Citation
Courage

Material Information

Title:
Courage
Creator:
Thorn, Ismay
Browne, Gordon, 1858-1932 ( Illustrator )
Wells Gardner, Darton & Co ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Wells Gardner, Darton & Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
223 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Grandfathers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Cousins -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children and death -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Country life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Truthfulness and falsehood -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Wills -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Courage -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1899
Genre:
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication from t.p. verso.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ismay Thorn ; Illustrations by Gordon Browne.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026986802 ( ALEPH )
ALH9021 ( NOTIS )
265031622 ( OCLC )

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Full Text


‘ | W Ne)











“There he is,” said Duke suddenly ; “ don’t be afraid Cicely.” —Page ‘81.



COURAGE

BY
ISMAY THORN,
AUTHOR OF
“QUITE. UNEXPECTED,” “A GOLDEN AGE,” “PINAFORE DAYS,”

“GEOFF AND JIM,” ETC,

ILLUSTRATIONS BY GORDON BROWNE, R.I.

LONDON:
WELLS GARDNER, DARTON & CO.
3, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E.C.
AND 44, VICTORIA STREET, S.w.






CONTENTS.



CHAP. PAGE
I. SHADOWS : S 7 ; A ° ° ° ° 7

II, LOOKING BACK h ; : 2 S ' ee II
III. CHANGES : , 2 . 5 4 f 2 eeee1O

IV. NOT EXPECTED j ; : Siete eee 23
V. VERY STRANGE 3 : ; 5 3 : . see 0.
VI, IN THE SCHOOLROOM . : : : eae ee s5

VII. SPICK AND SPAN. : : : ; es BAO

VII, ANOTHER GRANDFATHER : : : ; : «40
IX. CONFIRMATION STRONG . 4 : 2 : : ae s3
qlee THEMBOVS yet anny pee Se ae eae cS
XI. A FRIGHT AND A FROCK ; : : ; : . 64

XIl,. DUKE’S WAY . : 5 . 5 é : ‘ 72

XII, ANDREW'S WAY .-. . ; : ; : A . 80

XIV. DUKE KEEPS SILENCE . , : : a : Seo
XV. SUGGESTIONS . : 5 ; ; : F : » 94

XVI, A BLOCK FOR CICELY , 3 : ; : : » 102

XVII. SOME OF JANE’S OPINIONS . . . . . « I07
SSVI. A COUNTER-PLOT . . . . . ° . » %II4
XIX. WANTED, INFORMATION ° . . ° . « 122

RSG VACESTOSRACE unis et hie eo a ea ey 27
RNIN SOME XXII. MRS. DUNCAN EXPLAINS Ree nha eee ater AA
XXIII, DUKE IN DIFFICULTIES oie eee ce ToT



Vi. CONTENTS.

CHAP. is : PACE
XXIV. FROM BAD TO WORSE .° .o : ‘ f + «+ 159

XXV. AT LAST ‘: 5 : f a ‘ 6 di . 467
XXVI. JUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED 0 : - 179
XXVII, TEMPER AND GUNPOWDER . : : A . . 189

XXVIII], “IN ALL TIME OF OUR TRIBULATION”. . «© I99
@ XXIV. ACLEARER VIEW. 6 5 1 te ww 209
~-XXV, IN-THE END. 6-0 ep ee 2S

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
“«There he is, said Duke suddenly”, . . .. Frontispiece

“Jane repeated to Cicely all the information” . a _ ests

“In rushed five breathless and excited children” . ; neni 27,
“Tt amused Lena to see her cousin’s alarm” . : 8 = xe)
“Cicely, in her fear, made a sudden pause”. : — & 68
“She had to find every tool” . 7 F 2 ; : 2 73
“But what became of the heiress?” . a : : : etl
& Hullo ! who is this?” . 5 eee : . 129
a Oh, Uncle Herbert, do tell me how he i Sy eae : Cage ESO
“You shall not hurt it” , . 0 6 . 3 : se LS,
“ Duke seized her roughly” ; a : 5 ee 163
“Cicely thrust the envelope into the’ fire” . 5 3 » 173

" “Duke picked up the envelope Gicelyi ht had Hee re : . 187
“¢Come at once,’ he shouted” . ; ; . : 6 « IQI
“ Are you tired of holding my hand ?” . ea ie eet een 203
“Pick and ’Pan will tell you somefin” . j : : + 221







COURAGE.

ee

CHAPTER 1.
SHADOWS.

“ARE you tired, Grandpapa ?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Does your head ache ?”

“Yes, dear. Iam not well to-day.”

There was a moment’s silence; then Cicely asked

softly, “Can I do anything for you, Grandpapa ?”’

' “Nothing, thank you, darling, unless——Cicely, do
you think you could write a letter from my dictation ?”

“Oh, yes! I'll write it very neatly.”

“Then sit down, and tell me when you are ready.”

A little rustling and turning over of paper and envelopes
at the writing-table followed; then Cicely said, “I’m
quite ready now, Grandpapa.”

“Good! Have you written the date ?”

“No, Grandpapa.”

“Then write it at once at the top of the page. Put the
day of the month and the year. Don’t grow up into one
of those provoking people who write ‘Wednesday,’ or

i





8 COURAGE.



‘Saturday,’ as if there were not fifty-two Wednesdays and
Saturdays in a year. Have you written it?”

“Yes, Grandpapa.”

“Then begin: ‘Dear Sir,—May I take the liberty of
asking you to come to meas soon as possible after the
receipt of this. I am not well, so Cicely writes for me.—
Yours truly: ’ And now bring the letter to me.”

With a trembling hand, the old gentleman traced the
letters of his name, and Cicely watched as the “George
Lorton” was completed and the paper folded for the
envelope.

“That isn’t much like your writing, Grandpapa,” said
Cicely, looking doubtfully at the signature.

“No, dear, but it does not matter. Now address the
envelope to ‘Herbert Duncan, Esq., The Maples, Fox-
leigh.’ ”

“Oh! is that my Uncle Herbert?” asked Cicely,
looking up ; “then I shall see him at last !” .

Mr. Lorton glanced across at his grand-daughter, and
nodding his head sadly (so Cicely fancied) echoed het
words,

“Yes, you will see him at last. And now, my sweet,
run away. You can do nothing more for me, except
leave me to sleep.” .

“T hope you will be better when you have slept,” said
Cicely lovingly, as she gazed into the pale, handsome old
face.. “Dear Grandpapa, you look as if your headache
was a very bad one ; is it ?”

Mr. Lorton’s only answer was a smile as he held out
his hand and dismissed her with a most loving kiss, which





SHADOWS. 9

Cicely returned with interest in her favourite spot, the top
of his head, where the hair grew fine and thin.

Then leaving him to sleep, she softly closed the library
door, and went up the high London staircase to her play-
room.

It was Wednesday, and a half-holiday, so Miss Mason,
the daily governess, was not there; only Jane, Cicely’s
maid, was stitching away at a new cotton frock.

“Come back already, Miss Cicely ?” she said, looking
up; “why, I thought I shouldn’t see you for ever so
Jong.”

“Grandpapa has a Teche answered Cicely; “a
very bad headache, I’m afraid, for I had. to write a letter
for him—a letter to my Uncle Herbert, asking him to
come here.”

“Lor, Miss, you don’t say so!” exclaimed Jane, who
was (unluckily for Cicely) a vulgar, gossiping woman,
though very fond of the child she had taken care of for
sight years, ever since Cicely came from Jamaica, a little

ot of three. “ You don’t say so, Miss—dear me !”

“JT wonder when he will come,” said Cicely, gravely
“and why Grandpapa sent for him. He isn’t a doctor,
you know, Jane, so it can’t be because of his headache. J]
wonder why he’s coming.”

“Well, Miss Cicely,” and then Jane bent her head over
her work and shook it mysteriously, as if she ay knew
very well, but did not like to say.

“Oh ! do tell me what you think, Jane, and don’t go on
shaking your head like that,” exclaimed Cicely impatiently.

But this time, Jane had the sense to keep her thoughts



£0 COURAGE.



to herself and soon turned Cicely’s into another channel,
by saying, “ Don’t you think, Miss Cicely, that you could
persuade your grandpapa to leave his books for a time,
and take a holiday at the seaside? There’s no knowing
the good it would do us. It would be such a blessed
change, and the summer coming on and all, and it would
bring some colour into your cheeks, Miss Cicely, that are
none of the rosiest.” :

All this sounded so delightful, that Cicely sat in the
window forgetting to read her book, while she built the
most enchanting castles in the air, in which she and her
grandfather would live near the sea, and take long walks
on the shore together. Nothing, thought Cicely, could
be more pleasant than to live in the country or near the
sea, and one of the many advantages would be that Miss
Mason could not follow.

Cicely did not love Miss Mason, who was elderly and
grim, and had a way of looking over her spectacles that
was exceedingly embarrassing, and would not allow that
every other day ought to be a holiday. Mr. Lorton
considered Miss Mason very conscientious, but Cicely
called her “horribly fussy, strict, and cross ;” and ‘Jane,
who was inclined to be jealous of the governess, was apt
to side with the pupil. Above Cicely’s castle in the air
was a cloudless sky, as she dreamed of a new life without
Miss Mason, the dark London house exchanged for a
pretty, sunny, country one, and Mr. Lorton’s headaches
banished for ever in the delightful open-air, healthy life
they would lead together.





CHAPTER IL
LOOKING BACK.

WHILE Cicely was castle-building in her room above,
downstairs in the library Mr. Lorton was also dreaming,
but his thoughts were all of the past. He was thinking
of his marriage, rather late in life ; of his wife’s long ill-
ness and early death. Then his thoughts turned to
another Cicely, their only child, who had left her father’s
house to follow the fortunes of Major Duncan in the West
Indies. She had gone in the most hopeful spirit—only
for five years, she said ; it would seem such a little while,
and then she would be home again. It was hard to leave
her father ; but, then, she would break her heart if Alfred
had to go, and she were left behind! So she went away
from her old home and her old father, and five years passed,
but she did not return, First, Major Duncan died of yellow
fever, and when she had nursed him with all the love and
tenderness possible, and nothing more could be done for
him in this world, her own strength gave way. The day
before she would have left for England she was buried
beside her husband, and only baby Cicely returned to the
old man who had been waiting so patiently. .

A wild little three-year old creature she was, who hid her
II



12 COURAGE.



face and screamed at strangers around her, calling piteously
for “Mother” and “Juno,” her old black nurse, and
refusing to be comforted. She would go to no one, and,
when put down, rushed into a corner like a little savage
thing, where she fell asleep at last, worn out by terror,
rage, and weeping.

When she awoke she was being gently rocked in some
one’s arms, and all the strange, dreadful faces (that had
terrified the child by looking at her so sadly and pitifully)
were gone.

“Are you my father?” whispered Cicely, for the room
was dark, and the arm seemed kind and strong.

“No,” answered a loving, gentle voice; “but I am your
dear mother’s father, and I love you very much, and want
you to love me.”

Then Cicely had put her arms round his neck and
kissed him “all heart,” as she used to call it. From that
tinie the one person in the world for Cicely has been her
grandfather, and she was the treasure he loved best on
earth. She had always lived with him, been his companion
for hours in the dingy old library, and her childish chatter
had never seemed to disturb him. A very solitary. life
these two had led, for though Cicely knew she had other
relations, she had never seen them.

Jane knew something of the Duncan family, for her
home was not far from Foxleigh, so she had picked up
and repeated to Cicely all the information she had been
able to gather about them.

Major Duncan—so ran the tale—while he was only a
young captain, had refused to obey his father in marrying



es





























‘Jane repeated to Cicely all the information.”—Page 12.







LOOKING BACK. Is



a lady who was a near neighbour and an heiress. His
father had been angry, and Alfred Duncan had left home,
to which, for some unknown reason, he never returned.
Then Mr. Herbert Duncan married, and, after a time, old
Mr. Duncan came to live with his son and daughter-in-law
at the Maples.

Mr. Herbert Duncan had several fice but though
Cicely would have liked to know their names, ages, and
habits, Jane’s information could not get beyond the fact
that there was a number of them of all ages.

Cicely went down again into the library on the day she
had written to her Uncle Herbert, and sat with her grand-
father for some time, holding his hand in hers, and wishing
that he were better, and more like his usual bright, happy,
loving self.

He did not complain, however, but he could not talk as
much as usual; only when Cicely looked sad, he smiled,
and told her not to fret: he hoped soon to be better—far
better than he had ever been in his life.

Somewhat comforted, Cicely told him all the plans she
had made, and how she wished they could go into the
country, right away from the London fogs and smoke,
where he could get quite, quite well; and as he listened
very quietly to all she had to say about the delights of the
country, and did not speak one word against the plan,
Cicely went up to bed well satisfied that her grandfather
would think it over, and (as she knew) that generally
meant doing as Cicely wished,



CHAPTER III.
CHANGES.

“Mr. Lorton is at home, sir, but he was taken very ill
in the night, and can’t see any one,” said the man-
servant.

“Mr. Lorton wrote to me yesterday, asking me to come,”
replied the gentleman; “and, unless it is against the
doctor’s-orders, I think he had better be told I am here.”

“What name, sir ?”” asked the servant.

The gentleman gave his card, and was at once shown
into the library, now without its usual occupant.

“Y’m glad you’ve come, sir, if I may make so bold as
to say so,” remarked Robert, as he stirred up the fire,
which a chilly April morning made pleasant. “I don’t
know what will come to Miss Cicely if she goes on as she
do now.”

“How do you mean ?” asked Mr. Duncan.

“She's bin up all night, sitting by his side, holding his
’and, and feeding him like a walked hospital nurse. It
makes a fool of me to see her.” And Robert poked the
the fire vigorously once again.

“And when was he taken ill?” asked Mr. Duncan.

“Last night, sir. He’d bin queer all day, more or less,

and when he went up to bed, ‘Robert,’ says he—he
16



Fn en ee eS

CHANGES. 17



always called me Robert, sir, though my name is Parks,
because I’ve lived in his service since I was a boy—
‘Robert,’ he says, ‘ give me your arm up the stairs, there’s
a good lad,’ he says, ‘for I don’t feel well to-night, and it
isn’t many more times that you may have a chance of
helping your old master,’ he says ; and when he said that,
sir, it seemed to cut me like a knife.”

“But Miss Cicely had gone to bed then, had she not ?”
asked Mr. Duncan, seeing that Robert was determined to
tell the whole story in his own way.

“Yes, sir, she had; and Mr. Lorton, he went to bed
very quiet like, and I went down again. And then, in
about half an hour, his bell rang with a great jerk, anc
brought my very heart into my mouth, and I goes upstairs
quicker than ever I did in my life; and there he was
sat up in bed, moaning and rocking himself, and he says,
‘Doctor, Robert ; doctor at once!’ And I went out
even quicker than I came in, and if I didn’t trip and
stumble just outside Miss Cicely’s own door, and she
heard me, and out ‘she come. ‘Oh, Robert!’ she says,
‘What is it? Is my grandfather ill?’ she says, and then
she just went right into his room. She dressed, and was
with him all the time after that, except when the doctor
was there at first ; but now it seems there’s nothing to be

‘done for him, poor gentleman, and Miss Cicely’s fit to

break her heart about him.”

“Will you find out if I can see Mr. Lorton ?” asked
Mr. Duncan, glancing up at the clock, “and if he is not
able to see me, perhaps Miss Cicely will come down for a

few minutes,”

ae



18 COURAGE.

Robert went away to make enquiries, and Mr. Duncan
walked up and down the room for several minutes ; he
did not hear the door softly open or know that Cicely
was in the room until he turned in his walk and saw her
standing before him..

Poor Cicely! she was very pale, and not looking her
best, for her eyes were red and tired, also’she was feeling
strange and shy; but, as Mr. Duncan looked at her, he
thought, “She has a strong likeness to Alfred,” and he
went forward, took her limp hand, and, stooping, kissed
her on the cheek. . ”

“Poor child!” he said, kindly, “I am sorry that our
acquaintance should begin at such a sad time for you.
How is your grandfather ?”

Cicely could only shake her head.

“No better? I am sorry. You remember the letter
you wrote for him yesterday ?”

“Yes,” answered Cicely. Was she likely to forget ?
she thought, indignantly.

“Your grandfather wished to see me about something
important,” continued Mr. Duncan, “and I should not
like to go away without seeing him if he is well enough,
and the doctor will allow it.”

“He is asleep just now, but the doctor will be here soon,
I think, and then, if you can wait, Uncle Herbert ”

“T can wait as long as you want me, my child,” said
her uncle ; “but now you ought to rest a little instead of
standing there. Suppose I bring this sofa nearer the fire,
so—now don’t you think you could lie down and sleep
for a short time ?”









CHANGES. 19



“Oh, I can’t sleep,” sighed Cicely.

“Then lie down, and let me talk to yon,” said Mr. Duncan,

“T don’t want to lie down.”

“But you want to please me, I hope, and it will please
me to see you resting. That is right. Now, what have
you had to eat to-day ?”

“Oh, I couldn’t eat anything !”

“Ah, that is the way with young and inexperienced
nurses. I shall ring the bell, and tell that man—Albert
—Robert—that you must have something brought to you
here, and you will eat it Cicely, to please me—will you
not, dear ?”

Cicely had never been spoken to in this tone of senile
determination before, and she could only yield, and
wonder why she did not feel more annoyed at being
obliged to give up her own way.

In as short a time as possible Robert brought up a nice
breakfast, and somehow Cicely was surprised to find that
she could eat while her uncle sat by and talked to her.

Then the doctor arrived, and told Cicely to rest, and
after a few words to Mr. Duncan, he went upstairs. Ina
few minutes a message came down that Mr. Lorton wished
to see Mr. Duncan alone, if he would kindly come up,
and Cicely, left by herself, was very soon sound asleep, all
her sorrows and troubles forgotten.

When Cicely awoke she found her uncle standing near
her, and he was looking very grave.

“You have rested, I hope,” he said, as she started up.

“Oh, yes.” How long have I slept? I must go to
Grandpapa at once.”



20 COURAGE:



But her uncle took her hand and kept it in his.

“ “You cannot go now, Cicely,” he said; your grand-
father does not want you. Will ioe stay and talk to me?
1—I have something to tell you.” \

The tone in whch this was said made the child look up
at him in wonder, and for the first time she noticed that he
was pale and sad.

“What is it? Is he worse?” she exclaimed, beginning
to be frightened. “Oh, let me go to him, Uncle Herbert !
He must want me if he is very bad.”

“He does not want you, Cicely ; he does not want any-
thing now, my child. He sent his love, but would not
let us call you, as he said it was better that you should
not be disturbed. He was quite happy and peaceful, and
Dr. Davis and I were with him to the end.”

Cicely hid her face in the sofa-cushion, and cried
bitterly for some time, while her uncle stood by, feeling
that he was too great a stranger to this small niece to offer
her much comfort or consolation just at first.

However, after a time he said, softly, “Cicely, I want
you to be a brave child and listen to me. I told you you
_ grandfather sent you his love; he also sent you a message
It was that he hoped you would do as I wish, and learn
_ to love and obey me and your Aunt Carry, as you loved
and obeyed him, because, you know, Cicely, you belong
to us now.”

There was a somewhat rebellious shake of the golden
head, which Mr. Duncan thought it best not to
notice.

“Will you do what I ask you now, Cicely ?”



Ce

CHANGES. 21



“What is it ?”

“Will you go up to the schoolroom, where you will
find your maid waiting for you? You must not be alone,
and I have many things to see to.”

Cicely looked up, wondering if her father had been like
that, and, as she saw the expression of his kind blue eyes,
she thought he must be very like his dead brother, the
father whom she never could remember.

“J will do what you wish, Uncle Herbert,” she said.

“That is right. I wish your aunt could have come to
you, but that is out of the question. How old are you, |
Cicely ?”

“Eleven,” she answered.

“Lena is thirteen and Mysie ten, so you will come in
between them. I think you will be glad to be with
other little girls, and not have to play alone.”

But, as Cicely was not at all sure of this, she made no
reply.

Cicely remained with Jane for the rest of the day until
dinner-time, when she went down and joined her uncle’
in the dining-room ; but it was a sad meal, and they both
said very little. When, however, Robert had left them
alone, Mr. Duncan suddenly said, “Cicely, I hope you
will not mind my sending you down to the Maples to-
morrow with Jane. It will be better for you to go there
at once, and your aunt will be ready to receive you. There
is nothing for you to wait for here, and I shall come down
as’soon as I can, when all business here has been settled.”

Cicely made no objection; the house had lost its
attraction by her grandfather’s death, and its silence and



22 COURAGE.

darkness were oppressive. At bed-time she said “Good
night” to her uncle very steadily, and declared herself able
and willing to go upstairs alone. Jane came half-way to
receive her, and wondered at the child’s calmness. _

“Poor dear!” she said, kissing her; “it is a trial for you,
Miss Cicely, and you bear it like an angel, I do say. To
think of it all coming so sudden-like! But there’s never
any telling. . Why, it was only a week ago this very evening
that you and him was playing draughts in the library, and
now—well, just think of the difference !” ey

“Dow t, Jane!’ cried Cicely, with almost a scream. “Oh,
don’t, don’t!” -

And Jane no longer wondered at the poor child’s self-
control as she listened with regret to the long, gasping
sobs, that came at intervals, even after Cicely had fallen
asleep.



CHAPTER IV.
NOT EXPECTED.

“WELL, of all the outlandish places!” exclaimed Jane,
as she looked round the dismal little station. “ And to
think of their not sending to meet us! Well, Miss Cicely,
there’s a tumble-down looking cab outside, so we'd better
get into it, unless we mean to stay here all night. Sucha
nasty, rattling concern!” she added, with a glance of
disgust. “It is to be hoped that it will hold together till
we get there. How far is it, cabman ?”

“Where to?” asked the man, gruffly.

“To Mr. Duncan’s, the Maples, Foxleigh,” said Jane,
very loud. “How far is it?”

“Nigh on five miles,” replied the man.

“What a distance! Take care of those boxes, please.
They’re not made of cast iron, nor their contents neither ;
and drive as quick as you can, for I’m just raging for a
cup of tea. Miss Cicely, dear, how do you feel?”

‘IT wish you'd be quiet,” said Cicely, rather crossly, as
they started off in the cab at a good pace..

Jane shrugged her shoulders and looked out of the
window. She had kept up a running commentary on all
they had seen the whole way down in the train, with the
idea that she was keeping up Cicely’s spirits, but in reality

23



24 ‘COURAGE.

it was because she was one of those people who must talk,
whether they have anything worth saying or not. She
could not, therefore, keep silent for long, and soon began
to ramble on as before. Cicely, however, made no replies,
and kept a dignified silence until the house came in sight.
They knew it at once as the cab had been driving some
way up an avenue of fir-trees, and a turn in the road
brought them in view of a pretty old-fashioned country
house.

“Jane,” said Cicely, suddenly, “what do you think Aunt
Carry is like ?”

I’m sure I don’t know, Miss Cicely, but you'll see soon
enough now.”

“T wonder if I shall like her, and my cousins,” said the
- child, looking wistfully at the house that was to be her
future home, as if trying to read her fate in its dark walls.

There was no one to meet them in the hall. The servant
looked rather astonished at the boxes, but said his mistress
was at home, and a few moments later Cicely and Jane
were shown into a large drawing-room.

A tall dark lady rose to greet them on hearing the name
“Miss Duncan” (for Jane was not inclined to forget that
her young lady was the daughter of the elder son). She
gave a start, exclaiming, “Cicely! Oh, my poor child,
how sorry I am! There has been some mistake about
your coming, and I did not expect you till to-morrow.
Your uncle’s telegram came by post this morning, and
said, “Cicely will come to-morrow,” and, as I was busy,
I did not look at the date. Of course he sent it last night.
How unkind you must have thought me not to have met

mI EE ah SO i Fh Tat ne rm a er



NOT EXPECTED. 25



you at the station. Well, you are most welcome, dear.
And this is Jane? Will you take off your hat and jacket,
Cicely, and I will ring for Lucy to show Jane the way to
your rooms. They will be ready in a very short time.”

Mrs. Duncan bent down and looked into Cicely’s face
so kindly that, but for Jane’s presence, the child would
have thrown her arms round her aunt’s neck. Lucy soon
made her appearance, and Jane was placed under her
escort. Then Mrs. Duncan drew a chair near the fire,
lighted the candles on the mantelpiece, and made Cicely
sit down in the warm glow of the fire.

“Tam quite vexed that you should have had sucha poor
welcome, dear,” she said, as Cicely looked up at her ; “for
all the children (except baby) have gone out to tea with
some little friends living near, who are keeping a birthday
to-day, and only baby is at home, because she is too
young to be asked. Even the twins have gone, as a very
great treat.”

Cicely could make no answer, and was too shy to say
that she did not know anything about her cousins, nor
even how many there were. Then tea was brought in,
and Mrs. Duncan poured it out as she asked about the
journey, when they had left. Mr. Duncan, and if he had
sent her any message.

“Only his love,” said Cicely with a smile, and her aunt
exclaimed at once that she was “very like poor Alfred !”

“Did you ‘know papa?” asked Cicely, eagerly; and
Mrs. Duncan was glad to find that she could keep this new
niece happy and interested as rong as she would tell he:
about her father.



26 COURAGE.



‘The time did not seem long, and Cicely was almost
sorry when she heard merry voices outside, and in rushed
five breathless and excited children, each longing to be the
one to tell mother everything about the party.

The sight of a strange little girl in deep mourning sitting
with their mother was somewhat disconcerting at first ;
but after shaking hands and glancing shyly at this new
cousin, they began to tell the adventures of the afternoon,
while Cicely looked furtively at them, and tried to make
up her mind as to whether she would like them or not.

Lena was thirteen. Her crisp dark hair hung in a pig-
tail down her back, her eyes were dark brown, while her
complexion was bright and pretty, and she was a handsome
girl, fairly tall for her age.. Mysie was ten years old, a fat,
rather shapeless child, very good-tempered apparently, for
she seemed to be always laughing. She was not nearly
as dark as Lena, and her brown hair was cut short and
curled in her neck, while the merry sparkling eyes were a
dark grey. The next child was a boy. Mrs. Duncan
said, “This is our second son, Bertie,” as he shook hands
with Cicely, but no one called him Bertie as they all
chatted to their mother, and he answered cheerfully to the
name of “Bat.” He was seven years old, and something
like Lena in colouring, having a thick crop of dark hair
and brown eyes full of mischief ; but he was much darker
than Lena, and his face was almost gipsy-like in its brown-
ness. The twins, Alfred and Alice, were sturdy little
people of four, as much alike as it was possible for tw’
children to be, for no one, not even their mother, wou —
have known them apart had Alfred put on Alice’s frock,



LLIN,
a





In rushed five breathless and excited children,”—Page 26,






NOT EXPECTED, 29

and Alice Alfred’s little sailor suit. They were the fairest
of the children, for their brown hair hada golden tinge,
their round grey eyes a touch of blue in them, while the
plump faces were bright with pink and white.

It was to this large party of new cousins that Cicely was
introduced on the evening of her arrival at the Maples.



CHAPTER V.
VERY STRANGE,

As Cicely listened to the conversation between her aunt
and cousins, she became amused and interested in what
they were saying.

“Well, darlings, have you all been good? Lena, were
the twins good ?”

“’Pick and ’Pan was good,” said both small people at
once.

“That is right; and Bat ?”

“Oh, yes! Bat was very good—they all were,” replied
Lena, as Bertie smiled with modest pride; “and oh,
mother ! Ethel had such lovely presents. So many, and
such beautiful things, all of them ; but she liked ours very
much, though it wasn’t nearly as grand as many of the
others.”

“And we went in the swing, mother, and Bat fell out
of it, but he didn’t hurt himself,” said Mysie, “and they
all wanted to know when Andrew and Duke are coming
home.”

“And, Mother, Spick and Span had to swing together,
though there was hardly room, because neither of them
would go first. I wish you could have seen them.”

30



VERY STRANGE. 31

“So do I,” said their mother, laughing.

“So does ’Pick and ’Pan,” said the two little voices.
again. .

-Mrs. Duncan bent forward and kissed the chubby faces
before her, in the way they liked best, first Alfred, then
Alice, then Alice again, and Alfred last. “ Mother is very
glad to hear you have been good,” she said, “and that
you have had a pleasant visit to Ethel. And now, dears,
you must all go up and take off your things, and then
Lena and Mysie can come down and talk to Cicely;
though, perhaps, you would rather go up with them at
once?”

Cicely hesitated, but Mrs. Duncan settled the question
by taking the shy child by the hand, and leading her up-
stairs. .
_ “You will soon feel at home among us,” she observed,
as Cicely clung to her hand, “but of course all must
seem very strange at first,” and presently Cicely felt a
hand on her other side, and Mysie gave her a most
friendly squeeze.

“T’m so glad you’ve come,” whispered Mysie, and
Cicely was grateful for those kindly words,

Lena walked on in front without looking round once,
while Bertie and the twins followed close behind their
mother. ;

The nursery was one of the nicest rooms in the house,
and Cicely looked round it with a pleased surprise. She
had never seen such a cheerful-looking room in her life.
It had three windows, with a big window-seat in each,
and the window-seats, doors, and high wainscot all round



32 COURAGE,



the room were made of oak. That was sombre enough,
but above the wainscot was the prettiest, brightest,
funniest wall-paper that Cicely had ever seen; for there
were pictures from all the nursery rhymes, printed in
colours, upon it. There was a large fireplace with a
bright fire burning, and before it was a rocking chair in
which nurse was sitting, talking to the baby in her lap.
A lighted lamp stood on the table, and Lucy was just
getting the bath ready for baby and the twins.

Such a pleasant nursery ; from the big toy-cupboard tc
to the window where the magnolia leaves looke@in from
outside, everything had a comfortable look. Baby at
once set up a shout on seeing her mother, and Mrs.
Duncan took the little lump of quicksilver that was
kicking wildly to come to her, as she said to nurse,
“Here is another young lady for you to look after,
nurse. She is Miss Cicely Duncan, Mr. Alfred’s daughter,
and I hope we shall be able to make her very happy
a eneres!

“Why, yes, ma’am, I hope so,” said nurse, brightly, as

she stooped to look at Cicely ; “I think we’re all very
happy here. She favours Mr. Alfred, ma’am, don’t you
think so? Miss Lena, won’t you show your cousin to
her room? And then I dare say she would like to see
baby have her bath.”
_ Lena came forward at once, and opening one of the
nursery doors, led Cicely across a long passage into a
pleasant room, not very large, but exceedingly com
fortable.

“Mother was sure you would like a fire after your



VERY STRANGE. 33



journey,” she remarked with a rather grown-up air. “We
don’t often have fires in our bedrooms, except when it is:
very cold in the winter, or we’re ill; but we dress and undress
in the nursery, and say our prayers there, which is nice
than a fire in one’s bedroom, I think, How do you like
your room ?”

“It’s very pretty,” said Cicely, “and everything seems
so white and fresh. You know I was never in the country
before, not the real country, only at the seaside—when—
Grand——”

But Cicely had gone too far. She had thought that to
Lena, who had never known him, she could speak of her
grandfather, but the tears would come now, and she fell
in a sort of heap on the rug, and hiding her face in the
pretty white counterpane of her bed, cried as if her heart
would break.

“Oh, Cicely! I’m so sorry; don’t cry,” exclaimed
Lena, coming and putting her arms round her cousin.
Shall I call mother ?”

“No! oh, no!” gasped Cicely presently, looking up
I can’t help it now. Perhaps when I am very old I
shan’t niind so much, but I don’t think I shall be able toe
speak of—of—him—for years and years without crying.”

Lena was not old enough to know that such long grief
would not be possible, and she only thought at the
moment how wretched it would be to have Cicely living
with them in such a state of misery ; however, she wisely
made no remark. In a short time, Cicely cheered up,
became, in fact, far more cheerful than Lena had thought
she possibly could after such a melancholy announce:



34 COURAGE.

ment, and the girls went back to the nursery in time to
see baby splashing in her warm bath.

Then Mrs. Duncan retired to dress for dinner, and while
their mother was in her room, Lena and Mysie led their
cousin round the house.

Later on, when Cicely went up to her own room, she
found that Jane had unpacked everything, but she was
much too tired to talk to her maid, and was soon sound ~

asleep,



CHAPTER VI.
IN THE SCHOOLROOM.

“It’s just pouring with rain, Miss Cicely,” said Janet
when she came to call Cicely next morning.

“Oh, what a pity!” exclaimed Cicely. “I did.so want
it to be fine to-day. Jane, do you know there is a pony
here, and I am to take my turn in riding it with the others ?
And there are rabbits, and pigeons, and cows—but I don’t
much like cows, they have such horrid long horns—and
goats, and sheep, and pigs. And there are birds, too—
ever so many birds, Lena said—in a great big cage. But
if it rains, I can’t see half the things.”

“They'll keep to another day, miss, and it’s a long time
they’d keep for me. I never could abear live stock, as
they call it. But for that, Miss Cicely, I might have been
a farmer’s wife. But I said ‘No,’ for I couldn’t abear
live stock.”

“Why, Fane, I'd rather be a farmer’s wife than any-
thing else,” said Cicely, “and that’s what I mean to be.
I shall keep ducks, and geese, and turkeys, and chickens,
and guinea-fowls. I heard about them last night. They
must be lovely! And then I shall sell eggs, and butter,
and ever so many things.”

635



36 COURAGE.



“Well, Miss Cicely, every one to their taste, I say ; but
a farm isn’t the place I’d choose to spend my life. But,
as it rains to-day, miss, you can’t go out and see the
cattle, though I dare say there’s plenty to look at indoors.
It’s a nice house, Miss Cicely, and some nice servants ;
but I see I shall have to keep my place with them, and
teach them theirs.”

“T like nurse,” said Cicely, dressing as fast as she
could, having scrambled in and out of her bath while
Jane was talking.

.“Well, Miss Cicely, that may be, but she’s too free with
her ‘Jane’ here and her ‘Jane’ there. So I says to her,
“You'll please to understand that my name’s Batty,’ and
she made no answer ; but that minx, Lucy, looked up and
asked if I was any relation to the pickles, as that might
account for my beingso sour. It was like her impudence,
and I see nothing to laugh at, Miss Cicely.”

For Cicely broke into a fit of laughter, which much
offended Jane, and the dressing was completed in unusual
silence.

_ There was much to see and enjoy in the house, as
Cicely soon found out, for even a wet day could be spent
very pleasantly in looking at the many curious things the
cabinets contained. The Maples was an old house, and
the floors were polished, dark, and, oh! so slippery that
Cicely was almost afraid to walk on them—she thought
them like ice, and was sure she would fall down if not
very careful.. It did not please her when Bat remarked
on this fact with a laugh, and she saw that Lena and Mysie
had hard work to keep as grave as politeness required.



IN THE SCHOOLROOM. 37



The schoolroom was a delightful place; even Cicely
who had no love of lessons in the abstract, had to confess
that it was really a pleasant room. It had been built
some years ago for a billiard-rocm, and it stood away
from the rest of the house. The billiard-table was gone,
but down one side of the room was a long raised seat,
covered with dark crimson velvet, rather the worse for
wear, and above the seat, fixed to the wall, were book-
shelves, well filled with volumes of all kinds. Every child |
had her own shelf for story-books, and was expected to
keep it in some sort of order. Under the hanging lamp
stood along wooden table, with all the ink-stains, scratches,
and bruises that a long-suffering school-table was likely to
endure. It was, however, so solid and strong that it
looked as if it would yet survive many more years of ill-
usage. The floor was carpetless, except for a Turkey rug
before the fireplace, and the three windows opened to the
ground, letting in a pretty view of the lawn and fields be- ©
yond.

There was a big fireplace, round which stood some
comfortable chairs, very different from the solid wooden
ones that were drawn up to the table. The walls were
here and there ornamented with old prints, chiefly of
historical scenes, such as the death of General Wolfe and
Cromwell ordering away the “bauble.” Mysie explained
that her father liked them because they had been in his
schoolroom years ago, and this gave them a double interest
in Cicely’s eyes, for in that case they must have been in
her father’s schoolroom also. There was only one
drawback to the room in Cicely’s eyes, and that was rather

=



38 COURAGE.



a serious one, namely, the presence of Miss Prince, the
governess. She was in every way different to Miss Mason,
being neither old nor grim, nor did she wear spectacles ;
moreover, she appeared to be unusually patient and gentle.
The only thing in which she could be said to resemble
Miss Mason was in her conscientiousness, which, however,
showed itself in a less aggressive and unpleasant form.

When Cicely came into the schoolroom the first morning
Miss Prince greeted her pleasantly, saying she hoped they
would be very good friends, and Cicely tried to smile and
hope so too, To tell the truth, hér heart was very sore,
and she was wishing herself back in the dark London
house with cross Miss Mason, if she only might also have
her grandfather. She felt so strange and lonely among
these unknown cousins, and thought, with a resentment
quite unnecessary, that they would probably try to force
her ways to suit with their own ; so she was determined
to resent the first attempt she could see in that direction.

It was certainly rather hard for her, accustomed all her -
life to have the undivided attention of all who had the
care of her---nurse, governess, and grandfather—to find
herself one of many, and expected to fall in with their
ways as pleasantly as she could. She was, moreover, so
unaccustomed to other children that she did not care fot
their games or understand their fancies, while the noise
of the younger ones anneyed and worried her.

Miss Prince thought that a holiday that morning would
not help the children much, but she promised that in the
afternoon they should have no lessons, except the hour of
preparation for the next day.



IN THE SCHOOLROOM. 39°



Cicely came out creditably when “examined by Miss.
Prince as to her learning—better, in fact, than Lena quite
approved, for that young lady had made up her mind that
Cicely would be very backward with her lessons, and keep»
with Mysie, whereas in many subjects she was as advanced.
as Lena, while she read unusually well in French and.
English, and in the former language her accent was.
decidedly better than her cousin’s.

