The Baldwin Library
R m uToivoridai
NOT MINE, BUT HIS
EMMA S. PRATT
AUTHOR OF 'IVY'S ARMOUR,' 'DOROTHY NORTHBROOKE," ETC.
'Ye are not your own: for ye are bought with
a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and
in your spirit, which are God's.'--1 CORINTmIANS
vi. 19, 20.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY
56 PATERNOSTER Row, 65 ST. PAUTL'S CHURCHYARD
AND 164 PICCADILLY
MORRISON AND GIBB; PRINTERS, EDINBURGH
I. IN THE SHADOW, .
II. AUNT DORCAS, 14
III. AN ANXIOUS HALF-HOUR, 24
IV. 'IS IT WILFID' 32
V. LEFT TO THEMSELVES, 39
VI. THE FIRST NIGHT AT SEACROFT, 46
VII. 'CAPTAIN DAVID,' 59
YIII. 'TOO SHORT BY A FOOT!' 66
IX. THE BEGINNING, 72
X. WINNIE IN TROUBLE, 78
XI. 'NOT YOUR OWN,' 84
XII. AT THE IIERON'S NEST, 93
XIII. A QUESTION AND ITS ANSWER, 101
XIV. DISAPPOINTMENT, 109
XV. 'TO DO OR DIE !' 116
XVI. IN THE ARMOURY, 121
XVII. A FURNACE SEVEN TIMES HEATED, 129
XVIII. WINNIE'S QUESTION, 134
XIX. NEARLY OVER, 142
XX. THE LESSON LEARNT, 150
XXI. NOT MINE, BUT HIS 156
IN THE SHADOW.
T had been a day of soft showers and inter-
mittent gleams of sunshine; and, as the
shadows of evening gathered up from the
golden west, gradually darkening the pretty, old-
fashioned drawing-room of Seacroft Manor, Miss Dorcas
Cameron laid the letter she had been reading down in
her lap, and, folding her hands across it, leant her head
Not Minze, but His.
back against the crimson cushion behind her chair, and
gave herself up to thought.
'Can it be possible ? No 1 I couldn't do it Look-
ing back over those past years I can still say the same,
"He has made his own bed, and he must lie on it."
Wrong, wrong, all wrong from the very beginning; and
now to think of doing this! No, it cannot be; I
cannot do it!'
Sister and guardian-this was Miss Cameron's position
-over a self-willed, high-spirited boy, fifteen years
younger than herself. He was the last born, the one
boy, the very Benjamin of the family; idolized by his
widowed father, teased and loved and spoilt by his
three sisters near in age to himself. When Douglas
was six years old his father died, and his eldest sister,
Dorcas, had since corrected and scolded and trained
him, according to her ideas of right, holding the reins
of government so tightly in her strong hands as to fret
and chafe the proud spirit of the boy, whose will was
as obstinate and unyielding as her own. His was not
a nature to be driven, but a very easy one to lead;
kindness touched him at once, but severity closed up
every good feeling that lay so deeply hidden within his
heart, and made him appear cold and indifferent to what
was taking place in and around the home he still loved
so well; till at length he broke out into open rebellion,
and, when he was old enough, claimed the portion of
goods that fell to him, and went off to seek his fortune
in a far country.
In the Shadow.
Two years later Dorcas had a letter to say that her
brother had enlisted in a regiment that was soon after
ordered to the seat of war, and that was the first news
she had received from him. The proud spirit of Miss
Cameron of Seaeroft had been deeply wounded by that
letter, and she glanced but furtively at the war news,
dreading to see the word 'Private,' and a number
attached to the name of Douglas Cameron, whose
ancestors had fought at Flodden Field.
She had heard of him once since then, after a silence
extending over ten years, and it was of that last time
that she was now thinking as the twilight shadows
crept around her.
Since the death of her only surviving sister, seven
years ago, Dorcas Cameron had lived alone, alone in the
saddest sense of that word. Her stiff, cold manner,
and evident preference for her own company, kept
many away who would fain have shown their lonely
neighbour kindness and consideration; but Miss
Cameron's rule of life, after fifty-one years' experience,
was, 'I believe in nothing, and I trust nobody.' True,
she had once been deceived, cruelly deceived by one
in whom she had placed implicit trust, and since that
time the whole world to her had become one vast,
lonely desert, without a single oasis to relieve the dreary
'Self' was the god Miss Cameron worshipped; and
as truly as night follows day, so heart-loneliness and
soul-desolation follow that peace-destroying god. The
Not Mine, but His.
letter 'I,' as tall and thin and straight as herself,
formed a very important part of Miss Cameron's
alphabet. The communication then lying in her lap
had upset her not a little, and the thin white fingers
trembled visibly as for the fourth time she took up the
black-bordered paper, and read through the words she
could as yet scarcely realize, though their meaning was
plain enough to any one not so entirely wrapped up
'MY DEAR SISTER,-After a silence of more than ten
long years, I venture to write to you on behalf of my
motherless children. A month ago, my dear wife died
after a short illness, leaving me and my two children
lonely indeed. Will you give them a home with you ?
My regiment is ordered abroad, and I must leave them,
and I know of no one so fitted to take charge of them
as yourself. Remember they are your own brother's
children, and the home that once was his should now
be theirs. They are very good children, perhaps a
trifle high-spirited, but their sunny little faces will
brighten up the old manor house, as they have brightened
my home during the past nine years, and their merry
voices will cheer you in many a lone hour. All these
partings are terribly hard to bear, and make one's heart
ache sadly. Send me a line by return to say if you
can meet them. If not, they will go from London
Bridge to Seacroft alone. I leave Southampton on
Saturday for the East.'
In the Shadow.
'Two children! dreadful! And he doesn't even say
whether they are boys or girls. Oh, that I might
awake and find it only a dream! They must come,
I suppose. Yes, there is no help for it; they are
Camerons, and Seacroft must be their home. Yes, it
is inevitable, inevitable!' and, with these words, Miss
Cameron rose and rung the bell twice, the signal for
Martha, who quickly appeared, in spite of her sixty
years. She, like all the other servants, had learnt to
move quickly at her mistress's bidding.
'I have just received a letter, Martha, that has
upset me not a little. You will be surprised when I
tell you that it is from my brother'-
'From Master Douglas, bless him! Then the
dear boy is not dead!' exclaimed the old servant,
clasping her hands down in front of her black silk
apron, and glancing up at her mistress with a world
of interest in her kind, faded blue eyes.
Dorcas moved uneasily in her high-backed chair,
rather disconcerted at Martha's enthusiastic reception
of the news, only part of which she had as yet made
known to her; and, once more taking up the letter
from her lap, she continued, in her usual cold, con-
strained manner, as though there had been no inter-
'He writes from London; his regiment is ordered
abroad, and he wishes his two children to have a
home at Seacroft.'
'Two children! bless the lad! Master Douglas a
12 Not MAine, Iult His.
married man! the little boy I used to nurse, and who
coaxed me for sugar on his bread and butter !'
'His wife died a month ago, and left him with two
children; he has asked me to give them a home here.
He leaves for the East on Saturday, and to-day is
Thursday. Can you get the two top rooms in the west
gallery ready by Saturday, Martha ? They must
come; it is inevitable!'
Boys or girls, ma'am ?'
He doesn't say.'
'What age, ma'am ?'
'About nine, I believe.'
Humph! boys of nine are very rampageous things
generally, and soldiers' boys-dear me! and girls-
well, they're almost as bad at that age.'
'They can have the schoolroom to themselves!'
replied Miss Cameron, with an inward shudder, as she
drew her white China crape shawl more closely round
her thin shoulders. 'That is all, Martha; I shall want
Jane to take a letter to the post directly.'
Lost his wife, poor dear Master Douglas !' said the
kind-hearted old woman, as she made her way across
the wide stone hall and along the dim, narrow passage
leading to her own apartments. 'He's in trouble, dear
lad! and no one to comfort him in his sorrow. May the
Lord meet with him in this trial! Eh! but I'd like
to see his bonnie, handsome face again, and know what
he's been doing with himself all these long years. It'll
be something new to have children about the house
In the Shadow.
again ; they'll wake the echoes in the long galleries, and
make fine havoc about the place, if they're anything
like their pa; but I don't know that it won't be a bit
more cheerful to have young folk about the place again;
it'll be a change, anyhow, though at my time o' life, I
suppose, I oughtn't to be thinking of changes; an' I
doubt much whether the missis will care about it.
But still, "what can't be cured must be endured," an'
it's far best to look at it in that light;' and, with this
very philosophical remark, Martha put on her spectacles,
and sat down to the manufacture of some voluminous
white garment for her own wear, full of thought about
the two little strangers whose advent was expected on
the following Saturday
..,,. .. ," ).
T was five o'clock when the station fly drew
up at the gate of Seacroft Manor. It
certainly did look rather a dull place that
April afternoon; the grey clouds hung low over the
surrounding hills, and the roar of the sea could be
distinctly heard when the wind blew from the south,
as it was then doing very strongly. The long, low
house, with its three gables; the tall, bare trees, inhabited
by a colony of rooks cawing and croaking with a cease-
less chatter overhead-all seemed very dreary to the
two children as they sat in the fly waiting for the
hall door to be opened.
No one was ready to welcome them, and the coach-
man had to ring twice before the bell was answered
It's the children, ma'am !' she called out, as soon as
she caught sight of the fly and the boxes on the top.
'It'll be awfully jolly, I believe, Winnie, after all.
Look, there's a splendid chalky path at the back there,
leading up to that windmill; I'll try it to-morrow,' said
Wilfrid, as they went up the beautifully-kept but
somewhat prim-looking garden.
But, somehow, Winnie didn't think it looked at all
'awfully jolly,' but very dull and miserable, and her
spirits, which had been unusually high during the
journey, sunk alarmingly as she followed her brother
into the large square hall, whence Martha conducted
them, with due solemnity, into the presence of their aunt.
Miss Dorcas Cameron was very tall and stately-
looking, with thick grey hair, almost white, a pale
complexion, and very stern-looking grey eyes; she
always wore a white China crape shawl and long black
mittens, and carried a fan, and a reticule containing
a very fine cambric pocket handkerchief, for flecking
specks of dust from any delicate article on which such
specks might have alighted, and a cut-glass smelling-
'How do you do, children ?' she said, putting out
her hand to the little girl, who came up first, and stood
in front of her aunt, not knowing exactly what to do;
she didn't look quite as if she would care to be kissed,
and, besides, she sat so upright in the high-backed chair,
that it seemed almost impossible to get at her, so
Winifred shook hands, and felt rather as though she
ought to have made a curtsey.
Wilfrid stood back, feeling very shy and awkward,
and shuffling his feet one over the other, much to his
Not Mine, but His.
aunt's dismay, whose eyes were already fixed upon some
dusty marks on the carpet beneath his boots.
'How old are you, and what are your names?'
'Wilfrid and Winifred, and we're both nearly ten!'
they exclaimed in a voice.
Both nearly ten What do you mean ?'
'We're twins, though I look older than Winnie,' said
Wilfrid, speaking up. 'Daddy says I look quite ten
'Daddy! Who do you mean by "daddy?"' said
Miss Cameron, in a horrified tone. 'Is that how you
speak of your father ?'
He likes it,' said Winifred; 'he likes us to call him
daddy; doesn't he, Freddy ?'
'Of course he does, or dad," he doesn't mind which.
Is that the little Chinese house grandpapa gave him
when he was a little boy?' said Wilfrid, whose eyes
had been wandering all over the room during the last
five minutes, and at last had alighted on a carved ivory
pagoda on a table near one of the windows; and as he
spoke he made a step in the direction of the much-
'Daddy said I might have it. Oh, it is pretty May
I take it now ?'
'Certainly not; you are never to touch a thing in
this room,' said his aunt austerely, rising from her chair
to intercept the boy's further progress across the room.
'Now, go and take your things off, and come down to
tea. I am always very punctual, and it is now nearly
half-past five. When the gong sounds, you must come
directly, and never enter this room or the dining-room
in the boots you have been out in. See, Wilfrid.'
'He's always called Freddy,' interrupted Winnie-
For which remark she received a reproving
'Hush-h-h !' See, Wilfrid, what dusty marks you
have made on the carpet where you are standing.'
