownie; and
whatever you do, don't muss your frock."
It was green velvet to-day, and the Brownie looked
more like an elf than ever. She nodded gravely,
put her small hand on the wide top of the banisters,
and went slowly downstairs. Nurse gave one glance
to see that she was progressing quietly, and, without
waiting to see her any farther, hurried back to her tea.
The Brownie went down to the foot of the stairs,
and then she hesitated. It was just five o'clock -
she had ascertained that before she left the nursery;
but Sir Charles was not there, and she could not
wait. Increasing anxiety was beginning to wrinkle
up her smooth forehead, when she heard a door shut
in her rear, and a man's voice speaking.

A Lonely Little Lady 65

You need n't wait, James," it said.
The Brownie's face cleared. She waited until
Sir Charles reached the centre of the hall, and then
ran across to him.
I can help you to-day," she said.
He put his heavy coat into her tiny hands; but
when the Brownie had assisted him as before, and
he had shaken himself into it, he seemed in no par-
ticular hurry.
So you went to Rosborough House," he said.
" How did you like the Duke ? "
Very much," said the Brownie, emphatically.
" What a pity he has no children "
Sir Charles stared at the small figure before him
in a larger surprise than ever.
Of course it is a misfortune for a man," he said.
" Still, there's his nephew to inherit, you know,
besides a younger brother." Then, something in
the Brownie's face seeming to strike him, he said,
"Was that why you were sorry ? "
No, I don't think so," she replied. I only
meant that if he had a- a little girl, he would be
so fond of her, you know, and she would be so

A Lonely Little Lady

A deep sigh came from the Brownie's very heart
at the memory of the Duchess's voice and touch,
and she thought of the Duke's kindly, simple in-
terest as he listened to her.
Sir Charles had turned away from her, and was
hunting for something in the pocket of his coat.
It took a long time to find, and when he turned
round again there seemed to be more wrinkles than
usual in his face.
It must be very nice to be a Duke," said the
Brownie, to continue the conversation.
"Yes," said Sir Charles absently.
"Could you be a Duke?" she asked, twining
one foot round the other in her favourite attitude.
"N-no," said Sir Charles; "but I could be a
peer." A dull flush rose to his face, and his eyes
grew keen. "Did your mother tell you to ask
me?" he said, so abruptly and sharply that the
child started.
"Mamma!" she repeated, in a dazed fashion.
"Oh no she does n't know that I ever speak to
you. She never says anything about you at all."
The flush died away from her father's face, and
left him curiously white. He began to seek for an

A Lonely Little Lady

elusive handkerchief again, muttering broken sen-
tences which perplexed the Brownie. She might
then I suppose I should be more worth while-
Birthday Honours, or after the Session-" After
a minute he seemed to remember her, and turned
round again.
I've got 'Alice in Wonderland,'" he said.
The Brownie was just about to ask how he liked
it, when the door-bell rang. Sir Charles hastily
picked up his hat and disappeared studywards, and
his daughter ran down the corridor to the drawing-
There were the usual crowd of callers ; but the
Brownie eluded her would-be captors and made her
way to Major Maude, whom she perceived as she
entered. He was taller than most of the men
present, and his dark head towered into view over
the girl to whom he was talking. He did not see
the Brownie until she offered"him her hand, his
companion's attention having been claimed by some
one else.
Well, my little friend," he said, lifting her into
his arms, "where were you all yesterday after-
noon? and he sat down with her on his knee.

A Lonely Little Lady

Every one seemed desirous of knowing that;
but the Brownie, sure of her own unimportance,
entered it to the account of the Duke's celebrity.
She began telling Major Maude about her visit:
not the real valuable part of it to her, the atmos-
phere of home and love which had shone upon her
like the sun on a plant hitherto kept in the dark;
but the little sketchy parts, the house, and the
fact that the Duke could not leave town when he
wished because of Parliament, all of which she de-
tailed gravely, guided by the amused smile in his
eyes. Mamma joined them after a few minutes.
Still devoted to the Brownie ? she asked, with
that pretty colour in her face which the Brownie
was beginning to associate with Major Maude.
"Has she invited you to her dance?"
"No, not yet. Are you going to ask me,
Brownie ?"
"I should like to, very much. When is it to
be, Mamma ? said the Brownie gently, but her
heart gave a great throb of fear. A dance That
meant one of those evenings of torture when she
played hostess.
Next month, when your birthday comes. The