Mysie was a little disappointed to find that Cicely
would not be with her in their lessons, as she had been
hoping ever since she heard of the coming cousin ; but
Cicely herself did not think much’ about it, never having
thought of competing with another child on any subject,
lessons least of all. She was, therefore, quite unconscious
of the impression she had made.

No one was very sorry when the morning came to an
end, and the schoolroom party broke up, the children
scampering upstairs to make themselves tidy for early
dinner.



CHAPTER VII.
SPICK AND SPAN.

THE twins had not yet been promoted to schoolroom
teaching, but nurse had one half-hour in the morning
when she made them sit on their high chairs, and say
their letters and a few short words. This they were very
ready to do, speaking always with one voice; in fact,
being so absurdly alike that what one forgot the other
seemed quite unable to remember.

There was only one objection that they made, and
they made it every day. Nurse insisted upon two chairs,
though the twins would far prefer sitting on one. How-
ever, by putting the chairs as close as possible to each
other, they contrived to endure their separate seats for
half an hour. When their short lesson was over, each .
rolled down off his and her chair, and rushed into the
arms of the other as if they had been separated for hours,
and nurse declared that they always went through this
ceremony every day, and spoke the same words: “’Pick
and ’Pan did lessons very well,” Alfred would invariably
remark with admiration, and Alice would echo, “’Ess,
’Pick and ’Pan did !”

Then they kissed each other, and went off hand in

40



SPICK AND SPAN. 4l

hand to their toy cupboard. Never had these two been
known to speak a cross word to each other, though their
little tempers were hot enough when roused by any one but
their twin. Such devotion was pretty but sad, for nurse
and Mrs. Duncan knew that a time must come when
Alfred would have to prepare for school life, and no one
dared to think what would then happen to the twins.

Mr. Duncan would sometimes laughingly say that Alice
must be put into knickerbockers with Alfred when the
time came, and be sent to school as his brother, or that
Alfred should borrow Alice’s frocks, and take a place in
the schoolroom under Miss Prince. To either of these
plans the twins readily assented; the only thing they
considered impossible was that anything should part them.

To Cicely these children were particularly fascinating,
and, as they came plodding up the staircase hand in hand,
four sturdy fat legs keeping step, she stopped and asked
where they were going.

“Upstairs,” said a double voice, and then two rather
grubby hands were held out for inspéction, the others
being firmly clasped in each other, and the words came,
“ Muffer said we was dirty.”

“Werry dirty,” put in Alice.

“What is your name ?” asked a touching Alfred’s
outstretched hand.
~ “Pick and ’Pan,” was the instant reply.

“And your name ?”’she said, touching Alice.

“’Pick and ’Pan,”

“But you can’t both be Spick and Span. One must be
Spick and the other Span.”





42 COURAGE.



“No,” said Alfred, quickly, ‘“we’s both ’Pick and ’Pan.
We’s twins. You hasn’t got no twin, so you doesn’t
nunderstand.”

“Well,” said Cicely to herself, as she watched them on
their way, “I hope it isn’t very selfish, but I think ’m
rather glad.”

The early dinner or luncheon was at one o 'clock, for
breakfast was at half-past eight, and by that time young
appetities had grown very large in spite of biscuits and
milk at eleven ; but on this particular day the dinner was
disposed of in greater haste than usual, as there was a
half-holiday in prospect, and a new cousin to show all
over.the house. Even Lena showed more interest than
Cicely had known her to Vee and the twins were -
rampant.

“You needn’t excite eet be said Lena, decidedly, as
the door of the dining-room closed behind them. “We're
not going to have you with us to-day. You know you
were very troublesome last time we had visitors at home,
and mother said it was ’my fault. She said I oughtn’t
to have taken you.”

“But you’re not going out, are you ?” asked Bat, who
felt himself included among the rejected ones. “ Mother
only said that about the garden.” .

“No, she didn’t, and you mustn’t argue, Bat,” answered
Lena, with elder-sisterly dignity. “You had much better
go to the nursery and play with the twins while Mysie
and I show Cicely the rooms she hasn’t seen. It is such
a pity it isn’t fine this afternoon.”

Cicely went with them all round the house, and a pretty



SPICK AND SPAN. 43



house she thought it ; but her heart was in a dark corner
of a London house, in the old library, where she and her
grandfather had passed so many happy hours together
It was a surprise and a disappointment to the two girls
that she seemed to care so little for what they had to
show. At last, when they had gone on ahead, and ex-
pected her to follow them, they went back, as she did not
come, and found her sitting on an ottoman, her face
hidden in her hands.

“Why, what is the matter with you?” asked Lena, in
rather indignant astonishment. “We thought you were
following. What are you waiting for?”

Then all Cicely’s sore feelings broke forth, and. she
burst into tears. “I think you're the most unfeeling
people I ever heard of. You don’t seem to care that I
have lost my grandfather !”

“T hoped you had forgotten,” murmured Lena. “It’s
sad for you, of course, but it isn’t like any other relation.
If it had been a father or brother us

“How dare you say that,” said Cicely furiously. “ Why,
he was everything to me! I never wanted a father or
brother as long as I had him. Did you never have a
grandfather you cared about ?”

“Well, we don’t care about him much,” answered.
Mysie, as Lena did not speak. “We are rather afraid of
him, you see. He lives in one of the wings, you know.”

. “No, I didn’t know ; “you never told me,” said Cicely,
“Why are you making such faces, Lena? Is it at me or
at Mysie ?” :

Oh, never mind! I didn’t mean to make faces. Sup-





44. COURAGE.

pose we go to the nursery now, and have a game with
the little ones. They like it, and it might amuse Cicely
to see some of their funny ways. Would you like that,
Cicely ?

“JY dare say I might,” said Cicely, drying her eyes.
“The twins are such dear, quaint, amusing little things,
and I can’t understand what makes them so fond of each
other. It seems so wonderful to me.”

“ All twins aren’t so affectionate,” said Lena, laughing.
“Mother knew some twins that were always quarrelling.
I’m so glad our twins aren’t like that.”

“What should we do!” remarked Mysie, shaking her
brown mane as if such a state of things was too sad to
think. “We should never have any peace then, because
the twins seem to have so much to do with everything.”

So up to the nursery the girls all went to find amuse-
ment and consolation in the society of the two little four-
year-olds, who generally contrived to make things lively
there— too lively,” nurse was often heard to say.

They were discovered sitting on the same footstool, or
rather, trying to do so, for the stool was small, and the
‘twins were sturdy young people requiring plenty of room,
and they would bitterly have resented being crowded by
any one else, though they now seemed to find great
pleasure and satisfaction in their very tight quarters.
They could only manage it by sitting back to back, and
even then one or other was always in danger of slipping
off.

“T shouldn’t think you’d find that at all comfortable,”
said Cicely, after watching them for a minute. “You



SPICK AND SPAN. 45

might be tied a and that would be better, I should
think.”

“We likes it.” said Alfred, smiling.

“Welly much,” put in Alice.

“Well, I can’t understand it!” laughed Cicely, her
sorrow partly forgotton in the presence of such a strange
problem.

“Pick and ’Pan nunderstands,” replied Alfred.

“Ess, Pick and ’Pan does,” echoed Alice ; and Cicely
set herself to study this living toy that had come so con-
veniently into her life at a time when she was wanting
amusement of a quiet and yet absorbing kind,



CHAPTER VITII.
‘ANOTHER GRANDFATHER.

In a few days, when the first strangeness had worn off,
Cicely began to feel more at home than she had thought
possible when she first arrived. She was introduced in
time to all the various pets, and, sad to relate, she was
very much disappointed in the guinea-fowls. She had
expected to see glorious, golden birds shining in the sun,
and not the very quiet-looking grey birds which she saw
walking with dainty steps in the poultry-yard. It is true
that on looking at them nearer she could see the white
spots on. their feathers, and had to confess that, in their
own way, they were very pretty; but after her wonderful
vision about them, she could not say much about their
‘beauty. But if the guinea-fowls were a disappointment,
the golden pheasants more than satisfied her. She
thought she could never be tired of looking at them, as they
sauntered slowly about their cage, and she hoped none of
this kind were killed and eaten. Lena could not answer
for other people’s doings, but she was able to assure Cicely
that they had never had one killed—they were far too
tame and beautiful.

But, alas! for Cicely’s vision of farming: they faded

46



ANOTHER GRANDFATHER, 47

away when she found herself in the actual presence of the
cows. There long horns and loud “moo’s” struck terror
‘into her heart, and she was not much better pleased with
the gobbling of the turkeys, or the hissing of the geese.
Lena laughed at her fears, and refused to take into con-
sideration that the London child had had no experience
of country ways or country animals in her life. It
amused Lena to see her cousin’s alarm when there was
no cause, and she laughed until Cicely grew angry—and
so began the first difference between these cousins.

The day her uncle came back was rather a hard one for
Cicely, but she was glad when she found she was to go
for a nice walk with him, and hear all he could tell her
of the funeral and the dear old London house, for which
she still longed with such a heart-sick longing. Her uncle
was very kind to her, and she could talk more to him, and
feel more at home with him, than with any of his family,
even her cousins. This might have been because she was
more accustomed to be with a gentleman than with a lady,
and she therefore felt more shy with her aunt or cousins.
Whatever was the reason, she managed to please her
uncle, and he returned from that walk with a better opinion :
of “Alfred’s girl” than he had had before. Perhaps this
was because Cicely was very grateful for all he told her
about her grandfather’s business affairs, and she was glad
to hear that the books and pictures that she ioved were
not to be soldas she had feared, but would be taken care of
for her. She had sometimes feared that everything would
have to be sold, and she would lose even the memory that
seemed to linger about the old things, of the happy





48 COURAGE.





hours she had spent in the library with her grandfather.

In the schoolroom Cicely was still rather shy, and her
conversation night and morning with Jane did not tend to
make her feel more at her ease.

“T can’t understand it, Miss Cicely,” Jane would say to
her ; “I know from what I hear from the others that he is
in the house at this very blessed minute, and therefore
why you aren’t to see him and he your own grandparent,
beats me. I’ve been thinking about it, and there’s only
one thing—but I dare say I’d better not say it.” .

“Oh, yes, you may, Jane! It can’t matter to me,” said
Cicely, who wished to hear what Jane thought, even if
she could not take the same view of the matter.

“Well, Miss Cicely—or I should say Miss Duncan, by
rights—I’ll tell you, but you'll promise me faithful never
to say a word about it to any one ?”

“There’s no one that I should care to tell,” replied
Cicely; and Jane continued in a tone of mystery and
confidence that was rather impressive :

“Tt’s this way, Miss Cicely : you see you are the daughter
of the eldest son.”

“Well, but

“That's just it. If your grandfather was to see you,
and take a fancy to you, don’t you see, it would be awkward
for the younger son, don’t you see? Mr. Herbert
Duncan, with all those children, will be glad enough of
his brother’s share.”

Cicely listened with a little frown. “I can’t believe
that Uncle Herbert and Aunt Carry can be so horrid !’
she exclaimed at last.





il

I)

Yy, i Wh fi!
f Yi)
LY,
LS



“Tt amused Lena to see her cousin’s alarm,’—Page 47.

0



os

Se



ANOTHER GRANDFATHER. 51



“Well, you needn’t Miss Cic— Duncan, and I shouldn't,
if | was you. It makes it a deal pleasanter te think that
our relations is all born angels, so I wouldn't disturb
‘your mind for anything, only you told me to say what I
thought. You know as well as I do that you’re living in
the same house as old Mr. Duncan, and though he is
your relation as much as any of them, yet you’ve never
been took to see him all this time. Mark my words, you
never will!” ad

“T don’t believe it,” Cicely repeated; “Tl ask: Aunt
Carry to-day, and see what she says.”

“For pity sake, Miss Cicely, don’t go and get me into
that scrape. You promised, remember; I don’t know
what your aunt would say if she thought I told you such
a thing.”

It passed through Cicely’s mind, that if her aunt would
not like Jane to say such things, it was not right of her to
say them; but she was busy with other thoughts at the
moment, and said nothing of the kind to Jane.

With these thoughts in her mind, it is not surprising
that Cicely was very silent at breakfast that morning, and
Lena thought her cross. Cicely had made up her mind
to question her aunt about it, but not to betray Jane.

An opportunity occurred at breakfast.

“Lena, there is a letter for your grandfather. Will you
take it up ?”

“Yes, mother,” said Lena; but Cicely interposed:

“Mayn’t I take it? I have done my breakfast and
Lena hasn’t.”

*“No, thank you, dear. It is better for Lena to go.”



52 COURAGE.

Then Cicely looked up and asked in an odd voice,
“Isn't Mr. Duncan my grandfather as well as Lena’s ?”

“Certainly, he is,” replied her aunt.

“Then why am I never allowed to see him ?” asked
Cicely.

“Because we think it best for the present,” answered
Mrs. Duncan, bending over the sugar.

“But, Aunt-.Carry ”

“We will not discuss this now,” Mr. Duncan said
decidedly ; “but you may feel sure, Cicely, that we have
our reasons for what we do.”

Cicely looked suddenly so aghast that there was a pause
to see if she had-anything more to say ; but she was much .
too startled by the fulfilment of Jane’s words to think of
putting any further question, and a telegram was brought
in a few minutes after that changed all their thoughts in a
moment.

It ran as follows: “School breaking up. Diphtheria.
Andrew and I coming to-day.—DUKE.”









CHAPTER IX.
CONFIRMATION STRONG.

THE boys were coming home! Only girls who have
brothers can quite understand all that that means, and
Cicely did not. She wondered that Lena and Mysie
were so excited over the telegram, when there were so
many more important things in the world to think about..
To her the conversation at breakfast was far more inter-
esting, as it showed so clearly that Jane was right, and
that there was some arrangement by which she was not
to be allowed to see her grandfather. It certainly did
look very odd, seen through the light of Jane’s hints and
surmises, but Cicely found it hard to believe, even now,
that her uncle and aunt did not mean to do their kindest
and best by her.. During the first thrill of the news of the
boys’ return, Cicely crept up to her room, and found
Jane there, mending a frock Cicely had worn the day
before. .

“Well, Miss Cicely, the house is nicely upset by these
boys a-coming home,” was Jane’s first remark. “Every-->
thing’ll be upside down now.”

“T don’t know—I don’t care,” said Cicely dreamily ; it
won’t matter much to me. Jane, I asked about grand-
father, and—you’re quite right.”

53



54 COURAGE,

“You're not to see him, Miss ?”

“No; Uncle Herbert says there are reasons for it.”

“Ah! reasons enough, I dare say. He knows how to
take care of his own.”

“Tt seems dreadful,” sighed Cicely, “and I should have
never thought of it if it had’nt been for you, Jane. I think
you were very clever to find it out.”

“T’n clever enough when I have a chance, but as for
this, Miss Cicely, it’s as plain as a pikestaff, as the saying
is. Even the servants can see it.”

“How do you mean ?” asked Cicely, wishing to know
all now that she knew so much, even though the knowledge
troubled her.

“There’s Mr. Brace, old Mr. Duncan’s man, and he
knows that there has been some trouble about the making
of Mr. Duncan’s will. He doesn’t say nothing, but Mrs.
Jelliepot passed the remark last night that he must know
a deal of the family affairs, but he only shook his head
wise-like and said nothing.

“But that didn’t tell you anything !” exclaimed Cicely,
rather. disgusted, for she knew that her grandfather had
not liked her to listen to servants’ gossip.

“No, Miss ; but later, Mrs. Jelliepot said that she knew
there had been some trouble about a will, and Mr. Herbert
Duncan was very anxious about it.”

“Well, but even that a

“Why, of course, Miss, he wouldn’t be anxious to have
the money left away from his own children. It stands to
reason that he wants it for himself, and is afraid that old
Mr. Duncan may leave it to you if he sees you.”





CONFIRMATION STRONG. 55





Cicely sat down and sighed. It was such a pity tc
have to think such horrid things of her uncle and aunt,
but, as Jane put it, it sounded very likely to be true,
Poor Cicely had lived so much alone with her grand-
father that she had grown up to her eleven years of age
with @ very wrong idea of her own importance in
the world. This mistaken notion had been encouraged
by Jane’s reckless gossiping and the importance she gave
to the most trivial matters,

Mysie very soon came to fetch Cicely, for though there
were to be only a few lessons that morning on account
of the preparations for the return of the boys, Miss Prince
was ready to hear them now.

Cicely did not say her history nor do her sums as well
that morning as usual ; the figures would run into pounds,
shillings and pence, and the history was about bad uncles
and cruel relations. It is true that the people all lived
long ago, but Cicely had heard that history repeats itself,
and she sadly felt that it was repeating itself now. Miss
Prince thought she was tired, or that the warm spring
weather was trying her, and made no comment, and Lena
thought she was cross. Mysie was too much troubled
with her own sum difficulties to notice anything. When
she did think of something else, it was of the boys.

When Miss Prince had released them once more, Lena
took unusual pains to have the schoolroom put tidy, and
the books returned to their places, at which Cicely
expressed much surprise.

“You won't think it odd when you know Duke and
Andrew,” laughed Mysie; “they are so very particular as



56 COURAGE.

to our things, but they leave their own about just as much
as anybody. We always tidy up at first, when they come
home, but it doesn’t last, you know, so you needn’t be
frightened—we aren’t so very tidy just after the first.”

“Do they both go and see your grandfather ?” asked
Cicely, after a moment’s pause.

“Yes; he’s very fond of Andrew ; you know Andrew is
mother’s nephew.”

“No, I didn’t,” said Cicely, indignant at finding that
here was another thing she had not been told. “How
should I know things that you never tell me? I don’t
pry and ask questions.”

But even as she spoke she remembered that she had
been asking Jane many questions that she would never
have ventured to put to her aunt or cousins, and she
turned away with a flush of shame. Cicely had never felt
unable to look anyone in the face before, but this secret
thought was making her uncomfortable and unhappy.

“Well, I'll tell you now, if you care to listen,” said
Mysie. “ He is mother’s nephew, and his name is Andrew
Martin, and he’s a very nice boy, and we all like him very
much, ’specially Lena, who is his great friend.”

“How silly you are, Mysie,’ exclaimed Lena, rather

crossly ; “I’m not more his friend than you, or any one
else.”
“Well, you always seem to be; besides, you always
write to him and I don’t. Hebelongs to mother’s family,
you know, and as he hasn't any parents or brothers and
sisters, he lives with us when he’s at home.”

“And is he really very nice?” asked Cicely, for she



CONFIRMATION STRONG. 57

felt much more shy of these unknown boys than she had
done of all the rest of the household.

“Very nice indeed, answered Lena decidedly. “He is
fifteen, and Duke is fourteen. I think you'll like him
better than Duke. Duke is a little spoilt, father says,
and he’s rather fond of teasing.”

“T shan’t like that,” said Cicely, “at least, if he teases
me.”

“Oh, he does’nt tease very much,” said Mysie reflec-
tively. “I suppose all boys do tease their sisters just a
little. It’s what they’re for, J think. Miss Prince says it
does us good to learn to give up to the boys.”

“J thought boys always gave up to girls,” said Cicely,
rather startled.

“They're supposed to, but that is one of the nursery
rules that does’nt go beyond the nursery. I don’t think
our boys give up very much to anyone; at least, Duke
doesn’t.”

“Will they come here soon ?” asked Cicely, nervously,
for she began to dread the arrival of these lords of
creation.

“Yes, I dare say ; but we don’t know. Why, that’s the
fly—I hear it! Lena! they've come! they’ve come!”
and away rushed Mysie to greet her brother and cousin,
while Cicely sat in a corner of the schoolroom, waiting
for the terrible moment when she would be obliged to
face and speak to these dreadful boys.



CHAPTER X%
THE BOYS.

CICELY knew very little of other children and their ways,
and she knew absolutely nothing of boys. From what
Jane had told her she expected two young bears, with
rough ways and loud voices, to come bursting into the
schoolroom. Jane had even expressed soine doubts as to
whether she could continue to exist in a house with two
boys, and had to be coaxed and presented with a small
gold brooch before she would promise not to think ot
giving notice just yet.

“Well, Miss, it’s only for your sake that I don’t do it,”
said Jane, in a satisfied tone, as she pocketed the brooch.
“T’ve always set my face where boys is, for in my opinion
they’re just simply awful !”

“Oh! dear, I don’t know anything about boys,” sighed
Cicely. “Tt’s a pity !”

“Tt is, Miss Cicely, and there’s no doubt the world
would be nicer place if there were no boys init. There’s
never any sense in them, and never any pleasing them,
and they never come but one wishes them gone in half a
jiffy 1”

Cicely had to laugh at this in spite of melancholy fore-

58



THE BOYS. 59

boding, and then the conversation had come to an end;
but Cicely recalled it now as she sat in the schoolroom,
waiting for the dreaded arrival, and wondering whether
she, too, would wish them gone in “ half a jiffy,” whatever
that might be.

She pretended to read, but in reality she was listening
intently, and at last her quick ears caught the sound of
approaching footsteps, and a minute later Lena and Mysie
appeared, followed by the boys.

To Cicely’s surprise they were very quiet, even shy, ana
there was nothing alarming about the appearance of
either of them.

Andrew Martin, who was fifteen, was a tall, slight boy,
with bright brown hair, hazel eyes, and a nice-looking face,
which, though colourless, looked healthy.

Marmaduke, called Duke, who was not quite a year
younger, was a decidedly handsome boy, with very dark
hair, and grey eyes, and the same bright colouring as Lena ;
he appeared at the first glance more attractive than
Andrew’s less remarkable good looks. In figure, Duke
was rather square-shouldered, and powerfully though not
clumsily built, with an alertness and restlessness of manner
that impressed some people with the idea that he was
only waiting for the opportunity to do great things.

Mr. Duncan was very proud of his son, and expected
great things of him, which Duke knew well, and was
therefore always careful to keep the good opinion of his
elders on all possible occasions.

The boys were both quiet and gentlemanly in manner,
and Cicely felt agreeably surprised as they shook hands



60 COURAGE, »



politely, and fell back with a rather awkward air of not
quite knowing what to say next.

“Was the diphtheria very bad?” asked Lena, after a
pause. a

“Not very, but they said the houses must all be over-
hauled,” answered Duke.

“How many boys had taken it ? asked Miss Prince.

“Well, they don’t tell us, but we heard that there were
ten cases besides Finch major, who caught it from his
brother. Andrew suddenly started a scare that he had
taken it, but it was only a relaxed throat, the doctor said.”

Andrew laughed a little, and said half in apology, “ You
forgot I didn’t want to bring it home, if I had it.”

“Tf I were going to be ill, I think I’d rather be nursed
at home than in the infirmary,” said Duke. “But then
it isn’t quite the same to you, old fellow, when one comes
to think of it, is it ?”

Andrew smiled and said, “No, I suppose not;” and
Cicely suddenly remembered that this boy was, like herself,
an orphan, living with his relations; and she looked at
him with greater interest than before. She had from the
first been impressed by Duke’s manner and handsome
face, and had taken much less notice of Andrew.

“Did you hear about Finch major ?” Duke went on;
“there was rather a row about him. His young brother
was one of the first who had the sore throat, and he was
sent off to the infirmary. It was thought he had scarlet
fever, and there was a strict order given that no one was
to go near the infirmary. Well, the boys got talking about
things that night, and about being afraid of infection, and



THE BOYS. , 61





30 on, and Finch major said he wasn’t afraid, but none of
the boys believed him. Next day—I can’t think how he
managed it—he got into the infirmary, and into little
Finch’s room, where he and two other boys were, and he
kissed his brother—just to show, you see, that he didn’t
care. The nurse came in as he was coming away, and he
was caught. They didn’t know he had kissed his brother
till later, so they only made him change his things before
going to school; but the doctor gave us all a long lecture
about courage, and what was real courage, and what was
only silly, and he said that some people didn’t know what
real courage was. He said it was selfish to be foolhardy,
as it gave people so much more trouble, and all that ; but
I didn’t listen to the end very attentively. Ina few days
Finch went back to the infirmary on his own account,
and they said he was rather bad.”

“Didn't you hear,” said Andrew quickly, “he died this
morning ? The matron told me while she was packing.”

Duke looked grave for a few moments, and no one
spoke.

“How dreadful for his people !” said Lena, at last.

“Yes, dreadful !” repeated Andrew. “The brother was
‘getting better—that would be some comfort.”

“Let’s go out,” said Duke, abruptly ; “there’s no fun in
sticking here. How are the birds, Lena ?”

“All very well. Andrew and I were going to see them ;
won't you all come, too ?”

This caused a general move, and Cicely found herselt
ina few minutes walking with Mysie and Duke. Andrew
and Lena were on ahead. Then Duke began to show off



62 COURAGE.



a little, for he was as keenly alive to his position as eldest
son as ever Cicely could be of her title of Miss Duncan.

Therefore he began to draw h‘s cousin’s attention to
various improvements his father was intending to make
about the grounds, and also to some things which his
fpther would not do.

“T shall certainly make that arrangement when the place —
comes to me,” declared this young gentleman.

“When will that be?” asked Cicely, in open-eyed
surprise.

“Oh, not for a long time, I hope; but I mean, of course,
atmyfather’sdeath. -Therearesome meadows there thatare
let to a farmer, which really ought to be in our hands, but
I can’t get the pater to see it. There ought to bea short
cut through the fields, and now we can’t go that way be-
cause of the farmer’s bull. It’s a great nuisance.” ©

“Father said he’d see what could be done when Mr.
Beecham’s lease had run out. He said s@ the other day,”
put in Mysie.

“It’s too long to wait for that,” answered Duke, with
youthful disregard of legal forms and obligations. “I’m
always telling my father what a mistake it is, and I shall
take a lesson from the doctor’s: segifion and pluck up
courage to tell my grandfather what a pity it is.”

“Oh, you musn’t do that !” exclaimed Mysie in shocked
tones ; “you know we are all told never to speak about
anything of that sort to grandfather.”

“T know, Shut up and mind your own business, Mysie
—the property does not concern you. I’m not sure that
in the end I shan’t sell it and live on my mother’s estate.



THE BOYS. 63





There was a debate at school the other day about landed
property, and I took the side that no one man ought to
have more than a certain number of acres ; of course, if I
stick to that, I must be consistent and sell.”

Cicely and Mysie did not quite know how to answer
this young autocrat, so in silence they walked on, Cicely
_ thinking over all that had been said.

Why should their grandfather never be allowed to hear
anything? It did not seem at all right. Cicely had
heard of a poem where an old man was turned out_of his
property by his son and daughter-in-law, and forced to
live all alone with barely blankets enough to cover him.
Could this have happened to old Mr. Duncan? It was
a dreadful idea. Perhaps she had come there to be his
guardian angel, and rescue him from his persecutors. At
any rate, Cicely decided she could watch and ask Jane
what she thought about the matter.



CHAPTER XI.
'A FRIGHT AND A FROCK.

Every nook and corner, every pet, and all the farm
animals were visited in turn. Duke laughed at Cicely’s
fear of the cows, and also at her dislike to the pigs, turkeys,
and geese ; but it was kindly laughter, and did not offend
Cicely’s over-sensitive feelings as much as Lena’s silent
contempt. —

Mysie was always surprised to find how timid Cicely
seemed, and tried to argue with her, but had to give it up
at last. Cicely admitted that it might be foolish to run
away from a goose or gobbling turkey, but she couldn’t
help it. She knew just as well as Mysie that the old white
cow was as quiet and gentle as a lamb, but she could not
help trembling as they walked across the straw-yard where
Daisy was calmly chewing the cud, any more than she
could help starting and turning pale when the cow turned
its head slowly and looked at her. She regretted all her.
wonderful visions of country life and how delightful it
must be, for, as a matter of fact, Cicely found it very
different from what she had expected, and had begun to
alter her ideas of what she would do when she would be
“ grown up.”

64



A FRIGHT AND A FROCK, 65





So now she shrank from the cows and Duke laughed at
her.

“You must learn not to mind them, Cicely,” he said
comfortably. “T’ll teach you to milk a cow, and then you
won't be afraid. You'll soon learn not to mind them, and
be able to face Beecham’s bull without being afraid.”

“That will be wonderful,” said Mysie, as Cicely only
shook her head with a smile, not wishing to contradict her
cousin. “Why, Mr. Beecham told father the other day,
that the bull would have to be got rid of soon, as he was
half afraid of it himself.”

“What nonsense! Beecham says that to keep us away
from the field. He ought to be made to keep sheep there
and let us have our short cut. Well, I shall see about it
some day. But come along, Cicely; you don’t mean to
say you are really afraid to pass Daisy !”

’ “But her calf is in there, and Thomas said

“Oh, nonsense! come along. You are a regular
coward! I should be ashamed if Lena or Mysie were
only a quarter as silly.”

Duke held out his hand and smiled, which took the
offensiveness out of the words, and Cicely yielded. She
took three steps forward, and then unluckily the cow
heard her calf inside, and gave an answering “moo.” The
stones of the yard were slippery with mud, and Cicely in
her fear made a sudden pause, slipped, and came down
right into the middle of a very dirty puddle splashing the
water all over herself, anda little over Duke, who had
come to her assistance. Andrew and Lena were outside

the gate, but came back to see what was the matter, just
: E

ad





66 COURAGE.

as Duke was trying to helpher up. Andrewcame at once
to the rescue, and together they helped her, while Mysie
stood between Cicely and the dreadful cow, the innocent
cause of the misfortune.

“Oh, dear,” gasped Cicely, catching her breath almost
in sobs, as the desire to cry grew stronger. “I wish we
hadn’t come to these horrid places; it’s so dirty and
nasty, and the creatures are all so horrid,” and certainly
poor Cicely was to be pitied, for she was in a great mess
from her fall.

It was unfortunate that at this moment the absurdity of
Cicely’s fears, and-her very forlorn and dirty appearance,
struck Lena in the most comic light, and sent her into
peals of laughter. Mysie was looking on in great distress ;
the boys were trying to rescue the unfortunate damsel
from her predicament, for Cicely, between the fright and
the dirt and the jarred feeling in her back, was as nearly
crying as possible, and seenied unable to move. Lena’s
laughter was the last straw, and Cicely burst into a flood
of tears and a storm of sobs, through which she was heard
to declare that Lena was as horrid as the animals, and she
wished she had never come to such a dreadful place,
where they brought her out like this, and then laughed at
her.

Lena was at first astonished and then scornful, and
answered back that it was just as unpleasant for them to
have to do with a cockney who was afraid of a harmless
cow and cried about nothing ; but as Cicely’s distress was
only increased by these words, Andrew took Lena away,
and Duke tried his hand, with Mysie as his anxious





“Cicely, inther fear, made a sudden pause, slipped and came down.” —Page 65.



























A FRIGHT AND A FROCK. 69



assistant, at comforting the aggrieved and frightened child.

“Look here, Cicely,” he said, as they led her out of the
yard, “I’m awfully sorry. I didn’t laugh, or Andrew, or
Mysie. It was only Lena, and no one minds Lena. She
is always giving herself airs about something or other; no
one ever attends to what she says—do they, Mysie ?”

“She often laughs at me,” said Mysie, too honest to give
the required answer to Duke’s question. “It was not
kind of her, but I wouldn’t mind, Cicely.”

Out of the straw-yard, and away from Lena’s laughter
with two friendly comforters to reassure her, Cicely soon
began to recover and feel rather ashamed of her fears and
her temper.

“Tt was stupid to cry,” she apologised with very red
cheeks, “only you see I was so startled, and my baek felt.
rather funny just at first.”

“Of course, you couldn’t help it. Come along, and
have your frock changed. I’ve no doubt it can be washed
or brushed—or—something.”

It was rather a doubtful tone in which Duke spoke his
conviction ; however, it was a practical suggestion, and
they all hurried back to the house without further
discussion. As they parted in the hall, Mysie’s kisses were
aot repulsed by Cicely as they often were, and Duke and
Mysie returned to the schoolroom, to wait for her there
while Cicely went up to her room, where she rang the bell
for Jane.

That handmaiden’s outcries on beholding her young
mistress, and her condemnation of “country ways and
country animals,” may be passed over. Even Cicely grew



70 COURAGE.



weary of them, and very weary of the sight of the splashed
and muddy frock, as Jane held it up in various Itghts to
show off the wreck it had become.

“Don’t talk to me about washing, Miss Cicely,” she
said when Cicely at last echoed Duke’s suggestion. “It’s
done for. Such a nice, useful frock as it ought to have
been, and your cousins ought to be ashamed of themselves
for taking you into such muddy places. Only look at that
patch, and black such a bad colour for shewing dirt and
stains! Well, it’s what comes of having boys in the house, I
suppose. Fancy young ladies poking their noses into
cowsheds and pigsties! They ought to understand that
it is not the thing that Miss Duncan is accustomed to. I
declare, Miss Cicel e

Jane’s voice suddenly died away, and Cicely turned to
find her aunt. had come into the room unheard, through
Jane’s clatter, and the angry rustle she was making with
the spoilt frock.

“J hear you have had a fall, dear,” said Mrs. Duncan
quietly, as Jane turned hastily away to hide her confusion, |

“T hope you are not hurt ?”

“Oh, no, Aunt Carry—at least, not much. I feel rather
stiff, that’s all.”

“Ym glad of that. Mysie seemed quite anxious about
you, and Duke was afraid that you ought not to have been
taken to the cow-house. He did not know that you
minded cows so much.”

“Y’m afraid Iam very silly,” said Cicely with a faint
smile, “but I don’t seem able to help it.”

“You are not used to them; when you are, you will



°



A FRIGHT AND A FROCK. 71



not be so afraid,” said her aunt reassuringly ; “and now
that you have finished changing your dress, you had better
come down with me.”

Cicely would have preferred to remain a little longer to
hear Jane’s views about certain matters, now that she was
calmer and had recovered from her first excitement on
seeing the muddy frock ; but there was no possibility of
refusing Mrs. Duncan’s request, and Cicely silently
followed her aunt from the room.

As they went downstairs, Mrs Duncan remarked, “1
hope you do not often let Jane talk to you as she was
doing just now ?”

“Oh, no, Aunt Carry,” said Cicely hastily, and no more
was said on the subject.



CHAPTER XII,
DUKE’S WAY.

THE boys’ arrival made more difference in Cicely’s quiet
life than she would have thought possible before they came.

It was not that they were rough, noisy, or rude,
for two better-behaved boys for their age it would be
difficult to find; but Lena was now entirely absorbed in
Andrew and his affairs, while Mysie was always Duke’s
most willing slave.

When Andrew “carpentered” in the workshop, Lena
sat by, commenting, approving, and occasionally lending
a hand with the lightest and most interesting work, for
which she always took great credit to herself. When
Duke did any carpentering, Mysie worked really hard in
helping him, She had to find every tool and hand them
as required, and receive any snubs he chose to give if she
made any mistakes—handed a chisel for a turnscrew, or a
turnscrew for a bradawl. She was expected to do a large
share of the hardest work, and take none of the credit ;
and all this she did without a murmur, for she was devoted
to her brother, and would do almost anything’ at his
‘bidding. But Mysie was a good little soul, and beyond a
certain point Duke could not make her go. He shocked

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“She had to find every tool.” — Page 72.



Y



DUKE’S WAY.

her though she adored him, and was grieved to refuse him,
when required to disobey some strict rule laid down by
parents or governess. Then Duke would call her by
various favourite insulting terms that he kept for such
occasions, and Mysie would appear with a swollen face
and crimson eyelids for the rest of the day. But never to
any creature would Mysie say a word against Duke, or
reveal the reason of her broken-hearted sobs.

“Mysie, my dear!” exclaimed Mrs. Duncan one day at
early dinner, “what have you been doing? Duke, you
have been tormenting her again !”

“He hasn’t, mother !” gasped Mysie, and relapsed once

* more into tears.

“Well, then, what is it ?”

But nothing would make Mysie tell, and Duke was very
careful not to let out that he had been trying to persuade
her to cross the field with him, in spite of Farmer
Beecham’s bull, and their father’s prohibition.

Duke had called her a coward ; a miserable, poor-spirited
chit, always in a fright, and hiding behind silly rules in
order to keep herself safe from any risk. Mysie had
offered to go and ask for leave, and follow Duke anywhere
when it was granted; but that did not suit the young
gentleman, and offended him almost more than her refusal.

“You're just a nasty little mischief-maker—or you
would be if one gave you the chance !” he declared ; and
she fled into the house, unable to bear any more.

It was after this that Duke began to try his powers of
persuasion on Cicely, in order to induce her to go with
him. He was not fond of undertaking anything alone.



76 COURAGE.

If he had a companion the blame could be shared, the
heavier share somehow never falling on Duke’s own
shoulders. At the same time he had a way of securing all
the credit there might be in case of success—it was the
old story, as in the carpentering. Mysie, having failed him,
was made to suffer, and in that there was some one else
‘who might be played off against her, she was punished
more than usual: in fact, Duke practically sent her to
Coventry. His increasing civility to Cicely under these
circumstances was flattering to the cousin, who did not
understand the cause, and, of course, added greatly to
poor Mysie’s distress, as Duke meant that it should.

Mysie could not keep silence any longer, when a week
after the boys’ return home, she found Duke and Cicely
whispering together outside the schoolroom door. Duke
gave her a cool stare as she passed—it was a whole day
since she had offended him, but he showed no signs of
relenting—and the child dashed passionately into the
- schoolroom, slamming the door with such violence that
Miss Prince, with sad severity, gave her a bad mark to
add to her woes. Mysie was the only one of the girls
who minded bad marks, and she sat down to think over
her hard fate.

When Cicely came in, a few minutes later, Mysie went
up to her, and begged to know what Duke was wanting
her todo. She was sure it was something that he ought
not to ask, and it was “such a pity ! such apity !” mourned
poor Mysie. :

“He said I wasn’t to tell you,” said Cicely, with some
importance in her tone.