I can't help it,' he muttered, looking down at the
marks indicated; I can't stand without my feet on the
'Don't keep talking while I am speaking, but listen to
me. Don't run up the stairs, and don't draw your hands
along the banisters or put your fingers on the wall.'
The children went upstairs quietly enough that first
evening behind Martha, who led the way to two little
plainly-furnished bedrooms, side by side, at the top .of
the house. Strips of narrow carpet were laid down by
the side of each bed, over the spotlessly clean boards,
which could be easily taken up and shaken regularly
every other day.
Dust was the very bane of Miss Cameron's life, in
a room, or out of it for the matter of that, for she had
been known to take a brush and dust the shrubs in the
garden, after a high March wind.
Martha shut them each into their respective rooms,
and left them to themselves.
'It's rather like being at school, I think,' said Winnie
to herself. 'I know I shall miss daddy most dread-
Not Mine, but fHis.
fully; he was always so kind, and I don't think Aunt
Dorcas is a bit. I'm afraid I shan't like her at all, she's
so very stiff and hard-looking. I wonder why she
didn't kiss us when we came in.'
At that moment the gong sounded, startling little
Winnie out of her reverie, and she hurried from her
room to Wilfrid's.
'Are you ready, Freddy ?'
Yes. I say, Winnie, do you think it'll be nice here ?
Look how jolly the sea looks out of this window; I can
see the waves rolling .in on the sands, such great white
ones. I wonder if aunt will let us go out after tea.
The windmill has stopped; I suppose the miller has gone
'We must go down now, Freddy, or we shall be late.'
'All right; I'm ready. Come along;' and they ran
A hasty footstep came across the hall as they reached
the last stair hand in hand.
'Hush-h-h-sh gently gently! I told you not
to run,' said Miss Cameron, holding up one mittened
hand by way of warning as she spoke. 'Now, come in
to tea, and take your seats quietly; I like children to
be gentle always, be they boys or girls, not rough and
boisterous. I have never been used to much noise, you
know, and my nerves cannot stand it now. Sit up,
Wilfrid, you will grow quite round-shouldered if you
stoop so; and, Winifred, don't scrape your feet on the
rail of your chair.'
May we go out after tea, please, aunt ?' said Wilfrid,
after a long silence.
'No, not this evening; you must amuse yourselves
Miss Cameron rose from her chair as she spoke, and
rang the bell.
Come with me, and I will show you your playroom.'
The children followed her at a respectful distance.
She was not the woman to win the love of children.
There were no clinging little hands, no bright little
faces upraised to hers, no eager tongues asking innumer-
able questions, as was ever their wont until now. No;
they only glanced at all the strange things that met
their eyes as they went through the hall and down a
long narrow tesselated passage, known as 'the armoury,'
on the walls of which hung various implements of war,
English and foreign, such as bowie-knives, assagaies, bows
and arrows, swords, spears, and two guns, slung one
above the other within easy reach-these were kept
loaded, in case of any sudden surprise. A curve at the
end of this passage led to the school or play room. It
was rather a dark room, with two high, narrow, ecclesias-
tical-looking windows, and an oak wainscoting reaching
half-way up the walls, while a long seat of the same
dark wood was fixed up under the windows at the end.
A cupboard with glass doors, lined with faded crimson
silk, full of old lesson books, a square table in the
centre, a piano, and a large sofa opposite the fire-place,
completed the furniture of the room.
Not Mine, but His.
'May we do just what we like here ?' asked Wilfrid
rather timidly, scarcely daring to put the question, and
yet feeling that he ought to say something.
'You may play in here, and put your things in that
box in the corner. Martha will come to you presently,
and now I will bid you good-night; I do not wish to
be disturbed again this evening. You must go to bed
at eight o'clock;' and with these words Miss Cameron
went out of the room, softly closing the door behind her.
Both the children looked up astonished; then Wilfrid
made a 'face' at the retreating figure of his aunt,
I, ,ill ,7, ---
'She is a nasty old guy !'
'Oh, Freddy! you are naughty to say so !' said Winnie,
in a shocked tone. 'I don't think she's a guy exactly,
but she isn't at all nice. What an empty-looking room
this is! I like the drawing-room best. I wonder if
this is like being at school ?'
'No, not half so nice, I'm sure!' said Wilfrid
emphatically. 'One has a jolly lot of companions at
school, and cricket and football, and a big playground;
it'll be awfully lonely here, I expect. I shall write and
ask daddy if I may go to boarding-school.'
'Oh no! don't ask him that, please, Freddy!' said
poor little Winnie, in a tone of piteous entreaty. 'I
really couldn't live here all by myself; do, please, let's
stay together !'
Wilfrid moved away, and went over to the book
cupboard, where he began to overhaul some of the
books. They were old and yellow most of them, but
were neatly mended and sewn up where any leaves
were torn or backs broken. Not one was dog's-eared
or blotted, and all were arranged in straight rows in
the most orderly manner.
Winifred stood leaning against the table, with her
delicate little hands clasped dejectedly in front of her,
and her pretty dark eyes fixed sadly upon the wide,
Poor little girl! she began to yearn already for that
dear, kind father with whom she had parted only the
It seemed months now since she had felt those
warm kisses on her lips, and listened to the tender,
loving words of farewell, and encouragement to
try and be a good girl until he came back from
'If Freddy goes to boarding-school, I don't know
what I shall do !' she kept saying over to herself, as
she stood there in the gathering darkness of the April
evening. And the little aching heart was full to
bursting at the idea of being left alone with Aunt
Dorcas in that great, dreary house, and the hot tears
gathered fast and thick in her eyes.
'Mother's dead, and daddy's gone right away, and if
Freddy doesn't care for me, I shan't have-any-body;'
and at this thought the little head drooped very low,
and Wilfrid was startled from the contemplation of an
old Latin grammar, which had belonged to his father
when about his own age, by hearing a deep sob from
the other end of the room.
Down went the book, and in a moment he was at
his sister's side, with his arms round her neck.
'What's the matter, Winnie dear? Don't cry; I
daresay it'll be ever so much nicer to-morrow. We can
go down to the sea, and there's a lighthouse, we can go
and see that; of course it won't be as nice as being with
dear, darling old daddy, but don't cry, Winnie, please,
there's a good girl. I'm trying to be happy and make
the best of it now we are here, and you ought to do so
too,' said Wilfrid philosophically, though the tears were
perilously near his own eyes all the time.
'You won't ask to go to boarding-school, will you,
Freddy dear? Do stay with me !'
'All right, Sis. Don't cry about that; I won't say
anything more about it. Daddy said I was to
take care of you, and I mean to, till he comes back
At that moment Martha came in with a small paraffin
lamp in her hand, which she placed on the high carved
mantelpiece, the light from which cast a round yellow
ring on the ceiling, and partially dispersed the twilight
darkness from the long room.
As she turned to the door again, she caught sight of
Winnie's troubled face, and being a woman with a warm,
motherly heart, she turned back, thinking perhaps a
word or two might cheer her up a bit.
'Haven't you brought any of your playthings down
Nol,,.` -. bill His.
yet, dears ?' she said, coming to a standstill near the
'No; we didn't like to go upstairs again,' replied
'Then both of you just come along with me, and I'll
help you bring them down. You'd like to have them all
in that box there, wouldn't you ?'
'Yes, oh yes! we should,' exclaimed the children,
more cheerfully and naturally than they had dared to
speak yet; and old Martha Dawson was their friend
from that hour.
By the time the large play-box was filled with all
their little treasures from upstairs it was eight o'clock,
the hour for bed, and then Martha further installed
herself in their favour by giving them each a large
slice of plum cake, and she kissed them both, with a
fervent' God bless you!' as she tucked them up in their
little beds, and the poor little lonely brother and sister
fell asleep, much happier for that kind old woman's kiss.
Thus quietly ended the first of many eventful days
that were coming upon Seacroft Manor, the calm
repose of which was to be broken at last.
AN ANXIOUS HALF-HOUR.
HE train is rather late -this afternoon, isn't
it, Sutton ? '
'Nearly half an hour behind time, sir.
I can't understand it at all; she's generally punctual
to the minute.'
'I hope there's nothing wrong,' said David Thornton,
as he turned from the porter to whom he had been
speaking, and walked slowly up the little wooden
platform of Ierondale Station, coming to a standstill
in front of a large time-table that covered more than
half the wall of the small whitewashed waiting-room.
Captain Thornton looked every inch a soldier-tall,
broad-shouldered, and bronzed through foreign service,
though just now he was home on sick leave, having
been rather severely wounded in the right arm during
a recent engagement.
'You expect Mr. Frank by this train, don't you, sir ?'
said Sutton, sauntering up to him. He was tired of
Ar, Anxious Ialf-houi-r
straining his eyes down the long line of shining rails
for the smoke that would not appear round the curve.
'Yes; he intends spending his holidays with me
this summer. It's a long time since we've seen each
other now, Sutton.'
'So it is, sir-so it is, true enough ; see, your perfes-
sions is so con-trary, one for war and the other for
peace, that it's no wonder you're divided a bit.'
Captain Thornton smiled at the old porter's volubility.
'Whatever can make the train so late ? Half-past four,
and it is due at three-fifty,' he said, taking out his watch,
and gazing at it abstractedly for some minutes.
Something must be up somewhere,' Sutton remarked
laconically. 'I can see pretty fur, and I don't see no
sign of smoke in the distance.'
The flies on the waiting-room window buzzed noisily
up and down the dusty panes, knocked themselves
against the glass, tumbled down on the ledge below,
recovered themselves after a short period of inaction,
and then repeated the performance over again.
A blackbird alighted on one of the leafy branches
of the trees just outside the station, and sent up a song
of praise to the Giver of all; a song so full of exquisite
melody and sweetness, as it rose in one rapturous burst
of harmony, swelling in waves of music away up into
the soft June air, that it thrilled the very soul of the
man who stood there, straining eyes and ears in painful
suspense for sight or sound of that train now so
anxiously looked for.
Not Mine, bul H/is.
'Take no thought for the morrow.' Your Heavenly
Father feedeth them.' Are ye not much better than
Was this the blackbird's song ?
David Thornton raised his eyes above the red brick
wall, with its brightly pictured advertisements, to the
top of the tall trees bordering the road, and watched
the bird's flight, as it flew from the branch away into
the blue distance after its own sweet song.
Just then, two more porters and the station-master
appeared on the scene, talking in low, eager whispers,
and David's ears all too quickly caught the words:
'Collision-3.50 smashed up-about six miles down
'My brother!' were the only two words that escaped
his lips at the first shock of that terrible news.
Three first-class passengers for Herondale. A young
girl in deep mourning, with a face of peculiar sweetness
and refinement; an elderly gentleman, with an iron-
grey beard, and hair a shade or two whiter; and a tall,
rather gaunt-looking clergyman, with a thin, ascetic face,
and deep-set grey eyes. What his age was it would
have puzzled any one to guess. Care and sorrow had
set their lasting seal upon his brow, and he looked like
one whose cross through life had been heavy indeed.
Somehow, ever since he was born, he had been a
disappointment. A girl had been longed for; a daughter
for the home, a sister for the three brothers, but a boy
An AnxijoZus Iaif-hZou.
came instead, and lie was that boy. Then the mother,
the idolized, widowed mother, had nearly lost her life,
and he was the innocent cause of that time of dread
anxiety and trouble.
He had always been David's special care from baby-
hood, and, although eight years younger, he had been
so bright and intelligent as a boy that he soon became
a real companion to his elder brother, whom he looked
upon in the light of a hero. His first real grief had
been when David had gone abroad; then for a time he
was lonely indeed.
Harry, the second brother, had been drowned four
years ago, when out wild duck shooting away up the
country; and John owned and lived on a large farm
out in Canada.
As a boy, Frank had always been a great reader, and
as he grew older he became more and more anxious to
become a scholar; and David, always ready and anxious
to gratify his brother's whims and fancies, as he called
them, made arrangements that he should study with the
vicar's pupils at the vicarage, and afterwards finish up
at Oxford or Cambridge. This had all been accom-
plished by Frank's own efforts and his eldest brother's
help, for the Thorntons were not rich, and it was by
hard plodding work and indefatigable study that the
brothers had reached the position they now occupied.