A Lonely Little Lady 69

invitations went out yesterday. We must give
your guests due notice, for they are sure to have
engagements," said Mamma, laughing. It is to
be fancy dress."
"Will you come in uniform?" asked the Brownie,
turning to Major Maude. Please do: I should
so like to see you."
Mamma's eyes and the Major's met. The
Brownie saw the glance pass over her head as she
sat on his knee.
"Will you come in uniform? Mamma repeated
in a lower voice. How many years is it since I
saw you in uniform, Rorie ? "
The Brownie heard the big breath that he drew
in between his teeth, and felt his chest fall and rise.
She had an indefinable feeling that danger followed
when Mamma dropped her voice.
"Do you remember the Review?" Mamma
went on.
"Remember! Lallage, you should have
been a Chinese rather than an English woman."
"Why? "
They are the finest torturers in the world."
The Brownie heard her mother try to laugh a

A Lonely Little Lady

laugh that ended in a strange, rising- sigh. She
turned away for a moment. When she spoke
again it was quite in her usual tone.
I think a children's fancy dress ball the pretti-
est sight in the world," she said. The Brownie
always has a sprinkling of older people at her parties.
They will come. We mean even the grown-ups to
wear fancy dress on this occasion, but of course
dominos are allowed. The Brownie is going to
appear as the Brownie. Such a pretty dress I
have been designing it brown velvet cut into the
shape of leaves at the edge of the skirt, and a tiny
mouseskin cap, and such delightful downy wings!
She.is going to carry a hazel wand with an electric-
light star, to look like a will-o'-the-wisp."
The Brownie heard the stream of talk flow on
with vague comprehension. She took little or no
interest, for she could think of nothing but the
heavy throbbing of Major's Maude's heart as she
leaned back against his breast. She was sure he
was in pain, and she did not know how to help him.
She dared not ask either, and felt as helpless as the
day that Pinnock hurt his paw and came limping
in and looking at her with agonised eyes which all

A Lonely Little Lady 7

but spoke. As long as Mamma sat there talking
Major Maude listened in a terrible, weary silence,
and the Brownie quivered in sympathy. He re-
mained after many of the visitors had gone, and she
hovered about him, feeling that there was some-
thing he wanted and could not express. When he
went, Mamma bade him good-bye in the same light,
indifferent tone, and the Brownie saw his eyes burn
and blaze as he turned away. The remembrance of
his trouble blotted out even her own, and not until
she had got back to her own quarters did she have
time to brood over the ordeal which awaited her
next month.


HE following weeks were an
endless succession of "try-
ings on" and "dress rehear-
sals to the Brownie. First, the mouseskin cap,
executed after Lady Lorraine's design, was too
clumsy.; then the wings were far too large they
would get in the way when she waltzed, and the men
would vote them a nuisance not the boys, mark
you; the Brownie generally danced with some one
twice her height for two-thirds of the evening. This
remedied, the brown velvet garment in which she
was to appear was a thought too long. The Brownie
stood through endless fittings and consultations -
a patient, uninterested little model, whose drooping
mouth and hopeless eyes passed unnoticed as she
went through in fancy the great occasion when she
was to figure in all this carefully schemed costume.
There were intervals of sunshine, too, in these
weeks visits to Rosborough House, during which

I I\ ,


A Lonely Little Lady 75

the Brownie learned to laugh, and played in a subdued
imitation of those fortunate nieces and nephews
about whom she was never tired of hearing. The
Duke's knee was her throne, and was always ready
for her, and into the Duchess's ear she poured many
a small hope and trouble hitherto confided only to
Master Pinnock. Not that she neglected the grey
cat because she had found human sympathy: the
Brownie never forgot old friends. Owing to a
delightful suggestion of the Duchess's, they went on
a shopping expedition together, and bought a large
blue-and-white saucer, which the Brownie trium-
phantly carried home and presented to
her feline friend; and she /
was sure he had never en-
joyed his milk so much a '
on the great oc-
casion when she i
poured it out for
him into his very '
own saucer.
There was an- ---,
other interest newly A
other interest newly SHE POURED IT OUT FOR HIM INTO HIS
sprung up in the VERY OWN SAUCER."