DUKE’S WAY.

es

“Then it’s about that field. Oh! Cicely don’t got
We've been forbidden—and there’s a bull there—a real
bull, not a quiet old cow like Daisy; father says it isn’t
safe.”

Fresh from Duke’s flatteries, Cicely felt very brave, but
Mysie’s words made her pause.

“Do you really know that Uncle Herbert would think
it dangerous ?” she asked a little anxiously, for she had .
given Duke her promise, and had a vague idea that she
would be made to suffer more severely than Mysie if she
broke her word.

“Of course he does! He has told us all not to go
there.” |

“He hasn’t told me,” said Cicely, putting forward one
of Duke’s own arguments.

“But you know it—I have told you.”

“T don’t take my orders from you!’ replied Miss
Duncan, tossing her head and walking off with a very
good imitation of Jane’s manner when offended. In Jane
it was natural, in Cicely it was only unladylike.

A little while after, Duke and Cicely were both missing
—no one had seen them go, no one knew what had
become of them. Miss Prince wondered and Lena
showed much indignation; Mysie looked at the table-
cleth and turned very red, but fortunately she was not
questioned. a

A short time after, Mysie asked if she might go and
speak to Andrew for a minute, and Miss Prince, after
asking if it was really important and seeing her distressed
face, thought some pet must have been forgotten that



78 COURAGE.

morning, and gave her leave to go if she was not more than
five minutes. Lena was apparently absorbed in her read-
ing, and paid no attention.

Andrew was soon found. He was in the library looking
up some matter of history that he had forgotten, and his
uncle had mentioned at dinner the evening before.

“Oh, Andrew, I’ve only five minutes !” exclaimed Mysie,
miserably, “but I must tell you. I don’t think its
sneaking—if it is I can’t help it. I’m so afraid for Cicely
—and Duke, too !”

“Where are they ?” asked Andrew, springing Le

“You won't tell Lena—or anyone ?”

“T won’t tell Lena, or anyone—if I can help it.”

“Oh ! but promise—and I’ve only five minutes—I mean
three |”

“You must trust me, Mysie; I can’t promise blindly.”

“Oh, Andrew !”

What is it ?”

“Well, if you tell, ’ll never—never forgive. Duke and
Cicely have gone across the field—where the bullis. I
can’t think how he made her do it, but they’ve gone, I’m
sure of it.”

“All right, ’llsee. Hurry back and don’t be frightened.
Very often the bull isn’t there ; I'll go.”

“Oh, Andrew dear, you are so very good !” and Mysie
‘suddenly hugged her cousin before she fled back to the
schoolroom—only just in time.

“What did you go for ?” asked Lena as they were putting
away their books, twenty minutes later,

“To speak to Andrew.”



DUKE'S WAY.

“What about ?”

“T can’t tell you.”

“Then Andrew will.”

“No, he won't.”

Yes, he will.”

“He won't; he promised.”

“Tl make him tell.”

“Then you'll be very wicked—and—and—he won't for
all your making.”

“We shall see,” said Lena, as she walked-away.



CHAPTER XIIL
ANDREW'S WAY.

DUKE and Ciccly started very merrily on their walk.
There was a feeling in both their hearts that they must
keep up their spirits, or the voice of conscience wouid
sound too loud to be silenced, and then there could be no
more fun. .

“Tm not really going if the bull’s there,” said Cicely, as
they came to the stile.

“He isn’t here always—I don’t see him now; come, ©
Cicely !”

Over the stile went Cicely, for she also had looked
iound and had not seen the animal she dreaded. He was
where they could not see him, near a brook, behind a
clump of trees, lashing at the flies with his strong tail, and
looking round with his fierce, resentful eyes, to make sure
_ that he was alone, and would be left unmolested. He
was not a good-tempered brute, and the farmer was only
waiting for a favourable opportunity of getting rid of him.

On came Duke and Cicely, tramping boldly over the
grass, and the bull stopped chewing the cud and looked
out at them. They did not see him, and he kept quiet,

but he could see them, for they drew his attention at once
Ro



_ANDREW’S WAY. 81

by their noisy laughter. On they came, nearer and nearer,
and at last the bull took one step forward, and shewed his
great head and strong neck, very much to the surprise of
Duke, who had really begun to think the animal was not
there.

“There he is!” said Duke, suddenly. “Don’t be afraid,
Cicely ; he won’t run at us, I dare say.”

For one moment Cicely stood spell-bound, and the bull
began to paw with one foot in an uneasy way; then the
girl turned and began to run,

“Don’t run, don’t!” shouted Duke, beginning to laugh.

“Tt’s much worse if you run. He'll be after you in a
minute. Take it as coolly as I do !”

But as he spoke, the bull made a sudden spring forward
with lowered horns, and Duke came racing past Cicely,
calling out to her to run faster, the bull was coming.

“Oh, wait for me—wait!” panted poor Cicely, who
was unaccustomed to running ; “take my hand and heip
me! Oh! Duke, Duke !”

For without even stopping to listen to her, the boy had
rushed on to save himself. There was a thatched shed in
the field for sheltering cattle in the winter, and up the
pole and on to the roof of this shed did Duke climb,
without a thought for the safety of the girl he Ree
deserted.

As for Cicely, she had come to a tree, and was trying to
dodge the bull round it, at the same time uttering scream
after scream of terror. Her fear gave her quickness, and
she watched and sprang round the tree, to avoid the great
animal as it made rushes at her ; but she was getting tired

F



82 COURAGE.

out, and nobody came to her assistance, —only Duke—now
thoroughly frightened—joined his shouts to hers. The
farm was too far away for any one to hear them, but the
sounds quickened Andrew’s footsteps, and he only paused
for one moment to break as large a branch as he could
from the nearest tree before starting with this—his only
weapon—to Cicely’s rescue.

Seeing two people the bull paused, not certain which to
attack, and, coming up boldly, Andrew waved the branch
before him. The bull once more lowered his head and
prepared to charge Andrew, when Cicely made a sudden
movement and brought the animal’s attention once more
on herself.

“Don’t scream, and don’t run,” panted Andrew. “Get
behind me, if ‘you can, and then creep away to the next
tree, while I distract him for a time.”

Despair made Cicely suddenly brave. She obeyed—
kept her eyes on the bull and on Andrew’s movements,
and only when she was more than half-way to the next _
tree did she run. This was done several times ; the bull,
each time Cicely ran, leaving Andrew, and charging after
her, and then back to Andrew, as he too followed, running,
Each time they drew nearer to the gate, and at last Cicely
was there and-safely through it; Andrew following with
a torn coat and scratched arm, for the bull had caught
- him under the elbow, and given him a nasty graze down
to the wrist. The bull stamped and pushed at the gate,
but it was strong, and with a bellow of disappointment
the animal turned away.

As soon as Cicely felt she was safe, she threw herself



ANDREIW’S WAY. 83



down on the ground, panting and exhausted; and Andrew
did the same, for he also was very tired.

“You're not hurt ?” he asked, anxiously, as she rubbed
her ankle with one hand.

“Oh, no! it isn’t that—it only hurts a little, I mean ; I
twisted it the other day, and running has made it ache
again—not much.”

“You were very brave just now,” said Andrew, en-
couragingly. “If you had been foolish, and not done
what you could to help yourself, I think you might have
been killed. But where is Duke? I thought he was with
you.”

“Yes—but—he ran away. I think he’s on the shed
now. He can’t get away because of the bull; will you go
and help him ?”

“No,” said Andrew, slowly.

“Won't you? Isn’t that unkind ?”

“Do you think I am unkind ?” asked Andrew.

“You haven’t been to me—and I’m so much obliged
—but Duke—poor Duke !”

“Duke shouldn’t have brought you here; he knew if
wasn't safe, and that it was forbidden,”

“So did I,” said Cicely, boldly.

“Did you? I’m sorry,” answered Andrew. “Will you
wait for me here if I leave you a moment? I want to
wash my arm at the brook down there. I don’t want to
frighten Aunt Carry, and it looks rather nasty.” __

It certainly did, for the bruise was turning black, and
the raw graze had a rather ghastly appearance; but
Andrew did not show it to Cicely, nor did she ask to seeit.



84 ~ COURAGE.



“You won't be very long, will you ?” faltered Cicely.

“Not a annie longer than I can help. Don’t go
without me.’

“Oh, no!”

“Tl be quick !”—and away went And ew as fast as he
could run, down the road and out of sight.

Cicely sat thinking. She was glad enough to sit still
after her fright and running, but it was not that which
had puckered her forehead into a frown. Why should
Andrew speak so coldly about Duke? Why should he
leave him to himself with that dreadful bull in the field ?
Cicely was not best pleased with Duke for leaving her in
the lurch, but she did not approve of the cool way in
which Andrew left him to his fate. It wasn’t kind or nice
of him. Poor Duke ! if she could only call to him—warn
him—give him some help—then perhaps another time he
would stay and help her, and not think only of himself.
It was selfish of him to leave her, but then boys always
are selfish. Had not Andrew left her merely to attend to
_ his arm, which might not be much hurt after all, and
what.a time he was !

Cicely got up, and had just begun to think of following
him, when she saw him running back.

“Sorry to keep you so long,” was all he said, and then
walked home with her as if nothing had happened.

“Tt seems so cruel to leave Duke !” said Cicely, as they
crossed the garden.

“Tt won’t hurt him,” said Andrew, shortly.

“Oh, why didn’t I tell the farm-people that he was
there !’” exclaimed Cicely, suddenly. “TI’ll go back now.”



ANDREW’S WAY. 8s

“You can’t—you musn’t !” said Andrew, catching her
by the skirt as she started off, and thereby pulling a long
piece out of the gathers. “I’m awfully sorry, but you
really musn’t go ; Duke will be all right. The bul! will be
taken in, I have no doubt.”

“Well, it won’t be thanks to you if it is!” exclaimed
Cicely, indignantly. “I can’t think why you're so dis-
agreeable about Duke.”

“Don’t you mind his having left you alone with that
animal ? Don’t you mind his having thought only of his
own safety ?”

“Tf I do, it’s nothing to you !” said Cicely, hotly, “and
I can’t bear to think of him out there on that shed !”

“Well, you needn't,” said Andrew, gently, “for here he
comes.”

And in truth, here came Duke, disgust on every line of
his face.

“You might have waited to help me!” he began.

“JT wanted.to, Duke ?” said Cicely, eagerly.

Andrew made no reply.

“J don’t know how I should have got away, but, by
good luck, the men came and drove that brute into the
straw-yard, and I slid down and cut as quickly as I could.
I was in an awful fright lest they should see me.”

“Shall you tell your uncle ?” They were the first words
Andrew had spoken.

“No! Why should I get into a row? There’s no need,
and not much harm done either. You're all right, aren't.
you, Cicely ?” :
~ Qh, yes; I wasn’t hurt.”



86 ° COURAGE.

“Come on, then. We shall do very well, Cicely, and
no one need know unless Andrew blabs !”

“Will he ?” whispered Cicely,

“ No—never!” replied Duke,



CHAPTER XIV.
DUKE KEEPS SILENCE.

CicELY found bad marks, extra lessons, and many
- reproaches awaiting her in the schoolroom; but when
Miss Prince saw how tired she seemed, and when, being
questioned, she admitted that her head ached, she was
forgiven the extra lessons, on the condition that she never

did such a thing again—which she readily promised. —

She had no desire to trust herself with that bull again.

Now that the danger was over, she shuddered to think
of it, and turned pale at the least word that brought it
to her remembrance.

Mrs. Duncan thought her looking very tired in the
evening, and Cicely gratefully accepted her aunt’s sugges-
tion that she should go to bed early.

Mysie longed to ask her what had happened—she could
not help thinking, from Cicely’s weary looks, that she had
had some strange adventure, but she had no opportunity
of speaking to her alone. Lena, too, was on the watch
for something. She had questioned Andrew, but without
any result, and was therefore in rather a bad temper with
him and all the others.

“Come to the schoolroom and play chess with me,

Andrew,” she said suddenly, laying her hand on the arm
87



88 COURAGE.



nearest her. To her surprise, he shrank and changed
colour.

“Take care—don’t touch my arm, please; I—got it
hurt to-day.”

“Did you? When? How ?”

“This afternoon Don’t tell any one.”

“When you and Mysie had that secret? I don’t see
why I shouldn’t tell. I won’t, if you say what happened
—and if you don’t

She had failed, and she knew it by the quiet way
Andrew turned over the page of his book—and she had
threatened him! As a rule, Lena had as great an objection
to “telling” as Andrew, or Duke himself; but on this
occasion she was angry, and her pride made her forgetful
of everything but keeping her word—the word of an angry
moment.

“Mother, Andrew’s hurt his arm,” she said aloud.

“Has he? Is it bad, Andrew? How did you do it ?”

Lena shot a glance of triumph at her cousin, but he did
not look at her. With a jerk of boyish annoyance he rose
and went to his aunt when she called him.

“Tt’s all right, Aunt Carry; nothing to make a fuss

about. It has been done up—you can’t see it.”
“But if it hurts so much, it may not be dressed properly.
Who did it up for you ?”

“They did it at the farm,” said Andrew, reluctantly.

“But how did you do it, dear? And what were you
‘doing at the farm ?”

“T can’t tell you, Aunt Carry. Will you mind not
asking me ?”





DUKE KEEPS SILENCE. 89



“But, my dear, I mind very much, because J want to
know what you were doing. You weren’t in any mis-
chief ?”

Andrew gave a queer little smile. “I don’t think so,”
he: said.

“ But you must tell me what it was.”

No answer came, and then Andrew Pee and kissed
his aunt.

“Please!” he said, softly.

“Well, dear, I must trust to you that you were doing
nothing you ought to tell us about.”

“T really don’t think I was doing wrong,” said Andrew,
simply, and the subject dropped, as Mysie came up to say
good night.

Andrew went early to bed. His arm was feeling very
stiff, and hurt him a good deal ; but what hurt him most
was Duke’s indifference to his sufferings. It is true the
younger boy had looked up and listened intently while his
mother was questioning Andrew, and he had felt a thrill
of thankfulness that his father had not been present—or
Cicely ; but not a word of sympathy did he speak to
Andrew, then or later. As he laid his head on the pillow,
he felt a comfortable assurance that the subject was done
with, for he knew only too well that Andrew would never
reveal any part of the affair but his own, however hardly
pressed.

But at breakfast-next morning Duke’s anxicty returned.
There was a cloudon his father’s face, and Andrew was
late’ When the boy appeared at last, he was pale and
heavy-eyed.



go COURAGE.

“My dear Andrew,” exclaimed his aunt, “I’m afraid you
haven't slept well. How is your arm ?”

“What's the matter with his arm ?” asked Mr. Duncan,
hastily, not waiting to hear Andrew’s faltering assurance
that it was “pretty well, thank you.”

“He hurt it yesterday.”

“How ?” asked Mr. Duncan, sharply.

“T don’t know. There seems some little mystery about it.”

“Perhaps this will explain,” and Mr. Duncan tossed a
letter across to his wife. As she glanced at it, Mrs. Duncan
said, “ Oh, Andrew !” reproachfully, and passed the letter
ontohim. He read it, not hearing Mr. Duncan’s annoyed
remarks on the thoughtlessness of boys in general and
Andrew in particular ; but when he laid it down and faced
his aunt, it struck her that he did not seem very much
ashamed of himself.

The letter stated that Andrew had come to the farm and
asked the men to take the bull out of the field as quickly
as they could, for it seemed so excited and had been trying
to push out on to the road. He said it had hurt him, but
he would not say how, or what he had been doing in the
field. Mrs. Beecham had bathed and tied up his arm and
he had gone away as quickly as he had come. They
drove the bull out of the field and found it with a broken
apple-branch across its neck, and, on driving in, a splinter
of wood was discovered in its eye ; but as the animal was
by that time uncontrollable, they had been obliged to
shoot it, and the farmer therefore claimed compensation.

“Was it the bull that hurt your arm, Andrew ?” asked
Mrs. Duncan,





DUKE KEEPS SILENCE. gr

- “Yes, Aunt Carry.”

“Why didn’t you say so before?” asked Mr. Duncan,
indignantly. “If there is one thing I detest more than
another it is the way you will not be frank and open about
your mischief. It isn’t the actual fault I mind half as
much as your silence and concealment.”

Cicely looked up quickly from Andrew to Duke. Duke
was helping himself to butter; Andrew was looking out
of the window.

“Tt annoys me very much, Andrew, to see your indiffer-
ence to all I say. What were you doing in the field where
the bull was ?”

Andrew only shook his head.

“Tf you cannot answer me, you had better go to your
own room,” exclaimed his uncle, hastily; and Andrew
rose to obey, when Cicely, who had been watching Duke,
and saw he would not speak, suddenly interposed:

“Jt wasn’t Andrew’s fault, Uncle Herbert; he didn’t
come on his own account—he came to help me.”

“You! Why, my dear child, what were you doing in
the field where that bull was ?—you, who I was told were
afraid of good old Daisy 1”

“J—I didn’t know there was a bull there.”

“Were you alone ?”

Would Duke speak now? No, he et silence, and
Cicely faltered, “I was alone then.”

“When ?”

“When Andrew came to help me. The bull ran at me
and—I think it would have killed me if he hadn’t come.”

“Why didn’t you tell us this before, my dear Cicely ?”



92 COURAGE.



asked her aunt; “and how came you to be alone in the
field? I thought you went out with Duke. Wasn’t he
with you? Where were you, Duke ?”

“We did start out together,” said Duke carelessly.

“Then you weren’t with Cicely when the bull ran at
her?”

“No, I wasn’t.”

“We'll have a look at your arm after breakfast,” said
| Mr. Duncan with a nod at Andrew. “Sit down and have
some more coffee. Of course, if you only went to help
Cicely and not for your own amusement, that is another
matter, though why you couldn’t say so from the first I
don’t understand. You seem to love making mys-
teries.”

“Even now I don’t understand what Duke was doing,”
said kis mother, rather gravely. “Surely, Cicely would
not have gone into the field with a bull, when she is so
afraid of animals: When did you leave her and where?” _

But poor Cicely suddenly created a diversion by setting
down her cup and bursting into tears. The recollection
of her fright and danger the day before and the close
questioning, together with Duke’s determined silence as
to his own share of the matter, made her very unhappy,
and Cicely had not yet learnt to be unhappy without
showing it.

Every one was exceedingly kind to her. Mrs. Duncan
said her lessons should be excused that morning as het
head ached, and she was allowed to lie down in the
schoolroom with a story-book instead of doing sums.

“You didn’t tell about Duke ; that was good of you!”



DUKE KEEPS SILENCE, 93



whispered Mysie during the morning; “and you won't
ever—will you ?”

“No,” said Cicely, decidedly; “but I think he’s the
meanest boy that ever lived not to tell about it himself:
I call it cowardly—worse than being afraid of cows—and
you may tell him I said so, if you like.”



CHAPTER XV.
SUGGESTIONS.

ANDREW’S injured arm was more of a business than had
at first been supposed. If it had been properly washed
and dressed at once, the hurt would have been only a
slight affair ; but, on seeing it, the doctor feared it might
now take some time to heal, so Andrew and Cicely were
invalided together, and had some quiet hours alone in the
schoolroom, where they became more acquainted with each
other’s ways and characters than they had been before.

Lena was still angry, but most angry with herself for
having so nearly led Andrew into a scrape. She could
guess ina moment that Duke was the real offender, and
it seemed strange to her that neither her father nor her
mother should see through the boy’s silence. She forgot
how little of his real character Duke showed to any one
but his sisters and Andrew.

Cicely was full of indignation at Duke’s behaviour, and
profuse in apologies to Andrew for what she had said the
day before. He politely laughed it off as a mistake, and
began to talk of other things, but Cicely’s thoughts could
only follow the events of the last twenty-four hours.

“Do you know,” she said suddenly, “I think you ought
not to let Uncle Herbert and Aunt Carry blame you for
what Duke really does. It doesn’t seem right—a kind of

94



SUGGESTIONS. 95

story-telling—doesn’t it? I mean it makes them think
you've done things when you haven’t—and I don’t believe
it’s right.”

Andrew moved restlessly on his sofa, but made no
answer.

“You understand what I mean, don’t you ?” she asked.

“Yes, I suppose I do.”

“Well then oy

“Oh, I’ve thought of all that before—often,” answered
Andrew. “TI dare say itrisn’t right, but I can’t help it.”

“How do you mean ?”

“’m awfully fond of Duke—he isn’t at all what you
think him—he can be very generous and brave—he gives
half his things away, and yet—well—I sometimes think it
would break Aunt Carry’s heart if she knew Duke could
do—do—what he sometimes does.”

“Tsn’t he found out at school ?”

“No, he can’t do much there—it’s at home; he leads
Mysie into mischief, and lets her take all the punishment.
They aren’t very bad things—nothing worse than yester-
day, and not often so bad—but it’s such a pity! I don’t
know what will cure him. He doesn’t seem to mind our
knowing.”

“I should have thought he’d have been ashamed —I
should !” declared Cicely,

“All his people are so proud of him,” said Andrews
sadly; “it would be such a shock if they found it
out.”

“But they must some day,” said Cicely gravely “ And 1
feel as if it would be all the worse later, when nothing







96 - COURAGE.

could be done to break him of it. He keeps clear of
telling actual stories as yet.” :

“Yes, he answers very cleverly, that makes it so much
worse ; but let us talk of something else.”

“T can’t think of anything else. I,can only think that
Uncle Herbert ought to know that Duke isn’t nearly as
true and straightforward as he thinks him, and that you

-oughtn’t to let it go on any longer. Why don’t you tell
Duke that next time you won't bear it ?”

“T have told him that many times, but he knows when
it comes to the point that I can’t tell. I think the only
person except ourselves who knows it, is his grandfather.”
' “What, old Mr. Duncan ?”

“Yes, he sometimes looks at him and says, “Be true,
Duke—be true to yourself and to others ; there was never
a brave man that wasn‘t true,” for you see Duke is going
into the army.”

“Ts he? My father was a captain. You know that Mr.
Duncan is my grandfather too ?”

“Oh, yes, I remember!” said Andrew, and suddenly
changed the subject.

When the others came back from their walk, Andrew
was reading aloud to Cicely, who, with eager, sparkling
eyes, was deep in the mysteries of Treasure Island.

Duke was particularly kind and attentive to Cicely, so
that she found it hard to believe that the boy who
talked and laughed so amusingly could be the one who
had kept silence and allowed his cousin to bear the blame
due only to himself. He even made her a sort of

apology.



SUGGESTIONS. 97

“Tm awfully sorry about the bull, Cicely,’ he said,

sitting down by her and looking properly penitent.

_“You ought to have spoken up and told the truth,” said
Cicely, gravely. She liked to preach to this handsome
boy-cousin of hers. It was a new sensation. Duke hung
his head for a moment.

“J should have spoken if—if it had gone any further.
As it was—what would have been the good? It would
only have worried my father and made a fuss.”

- “Well,” said Cicely, with a sigh, “of course, if you don’t
want to be truthful 2

“T never told a lie,” declared Duke, indignantly ; “you
can’t say I did.”

“You answered very—carefully,” said Cicely, “but my
grandfather used to say it was worse to act a lie than to
tell one.”

“Well, look here—forgive me this time, and it shan’t
occur again, as the doctor is so fond of saying at school.”

Cicely could only forgive him and hope that in time he
might learn better. She had also other things to think of,
for Jane had heard in the servant’s hall that a wonderful
improvement in old Mr. Duncan’s health had taken place.
If it continued, Mr. Brace had declaréd that the change
for the better was “something wonderful,” and he might
say “almost supernatural.”

“What’ll be done about Miss Cicely if he goes in his
chair again?” asked Mrs, Jelliepot; but that was more
than Mr. Brace could answer, and Mr. Firkin, the butler,
shook his head gravely, intimating that such a question
showed a want of discretion on Mrs, Jeliiepot’s part. Jane

G





98 COURAGE.



kept her ears open, and reported every word of this
conversation to Cicely, who was more excited than ever at
the possibility of seeing her grandfather. But whether it
was only accidental or arranged, it so happened that on
the day Mr. Duncan took his first turn in the garden,
Cicely was out driving with Mrs. Duncan, and only heard
of it on her return, when Jane met her, full of indignation.

It seemed more clear than ever that there was some
reason—good or bad—which made Mr. and Mrs. Duncan
anxious to keep Cicely out of her grandfather’s way, and
as Jane constantly repeated, “What could it be—unless it
was that they were afraid he would leave all his money to
his elder son’s child, Miss Cicely Duncan, to the disap-
pointment of Master Marmaduke !”

“You may depend upon it that’s, it, Miss Cicely,” said
Jane, as she brushed her young mistress’s hair the following
morning. ‘ You'll never see him as long as they can keep
you apart. You ought to pluck up spirit and see him for
yourself. For all you know, he mayn’t even know of your
existence. You must have the right to see your own
grandfather 1”

“But how can I ?” asked Cicely.

“T’m sure I-don’t know. Why don’t you get Master
Marmaduke to help you—only don’t tell him why ; he’s
up to any sort of mischief, so all the servants say.”

“But I don’t like Duke now; I think Andrew’s a great
deal nicer,” :

“Dear me, Miss Cicely, I don’t see that that matters.
Nice or nasty, if he takes you to your grandfather, and
does what you want, he’s of more use than some one











“You may depend upon it, that’s it,’ said Jane.”—Page 98.



Full Text
xml record header identifier oai:www.uflib.ufl.edu.ufdc:UF0008885600001datestamp 2008-12-11setSpec [UFDC_OAI_SET]metadata oai_dc:dc xmlns:oai_dc http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc xmlns:dc http:purl.orgdcelements1.1 xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc.xsd dc:title Courage dc:creator Thorn, IsmayBrowne, Gordon, 1858-1932 ( Illustrator )dc:subject Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Grandfathers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Orphans -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Cousins -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Children and death -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Country life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Truthfulness and falsehood -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Wills -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )Courage -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )dc:description b Statement of Responsibility by Ismay Thorn ; Illustrations by Gordon Browne.Date of publication from t.p. verso.dc:publisher Wells Gardner, Darton & Co.dc:date 1899dc:type Bookdc:format 223 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.dc:identifier http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc/?b=UF00088856&v=00001002238505 (aleph)265031622 (oclc)ALH9021 (notis)dc:source University of Floridadc:language Englishdc:coverage England -- London






‘ | W Ne)





“There he is,” said Duke suddenly ; “ don’t be afraid Cicely.” —Page ‘81.
COURAGE

BY
ISMAY THORN,
AUTHOR OF
“QUITE. UNEXPECTED,” “A GOLDEN AGE,” “PINAFORE DAYS,”

“GEOFF AND JIM,” ETC,

ILLUSTRATIONS BY GORDON BROWNE, R.I.

LONDON:
WELLS GARDNER, DARTON & CO.
3, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E.C.
AND 44, VICTORIA STREET, S.w.
CONTENTS.



CHAP. PAGE
I. SHADOWS : S 7 ; A ° ° ° ° 7

II, LOOKING BACK h ; : 2 S ' ee II
III. CHANGES : , 2 . 5 4 f 2 eeee1O

IV. NOT EXPECTED j ; : Siete eee 23
V. VERY STRANGE 3 : ; 5 3 : . see 0.
VI, IN THE SCHOOLROOM . : : : eae ee s5

VII. SPICK AND SPAN. : : : ; es BAO

VII, ANOTHER GRANDFATHER : : : ; : «40
IX. CONFIRMATION STRONG . 4 : 2 : : ae s3
qlee THEMBOVS yet anny pee Se ae eae cS
XI. A FRIGHT AND A FROCK ; : : ; : . 64

XIl,. DUKE’S WAY . : 5 . 5 é : ‘ 72

XII, ANDREW'S WAY .-. . ; : ; : A . 80

XIV. DUKE KEEPS SILENCE . , : : a : Seo
XV. SUGGESTIONS . : 5 ; ; : F : » 94

XVI, A BLOCK FOR CICELY , 3 : ; : : » 102

XVII. SOME OF JANE’S OPINIONS . . . . . « I07
SSVI. A COUNTER-PLOT . . . . . ° . » %II4
XIX. WANTED, INFORMATION ° . . ° . « 122

RSG VACESTOSRACE unis et hie eo a ea ey 27
RNIN SOME XXII. MRS. DUNCAN EXPLAINS Ree nha eee ater AA
XXIII, DUKE IN DIFFICULTIES oie eee ce ToT
Vi. CONTENTS.

CHAP. is : PACE
XXIV. FROM BAD TO WORSE .° .o : ‘ f + «+ 159

XXV. AT LAST ‘: 5 : f a ‘ 6 di . 467
XXVI. JUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED 0 : - 179
XXVII, TEMPER AND GUNPOWDER . : : A . . 189

XXVIII], “IN ALL TIME OF OUR TRIBULATION”. . «© I99
@ XXIV. ACLEARER VIEW. 6 5 1 te ww 209
~-XXV, IN-THE END. 6-0 ep ee 2S

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
“«There he is, said Duke suddenly”, . . .. Frontispiece

“Jane repeated to Cicely all the information” . a _ ests

“In rushed five breathless and excited children” . ; neni 27,
“Tt amused Lena to see her cousin’s alarm” . : 8 = xe)
“Cicely, in her fear, made a sudden pause”. : — & 68
“She had to find every tool” . 7 F 2 ; : 2 73
“But what became of the heiress?” . a : : : etl
& Hullo ! who is this?” . 5 eee : . 129
a Oh, Uncle Herbert, do tell me how he i Sy eae : Cage ESO
“You shall not hurt it” , . 0 6 . 3 : se LS,
“ Duke seized her roughly” ; a : 5 ee 163
“Cicely thrust the envelope into the’ fire” . 5 3 » 173

" “Duke picked up the envelope Gicelyi ht had Hee re : . 187
“¢Come at once,’ he shouted” . ; ; . : 6 « IQI
“ Are you tired of holding my hand ?” . ea ie eet een 203
“Pick and ’Pan will tell you somefin” . j : : + 221




COURAGE.

ee

CHAPTER 1.
SHADOWS.

“ARE you tired, Grandpapa ?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Does your head ache ?”

“Yes, dear. Iam not well to-day.”

There was a moment’s silence; then Cicely asked

softly, “Can I do anything for you, Grandpapa ?”’

' “Nothing, thank you, darling, unless——Cicely, do
you think you could write a letter from my dictation ?”

“Oh, yes! I'll write it very neatly.”

“Then sit down, and tell me when you are ready.”

A little rustling and turning over of paper and envelopes
at the writing-table followed; then Cicely said, “I’m
quite ready now, Grandpapa.”

“Good! Have you written the date ?”

“No, Grandpapa.”

“Then write it at once at the top of the page. Put the
day of the month and the year. Don’t grow up into one
of those provoking people who write ‘Wednesday,’ or

i


8 COURAGE.



‘Saturday,’ as if there were not fifty-two Wednesdays and
Saturdays in a year. Have you written it?”

“Yes, Grandpapa.”

“Then begin: ‘Dear Sir,—May I take the liberty of
asking you to come to meas soon as possible after the
receipt of this. I am not well, so Cicely writes for me.—
Yours truly: ’ And now bring the letter to me.”

With a trembling hand, the old gentleman traced the
letters of his name, and Cicely watched as the “George
Lorton” was completed and the paper folded for the
envelope.

“That isn’t much like your writing, Grandpapa,” said
Cicely, looking doubtfully at the signature.

“No, dear, but it does not matter. Now address the
envelope to ‘Herbert Duncan, Esq., The Maples, Fox-
leigh.’ ”

“Oh! is that my Uncle Herbert?” asked Cicely,
looking up ; “then I shall see him at last !” .

Mr. Lorton glanced across at his grand-daughter, and
nodding his head sadly (so Cicely fancied) echoed het
words,

“Yes, you will see him at last. And now, my sweet,
run away. You can do nothing more for me, except
leave me to sleep.” .

“T hope you will be better when you have slept,” said
Cicely lovingly, as she gazed into the pale, handsome old
face.. “Dear Grandpapa, you look as if your headache
was a very bad one ; is it ?”

Mr. Lorton’s only answer was a smile as he held out
his hand and dismissed her with a most loving kiss, which


SHADOWS. 9

Cicely returned with interest in her favourite spot, the top
of his head, where the hair grew fine and thin.

Then leaving him to sleep, she softly closed the library
door, and went up the high London staircase to her play-
room.

It was Wednesday, and a half-holiday, so Miss Mason,
the daily governess, was not there; only Jane, Cicely’s
maid, was stitching away at a new cotton frock.

“Come back already, Miss Cicely ?” she said, looking
up; “why, I thought I shouldn’t see you for ever so
Jong.”

“Grandpapa has a Teche answered Cicely; “a
very bad headache, I’m afraid, for I had. to write a letter
for him—a letter to my Uncle Herbert, asking him to
come here.”

“Lor, Miss, you don’t say so!” exclaimed Jane, who
was (unluckily for Cicely) a vulgar, gossiping woman,
though very fond of the child she had taken care of for
sight years, ever since Cicely came from Jamaica, a little

ot of three. “ You don’t say so, Miss—dear me !”

“JT wonder when he will come,” said Cicely, gravely
“and why Grandpapa sent for him. He isn’t a doctor,
you know, Jane, so it can’t be because of his headache. J]
wonder why he’s coming.”

“Well, Miss Cicely,” and then Jane bent her head over
her work and shook it mysteriously, as if she ay knew
very well, but did not like to say.

“Oh ! do tell me what you think, Jane, and don’t go on
shaking your head like that,” exclaimed Cicely impatiently.

But this time, Jane had the sense to keep her thoughts
£0 COURAGE.



to herself and soon turned Cicely’s into another channel,
by saying, “ Don’t you think, Miss Cicely, that you could
persuade your grandpapa to leave his books for a time,
and take a holiday at the seaside? There’s no knowing
the good it would do us. It would be such a blessed
change, and the summer coming on and all, and it would
bring some colour into your cheeks, Miss Cicely, that are
none of the rosiest.” :

All this sounded so delightful, that Cicely sat in the
window forgetting to read her book, while she built the
most enchanting castles in the air, in which she and her
grandfather would live near the sea, and take long walks
on the shore together. Nothing, thought Cicely, could
be more pleasant than to live in the country or near the
sea, and one of the many advantages would be that Miss
Mason could not follow.

Cicely did not love Miss Mason, who was elderly and
grim, and had a way of looking over her spectacles that
was exceedingly embarrassing, and would not allow that
every other day ought to be a holiday. Mr. Lorton
considered Miss Mason very conscientious, but Cicely
called her “horribly fussy, strict, and cross ;” and ‘Jane,
who was inclined to be jealous of the governess, was apt
to side with the pupil. Above Cicely’s castle in the air
was a cloudless sky, as she dreamed of a new life without
Miss Mason, the dark London house exchanged for a
pretty, sunny, country one, and Mr. Lorton’s headaches
banished for ever in the delightful open-air, healthy life
they would lead together.


CHAPTER IL
LOOKING BACK.

WHILE Cicely was castle-building in her room above,
downstairs in the library Mr. Lorton was also dreaming,
but his thoughts were all of the past. He was thinking
of his marriage, rather late in life ; of his wife’s long ill-
ness and early death. Then his thoughts turned to
another Cicely, their only child, who had left her father’s
house to follow the fortunes of Major Duncan in the West
Indies. She had gone in the most hopeful spirit—only
for five years, she said ; it would seem such a little while,
and then she would be home again. It was hard to leave
her father ; but, then, she would break her heart if Alfred
had to go, and she were left behind! So she went away
from her old home and her old father, and five years passed,
but she did not return, First, Major Duncan died of yellow
fever, and when she had nursed him with all the love and
tenderness possible, and nothing more could be done for
him in this world, her own strength gave way. The day
before she would have left for England she was buried
beside her husband, and only baby Cicely returned to the
old man who had been waiting so patiently. .

A wild little three-year old creature she was, who hid her
II
12 COURAGE.



face and screamed at strangers around her, calling piteously
for “Mother” and “Juno,” her old black nurse, and
refusing to be comforted. She would go to no one, and,
when put down, rushed into a corner like a little savage
thing, where she fell asleep at last, worn out by terror,
rage, and weeping.

When she awoke she was being gently rocked in some
one’s arms, and all the strange, dreadful faces (that had
terrified the child by looking at her so sadly and pitifully)
were gone.

“Are you my father?” whispered Cicely, for the room
was dark, and the arm seemed kind and strong.

“No,” answered a loving, gentle voice; “but I am your
dear mother’s father, and I love you very much, and want
you to love me.”

Then Cicely had put her arms round his neck and
kissed him “all heart,” as she used to call it. From that
tinie the one person in the world for Cicely has been her
grandfather, and she was the treasure he loved best on
earth. She had always lived with him, been his companion
for hours in the dingy old library, and her childish chatter
had never seemed to disturb him. A very solitary. life
these two had led, for though Cicely knew she had other
relations, she had never seen them.

Jane knew something of the Duncan family, for her
home was not far from Foxleigh, so she had picked up
and repeated to Cicely all the information she had been
able to gather about them.

Major Duncan—so ran the tale—while he was only a
young captain, had refused to obey his father in marrying
es





























‘Jane repeated to Cicely all the information.”—Page 12.

LOOKING BACK. Is



a lady who was a near neighbour and an heiress. His
father had been angry, and Alfred Duncan had left home,
to which, for some unknown reason, he never returned.
Then Mr. Herbert Duncan married, and, after a time, old
Mr. Duncan came to live with his son and daughter-in-law
at the Maples.

Mr. Herbert Duncan had several fice but though
Cicely would have liked to know their names, ages, and
habits, Jane’s information could not get beyond the fact
that there was a number of them of all ages.

Cicely went down again into the library on the day she
had written to her Uncle Herbert, and sat with her grand-
father for some time, holding his hand in hers, and wishing
that he were better, and more like his usual bright, happy,
loving self.