Here again Frank had proved himself a disappoint-
ment to David, who had looked to see his youngest
brother, after his very creditable career at Oxford, in
Not Mine, but His.
a barrister's wig and gown. Instead of which he chose
the Church as a profession, much to David's annoyance,
who always openly expressed his opinion, that 'parsons'
as a rule were a bad lot, and he had no faith in them
at all. But, as time went on, he grew accustomed to the
clerical dress of his brother, and his appearance did not
vex him quite so much as it had done at first, for,
during the past two years, the brothers had passed
through a baptism of sorrow deep and lasting; and
one, at least, bore upon his brow its holy sign, and lived
his life under its mighty influence.
The tender, wise, and loving mother had been taken
from them, after a few weeks' illness of the fever through
which she had nursed her youngest son back to life;
and now Frank and David were all in all to each
other, the elder being ever ready to serve the younger.
The train steamed out of King's Cross Station, slowly
at first, with a great deal of grinding and groaning and
hissing, as though it knew too well what was going to
happen to it before the journey's end.
The grey-haired gentleman supplied the young lady-
who had been placed under his special care by a friend,
-with several illustrated papers and magazines, shaded
the window with the curtains to keep out the hot
noonday sun, and, having seen that she was perfectly
comfortable, addressed himself to the clergyman in the
other corner of the carriage.
Dr. West had lived in Herondale for thirty years,
and knew almost every man, woman, and child in the
An Anxious Half/-our.
town; but Frank Thornton was not much inclined for
conversation, and, after a few remarks on general topics,
he buried himself in his paper. The sociable old
doctor then turned his attention to his young charge
again, who, having looked through all the papers, was
leaning back, her little shapely white hands lying idly
clasped in her lap, and her dark eyes fixed thoughtfully
upon the clear summer sky.
'This is your first visit to Herondale, I believe ?'
said Dr. West, as he leaned forward to draw the left
curtain, as the train swung round a curve, and the sun
streamed in upon them.
Yes. My destination is Seacroft,' she replied, in a
low, sweet tone. 'I am going to the Manor as
Dear, dear! that's strange, 'pon my word! I've
been away for a three months' tour in the Holy Land,
and so many things have happened since I left home
that I'm all astray somehow. Governess-at the Manor !
Why, that is Miss Cameron's; she's a maiden lady;
there are no children there. Are you sure you have-
you haven't I er- mean you have received the
correct address ?' asked the old gentleman, in a state
of great and unnecessary perturbation.
Frank Thornton glanced up for a moment from the
paper which appeared to absorb him so entirely, to
explain to Dr. West that Miss Cameron had a nephew
and niece at the Manor, the children of her only brother.
Then down went his head again, and the poor doctor
Not J7.r' ,, bzut His.
felt more mystified than ever, but consoled himself with
the assurance that when once he reached home all
would be made clear to him.
'We are not very far from Herondale now,' he
continued. 'That purple line you see yonder against
the horizon is a part of the Fenmoor Hills, the sea lies
further off towards the west. Why, dear me! those
birds looked uncommonly like gulls,' said the doctor,
starting up from his seat hurriedly, and -,i 1. I h1_' at
the gold-rimmed eyeglasses which were hanging down
in front of him; but before he could fix them on his fine
Roman nose the birds had entirely disappeared.
'I fancy they were pigeons,' said the girl, smiling, as
she leant forward to get a better view of the beautiful
landscape stretched out on either side.
On rushed the train, through long tunnels cut under
the hills; then out into daylight, made dim in places by
r1i. high chalk 'i -. which towered above them in
massive .; -i reaching up into the blue air; then I'
out into ... .. fr._,.. open country, where the :._,
were sweet t-.--h the scent of new-mown hay.
'Oh, how lovely was the involuntary remark of
the _il just flesh f.t :!. a London suburb, as these
S,..i_- .. .-. scenes of country h:.- kept opening upon
her enraptured sight.
The sunburnt mowers rested on their .-'_.,_--, and
shaded their .. v. i their bare brown arms, to watch
the train as it 11. i.l.,i i across the Levin E~.ii-:- at
-- .. speed.
An Anxious HaNnf/zour.
The Levin, a little tidal river which took its rise
iir,'u' the Fenmoor Hills, was nearly dry that hot June
afternoon, and myriads of creatures were disporting them-
selves over and under the muddy bed, while a number
of small boys were doing their utmost to disturb their
innocent enjoyment, by stirring up the mud with sticks
and wooden spades, so as to dislodge the inhabitants and
transfer them to various wide-mouthed jars and bottles.
With a hollow, rumbling sound the train cleared the
bridge and dashed forward with increased speed, and
the little barefooted boys in the mud of the river were
lost to sight.
'We're not far off Herondale now,' said the doctor,
taking out his watch. 'It's only'-
At that moment the train oscillated more violently
than ever; then there seemed to be a sort of dragging
sensation underneath, followed immediately.by a terrible
sound of wood cracking and splitting in all directions,
accompanied by loud shrieks and the hissing of steam;
and, in an instant, the occupants of the carriage felt
themselves thrown violently backwards and forwards, as
each happened to be sitting.
Frank instinctively put out his hands in the direction
of the girl, who was seated in the far corner of the
carriage on the opposite side, and caught her by the
arm, when he was hurled backwards by a heavy blow
on the forehead, a stream of warm blood rushed into
his eyes, blinding him for the moment, then all was
darkness, and for a few minutes he remembered no more.
IS IT WILFRID ?
ERE'S another; here, sir I aspects his legs is
broke; he's wedged in pretty tight beneath
this door, poor child !'
'Oh, take me out! Am I dead ? What's the
matter ? Oh, o-ohl don't! it hurts so, don't I' screamed
the boy, as the two strong men pushed aside the heavy
door which lay across his legs, but not on them, and
at length released him from his dark prison.
Carry him up to Martin's cottage; he's always ready
to help in times of emergency; he has one spare room,
I know, and this little fellow will be well taken care
of there,' said the kind doctor, as he assisted in placing
the now almost unconscious child as comfortably as
possible in the strong arms of the man who stood by.
'He was in the up train, wasn't he ?'
'Yes, sir; that seems to have suffered most.'
'I don't think he has any bones broken; it's more
shock than anything, poor little chap! I wish others
'Is it Wilfrid?'
had come off as well as he. Tell them at the cottage to
leave him alone till I come. I'll soon be round;' and so
saying, Dr. West, who had escaped uninjured, hurried
off to a poor woman who was dying in a field close by.
Frank Thornton, who had partially recovered from
the blow he had received, with white face and ruffled
hair, all streaked and stained with blood, was kneeling
beside the grassy bank on which she lay, praying very
earnestly that God would have mercy on the departing
How true are the words that 'in the midst of life
we are in death!' Only that morning, those who lay
there, cold in death or injured beyond recovery, had
started out full of life and health and hope. How
many of them were ready to meet their God ?
Such thoughts as these filled the mind of the clergy-
man as he rose from his knees, after waiting to see the
end of the poor woman to whom he had been called
hurriedly. And, with his heart very full, and aching for
the scenes of desolation, misery, and woe that lay all
round him, where the wrecked and shattered trains lay
in an inextricable heap, he turned away, faint and sick
with his own injuries, which, until then, he had not
given himself time to think of.
Moving about among the sufferers like an angel
of mercy, might be seen the slight girlish figure in
mourning. She also had escaped injury, with the
exception of a slight cut on the right hand from the
broken glass of the window, and was doing her utmost
to render assistance to those who had been less fortu-
nate than herself.
Strength of nerve and great presence of mind are
necessary qualities in a nurse, and these Mary Morice
possessed, together with a sweet, loving sympathy towards
all who were weak, or sad, or suffering'in any way. No
one carried out those words of St. Paul-' We then
that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak,
and not to please ourselves'-more fully than she did.
Gangs of men were already at work clearing away
some of the awful wreckage. It was a terrible scene
altogether. Along the line lay fragments of clothing,
and signs of death and fearful suffering might be seen,
as on a battle-field after some fierce engagement. It
was enough to make the stoutest heart sicken.
I hope David was not at the station; if so, he has
heard of this,' murmured Frank, covering his face with
'Come, come!' said Dr. West, coming up at that
moment to where he was standing, and he laid his
hand tenderly on the young man's shoulder as he
spoke. 'This has been almost too much for you, but
let us thank God that He has spared us to work a
little longer in His vineyard. I want you now to go
with me as far as Martin's cottage at the end of the
lane; can you manage it, do you think ?'
'Oh yes,' said Frank, pulling himself together with
an effort, apparently ashamed of his momentary weak-
ness. 'I'm ready when you are.'
N~ot Afline, bul His.
' Is it Wilfrid ?'
'Messengers have been sent to Herondale and Sea-
croft to announce the safety of those expected there;
and my carriage will be here soon; it will wait for me
at the Falcon. I must just see a little patient first
who is waiting for me at the cottage. I trust it may
not be a very bad case.'
'From this accident ?'
'Yes, poor little fellow !'
'A child ?'
'Yes, a little boy, a first class-passenger--a gentleman's
son, I should say; but I only just had a glimpse of him.
He seemed to be alone, too; the compartment was empty
save for this boy.'
'How is he injured ?'
'I can scarcely say yet, until I have seen him again,'
said the cheery doctor, as he glanced up at the tall, thin-
faced curate, whose pace was beginning to flag as they
neared the cottage.
I'm right glad you've come, sir,' said Martin, as the
doctor unlatched the little gate, and, followed by his
companion, went up the fragrant old-fashioned garden,
with its mingled perfume of flowers, fruit, and herbs.
'I hope I've not kept you waiting too long ?'
'No, sir, oh no! But the little boy mentioned the
place that you come from just now, and I thought
perhaps'you might know something about him. He's been
fretting sore for some one to come to him, and he says he's
been very naughty, but he wants to be good now. We took
him upstairs into Robin's room; he's on the bed there.'
ol mil/zze, but/ I1s.
Together Martin and the doctor ascended the narrow
wooden stairs, leading through a door in the wall to the
little low-roofed room above.
The boy was lying outside the patchwork quilt. The
black velvet suit showed up the white face and thick
fair hair to advantage, as he lay in that darkened room.
Dr. West bent over him; but there was no recognition
on either side, much to Martin's disappointment.
'Where is the pain, my boy ?' and the doctor passed
his hand over the straight, black-stockinged legs as he
'It's nearly all gone,' was the reply; and the legs
were drawn up in a most satisfactory manner, showing
at once that no bones were broken.
'That's all right !'
'I want Winnie, and oh I do want daddy!' These
words were accompanied by a violent burst of tears.
Martin and the doctor looked at each other.
'Do you say he mentioned Seacroft ?'
'Yes, sir; a while ago he did.'
Dr. West went out on to the stairs, and called,
The curate, who, with Mrs. Martin's assistance, and a
basin of warm water and a sponge, had been making
himself more presentable, wiped his hands hastily on
the towel, and went upstairs, feeling very much as if he
had two heads on his shoulders instead of one just
'Do you know this little man ? He comes from
'Is ii Wilfrid '
Seacroft, so Martin seems to say,' said Dr. West to
Frank, as he stooped down over the low bed.
He pushed back the soft fair hair from the broad
forehead tenderly, and whispered, in a low tone,--
'Is it Wilfrid ? '
The effect of his words was somewhat startling, and
particularly uncomfortable to poor Frank, for in a
moment of excitement at being recognized he seized
him round the head, exclaiming wildly,-
Take me to Winnie Take me to Winnie !'
Frank Thornton released himself from the boy's
painful embrace, and, holding the little hands firmly
down, he promised to take him back to Seacroft, if he
would lie still until the carriage came.
'It's Miss Cameron's nephew,' he explained to Dr.
West, after a moment's silence.
How did he come to be alone in that train ?'
'That I can't say.'