76 A Lonely Little Lady
Brownie's life. Ever since she had gently ex-
plained her reason for wishing to be at home
at a certain hour, the Duke and Duchess had
seen that she should be when she was visiting
them. They timed it to a nicety that the Brownie
should alight at her own door and be in the hall
just when Sir Charles was likely to be going out;
and the Brownie felt very grateful to them for
understanding that she liked to do what her most
casual acquaintance asked her even Papa. He
was not nearly such a distant relation as he had
been, of course, because she saw him nearly every
day now, and they contrived to talk, unless any one
came into the hall, or Mamma's step were heard
approaching, when, quite inexplicably, Sir Charles
would be looking for his ever-missing gloves and
the Brownie going slowly upstairs to the nursery.
It puzzled her why this should be so; but as she
could not explain it, and it was one of the unwritten
laws of her life that she should not ask ques-
tions, she simply acquiesced as usual, and followed
her father's lead without attempting to understand
further. They generally managed to talk a little,
however. Sir Charles had read Alice in Wonder-

A Lonely Little Lady 77

land," and at the Brownie's further recommendation
" On a Pincushion" and "The Little People," and
they discussed these books together. Though a
mere novice in fairy-tale reading,
Sir Charles proved intelligent.
He appreciated "The Toy
Princess" as much as the
Brownie herself, and regarded
her with a deeper scrutiny when
she explained that it reminded
her of herself. I always some-
how have to say just what peo-
ple wish and nothing more,"
she said. "Only I'm a real
toy, you know, and I 'm not liv- SIR CHARLES STOOPED
ing somewhere else all the while." DOWN AND KISSED HER."
Sir Charles did not look as if he had known, but
he was ready to be instructed. "Your mother -"
he began.
Yes, Mamma is n't a queen, I know. But she
looks like one, don't you think? "
"Perhaps she would like to be one?" he
"Yes," said the Brownie thoughtfully. "I don't

A Lonely Little Lady

know. I think she'd like to be a-what was it
that you said you could be ? "
"A peer -like Lord Bay, you know.'
"Yes, that's it. What will Belle be when she
marries him ?"
A peeress."
Is that more than Mamma? "
"Yes: I am only a baronet."
What a pity! for Mamma, I mean," said the
Brownie. Of course it could n't make you any
Sir Charles stooped down and kissed her.
The terrible day of the fancy ball dawned at last.
The Brownie would hardly have recognized it until
the evening, but that, as she went out for her walk
with Miss Price, a cartload of palms and hothouse
plants were being carried in through the hall and
arranged in banks of moss up the stairs. There
was red carpet, too, being unrolled, and a group of
onlookers of the poorer class were staring up at the
bunting, which was being extended farther along
the balcony.
Lor', look at the young laidy! said a nurse-
maid to a badly-dressed child she was leading.

I /

\\* ;7\



A Lonely Little Lady

"It's 'er party, I should n't wonder. Don't you
wish you was going, Bella ? "
Bella sniffed by way of reproach to Fortune for
not having dowered her equally with the "little
lady" whose sad brown eyes looked back at the
children of the poor with an expression whose mean-
ing they could not divine. They envied her The
Brownie knit her brows in the effort not to be as
basely ungrateful as she felt. But they could
not understand.
"I have at last, my dear Hero, procured a speci-
men of the Spanish oak leaf for your collection,"
said Miss Price; and the Brownie came back to
botany almost with relief.
It was a very hot day in the beginning of May.
All the afternoon the sunlight burnt the dusty pave-
ments outside, and the sun-blinds were drawn over
the windows of the night-nursery, where the Brownie
was told to lie down and rest in preparation for the
late hours she was about to keep. It was impos-
sible to go to sleep like Master Pinnock, who jumped
on to the bed beside her and stretched his body out
limply, dozing off in a highly enviable manner. The
Brownie lay still, with wide eyes gazing about the

A Lonely Little Lady

darkened room, where the shaded sun made a yel-
low gloom. It was dull work, without even a book;

but then she was supposed to be
o'clock she had her tea, and about
kind of light supper. The guests
until half-past eight. And they
nine," Mamma had said, "which
to eat our dinners in comfort "
Then came the solemn process
began with a bath, and ended with

asleep. At five
half-past seven a
were not asked
won't come until
will give us time

of dressing. It
the electric-light

wand, of which Nurse had an almost superstitious
dread. Her openly expressed hope that the tiny
battery might not explode and do anybody a mis-
chief was not likely to inspire confidence, and the
Brownie went downstairs to be inspected, trembling
with an added fright.
Mamma was dressed in a lovely velvet gown and
a high pearled collar: she looked an ideal Mary
Queen of Scots, and the Brownie thought it was
little wonder that Darnley and Bothwell should have
been jealous of everybody else if she were really at
all like that. Laura was all in white, as Dresden
China; and Belle was Portia, the red cap and gown
suiting her admirably. The Brownie caught a

,;1 11 ,11
br i ^, lj h-i I '
t ;t Ihi fl (-




A Lonely Little Lady

glimpse of a grey head she knew disappearing down
a passage, and the glitter of a sword, and recog-
nised that even Sir Charles was in Court dress, as
Harrington Oval, the
great R.A., had painted
his portrait.
Mamma and Belle
and Laura expressed
great satisfaction over
her dress; and Archi-
bald, whom she had
not known to be in
the house, appeared in I /
uniform, and asked
her how many hearts
she meant to break to- 't I
night--to which the \ I
Brownie answered very
seriously that she PORTIA.
hoped none; and even Vivian, the younger and
taller and thinner of her step-brothers, laughed
faintly. His endless body was enveloped in a black
college gown, because he was a B. A. though
what that meant the Brownie did not know.