He did not complain, however, but he could not talk as
much as usual; only when Cicely looked sad, he smiled,
and told her not to fret: he hoped soon to be better—far
better than he had ever been in his life.

Somewhat comforted, Cicely told him all the plans she
had made, and how she wished they could go into the
country, right away from the London fogs and smoke,
where he could get quite, quite well; and as he listened
very quietly to all she had to say about the delights of the
country, and did not speak one word against the plan,
Cicely went up to bed well satisfied that her grandfather
would think it over, and (as she knew) that generally
meant doing as Cicely wished,
CHAPTER III.
CHANGES.

“Mr. Lorton is at home, sir, but he was taken very ill
in the night, and can’t see any one,” said the man-
servant.

“Mr. Lorton wrote to me yesterday, asking me to come,”
replied the gentleman; “and, unless it is against the
doctor’s-orders, I think he had better be told I am here.”

“What name, sir ?”” asked the servant.

The gentleman gave his card, and was at once shown
into the library, now without its usual occupant.

“Y’m glad you’ve come, sir, if I may make so bold as
to say so,” remarked Robert, as he stirred up the fire,
which a chilly April morning made pleasant. “I don’t
know what will come to Miss Cicely if she goes on as she
do now.”

“How do you mean ?” asked Mr. Duncan.

“She's bin up all night, sitting by his side, holding his
’and, and feeding him like a walked hospital nurse. It
makes a fool of me to see her.” And Robert poked the
the fire vigorously once again.

“And when was he taken ill?” asked Mr. Duncan.

“Last night, sir. He’d bin queer all day, more or less,

and when he went up to bed, ‘Robert,’ says he—he
16
Fn en ee eS

CHANGES. 17



always called me Robert, sir, though my name is Parks,
because I’ve lived in his service since I was a boy—
‘Robert,’ he says, ‘ give me your arm up the stairs, there’s
a good lad,’ he says, ‘for I don’t feel well to-night, and it
isn’t many more times that you may have a chance of
helping your old master,’ he says ; and when he said that,
sir, it seemed to cut me like a knife.”

“But Miss Cicely had gone to bed then, had she not ?”
asked Mr. Duncan, seeing that Robert was determined to
tell the whole story in his own way.

“Yes, sir, she had; and Mr. Lorton, he went to bed
very quiet like, and I went down again. And then, in
about half an hour, his bell rang with a great jerk, anc
brought my very heart into my mouth, and I goes upstairs
quicker than ever I did in my life; and there he was
sat up in bed, moaning and rocking himself, and he says,
‘Doctor, Robert ; doctor at once!’ And I went out
even quicker than I came in, and if I didn’t trip and
stumble just outside Miss Cicely’s own door, and she
heard me, and out ‘she come. ‘Oh, Robert!’ she says,
‘What is it? Is my grandfather ill?’ she says, and then
she just went right into his room. She dressed, and was
with him all the time after that, except when the doctor
was there at first ; but now it seems there’s nothing to be

‘done for him, poor gentleman, and Miss Cicely’s fit to

break her heart about him.”

“Will you find out if I can see Mr. Lorton ?” asked
Mr. Duncan, glancing up at the clock, “and if he is not
able to see me, perhaps Miss Cicely will come down for a

few minutes,”

ae
18 COURAGE.

Robert went away to make enquiries, and Mr. Duncan
walked up and down the room for several minutes ; he
did not hear the door softly open or know that Cicely
was in the room until he turned in his walk and saw her
standing before him..

Poor Cicely! she was very pale, and not looking her
best, for her eyes were red and tired, also’she was feeling
strange and shy; but, as Mr. Duncan looked at her, he
thought, “She has a strong likeness to Alfred,” and he
went forward, took her limp hand, and, stooping, kissed
her on the cheek. . ”

“Poor child!” he said, kindly, “I am sorry that our
acquaintance should begin at such a sad time for you.
How is your grandfather ?”

Cicely could only shake her head.

“No better? I am sorry. You remember the letter
you wrote for him yesterday ?”

“Yes,” answered Cicely. Was she likely to forget ?
she thought, indignantly.

“Your grandfather wished to see me about something
important,” continued Mr. Duncan, “and I should not
like to go away without seeing him if he is well enough,
and the doctor will allow it.”

“He is asleep just now, but the doctor will be here soon,
I think, and then, if you can wait, Uncle Herbert ”

“T can wait as long as you want me, my child,” said
her uncle ; “but now you ought to rest a little instead of
standing there. Suppose I bring this sofa nearer the fire,
so—now don’t you think you could lie down and sleep
for a short time ?”






CHANGES. 19



“Oh, I can’t sleep,” sighed Cicely.

“Then lie down, and let me talk to yon,” said Mr. Duncan,

“T don’t want to lie down.”

“But you want to please me, I hope, and it will please
me to see you resting. That is right. Now, what have
you had to eat to-day ?”

“Oh, I couldn’t eat anything !”

“Ah, that is the way with young and inexperienced
nurses. I shall ring the bell, and tell that man—Albert
—Robert—that you must have something brought to you
here, and you will eat it Cicely, to please me—will you
not, dear ?”

Cicely had never been spoken to in this tone of senile
determination before, and she could only yield, and
wonder why she did not feel more annoyed at being
obliged to give up her own way.

In as short a time as possible Robert brought up a nice
breakfast, and somehow Cicely was surprised to find that
she could eat while her uncle sat by and talked to her.

Then the doctor arrived, and told Cicely to rest, and
after a few words to Mr. Duncan, he went upstairs. Ina
few minutes a message came down that Mr. Lorton wished
to see Mr. Duncan alone, if he would kindly come up,
and Cicely, left by herself, was very soon sound asleep, all
her sorrows and troubles forgotten.

When Cicely awoke she found her uncle standing near
her, and he was looking very grave.

“You have rested, I hope,” he said, as she started up.

“Oh, yes.” How long have I slept? I must go to
Grandpapa at once.”
20 COURAGE:



But her uncle took her hand and kept it in his.

“ “You cannot go now, Cicely,” he said; your grand-
father does not want you. Will ioe stay and talk to me?
1—I have something to tell you.” \

The tone in whch this was said made the child look up
at him in wonder, and for the first time she noticed that he
was pale and sad.

“What is it? Is he worse?” she exclaimed, beginning
to be frightened. “Oh, let me go to him, Uncle Herbert !
He must want me if he is very bad.”

“He does not want you, Cicely ; he does not want any-
thing now, my child. He sent his love, but would not
let us call you, as he said it was better that you should
not be disturbed. He was quite happy and peaceful, and
Dr. Davis and I were with him to the end.”

Cicely hid her face in the sofa-cushion, and cried
bitterly for some time, while her uncle stood by, feeling
that he was too great a stranger to this small niece to offer
her much comfort or consolation just at first.

However, after a time he said, softly, “Cicely, I want
you to be a brave child and listen to me. I told you you
_ grandfather sent you his love; he also sent you a message
It was that he hoped you would do as I wish, and learn
_ to love and obey me and your Aunt Carry, as you loved
and obeyed him, because, you know, Cicely, you belong
to us now.”

There was a somewhat rebellious shake of the golden
head, which Mr. Duncan thought it best not to
notice.

“Will you do what I ask you now, Cicely ?”
Ce

CHANGES. 21



“What is it ?”

“Will you go up to the schoolroom, where you will
find your maid waiting for you? You must not be alone,
and I have many things to see to.”

Cicely looked up, wondering if her father had been like
that, and, as she saw the expression of his kind blue eyes,
she thought he must be very like his dead brother, the
father whom she never could remember.

“J will do what you wish, Uncle Herbert,” she said.

“That is right. I wish your aunt could have come to
you, but that is out of the question. How old are you, |
Cicely ?”

“Eleven,” she answered.

“Lena is thirteen and Mysie ten, so you will come in
between them. I think you will be glad to be with
other little girls, and not have to play alone.”

But, as Cicely was not at all sure of this, she made no
reply.

Cicely remained with Jane for the rest of the day until
dinner-time, when she went down and joined her uncle’
in the dining-room ; but it was a sad meal, and they both
said very little. When, however, Robert had left them
alone, Mr. Duncan suddenly said, “Cicely, I hope you
will not mind my sending you down to the Maples to-
morrow with Jane. It will be better for you to go there
at once, and your aunt will be ready to receive you. There
is nothing for you to wait for here, and I shall come down
as’soon as I can, when all business here has been settled.”

Cicely made no objection; the house had lost its
attraction by her grandfather’s death, and its silence and
22 COURAGE.

darkness were oppressive. At bed-time she said “Good
night” to her uncle very steadily, and declared herself able
and willing to go upstairs alone. Jane came half-way to
receive her, and wondered at the child’s calmness. _

“Poor dear!” she said, kissing her; “it is a trial for you,
Miss Cicely, and you bear it like an angel, I do say. To
think of it all coming so sudden-like! But there’s never
any telling. . Why, it was only a week ago this very evening
that you and him was playing draughts in the library, and
now—well, just think of the difference !” ey

“Dow t, Jane!’ cried Cicely, with almost a scream. “Oh,
don’t, don’t!” -

And Jane no longer wondered at the poor child’s self-
control as she listened with regret to the long, gasping
sobs, that came at intervals, even after Cicely had fallen
asleep.
CHAPTER IV.
NOT EXPECTED.

“WELL, of all the outlandish places!” exclaimed Jane,
as she looked round the dismal little station. “ And to
think of their not sending to meet us! Well, Miss Cicely,
there’s a tumble-down looking cab outside, so we'd better
get into it, unless we mean to stay here all night. Sucha
nasty, rattling concern!” she added, with a glance of
disgust. “It is to be hoped that it will hold together till
we get there. How far is it, cabman ?”

“Where to?” asked the man, gruffly.

“To Mr. Duncan’s, the Maples, Foxleigh,” said Jane,
very loud. “How far is it?”

“Nigh on five miles,” replied the man.

“What a distance! Take care of those boxes, please.
They’re not made of cast iron, nor their contents neither ;
and drive as quick as you can, for I’m just raging for a
cup of tea. Miss Cicely, dear, how do you feel?”

‘IT wish you'd be quiet,” said Cicely, rather crossly, as
they started off in the cab at a good pace..

Jane shrugged her shoulders and looked out of the
window. She had kept up a running commentary on all
they had seen the whole way down in the train, with the
idea that she was keeping up Cicely’s spirits, but in reality

23
24 ‘COURAGE.

it was because she was one of those people who must talk,
whether they have anything worth saying or not. She
could not, therefore, keep silent for long, and soon began
to ramble on as before. Cicely, however, made no replies,
and kept a dignified silence until the house came in sight.
They knew it at once as the cab had been driving some
way up an avenue of fir-trees, and a turn in the road
brought them in view of a pretty old-fashioned country
house.

“Jane,” said Cicely, suddenly, “what do you think Aunt
Carry is like ?”

I’m sure I don’t know, Miss Cicely, but you'll see soon
enough now.”

“T wonder if I shall like her, and my cousins,” said the
- child, looking wistfully at the house that was to be her
future home, as if trying to read her fate in its dark walls.

There was no one to meet them in the hall. The servant
looked rather astonished at the boxes, but said his mistress
was at home, and a few moments later Cicely and Jane
were shown into a large drawing-room.

A tall dark lady rose to greet them on hearing the name
“Miss Duncan” (for Jane was not inclined to forget that
her young lady was the daughter of the elder son). She
gave a start, exclaiming, “Cicely! Oh, my poor child,
how sorry I am! There has been some mistake about
your coming, and I did not expect you till to-morrow.
Your uncle’s telegram came by post this morning, and
said, “Cicely will come to-morrow,” and, as I was busy,
I did not look at the date. Of course he sent it last night.
How unkind you must have thought me not to have met

mI EE ah SO i Fh Tat ne rm a er
NOT EXPECTED. 25



you at the station. Well, you are most welcome, dear.
And this is Jane? Will you take off your hat and jacket,
Cicely, and I will ring for Lucy to show Jane the way to
your rooms. They will be ready in a very short time.”

Mrs. Duncan bent down and looked into Cicely’s face
so kindly that, but for Jane’s presence, the child would
have thrown her arms round her aunt’s neck. Lucy soon
made her appearance, and Jane was placed under her
escort. Then Mrs. Duncan drew a chair near the fire,
lighted the candles on the mantelpiece, and made Cicely
sit down in the warm glow of the fire.

“Tam quite vexed that you should have had sucha poor
welcome, dear,” she said, as Cicely looked up at her ; “for
all the children (except baby) have gone out to tea with
some little friends living near, who are keeping a birthday
to-day, and only baby is at home, because she is too
young to be asked. Even the twins have gone, as a very
great treat.”

Cicely could make no answer, and was too shy to say
that she did not know anything about her cousins, nor
even how many there were. Then tea was brought in,
and Mrs. Duncan poured it out as she asked about the
journey, when they had left. Mr. Duncan, and if he had
sent her any message.

“Only his love,” said Cicely with a smile, and her aunt
exclaimed at once that she was “very like poor Alfred !”

“Did you ‘know papa?” asked Cicely, eagerly; and
Mrs. Duncan was glad to find that she could keep this new
niece happy and interested as rong as she would tell he:
about her father.
26 COURAGE.



‘The time did not seem long, and Cicely was almost
sorry when she heard merry voices outside, and in rushed
five breathless and excited children, each longing to be the
one to tell mother everything about the party.

The sight of a strange little girl in deep mourning sitting
with their mother was somewhat disconcerting at first ;
but after shaking hands and glancing shyly at this new
cousin, they began to tell the adventures of the afternoon,
while Cicely looked furtively at them, and tried to make
up her mind as to whether she would like them or not.

Lena was thirteen. Her crisp dark hair hung in a pig-
tail down her back, her eyes were dark brown, while her
complexion was bright and pretty, and she was a handsome
girl, fairly tall for her age.. Mysie was ten years old, a fat,
rather shapeless child, very good-tempered apparently, for
she seemed to be always laughing. She was not nearly
as dark as Lena, and her brown hair was cut short and
curled in her neck, while the merry sparkling eyes were a
dark grey. The next child was a boy. Mrs. Duncan
said, “This is our second son, Bertie,” as he shook hands
with Cicely, but no one called him Bertie as they all
chatted to their mother, and he answered cheerfully to the
name of “Bat.” He was seven years old, and something
like Lena in colouring, having a thick crop of dark hair
and brown eyes full of mischief ; but he was much darker
than Lena, and his face was almost gipsy-like in its brown-
ness. The twins, Alfred and Alice, were sturdy little
people of four, as much alike as it was possible for tw’
children to be, for no one, not even their mother, wou —
have known them apart had Alfred put on Alice’s frock,
LLIN,
a





In rushed five breathless and excited children,”—Page 26,
NOT EXPECTED, 29

and Alice Alfred’s little sailor suit. They were the fairest
of the children, for their brown hair hada golden tinge,
their round grey eyes a touch of blue in them, while the
plump faces were bright with pink and white.

It was to this large party of new cousins that Cicely was
introduced on the evening of her arrival at the Maples.
CHAPTER V.
VERY STRANGE,

As Cicely listened to the conversation between her aunt
and cousins, she became amused and interested in what
they were saying.

“Well, darlings, have you all been good? Lena, were
the twins good ?”

“’Pick and ’Pan was good,” said both small people at
once.

“That is right; and Bat ?”

“Oh, yes! Bat was very good—they all were,” replied
Lena, as Bertie smiled with modest pride; “and oh,
mother ! Ethel had such lovely presents. So many, and
such beautiful things, all of them ; but she liked ours very
much, though it wasn’t nearly as grand as many of the
others.”

“And we went in the swing, mother, and Bat fell out
of it, but he didn’t hurt himself,” said Mysie, “and they
all wanted to know when Andrew and Duke are coming
home.”

“And, Mother, Spick and Span had to swing together,
though there was hardly room, because neither of them
would go first. I wish you could have seen them.”

30
VERY STRANGE. 31

“So do I,” said their mother, laughing.

“So does ’Pick and ’Pan,” said the two little voices.
again. .

-Mrs. Duncan bent forward and kissed the chubby faces
before her, in the way they liked best, first Alfred, then
Alice, then Alice again, and Alfred last. “ Mother is very
glad to hear you have been good,” she said, “and that
you have had a pleasant visit to Ethel. And now, dears,
you must all go up and take off your things, and then
Lena and Mysie can come down and talk to Cicely;
though, perhaps, you would rather go up with them at
once?”

Cicely hesitated, but Mrs. Duncan settled the question
by taking the shy child by the hand, and leading her up-
stairs. .
_ “You will soon feel at home among us,” she observed,
as Cicely clung to her hand, “but of course all must
seem very strange at first,” and presently Cicely felt a
hand on her other side, and Mysie gave her a most
friendly squeeze.

“T’m so glad you’ve come,” whispered Mysie, and
Cicely was grateful for those kindly words,

Lena walked on in front without looking round once,
while Bertie and the twins followed close behind their
mother. ;

The nursery was one of the nicest rooms in the house,
and Cicely looked round it with a pleased surprise. She
had never seen such a cheerful-looking room in her life.
It had three windows, with a big window-seat in each,
and the window-seats, doors, and high wainscot all round
32 COURAGE,



the room were made of oak. That was sombre enough,
but above the wainscot was the prettiest, brightest,
funniest wall-paper that Cicely had ever seen; for there
were pictures from all the nursery rhymes, printed in
colours, upon it. There was a large fireplace with a
bright fire burning, and before it was a rocking chair in
which nurse was sitting, talking to the baby in her lap.
A lighted lamp stood on the table, and Lucy was just
getting the bath ready for baby and the twins.

Such a pleasant nursery ; from the big toy-cupboard tc
to the window where the magnolia leaves looke@in from
outside, everything had a comfortable look. Baby at
once set up a shout on seeing her mother, and Mrs.
Duncan took the little lump of quicksilver that was
kicking wildly to come to her, as she said to nurse,
“Here is another young lady for you to look after,
nurse. She is Miss Cicely Duncan, Mr. Alfred’s daughter,
and I hope we shall be able to make her very happy
a eneres!

“Why, yes, ma’am, I hope so,” said nurse, brightly, as

she stooped to look at Cicely ; “I think we’re all very
happy here. She favours Mr. Alfred, ma’am, don’t you
think so? Miss Lena, won’t you show your cousin to
her room? And then I dare say she would like to see
baby have her bath.”
_ Lena came forward at once, and opening one of the
nursery doors, led Cicely across a long passage into a
pleasant room, not very large, but exceedingly com
fortable.

“Mother was sure you would like a fire after your
VERY STRANGE. 33



journey,” she remarked with a rather grown-up air. “We
don’t often have fires in our bedrooms, except when it is:
very cold in the winter, or we’re ill; but we dress and undress
in the nursery, and say our prayers there, which is nice
than a fire in one’s bedroom, I think, How do you like
your room ?”

“It’s very pretty,” said Cicely, “and everything seems
so white and fresh. You know I was never in the country
before, not the real country, only at the seaside—when—
Grand——”

But Cicely had gone too far. She had thought that to
Lena, who had never known him, she could speak of her
grandfather, but the tears would come now, and she fell
in a sort of heap on the rug, and hiding her face in the
pretty white counterpane of her bed, cried as if her heart
would break.

“Oh, Cicely! I’m so sorry; don’t cry,” exclaimed
Lena, coming and putting her arms round her cousin.
Shall I call mother ?”

“No! oh, no!” gasped Cicely presently, looking up
I can’t help it now. Perhaps when I am very old I
shan’t niind so much, but I don’t think I shall be able toe
speak of—of—him—for years and years without crying.”

Lena was not old enough to know that such long grief
would not be possible, and she only thought at the
moment how wretched it would be to have Cicely living
with them in such a state of misery ; however, she wisely
made no remark. In a short time, Cicely cheered up,
became, in fact, far more cheerful than Lena had thought
she possibly could after such a melancholy announce:
34 COURAGE.

ment, and the girls went back to the nursery in time to
see baby splashing in her warm bath.

Then Mrs. Duncan retired to dress for dinner, and while
their mother was in her room, Lena and Mysie led their
cousin round the house.

Later on, when Cicely went up to her own room, she
found that Jane had unpacked everything, but she was
much too tired to talk to her maid, and was soon sound ~

asleep,
CHAPTER VI.
IN THE SCHOOLROOM.

“It’s just pouring with rain, Miss Cicely,” said Janet
when she came to call Cicely next morning.

“Oh, what a pity!” exclaimed Cicely. “I did.so want
it to be fine to-day. Jane, do you know there is a pony
here, and I am to take my turn in riding it with the others ?
And there are rabbits, and pigeons, and cows—but I don’t
much like cows, they have such horrid long horns—and
goats, and sheep, and pigs. And there are birds, too—
ever so many birds, Lena said—in a great big cage. But
if it rains, I can’t see half the things.”

“They'll keep to another day, miss, and it’s a long time
they’d keep for me. I never could abear live stock, as
they call it. But for that, Miss Cicely, I might have been
a farmer’s wife. But I said ‘No,’ for I couldn’t abear
live stock.”

“Why, Fane, I'd rather be a farmer’s wife than any-
thing else,” said Cicely, “and that’s what I mean to be.
I shall keep ducks, and geese, and turkeys, and chickens,
and guinea-fowls. I heard about them last night. They
must be lovely! And then I shall sell eggs, and butter,
and ever so many things.”

635
36 COURAGE.



“Well, Miss Cicely, every one to their taste, I say ; but
a farm isn’t the place I’d choose to spend my life. But,
as it rains to-day, miss, you can’t go out and see the
cattle, though I dare say there’s plenty to look at indoors.
It’s a nice house, Miss Cicely, and some nice servants ;
but I see I shall have to keep my place with them, and
teach them theirs.”

“T like nurse,” said Cicely, dressing as fast as she
could, having scrambled in and out of her bath while
Jane was talking.

.“Well, Miss Cicely, that may be, but she’s too free with
her ‘Jane’ here and her ‘Jane’ there. So I says to her,
“You'll please to understand that my name’s Batty,’ and
she made no answer ; but that minx, Lucy, looked up and
asked if I was any relation to the pickles, as that might
account for my beingso sour. It was like her impudence,
and I see nothing to laugh at, Miss Cicely.”

For Cicely broke into a fit of laughter, which much
offended Jane, and the dressing was completed in unusual
silence.

_ There was much to see and enjoy in the house, as
Cicely soon found out, for even a wet day could be spent
very pleasantly in looking at the many curious things the
cabinets contained. The Maples was an old house, and
the floors were polished, dark, and, oh! so slippery that
Cicely was almost afraid to walk on them—she thought
them like ice, and was sure she would fall down if not
very careful.. It did not please her when Bat remarked
on this fact with a laugh, and she saw that Lena and Mysie
had hard work to keep as grave as politeness required.
IN THE SCHOOLROOM. 37



The schoolroom was a delightful place; even Cicely
who had no love of lessons in the abstract, had to confess
that it was really a pleasant room. It had been built
some years ago for a billiard-rocm, and it stood away
from the rest of the house. The billiard-table was gone,
but down one side of the room was a long raised seat,
covered with dark crimson velvet, rather the worse for
wear, and above the seat, fixed to the wall, were book-
shelves, well filled with volumes of all kinds. Every child |
had her own shelf for story-books, and was expected to
keep it in some sort of order. Under the hanging lamp
stood along wooden table, with all the ink-stains, scratches,
and bruises that a long-suffering school-table was likely to
endure. It was, however, so solid and strong that it
looked as if it would yet survive many more years of ill-
usage. The floor was carpetless, except for a Turkey rug
before the fireplace, and the three windows opened to the
ground, letting in a pretty view of the lawn and fields be- ©
yond.

There was a big fireplace, round which stood some
comfortable chairs, very different from the solid wooden
ones that were drawn up to the table. The walls were
here and there ornamented with old prints, chiefly of
historical scenes, such as the death of General Wolfe and
Cromwell ordering away the “bauble.” Mysie explained
that her father liked them because they had been in his
schoolroom years ago, and this gave them a double interest
in Cicely’s eyes, for in that case they must have been in
her father’s schoolroom also. There was only one
drawback to the room in Cicely’s eyes, and that was rather

=
38 COURAGE.



a serious one, namely, the presence of Miss Prince, the
governess. She was in every way different to Miss Mason,
being neither old nor grim, nor did she wear spectacles ;
moreover, she appeared to be unusually patient and gentle.
The only thing in which she could be said to resemble
Miss Mason was in her conscientiousness, which, however,
showed itself in a less aggressive and unpleasant form.

When Cicely came into the schoolroom the first morning
Miss Prince greeted her pleasantly, saying she hoped they
would be very good friends, and Cicely tried to smile and
hope so too, To tell the truth, hér heart was very sore,
and she was wishing herself back in the dark London
house with cross Miss Mason, if she only might also have
her grandfather. She felt so strange and lonely among
these unknown cousins, and thought, with a resentment
quite unnecessary, that they would probably try to force
her ways to suit with their own ; so she was determined
to resent the first attempt she could see in that direction.

It was certainly rather hard for her, accustomed all her -
life to have the undivided attention of all who had the
care of her---nurse, governess, and grandfather—to find
herself one of many, and expected to fall in with their
ways as pleasantly as she could. She was, moreover, so
unaccustomed to other children that she did not care fot
their games or understand their fancies, while the noise
of the younger ones anneyed and worried her.

Miss Prince thought that a holiday that morning would
not help the children much, but she promised that in the
afternoon they should have no lessons, except the hour of
preparation for the next day.
IN THE SCHOOLROOM. 39°



Cicely came out creditably when “examined by Miss.
Prince as to her learning—better, in fact, than Lena quite
approved, for that young lady had made up her mind that
Cicely would be very backward with her lessons, and keep»
with Mysie, whereas in many subjects she was as advanced.
as Lena, while she read unusually well in French and.
English, and in the former language her accent was.
decidedly better than her cousin’s.

Mysie was a little disappointed to find that Cicely
would not be with her in their lessons, as she had been
hoping ever since she heard of the coming cousin ; but
Cicely herself did not think much’ about it, never having
thought of competing with another child on any subject,
lessons least of all. She was, therefore, quite unconscious
of the impression she had made.

No one was very sorry when the morning came to an
end, and the schoolroom party broke up, the children
scampering upstairs to make themselves tidy for early
dinner.
CHAPTER VII.
SPICK AND SPAN.

THE twins had not yet been promoted to schoolroom
teaching, but nurse had one half-hour in the morning
when she made them sit on their high chairs, and say
their letters and a few short words. This they were very
ready to do, speaking always with one voice; in fact,
being so absurdly alike that what one forgot the other
seemed quite unable to remember.

There was only one objection that they made, and
they made it every day. Nurse insisted upon two chairs,
though the twins would far prefer sitting on one. How-
ever, by putting the chairs as close as possible to each
other, they contrived to endure their separate seats for
half an hour. When their short lesson was over, each .
rolled down off his and her chair, and rushed into the
arms of the other as if they had been separated for hours,
and nurse declared that they always went through this
ceremony every day, and spoke the same words: “’Pick
and ’Pan did lessons very well,” Alfred would invariably
remark with admiration, and Alice would echo, “’Ess,
’Pick and ’Pan did !”

Then they kissed each other, and went off hand in

40
SPICK AND SPAN. 4l

hand to their toy cupboard. Never had these two been
known to speak a cross word to each other, though their
little tempers were hot enough when roused by any one but
their twin. Such devotion was pretty but sad, for nurse
and Mrs. Duncan knew that a time must come when
Alfred would have to prepare for school life, and no one
dared to think what would then happen to the twins.

Mr. Duncan would sometimes laughingly say that Alice
must be put into knickerbockers with Alfred when the
time came, and be sent to school as his brother, or that
Alfred should borrow Alice’s frocks, and take a place in
the schoolroom under Miss Prince. To either of these
plans the twins readily assented; the only thing they
considered impossible was that anything should part them.

To Cicely these children were particularly fascinating,
and, as they came plodding up the staircase hand in hand,
four sturdy fat legs keeping step, she stopped and asked
where they were going.

“Upstairs,” said a double voice, and then two rather
grubby hands were held out for inspéction, the others
being firmly clasped in each other, and the words came,
“ Muffer said we was dirty.”

“Werry dirty,” put in Alice.

“What is your name ?” asked a touching Alfred’s
outstretched hand.
~ “Pick and ’Pan,” was the instant reply.

“And your name ?”’she said, touching Alice.

“’Pick and ’Pan,”

“But you can’t both be Spick and Span. One must be
Spick and the other Span.”


42 COURAGE.



“No,” said Alfred, quickly, ‘“we’s both ’Pick and ’Pan.
We’s twins. You hasn’t got no twin, so you doesn’t
nunderstand.”

“Well,” said Cicely to herself, as she watched them on
their way, “I hope it isn’t very selfish, but I think ’m
rather glad.”

The early dinner or luncheon was at one o 'clock, for
breakfast was at half-past eight, and by that time young
appetities had grown very large in spite of biscuits and
milk at eleven ; but on this particular day the dinner was
disposed of in greater haste than usual, as there was a
half-holiday in prospect, and a new cousin to show all
over.the house. Even Lena showed more interest than
Cicely had known her to Vee and the twins were -
rampant.

“You needn’t excite eet be said Lena, decidedly, as
the door of the dining-room closed behind them. “We're
not going to have you with us to-day. You know you
were very troublesome last time we had visitors at home,
and mother said it was ’my fault. She said I oughtn’t
to have taken you.”

“But you’re not going out, are you ?” asked Bat, who
felt himself included among the rejected ones. “ Mother
only said that about the garden.” .

“No, she didn’t, and you mustn’t argue, Bat,” answered
Lena, with elder-sisterly dignity. “You had much better
go to the nursery and play with the twins while Mysie
and I show Cicely the rooms she hasn’t seen. It is such
a pity it isn’t fine this afternoon.”

Cicely went with them all round the house, and a pretty
SPICK AND SPAN. 43



house she thought it ; but her heart was in a dark corner
of a London house, in the old library, where she and her
grandfather had passed so many happy hours together
It was a surprise and a disappointment to the two girls
that she seemed to care so little for what they had to
show. At last, when they had gone on ahead, and ex-
pected her to follow them, they went back, as she did not
come, and found her sitting on an ottoman, her face
hidden in her hands.

“Why, what is the matter with you?” asked Lena, in
rather indignant astonishment. “We thought you were
following. What are you waiting for?”

Then all Cicely’s sore feelings broke forth, and. she
burst into tears. “I think you're the most unfeeling
people I ever heard of. You don’t seem to care that I
have lost my grandfather !”

“T hoped you had forgotten,” murmured Lena. “It’s
sad for you, of course, but it isn’t like any other relation.
If it had been a father or brother us

“How dare you say that,” said Cicely furiously. “ Why,
he was everything to me! I never wanted a father or
brother as long as I had him. Did you never have a
grandfather you cared about ?”

“Well, we don’t care about him much,” answered.
Mysie, as Lena did not speak. “We are rather afraid of
him, you see. He lives in one of the wings, you know.”

. “No, I didn’t know ; “you never told me,” said Cicely,
“Why are you making such faces, Lena? Is it at me or
at Mysie ?” :

Oh, never mind! I didn’t mean to make faces. Sup-


44. COURAGE.

pose we go to the nursery now, and have a game with
the little ones. They like it, and it might amuse Cicely
to see some of their funny ways. Would you like that,
Cicely ?

“JY dare say I might,” said Cicely, drying her eyes.
“The twins are such dear, quaint, amusing little things,
and I can’t understand what makes them so fond of each
other. It seems so wonderful to me.”

“ All twins aren’t so affectionate,” said Lena, laughing.
“Mother knew some twins that were always quarrelling.
I’m so glad our twins aren’t like that.”

“What should we do!” remarked Mysie, shaking her
brown mane as if such a state of things was too sad to
think. “We should never have any peace then, because
the twins seem to have so much to do with everything.”

So up to the nursery the girls all went to find amuse-
ment and consolation in the society of the two little four-
year-olds, who generally contrived to make things lively
there— too lively,” nurse was often heard to say.

They were discovered sitting on the same footstool, or
rather, trying to do so, for the stool was small, and the
‘twins were sturdy young people requiring plenty of room,
and they would bitterly have resented being crowded by
any one else, though they now seemed to find great
pleasure and satisfaction in their very tight quarters.
They could only manage it by sitting back to back, and
even then one or other was always in danger of slipping
off.

“T shouldn’t think you’d find that at all comfortable,”
said Cicely, after watching them for a minute. “You
SPICK AND SPAN. 45

might be tied a and that would be better, I should
think.”

“We likes it.” said Alfred, smiling.

“Welly much,” put in Alice.

“Well, I can’t understand it!” laughed Cicely, her
sorrow partly forgotton in the presence of such a strange
problem.

“Pick and ’Pan nunderstands,” replied Alfred.

“Ess, Pick and ’Pan does,” echoed Alice ; and Cicely
set herself to study this living toy that had come so con-
veniently into her life at a time when she was wanting
amusement of a quiet and yet absorbing kind,
CHAPTER VITII.
‘ANOTHER GRANDFATHER.

In a few days, when the first strangeness had worn off,
Cicely began to feel more at home than she had thought
possible when she first arrived. She was introduced in
time to all the various pets, and, sad to relate, she was
very much disappointed in the guinea-fowls. She had
expected to see glorious, golden birds shining in the sun,
and not the very quiet-looking grey birds which she saw
walking with dainty steps in the poultry-yard. It is true
that on looking at them nearer she could see the white
spots on. their feathers, and had to confess that, in their
own way, they were very pretty; but after her wonderful
vision about them, she could not say much about their
‘beauty. But if the guinea-fowls were a disappointment,
the golden pheasants more than satisfied her. She
thought she could never be tired of looking at them, as they
sauntered slowly about their cage, and she hoped none of
this kind were killed and eaten. Lena could not answer
for other people’s doings, but she was able to assure Cicely
that they had never had one killed—they were far too
tame and beautiful.

But, alas! for Cicely’s vision of farming: they faded

46
ANOTHER GRANDFATHER, 47

away when she found herself in the actual presence of the
cows. There long horns and loud “moo’s” struck terror
‘into her heart, and she was not much better pleased with
the gobbling of the turkeys, or the hissing of the geese.
Lena laughed at her fears, and refused to take into con-
sideration that the London child had had no experience
of country ways or country animals in her life. It
amused Lena to see her cousin’s alarm when there was
no cause, and she laughed until Cicely grew angry—and
so began the first difference between these cousins.

The day her uncle came back was rather a hard one for
Cicely, but she was glad when she found she was to go
for a nice walk with him, and hear all he could tell her
of the funeral and the dear old London house, for which
she still longed with such a heart-sick longing. Her uncle
was very kind to her, and she could talk more to him, and
feel more at home with him, than with any of his family,
even her cousins. This might have been because she was
more accustomed to be with a gentleman than with a lady,
and she therefore felt more shy with her aunt or cousins.
Whatever was the reason, she managed to please her
uncle, and he returned from that walk with a better opinion :
of “Alfred’s girl” than he had had before. Perhaps this
was because Cicely was very grateful for all he told her
about her grandfather’s business affairs, and she was glad
to hear that the books and pictures that she ioved were
not to be soldas she had feared, but would be taken care of
for her. She had sometimes feared that everything would
have to be sold, and she would lose even the memory that
seemed to linger about the old things, of the happy


48 COURAGE.





hours she had spent in the library with her grandfather.

In the schoolroom Cicely was still rather shy, and her
conversation night and morning with Jane did not tend to
make her feel more at her ease.

“T can’t understand it, Miss Cicely,” Jane would say to
her ; “I know from what I hear from the others that he is
in the house at this very blessed minute, and therefore
why you aren’t to see him and he your own grandparent,
beats me. I’ve been thinking about it, and there’s only
one thing—but I dare say I’d better not say it.” .

“Oh, yes, you may, Jane! It can’t matter to me,” said
Cicely, who wished to hear what Jane thought, even if
she could not take the same view of the matter.

“Well, Miss Cicely—or I should say Miss Duncan, by
rights—I’ll tell you, but you'll promise me faithful never
to say a word about it to any one ?”

“There’s no one that I should care to tell,” replied
Cicely; and Jane continued in a tone of mystery and
confidence that was rather impressive :

“Tt’s this way, Miss Cicely : you see you are the daughter
of the eldest son.”

“Well, but

“That's just it. If your grandfather was to see you,
and take a fancy to you, don’t you see, it would be awkward
for the younger son, don’t you see? Mr. Herbert
Duncan, with all those children, will be glad enough of
his brother’s share.”

Cicely listened with a little frown. “I can’t believe
that Uncle Herbert and Aunt Carry can be so horrid !’
she exclaimed at last.


il

I)

Yy, i Wh fi!
f Yi)
LY,
LS



“Tt amused Lena to see her cousin’s alarm,’—Page 47.

0
os

Se
ANOTHER GRANDFATHER. 51



“Well, you needn’t Miss Cic— Duncan, and I shouldn't,
if | was you. It makes it a deal pleasanter te think that
our relations is all born angels, so I wouldn't disturb
‘your mind for anything, only you told me to say what I
thought. You know as well as I do that you’re living in
the same house as old Mr. Duncan, and though he is
your relation as much as any of them, yet you’ve never
been took to see him all this time. Mark my words, you
never will!” ad

“T don’t believe it,” Cicely repeated; “Tl ask: Aunt
Carry to-day, and see what she says.”

“For pity sake, Miss Cicely, don’t go and get me into
that scrape. You promised, remember; I don’t know
what your aunt would say if she thought I told you such
a thing.”

It passed through Cicely’s mind, that if her aunt would
not like Jane to say such things, it was not right of her to
say them; but she was busy with other thoughts at the
moment, and said nothing of the kind to Jane.

With these thoughts in her mind, it is not surprising
that Cicely was very silent at breakfast that morning, and
Lena thought her cross. Cicely had made up her mind
to question her aunt about it, but not to betray Jane.

An opportunity occurred at breakfast.