'He seems inclined to sleep now; that's well. I'll
question him when he wakes; he'll be calmer then, poor
child! Let us get down into the air; it's very hot up
'Where's the young lady who was travelling with
you ?' said Frank, as they went down the narrow dark
'Where is she ? Bless her!' exclaimed the doctor,
with unwonted enthusiasm. 'She's in good hands, I
can assure you; but I'd hard work to get her away from
the sufferers and make her attend to herself. That
Not Mine, lid I/is.
girl's nerve is something wonderful. Any other woman
would have fainted right off at the mere sight of the
poor creature she's been watching over like an angel
for the last hour, till death came and put an end to her
sufferings. The words she spoke as she knelt beside
her will dwell in my memory for many a long day.
If ever a soul was carried to heaven on the wings of
prayer, that one was.'
At that moment a dog-cart dashed up to the gate of
Martin's cottage, and David Thornton sprang to the
ground almost before the horse-whose steaming sides
were heaving between the shafts, at the pace it had
been driven from Seacroft-had come to a standstill.
Sultan was used to standing alone, and, after
turning his beautiful head to look after his master as
he went up the garden, he planted his fore feet firmly
on to the ground, contented to wait quietly and
patiently as long as David chose to keep him.
But he did not have to wait long; for very soon, after
he had had some slight refreshment from the hands of
Martin, two men came out of the cottage, and, without
a word or a pat to Sultan, showing how much per-
turbed their minds must have been, got into the
dog-cart, and in silence drove off in the direction of
LEFT TO THEMSELVES.
HE day preceding the accident to the Heron-
dale train, there had been a great commotion
in the schoolroom at Seacroft M i'r,.
The unexpected and most unwelcome announcement,
that a resident governess from London was coming
the following day to take charge of them roused in the
hearts of the little Camerons, first, a feeling of terrible
fear, when they thought of the punishments in store
for them, for they knew they were very far behind
other children of their age in learning; secondly, a
feeling of sickening despair, as they considered the
utter impossibility of escape. But towards evening
despair ripened into rebellion in Wilfrid's case, and he
determined to leave Seacroft Manor at any cost, before
the dreaded morrow arrived.
He would not even confide his secret to Winifred.
No; she was a girl, and could not 'rough it' as he could
-at least, so daddy always said; she'was better at home.
40 Not i -'.., bul His.
He would go to London, and then offer himself to some
ship's captain as cabin-boy, or anything they liked to
make him, but submit to a governess he would not.
They had been left pretty much to themselves the
last two months, and were in consequence growing
more and more unmanageable every day.
Their aunt scarcely ever saw them, and they were
always quiet enough when she did, her very presence
awing them into decorous silence.
Martha did her best with them, and gave them some
of the love for which their little orphaned hearts were
A great part of their time was passed in the com-
pany of the servants, and Wilfrid had of late formed a
strong attachment to Thomas, the footman, and went
about with him among people and into places he would
have been far better away from.
Miss Cameron loved her own ease far too much to
allow of its being disturbed by this new and most
Winnie was alone in the schoolroom on the afternoon
of that eventful day. It was very hot indoors, though
the high narrow windows were wide open, and the
pink June roses peeped in from outside, and laid their
sweet, cool faces against the dark oak frames, as though
anxious to do their best to enliven the gloomy-looking
room, and win a smile from the equally gloomy-looking
little girl, who was lolling half over the big table,
sucking her thumb, and fretfully placing and replacing
Left to Tkemselves.
the pieces of a highly-coloured puzzle picture of
'Robinson Crusoe meeting his man Friday.'
'I don't believe Robinson Crusoe ever had a governess,'
she muttered. 'I wish I'd lived on that island with
him; I'm sure he was never bothered about lessons, and
he didn't have a horrid aunt. I wonder where Freddy
is! Perhaps he's gone out; he might have told me
where he was going. I'll go and ask Martha if she
knows where he's gone; it's nearly tea-time, and he
ought to be in;' and so saying, Winnie got down from
her chair and went out of the room.
Martha was standing just outside, in the passage
leading to the armoury, deep in conversation with
'Ill news flies apace,' and already two or three
different accounts of the railway accident had reached
Seacroft; and Thomas, who had been over to Herondale
to get one of the horses shod that afternoon, had heard
the latest account from Dr. West's coachman, and was
now acquainting Martha with the astounding fact that
Master Wilfrid had been found in the train that left
Herondale for London at 3.40, and which came into
collision with the one from London, and was now with
the new governess, from whom he had been trying to
escape, safely lodged at Dr. West's house in the High
'Bless the boy! he might have been killed, and I
might have lost my little Master Freddy !' exclaimed
Martha, in a tone of such real distress that Winnie, who
oiol kline, Atu Hi/s.
at that moment came out of the schoolroom, stopped
still for a moment with her hand on the door handle,
and an instinctive dread at her heart that something
dreadful had happened to her darling brother.
The news had even penetrated into Miss Cameron's
sacred domain, and she was not a little disturbed, as
she walked with stately dignity along the polished
slippery floor of the armoury on her way to the school-
room, to ascertain the reason of her nephew's flight from
the Manor that afternoon.
Her face was paler and sterner than ever as she
came upon that little group in the passage.
'It's all her doing! it is! and I'll write and tell
daddy!' Winnie was exclaiming excitedly, as, with white
face, and eyes full of passionate hate, she clung to
Martha, who was vainly trying to quiet and soothe her,
assisted by Thomas's vociferations of 'He's not hurt,
Miss Winnie, only frightened; not injured at all, except
a bruise or two, the doctor says, and he knows.'
'I don't care! He might have been killed, and it's
all her who's done it!' she cried, shockingly regardless
of grammar, which was perhaps excusable under the
circumstances, but served to show the need of the
governess, the very idea of whom had caused such sad
havoc in those two little neglected hearts.
'Of whom are you speaking, Winifrid ?'
These words were spoken in a tone that demanded an
answer, and Winnie was ready to answer it, in her pain
and passion, had not Martha caught her in her arms
Left to Themselves.
and hurried her into the schoolroom, and there silenced
her with kind and comforting words.
Meanwhile Miss Cameron, having listened to a some-
what lengthy description of the accident from Thomas,
went back to her own room, stooping once or twice on
the way to pick up a stray thread or leaf from the floor
as she passed along.
As the time went on, Winnie grew more and more
restless, and, being again left alone, she made up her
mind to go out, without asking leave of any one. She
longed to get away from the house, out upon the hills,
in the fields, away among her favourite wild-flowers,
,~ ,-.11.:-. away from Aunt Dorcas and the gloomy
Oh, how sorely she yearned for sympathy Her little
heart ached with the longing for some one into whose
ear she could whisper her trouble, and whose heart
would bear some of the burden of that terrible sorrow
which well-nigh overwhelmed her in its intensity.
'Freddy might have been killed !'
Truly, Martha had given her full sympathy in her
trouble; but M h-li''s sympathy, so ready, but at the
same time so very outspoken and demonstrative, was
not exactly what she needed. It was, in a measure,
comforting; but the more sensitive and refined nature
of the little daughter of Douglas Cameron needed some-
thing different from this.
Once outside the house, Winnie ran off in the direction
of the black windmill on Windwhistle Hill.
Not Mine, but His.
It was nearly always breezy up there, and the huge
sails whirled round and round, the canvas every now
and then flapping like the wings of some great bird as
they caught the wind. Winnie loved to watch the
mill at work, and she stood now, leaning against the
wooden gate-post, breathing heavily after her run up
the hill, her eyes fixed upon the great black shadows
that kept flying past her feet on the grass below, and
listening intently to the whirring, flapping sounds the
creaking sails were making.
It had been a glorious week of sunshine, and the
hearts of the farmers rejoiced as they looked upon their
hay-fields and saw every prospect of a splendid crop.
The 'swishing' sound of the scythe could already be
heard in some places, and Winnie's little heart ached as
she heard it, for she knew her bright, beautiful poppies
and great ox-eyed daisies would all be gone by to-morrow
She could hear the voices of the haymakers borne on
the breeze as she stood there that cloudless June after-
noon, and she knew they were in her field down by the
'If Freddy were here, we could go down to the field
and save some of the flowers,' she said to herself at
length, 'but I don't care to go alone. When will Freddy
come back ?' she continued, speaking aloud, apparently
addressing an old hen which at that moment flew up
on to the low stone wall near which she was standing,
cackling loudly, and fluttering her wings in evident
I eft to Themselves.
excitement and dismay at the sight of the miller's tabby
cat, who just then passed quietly through the gate and
out on to the white chalky path beyond, utterly uncon-
scious of the commotion he had caused in the mind of
the poor timid hen.
'How you startled me, you silly old thing!' exclaimed
the child, as she tried to soothe it by attempting to
stroke its ruffled feathers ; but it resented her appearance
as much as the cat's, and flew away again, nearly dis-
tracted, running back to its companions across the
garden with wide strides, uttering loud cries of distress.
Winnie laughed in spite of herself as she watched it
'I wish I were a hen; it must be so nice to live out
of doors all day, and have those dear little downy "puffs"
of chickens for one's very own, and no lessons to learn,
and no cross aunts. I suppose hens never have aunts.
I wish little girls didn't-at least, not aunts like Aunt
Dorcas. I wonder if she'll ever get any nicer No, I
don't think she could possibly ever be nice. It's all her
fault that Freddy was nearly killed, and I don't believe
she cares a bit; she's not a nice aunt, and never will be,
THE FIRST NIGHT AT SEACROFT.
T was half-past five when Winnie returned
from her walk to the mill. She felt hot, tired,
and dejected, as once again she turned the
handle of the schoolroom door.
What a change had come over that room since she
left it, more than two hours ago I
She started and backed, thinking she must have mis-
taken the house somehow, and yet that would have been
impossible, for there was no house within three miles of
Seacroft Manor. What could have happened?
A white cloth was spread over the usually bare-
looking table, a bowl of sweet wild roses and honey-
suckle stood in the centre, while a steaming urn was
boiling and bubbling at one end, keeping guard over
a bright silver tea-pot, in front of which were arranged
three pretty pale blue and gold cups and saucers.
Where were the two brown mugs full of milk, and the
two plates of thick bread and butter, that were always
ready at half-past five for the children's tea '?
The First Night at Seacroft.
'Come in, dear,' said a sweet, gentle voice, as Winnie
'Who are you ?' she asked, almost in a whisper,
advancing slowly, with a wondering look in her clear,
'I am Mary Morice, your new governess,' replied the
girl, with a smile; 'and you are Winnie, Freddy's sister,
I know;' and with these words she drew the child
towards her by both hands and was going to kiss her,
but Winnie suddenly jerked her head on one side, and
She could not be disloyal to Freddy, and he had said
he should 'hate the new governess,' and Winnie meant
to hate her too.
Poor Mary this was a most unexpected conclusion to
all the bright ideas she had fostered concerning her little
girl pupil; the boy had turned from her just in the
same way on learning who and what she was, but she
was not prepared for it in his sister.
Letting the child's hands drop from her grasp, she
turned away, apparently to fix up a piece of trailing ivy
that was hanging too far over the window-frame inside,
but in reality to give herself time to still the quivering
of her lips, and swallow down the tears that were all
too ready to flow.
'It is foolish of me to feel it so !' she said to herself.
'They do not know any better. I shall win them in time;
but I must not give way like this at the beginning;' and,
turning round with a bright smile on her face once more,
Not MAine, but His.
she said to Winnie, who was leaning against the piano,
swinging her hat backwards and forwards by the elastic,
and looking very cross and uncomfortable altogether,-
Are you not ready for your tea, dear ?' and with
these words she sat down to the table, and began to fill
the cups before her.
The child tossed her hat on to the sofa, and sauntered
up to the tea-table, seating herself half sideways on the
chair in a very aggravating sort of manner.
Draw your chair in properly, Winnie dear, and take
your cup before you.'
Winnie did both these things with a very bad grace;
but she utterly refused to eat or drink anything, much
to the young governess's consternation, and the little
appetite she had herself entirely left her as thoughts of
the dear, happy home she had left but the day before
came rushing into her mind. The dear, widowed mother,
whose right hand she had ever been during her father's
lifetime, until the sad day came, soon after the good
doctor's funeral, when the old home had to be broken
up and a new one made; but as Conway, the schoolboy
brother, said, 'It's the family that makes the home, not
the house ;' and so it proved, for the new suburban villa
soon became 'home' to the Morices, and many happy
hours had been passed within its stuccoed walls during
the year they had lived there.