86 A Lonely Little Lady

Lord Bay had been dining with the family also,
and he brought the Brownie a beautiful shower
bouquet of moss-roses, pink and white, and with
long trails of green. She
S liked the flowers, but ob-
jected to the kiss he exacted
/' in payment, and was almost
0 'i' g glad when the arrival of her
first guests relieved her of
Shis teasing.
i7; Mamma had motioned
her to her usual place near
'\/ the door, and had said,
"You know what to do,
SBrownie," before she went
S\ back to laugh and talk with
Archie and Vivian; and the
Brownie, shifting her dan-
DRESDEN CHINA. gerous wand to her left
hand, held out her right
graciously to the bewildering stream of children
who were being announced. If it had been diffi-
cult to know her guests of former years, it was
well-nigh impossible this, when their strange

A Lonely Little Lady

dresses or powdered hair changed them beyond
knowledge. The Brownie's head ached with Knights
Templars and Dutch Dolls, Fairy Queens and Pier-
rots, Duchesses of Devonshire and Clowns; and
she found the grown-up people little better. It was
hard to realise, for instance, that
the fierce bushranger, with bowies E
and pistols in his belt, was merely
Mr. Gordon-Staines, whom she
had seen only yesterday drinking \
tea in a perfectly mild and harm-
less fashion; or that Captain Lisle .,
had suddenly become transformed
into a Viking, with winged helmet
and a bearskin flung over his
shoulder in place of the shiny top-
hat and frock coat of every-day
life. Such a lot of people brought PIERROT
her flowers too! The men were always handing her
huge bouquets, and saying would she accept them,
and might they have a dance? At last Archibald
laid them carefully on the ground at her feet -five
or six great nosegays in the midst of which she
stood, shut in by the scented ring and shaking
hands across it.

88 A Lonely Little Lady

The Brownie tried hard to commit the children's
faces to memory: she thought she should remem-
ber one pretty little girl dressed as Red Riding
Hood, and a smaller child who was a baby doll, and
one tall handsome boy in
the costume of a Torea-
dor, whose face passed her
vaguely as she shook hands
with Major Maude. The
Major had only just arrived,
A-- and the Brownie looked
Sat his broad shoulders in
e their red-and-gold bravery,
i"f and the big spurs which
Singled as he walked, and
i t smiled at him.
A VIKING. "You must give me
some dances," he said, and
added his initials to her fast filling programme.
"I have brought you some flowers, but I see
you have so many already that you won't care for
"Please give them to me: I should like them
very much," was the Brownie's answer. "And I

A Lonely Little Lady 89

will carry them in- ,/
stead of the others," /
she added, with a
hope of pleasing her
His dark face '
lightened, and he
put the clusters of
white roses into her
hands. Then he
passed on behind '
her, and the Brownie
knew whom he had
gone to meet; but /
she could not see
her mother even
reflected in the big
mirrors, for the
crowd was thicken- r-
ing. r
The Duke and.
Duchess had prom-
ised to put in an "IN THE MIDST OF WHICH SHE STOOD).'
appearance, but the Brownie did not see them

A Lonely Little Lady

come, for they were late, and when the third waltz
began Lord Bay would wait no longer, and claimed
the dance which the Brownie had promised him.
The bouquets were carefully piled up on the mantel-
piece in an imposing array, and somebody took care
of the electric-light wand
iii -to its rightful owner's
great relief- and then the
i'l .::'. Brownie put her small hand
on the gold lace of Lord
Bay's mess-jacket and was
iT I !i whirled off down the great
S.'- room, the polished floor fly-
Sing under her light feet, and
1 the clash of the band urging
her on in a maddening meas-
ure. Her future brother
Lord Bay was always
ready to insist on the relationship danced well,
and the Brownie enjoyed the waltz. They went
into the conservatory when it was over and the
Brownie had taken her flowers again, and sat
amongst the great palms and the fairy lights. Other
couples were visible at a distance; the Brownie



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