“Lena, there is a letter for your grandfather. Will you
take it up ?”

“Yes, mother,” said Lena; but Cicely interposed:

“Mayn’t I take it? I have done my breakfast and
Lena hasn’t.”

*“No, thank you, dear. It is better for Lena to go.”
52 COURAGE.

Then Cicely looked up and asked in an odd voice,
“Isn't Mr. Duncan my grandfather as well as Lena’s ?”

“Certainly, he is,” replied her aunt.

“Then why am I never allowed to see him ?” asked
Cicely.

“Because we think it best for the present,” answered
Mrs. Duncan, bending over the sugar.

“But, Aunt-.Carry ”

“We will not discuss this now,” Mr. Duncan said
decidedly ; “but you may feel sure, Cicely, that we have
our reasons for what we do.”

Cicely looked suddenly so aghast that there was a pause
to see if she had-anything more to say ; but she was much .
too startled by the fulfilment of Jane’s words to think of
putting any further question, and a telegram was brought
in a few minutes after that changed all their thoughts in a
moment.

It ran as follows: “School breaking up. Diphtheria.
Andrew and I coming to-day.—DUKE.”






CHAPTER IX.
CONFIRMATION STRONG.

THE boys were coming home! Only girls who have
brothers can quite understand all that that means, and
Cicely did not. She wondered that Lena and Mysie
were so excited over the telegram, when there were so
many more important things in the world to think about..
To her the conversation at breakfast was far more inter-
esting, as it showed so clearly that Jane was right, and
that there was some arrangement by which she was not
to be allowed to see her grandfather. It certainly did
look very odd, seen through the light of Jane’s hints and
surmises, but Cicely found it hard to believe, even now,
that her uncle and aunt did not mean to do their kindest
and best by her.. During the first thrill of the news of the
boys’ return, Cicely crept up to her room, and found
Jane there, mending a frock Cicely had worn the day
before. .

“Well, Miss Cicely, the house is nicely upset by these
boys a-coming home,” was Jane’s first remark. “Every-->
thing’ll be upside down now.”

“T don’t know—I don’t care,” said Cicely dreamily ; it
won’t matter much to me. Jane, I asked about grand-
father, and—you’re quite right.”

53
54 COURAGE,

“You're not to see him, Miss ?”

“No; Uncle Herbert says there are reasons for it.”

“Ah! reasons enough, I dare say. He knows how to
take care of his own.”

“Tt seems dreadful,” sighed Cicely, “and I should have
never thought of it if it had’nt been for you, Jane. I think
you were very clever to find it out.”

“T’n clever enough when I have a chance, but as for
this, Miss Cicely, it’s as plain as a pikestaff, as the saying
is. Even the servants can see it.”

“How do you mean ?” asked Cicely, wishing to know
all now that she knew so much, even though the knowledge
troubled her.

“There’s Mr. Brace, old Mr. Duncan’s man, and he
knows that there has been some trouble about the making
of Mr. Duncan’s will. He doesn’t say nothing, but Mrs.
Jelliepot passed the remark last night that he must know
a deal of the family affairs, but he only shook his head
wise-like and said nothing.

“But that didn’t tell you anything !” exclaimed Cicely,
rather. disgusted, for she knew that her grandfather had
not liked her to listen to servants’ gossip.

“No, Miss ; but later, Mrs. Jelliepot said that she knew
there had been some trouble about a will, and Mr. Herbert
Duncan was very anxious about it.”

“Well, but even that a

“Why, of course, Miss, he wouldn’t be anxious to have
the money left away from his own children. It stands to
reason that he wants it for himself, and is afraid that old
Mr. Duncan may leave it to you if he sees you.”


CONFIRMATION STRONG. 55





Cicely sat down and sighed. It was such a pity tc
have to think such horrid things of her uncle and aunt,
but, as Jane put it, it sounded very likely to be true,
Poor Cicely had lived so much alone with her grand-
father that she had grown up to her eleven years of age
with @ very wrong idea of her own importance in
the world. This mistaken notion had been encouraged
by Jane’s reckless gossiping and the importance she gave
to the most trivial matters,

Mysie very soon came to fetch Cicely, for though there
were to be only a few lessons that morning on account
of the preparations for the return of the boys, Miss Prince
was ready to hear them now.

Cicely did not say her history nor do her sums as well
that morning as usual ; the figures would run into pounds,
shillings and pence, and the history was about bad uncles
and cruel relations. It is true that the people all lived
long ago, but Cicely had heard that history repeats itself,
and she sadly felt that it was repeating itself now. Miss
Prince thought she was tired, or that the warm spring
weather was trying her, and made no comment, and Lena
thought she was cross. Mysie was too much troubled
with her own sum difficulties to notice anything. When
she did think of something else, it was of the boys.

When Miss Prince had released them once more, Lena
took unusual pains to have the schoolroom put tidy, and
the books returned to their places, at which Cicely
expressed much surprise.

“You won't think it odd when you know Duke and
Andrew,” laughed Mysie; “they are so very particular as
56 COURAGE.

to our things, but they leave their own about just as much
as anybody. We always tidy up at first, when they come
home, but it doesn’t last, you know, so you needn’t be
frightened—we aren’t so very tidy just after the first.”

“Do they both go and see your grandfather ?” asked
Cicely, after a moment’s pause.

“Yes; he’s very fond of Andrew ; you know Andrew is
mother’s nephew.”

“No, I didn’t,” said Cicely, indignant at finding that
here was another thing she had not been told. “How
should I know things that you never tell me? I don’t
pry and ask questions.”

But even as she spoke she remembered that she had
been asking Jane many questions that she would never
have ventured to put to her aunt or cousins, and she
turned away with a flush of shame. Cicely had never felt
unable to look anyone in the face before, but this secret
thought was making her uncomfortable and unhappy.

“Well, I'll tell you now, if you care to listen,” said
Mysie. “ He is mother’s nephew, and his name is Andrew
Martin, and he’s a very nice boy, and we all like him very
much, ’specially Lena, who is his great friend.”

“How silly you are, Mysie,’ exclaimed Lena, rather

crossly ; “I’m not more his friend than you, or any one
else.”
“Well, you always seem to be; besides, you always
write to him and I don’t. Hebelongs to mother’s family,
you know, and as he hasn't any parents or brothers and
sisters, he lives with us when he’s at home.”

“And is he really very nice?” asked Cicely, for she
CONFIRMATION STRONG. 57

felt much more shy of these unknown boys than she had
done of all the rest of the household.

“Very nice indeed, answered Lena decidedly. “He is
fifteen, and Duke is fourteen. I think you'll like him
better than Duke. Duke is a little spoilt, father says,
and he’s rather fond of teasing.”

“T shan’t like that,” said Cicely, “at least, if he teases
me.”

“Oh, he does’nt tease very much,” said Mysie reflec-
tively. “I suppose all boys do tease their sisters just a
little. It’s what they’re for, J think. Miss Prince says it
does us good to learn to give up to the boys.”

“J thought boys always gave up to girls,” said Cicely,
rather startled.

“They're supposed to, but that is one of the nursery
rules that does’nt go beyond the nursery. I don’t think
our boys give up very much to anyone; at least, Duke
doesn’t.”

“Will they come here soon ?” asked Cicely, nervously,
for she began to dread the arrival of these lords of
creation.

“Yes, I dare say ; but we don’t know. Why, that’s the
fly—I hear it! Lena! they've come! they’ve come!”
and away rushed Mysie to greet her brother and cousin,
while Cicely sat in a corner of the schoolroom, waiting
for the terrible moment when she would be obliged to
face and speak to these dreadful boys.
CHAPTER X%
THE BOYS.

CICELY knew very little of other children and their ways,
and she knew absolutely nothing of boys. From what
Jane had told her she expected two young bears, with
rough ways and loud voices, to come bursting into the
schoolroom. Jane had even expressed soine doubts as to
whether she could continue to exist in a house with two
boys, and had to be coaxed and presented with a small
gold brooch before she would promise not to think ot
giving notice just yet.

“Well, Miss, it’s only for your sake that I don’t do it,”
said Jane, in a satisfied tone, as she pocketed the brooch.
“T’ve always set my face where boys is, for in my opinion
they’re just simply awful !”

“Oh! dear, I don’t know anything about boys,” sighed
Cicely. “Tt’s a pity !”

“Tt is, Miss Cicely, and there’s no doubt the world
would be nicer place if there were no boys init. There’s
never any sense in them, and never any pleasing them,
and they never come but one wishes them gone in half a
jiffy 1”

Cicely had to laugh at this in spite of melancholy fore-

58
THE BOYS. 59

boding, and then the conversation had come to an end;
but Cicely recalled it now as she sat in the schoolroom,
waiting for the dreaded arrival, and wondering whether
she, too, would wish them gone in “ half a jiffy,” whatever
that might be.

She pretended to read, but in reality she was listening
intently, and at last her quick ears caught the sound of
approaching footsteps, and a minute later Lena and Mysie
appeared, followed by the boys.

To Cicely’s surprise they were very quiet, even shy, ana
there was nothing alarming about the appearance of
either of them.

Andrew Martin, who was fifteen, was a tall, slight boy,
with bright brown hair, hazel eyes, and a nice-looking face,
which, though colourless, looked healthy.

Marmaduke, called Duke, who was not quite a year
younger, was a decidedly handsome boy, with very dark
hair, and grey eyes, and the same bright colouring as Lena ;
he appeared at the first glance more attractive than
Andrew’s less remarkable good looks. In figure, Duke
was rather square-shouldered, and powerfully though not
clumsily built, with an alertness and restlessness of manner
that impressed some people with the idea that he was
only waiting for the opportunity to do great things.

Mr. Duncan was very proud of his son, and expected
great things of him, which Duke knew well, and was
therefore always careful to keep the good opinion of his
elders on all possible occasions.

The boys were both quiet and gentlemanly in manner,
and Cicely felt agreeably surprised as they shook hands
60 COURAGE, »



politely, and fell back with a rather awkward air of not
quite knowing what to say next.

“Was the diphtheria very bad?” asked Lena, after a
pause. a

“Not very, but they said the houses must all be over-
hauled,” answered Duke.

“How many boys had taken it ? asked Miss Prince.

“Well, they don’t tell us, but we heard that there were
ten cases besides Finch major, who caught it from his
brother. Andrew suddenly started a scare that he had
taken it, but it was only a relaxed throat, the doctor said.”

Andrew laughed a little, and said half in apology, “ You
forgot I didn’t want to bring it home, if I had it.”

“Tf I were going to be ill, I think I’d rather be nursed
at home than in the infirmary,” said Duke. “But then
it isn’t quite the same to you, old fellow, when one comes
to think of it, is it ?”

Andrew smiled and said, “No, I suppose not;” and
Cicely suddenly remembered that this boy was, like herself,
an orphan, living with his relations; and she looked at
him with greater interest than before. She had from the
first been impressed by Duke’s manner and handsome
face, and had taken much less notice of Andrew.

“Did you hear about Finch major ?” Duke went on;
“there was rather a row about him. His young brother
was one of the first who had the sore throat, and he was
sent off to the infirmary. It was thought he had scarlet
fever, and there was a strict order given that no one was
to go near the infirmary. Well, the boys got talking about
things that night, and about being afraid of infection, and
THE BOYS. , 61





30 on, and Finch major said he wasn’t afraid, but none of
the boys believed him. Next day—I can’t think how he
managed it—he got into the infirmary, and into little
Finch’s room, where he and two other boys were, and he
kissed his brother—just to show, you see, that he didn’t
care. The nurse came in as he was coming away, and he
was caught. They didn’t know he had kissed his brother
till later, so they only made him change his things before
going to school; but the doctor gave us all a long lecture
about courage, and what was real courage, and what was
only silly, and he said that some people didn’t know what
real courage was. He said it was selfish to be foolhardy,
as it gave people so much more trouble, and all that ; but
I didn’t listen to the end very attentively. Ina few days
Finch went back to the infirmary on his own account,
and they said he was rather bad.”

“Didn't you hear,” said Andrew quickly, “he died this
morning ? The matron told me while she was packing.”

Duke looked grave for a few moments, and no one
spoke.

“How dreadful for his people !” said Lena, at last.

“Yes, dreadful !” repeated Andrew. “The brother was
‘getting better—that would be some comfort.”

“Let’s go out,” said Duke, abruptly ; “there’s no fun in
sticking here. How are the birds, Lena ?”

“All very well. Andrew and I were going to see them ;
won't you all come, too ?”

This caused a general move, and Cicely found herselt
ina few minutes walking with Mysie and Duke. Andrew
and Lena were on ahead. Then Duke began to show off
62 COURAGE.



a little, for he was as keenly alive to his position as eldest
son as ever Cicely could be of her title of Miss Duncan.

Therefore he began to draw h‘s cousin’s attention to
various improvements his father was intending to make
about the grounds, and also to some things which his
fpther would not do.

“T shall certainly make that arrangement when the place —
comes to me,” declared this young gentleman.

“When will that be?” asked Cicely, in open-eyed
surprise.

“Oh, not for a long time, I hope; but I mean, of course,
atmyfather’sdeath. -Therearesome meadows there thatare
let to a farmer, which really ought to be in our hands, but
I can’t get the pater to see it. There ought to bea short
cut through the fields, and now we can’t go that way be-
cause of the farmer’s bull. It’s a great nuisance.” ©

“Father said he’d see what could be done when Mr.
Beecham’s lease had run out. He said s@ the other day,”
put in Mysie.

“It’s too long to wait for that,” answered Duke, with
youthful disregard of legal forms and obligations. “I’m
always telling my father what a mistake it is, and I shall
take a lesson from the doctor’s: segifion and pluck up
courage to tell my grandfather what a pity it is.”

“Oh, you musn’t do that !” exclaimed Mysie in shocked
tones ; “you know we are all told never to speak about
anything of that sort to grandfather.”

“T know, Shut up and mind your own business, Mysie
—the property does not concern you. I’m not sure that
in the end I shan’t sell it and live on my mother’s estate.
THE BOYS. 63





There was a debate at school the other day about landed
property, and I took the side that no one man ought to
have more than a certain number of acres ; of course, if I
stick to that, I must be consistent and sell.”

Cicely and Mysie did not quite know how to answer
this young autocrat, so in silence they walked on, Cicely
_ thinking over all that had been said.

Why should their grandfather never be allowed to hear
anything? It did not seem at all right. Cicely had
heard of a poem where an old man was turned out_of his
property by his son and daughter-in-law, and forced to
live all alone with barely blankets enough to cover him.
Could this have happened to old Mr. Duncan? It was
a dreadful idea. Perhaps she had come there to be his
guardian angel, and rescue him from his persecutors. At
any rate, Cicely decided she could watch and ask Jane
what she thought about the matter.
CHAPTER XI.
'A FRIGHT AND A FROCK.

Every nook and corner, every pet, and all the farm
animals were visited in turn. Duke laughed at Cicely’s
fear of the cows, and also at her dislike to the pigs, turkeys,
and geese ; but it was kindly laughter, and did not offend
Cicely’s over-sensitive feelings as much as Lena’s silent
contempt. —

Mysie was always surprised to find how timid Cicely
seemed, and tried to argue with her, but had to give it up
at last. Cicely admitted that it might be foolish to run
away from a goose or gobbling turkey, but she couldn’t
help it. She knew just as well as Mysie that the old white
cow was as quiet and gentle as a lamb, but she could not
help trembling as they walked across the straw-yard where
Daisy was calmly chewing the cud, any more than she
could help starting and turning pale when the cow turned
its head slowly and looked at her. She regretted all her.
wonderful visions of country life and how delightful it
must be, for, as a matter of fact, Cicely found it very
different from what she had expected, and had begun to
alter her ideas of what she would do when she would be
“ grown up.”

64
A FRIGHT AND A FROCK, 65





So now she shrank from the cows and Duke laughed at
her.

“You must learn not to mind them, Cicely,” he said
comfortably. “T’ll teach you to milk a cow, and then you
won't be afraid. You'll soon learn not to mind them, and
be able to face Beecham’s bull without being afraid.”

“That will be wonderful,” said Mysie, as Cicely only
shook her head with a smile, not wishing to contradict her
cousin. “Why, Mr. Beecham told father the other day,
that the bull would have to be got rid of soon, as he was
half afraid of it himself.”

“What nonsense! Beecham says that to keep us away
from the field. He ought to be made to keep sheep there
and let us have our short cut. Well, I shall see about it
some day. But come along, Cicely; you don’t mean to
say you are really afraid to pass Daisy !”

’ “But her calf is in there, and Thomas said

“Oh, nonsense! come along. You are a regular
coward! I should be ashamed if Lena or Mysie were
only a quarter as silly.”

Duke held out his hand and smiled, which took the
offensiveness out of the words, and Cicely yielded. She
took three steps forward, and then unluckily the cow
heard her calf inside, and gave an answering “moo.” The
stones of the yard were slippery with mud, and Cicely in
her fear made a sudden pause, slipped, and came down
right into the middle of a very dirty puddle splashing the
water all over herself, anda little over Duke, who had
come to her assistance. Andrew and Lena were outside

the gate, but came back to see what was the matter, just
: E

ad


66 COURAGE.

as Duke was trying to helpher up. Andrewcame at once
to the rescue, and together they helped her, while Mysie
stood between Cicely and the dreadful cow, the innocent
cause of the misfortune.

“Oh, dear,” gasped Cicely, catching her breath almost
in sobs, as the desire to cry grew stronger. “I wish we
hadn’t come to these horrid places; it’s so dirty and
nasty, and the creatures are all so horrid,” and certainly
poor Cicely was to be pitied, for she was in a great mess
from her fall.

It was unfortunate that at this moment the absurdity of
Cicely’s fears, and-her very forlorn and dirty appearance,
struck Lena in the most comic light, and sent her into
peals of laughter. Mysie was looking on in great distress ;
the boys were trying to rescue the unfortunate damsel
from her predicament, for Cicely, between the fright and
the dirt and the jarred feeling in her back, was as nearly
crying as possible, and seenied unable to move. Lena’s
laughter was the last straw, and Cicely burst into a flood
of tears and a storm of sobs, through which she was heard
to declare that Lena was as horrid as the animals, and she
wished she had never come to such a dreadful place,
where they brought her out like this, and then laughed at
her.

Lena was at first astonished and then scornful, and
answered back that it was just as unpleasant for them to
have to do with a cockney who was afraid of a harmless
cow and cried about nothing ; but as Cicely’s distress was
only increased by these words, Andrew took Lena away,
and Duke tried his hand, with Mysie as his anxious


“Cicely, inther fear, made a sudden pause, slipped and came down.” —Page 65.





















A FRIGHT AND A FROCK. 69



assistant, at comforting the aggrieved and frightened child.

“Look here, Cicely,” he said, as they led her out of the
yard, “I’m awfully sorry. I didn’t laugh, or Andrew, or
Mysie. It was only Lena, and no one minds Lena. She
is always giving herself airs about something or other; no
one ever attends to what she says—do they, Mysie ?”

“She often laughs at me,” said Mysie, too honest to give
the required answer to Duke’s question. “It was not
kind of her, but I wouldn’t mind, Cicely.”

Out of the straw-yard, and away from Lena’s laughter
with two friendly comforters to reassure her, Cicely soon
began to recover and feel rather ashamed of her fears and
her temper.

“Tt was stupid to cry,” she apologised with very red
cheeks, “only you see I was so startled, and my baek felt.
rather funny just at first.”

“Of course, you couldn’t help it. Come along, and
have your frock changed. I’ve no doubt it can be washed
or brushed—or—something.”

It was rather a doubtful tone in which Duke spoke his
conviction ; however, it was a practical suggestion, and
they all hurried back to the house without further
discussion. As they parted in the hall, Mysie’s kisses were
aot repulsed by Cicely as they often were, and Duke and
Mysie returned to the schoolroom, to wait for her there
while Cicely went up to her room, where she rang the bell
for Jane.

That handmaiden’s outcries on beholding her young
mistress, and her condemnation of “country ways and
country animals,” may be passed over. Even Cicely grew
70 COURAGE.



weary of them, and very weary of the sight of the splashed
and muddy frock, as Jane held it up in various Itghts to
show off the wreck it had become.

“Don’t talk to me about washing, Miss Cicely,” she
said when Cicely at last echoed Duke’s suggestion. “It’s
done for. Such a nice, useful frock as it ought to have
been, and your cousins ought to be ashamed of themselves
for taking you into such muddy places. Only look at that
patch, and black such a bad colour for shewing dirt and
stains! Well, it’s what comes of having boys in the house, I
suppose. Fancy young ladies poking their noses into
cowsheds and pigsties! They ought to understand that
it is not the thing that Miss Duncan is accustomed to. I
declare, Miss Cicel e

Jane’s voice suddenly died away, and Cicely turned to
find her aunt. had come into the room unheard, through
Jane’s clatter, and the angry rustle she was making with
the spoilt frock.

“J hear you have had a fall, dear,” said Mrs. Duncan
quietly, as Jane turned hastily away to hide her confusion, |

“T hope you are not hurt ?”

“Oh, no, Aunt Carry—at least, not much. I feel rather
stiff, that’s all.”

“Ym glad of that. Mysie seemed quite anxious about
you, and Duke was afraid that you ought not to have been
taken to the cow-house. He did not know that you
minded cows so much.”

“Y’m afraid Iam very silly,” said Cicely with a faint
smile, “but I don’t seem able to help it.”

“You are not used to them; when you are, you will



°
A FRIGHT AND A FROCK. 71



not be so afraid,” said her aunt reassuringly ; “and now
that you have finished changing your dress, you had better
come down with me.”

Cicely would have preferred to remain a little longer to
hear Jane’s views about certain matters, now that she was
calmer and had recovered from her first excitement on
seeing the muddy frock ; but there was no possibility of
refusing Mrs. Duncan’s request, and Cicely silently
followed her aunt from the room.

As they went downstairs, Mrs Duncan remarked, “1
hope you do not often let Jane talk to you as she was
doing just now ?”

“Oh, no, Aunt Carry,” said Cicely hastily, and no more
was said on the subject.
CHAPTER XII,
DUKE’S WAY.

THE boys’ arrival made more difference in Cicely’s quiet
life than she would have thought possible before they came.

It was not that they were rough, noisy, or rude,
for two better-behaved boys for their age it would be
difficult to find; but Lena was now entirely absorbed in
Andrew and his affairs, while Mysie was always Duke’s
most willing slave.

When Andrew “carpentered” in the workshop, Lena
sat by, commenting, approving, and occasionally lending
a hand with the lightest and most interesting work, for
which she always took great credit to herself. When
Duke did any carpentering, Mysie worked really hard in
helping him, She had to find every tool and hand them
as required, and receive any snubs he chose to give if she
made any mistakes—handed a chisel for a turnscrew, or a
turnscrew for a bradawl. She was expected to do a large
share of the hardest work, and take none of the credit ;
and all this she did without a murmur, for she was devoted
to her brother, and would do almost anything’ at his
‘bidding. But Mysie was a good little soul, and beyond a
certain point Duke could not make her go. He shocked

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“She had to find every tool.” — Page 72.
Y
DUKE’S WAY.

her though she adored him, and was grieved to refuse him,
when required to disobey some strict rule laid down by
parents or governess. Then Duke would call her by
various favourite insulting terms that he kept for such
occasions, and Mysie would appear with a swollen face
and crimson eyelids for the rest of the day. But never to
any creature would Mysie say a word against Duke, or
reveal the reason of her broken-hearted sobs.

“Mysie, my dear!” exclaimed Mrs. Duncan one day at
early dinner, “what have you been doing? Duke, you
have been tormenting her again !”

“He hasn’t, mother !” gasped Mysie, and relapsed once

* more into tears.

“Well, then, what is it ?”

But nothing would make Mysie tell, and Duke was very
careful not to let out that he had been trying to persuade
her to cross the field with him, in spite of Farmer
Beecham’s bull, and their father’s prohibition.

Duke had called her a coward ; a miserable, poor-spirited
chit, always in a fright, and hiding behind silly rules in
order to keep herself safe from any risk. Mysie had
offered to go and ask for leave, and follow Duke anywhere
when it was granted; but that did not suit the young
gentleman, and offended him almost more than her refusal.

“You're just a nasty little mischief-maker—or you
would be if one gave you the chance !” he declared ; and
she fled into the house, unable to bear any more.

It was after this that Duke began to try his powers of
persuasion on Cicely, in order to induce her to go with
him. He was not fond of undertaking anything alone.
76 COURAGE.

If he had a companion the blame could be shared, the
heavier share somehow never falling on Duke’s own
shoulders. At the same time he had a way of securing all
the credit there might be in case of success—it was the
old story, as in the carpentering. Mysie, having failed him,
was made to suffer, and in that there was some one else
‘who might be played off against her, she was punished
more than usual: in fact, Duke practically sent her to
Coventry. His increasing civility to Cicely under these
circumstances was flattering to the cousin, who did not
understand the cause, and, of course, added greatly to
poor Mysie’s distress, as Duke meant that it should.

Mysie could not keep silence any longer, when a week
after the boys’ return home, she found Duke and Cicely
whispering together outside the schoolroom door. Duke
gave her a cool stare as she passed—it was a whole day
since she had offended him, but he showed no signs of
relenting—and the child dashed passionately into the
- schoolroom, slamming the door with such violence that
Miss Prince, with sad severity, gave her a bad mark to
add to her woes. Mysie was the only one of the girls
who minded bad marks, and she sat down to think over
her hard fate.

When Cicely came in, a few minutes later, Mysie went
up to her, and begged to know what Duke was wanting
her todo. She was sure it was something that he ought
not to ask, and it was “such a pity ! such apity !” mourned
poor Mysie. :

“He said I wasn’t to tell you,” said Cicely, with some
importance in her tone.
DUKE’S WAY.

es

“Then it’s about that field. Oh! Cicely don’t got
We've been forbidden—and there’s a bull there—a real
bull, not a quiet old cow like Daisy; father says it isn’t
safe.”

Fresh from Duke’s flatteries, Cicely felt very brave, but
Mysie’s words made her pause.

“Do you really know that Uncle Herbert would think
it dangerous ?” she asked a little anxiously, for she had .
given Duke her promise, and had a vague idea that she
would be made to suffer more severely than Mysie if she
broke her word.

“Of course he does! He has told us all not to go
there.” |

“He hasn’t told me,” said Cicely, putting forward one
of Duke’s own arguments.

“But you know it—I have told you.”

“T don’t take my orders from you!’ replied Miss
Duncan, tossing her head and walking off with a very
good imitation of Jane’s manner when offended. In Jane
it was natural, in Cicely it was only unladylike.

A little while after, Duke and Cicely were both missing
—no one had seen them go, no one knew what had
become of them. Miss Prince wondered and Lena
showed much indignation; Mysie looked at the table-
cleth and turned very red, but fortunately she was not
questioned. a

A short time after, Mysie asked if she might go and
speak to Andrew for a minute, and Miss Prince, after
asking if it was really important and seeing her distressed
face, thought some pet must have been forgotten that
78 COURAGE.

morning, and gave her leave to go if she was not more than
five minutes. Lena was apparently absorbed in her read-
ing, and paid no attention.

Andrew was soon found. He was in the library looking
up some matter of history that he had forgotten, and his
uncle had mentioned at dinner the evening before.

“Oh, Andrew, I’ve only five minutes !” exclaimed Mysie,
miserably, “but I must tell you. I don’t think its
sneaking—if it is I can’t help it. I’m so afraid for Cicely
—and Duke, too !”

“Where are they ?” asked Andrew, springing Le

“You won't tell Lena—or anyone ?”

“T won’t tell Lena, or anyone—if I can help it.”

“Oh ! but promise—and I’ve only five minutes—I mean
three |”

“You must trust me, Mysie; I can’t promise blindly.”

“Oh, Andrew !”

What is it ?”

“Well, if you tell, ’ll never—never forgive. Duke and
Cicely have gone across the field—where the bullis. I
can’t think how he made her do it, but they’ve gone, I’m
sure of it.”

“All right, ’llsee. Hurry back and don’t be frightened.
Very often the bull isn’t there ; I'll go.”

“Oh, Andrew dear, you are so very good !” and Mysie
‘suddenly hugged her cousin before she fled back to the
schoolroom—only just in time.

“What did you go for ?” asked Lena as they were putting
away their books, twenty minutes later,

“To speak to Andrew.”
DUKE'S WAY.

“What about ?”

“T can’t tell you.”

“Then Andrew will.”

“No, he won't.”

Yes, he will.”

“He won't; he promised.”

“Tl make him tell.”

“Then you'll be very wicked—and—and—he won't for
all your making.”

“We shall see,” said Lena, as she walked-away.
CHAPTER XIIL
ANDREW'S WAY.

DUKE and Ciccly started very merrily on their walk.
There was a feeling in both their hearts that they must
keep up their spirits, or the voice of conscience wouid
sound too loud to be silenced, and then there could be no
more fun. .

“Tm not really going if the bull’s there,” said Cicely, as
they came to the stile.

“He isn’t here always—I don’t see him now; come, ©
Cicely !”

Over the stile went Cicely, for she also had looked
iound and had not seen the animal she dreaded. He was
where they could not see him, near a brook, behind a
clump of trees, lashing at the flies with his strong tail, and
looking round with his fierce, resentful eyes, to make sure
_ that he was alone, and would be left unmolested. He
was not a good-tempered brute, and the farmer was only
waiting for a favourable opportunity of getting rid of him.

On came Duke and Cicely, tramping boldly over the
grass, and the bull stopped chewing the cud and looked
out at them. They did not see him, and he kept quiet,

but he could see them, for they drew his attention at once
Ro
_ANDREW’S WAY. 81

by their noisy laughter. On they came, nearer and nearer,
and at last the bull took one step forward, and shewed his
great head and strong neck, very much to the surprise of
Duke, who had really begun to think the animal was not
there.

“There he is!” said Duke, suddenly. “Don’t be afraid,
Cicely ; he won’t run at us, I dare say.”

For one moment Cicely stood spell-bound, and the bull
began to paw with one foot in an uneasy way; then the
girl turned and began to run,

“Don’t run, don’t!” shouted Duke, beginning to laugh.

“Tt’s much worse if you run. He'll be after you in a
minute. Take it as coolly as I do !”

But as he spoke, the bull made a sudden spring forward
with lowered horns, and Duke came racing past Cicely,
calling out to her to run faster, the bull was coming.

“Oh, wait for me—wait!” panted poor Cicely, who
was unaccustomed to running ; “take my hand and heip
me! Oh! Duke, Duke !”

For without even stopping to listen to her, the boy had
rushed on to save himself. There was a thatched shed in
the field for sheltering cattle in the winter, and up the
pole and on to the roof of this shed did Duke climb,
without a thought for the safety of the girl he Ree
deserted.

As for Cicely, she had come to a tree, and was trying to
dodge the bull round it, at the same time uttering scream
after scream of terror. Her fear gave her quickness, and
she watched and sprang round the tree, to avoid the great
animal as it made rushes at her ; but she was getting tired

F
82 COURAGE.

out, and nobody came to her assistance, —only Duke—now
thoroughly frightened—joined his shouts to hers. The
farm was too far away for any one to hear them, but the
sounds quickened Andrew’s footsteps, and he only paused
for one moment to break as large a branch as he could
from the nearest tree before starting with this—his only
weapon—to Cicely’s rescue.

Seeing two people the bull paused, not certain which to
attack, and, coming up boldly, Andrew waved the branch
before him. The bull once more lowered his head and
prepared to charge Andrew, when Cicely made a sudden
movement and brought the animal’s attention once more
on herself.

“Don’t scream, and don’t run,” panted Andrew. “Get
behind me, if ‘you can, and then creep away to the next
tree, while I distract him for a time.”

Despair made Cicely suddenly brave. She obeyed—
kept her eyes on the bull and on Andrew’s movements,
and only when she was more than half-way to the next _
tree did she run. This was done several times ; the bull,
each time Cicely ran, leaving Andrew, and charging after
her, and then back to Andrew, as he too followed, running,
Each time they drew nearer to the gate, and at last Cicely
was there and-safely through it; Andrew following with
a torn coat and scratched arm, for the bull had caught
- him under the elbow, and given him a nasty graze down
to the wrist. The bull stamped and pushed at the gate,
but it was strong, and with a bellow of disappointment
the animal turned away.

As soon as Cicely felt she was safe, she threw herself
ANDREIW’S WAY. 83



down on the ground, panting and exhausted; and Andrew
did the same, for he also was very tired.

“You're not hurt ?” he asked, anxiously, as she rubbed
her ankle with one hand.

“Oh, no! it isn’t that—it only hurts a little, I mean ; I
twisted it the other day, and running has made it ache
again—not much.”

“You were very brave just now,” said Andrew, en-
couragingly. “If you had been foolish, and not done
what you could to help yourself, I think you might have
been killed. But where is Duke? I thought he was with
you.”

“Yes—but—he ran away. I think he’s on the shed
now. He can’t get away because of the bull; will you go
and help him ?”

“No,” said Andrew, slowly.

“Won't you? Isn’t that unkind ?”

“Do you think I am unkind ?” asked Andrew.

“You haven’t been to me—and I’m so much obliged
—but Duke—poor Duke !”

“Duke shouldn’t have brought you here; he knew if
wasn't safe, and that it was forbidden,”

“So did I,” said Cicely, boldly.

“Did you? I’m sorry,” answered Andrew. “Will you
wait for me here if I leave you a moment? I want to
wash my arm at the brook down there. I don’t want to
frighten Aunt Carry, and it looks rather nasty.” __

It certainly did, for the bruise was turning black, and
the raw graze had a rather ghastly appearance; but
Andrew did not show it to Cicely, nor did she ask to seeit.
84 ~ COURAGE.



“You won't be very long, will you ?” faltered Cicely.

“Not a annie longer than I can help. Don’t go
without me.’

“Oh, no!”

“Tl be quick !”—and away went And ew as fast as he
could run, down the road and out of sight.

Cicely sat thinking. She was glad enough to sit still
after her fright and running, but it was not that which
had puckered her forehead into a frown. Why should
Andrew speak so coldly about Duke? Why should he
leave him to himself with that dreadful bull in the field ?
Cicely was not best pleased with Duke for leaving her in
the lurch, but she did not approve of the cool way in
which Andrew left him to his fate. It wasn’t kind or nice
of him. Poor Duke ! if she could only call to him—warn
him—give him some help—then perhaps another time he
would stay and help her, and not think only of himself.
It was selfish of him to leave her, but then boys always
are selfish. Had not Andrew left her merely to attend to
_ his arm, which might not be much hurt after all, and
what.a time he was !

Cicely got up, and had just begun to think of following
him, when she saw him running back.

“Sorry to keep you so long,” was all he said, and then
walked home with her as if nothing had happened.

“Tt seems so cruel to leave Duke !” said Cicely, as they
crossed the garden.

“Tt won’t hurt him,” said Andrew, shortly.

“Oh, why didn’t I tell the farm-people that he was
there !’” exclaimed Cicely, suddenly. “TI’ll go back now.”
ANDREW’S WAY. 8s

“You can’t—you musn’t !” said Andrew, catching her
by the skirt as she started off, and thereby pulling a long
piece out of the gathers. “I’m awfully sorry, but you
really musn’t go ; Duke will be all right. The bul! will be
taken in, I have no doubt.”

“Well, it won’t be thanks to you if it is!” exclaimed
Cicely, indignantly. “I can’t think why you're so dis-
agreeable about Duke.”

“Don’t you mind his having left you alone with that
animal ? Don’t you mind his having thought only of his
own safety ?”

“Tf I do, it’s nothing to you !” said Cicely, hotly, “and
I can’t bear to think of him out there on that shed !”

“Well, you needn't,” said Andrew, gently, “for here he
comes.”

And in truth, here came Duke, disgust on every line of
his face.

“You might have waited to help me!” he began.

“JT wanted.to, Duke ?” said Cicely, eagerly.

Andrew made no reply.

“J don’t know how I should have got away, but, by
good luck, the men came and drove that brute into the
straw-yard, and I slid down and cut as quickly as I could.
I was in an awful fright lest they should see me.”

“Shall you tell your uncle ?” They were the first words
Andrew had spoken.

“No! Why should I get into a row? There’s no need,
and not much harm done either. You're all right, aren't.
you, Cicely ?” :
~ Qh, yes; I wasn’t hurt.”
86 ° COURAGE.

“Come on, then. We shall do very well, Cicely, and
no one need know unless Andrew blabs !”

“Will he ?” whispered Cicely,

“ No—never!” replied Duke,
CHAPTER XIV.
DUKE KEEPS SILENCE.

CicELY found bad marks, extra lessons, and many
- reproaches awaiting her in the schoolroom; but when
Miss Prince saw how tired she seemed, and when, being
questioned, she admitted that her head ached, she was
forgiven the extra lessons, on the condition that she never

did such a thing again—which she readily promised. —

She had no desire to trust herself with that bull again.

Now that the danger was over, she shuddered to think
of it, and turned pale at the least word that brought it
to her remembrance.

Mrs. Duncan thought her looking very tired in the
evening, and Cicely gratefully accepted her aunt’s sugges-
tion that she should go to bed early.

Mysie longed to ask her what had happened—she could
not help thinking, from Cicely’s weary looks, that she had
had some strange adventure, but she had no opportunity
of speaking to her alone. Lena, too, was on the watch
for something. She had questioned Andrew, but without
any result, and was therefore in rather a bad temper with
him and all the others.

“Come to the schoolroom and play chess with me,

Andrew,” she said suddenly, laying her hand on the arm
87
88 COURAGE.



nearest her. To her surprise, he shrank and changed
colour.

“Take care—don’t touch my arm, please; I—got it
hurt to-day.”

“Did you? When? How ?”

“This afternoon Don’t tell any one.”