Poor Mary she could picture the home tea-table as
she sat in that gloomy schoolroom with her disagreeable
little pupil, the first evening of her arrival.
The First Night al Seacroft.
Mother-that tender, loving mother-would be at
the head of the table, with Marjory, the six years old
baby, at her side; Miriam cutting bread and butter, in
her place, for the three boys, Conway, Sidney, and
Courtney, who went to the City of London School;
Rough, the Scotch terrier, the pet and plaything of the
household, would be begging round the table for his
accustomed scraps, and he would miss her contribution,
'the crusts off mother's toast;' and they would all be
talking of her, the absent one, so far away from them
all for the first time.
But she knew she must not give way to such thoughts
as these. She needed strength and determination to
carry out the work she had undertaken, and being a
girl of great firmness and decision of character, and
capable of self-control to a degree almost incomprehen-
sible to those who knew her simple, tender, loving
disposition, she at once turned her thoughts from the
bright past to the apparently dark future, determined-
in the strength of One who has said, 'I will never
leave thee nor forsake thee'-to go forward bravely,
giving up 'self' for the sake of others.
'Self' was the god of Seacroft Manor, set up on a
high altar, and worshipped daily-nay, hourly. How
was this terrible, peace-destroying idol to be dethroned ?
There was a great work to be done at the Manor.
The young governess knew not the roughness of the
path over which she was to go, when she entered upon
her duties there that sunny day in June.
50 Not Mine, but His.
'Are you not anxious to know how your brother
Freddy is ?' asked Mary at length, by way of breaking
Winnie raised her eyes slowly from the pin she was
running in and out of the table-cloth at this question,
and fixed them solemnly upon the sweet, refined face of
her new and hated governess.
He ran away from her, and might have been killed,'
she thought to herself, and an ugly frown creased the
broad white forehead and knitted the dark brows
Dr. West is going to bring him home to-morrow.'
'Martha says he might have been killed!'
'So he might, dear. He had a most providential
escape, as indeed all had who escaped at all; many more
might have been killed had the collision happened a
little lower down the line, near the embankment.'
He ran away because you were coming.'
'So I heard, Winnie; and do you wish to run away
from me too ?'
Winnie vouchsafed no reply to this question. The
new governess, whose advent she had so dreaded, was
not exactly what she had expected; she was not a bit
like Aunt Dorcas, and her voice was almost as sweet as
her face, not the least sharp or ci:iiu iiJI. and she
seemed to want Winnie to talk to her, and sit near her,
and have her tea with her, as she used to do with her
own dear mother.
'Do I wish to run away from her ?' She asked
The First Nzght at Seacroft.
herself the question, but could not answer it just
Tea was over at length; a dreary half-hour had been
spent over it, and Mary was very glad when the door
opened, and Martha appeared in response to her some-
what timid ring.
She was a tall, angular woman, not unlike her
mistress in straightness of figure; her features were
sharp, and her manners rather abrupt, but there was a
kind glimmer in the light-blue eyes, and pleasant curves
here and there about the large good-tempered mouth.
She was an excellent judge of character, and very rarely
made a mistake in those she considered worthy of her
attachment and respect.
'It strikes me you haven't done justice to the tea-
either of you,' she said, casting her eyes over the table
as she spoke. 'Perhaps you didn't ring for me to take
Yes, I did-please,' Mary replied, glancing up at the
old servant with a smile.
I'll see that you have something nice to-morrow.'
'Oh, thank you; I'm sure it was-all very nice. I quite
enjoyed my cup of tea, and feel much refreshed after it.'
'Then Miss Winnie's been worrying you, I know;'
and Martha fixed her eyes upon Winnie as she spoke,
until the conscious colour rose in the child's face, and
the little head drooped.
'She is tired, I think, and anxious about her brother;
she will be brighter to-morrow,' said the young gover-
Not Mine, but His.
ness, as she stroked the closely cut golden-brown hair
A measured step advancing along the armoury caused
them all to move.
'You'd better come along with me, Miss Winnie;
your aunt's coming, and she isn't best pleased with you
just now, after the way you spoke to her about the
Martha loved to speak of Wilfrid as 'the little
master;' it reminded her of the days when Douglas was
master at the manor house; but Miss Cameron could
not bear to hear the boy spoken of in that way,
and had so severely reprimanded the old servant for
so doing, that Martha had been very careful ever
As Martha, with Winnie clinging to her apron, went
out of the room, Miss Cameron came in. Mary moved
round from the table, and at once offered her a chair,
which, with a stately inclination of the head, Miss
'You have not been out before as governess, I under-
stand ?' she said, adjusting her gold eyeglasses with her
shapely white fingers, and glancing through them at the
pretty, lady-like girl opposite her.
'No; I have never had occasion to leave home
'Your father was a doctor, I believe ?'
'I think you said he died last year ?'
The First Nzgit at Seacroft.
'Was he ill long?'
'No; only ten days.'
'Fever, I suppose ?'
Miss Cameron started nervously, and immediately
coughed, to make sure that her own throat was
not sore, at the same time backing her chair, as
though she feared infection from the girl who stood near
'Have you many brothers and sisters ?'
I have five brothers and two sisters.'
'Indeed! quite a large family. Are you the eldest ?'
I've one brother older, that is all.'
'Will he follow your father's profession ?'
'No; he is in the army.'
'Yes ; in India.'
And the others are at school, I suppose ?'
'Three are at school, one at Oxford, and Baby-
Marjory-is taught at home by my sister.'
Miss Cameron arose, having come to the end of her
questioning; she was quite satisfied that 'the governess'
came of a' good family,' and she was rather prepossessed
with the calm dignity of her manner and bearing.
'You have seen your pupils. I am sorry to say the
boy is rather unmanageable, as you will probably have
found out by now. It is strange you should have met
in the way you did, but I trust this will be a lesson to
Not Mine, but His.
him; he will not be in a hurry to run away again. I
am quite unaccustomed to children; my nerves are not
strong. I have lived alone so long, that the slightest
deviation from my regular rules entirely upsets me.
I have been much tried lately, and this last unaccount-
able act of insubordination on the part of my nephew has
completely upset my whole organization.'
It was very rarely that Miss Cameron spoke at such
length, but the events of the past two days, and the
scandal such an event as Miss Cameron's nephew run-
ning away from the manor house would cause among
the inhabitants of such a village as Seacroft, had excited
her-if such a cold, stiff, dignified specimen of dis-
appointed humanity could be excited-into unwonted
'The children will be your charge, and I desire you
to keep them to this side of the house exclusively.'
As the clock in the hall chimed the half-hour, the
gong sounded, and Miss Cameron left the schoolroom,
feeling that she had fully accomplished a very un-
palatable and disagreeable duty as far as her brother's
children were concerned, and that now they were in
a measure off her hands.
She always dined alone in solitary state at half-past
seven, summer and winter, in the big oak wainscoted
dining-room, surrounded by the portraits of deceased
ancestors, and was waited upon by the grandson of
one of the former retainers of the house of Cameron.
Oh, what a long, long evening that was to Mary
The First Nizgh at Seacroft.
Morice! but bed-time came at last, and very gladly
she took her candle and went up the wide, low stairs.
The bedroom assigned to her was at the back of the
house, commanding a splendid view of the rock-bound
coast and the lighthouse on Fog Horn Cliff. She pulled
aside the blind and looked out, being irresistibly drawn
to the window by the sound of the sea.
It was a glorious sight upon which her eyes rested.
The blue sky was studded with stars, looking some-
how much bigger and brighter than ever they did in
London, and she could see distinctly the white line of
phosphorescent foam that rushed up with a sound like
distant thunder, as wave after wave broke upon the
shore; while far out to sea, gleaming over the heaving
surface of the troubled waters, shone the clear, steady
rays from the lighthouse lantern, telling of danger to all
who ventured near that treacherous spot, where sunken
rocks and perilous eddies lured mariners to their
'Oh,' she prayed, 'that I, while I am in this house,
may be enabled, by God's help, to let my light shine
before others, and warn them of soul dangers, even as
that bright lantern casts its light high above the hidden
dangers below, that others seeing its radiance may take
warning in time !'
The market-clock struck eleven before Mary went to
bed. 'Mother mother if I could but kiss you good-
night!' she murmured, as she laid her head down on the
pillow like a tired child, and, in spite of the strangeness
Not Mine, but His.
of the surroundings, soon fell asleep, only to dream of
shipwrecks and dangers and accidents, as the roar of
the sea sounded in her ears.
Altogether, the young governess was not favourably
impressed with her first night at Seacroft.
HALL we go down to the beach after lessons ?'
said Mary Morice to her little pupils, one
fine sunny morning about a fortnight after
her arrival at Seacroft. The rebellious hearts had been
won at last, and already the young governess and the
children were becoming the best of friends. Wilfrid
pronounced her 'jolly,' and meant now to 'stick by her
to the end,' and Winnie, who always agreed with Freddy
in everything he said or did, meant to do as he did, so
Mary had two champions, and no longer felt alone in
the gloomy old mansion.
Winnie finished the line of copy she was doing, and
jumped up from her chair, exclaiming joyously,-
'Oh yes do let's go down to the beach. Are you
coming, Freddy ?'
'No; I'm going to play cricket with the Edgertons
in the vicarage meadow,' was the somewhat important
V01 Aline, Au1 Iis.
'Then I'll take Mog this morning.'
'Mog' was a Dutch doll, with almond-shaped eyes,
a wooden nose cut out of an entirely expressionless face,
a curly black wig, and a florid complexion; not a pretty
or attractive doll, but very dear to its little owner as a
relic of 'home days' and 'mother.'
Mog generally accompanied Winnie in her walks
when Freddy did not, and that morning Winnie had a
little scheme in her head which she longed to carry
Across a broad sandy road,through a wild, uncultivated
field, or common it might be called, covered with gorse
and bracken, down the chalky slope, and they were on
the shore. The wind blew rather strongly right off
the sea, and Mary felt a new life within her as she
stood there at the water's edge, and let the wind play
with her golden-brown hair as it blew it about above
the sweet womanly face, and called up a warm rose tint
into the fair cheeks, thereby adding additional lustre to
the soft dark eyes.
Her laugh rang out as merrily as Winifred's, when
the big waves, breaking with a noise like thunder,
rushed up to their feet with a wild, hissing sound,
dispersing their spray in countless millions of diamond
drops ere they rolled back again, only to meet others,
and return with redoubled strength, each one breaking
further inland than the last.
The noise of wind and sea together quite prevented
them hearing the sound of an approaching footstep, and
' Captain David.'
it was not until a large black retriever dog bounded up
to them that Mary turned her eyes from the fascinating
scene before her.
'Oh, it's Waif !' exclaimed Winnie, 'and Captain
'I hope my dog didn't startle you?' said Captain
Thornton, raising his hat to Mary as he spoke. He is
apt to get rather wild when near the sea; I think he
remembers the time when he was saved from the
wreck, and brought to me, a miserable little half-
Mary smiled, and stroked the great silky black head
that was thrust into her hand, as though the dog were
anxious to make her acquaintance at once. 'He is a
beauty,' she said, raising her eyes to David's face.
'Yes; he's a fine fellow, and as good and true as
he is handsome,' was the hearty response to her
'So you've brought Mog out this morning ?' said
the Captain, turning to Winnie. 'I believe Waif rescued
her from a watery grave not long ago; didn't he,
Winnie?' and he took the unprepossessing-looking doll
from the child's arms, and gazed at its wooden face, as
though much interested in its fate.
'Mr. Thornton tried first, and then sent Waif,' was
Thornton-Frank Thornton-that was the name by
which Dr. West had addressed the sad-looking curate,
Mary remembered, and this was his brother, 'Captain
Nol Mzine, bul His.
David,' whom Winnie and Freddy so often talked about,
and who had known 'daddy' in India.
'Scarcely worth the risk,' said the Captain, with a
tender smile on his handsome bronzed face, as he handed
Mog back to her mistress.
That's our new governess,' indicated Winnie, with
a nod of the head towards Mary.
So I had guessed already-the lady from whose
presence Freddy made such a daring attempt to escape,
and was caught in his own trap-eh, Winnie ?'
Winnie coloured, and looked as though somewhat
ashamed of her brother's behaviour. It was a subject
she always avoided as far as possible, and quickly
turning the conversation in another direction, she
'I've told Miss Morice all about you, Captain David-
how you rode through the enemy's lines with the
wounded officer, and how you got wounded in the arm,
and how you got the Victoria Cross, because you were
so brave, and'-
'Oh, hush, Winnie hush !'
It was the brave soldier's turn to colour now, and he
did, quite as deeply as Winnie had done a few minutes
before, as he laughingly continued,-
'I'm sure all that can be of little or no interest to
'Deeds of heroism can never fail to interest the
women of England, I think,' said Mary, with a smile
of genuine admiration, as she caught sight of the long,
partially-healed scar that crossed the back of the strong,
well-formed hand in transverse lines. Following the
direction of her eyes, he quickly withdrew his hand
from Waif's head, whereon it had been resting.
'That's a mere nothing-no heroic wound, I assure
you, Miss Morice, only a sabre cut. I found it rather
inconvenient at first, and it laid me up for a week or
so with fever; but it was a good time for me. I learnt
a lesson then.'
The undertone of deep feeling in his voice as he said
these words found a responsive echo in the heart of the
girl who stood by him. Winnie, seeing that Captain
Thornton was just then engaging the attention of her
governess, made her way to the wide opening at the
base of the Fog Horn Cliff, and satisfied her curiosity
in some slight degree by creeping inside.
It was forbidden ground, she knew right well, but
that only made it all the more delightful.
The child's absence was not noticed as the moments
'What was that ?' said the Captain, arrested in the
act of throwing a piece of stick into the sea for Waif to
A sea-gull, wasn't it ?'
'No, oh no! that's a human cry-hark!'
A long, shrill scream pierced through the noise
of the rough waves, and was carried away on the
wind, which was blowing stronger and stronger as the
tide came in.
Not ,1.1.,-, but HJis.
For a moment Mary's heart almost stopped beating,
as for the first time she missed her little pupil.
'It's Winnie She is in danger !' she cried, clasping
her hands tightly together, and gazing wildly up and
down the shore.
Another terrified shriek, louder and more prolonged,
broke upon their ears.
'Look! look she is there, she will fall! Save her,
Captain Thornton we must save her 1' exclaimed Mary,
in a tone of agonized terror.
Raising his eyes to the great rugged cliff above where
they were standing, he saw a sight which made his very
blood run cold.
Nearly half-way up the overhanging rock was a little
figure, clearly defined against the white surface. The
little hands were clinging with a death-like grasp to
some tufts of stubborn grass; her feet rested on a narrow
ledge near to an opening in the side of the cliff, and her
head was beginning to droop backwards, as the power to
hold on grew less and less. The gulls flew round and
round with startled cries above where the child hung
suspended over the surging waves, which thundered
with a mighty roar against the base of the great rock.
One hasty glance into the beautiful troubled eyes of
the girl before him, and Captain Thornton ran round
the curve and up the slope towards the lighthouse.
'Hold on, Winnie! look up! hold on!' he shouted
hopefully. 'I'm coming to fetch you!'
He looked up once more ere the corner hid her from
' Captain David.'
his view, and the cry that broke involuntarily from his
lips brought the old lighthouse keeper from his door on
to the path in a state of great consternation, eager to
ascertain what had happened. There was nothing to
mar the glaring white surface of the Fog Horn Cliff any
longer. All was clear and smooth once more. The
clinging figure had gone!
'TOO SHORT BY A FOOT!'
OW came Winnie to be in that perilous
After making sure that no one was watch-
ing, she had ventured into the cavern at the foot of the
great rock, a place against which she and Wilfrid had
been warned by their aunt, the servants, and even by
the lighthouse keeper himself, but being born with a
spirit of adventure, and not at all timid or nervous in
disposition, one of the first places Winnie had set her
heart upon exploring was that forbidden cave.
She was singularly imaginative, and particularly fond
of fairy tales, and she had already peopled this spot with
elves and brownies, and other mysterious little spirits,
and she longed intensely to penetrate their respective
haunts inside the great rock, hanging so ominously above
her, jutting far out to sea, and gleaming in the mid-day
sunshine like a mountain of snow. She wandered on
for some distance over smooth, even sand; the pathway
' Too Short by a Foo /'
was broad and light, and she was delighted as she
looked about and saw various pieces of stone, round and
square, which she took for the goblins' tables and chairs.
By and by, the passage grew narrower and darker, and
she seemed to have left the even ground, and to be
going up hill.
I'll go back now; I've seen enough, and it is getting
cold and dark,' she said to herself; but the subterranean
passage into which she had turned all unknowingly
was not so easy of exit.
On she went, wandering hopelessly. It grew darker
and darker, until at length the little ray of light at the
opening, which had been showing dimly in the distance,
disappeared altogether, and brave little Winnie began
to grow very frightened, and to scream loudly for help.
Suddenly her eyes caught a gleam of daylight some
distance in front of her, and, gathering up her courage,
she crept on cautiously towards it, and to her delight
it became clearer and more distinct as she neared it.
'Yes, yes! it is an opening; I can get out now.
I wonder if Miss Morice has missed me yet !' exclaimed
the child, as she ascended the two rough natural steps
to the open place that looked something like a window
in the side of the damp wall. In another moment she
was through the opening, and outside. A wide ledge
or mountain path ran underneath, and on to this the
child stepped; but what was her surprise to find herself
a tremendous height up above the sea, the noise of
which she could hear below, as though far away.
Not Min e, but His.
'I can't get down from here; I'll go round;' and so
she did, slowly, step by step.
The path grew rougher and narrower, but still she
went on, until the corner was turned, and then-all
hope of escaping that way was cut off. Clutching
wildly at the tufts of stubborn grass which grew out of
the rock, and by which she had guided ;herself so far,
she shrieked loudly, while every moment she felt she
must let go. There was no going back then, and the
poor child's position was one of imminent danger.
Shriek after shriek rent the air, startling the gulls
from their rocky nests above. At length the little torn
and bleeding hands grew numb and cold, the harsh
grass cut through the tender skin, the fingers relaxed
their hold, and Winnie fell senseless on to a projecting
ledge below, where she was caught by the frock on a
rugged crag, and thus hung suspended for some little
time, mercifully preserved from a sudden and awful
'You'll kill yourself, sir, if you venture down there,'
said old Dan Denton, in a voice of alarm. 'Don't do
it, Captain Thornton! don't do it! Wait till the rope
And let the child perish in the meantime ?' replied
David, with a reproving glance at the old man who
stood near him.
'There'll be two lives lost instead of one, if you
attempt to scale that rock without assistance.'
' Too Short by a Foot /'
'I can see the child. Look! she lies there on
yonder ledge; I dare not wait longer !'
'You must not risk your life. Wait! oh, wait,
until they bring the rope!' cried Mary, wringing her
hands together in an agony of contending feelings.
It's coming! It's coming!' shouted old Dan
excitedly, waving his hand and his cap together
wildly, to urge on the boy who had been sent to fetch
the rope from the wheelwright's shed in the village,
and was running as hard as he could with it, coiled
round his shoulders.
Quick quick !' shouted Dan.
'Ay! ay!' was the response from the distance.
Captain Thornton, who during the last few minutes
had not moved his eyes from that little figure hanging
between life and death below, suddenly moved forward,
and, throwing himself down on the ground, he dragged
himself towards the edge, and, putting his legs over,
began to feel about for a foot-hold.
'They are just here with the rope Wait until you
are properly secured !' cried Mary and the lighthouse
keeper in a breath, as his head disappeared below the
level of the long grass that bordered the cliff.
He could just distinguish a line of black figures, as
men and boys crowded together to gaze at the brave
man's descent. 'He'll do it !' cried one; 'he's nearly
down! Ah! he slipped! No! he'sallright! He'sreached
the ledge; the child is saved!'
Hurrah Fling the rope Now-steady, steady !'
Not Mine, bul His.
Mary stood back, scarcely daring to breathe, as a pro-
longed silence fell over that eager, excited crowd.
It was all her fault, she felt it keenly-two lives were
endangered through her thoughtlessness. Winnie had
been placed, in her charge, and she had allowed her to
wander far away. An earnest prayer arose from the
very depths of her troubled heart that the child's life
might be spared.
At a terrible risk to life and limb, David Thornton
reached the edge of rock on which lay the senseless form
of little Winnie Cameron.
It was just wide enough to stand upon with both feet
close together. It was a giddy height to look down
from, and it seemed a terrible height to get up, but once
there he thought little of the ascent, trusting to the rope
to help him.
Stooping down, he caught the child up in one arm,
holding her closely to him. Strong as he was naturally,
he felt that his wounded hand would not hold out very
long after the strain he had brought to bear upon it in
his descent, and he was glad when he saw the thick
rope, with its firmly-tied noose, come swinging through
the air above his head.
He stretched up his arm, but failed to reach it at
first; again he tried, it seemed to be quite in the right
direction, and yet it eluded his grasp. Why did he fail
each time to catch it ? was he growing dizzy ? No; his
head was steady enough, and yet the rope was swinging
' Too Short by a Foot /'
He could hear a confused murmur of voices above,
but could not distinguish any sentence, till at length, as
the wind blew past him in a sudden gust, he heard the
Are you ready ?'
One more effort, by which he nearly overbalanced
himself and the child, who hung heavily upon his arm,
and then, suddenly, the truth dawned upon him as he
looked up almost despairingly.
The rope was too short by a foot!
N hour later. The little crowd had dispersed,
a messenger had been sent up to Seacroft
Manor to explain the cause of the non-
arrival of Mary and her little pupil at the early dinner
hour, and the venturesome child and her brave rescuer
were safely lodged in the lighthouse.
'It was a near touch for you both, sir,' said Dan, as he
watched his wife sponging sundry cuts and bruises on
the little girl's face.
She was lying on Mary's knee, her little pale face
resting against her black dress, and murmuring between
the low sobs that now and then broke from her,-
'I didn't mean to go up there I didn't know it went
up so high.'
Captain Thornton stood with his hand upon the back
of Mary's chair, looking down upon the fair bent head
beneath him. His right arm pained him terribly; but,
in spite of all, he felt that a new era in his life had
opened out during the past two hours, and the dark and
hitherto well-nigh hopeless future, as viewed through the
dimness of sorrow and bereavement, seemed already
illumined once more with the bright star of hope.
After a rest and some slight refreshment, Winnie
suddenly declared herself 'much better, and quite ready
to walk home.' The three accordingly started, and
Waif, buoyantly happy after the restoration of his
beloved master from mid-air to terra firm, bounded
along in front, expressing his delight now and then by
What an adventurous morning that had been! The
hedgerows, with their wealth of flowers, held out their
charms in vain to those three as they passed by, too
deep in thought for conversation. Even the child, as
she walked close to Mary's side, holding her hand in
both her own, was thinking of 'what might have been.'
'I am thankful indeed that I came down to the
beach this morning!' said Captain Thornton, as he
stood with Mary's hand in his left one, before the gates
of Seacroft Manor.
'I cannot thank you as I ought, Captain Thornton;
words are inadequate to express what I feel; you have
saved me from life-long sorrow and remorse, in saving
the child's life, for it was my fault from beginning
'No, no! I can't allow that,' he said, looking down
into the dark eyes for a moment raised to his. 'We
will share the blame together; had I not been talking to
you, Winnie would not have wandered so far away.'
ATol Mine, ntul His.
I'm very, very sorry, Captain David, that I was. so
naughty this morning, and gave you so much trouble,'
said Winnie, coming back from the gate, which she had
been holding open for some time. I only wanted to
find out where the fairies lived. Are you very angry
with me ?'
'Angry with you ? No, my child, I'm not angry
with you,' he replied, looking at the little pleading
face upturned to his with a very reassuring smile; 'but
you must be more careful in future, and keep away
from the fairies' haunts; you might have been killed,
'And so might you!' murmured Mary involuntarily.