“When you and Mysie had that secret? I don’t see
why I shouldn’t tell. I won’t, if you say what happened
—and if you don’t

She had failed, and she knew it by the quiet way
Andrew turned over the page of his book—and she had
threatened him! As a rule, Lena had as great an objection
to “telling” as Andrew, or Duke himself; but on this
occasion she was angry, and her pride made her forgetful
of everything but keeping her word—the word of an angry
moment.

“Mother, Andrew’s hurt his arm,” she said aloud.

“Has he? Is it bad, Andrew? How did you do it ?”

Lena shot a glance of triumph at her cousin, but he did
not look at her. With a jerk of boyish annoyance he rose
and went to his aunt when she called him.

“Tt’s all right, Aunt Carry; nothing to make a fuss

about. It has been done up—you can’t see it.”
“But if it hurts so much, it may not be dressed properly.
Who did it up for you ?”

“They did it at the farm,” said Andrew, reluctantly.

“But how did you do it, dear? And what were you
‘doing at the farm ?”

“T can’t tell you, Aunt Carry. Will you mind not
asking me ?”


DUKE KEEPS SILENCE. 89



“But, my dear, I mind very much, because J want to
know what you were doing. You weren’t in any mis-
chief ?”

Andrew gave a queer little smile. “I don’t think so,”
he: said.

“ But you must tell me what it was.”

No answer came, and then Andrew Pee and kissed
his aunt.

“Please!” he said, softly.

“Well, dear, I must trust to you that you were doing
nothing you ought to tell us about.”

“T really don’t think I was doing wrong,” said Andrew,
simply, and the subject dropped, as Mysie came up to say
good night.

Andrew went early to bed. His arm was feeling very
stiff, and hurt him a good deal ; but what hurt him most
was Duke’s indifference to his sufferings. It is true the
younger boy had looked up and listened intently while his
mother was questioning Andrew, and he had felt a thrill
of thankfulness that his father had not been present—or
Cicely ; but not a word of sympathy did he speak to
Andrew, then or later. As he laid his head on the pillow,
he felt a comfortable assurance that the subject was done
with, for he knew only too well that Andrew would never
reveal any part of the affair but his own, however hardly
pressed.

But at breakfast-next morning Duke’s anxicty returned.
There was a cloudon his father’s face, and Andrew was
late’ When the boy appeared at last, he was pale and
heavy-eyed.
go COURAGE.

“My dear Andrew,” exclaimed his aunt, “I’m afraid you
haven't slept well. How is your arm ?”

“What's the matter with his arm ?” asked Mr. Duncan,
hastily, not waiting to hear Andrew’s faltering assurance
that it was “pretty well, thank you.”

“He hurt it yesterday.”

“How ?” asked Mr. Duncan, sharply.

“T don’t know. There seems some little mystery about it.”

“Perhaps this will explain,” and Mr. Duncan tossed a
letter across to his wife. As she glanced at it, Mrs. Duncan
said, “ Oh, Andrew !” reproachfully, and passed the letter
ontohim. He read it, not hearing Mr. Duncan’s annoyed
remarks on the thoughtlessness of boys in general and
Andrew in particular ; but when he laid it down and faced
his aunt, it struck her that he did not seem very much
ashamed of himself.

The letter stated that Andrew had come to the farm and
asked the men to take the bull out of the field as quickly
as they could, for it seemed so excited and had been trying
to push out on to the road. He said it had hurt him, but
he would not say how, or what he had been doing in the
field. Mrs. Beecham had bathed and tied up his arm and
he had gone away as quickly as he had come. They
drove the bull out of the field and found it with a broken
apple-branch across its neck, and, on driving in, a splinter
of wood was discovered in its eye ; but as the animal was
by that time uncontrollable, they had been obliged to
shoot it, and the farmer therefore claimed compensation.

“Was it the bull that hurt your arm, Andrew ?” asked
Mrs. Duncan,


DUKE KEEPS SILENCE. gr

- “Yes, Aunt Carry.”

“Why didn’t you say so before?” asked Mr. Duncan,
indignantly. “If there is one thing I detest more than
another it is the way you will not be frank and open about
your mischief. It isn’t the actual fault I mind half as
much as your silence and concealment.”

Cicely looked up quickly from Andrew to Duke. Duke
was helping himself to butter; Andrew was looking out
of the window.

“Tt annoys me very much, Andrew, to see your indiffer-
ence to all I say. What were you doing in the field where
the bull was ?”

Andrew only shook his head.

“Tf you cannot answer me, you had better go to your
own room,” exclaimed his uncle, hastily; and Andrew
rose to obey, when Cicely, who had been watching Duke,
and saw he would not speak, suddenly interposed:

“Jt wasn’t Andrew’s fault, Uncle Herbert; he didn’t
come on his own account—he came to help me.”

“You! Why, my dear child, what were you doing in
the field where that bull was ?—you, who I was told were
afraid of good old Daisy 1”

“J—I didn’t know there was a bull there.”

“Were you alone ?”

Would Duke speak now? No, he et silence, and
Cicely faltered, “I was alone then.”

“When ?”

“When Andrew came to help me. The bull ran at me
and—I think it would have killed me if he hadn’t come.”

“Why didn’t you tell us this before, my dear Cicely ?”
92 COURAGE.



asked her aunt; “and how came you to be alone in the
field? I thought you went out with Duke. Wasn’t he
with you? Where were you, Duke ?”

“We did start out together,” said Duke carelessly.

“Then you weren’t with Cicely when the bull ran at
her?”

“No, I wasn’t.”

“We'll have a look at your arm after breakfast,” said
| Mr. Duncan with a nod at Andrew. “Sit down and have
some more coffee. Of course, if you only went to help
Cicely and not for your own amusement, that is another
matter, though why you couldn’t say so from the first I
don’t understand. You seem to love making mys-
teries.”

“Even now I don’t understand what Duke was doing,”
said kis mother, rather gravely. “Surely, Cicely would
not have gone into the field with a bull, when she is so
afraid of animals: When did you leave her and where?” _

But poor Cicely suddenly created a diversion by setting
down her cup and bursting into tears. The recollection
of her fright and danger the day before and the close
questioning, together with Duke’s determined silence as
to his own share of the matter, made her very unhappy,
and Cicely had not yet learnt to be unhappy without
showing it.

Every one was exceedingly kind to her. Mrs. Duncan
said her lessons should be excused that morning as het
head ached, and she was allowed to lie down in the
schoolroom with a story-book instead of doing sums.

“You didn’t tell about Duke ; that was good of you!”
DUKE KEEPS SILENCE, 93



whispered Mysie during the morning; “and you won't
ever—will you ?”

“No,” said Cicely, decidedly; “but I think he’s the
meanest boy that ever lived not to tell about it himself:
I call it cowardly—worse than being afraid of cows—and
you may tell him I said so, if you like.”
CHAPTER XV.
SUGGESTIONS.

ANDREW’S injured arm was more of a business than had
at first been supposed. If it had been properly washed
and dressed at once, the hurt would have been only a
slight affair ; but, on seeing it, the doctor feared it might
now take some time to heal, so Andrew and Cicely were
invalided together, and had some quiet hours alone in the
schoolroom, where they became more acquainted with each
other’s ways and characters than they had been before.

Lena was still angry, but most angry with herself for
having so nearly led Andrew into a scrape. She could
guess ina moment that Duke was the real offender, and
it seemed strange to her that neither her father nor her
mother should see through the boy’s silence. She forgot
how little of his real character Duke showed to any one
but his sisters and Andrew.

Cicely was full of indignation at Duke’s behaviour, and
profuse in apologies to Andrew for what she had said the
day before. He politely laughed it off as a mistake, and
began to talk of other things, but Cicely’s thoughts could
only follow the events of the last twenty-four hours.

“Do you know,” she said suddenly, “I think you ought
not to let Uncle Herbert and Aunt Carry blame you for
what Duke really does. It doesn’t seem right—a kind of

94
SUGGESTIONS. 95

story-telling—doesn’t it? I mean it makes them think
you've done things when you haven’t—and I don’t believe
it’s right.”

Andrew moved restlessly on his sofa, but made no
answer.

“You understand what I mean, don’t you ?” she asked.

“Yes, I suppose I do.”

“Well then oy

“Oh, I’ve thought of all that before—often,” answered
Andrew. “TI dare say itrisn’t right, but I can’t help it.”

“How do you mean ?”

“’m awfully fond of Duke—he isn’t at all what you
think him—he can be very generous and brave—he gives
half his things away, and yet—well—I sometimes think it
would break Aunt Carry’s heart if she knew Duke could
do—do—what he sometimes does.”

“Tsn’t he found out at school ?”

“No, he can’t do much there—it’s at home; he leads
Mysie into mischief, and lets her take all the punishment.
They aren’t very bad things—nothing worse than yester-
day, and not often so bad—but it’s such a pity! I don’t
know what will cure him. He doesn’t seem to mind our
knowing.”

“I should have thought he’d have been ashamed —I
should !” declared Cicely,

“All his people are so proud of him,” said Andrews
sadly; “it would be such a shock if they found it
out.”

“But they must some day,” said Cicely gravely “ And 1
feel as if it would be all the worse later, when nothing




96 - COURAGE.

could be done to break him of it. He keeps clear of
telling actual stories as yet.” :

“Yes, he answers very cleverly, that makes it so much
worse ; but let us talk of something else.”

“T can’t think of anything else. I,can only think that
Uncle Herbert ought to know that Duke isn’t nearly as
true and straightforward as he thinks him, and that you

-oughtn’t to let it go on any longer. Why don’t you tell
Duke that next time you won't bear it ?”

“T have told him that many times, but he knows when
it comes to the point that I can’t tell. I think the only
person except ourselves who knows it, is his grandfather.”
' “What, old Mr. Duncan ?”

“Yes, he sometimes looks at him and says, “Be true,
Duke—be true to yourself and to others ; there was never
a brave man that wasn‘t true,” for you see Duke is going
into the army.”

“Ts he? My father was a captain. You know that Mr.
Duncan is my grandfather too ?”

“Oh, yes, I remember!” said Andrew, and suddenly
changed the subject.

When the others came back from their walk, Andrew
was reading aloud to Cicely, who, with eager, sparkling
eyes, was deep in the mysteries of Treasure Island.

Duke was particularly kind and attentive to Cicely, so
that she found it hard to believe that the boy who
talked and laughed so amusingly could be the one who
had kept silence and allowed his cousin to bear the blame
due only to himself. He even made her a sort of

apology.
SUGGESTIONS. 97

“Tm awfully sorry about the bull, Cicely,’ he said,

sitting down by her and looking properly penitent.

_“You ought to have spoken up and told the truth,” said
Cicely, gravely. She liked to preach to this handsome
boy-cousin of hers. It was a new sensation. Duke hung
his head for a moment.

“J should have spoken if—if it had gone any further.
As it was—what would have been the good? It would
only have worried my father and made a fuss.”

- “Well,” said Cicely, with a sigh, “of course, if you don’t
want to be truthful 2

“T never told a lie,” declared Duke, indignantly ; “you
can’t say I did.”

“You answered very—carefully,” said Cicely, “but my
grandfather used to say it was worse to act a lie than to
tell one.”

“Well, look here—forgive me this time, and it shan’t
occur again, as the doctor is so fond of saying at school.”

Cicely could only forgive him and hope that in time he
might learn better. She had also other things to think of,
for Jane had heard in the servant’s hall that a wonderful
improvement in old Mr. Duncan’s health had taken place.
If it continued, Mr. Brace had declaréd that the change
for the better was “something wonderful,” and he might
say “almost supernatural.”

“What’ll be done about Miss Cicely if he goes in his
chair again?” asked Mrs, Jelliepot; but that was more
than Mr. Brace could answer, and Mr. Firkin, the butler,
shook his head gravely, intimating that such a question
showed a want of discretion on Mrs, Jeliiepot’s part. Jane

G


98 COURAGE.



kept her ears open, and reported every word of this
conversation to Cicely, who was more excited than ever at
the possibility of seeing her grandfather. But whether it
was only accidental or arranged, it so happened that on
the day Mr. Duncan took his first turn in the garden,
Cicely was out driving with Mrs. Duncan, and only heard
of it on her return, when Jane met her, full of indignation.

It seemed more clear than ever that there was some
reason—good or bad—which made Mr. and Mrs. Duncan
anxious to keep Cicely out of her grandfather’s way, and
as Jane constantly repeated, “What could it be—unless it
was that they were afraid he would leave all his money to
his elder son’s child, Miss Cicely Duncan, to the disap-
pointment of Master Marmaduke !”

“You may depend upon it that’s, it, Miss Cicely,” said
Jane, as she brushed her young mistress’s hair the following
morning. ‘ You'll never see him as long as they can keep
you apart. You ought to pluck up spirit and see him for
yourself. For all you know, he mayn’t even know of your
existence. You must have the right to see your own
grandfather 1”

“But how can I ?” asked Cicely.

“T’m sure I-don’t know. Why don’t you get Master
Marmaduke to help you—only don’t tell him why ; he’s
up to any sort of mischief, so all the servants say.”

“But I don’t like Duke now; I think Andrew’s a great
deal nicer,” :

“Dear me, Miss Cicely, I don’t see that that matters.
Nice or nasty, if he takes you to your grandfather, and
does what you want, he’s of more use than some one








“You may depend upon it, that’s it,’ said Jane.”—Page 98.


















eo




SUGGESTIONS. IOI

twice as good as wouldn’t stir to help you. You should
really think of it, Miss, because it’s worth trying. No
harm could come of you just seeing old Mr. Duncan, so
that he may know that you're alive. Living as he does,
you don’t know what they may have toid him.”

“T don’t like to,” said Cicely. Suppose it made him
angry—or ill ?” .

“He’s strong enough to bear it. Mr. Brace said only
yesterday that his vital powers is wonderful.”

Still Cicely hesitated, and when her hair was done, ana
Jane had left the room, the little girl sat at her glass turning
the matter over in her mind, forgetting to say her prayers
until the breakfast bell rang. She did not dare stop to
say them then, or she would have been late, and Miss
Prince would have recorded the fact with a bad mark. It
was not a very good beginning to the day, and Cicely felt
. uncomfortable and cross. It was the first time she had
come to breakfast without saying her prayers, and she did
not make it better by shutting her ears when Mrs. Duncan
read family prayers, and gabbling through her own in her
mind. It seemed afterwards as if she had missed all the
prayers, and Cicely did not know then that there was a
trial before her which would require all the patience and
and gentleness she could muster to enable her to bear it
in the right spirit.
CHAPTER XVI,
A SHOCK FOR CICELY.

CICELY, dear,” said her aunt after breakfast, “I want to
speak to you for a moment, if you will come into the
library.”

Cicely followed with a beating heart, wondering a little
' that her uncle was also in the room, and she began to feel
anxious as she saw the troubled look on her aunt’s face.

“Your uncle and I have been thinking very seriously
about you, Cicely, dear,” said Mrs. Duncan, in her
gentlest tones, “and we have felt a little anxious and
worried about some things, and therefore I thought we
might have a little talk with you, and tell you what we
have decided.”

“Yes, Aunt Carry,” murmured Cicely.

“T have been very sorry to notice, lately, how much
you talk to your maid, Jane, and how very familiarly she
talks to you.”

Cicely made no answer, but turned rather white, as she
felt this was only the prelude to something worse.

“An old and valued servant is an excellent thing, Cicely,
but Jane is not the sort of woman we should wish to trust,
and I do not like to see how much influence she seems to
have with you.”

“T—I won't talk to her so much, Aunt Carry,” faltered
ro2
A. SHOCK FOR CICELY. 103





Cicely, very humbly, for she dreaded to think what all
this might lead to. “Now that I know you don’t like it,
I’ll be more careful.”

“T hope you wili, dear, for the time that Jane will
remain with us—as your uncle and I have decided that it
will be best for her to leave.”

“Leave! gasped Cicely ; “but I can’t do without Jane!”

““T think you can, dear, and I’m afraid you must. It is
not without much serious thought that we have come to
the conclusion that it is best to take this decided step, for
we feared that it would pain you. But if you think for
yourself, 1am sure you will feel that your grandfather—
Mr. Lorton—would have done as we are doing, if he had
known how much you talk to her, and-she talks to you, of
what does not concern her.”

Cicely sat half stunned. It was worse than anything
she had imagined. Jane waited on her and amused her
as no one else would do. Cicely was rather lazy, and
Jane did far more for her than even Mrs. Duncan knew or
would approve—put on her stockings, fastened every
petticoat, and knew exactly how Cicely liked her things
to be done, even though she did not always trouble to do
them in that way. So Cicely sat, and her aunt waited to
hear what she would say. At last she spoke in a very lew
tone. “I call it very unfair !”

“How, dear ?”

“You might have told me you didn’t like it—you might
have asked me not to talk to her—you have never said a
word till to-day—when she is to be sent away !”

“She will have her month’s notice, Cicely,” answered
104 COURAGE.



Mrs. Duncan, gently ; “and during that month you will
grow accustomed to the thought of losing her; but I
wished to speak to you before I said anything to her, as I
wanted to be the first to tell you what we have decided.
I am grieved, dear, to give you so much pain, but it is
impossible to do otherwise.”

“Then, haven’t you spoken to Jane yet ?”

“No; I wished you to know first.”

“Oh, Aunt Carry, don’t send her away!” exclaimed
Cichly, throwing herself on her knees by her aunt’s chair.

“Please don’t! I promise [ll do just as you wish. I
won't talk to her as I have done. [ll do anything—if
you'll only—omly let her stay !”

“My dear Cicely, stop crying and be reasonable. You
make it very hard for us to do what we feel sure is our
duty, but in this wild and uncontrollable grief you show
only more plainly how important it is for us to separate
you from Jane. No oneshould be so absolutely dependent
upon a servant for their comfort and well-being, least of
all a young girl of your age. Jane is not a wise or
profitable companion for you. She is doubtless a kind.
hearted woman, but she is very curious and a great gossip.
It is better for you that you should part now than in a few
years, when her influence has done you more harm.”

“T don’t see what harm she can do me!” sobbed
Cicely.
“No, dear, I do not expect you to see it Be yourself,
You are an only child, and from circumstances have
been left very much with Jane; but I have often heard
you speak as I am sure you would never have done if you
A SHOCK FOR CICELY. 105



had lived in the schoolroom with our Suen instead of

almost alone with a servant.”

“That wasn’t my fault!” said Cicely, resentful

“Of course not, but it would be our fault if we allowed
this state of things to continue. Now you had better go
back to the schoolroom, dear, for I have other things to
see about this morning.”

Cicely did not move, however, and, after a moment,
asked, “What made you decide so suddenly—to-day ?”

She saw her aunt glance at her uncle, who was standing
before the fire, and he answered her. “Jane cannot hold
her tongue to others any more than she does to you,

Cicely. It may be well for you to know and remember
that in the future. The reticence that comes from educa-
tion and good breeding is not to be expected from a
woman of Jane’s class. She has been talking downstairs
—very much as she has talked to you upstairs, I dare say
—and at last asked so many impertinent questions of Brace
that he came to me and complained. We have been doubt-
ful before, but this decided us that Jane must be sent away.”.

“Grandfather thought—hoped—that Jane would be
with me always—all my life!” exclaimed Cicely.

_ “There you are mistaken. During the short time I was
with your grandfather, he twice said to me, ‘I do not
think Jane is a safe person to leave with Cicely, but you
will judge of that later.’ It was so much in his mind that
he repeated it. Even he had noticed that she was not the
right companion for you,”

“Will you let me have another maid?” asked Cicely,
this time looking at her aunt.
106 COURAGE.



“ As to that, dear, I have not yet decided. You are old
enough to be independent of a nurse, and your simple
dressing hardly requires much help; but I think you,
Lena, and Mysie could share a maid, who would brush
your hair as Jane has done, and see to your frocks and
things. But we will talk about that another time. You
will still have a month of Jane’s attention, and by the time
she leaves I hope you will be more reconciled to the idea,
and have learnt to be more independent of her than you
seem to be now.”

“Mayn’t I go upstairs and—and bathe my eyes ?”

Mrs. Duncan smiled and stooped to kiss the upturned.
face, in spite of the resentful eyes and the decided droop
at the corners of the mouth.

“T don’t think they want bathing,” she said, and I would
rather that you did not say anything to Jane until I have
seen her and it is all settled.”

Mr. Duncan kissed her also, but even his invitation for
her to go for a walk with him that afternoon could not
call up a smile.

“Poor child! I am very sorry for her,’ said Mrs,
Duncan, as the door closed.

“Yes,” said Mr. Duncan, slowly ; “and I’m just a little
sorry for ourselves too, for we haven’t yet found the key
to the child’s heart, and she will give us some trouble
before we do.”
CHAPTER XVII.
SOME OF FANE’S OPINIONS.

OLDER and wiser people might have laughed had they
known the dread in Cicely’s heart as she thought of her
next meeting with Jane, for Jane had a way of making
dressing or undressing, or the ten minutes of hair-brushing,
particularly painful to her victim when she chose. But
the old and the wise do not always understand the views
held by an over-sensitive girl of eleven, or realise the
the depths of misery to which these young people can
descend over small and insignificant matters ; and the olc
and the wise will never know how much youthful folly
will suffer from being youthful folly, for as age and wisdom
draw near, the youthful folly dies and its peculiar form of
suffering ceases.

And now Cicely could only think: “What will Jane
say ? How angry she will be, and how cross—and yet
I’m as sorry as she is. Oh, dear! Oh, dear !”

She lingered over the putting away of her books and
dawdled up the stairs until she thought she would be late
and then rushed to her room in a violent hurry.

When she opened the door, Jane was singing.

The shock brought the tears into Cicely’s eyes.

“ Have you seen Aunt Carry this morning ?” she gasped, .

“Yes, Miss Cicely. A pretty thing after eight years’

07
108 COURAGE.

service to be turned off in this way ! Fortunately it makes
no difference to me, because I’d thought more than once
of giving notice on my own account. You remember I
only stayed to please you—because you asked me.”

Cicely thought of the eoid brooch and said “Yes,”
faintly.

“Tt’s a wretched, dull place, and I never could abide
the country, so it’s just as well as it is—only I have my
feelings, and I should have liked Mrs. Duncan to remem-
ber that when she spoke to me.”

““Wasn’t she kind ?” asked Cicely, hating herself for
asking and yet longing to hear.

“Kind! Oh, I didn’t want her jangneet She was as
haughty as a born duchess and as coolas ice. ‘I have
decided to give you notice, Jane,’ she says very quiet-like,
‘as I wish you to leave this day month. We are going
to make different arrangements for Miss Cicely.’ ‘ Cer-
tainly, ma’am,’ says 1; ‘if I don’t give satisfaction I’d
better go where I shall be appreciated. But,’ I says,
looking at her, ‘I’d like to know the reason, if it’s all the
same to you, ma’am. ‘I think,’ she says, in just the
same cold, icy way, ‘you'd better not ask, if you do not
already know.’ ‘Excuse me, ma’am,’ I says—for I didn’t
know what she might have heard—‘I’d rather be told the
worst, to have the chance of defending myself if any one
has slandered me. ‘Very well,’ she says ; ‘The reason
is that Miss Cicely makes too much of a companion of
you, and we do not think that it is good for her.” And
with that she walks away and leaves me dumbfoundered.
I never was so nonplushed, it come so sudden and un-
SOME OF FANE’S OPINIONS. 109



expected. It isn’t that I’m not glad to leave such a dull
place, but I should have thought even Mrs. Duncan might
have known a good:servant when she had one !”

“T’m so sorry,” said Cicely, miserably. I wish—but it
wasn’t any use my saying anything.”

“Of course not, Miss Cicely, Some folks makes up
their minds into a hard knot, which it’s beyond the power
of any one’s fingers to undo, and that’s Mrs. Duncan ; but
even if I could have stayed, 1 wouldn’t now. No, not if
Mrs. Duncan asked me herself on her bended: knees, I
wouldn’t.” | ; °

It passed through Cicely’s mind that Jane was overacting
her indifference, and that in reality she was deeply vexed.
at having to leave a place where the wages were good and
the work of the lightest. Of this suspicion, however, she
gave no hint, and applied herself with energy to her wash-
hand basin.

. “Of course Mrs. Duncan is glad to get rid of any one
who thinks of your interests, Miss Cicely,” continued Jane.
“Yve been too open and above board, that’s what it is.
Mr. Brace is heart and soul for his old master and Mrs,
Duncan, and you're to be left out in the cold; I can see
that. It’s hard on you, Miss Cicely, harder than on me,
for your last friend. will go when I leave this house.”

“Oh, I hope not !” exclaimed Cicely from the depths of
a towel in which she was rubbing her face.

“Tt’s true, Miss Cicely ; money’s the root of all evil, and.
it’s to the credit of your papa that he didn’t marry the
heiress old Mr. Duncan wanted for him. She was ready
to jump down his throat, but he never gave her the chance:
110 COURAGE,

by opening his mouth. He was true to his love, Miss
Cicely Lorton, though he had to wait some years for her,
and she was not a great heiress like the other.”

“ But what became of the heiress, Jane ?” asked Cicely.

“Well, I don’t know, Miss ; but I dare say she married
well enough in time, for men have a nose for money that
beats all bloodhounds and such like. I might have married
very well myself if I’d had a few pounds more to put into
the business ; but I hadn’t saved enough, and so we parted,
and he married the baker’s second daughter, who had
scraped and saved—no one knew how—and_ had the
money ready a week before the wedding. It wasn’t a very
happy union, Miss Cicely, but he got the money for his

' business, and that was what he wanted most.”

Then the gong sounded, and Cicely had to run away.
Jane had borne it better than Cicely expected, but then it
was early days yet, and Jane had not fully realised what
she was losing through her own folly and love of gossip.
Every one who had-seen Cicely that morning could not
help noticing that something had happened to make her
unhappy and absent-minded. She did her lessons un-
usually badly, did not hear when she was spoken to, and
though she lingered about in the schoolroom after the
others had gone up, she left her lesson-books lying on the
table. In an ordinary way, Cicely would have had a most
alarming number of bad marks if bad marks had the
power of alarming her, which unfortunately they had not—
but Miss Prince soon saw that it was not mere thought-
less idleness that prevented Cicely from remembering and
answering, so when they assembled again after early






—Page Lio.

ry)

hat became of the heiress, Jane.

“But w









SOME OF FANE’S OPINIONS. 113



dinner, she said very kindly, “1 don’t think you were quite
yourself this morning, Cicely, so I have not given you the
bad marks that I certainly should have done if I had
thought you inattention the result of mere carelessness. I
hope, dear, you will try to do better this afternoon.”

Cicely thought of her uncle’s promise to take her for a
walk, and concluded at once that it had been forgotten ;
but though she would rather have walked with her uncle
than read French history, she was not ungrateful to Miss
Prince, and for half an hour gave her whole mind to the
task before her. At the end of that time, Mr. Duncan
appeared at the schoolroom door, and asked Miss Prince
if she would excuse Cicely, as he had promised her a walk
with him. Cicely went with alacrity, and was soon seen
crossing the lawn with her uncle and the two boys.

“Tt’s very extraordinary,” said Lena, resentfully, “that
when Cicely does her lessons worst, and is even more
disagreeable than usual, she always has some extra treat—
like a drive with mother, or a walk with ane Why
shouldn’t I have gone too ?”

“Probably because your father did not want you,” said
Miss Prince, “Go on reading, Mysie, my dear.”
CHAPTER XVIII
A COUNTER-PLOT.

CICELY enjoyed her walk very much. In spite of the
troubles of the morning, she could not feel cross or sulky
with such a sky overhead and such beautiful tender green
on the trees. She walked sedately beside her uncle, talking
in a very “grown-up” fashion to him, while the boys ran
ahead, peered into hedges for nests, wrestled with each
other, and generally enjoyed themselves. It was not until
their return that Cicely had any disagreeable thoughts, and
then they were suggested by Jane.

“Have you been out, Miss Cicely ? Over the meadows
to the river? I thought as much! I said to myself.
“They've got Miss Cicely out of the way, you may be
certain !”

“Why ? What do you mean ?” asked Cicely, quickly.

“Only that old Mr. Duncan’s been out again in his
chair. I felt sure they hadn’t let you be anywhere near.”

“Oh, Jane ! is it really true ?”

“Ym not in the habit of telling you stories, Miss Cicely,
and I couldn’t if I wished. It’s perfectly true, and you
may ask Master Duke if it isn’t so. I see how it is, Miss
Cicely : I’m too true a friend of yours to suit their
purposes, and tha?’s the real reason why I’m to go. Mrs.

Duncan knows I can see through her ways.”
II4
A COUNTER PLOT. Tis

“T wish you wouldn't say such things,” said Cicely, with
some annoyance. “TI can’t believe Aunt Carry would do
anything unfair or dishonourable, or Uncle Herbert either.
I don’t like to hear you talking against them.”

“Oh, very well, Miss Cicely, of course I'll say aetning
you please. They're just angels sent down from Heaven,
and not mortal man and woman—if that’s what you want.”

“T thought you couldn’t tell stories if you wished !”
said Cicely, indignantly, and then fled down to the school-
room to escape Jane’s angry retort.

It was Cicely’s first attempt to be loyal to her uncle and
aunt, but in spite of it, Jane’s words rankled. What could
possibly be the reason for keeping her so absolutely out of
her grandfather’s sight ? This question Cicely asked herself
again and again, and could find no answer, so at last she
determined to question Duke, for she rapidly came to the
conclusion that nothing could be learnt from Andrew,
even if he knew. Duke would be far more ready to talk
of family matters with her, and might perhaps know all
about it,

The opportunity came next day. Duke was going ona
message to the vicarage, about a mile off, and it was
suggested that Cicelyshould go with him if she liked to walk.

“T suppose they’re going to bring grandpapa out,”
thought Cicely, resentfully, and she would have refused to
go had she not been glad of the chance of speaking to
Duke alone. Duke was glad enough of a companion, and
they started on very good terms with each other, as no
one knew better how to make himself agreeable when he
chose than Duke,
116 COURAGE.



Cicely’s thoughts were much occupied by what she had
to say, and the difficulty of introducing her grievance
skilfully ; but after a short silence, she plunged into the
subject without any preparation. “I wonder why I’m
never to see my grandfather—old Mr. Duncan |”

Duke lifted his eyebrows and whistled softly.

“Of course I can’t help seeing that I’m shuffled out of
way whenever he is going to leave his room. He is
coming out this afternoon.” No answer came from
Duke, who was looking into the hedge for nests.

“Duke! I wish you’d answer. Don’t you know why it
isi

“No, I don’t,” answered Duke, decidedly.

“T suppose here Cicely hesitated a little—it seemed
rather shocking to accuse his own parents to him. “I
suppose it’s about money. That sort of thing generally is.”

«What sort of thing ?”

“Why, mysteries—or secrets.”

ORE

“T wish you'd tell me why they do it, Duke,”

“T don’t know anything, .Cicely, I don’t. really,”
answered Duke. “I’ve noticed it, of course, as you have,
but neither father nor mother have said anything.”

“And you can’t guess ?” asked Cicely, gravely.

“No; can you ?”

There was a pause, then Cicely said, slowly, “I think—
at least, Fane thinks—you see, 1am Mr. Duncan’s eldest
son’s daughter—that they are afraid he might leave his
money to me.” 7
' Duke flushed hotly and tossed his chin. “Jane is an


ea

[Pe ty a



“Why am I never to see my grandfather ?"”—Page 116.



A COUNTER PLOT, 11g

impertinent busybody!” he said indignantly “and 1

wonder you care to talk to her about your own relations.

- Iam certain my father and mother would never do such
a thing.”

“But it seems so strange—always sending me out of his
way,” said Cicely, in self-defence. “It must make one
think of things.”

Duke made no answer. Cicely’s remark had made
him “think of things,” and a very different view of the
matter occurred to him. His father and mother were
much more likely to be protecting Cicely’s interests, and if
that were so, and she was unquestionably the eldest son’s
daughter, would the Maples come to him, as he had
always boasted it must? It had never occurred to him
before that he might have a rival in this quiet little girl
cousin, and as he thought of the matter, remembering
some of his father’s vague replies to his suggestions for
improving the property, he at once decided that it was
because Cicely, and not Duke, was to have the Maples.

How this had come about Duke could not imagine. He
knew his Uncle Alfred had been disinherited, and
concluded that it must have been in his father’s favour ;
but this was a new and very startling view, and Duke
walked on, silently turning it over in his own mind.

“T think I ought to be allowed to see him,” Cicely was
saying when he began to listen again, “and sometimes I
feel inclined to walk off to his room and say, “ Grandpapa,
I’m your son Alfred’s daughter,” and see what he would
say. I thought at one time perhaps he was not comfort-
able—neglected, you know—as it is sometimes in books ;
120 COURAGE,



but it can’t be that, for you, and Andrew, and Lena, and
Mysie all go up there.”

Duke laughed scornfully. He was angry with this girl
and her suspicions, and thought she deserved punishing.

“T should like you to see my grandfather’s room,” he
Said. @ ;

“Oh, can I ?- Will you help me, Duke ? That would be
very noble and unselfish of you! Do promise to help me
—to take me there some day, so that I may see him.”

Duke hesitated ; he was wondering if he could manage
it.

“He has an awful temper, you know,” he said, looking
at Cicely, and wondering if the likeness to his uncle, that
everyone saw so strongly, would be a point in her favour
or-against her. “He'd make a new will in five minutes, if
anyone put him out—at least, he would some years ago.
He’s old now, and doesn’t do anything of business except
through father and Brace.”

“Yes, he might make a will for me,” said Cicely,
complacently. “I suppose that’s what they’re afraid of !”

Again Duke’s eyes flashed, but he made no direct answer
to this speech..

“Tf I say I will help you,” he said, after a minute, “what
do you mean to do ?”

“Could you help me to go to his room—and see him ?”

“It will be difficult because of Brace,” said Duke,
thoughtfully ; “and don’t you think it’s rather greedy of
you to want to take the Maples from me?”

“No,” said Cicely, decidedly ; “I ought to have it, and
don’t you think it is greedy of you to want to keep the
A COUNTER PLOT. [21°



Maples, when there’s that other place that was your
mother’s for you ?”

But Duke did not see it in that light.

“After all, the place is grandfather’s, and he has the
right to leave it just as he pleases,” said Duke ; and they
came in sight of the vicarage as he spoke. ~ ae

Their business was soon completed, and they, walked
home much more silently than they had started. Duke
had many things to think of, while last—and certainly not
least—was his own safety.

“Look here,” he said, after a long silence; “if I help
you—and there is a row—you won't get me into trouble,
will you? I'll only help on that condition.”

“Of course, I- won’t tell of you?” said Cicely, hotly
“You won't come into it at all, except just shewing me
how and when to get into the room.”

“Well, then, I’ll help,” said Duke, quietiy.

He did not mind undertaking to carry out the very plan
that he was so indignant with Cicely for suspecting his
father and mother to have made, which shows what a
different standard some people have for their own actions
and those of others.

Cicely was in much the same position. Her indignation
with her uncle and aunt was leading her to counterplot in
a yet more treacherous and dangerous manner,
CHAPTER XIX.
WANTED, INFORMATION.

As soon as she returned home, Cicely was informed by
Jane that old Mr. Duncan had been in the garden for
half an hour, which was what she had expected to hear.
It mattered less to her now, as she had Duke’s promise of
help, and felt sure that it would not be long before he
would arrange that she shculd see and speak to this
unknown grandfather. In the meantime she had to wait
with what patience she could muster—which was some-
times very little. While she waited she tried to find out
as much as she could about her grandfather, and the
person questioned most on the subject was Andrew.

“Ts Mr. Duncan very clever ?” she asked one day when
they were alone in the garden.

“He was very clever, I believe, but since his illness he
has not been able to read or write much.”

“What was his illness ?”

“T don’t know. He Bc ‘attacks’ ehcane but 1
don’t know what they are.’

“Fle is always kind and gentle, isn’t he ?” was Cicely’ s
next leading question.
_ “He has always been kind to me,” answered Andrew,
loyally, and, suddenly stooping, he picked up a clover leaf,

asking Cicely if she had ever seen a four-leaved clover.
122
WANTED, INFORMATION. T23



“Then, he isn’t kind to everyone ?” said Cicely, ignoring
the last remark.

“J don’t mean to say that,” answered Andrew, quickly ;
“T only mean—that I have always found him very kind.
Why do yeu ask so much about him ?”

“ Because—well, I’m never allowed to see him—and it—
it makes me curious—I suppose.”

“Then why don’t you ask Aunt Carry ?” said Andrew,
bluntly, and Cicely had no answer ready.

“T don’t see why you shouldn’t tell me about him,” she
began, after a pause; “it’s awkward asking anyone like
Aunt Carry about an older person.”

“Aunt Carry could tell you a great deal more than I
can,” said Andrew. “I have only known Mr. Duncan
since his illness, but Aunt Carry could tell you what he
was like before that, when he had all his powers.”

Cicely was obliged to rest content with this very small
amount of information to be gleaned on that occasion.
She next tried to question Lena, but that young lady
declined to answer any questions, as she could not help
feeling some satisfaction in being able to produce the
effect of knowing more of family matters than her cousin,
though in reality she knew little more than Cicely. She
was not fond of sick people, and never went to Mr.
Duncan’s room unless she was obliged.

. Mysie would have told Cicely anything that she knew ;
but then she knew nothing.. She was a good-hearted,
blundering, unobservant child, except where Duke was
concerned,.and then she was all alertness when there was
any necessity.to prevent his being suspected or punished.
124 COURAGE.



But she knew very little about her grandfather, and couid
only tell Cicely that he was a great invalid, and was always
very kind when she went to see him or take any message.

Cicely was therefore obliged to go back to Andrew for
her information, unsatisfactory as she found him.

“What does Aunt Carry think would happen if Mr.
Duncan saw me?” she said, in a wondering tone, when
they were alone one afternoon.

“Ym sure I don’t: know,” laughed Andrew, rather
amused at her evident curiosity, and never suspecting to
what it was leading. “Why don’t you ask her, Cicely, or
write out a list of questions like an examination paper ?
V’ll help you write it.”