'Very probable; if that extra piece of rope had not
been at hand, I fear it would soon have been all up
with me,' he said, trying to laugh; but it was a poor
attempt, for his mind was much impressed with the
events of the last few hours, and he felt altogether upset.
'Won't you come in and rest a little while ?'
'Not now, thank you; I would rather get home.'
'Papa will thank you, oh! so very much, for not
letting me be killed !' said Winnie. He's right away in
Egypt now, but when he comes back he will.'
David stooped and kissed her. 'All right, dear. Now
mind you are a good little girl for the future, and don't
despise the advice of those older than yourself;
'I've lost Mog. Good-bye She's all alone in the
The Beginning. 75
These plaintive words reached his ear as he moved
away from the gate.
'Waif will find her to-morrow!' he called back.
The Heron's Nest, the home of the Thorntons, was a
pretty, low-built house on the borders of the moor,
about a mile and a half from Seacroft. Their only
neighbour was good old Farmer Wyatt, who, with his
worthy wife and excellent daughter Molly, lived close
by, and kept them from feeling too isolated.
Having been deeply attached to his parents, David
Thornton never could bear the thought of giving up the
home of his childhood, where in former years he had
lived so happily with them, and where every spot in
and around the village seemed full of dear and sacred
memories of the past.
The widow of a sergeant who had lost his life in
the Abyssinian war-an honest, faithful, God-fearing
woman-kept house for him, and made him as comfort-
able as it lay in her power to do.
Mrs. Hunter happened to be in the garden gathering
peas when David came in at the side gate. She
glanced up when she heard his step on the gravel, and
a bright smile of welcome illumined her round good-
natured face. She was always glad to see the master.
'Peas for dinner ? That's right, Mrs. Hunter. Give
us a good dishful; Mr. Frank likes them so much.'
'So do you, Mr. David, I know; but it's always for
some one else you're thinking, and never for self.'
David laughed. 'Ah, but I can eat anything, you see,
Not Mine, but His.
and my brother can't; he's more particular, more refined
in his tastes, perhaps I should say.'
'Nonsense !' exclaimed Mrs. Hunter, with more force
than politeness, as she tilted her cotton sun-bonnet
further forward over her eyes, and resumed her work
after a moment's pause. 'He's been pampered, sir;
and, grown gentlemen though you both are, you'll
excuse me saying it, Mr. David, you spoil him.'
Captain Thornton took these remarks from whence
they came, and smilingly asked if his brother was
'Not now, I expect, sir. It's more than half an hour
since he said he was going over to Seacroft.'
'Why, I've just come from there. I didn't meet him.'
'By the Goat's Pass, sir ?'
'No; by the road.'
He sauntered slowly up the sunny garden and into
The principal sitting-room was a pretty room, but
it lacked the tender touches of a woman's hand. All
the arrangements looked stiff and uncompromising.
The heavy bronze ornaments on the mantelpiece wanted
the relief of flower-vases here and there amongst them.
There were pots of geraniums on the broad, low window-
sill, which Mrs. Hunter attended to, and which flourished
heartily all the year round; but it was not her province
to arrange cut flowers tastefully, and as neither David
or Frank could manage it very well, the room was not
often decorated in that way.
The Beginning. 77
'What can have taken Frank over to Seacroft this
morning ?' said David to himself.
He knew that his brother had been over there more
than once during the last fortnight, but he had never
troubled himself about his doings until to-day.
'What does he find so attractive in that special walk ?
it's lonely enough, I'm sure, and '- Suddenly the red
blood mounted to his forehead, and he started up from
the low couch whereon he had thrown himself, and,
forgetting for a moment the pain in his arm, he clasped
his hands together, exclaiming,--
'I see it now, of course!'
WINNIE IN TROUBLE.
T had been a wet morning, and although the
sun had been shining for nearly an hour
since the schoolroom dinner time, Mary
Morice and her little pupils were still indoors. She
had begun to read them a story, and they had begged
her to finish it before they went out.
It was the end of September, and the days began to
get chilly towards evening. The brightly blazing fire
made the dark, old-fashioned room look quite cheerful.
The sweet pink roses still bloomed outside, and thrust
their wet leaves against the now closed windows, and
sprinkled the rain-drops over the glass, as the wind
blew in short gusts among them, scattering the frail
blossoms in showers down on to the courtyard below.
Straight, upright rows of single and double dahlias of
all colours, backed with tall sunflowers, adorned the
narrow borders of the paved yard leading into the
Winnie in Trouble.
As the sun broke through the clouds which still hung
low and dark against the pale blue autumn sky, and
lighted up the glistening wet leaves of the virginia
creeper, whose gold and crimson foliage drooped in
luxuriant masses from the low, red-tiled roofs of the
out-buildings surrounding the court, it made quite a
pretty picture from the schoolroom window. At least
so Mary thought, as she closed the story of how
'kept the bridge
In the brave days of old;'
and went across the room to see whether it was dry
enough for a walk.
'Would you like to go out, children?' she said,
turning to Wilfrid, who was sitting on the rug, reading
over again to himself that part of the story where
Horatius swam so bravely across the Tiber, although
so sorely wounded.
'I should, Miss Morice; and may we go into the
village ? I want to buy something,' said Winnie, jumping
up from her seat at the table, and nearly upsetting all
the beads with which she had been making a necklace
'Well, you must not be long getting ready, for we
shall only just have time to go into the village and
back before tea,' said Mary, stirring the fire and opening
the window before going out of the room.
'No, we won't be a minute; come along, Freddy!'
Not -_:. ,, but His.
and away they went, tearing up the stairs like two
'Hush-h-h dear! oh dear! how you startled me!'
said a voice from the landing above them. 'What is
the matter, tell me? is it one of the horses?' Miss
Cameron did not mean was it one of the horses coming
upstairs; but she was always in constant fear that
something would happen to them, and, having just
ordered the carriage for an hour's drive before dusk,
she was frightened, by the sudden commotion on the
stairs, that something was wrong, and some one was
hastening to tell her.
The children stood still for a moment, and then
literally screamed with laughter at their aunt's
evident alarm at the noise they had made.
Freddy was the first to control himself, for he caught
sight of his aunt's face. 'Rough, rude, unmannerly
children !' she exclaimed, in a tone of icy scorn, as she
looked down upon the bright, handsome boyish face-so
like her brother's at that age-upraised to hers, with a
look of mingled fear and amusement in the clear dark
eyes. Winnie's laugh was very merry and musical,
and very infectious because it was so real, and it was
all Freddy could do to prevent joining in again, as he
watched his aunt's expression of countenance, terribly
severe as it was, and kept pulling his sister's frock,
whispering as he did so,-
'Winnie, do be quiet! Aunt, we're very sorry; we
didn't mean to make so much' noise really, and we
Winnie in Trouble.
didn't know you were in our gallery at all, did we,
Winnie tried to say 'No' audibly; but the question
asked in that frightened tone, 'Tell me, is it one of the
horses ?' was still too much for her gravity, and she
could not answer properly yet.
Freddy heard the carriage wheels grinding over the
gravel as the coachman drove round to the hall door,
and hoped his aunt would soon go, and leave them to
get ready for their walk.
Mary was ready, and waiting for them in the school-
room. She had a few lines to add to a letter she wanted
to post that afternoon, and she did not notice that they
had been so long,- when at length the door was burst
violently open, and Freddy rushed in, in a state of great
'Winnie's not to go out, because she laughed at
Aunt Dorcas, and didn't say she was sorry, and I think
it's a horrid shame !'
The young governess looked up from the envelope
she was directing.
'Where is Winnie? and what do you mean, dear
boy ? I don't understand you.'
He soon explained what had taken place between
their aunt and themselves, and ended by saying, in a
tone of virtuous indignation,-
'I've a great mind not to go out myself. She's a
horrid, nasty thing, to punish Winnie just because she
laughed at her for being such a donkey !'
Not Mine, bul His.
At that moment Winnie came quietly into the room
looking anything but inclined to laugh now, as she sat
herself down in a corner of the sofa, and took Mog
up in her arms, without saying a word. Mary rose and
went over to her, and, taking the little round chin in
her soft warm hand, she raised the troubled, downcast
face, and kissed it tenderly. 'What is it, Winnie ?' she
But Winnie could not answer; her little heart was
full, and she turned her head away.
She had so looked forward to her walk that after-
noon, and now she was not to go. She felt at that
moment that she hated Aunt Dorcas; and she longed,
oh! so sorely, for that dear, loving father, who was
always so ready to take his little girl's part, and who
nursed and kissed and comforted her so when mother
died, and now he was so far away, and she could not
possibly go to him.
'Never mind, dear,' said Wilfrid, as he stood before
her, twisting his Tam o' Shanter hat round and round in
his hand; 'we won't go into the village to-day, will
we, Miss Morice ? only to the post and for a little walk.'
Mary smiled as she listened to Wilfrid's arrange-
ments. She was always so glad to see how well they
agreed, and how ready the brother was to give up to
his sister, and she encouraged him on all occasions.
There was so much selfishness all around that it was
quite cheering to find one who was not selfish, and so she
let him carry out his own arrangements that afternoon.
Winnie in Trouble. 83
This was the first time Miss Cameron had interfered
in any way with the schoolroom since the arrival of the
governess. Mary knew this, and deeming it more
expedient to let this little affair pass over without
comment, she left Winnie at home, and went out with
'NOT YOUR OWN.'
T was Sunday-a dull, grey October Sunday.
The hills were shrouded in mist, and the
sea looked thick and dark.
Miss Cameron, accompanied by the children and their
governess, had been to church as usual that morning,
and was now, at four o'clock in the afternoon, sitting
comfortably by the fire in the large old-fashioned
drawing-room, with her feet on the fender stool, and a
cushion at her back, trying to concentrate her thoughts
on the magazine she held in her hand, partly as a screen
from the brightly blazing fire.
'Ye are not your own '
The words of the text would keep recurring to her
mind most uncomfortably that afternoon. The sermon
had been preached by Captain Thornton's brother, Frank,
who had lately been appointed curate in charge of St.
Mark's, 'the little church in the valley,' as it was always
called, situated just on the outskirts of the village of
Seacroft, and within a short distance of the Manor.
'Not Your Own.'
Not your own !'
The great and solemn truths of those words had been
simply and faithfully put before the congregation that
morning, and had considerably disturbed the hitherto
selfish ease of one who had always looked upon every-
thing she possessed as entirely and exclusively her own;
and what had she heard that morning ?
'Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price.'
Not self-redeemed, not self-sustained; our intellect,
memory, will, affections, time, influence, money, and our
bodies themselves, all belong to God; bought by God's
own Son at what a price! even His own precious
Mary Morice had, almost unknown to herself, made
some little way with Miss Cameron during the few
months she had been at the Manor; her straightforward,
unaffected 'thoroughness' of manner whenever she came
in contact with the stately mistress of the house, had
drawn Miss Cameron's attention, in spite of herself;
and now, as she could neither read nor sleep, a strange
and unaccountable desire came over her to send for the
young governess to come and while away some of the
long, dreary hour that still lay between her and the
early Sunday tea-hour.
One question was uppermost in that lonely woman's
mind just then, 'What have I done to make others
happy in this sad and dreary world? My brother-
I could not make him happy; and my sisters could not
Not Mine, but His.
Dorcas Cameron had closed the doors of her castle
against all the friends of her youth. No callers or
visitors ever disturbed the sombre and dreary tranquillity
of Seacroft Manor. Some pronounced the owner to be
mad, while those who were more kindly disposed would
call her eccentric; but none ventured to penetrate
through the icy reserve that kept each one who tried
to appear friendly so effectually at a distance.
'It is my house, my money, my horses, they want
to know, not me!' she would exclaim to herself, in
bitterness of spirit and angry independence, as she
returned the answer by her footman to each new
caller, no matter what their social standing might be-
Dorcas Cameron was eccentric, mad if you will,
but there was still much good left in that sadly
embittered heart. Even as the leaves and flowers lie
crushed and apparently dead beneath the frozen snow,
only to awake to new life and beauty when the sun's
warm rays disperse the icy covering, so it was with
A warm ray of sunlight had at last made its way
through the dark ivy-covered walls of the old mansion.