“T think you’re very disagreeable,” said Cicely, colouring
“T’ve told you I don’t want to ask her! I shall talk to
Duke if you don’t care to answer me.”

Andrew opened his hazel eyes in some surprise and
lifted his eyebrows. “All right,” he said, quietly. “I was
only laughing, for I could not believe you were seriously
asking such a question,”

“Why not ?” asked Cicely, rather sulkily.

“Because it seems to imply——You musn’t be angry
with me, Cicely ; but it sounded almost as if you doubted
Aunt Carry.”

Cicely could make no answer. It was clear that Andrew
had no doubt of his aunt, though his steady, truthful eyes
were fixed on Cicely in wonder—almost in fear—as, with
a sudden flush, she said, quickly, “It isn’t every uncle and
aunt that can be trusted. Remember the Babes: in the
Wood !”
WANTED, INFORMATION. 125,



Andrew laughed again. The answer was so childish that
_ it was not possible to take it seriously. ‘Oh, if you go by

legends and books,” he said, “you may fancy yourself a
very unfortunate person, in a family ready to poison you,
or even blow you up with gunpowder ! There is no more
wretched creature in story-books than the misunderstood
child, whom everyone helps to persecute. You don’t feel
particularly ‘misunderstood,’ do you ?”

“No, though I wish Lena would not think me such a
coward because I am afraid of cows.”

“Lenais afraid of spiders, and they can do less harm,
answered Andrew. “A cow can toss you, but a spider
only tickles if it touches you. Generally it is in a great
hurry to take itself out of your way.”

“T’m not afraid of spiders! I can laugh at Lena now,”
said Cicely, moving to the door. But Andrew caught her.

“Jf you say anything to Lena, I shall be sorry I told
you. I only wanted to show you that we all—even Lena
—have our dislikes. Your particular horror is cows,
Lena’s is spiders and mice, I cannot touch-black beetles,
Duke hates frogs. It is foolish for Lena to laugh at you
and it would be as foolish of you to laugh at Lena; but
we are all foolish sometimes. Please be wise now, and
don’t make her angry with both of us.”

Cicely was sensible enough to see that she would gain
nothing by tormenting Lena, so she gave up the idea fo
the present and asked after Andrew’s arm.

“Tt’s nearly well again, thank you,” he said. “Im
always getting into the wars somehow. I broke my
collar-bone on the ice last Christmas and spoilt all my
120 COURAGE,



holiday. I have been more fortunate this time—so far.”

“Doesn’t your arm count for anything ?”

“That was such a very small matter. A really big thing,
like a broken leg or an injured eye—that is the sort of thing
I mean. One is always getting cuts and bruises.”

“Sometimes I’m rather glad I’m not a boy,” said
Cicely; “it’s so horrid to be always getting hurt and
having not to mind it. I’m sure I should make a very
poor-spirited sort of boy.”

“T don’t know,” said Andrew, looking at her critically ;
“‘T think there’s some very good stuff in you that would
have come out more if you had been with boys. I’m
sure you would never have been mean—or untruthful—or
really cowardly.”

“Cicely coloured with pleasure to hear Andrew’s praise,
but the colour deepened still more when she thought how
little she deserved it. Somehow it always did her good
to talk to Andrew. She often felt ashamed of herselt
after being with him, for he had such a kindly opinion ot
every one, herself included, that it seemed wrong rot to
try to live up to his standard, his ideal of what she was.
Cicely was thinking rather seriously about this, and
wondering whether she ought not to give up her
plans of seeing her grandfather without permission, when
the door suddenly opened and Duke called out: “ Cicely,
come quick. I want you,”
CHAPTER XX.
FACE TO FACE.

“ QuIcK, Cicely ! He’s alone,” whispered Duke. “ You'll
never have a better opportunity.”

“Oh! but Duke—it seems so dreadful. Perhaps I’d
better give it up!”

“Give it up! Nonsense! When I’ve been watching
and waiting all this time! Come, make haste, and you'll
have a nice time to say all you want to him, for I know
Brace has gone out for half an hour.”

Cicely was now very unwilling to carry out her plan,
but Duke dragged her along, indignantly silencing her
faint protests that she was sure that it was very wrong,
and perhaps something might happen, with reproaches
over the time he had spent and the trouble he had taken
in arranging the matter for her.

“Then come in with me,” pleaded Cicely.

“T can’t do that. How can I mix myself up with your
affairs ? Aren’t you trying to get grandfather to leave the
Maples to you? It would look-funny if they saw me
helping you !”

“Tt would look very just and generous.”

“ Well—I can’t help that. There is the door, so go in,”
and Duke, to put an end to the discussion, unooked for

her,
127
128 COURAGE,

A voice inside replied. Duke opened the door and
Cicely felt herself pushed forward, then it closed, and
. Cicely was alone in her grandfather’s presence.

She glanced round the room hastily and saw a large
and very handsome sitting-room. Bookcases and pictures
covered the walls; a marble Hebe stood on a pedestal in
one corner ; a stand of flowers by the open window made
the air sweet with geranium and heliotrope. Sofas and
armchairs stood in corners, and in a patch of sunshine
near the window was Mr. Duncan in his wheeled chair.
He looked younger than she had expected, in spite of the
dressing gown that only partially concealed the wasted limbs
which could not now support him. He still had very
bright brown eyes, and he drew his bushy white eyeliows
together as he gazed at her.

“Hullo! who is this?” he asked, as she came a step
nearer.

“Grandfather,” she faltered—the touching speech she
had so often made to herself, which was to soften the
hardest heart, having quite gone out of her head.

“You are no grandchild of mine,” said Mr. Duncan,
changing colour. “What do you want, and why are you
here ?, Where is Brace, or Herbert, or Carry? Why am
plete alone with you ?”

“T have come to see and speak to you, grandfather !”
stammered Cicely—it was hard to call this fierce-looking
old gentleman by the old familiar name Mr. Lorton was
always remembered by.

“What about ? Who are yous ee

“You had a son—Alfred——” said Cicely, eae








































“ Hullo! who is this ?”—Page 128.



Na

SSS

FACE TO FACE. _ 131

all over and only venturing on because now she could
not draw back. “I am Alfred Duncan’s only child.
They would not let me come and see you, grandfather,
and J—I—wanted you to know I was here—and to see
you.” Cicely had come forward as she spoke, and the
- light fell on her face from the window.

“ Alfred !’ gasped the old man, looking at her. “Go!
Go! I have nothing to do with Alfred or his children.”

“There’s only me,” said Cicely, piteously, not seeing in
her ignorance that her grandfather was changing colour
in a very strange way. “I’m all there is, grandfather.
Oh! won’t you forgive him—and me ?”

There was a gasping, gurgling sound, and Mr. Duncan:
seemed to be slipping down in his chair. He stretched:
out his hand for a small bottle on the table, but failed to
reach it, and looked up helplessly at Cicely. In a moment
the girl took up the bottle and drew out the cork, smelt
it—it seemed to be brandy—and as Mr. Duncan opened
his mouth, she held the bottle to his lips and he drank
the contents. Then his eyes closed and his head feil
back. Poor Cicely was dreadfully frightened and rushed
to the door.

“Duke! Come quick! Come in!”

“T can’t,” said Duke, who was looking at a bookcase
outside,

“You must! He’s fainted or something. Oh! do come.”

Very much alarmed at the result of his experiment,
Duke went in with Cicely. His grandfather was lying
back in his chair, very still, but he opened his eyes for a
moment when Duke put his hand on the small wrinkled
132 COURAGE,

wrist to feel the pulse. He believed there was a pulse
somewhere there, but was rather vague as to its position,
and was unable to find it.

“Oh! Duke, do you think he’s dead? Have I killed him ?”

“T don’t know,’ answered Duke sharply; “I wish
you'd be quiet. I’m sorry I ever promised to help you
to come here. I wish you’d never persuaded me!” .

“Why, I wished to give it up to-day and you made me
come!” exclaimed Cicely, indignantly. “ But it makes
no difference, for it’s all my fault for being so wicked and
suspicious—and now he’s dead and I feel as if I’d killed
him! I shall go and tell Aunt Carry !”

“Not about me!” exclaimed Duke, hastily. “You
won't be mean enough to do that ?”

“T shall tell my own part; you can tell your own—it
you choose. Oh! what shall I do if heis dead? It will
be like having murdered him!” and Cicely, unable to
contain her tears and her grief, bent down and kissed the
pale hand that still held convulsively to the arm of the
chair. As she did so some very sad tears fell on the
hand, but she was too grieved and too much in haste to
notice them, and having given that one beseeching kiss,
she fled as fast as she could to her aunt’s room, where
she arrived pale and breathless.

“ Aunt Carry—please—send some one to Mr. Duncan.
You don’t know—you'll never forgive me—I’m afraid
Vve killed him !”

Mrs. Duncan put her arm round the child, and Mr.
Herbert Duncan (whom Cicely had not noticed when she
entered) sprang up and left the room.


FACE TO FACE. 133

“Oh, Aunt Carry!” sobbed Cicely, trying to draw
herself away from the loving arm that held her, “ you
don’t know! Oh! I’ve been so wicked—but I’m punished
now. I shall never be happy again—never !”

“What did you do, dear ?” asked Mrs. Duncan, gently.
She was almost frightened by the violence of Cicely’s
grief, so different from the girl’s usual quiet, shy manner.

“How can you speak so kindly! Oh, Aunt Carry, I’ve
been so horrible and so wicked—I know it now—and it’s
too late! I was so angry at your never letting me see
Mr. Duncan—and he is my grandfather, you know—that
I—I went to his room just now when there was no one
there—and I told him who I was—and then—he was so
ill—and I think he must have died !”

Mrs. Duncan’s face was very pale as she listened to this
confession, but she only laid a caressing hand on her
niece’s head and said tenderly: “ My poor child !”

“Oh, how could I think you would be unkind to me!
Iam so ashamed, Aunt Carry; I shall never be able to
look any one in the face again—and then—shall I have
murdered him if he is dead? Oh! do tell me!”

“No, dear, certainly not. You had no intention of
doing so much harm, and murder must be premeditated.
But I hope you will think very seriously, Cicely, of what
a terrible thing you have done. I have no wish to scold
or punish you—your punishment may be heavy enough
without that—but I cannot attempt to lessen your sorrow
or make any excuse for what you have done. And now,
will you stay here and think it over while I go and see if
Iam wanted ?”
134 COURAGE.

When Mrs. Duncan left her, Cicely sat very still, and
as her repentance was real, she did not spend the time in
making excuses for herself. She sat with her hot cheeks
in her hands, feeling that the worst of all had yet to be
told—for Cicely was too truthful ‘by nature to tell only
half of her wrong-doing ; but she did shrink from telling
the aunt, who ‘had just been so tender and merciful, of all
the mean and sordid fancies that she had allowed Jane to
cherish. Nor would Cicely shelter herself behind Jane,
though she might possible have done so, seeing that Jane
was an old servant and was therefore not without influence.
But the fault was Cicely’s, and she buried her face in her.
hands and her frame shook with sobs as she resolved—
soldier’s daughter as she was—to take her own blame on
her own shoulders.

The was much hurrying to and fro—much ringing of
bells and sound of voices in the passage and on the stairs
—but Cicely dared not venture out of the room. She
had been told to wait there, and wait she would until her
aunt’s return, though she longed for any news—for some
hope that the worst had not happened.

“Well,” she sighed, “I suppose I shall be punished for
the rest of my life if grandfather is really dead—for I can
never be happy again |”
CHAPTER XXII.
SOME COMFORT,

“WHAT are you doing here, Cicely ?” whispered Duke,
opening the door a little way.

“Waiting !” sighed Cicily. She had cried till she could
cry no more, and now she sat on a stool by the sofa, a
very forlorn little heap, with red eyes and a quivering
mouth.

“Come out and talk to me.”

“T can’t,” said Cicely ; “I’m waiting for your mother.”

“She’s busy and won’t get away for ages. . Did you
hear that he was dead ?”

“No! Is he? Oh, Duke, how awful it is 1”

“T don’t know—I’ve heard nothing. I was only
asking.”

“Oh !”—with a gasp of relief ; “then I can still hope a
little.”

“Where’s Lena—and Mysie?” asked Duke, after a
pause. .

“TI. don’t know. I came straight here. I haven’t seen
_any one but Aunt Carry—since.”

“ Andrew went for the doctor.. I heard mother telling
him. His pony isa splendid one. I wish I had one as
good—but I mean to have one some day. I mean to ai

“Oh! don’t, Duke!”



135
136 - COURAGE.



“Why not ? Oh, well—its your affair, you know, so J
dare say you do feel uncomfortable. Hullo! here’s Andrew
back again ! Did you find the doctor ?”

“Yes,” said Andrew; “he came back with me. Why
are you sitting in here, Cicely ?”

For a moment Cicely felt cowardly, then as she saw
Duke was going to help her out of her difficulty by some
prevarication, she answered with a sadly quivering voice:
“ Because it’s all my fault. I went into his room—Mr.
Duncan’s—and that made him ill.”

Andrew looked from Cicely to Duke and smiled. Duke
was looking down and swinging his cap, evidently made
uncomfortable by hearing such a direct confession.
Cicely was looking steadily into Andrew’s face, and she
wondered that he could smile at what seemed to her so
sad.

“Poor little Cicely !” said Andrew very gently, laying a
hand on her arm. “Didn’t I say you weren’t mean, or
untruthful, or cowardly? It isa great pity you did such
a thing, but when it’s done there’s no helping it, and you
can but do the best to show you're sorry. Are you
waiting for Aunt Carry ?”

“Yes, She told me to stay here.”

“Come down then, Duke, and find the girls. I dare say
Aunt Carry wished to leave Cicely alone for a little while.”

“If you'll go on, I’ll follow.”

“No, I know what that means. Come down—here’s
the doctor coming this way with Uncle Herbert.”

Duke was gone in a moment, and as Andrew followed,
Cicely was left alone for a few minutes, only to see the
SOME COMFORT. 137





door open and her uncle come in, followed by Mr. Lee,
the doctor.

“Cicely, I want you to tell Mr. Lee what happened in
my father’s room,” said her uncle very gravely, and Cicely,
looking upon this as part of the long punishment she
had .foreseen, told all she knew, answering the doctor’s
questions as well as she could.

“That bottle on the table—how did you know he was
wanting it?” asked Mr. Lee. =,

“T saw him trying to reach it.”

“So you gave it to him?”

“No, it had a cork init. I took the cork out first and
then I smelt it. I thought it must be brandy.”

“You were quite right; but how did you know he was
to take it ?”

“He opened his mouth and looked at me and at the
bottle. Wasn’t it right to give it?” Cicely was turning
white in her terror lest she had added yet another to her
list of sins.

“You did quite right,” said the doctor.

“Then please—oh | Gace Herbert, do tell me how he
is! I am so sorry ” and Cicely broke off, unable to
proceed.

“Your grandfather is better, Cicely. He has had a very
severe attack, but the brandy you gave him probably:
saved his life. He has spoken of you, and in a few days,
when he is better, you will very likely be allowed to see
him again.”

“Oh, Uncle Herbert, how very kind of you—and of
him 1”


138 COURAGE.

“We must all be very thankful that he has been spared ~
to us for some time longer. It will be a comfort to you
to know that though your visit was the chief cause of the
attack, your. promptness in giving the brandy in all
probability saved his life. Mr. Lee thinks that if you had
run away at once when you saw he was ill, he would most
likely have died before assistance could have come. It
showed courage and presence of mind that will help to
condone the rash curiosity of your first fault.”

Cicely only hung her head. She had not yet made her
full confession, and could not before Mr. Lee or any one
but Aunt Carry ; so, though her uncle’s words gave her a
thrill of grateful pleasure for a moment, she felt she had
no right to take much comfort from his kind speech. A
thoughtless curiosity seemed to her almost a merit com-
pared with the suspicions that had filled her mind, and
urged her on to her unfortunate visit to her grandfather.
Until all was told to Aunt Carry, Cicely felt that she could
never rest or accept of any consolation. The praise pained
her, glad as she was that for once she had not done the
wrong thing, for she thought that perhaps if they knew
all they would take a very different view of her visit and
its consequences. .

But Cicely had to wait before this confession could be
made. Mrs. Duncan’s presence in her father-in-law’s room
was necessary to his comfort, and she could only send a
kind message to Cicely, telling her to go to the school-
room and they would meet later. It was a trying ordeal
going back to lessons, to meet Lena’s unfriendly, scornful
gaze, and Mysie’s shy, sorrowful glances,












“Oh, Uncle Herbert, do tell me how he is !""—Page 137.

SOME COMFORT. IAL



The news of her adventure—to call it by its mildest name
—had arrived before her. Duke had not felt bound to
keep her wrong-doing a secret, so it was known before she
came. Even Miss Prince’s grave gentleness seemed very
hard to bear just then, and there was a general air of
disapproval which was not the easier to take meekly,
because Cicely felt keenly that she deserved it.

As for her lessons, they were a farce—or rather a tragedy
—for though she had learnt them perfectly the day before,
she could not now remember a word, and in reading her
voice shook so as to be almost inaudible. Miss Prince
made no comment, and merely told Lena to go on at the
next paragraph, and, sadly ashamed, poor Cicely passed
the book and sank back into silence and her own
bewildering thoughts.

At last came the time of release and then a message—a _
rather surprising message to all the party—would Miss
Cicely go alone to the drawing-room and have tea there
with Mrs. Duncan. .

Cicely drew a long breath—the atmosphere of the
schoolroom seemed stifling—and said, “Oh, thank you!”
in a very grateful voice, and Lena turned her back and
tossed her books into their places with some violence as
she remarked: “It seems that Cicely has only to do
something that no one else would dare to do, or would be
punished for doing—and she has tea in the drawing-room
with mother !”

‘I suppose your mother knows best, dear,’ said Miss
Prince, though she had been almost as surprised as Lena.

“Of course—I was only thinking that it seems rather
odd!”
142 COURAGE,



And Cicely heard no more as she closed the door and
went down to her aunt

Tea was ready—but Cicely could not take tea before she
had told Mrs. Duncan the rest of her confession, and it
was not so easy this time to understand what Cicely had
done, for the kinder Mrs. Duncan was to her, the more
incoherent. she became and the more bitterly she grieved
over her. foolish and wicked thoughts, But at last it was
told, and Mrs. Duncan understood—understood all that
had passed in the giri’s mind, what had first prompted her
to think of visiting her grandfather and her wish to be
acknowledged as “Miss Duncan.” Even when she knew
everything there was no change in Mrs. Duncan’s
manner.

“T am sorry you have had to tell me all this, dear child,”
she said, “but I am glad, also, because it is a full confession
and shows me that you are really sorry, and there will —
therefore be no likelihood of any such misunderstanding
happening again. But you might have made an excuse, I
think, which I am very glad you have not made, and so I
‘will make it for you. You thought us unkind for wishing
to send away Jane. Though you have not said it, and I
do not mean to ask any questions, still I cannot help
thinking that she has suggested some of the ideas yon
have just been telling me about.”

Cicely, after one startled glance at her aunt, looked
down and did not answer, and Mrs. Duncan changed the
subject. -Come, let us have our tea now, for I am sure
we must want it very much, and then, when we are both
feeling better, I want to tell you a few facts that I do not
6

SOME COMFORT. 143



think you know, and also I wish to explain the dithculty
we were in with regard to you and your grandfather.”

“T feel as if 1 oughtn’t to hear, Aunt Carry! I deserve
not to be told anything for being so horrid.”

“No, dear, for I think we made a mistake in not telling
you about it before. Of course it must have made you
wonder what it all meant—you were too old not to see
that you were kept out of Mr. Duncan’s way—and with
Jane to suggest unpleasant things to you, it was likely
that you would take an exaggerated view of the matter. _
But now we are both tired, and as our chief cause for
anxiety—Mr. Duncan—is going on fairly well, we will
have our tea and talk of other things for the present.”
CHAPTER XXII.
MRS. DUNCAN EXPLAINS.

THE next few days were very trying to Cicely. Mr.
Duncan was ill enough to keep his daughter-in-law for
many hours in his room, and Cicely then found that the
aunt, whose goodness she had doubted, was her best and
kindest friend. Not that her uncle was not as kind as
possible, but it was with a man’s reserve, and when ke was
worried, Cicely sometimes thought his manner rather
dry and cold. .

Among her cousins, Andrew was her only comfort.
Duke lived in a perpetual state of nervousness for fear his
share in Cicely’s visit to her grandfather should be
discovered by others, and he was therefore very cross and
uneasy whenever the subject was mentioned. Lena took
a high moral moral tone, and worked it rather hard, as is
the way of young people, declining to “discuss thesubject,”
-which meant that when she had said what she chose, she
would not listen to any explanation of Cicely’s.

Mysie was too much overcome by astonishment that
Cicely had dared to do anything so terribly against all
rules, to be more than a bewildered looker on, and her
secret sympathy did not do Cicely much good. Andrew
seemed more like his aunt in his power of understanding
others, and when lessons were over he often stood between

144
MRS. DUNCAN EXPLAINS. E45



‘Cicely and her cousins, and did his best to protect her
from any small unkindnesses.

“What I can’t understand,” said Mr. Herbert Duncan as
he talked to his wife in the evening, “is how Cicely
managed to know the moment when my father was alone.
Brace tells me none of the servants knew he was going
down to the lodge. He met me in the passage and asked
if he could go for half an hour. There was no one
there.”

“No one?”

“Only Duke. He was leaning over the balusters, I
remember, and I dare say never heard what Brace said.”

Mrs. Duncan sighed and made no further remark on
the subject.

In a few days Mr. Duncan was sufficiently recovered
from his indisposition to allow Mrs. Duncan to attend to
other matters outside his sick room, and the first thing
she did on having an hour to spare was to send for Cicely.

“Your grandfather still wishes to see you in a day or
two,” she said, when the girl came in and had seated
herself on a stool at her aunt’s feet. “I do not know
what will be the result of that interview, but I hope that
it will be as it should be. And now I have to explain.
It is rather painful to do so, as the family temper seems a
little hasty, but we must hope to correct that in the
younger generation. When your father and Uncle
Herbert were young men, Mr. Duncan was very anxious
that your father—Alfred—should marry a young lady who
lived near, and whose property joined his own; but your
iather had already met your mother, and refused to marry |

L
146 COURAGE.



to please Mr. Duncan; besides, he knew that the young
lady with the property liked some one else better.”

“Better than father? Oh no, Aunt Carry! I was told
she really liked father better than anyone.”

“She did not, dear, strange as it may seem to you,” said
Mrs. Duncan, smiling.

“But I was told—Jane said that she was ready to jump
down his throat; but he never gave her the chance!”

“T think, dear, 1am more likely to know about it than
Jane is, J was the young lady, and the only person I cared
for was your Uncle Herbert. But I have never had any
desire to jump down any one’s throat, and it is a pity when
you repeat Jane’s expressions, as they are often very far
from ladylike.”

“Oh, Aunt Carry,” murmured Cicely, in great confu-
sion; “I beg your pardon. I didn’t know.”

“Yes, dear, and that is why I am telling you,” answered
her aunt kindly; “so let me go on with my story. Your
father refused to obey Mr. Duncan, and Mr. Duncan, who
was accustomed to have his own way, turned him out of
the house and altered his will, and no persuasion of your
Uncle Herbert would make him reconsider what he had
done in anger. Then we married, and I came to live
here, and Duke was born, and a year after came Lena.
After that we had a letter from your father, telling us that
he and your mother had married, and were going out to
Jamaica. Your grandfather would hear nothing of them,
and even when the terrible news came that they were both
dead, and you were coming home, it did not soften him.”

“After a year or two,” continued Mrs. Duncan to
MRS DUNCAN EXPLAINS. 147

Cicely, “Mr. Lorton wrote to your Uncle Herbert, and
asked if we would take charge of you should anything
happen to him, and when your grandfather was told of
this, he was very angry—this time with your Uncle
Herbert. He declared that if your uncle gave Mr. Lorton
a promise to receive you, he would leave you your father’s
share of his property, which was, of course, the larger
half, as a way of punishing your uncle. It happened that
this was just what we both wished, so your uncle answered
that he could hardly refuse such a request, and, as he had
threatened, Mr. Duncan once more altered his will, and
you were left your father’s share of the estate. When you
came here, we were afraid that Mr. Duncan—who for
several years had done nothing in the way of business—
might remember this will, and wish to alter it again in
your Uncle Herbert’s favour, so we kept you out of his
way as much as possible, that your name might not be
spoken before him. It was perhaps a pity that we did not
explain the circumstances to you; but we never thought
you would make so much of it—and it is not well to talk
of family money matters with little girls who are still in the
schoolroom.”

“You have been so very good, Aunt Carry !—you and
Uncle Herbert—and I haven’t deserved it. If grandfather
doesn’t like me to-morrow, it is only what I must expect.
But I wish he would forgive my father !”

“So do I, and that may come in time, if you are
fortunate enough to please him. I did not think he would
have seen you ; but heasked of hisownaccord. And now
I have only one more thing to say. Do you still think us
148 COURAGE.



unkind when we wish to part you and Jane? Do you
not understand that much of all this trouble has been her
work? She has gossipped, and misrepresented, and
invented when she was ata loss, and she has also taught you ©
many expressions and ways which I hope you will forget.”

“T’m sure it’s all right for her to go,” said Cicely, humbly.
“T’ve thought so several times since. Only it was so kind,
the way you did it, and I can’t bear to hear the things Jane
says now! She says——”

“Hush, dear child! Think a moment if you ought to
repeat any of her sayings to me.”

“No, I suppose not, and yet I wish
do let me tell you one thing !”

“Tf it is unpleasant you should not tell it, Cicely. It
Jane chose to repeat to me what you may have said while
you were—so mistaken, what would you think of me if I
were ready to listen ?”

Cicely sighed, and then crept nearer to her aunt.

“T’m afraid I’ve been very badly brought up,” she said
slowly. “I mean Jane’s part, of course; and I never
liked Miss Mason, though she was so very ‘ conscientious.”
I seem to have so much to learn, and to unlearn.”

“And the last is the more difficult; but I have every
hope of you, Cicely. You are in the right way now, and
I feel sure that you will do better after this. Iam glad to
see that you are truthful, and that you had the frankness.
and courage to tell me all your thoughts and fancies about
us, so that we might put it right.”
~ “Must I tell every one, grandfather and all?” asked
Cicely, with a sinking heart. “It will be so hard !”



Oh, Aunt Carry,
MRS, DUNCAN EXPLAINS, 149

“No, dear; you have told me, and that is all that is
necessary, especially if you remember to pray for forgive-
ness and for help to do better in the future. Your uncle
and I may fail to do our duties, we are only weak human
beings ; but if you can feel that God is your Heavenly
Father, then the loss of parents and the mistakes of
relations will not seriously injure you. Confess to God,
as you have done to me, and I think you need not tell any
one else why you wished to see Mr. Duncan.”

“But Duke will tell them—I am sure he will!”

‘Duke! Did he know you were trying to see Mr.
Duncan ?” :

“T told him, Aunt Carry, that day we walked to the
vicarage, you know.” And Cicely looked down and
twisted her fingers, for she could not meet her aunt’s eyes,
as she wondered what she could say if she were questioned
about Duke.

“You have not told me quite everything,” said Mrs,
Duncan, smiling.

“T’ve told you everything about myself,” said Cicely,
looking up.

“And I am to ask no questions about any one else ?
Very well, but Iam not sure that Mr. Duncan will not ask
them. He says he saw Duke in his room with you.”

“Oh, Aunt Carry !”

“He will very likely ask you about it. He declares that
you called Duke, who was outside, and that you spoke to
each other about having come to his room. I thought at
one time that it could only have been his fancy, but now
Jam afraid ze


150 COURAGE.



ae Then I have told, after all! What can I do, Aunt
Carry ? What will Duke think of me? How can J
answer if I am questioned ?”
“You must tell the truth, Cicely, and Duke must take
the consequences. No go, dear, and | will speak to Duke
myself,”
CHAPTER XXIII.

DUKE .IN DIFFICULTIES.

“A NICE mess you've got me into,” said Bake when next
he and Cicely met.
_ “Y’m very sorry,” said Cicely humbly.

“Much good that does,” he retorted angrily. “What
have you told mother ?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing at all ?”

-“Nothing—and she would not ask any questions.”

“You must have told something, or she wouldn’t have
known that there were questions to ask.”

“T didn’t say anything, except that I had told you I
wanted to see my grandfather the day we were walking to
the vicarage.”

Duke drew a long breath of relief.

“Ym glad you told, for I told her about it too. And
you didn’t tell anything else—about my going into grand-
father’s room ?”

“No; but——”

“But what? You have told. I thought you would
when it came to the point.”

“T haven't, indeed, but grandfather saw you, and heard
what we said.”

“ Nonsense |”
I5E
[52 COURAGE.

“He did. He told Aunt Carry. We thought he was
fainting, but he wasn’t. The brandy saved him, and he
heard and saw it all.”

Duke looked positively frightened. “@h, Cicely, I
wish I had known that before I saw mother! Why
didn’t you tell me ?”

“T didn’t know till a little while ago, and I had no
chance; besides, what difference could it make ?”

“Ever so much to me, for not knowing—I—I denied
that I had been into grandfather’s room with you. What
shall I do ?”

“Go to Aunt Carry at once, and tell her all about it.
Do, Duke, and you'll be so glad after it.”

“Nonsense! I’m not going to do that—confess like a
girl, and be cried over, and kissed, and forgiven! No.
You must promise to help me—to say what I do.”

“T’ve promised Aunt Carry to speak the truth,” said
Cicely quickly. “If you will tell everything—just as it
happened—I’ll say what you do—gladly.”

“That’s absurd. You must say what I do, Cicely.
You can’t be such a cad as to tell of me.”

“T don’t want to tell, only if they ask me, I must say
yes or no, and answer truly. Oh, Duke, don’t ask me to
do anything else |”

“Jf you get me into disgrace, I’ll never speak to you
again—and Mysie won’t either—or Lena!”

“Oh, Duke, it is unkind to say that! And if I did say
all you want, what would be the use? If grandfather has
seen you, there is nothing to be done.”

“Yes, there is, because mother would Mink he had
DUKE IN DIFFICULTIES. 153



been dreaming. He sometimes does have funny fancies,
particularly just when he has been ill, Mother would
not think of it seriously unless you ie

“Tt’s no use, Duke, for I’ve done it already. I was so
startled when Aunt Carry said that about grandfather,
that I—showed—though I didn’t say anything, except that
I had told you I wanted to see grandfather that day we

were out together.”

“Oh, well, of course, if you’ve let out all that, there’s
nothing more to be done,” said Duke, turning away ; and
he left poor Cicely alone to think over the prospect of her
coming interview with her grandfather.

It was nota pleasing one, and Cicely’s relief can be
imagined better than described when, a little later, Mrs.
Duncan came in to say that Mr. Duncan could not see
Cicely that day, but would be glad if she came and talked
to him the following morning. It seemed quite a respite
to poor Cicely, though, in the meantime, she was made to
- feel the result of having had Duke for her confidant.

Neither of the girls would speak to her beyond what was
absolutely necessary, and Duke behaved as if she did
‘not exist.

To Cicely, who was accustomed to the consideration
and attention usually given to-an only child, all this was
particularly hard; but being in a very humble frame of
mind since her confession to Mrs. Duncan, she took her
cousins’ unkindness as meekly as she could, and tried her
utmost not to be annoyed.

it was not easy. Miss Prince, who was very fond of
{ena and Mysie, did not quite understand Cicely as well


154 COURAGE.
as she did her other pupils, and could not help noticing
that something was wrong when she saw how completely
Cicely was left to herself by all but Andrew. She did not
like to ask what was the matter, as she thought it always
better not to inquire into any of their personal quarrels,
for fear of letting the girls get into a habit of coming to
her with small grievances against one another. She
therefore asked no questions, but concluded, as the
displeasure was universal with Cicely’s cousins, that
Cicely must be in fault. This made her unconsciously
less lenient to the girl during lesson-time, and poor
Cicely’s bad marks for inattention were appalling during
those days.

Next to Cicely, the most uncomfortable person was
Duke. He would not go to his father or mother and tell
them the true story of his share in Cicely’s disobedience,
but he dreaded that they might discover it, and had a
miserable consciousness that his mother looked at him
more often and more sadly than usual. With Andrew,
also, he was ill at ease, though he knew that Andrew had
understood him for years and valued him accordingly;
but since Cicely had been brought into the question
Andrew had several times spoken out more plainly than
* was his wont.

“T think you’re behaving very badly to Cicely,” he said
one morning when they were alone in the arbour. “It’s
a shame to set the girls at her as you have done—and
Lena can be very disagreeable when she chooses.”

“T don’t see that it’s your business,’ retorted Duke.

“She isn’t your cousin, and you've nothing to do with her.”
%,


DUKE IN DIFFICUTIES, 155



“T know that, but I can’t bear to stand by and see
injustice done.”

“Then you can sit down,” replied Duke. “Besides, I
don’t see that it is injustice. She has led me into a diff-
culty, and must take the blame of it. I hope grandfather
will give her one of his good rowings. She’ll be as scared as
a wild rabbit, and won’t know what she’s saying anyhow.”

“JT think she will remember enough to tell the truth.
She’s a good girl, and brave enough about some things.
She saved your grandfather’s life.”

“Did she? How?”

“She saw he was wanting something on the table, and
she had the sense to wait and give it to him. It was the
little bottle of brandy or medicine—something that the
doctor said he must always have within reach because of
his heart being so weak. It is not every girl who would
have done that, and if she had run away, Mr. Lee says he
must have died.”

“Doctors are so fond of saying that kind of thing. I
dare say he would have been just as well without it. Do
you think it will.make my grandfather less angry with her
‘hat she has done that ?”

“T shouldn’t wonder.”

“It’s odd that she shouldn’t have been more scared,”
said Duke thoughtfully. *‘She’s such an awful goose about
some things. She turns white even now if she thinks old
Daisy is within half a mile of her.”

“Look at that huge toad in the corner.”

Duke sprang up hastily and rushed at it with a stick,
but Andrew caught up the creature in his hand.
£56 a COURAGE.



“You shall not hurt it. How can you boast of your
courage when you are afraid of a toad ?”

“T didn’t boast? and I wish you'd put that thing down
outside. It makes me shudder.” ~

“Cicely doesn’t mind them—and because she’s afraid
of cows and you aren’t, you are fond of calling her a
coward. You have taught Lena and Mysie to laugh at
her, too. No one who is as truthful as she is could be a
moral coward, and ae is the only kind that counts with
a girl.

“T don’t see that she’s been particularly truthful while
she was behaving so nicely to us all, and yet she and Jane
were concocting their precious lies about my father and
mother. A really nice girl wouldn’t have thought about
wills and money and that sort of thing.”

“A less nice girl than Cicely would have been ruined
long ago by living with such a woman as Jane seems to
be. Jane has not been able to crush the truthfulness out
- of her, in spite of her bad example and advice. But I’m
not going to argue any more, only—if you go on being as
unkind to Cicely as you are now, I am sure some day you
will be sorry for it.”

Duke started. “Why, do you think she wiill tell grand-
father ?” '

“No,” answered Andrew; “but you will get to know
and understand her better, and then you will feel sorry to
have judged her so unfairly.”

“Pooh!” said Duke, and Andrew walked away and left
him,




“You shall not hurt it.’—Page 156.
CHAPTER XXIV.
FROM BAD TO WORSE.

{tT was with a beating heart that Cicely at last heard the
dreaded words: “Your grandfather wishes to see you
to-day, dear. If Miss Prince will let you come to me at-
twelve o’clock, I think that will be the best time.”

“Yes, Aunt Carry.”

“You must try not to be frightened.”

“ N—no, Aunt Carry.”

“And remember that you have promised me to speak
the truth.”

“About myself,” said Cicely quickly. “He won't want
me to tell things about—other people, will he ?”

“T cannot answer about that, dear; but remember that
your grandfather is not accustomed to be contradicted or
denied anything he asks, and therefore you should try and
answer all you can fur fear of making him angry with
VOU. ae ;

“Oh!” said Cicely, hastily, “1 shan’t mind that half as
much as having it always said that I have told tales.”

The tone, even more than the words, led Mrs. Duncan
to suspect that Cicely had often had a hard time of it in
the schoolroom, but she was careful not to betray her
thoughts, or to attempt to question Cicely before she had

559
100 COURAGE.

seen her grandfather. That would be sufficient agitation
for one day. :

Miss Prince received Mrs. Duncan’s message with the
remark that Cicely must be very diligent to make up for
the time she would lose, and Lena and Mysie exchanged
glances. They were both very much afraid of thei
grandfather, and could not understand that Cicely, who
had lived on such loving terms with Mr. Lorton, had no
fear of old age, which to them seemed in itself so alarming,
They could not understand that to Cicely, accustomed to
the silence of her grandfather’s library, accustomed to run
messages, to make herself useful in every way she could,
and receive the reward of loving kisses and tender words
of praise, age was a beautiful thing, to be watched over
and cared for and cheerfully obeyed.

To Lena and Mysie it was quite a different thing, and

they felt a little awestruck as they watched Cicely -
struggling through her lessons that morning.
_ For it was a struggle! The lessons seemed to mix
themselves up somehow, and couldn’t be disentangled
again, though Cicely tried her hardest to be “ diligent,” and
Miss Prince did her best to help. But at last twelve
o'clock came, and Miss Prince looked at Cicely. “You
had better go now, Cicely. Your aunt will be waiting for
you.”

Lena and Mysie watched her as she got up and put away
her books ; then the door closed after her, and they knew
no more,

They did not hear Duke’s whisper in the passage, or
Cicely’s frightened start when she heard it.
FROM BAD TO WORSE. 1601



“Cicely, you aren’t going to tell about me?”