Mary Morice was indeed a veritable ray of light shining
across Miss Cameron's dark path, although as yet she
scarcely knew it. She had lived in the dark so long,
that the least light dazzled and pained her, and more
than once she felt tempted to draw back; but as the
glimmer broadened she grew more courageous, and, all
' Not Your Own.'
unknown to herself, she gradually and almost im-
perceptibly advanced towards it.
While Miss Cameron was giving herself up to her
bitter reflections, the door was gently opened.
'Who is it ?' demanded Miss Cameron, in a some-
what timid voice, raising her face from her hands,
startled for a moment out of her habitual calmness of
'I hope I have not disturbed you ?' said the young
governess, as she came into the room.
'No. What do you want?'
'I left one of my books in here when I brought you
the chrysanthemums from Winnie's garden yesterday,'
she replied, in that low, sweet tone at all times so
grateful to Miss Cameron's dulled ears.
Mary took up the book from the table, and was going
towards the door.
'What is your book ?' said Aunt Dorcas.
'It is one of Miss Havergal's.'
Are you going to read it now ?'
'I was going to read one or two pieces to the
'Can you stay here a few minutes and read me
The colour came into the girl's fair face at this
unwonted request from Miss Cameron, and for a
moment she scarcely knew what to answer; then,
No1 lilze, bul His.
closing the half-opened door, she went over to the
'What shall I read ?' she asked, as she stood there
in front of the stern-faced woman, sitting so stiffly
upright in her favourite high-backed oak chair.
'Anything you like.'
'There are some verses here of which the sermon this
morning reminded me-may I read you those ?'
A slight inclination of the stately white head was
the only reply to this question.
And Mary read, as she stood there, with the firelight
shining upon the open page before her, and dancing in
fitful gleams of light among the thick coils of golden-
'Made for Thyself, 0 God!
Made for Thy love, Thy service, Thy delight;
Made to show forth Thy wisdom, grace, and might;
Made for Thy praise, whom veiled archangels laud;
Oh, strange and glorious thought, that we may be
A joy to Thee!
Yet the heart turns away
From this grand destiny of bliss, and deems
'Twas made for its poor self, for passing dreams,
Chasing illusions, melting day by day ;
Till for ourselves we read on this world's best,
"This is not rest!"
Nor can the vain toil cease
Till in the shadowy maze of life we meet
One who can guide our aching, wayward feet
To find Himself, our Way, our Life, our Peace.
In Him the long unrest is soothed and stilled,
Our hearts are filled.
' NoIt Your Own.'
0 rest, so true, so sweet 1
(Would it were shared by all the weary world!)
'Neath shadowing banner of His love unfurled,
We bend to kiss the Master's pierced feet;
Then lean our love upon His loving breast,
And know God's rest.'
A long silence followed the reading, and Mary re-
mained standing where she was, still holding the open
book in her hand. She did not know exactly what to
do; whether Miss Cameron would like her to read
more, or would rather she left her alone.
Dorcas Cameron had been a most attentive listener,
leaning forward in her chair at one time, with tightly
clasped hands and glistening eyes; and the expression
of her countenance as she murmured 'Thank you!'
and gave Mary permission to go, showed how deeply
the beautiful words had impressed her.
'Shall I read to you again some day ?' Mary
ventured to ask before leaving her.
'If you like,' was the somewhat ungracious reply.
For a moment the girl felt wounded by the un-
graciousness of the answer, but the feeling of vexation
quickly died away. The little prayer there and then
sent up to the Father for help to keep under pride and
indignation soon brought the assistance needed, and with
a bright smile she turned to Miss Cameron, exclaiming
'I should like to read to you at any time when you
There was a genuine ring in the tone in which these
Not _'...., but His.
words were uttered that Miss Cameron understood at
'To-morrow, about this time; the same book.'
Yes;' and, looking round, Mary was surprised and
almost startled to see that Dorcas Cameron's dark, stern-
looking eyes were full of softening tears.
II II //
BIE---,-. 1. ----_- ... __~. ._. -
AT THE HERON'S NEST.
NE blustering morning, Mary and her pupils
set out for the Heron's Nest, where they
had been invited to spend the day. It was
a long, cold walk across the moor, but a warm welcome
awaited them on their arrival.
Waif and his master were standing at, the gate to
receive their guests; they did not mind the keen north-
easter any more than the two children, who came bound-
ing across the wide grass-bordered road in the direction
of the house directly they caught sight of Captain
'I'm afraid we are going to have bad weather; those
clouds coming up in the north look like rain. I am
glad you managed to get here in good time,' he said,
taking Mary's hand in his, and holding it somewhat
longer than was absolutely necessary for the customary
greeting. 'Come indoors; you must be half frozen
after that bleak walk.'
Not Minze, but His.
Oh no, indeed; we all enjoyed it thoroughly,' replied
the girl, with an upward glance from her clear dark eyes.
'Which way did you come ?' he asked, removing the
long fur-lined cloak from her shoulders as she unclasped
it in the hall.
She hesitated a moment, and then, with heightened
colour and averted face, answered, 'By the Goat's Pass.'
'By the Goat's Pass!' exclaimed Captain Thornton,
reiterating her words in a tone of genuine surprise.
'What a mad thing to do!' Then, thinking he had
spoken rather hastily, he continued, as he conducted
her across the low, tesselated hall, 'Excuse me for
speaking rather strongly, but you are scarcely aware of
the great risk you have run.'
'I have been that way before, Captain Thornton; and
the children begged so hard to-day that I did not like
'With the wind blowing so strongly it was most
dangerous,' he said reprovingly.
'I did not think of there being any danger. We
managed the path quite easily; there was just a little
difficulty in getting round the Point, but that was all,'
said Mary quietly, as they entered the cosy sitting-room
together. A lady in deep widow's mourning rose from
a low chair by the fire and with outstretched hands
advanced to meet Mary.
'My child, you must be very tired!' she exclaimed,
drawing her up to the great wood fire as she spoke, and
seating her in the low easy-chair she had just vacated.
At t/e Heron's Nest.
'No, indeed I'm not, Mrs. Kenneth; we came the
shortest way, and thoroughly enjoyed our little adven-
ture. Didn't we, Freddy ?' she said laughingly.
'I should think we did; it just was jolly up there.
Old Dan shouted and screamed and waved his hands
like mad when we went round the Point near the Fog
Horn Rock. Didn't he, Winnie?' said the boy excitedly,
throwing himself down on the thick fur rug as he
spoke, and dragging the big tabby cat up on to his knee.
'You won't go back that way, sir,' said Captain
Thornton, joining the little group round the fire; 'I'll
see to that. It's a mercy you weren't all killed.'
His face was so serious that even Freddy dared not
laugh; and a solemn silence of some few minutes'
duration followed his words, broken at length by
Winnie saying, in a soft tone,-
'Oh, Captain David, you do look so cross!'
A general laugh at the little girl's remark quickly
dispersed the clouds from the captain's brow, and he
rose from the table, upon the edge of which he had
been sitting with his hands in his pockets and a
decidedly gloomy look on his usually cheerful face.
'I'm afraid my face is too good an index of my
feelings, for I certainly was feeling very cross just
then,' he said, with a smile; 'but I won't be cross any
longer. Come with me, Winnie, and I'll see if I can
find you some grapes.'
May I come too, Captain David ?' Freddy called
out, as they moved towards the door.
Not M1/. ., but His.
'Yes, my boy, if you like,' was the ready response;
and poor long suffering tabby was very hastily and
unceremoniously restored to her place on the rug, as the
boy jumped up, and quickly followed them from the room.
When they were gone, Mrs. Kenneth drew her chair
nearer to Mary, and took one of the small white hands,
not busy just then with any work, for a wonder,
between her own, remarking as she did so that the
hands were still cold.
But Mary was not thinking of her hands at all; her
thoughts had wandered away to the greenhouse at
the end of the long old wilderness garden. A walk
down those winding grass grown paths, among the
chrysanthemums and asters, would have warmed her
more than any fire, but she had not been invited to
accompany those three, whose merry voices had at
length died away in the distance.
Why had Captain David she had almost in-
voluntarily adopted the children's mode of addressing
their soldier friend-why had he of late left her so
much more to herself, and why had the ascetic-looking
curate called so frequently at Seacroft Manor during
the past few weeks ?
Miss Cameron had, with great condescension, permitted
him to visit her on one or two occasions lately, and on
wishing him good-bye at the end of the allotted twenty
minutes, she had given him to understand that for the
future the doors of the manor house were no longer
closed against him.
At the Heron's Nest.
She knew well enough that his interest in calling did
not lie with herself; but, at the same time, he did show
a genuine interest in her company and conversation,
and he was never inattentive when the governess
happened to be out.
Frank's work for the Master was very real, and he
saw in this strange parishioner of his one who had
strayed from the ninety-and-nine, and who was indeed
'Far off from the gates of gold,'
and he longed sorely to win that wandering soul for his
Once he had been present, undesignedly, at Mary's
'reading.' She had longed to escape, but Miss Cameron
would not let her off, and the words he had listened to
that afternoon rang in his ears long afterwards with a sad
refrain, through the intensity of their meaning to him:-
'The ills we see,-
The mysteries of sorrow deep and long,
The dark enigmas of permitted wrong,-
Have all one key:
This strange, sad world is but our Father's school,
All chance and change His love shall grandly overrule.
How sweet to know
The trials which we cannot comprehend,
Have each their own divinely-purposed end !
He traineth so
For higher learning, ever onward reaching
For fuller knowledge yet, and His own deeper teaching.
What though to-day
Thou canst not trace at all the hidden reason
For His strange dealings through the trial-season,-
Trust and obey.'
Not Minze, bzulz fHis.
'Frank was telling me, dear, that you have given up
an hour of your time each day to read to Miss Cameron.
I believe he came in once just when you were reading,
did he not ?'
'Yes,' said Mary, colouring deeply at the recollection
of that, to her, exceedingly unpleasant afternoon.
'He ought not to have stayed,' said Mrs. Kenneth,
catching the expression on the girl's face as she turned
her head away. 'Poor Frank he never stops to think
what he should do; as a child he was always very
impulsive. You must forgive him, dear, and look upon
his intentions as well meant, but indifferently expressed.'
But Mary did not feel at all inclined to forgive him
that morning, as she sat imprisoned in that dark low-
roofed room at the Heron's Nest alone with Mrs.
Captain David always gave way to his brother, every
one in and around the village knew that. The girl's
fair face grew hot and red once more as this thought
came into her mind, Was he giving way to him now ?
If not, why had the captain's visits to Seacroft almost
ceased during the past month ? why were the flowers
that he had brought left to wither and die unrenewed ?
why was he never down by the sea now to give Waif
his morning swim ? Who could answer these questions
but Frank ?
Certainly, Mary had never in the slightest degree
encouraged the young clergyman's visits to the Manor,
and on more than one occasion she had avoided meeting
Al Mei Heron's AcsL.
him when out walking with her little pupils; and that
very morning she had gladly acceded to the children's
desire to go to Herondale by the Pass, because she
knew that Frank Thornton was going by the road.
'I am so glad to hear that you are making way "
at the Manor, Mary, and that Miss Cameron is beginning
to enter into some sort of companionship with you,'
said Mrs. Kenneth, leaning forward to poke the fire
into a brighter blaze as she spoke. 'Hers has been a
sad life, so entirely lived for self.'
'Yes; what a sad experience such a life must be to
look back upon !'
'Ah! indeed it must; when there is so little that we
can do while here below in the cause of our dear Lord
and Master, it is sad indeed to leave that little undone.
But you are doing a great work already, dear Mary, in
trying by patient forbearance-for I am sure you have
much to contend with at Seacroft-to win back to life
and light, as it were, one who for so many years has
lived apart from all who would have befriended her.'
I can only trust that my time at Seacroft may be
of comfort to her; she sorely needs companionship of
some kind. I really feel for her in her isolated life, and
I often long to do something more to show her that I
do feel for her in her trouble. But she seems to know
by instinct when I feel sympathetic, and that icy
barrier of reserve rises up at once, and she dismisses me,
not always ceremoniously. Oh, I wish you would come
and see her, Mrs. Kenneth!' exclaimed the girl