“Oh, Duke, how you made me jump! I don’t want to
say anything about you, and I hope I shan’t be asked.”

.“ But if you are asked ?”

Cicely looked away down the passage and said slowly,
“T’ve promised Aunt Carey to speak the truth, but I shall
not answer about you.”

“That will be just as bad—it will make them See \”

“T can’t help that, Duke. Really, I can’t prevent their
thinking !”

“You could say I wasn’t there.”

“T couldn't!”

“Of course you could—only you don’t mind getting me
into trouble.”

“T do mind—and I don’t want to say anything—but I
must speak the truth or say nothing.”

The next moment Duke had seized her roughly by. the
shoulder, and given her such an angry shake that Cicely
gave a cry of fear—and pain too, for it made her head
ache—and Andrew came out of a room near to see what
was the matter. On seeing Andrew, Duke let go of Cicely,
and she rushed away in great confusion and distress to her
aunt’s room, while Andrew looked indignantly at Duke.

“Were you shaking her ?”

“ Yes—little sneak !”

For one moment Andrew stood facing Duke, biting his
lips as if he could not trust himself to speak—then he
turned away.

“ Andrew, don’t be such a stupid about that girl,” called
Duke, in a low, coaxing voice.

M
162 ' COURAGE.

“You coward!” exclaimed Andrew, turning with
sudden wrath upon his cousin. Then, fearing he should
say too much in his anger, he went back to his room and
shut the door, leaving Duke with very unenviable feelings.

As for Cicely, she fled to her aunt’s room in a state of
agitation and distress that almost frightened Mrs. Duncan.

“What is it, my dear child? What has happened to
you ?” she asked tenderly, as poor Cicely, with her face
hidden in her hands, gasped and sobbed, and tried her
hardest to be calm and coherent, but without much
success. “ How am I to take you to your grandfather in
that state? Do tell me what has distressed you, dear
Cicely. I cannot bear to see you like this.”

Cicely made a final effort, and recovered her voice. “It
doesn’t matter. Please don’t ask about it. I—I was
only a little startled—and frightened—coming here.”

“Tt was not that Lena or Mysie have been unkind to
you ?”

“Oh, no, Aunt Carry.”

“Tt was not in the schoolroom at all ?”

“No. Please don’t ask me, Aunt Carry. I wish—oh,
dear, what shall I do when I see grandfather? I keep
feeling such a lump in my throat, and it makes it so
difficult for me—to speak.”

“Smell this bottle of salts, and keep quiet in ne comfort:
able chair. There is still five minutes to spare.”

As she spoke, Mrs. Duncan turned suddenly and
opened the door, to find herself face to face with Duke,
who had only just time to spring back from the position
where he had been listening. His mother looked at him










“Duke seized her roughly,.”—Page 161.

FROM BAD TO WORSE, 165

for an instant with an indignant flash in her eyes, while
his shifted and fell before her steady gaze.

“What are you doing here ?” she asked.

“T was waiting—to see you—mother.”

“T do not like any one to wait outside my door. If
you wanted me, you should have knocked and come in.
Why are you not out of doors at this hour ?”

“JT don’t know.”

“You had better go down to your father in the library,
and he will give you something to employ you. I cannot
bear to see you idling about like this.”

Duke went down, and Mrs. Duncan watched him go;
then she turned back into the room with a sigh, and met
Cicely’s anxious eyes.

Cicely was very pale, for she dreaded Mrs. Duncan’s
first words, lest they should be a question about Duke,
but her aunt required to ask no questions—she knew only
too well without asking that Duke must be the cause of
Cicely’s unusual agitation, and that he had followed to
listen in case she betrayed him.

“Are you better, dear?” were Mrs. Duncan’s first
words, and Cicely suddenly felt comforted and stronger,
and was able to look up and say so.

“Do you think you can come to your grandfather’s
room at once? I don’t want you to be more agitated
than you can help during your visit to him, because it is
not good for him to be excited or agitated. You will try
and keep as calm as you can ?”

“T will try, Aunt Carry.”

Mrs, Duncan stooped and kissed her niece very tenderly,
166 COURAGE.



and then they went together down the passage, and
stopped at the well-known door.

Mrs. Duncan knocked, and a voice said, “ Come in.”

“Wait for me a second or two, Cicely,” said her aunt,
and. went in first.

The next few moments fee ages to Cicely, but they
came to an end at last, and, with her hand in Mrs.
Duncan’s, Cicely once more crossed the threshold of her
grandfather's. room, and stood before him, wondering as
she did so—and noticed his thick white eyebrows now
drawn into a very decided frown—how she had ever
dared to venture into his room uninvited and alone.
CHAPTER XXV.
AT LAST,

“Tus is Cicely, Mr. Duncan.”

“Oh, yes! I know her. Let her come here, Carry. She
isn’t afraid—she has been here before—by herself.’

Mrs. Duncan. withdrew her hand gently from the
frightened clasp in which it was held and said, “Go up to
him, Cicely dear.’

Cicely went forward, feeling as if her feet were made of
lead, and obeyed Mr. Duncan’s pointed finger as he showed
her where to stand. It was in a trying position, with the
light full on her face, and -her back to her aunt, so she had
not even the comfort of the kind looks Mrs. Duncan
bestowed on her once or twice.

“So you are Miss Duncan—the daughter of my eldestson,
Alfred. The likeness is extraordinary, Carry! No, don’t
come here; you can stay where you are, and answer me
from there. You are very like your father, Miss Duncan,
and have very much the same obstinate, disobedient look.
What made you come into my room the other day?”

It was very hard to confess to those keen blue eyes, with
their thick, twitching, white eyebrows. The eyebrows
vightened Cicely more than anything. They seemed to
comment scornfully on every word she spoke, and to give

point to every word said by their owner. Then it seemed
167 ;
1608 COURAGE.

to poor Cicely as if her voice suddenly failed her, and
when at last she forced herself to speak, it sounded very
hard and unnatural.

“T came—because—I wanted you to forgive my father,
and—to—to like me.” —

“Indeed! and to acknowledge you as my heiress in your

father’s place! You must be a very sharp young lady
indeed to know so much about money matters at your
age!”
_ Cicely hung her head and coloured at the taunt, which
Mrs. Duncan felt was undeserved, for Cicely had always
shown far more ignorance than knowledge about such
business.

“What made you think of coming in here?’ he asked,
after a moment’s pause.

Cicely might truly have answered that Jane had
suggested it, but she clung to her old statement.

“T wanted you to forgive my father.”

“Very disinterested of you! Did you come alone?”

“Yes, grandfather.”

The eyebrows gave a jump upwards, as if they said they
did not believe her, which was unpleasant and disconcerting.

“Tf that was so, how did Duke come in here?”

“T fetched him when I found you were ill.”

“Then he did come! He told his mother he did not,”
said Mr. Duncan, suddenly darting a look at his daughter-
in-law.

Cicely was turning towards her aunt in piteous appeal,
but found Mr. Duncan’s stick against her shoulder, and
his voice saying sharply: “No! you don’t turn round. I















\\
AA

oem







“What made you come into my room the other day ?”—Page 167.





AT LAST. 174



mean to get at the bottom of this without any consultations
as to what had better be said and what left unsaid.”

Then Mrs. Duncan came a step nearer.

“Will you let me tell you my share, and then I will go?”
she asked in a quiet voice. “You know that Herbert and
I have always thought you did not treat Alfred well, and
we were glad when you made your last will, leaving this
property to Cicely. Our only reason for keeping the
child away from you was that we feared that if you saw
her, the likeness to Alfred might revive old memories and
old grievances, and that you might change your mind.
Duke will have enough, and the others are all provided
for; therefore, we do not want the money, and if we acted
less openly than you may have wished or expected, it was
not from any interested motive, but solely in the hope that
justice—as we viewed it—might be done to Cicely. Now
I will leave her with you, only I think Brace had better:
come in, in case you excite yourself, and that would be
bad for you both.”

Mrs. Duncan rang the bell on the table, and, when
Brace appeared, said that she was going to leave Miss
Cicely alone with her grandfather, if he would see that
Mr. Duncan did not excite himself over-much.

While Mrs. Duncan was speaking to him, and giving
her orders to Brace, Mr. Duncan sat with his face in his
hands, but as soon as the door closed behind her he
‘ooked up.

“‘Brace—go into the next room and shut the door.”

“But, sir ”

“Do as I bid you!” and Brace retired, while poos


172 COURAGE,

Cicely, with sudden terror, looked round for some means
of escape.

“Now,” said Mr. Duncan in a low voice, “come here to
me, little girl, Do you believe this story of your aunt’s?”

“Of course I do,” she said.

“You did not believe what she told you some time

ago?”

Cicely coloured hotly and hesitated for a moment,
wondering how he had found that out.

“T didn’t know—I didn’t understand how good Aunt
Carry was then.”

“But you believe her now—and your uncle?”

“Oh, yes |—I—-I have been so very wrong——” a sudden
feeling choked her voice, and, a tear rolling down, fell
upon her grandfather’s hand, which had clutched at her
skirt in front and was holding her close to him. He did
not seem to notice it, but his eyebrows worked very.
rapidly.

“Suppose I were to tell you that your aunt is mistaken—
that I had not really made a will in your favour—only
pretended to do so—what then ?”

Cicely looked at him, not understanding how a could
ceply to such a question.

“What would you do?” he asked.

“T couldn’t do anything,” said Cicely, surprised. “I
couldn’t help it or make any difference—could I ?”

“Suppose again that your aunt is quite mistaken in
thinking that her younger children are provided for.
Duke, as she has said, will have enough—but if the
others—who will depend on him for help—have nothing”
AT LAST. 173





By this time you know Duke—you know how mich his
' brothers and sisters will probably get from him! Suppose:
that the will that Aunt Carry thinks I made in your favour
was really providing for her younger children—what
then ?

Again Cicely did not know what to answer.

“Go to that drawer and open it—no, not the top
drawer, the second one on the left, We don’t want yout,
Brace, so you needn’t come unless you are called,’ added
- Mr. Duncan, sharply, as Brace opened the door on
hearing the movement in the next room. “ Bring mea
tin box you will find there, Cicely, and—shut that door,
Brace !—hand me my keys.” :

Cicely did as she was told. She brought the box and
the keys, and opened it under her grandfather’s direction,
taking out two legal-looking envelopes, which were laid.
on the table after Mr. Duncan had opened them, looked
at the papers they contained, and returned them to their
wrappers.

“Now, read the outside of these two envelopes, and
think well what you are going to do. One of these gives.
to you, on your coming of age, the whole of my property
that would have been your father’s—the other gives it to:
your Aunt Carry’s younger children. These wills were
both executed on the same day, and no one knows which
of them was signed first. I do not know myself. There
isa fire in the grate. 1 give you leave to burn one of
these envelopes and its contents. The choice rests with
you, and I advise you to think well before you decide.”

Cicely turned very white and looked at the envelopes,.
174 COURAGE.

on one of which was. clearly written: “Will, leaving
property to Cicely Duncan, the only daughter of my son
Alfred ; and on the other : “ Will, leaving property to be
divided among the younger children of my son Herbert.”

“This will will make a rich woman of you, Cicely—the
other leaves you poor and. provides for the five young
cousins, who will otherwise be left dependent on Duke.”

For one moment Cicely bent over the table. She was
thinking of her uncle and aunt, of Duke, of Lena’s
unkindness, and all the slights that had been put on her
of late, and she was to be poor that they might be
provided for! But then Aunt Carry—who had been
ready to give up so much to: Cicely—it is true.that she
thought the children would have enough, but then many
people are not satisfied with merely “ enough,” and want
a great deal more.

Cicely looked up with a quick breath.

“Am I really to burn one of these, grandfather ?”

“Yes—burn whichever you think best.”

- Then Cicely took them both into her hand. It did not
occur to her that her grandfather could make some
alteration in his arrangement that might include her as
one of his younger grandchildren; she merely accepted
his statement and acted accordingly.

It seemed a long way to the fireplace, though in reality
only a few steps, but Cicely got over them and thrust the
envelope she had selected into the centre of the blaze.

Mr. Duncan pulled the other envelope towards him,
and looked at it with a grunt that told Cicely nothing as
to his opinion. Somehow, Cicely had hoped for a
















“Cicely thrust the envelope into fire.’—Page 174.

_ AT LAST. : 177



word of praise, a look that might have comforted her in
after-time when the thought of what she had given up
might come to torment her—but Mr. Duncan made no
remark. He merely looked into her pale face and said:
“Are you sure you haven’t burnt the wrong one ?”

“ Quite sure,” said Cicely, with a little sigh. “ But will
you forgive me, grandfather, for coming in to your room
that day without leave ?”

“That remains to be seen,” said Mr. Duncan. “You
may ring the bell for Brace before you go. Iam tired
‘now, but you shall come and see me again some other
day. No, you needn’t kiss me—I never kiss any of my
grandchildren !”

“May I kiss your hand ?” said Cicely rather tearfully ;
she felt such an outcast, so apart from the rest of the —
family in her lonely, orphaned condition, that she clung
to the faintest sign of relationship from those around her,
and having lived all her life with one grandfather, with
whom she had been so happy, and who had returned
her affection with interest, she had a longing to be on
something like the same terms with her other grand-
father.

“You may kiss my hand if you like,” Mr. Duncan
answered in rather a high, shaky voice; “only make
haste and go away. -There, there! I’m not as cross as —
I seem, child, but I’m old and tired—and—Brace, show
Miss Duncan out of my room.”

Cicely kissed the pale hand that was held out to her,
and retired as quickly as she could for fear of troubling
him more; but when she had gone to her own room she

N
178 COURAGE.

could not help wondering if Mrs. Duncan would hear
what she had done, and if she would say anything.

’ Poor Cicely was no heroine, and longed for some praise
as jam to the very bitter powder of her self-sacrifice.
CHAPTER XXVI.
“FUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT ¥UDGED.”

“WELL, so you’ve seen your grandfather again, Miss
Cicely, and I hope it’s all right for you about the estate ?”

“Tt’s all right,” said Cicely a little wearily. She felt she
could hardly bear Jane’s comments, and yet—was it not
her own fault for having talked so much to Jane about her
grandfather’s affairs ?

“Ah! then he’s done justice at last, and you're to take
your place as the heiress. I’m very glad, Miss Cicely ;
and when you're of age and your own mistress, I’ll come
back again and be your maid.”

“No, Jane; I shall not have a maid—and—I am not
the heiress.”

“Not! Why—bless me, Miss Cicely, what do you mean
then by saying that it was all right ?”

“ Because it is all right. .I was allowed by grandfather
.to choose, and I choose not to be.” ,

“Well I never! To think of all the fuss you made
about being Miss Duncan, and the eldest son’s child, and
then They won't be a bit grateful to you, Miss Cicely ;
they'll only take it as their right, and you'll be left out in
the cold. See how they treat you now.”

“Aunt Carry and Uncle Herbert are vey kind, and so
is mndrew te



79
180 COURAGE,

“Mr. Andrew Martin is a very nice young gentleman,
but for Master Duke and the young ladies—you see I’ve
eyes in my head and must use them—they treat you
shamefully, Miss Cicely.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter,” said Cicely, in a rather dreary
tone; for even from Jane a word of admiration for her
conduct would have been welcome. “You see I had the
choice, Jane, and I cannot blame them.”

“Certainly not, Miss, but one cannot but remember the |
proverb.” —

“What proverb ?”

“«A fool and his money are soon parted ’—asking your
pardon, Miss Cicely.”

“It was not my money,” said Cicely, indignantly ; “and
I think, Jane, that you are very rude.” ‘And with that she
went out of the room and downstairs to the schoolroom.

Duke was on the watch. “Cicely, I’m sorry if I hurt
you,” he said coldly; “but you know you aggravated me
to do it. What have you told grandfather? Did he ask
about me ?”

“He asked how you came to be in his room that day,
and I said what was the truth—that I fetched you when I
found that he was so ill.”

“Didn't he ask any more ?”

“No, he seemed satisfied, though he said that you had
told Aunt Carry that you did not go into his room at all.”

“T didn’t say ‘at all.’ When I was asked if I had been
in, I took it as meaning did I go in with you—and I didn’t
do that, did 1?”

“No,” said Cicely, “but you came in Bernas so it
“FUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT FUDGED.” 181

was a pity you denied it, as there was no need. ‘The blame
was mine; and I called you when I found that grandfather
was really ill.”

Duke turned impatiently away. He was vexed with
himself when he found that his untruth had been no help
to him, but rather a trouble. He would now have to
explain away what he had said, and might get into some
further difficulty in trying.to make matters better. As to
Cicely’s own share of the interview he did not care to
inquire, being satisfied to notice her heavy eyes and pale
cheeks.

- Mrs. Duncan drew the girl to her after early dinner was
over, and asked kindly :. “ Did you get on all right after I
left you, dear ?” ;

“Oh, yes,” said Cicely with a little smile.

“T hope you did not think me unkind in leaving you,
but I felt sure you would do better without me. You did
not really mind ?”

“Oh, no,” said Cicely; and ach Mrs, Duncan kissed
her, and no more was said on the subject.

If Cicely had hoped that as she had not got Duke into
disgrace his sisters would be kinder to her, she soon found
that she was mistaken.

“You didn’t get the chance to tell,” said Lena, scornfully,
when Cicely tried to make a protest that afternoon when
she was left out of their game. “If grandfather had
questioned you, you would have told him, and Duke
would have been in dreadful disgrace with every one. It
wasn’t your doing that he got off so easily.”

“No, indeed!” said Mysie. “Duke says that very
182 COURAGE.

likely grandfather is only waiting a few days to hear it all
from you.”

Standing between these two girls, Cicely had to bite her
tongue in order to keep silence. If they only knew what
she had done for them; but she turned away and left
them to their game,

It was not a very spirited one. Lena and Mysie were
perfectly conscious that they were not acting rightly:
that Lena from a sort of jealousy, and Mysie from a ~
mistaken loyalty to her much-loved Duke, were being

- unkind and ungenerous to their orphaned cousin.

It was not without a disagreeable thrill that Duke heard
on the following day that Mr. Duncan wished to speak to
him at once. Asa rule his interviews with his grandfather
were not altogether satisfactory, and Duke often came
away with a puzzled, baffled feeling, as if his grandfather
had learnt much from him, but he had got no nearer to
his grandfather's opinions on the subject, whatever it
might be.

Mr. Duncan was in his chair with some papers beside
him when Duke came in, and after a few words of greeting,
during which Duke’s eyes wandered several times from
his grandfather’s face to the papers, Mr. Duncan began:
“Has Cicely told you about the will she burnt yesterday ?”

Duke gave a start. “No, grandfather.”

“Not a word to any of you?”

“T haven’t heard one of them say anything about it, and
I think they would if she had told.”

“Ah! I gave her the choice of my two wills—one that
left everything to her, and one that left it to your brothers
“FUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT F$UDGED.” 183



and sisters. You can, perhaps, imagine which it was she
burnt.”

“Of course, grandfather !”

“T suppose you are right in describing Cicely to me as
a very greedy, under-bred little girlk She has no doubt
been left too much to servants.”

“Yes, grandfather. Jane seems to be enough to ruin.
any one left in her care.”

“Tt isa great pity. Cicely seems to me to have many
good points in her character; she appears to be truthful.
and brave.”

“Brave! Why, grandfather, she is a regular coward!
Afraid of crossing the field where old Daisy is grazing.”

“Ah! I heard a story once of a lad who ran away from
a bull and left the girl who was with him in great danger.
He is not the best authority on courage!”

“Did she tell you that?” asked Duke, changing colour.

“She did noi, sir,” replied his grandfather, whose eye-
brows were making comments on all Duke said. “But
let that pass. The girl is brave enough for a girl, and
more is not required of her. Now, it appears that in
looking over the wills yesterday I changed the envelopes,
and by this means Cicely burnt the wrong one—not the
one she intended to burn.”

Duke’s eyes gave a sudden flash as he saw before him
on the table two envelopes, but he merely looked at his
grandfather in silence.

“One of the wills divided my property among your
brothers and sister—you will have quite enough of your
own, my boy,” as Duke lifted a very disappointed face—
184: COURAGE.





“and the other left all to Cicely. As you say, there coula
be no doubt as to which of these wills she intended to
burn; though I think she is more generous than you
imagine, Duke.”

“Ts she, grandfather ?”

“T think so. However, that is not what I sent for you
to tell you. I have given Cicely her choice, and she has
shown me in that choice what her wishes were. As there
has been a mistake, of course what she has done goes for
nothing, as she burnt the wrong will. If people are so
careless they must abide by their carelessness or hastiness.
I suppose she was in a hurry and did not think of looking
inside.”

Duke did not think it necessary to point out to his
grandfather that the mistake was not Cicely’s and there-
fore it seemed hard to punish her for it; he only listened
eagerly to what was coming next.

“T don’t approve of young people having much to do
with money matters, it makes them hard and sordid
before their time; but in this case—it being a peculiar
one—I must make some change in my general views. Do
you wish me from your own personal feeling to abide by
Cicely’s choice or by her mistake ?”

“That is for you to decide, grandfather,” said Duke,
dropping his eyes suddenly as Mr. Duncan looked steadily
at him.

“In this case—as I have said—I am willing to leave
the decision to you.”

“Then, as you have already said, must she not abide
by the mistake ?”
“FUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT ¥UDGED.” 185

“There is yet another view,” said Mr. Duncan, “and it
is on that account chiefly that I have sent for you. The
_willin favour of your brothers and sisters is not altogether
what I like, and I have here the draft of another. In that
‘I leave everything to you. It was a much earlier will,
made while you were still a baby. It can be copied by
Brace and signed at once if you think that it is a better
arrangement.”

’Duke hesitated a moment as to how he had better
express himself.

“Of course I could provide for any of them if necessary,”
he said slowly.

“Certainly; and you could keep them in order in
consequence, but I hope you would never exercise your
power. It is perhaps too much power to give into your
hands. I might make a new will for you all to share alike.”
. Duke did not respond very readily to this suggestion,
but he presently said: “It is just as you wish, grandfather.”

“Well, well, here they are; burn whichever you like

least.”
' Duke gave a hasty glance, picked up the envelope
Cicely had rejected, and put it into the fire as quickly as
he could, without giving his grandfather time to change
his mind. Mr. Duncan smiled rather strangely as he
drew the other envelope towards him and opened it.

“Ah!” he said suddenly, ‘this is very curious!
Another mistake! This envelope c. 1tains the will Cicely
meant to destroy—the will that leaves my eldest son’s
share of the property to her.”

“Grandfather! did she mean to destroy that? I
186 COURAGE.

thought—of course I thought—she would have chosen to
burn the other !” .

“You judged her by yourself. It is strange you should
both have made the same mistake and burnt the wrong
will 1”

As the truth flashed upon him Duke turned hot and cold.

“ But, grandfather—oh ! won’t you alter it? You will
not make me responsible for an accident ?”

“Ring the bell for Brace, Duke. Iam getting tired.
But in this case—as you have already said—must you not
abide by your mistake ?” ,

His own words quoted against him opened Duke’s
eyes. Hehad of his own accord walked into the trap
his grandfather had set for him. Cicely had come out
with flying colours, for had she been selfish and burnt
the will which she thought was in favour of her cousins,
she would have unconsciously destroyed her own
prospects. In the same way Duke had had the
opportunity of showing some generosity and had let. it
escape, only to find himself the loser.

He rang the bell for Brace and walked out of the room,
ill-temper in every line of his face and figure.

The first person he met was Andrew coming in from
the garden.

The remembrance of Andrew’s words—that he had
judged Cicely unfairly came to him then, and would have
led to a quarrel between the boys if Andrew had been in
the habit of quarrelling. As it was, he had to leave Duke
to himself in the hope that in time he might recover his
temper.










“Duke picked up the envelope Cicely had rejected.”—Page 185.

CHAPTER XXVIL
TEMPER AND GUNPOWDER.

Asout five o’clock that afternoon a loud explosion
startled the household. The sound came from an arbour
in the garden which was looked upon as the boy’s own
domain. It was there they-kept all the “messes” which
were not allowed to come into the house—garden tools,
silk-worms, mole-skins, and other treasures too many to
mention. The arbour itself was built of logs in an octagon
or eight-sided shape, and had a door facing the house and
a window looking towards the garden. A deal table in
the middle, two wooden chairs, and some shelves nailed
against the walls completed the furniture; but the
treasures hung all-round from nails or pegs, or (in the
case of the skins) were nailed out against the laths with
which the inside of the log hut was lined. The whole
arbour was much overgrown with ivy and honeysuckle,
and was a picturesque-looking little haven for the many
homeless objects the boys collected there.

Now, those who glanced out saw it shattered and
roofless, and a boy, with a scared, white face and blackened
hands, coming rushing across the lawn.

“Come, oh! come at once!” he shouted, and Mrs.

Duncan recognised Duke’s voice. “Andrew! he’s out
189
190 COURAGE.



there, and the roof fell on him, and he’s burnt and hurt,
and I did it!”

In a moment Mrs. Duncan was at the boy’s side. Mr,
Duncan and some of the servants went out, and seeing
the ruin, set to work at once to rescue Andrew, who,
according to Duke, was underneath all that heap of
rubbish. f

Happily there had been some heavy rain the night
before, and though there were traces of burning from the
explosion, there was no serious trouble with the few dry
sticks that had caught fire here and there.

Left with his mother, Duke shivered and cried like a
child, his nerves having been altogether upset by the
shock, and Mrs. Duncan could only wait as patiently as
she could until he was sufficiently recovered to tell his
tale.

“Indeed, I didn’t mean to do it, mother, though I was-
very cross and disagreeable to him. I never thought that
anything so awful would happened.”

“But what were you doing, dear ?”

“Oh! We—I—yes, I will tell it truly this time—I had
got some gunpowder a

“Oh, Duke !”

“Yes, I know I hadn’t any business to have bought it,
but I did get the canister last time I went to Foxleigh. I
wanted to make a fuse and blow up some wasps’ nests by
the river. Andrew didn’t know I had it till to-day. He
came out and found me making it, and he said things to
me, and I was angry. Oh, mother! I was so angry, and
perhaps he’s dead now, and it’s my fault. I was trying to














“*Come at once,’ he shouted,”—Page 189,
TEMPER AND GUNPOWDER. 193



damp the powder. I had been reading about it, and how
it should be done, and Andrew stood there talking, and
saying that I oughtn’t to do it without asking father, or
getting some one to show me what to do. He said it
wasn’t safe, that I hadn’t enough water, and that I was
spilling the gunpowder all over the place—and so I was,
for I was trying to do it in a hurry. I called hima
coward, and told him to make the fuse himself if he knew
so much about it, so he bent down over the table and
began to mix. I thought he was nervous and silly, he
was so careful, and I took out a match and lighted it.
“That's foolhardy,” he said, quietly, and I said I’d rather
be foolhardy than cowardly. Then the match suddenly
flared up, and I dropped it into some of the spilt gun-
powder. There was just a little flash, and Andrew called
“Run!” and I did, and then the crash came. I tried to
get back to Andrew, but some more powder went off and
burnt my hands, and so I came for help. What will
they do? Do you think he will be burnt, or killed by
the roof, or—or what ?”

“T can’t possibly say, Duke. Come Ss now and
-let me see to your hands, so that I may be ready to help
with Andrew when they bring him in. Oh, my poor
boy ! how could you be so foolish and so disobedient ?”

Duke could only shake his head miserably, and let his
mother put the ointment she always kept ready for burns
on his hands, and some cottonwoo! over it, and then he
was helpless! Poor Duke! “To be of no use, and on
such an occasion as this to have to sit still in the nursery
with the twins staring at him, and asking if he was very

O
194 . COURAGE,





naughty, and wondering why he cried, was miserable
enough; but when they were left in his charge, and
nurse and his mother were called down to see to Andrew’s
injuries, then he felt that he was as wretched as a boy
of his age could be—as wretched as he had often made
Cicely.
_ “Duke !” whispered a voice after a time, “may I come

in and talk to you ?”

“Come in, Mysie. Oh, I’m so glad to see any one.”

“Tt isn’t Mysie,” said Cicely, open the door a little
wider ; “it’s me, I wanted to see you, and I didn’t know
if you'd care for me to come.”

“Oh, do come in! Where are the others? Why
didn’t Mysie come—or Lena ?”

“Lena’s in the schoolroom crying ; Mysie’s fetching
things for Aunt Carry, and I didn’t know if any one was
with you, so I came to see.”

“ How is he ?”

“1 don’t know. The doctor came a little while ago.”

“Did they say anything about him ?”

“No, only I heard nurse Hi

ONC 8

“ Nurse said something about his eyes.”

“What ?”

“ About his being blind, perhaps.”

Duke had sprung to his feet for a moment, then, seeing
his disabled hands, and realising afresh his utter useless-
ness, he dropped on his knees by nurse’s low chair, and
hid his face on his arms.

Cicely did not venture to speak for some moments, but


TEMPER AND GUNPOWDER. 195

at last she laid her hand.on his shoulder and whispered,
“Duke |” :

(Yes.

“Don't cry any more. It’s no use, and you will be ill
if you go on like that, and that would give so much more
trouble.”

“T’m not crying!” said Duke, but he got up and
wandered to the window, while the twins inquired if
Duke had been very naughty.

“’Pick and ’Pan is dood is dood,” said Alfred.

“Welly dood!” put in Alice as chorus.

“Pick and ’Pan doesn’t ky like zat.”

“ Never kies like zat !” said Alice.

“You're a dear little boy and girl!” said Cicely,
kissing them, partly to distract their attention from Duke;
“but you'll be better still if you both go and play nicely
at the dolls’ house and let me talk to Duke. You will,
won't you ?”

“Ess, Pick and ’Pan will,” they answered, nodding
like a little pair of mandarins, and away they went to
their game.

Duke did not turn round at once, and Cicely waited to
see if he would speak first, which he did after a few
moments.

“Could you go and find out about that ?”” he asked..

“ About what ?”

“ About his eyes.”

“T’ll go down and see, but they won’t tell me, even if

‘they know, and doctors don’t always know, nurse said.”
“No, not always ; but generally they do.”
196 : COURAGE.



“T’ll try to find out,” she said, and went down. As she
passed the door of Andrew’s room it opened, and her
aunt came out, or rather was led out, purported by her
husband’s arm.

“You've overtired yourself, Carry!” he said. You ©
musn’t go in there again to-day.” oe
_ “Oh, yes !.I must ifhe wants me. And that other poor
boy upstairs, I must go up to him.”

“No, indeed you will not. He shall come and sit
with you in your room if you like. Cicely, run and fetch
Duke to sit with his mother. Nurse has gone up, so he
can leave the twins now.”

In ashort time, Mrs. Duncan was lying on the sofa in
the soft light of her boudoir, and Duke was sitting on a
very small chair very close to her, and- for the first time
in his life Duke put his own affairs aside and tried to
make his mother think of other things, by telling her of
some of Spick and Span’s funny sayings, all of which she
had not heard.

Bertie was with Miss Prince and Lena, in the school-
room. Poor Lena had run out of the schoolroom just as
the men were bringing Andrew in, and the sight of him
had made her quite faint and ill, so she lay crying on the
sofa, sniffing the salts Miss Prince had lent her, and
proving herself.a less useful person than Mysie, who, with
pale face and wide, startled eyes, was ready to make
herself useful to anybody.

Cicely went. down to the schoolroom as soon as she
had seen Duke to his mother’s door. Lena jumped
nervously up, but sank back again as she saw who it was,
TEMPER AND GUNPOWDER. —__197

and took a fresh sniff at the salts Mysie had returned, and
was now trying to amuse Bertie, who was beginning to be
tired of the schoolroom, and wished to play horses, or
romp on the sofa. The noise annoyed Lena, and
altogether Miss Price was conscious that it would be
difficult to keep peace much longer, when Mr. Duncan
came in. ; .

“Lena, Andrew is asking for. Can you come ?”

“Oh, father! I can’t—I can’t! I saw him fora
moment, and he can’t want me for any anything !”

“He has a fancy for you to hold his hand. Your
mother is quite ured out, so she cannot, and he thought
perhaps you

“T can’t, father! I wish I could, and, and, ar ! mayn’t:
Bertie go somewhere else? He keeps shaking this sofa,
and

“May I take him in the garden, father,” asked Mysie,
“Gf he’ll promise you not to do anything naughty ?”

“Yes, dear, take him out. That is a good and useful
little daughter. Then I am to tell Andrew that you can’t
come? It is not very kind of you, Lena ?”

“Qh, father! how can I help it? It really made me
quite sick—didn’t it, Miss Prince? I wish—I’m so sorry,
but indeed I can’t come.”

“T suppose I shouldn’t be of any use,” asked Cicely,
humbly. “I’m not afraid, and grandfather—my own
grandfather—used to say I was a brave little nurse.”

“Come along then,” said Mr. Duncan with some relief
in his tone. I dare say he’ll be glad enough to have you,
as Lena is too ill to be of any help.”




198 COURAGE.





Cicely followed her uncle. She hoped it was only her
fancy, and yet she thought she saw an angry look in
Lena’s eyes as they followed her to the door.

“Ts he in great pain ?” asked Cicely a little tremblingly,
as they paused on the landing.

“T’m afraid he is, or he would not beg for some one to
hold his hand. Are you sure you can do it, Cicely ?”

“Yl try, Unicle Herbert.”

For the first time since she had ventured into his
father’s room, Mr. Duncan gave her a look of approval.
“That is right,” he said, gently ; “it is best to be able to
do sad or painful things, for we never know what we may
be called upon to do, and if we indulge our feelings over-
much, we may be unable to act at some most important
crisis of our existence, when our welfare or our lives may
depend upon our presence of mind.”
CHAPTER XXVIII
“IN ALL TIME OF OUR TRIBULATION.”

CicELY—the coward, the girl who was terrified at a quiet
old cow—walked into Andrew’s room behind her uncle.
She was trembling a little, for she did not know what she
might see, and she had no love of horrors any more than
Lena; and though she had tried to prepare herself for
something of the kind, she was startled at the ghastly
mask of cotton-wool that covered most of the face. It
seemed more terrible to her than what it might be
covering.

Then the lips moved—the mouth was free—and a very
slow voice said: “Uncle Herbert, never mind; don’t
disturb them, please.”

“I have brought Cicely to see you,” said his uncle,
bending down and speaking softly. “ She offered to come
because Lena—could not.”

“Thank you! oh, thank you!” and a scorched and
blackened hand began to move over the sheet until Cicely
put hers into it, and felt the sudden clutch he gave it.

“Ts Duke all right ?” asked Andrew presently.

“Yes, he was not much hurt—only his hands a little.”

“T am so glad.”

Cicely sat very still by the bed while the grasp on her
hand tightened or relaxed as the pain was more or less

199
200 COURAGE,

intense. She did not look to see what the doctor was doing,
she did not look at her uncle ; but with her eyes fixed on the
window, she sat there, keeping as Still as possible, and
only answering the grasp. of his hand with a little gentle
pressure of her own.

Andrew was very quiet, though at times a quick breath
and movement showed that he was suffering ; but as. the
doctor worked on, arranging bandages and putting soothing
ointment, the pain seemed to lessen, and at last a whisper
came; “It’s not so bad now.”

“T’m so glad,” said Cicely in reply.

“Cicely, it’s very good of you.”

“Ym so glad to be of any use,” said Cicely, trying to
keep her voice steady, “especially to you who have always
been so kind to me. But I must not talk.” For the
doctor had touched her and put his finger on his lips.

“Are you afraid to be left alone with him for a few
minutes?” whispered Mr. Duncan to Cicely, after the
doctor had finished his work and stood with his fingers on
Andrew’s wrist.

Cicely was afraid, but after a. moment’s hesitation she
looked up and said, “I don’t mind. You wouldn’t go—
if a

“Jf anything was likely to be wanted? No, my dear
child. Only sit quiet and we hope he may go to sleep in
time.” ,

“Tl stay,” said Cicely softly, and they went out and
left her.

Alone in that darkened room, the time seemed very long
to her. Only a deep sigh from Andrew broke the stillness


“IN ALL TIME OF OUR TRIBULATION.” 201



now and then, and Cicely, mindful of the doctor’s caution,
did not venture to ask about his pain.

But at last Andrew spoke. “Are you tired of holding
my hand ?”

“Oh, no!” but she moved a little and changed the
hand.

“Tt’s very good of you, Cicely. I always ae you
were a brick !”

Cicely could only respond by a slight pressure. -

“Why didn’t Lena come ?” he asked, after a pause.

“She was so faint—the shock of seeing you hurt upset
her.”

~ “Tt didn’t upset you ?”

“No; I suppose I am stronger, or more erdteemed o

“No, not that. I suppose I am a most disgusting
object —enough to sicken any one. You're a brave girl to
come here, Cicely, and stay with me all alone. To think
of our little coward being so brave !”

“Oh! but I’m still afraid of cows.’

“Never mind. Some of our bravest men nee had
worse dislikes. I have heard of a great soldier who fainted
if he smelt strawberries, and another who was quite ill if
he saw a cat.”

Cicely laughed, and then as Andrew moved and gave a
sharp hiss as the pain returned, she said quickly, “I-don’t
- think you ought to talk to me.”

“Very well; only I should like you to read to me, if
you don’t mind.”

“What shall I read ?”

“The Psalms, please. My Bible is there.. I want the
202 COURAGE.



Ewentyinie. and the Ninety-first, and the One hundred
and third, please.”

Cicely fetched the Bible and began to read slowly, and
in a short time Andrew’s breathing grew more regular and
she began to hope he was asleep ; but as the door opened
and the doctor returned, Andrew moved his head and
asked who it was.

“Tt is Mr. Lee,” said Cicely. “I hope I haven't been
doing wrong,” she added as he came forward, “but
Andrew said the reading would help him, and it was
better than talking—at least, I thought so.”

“Quite right,” said Mr. Lee, “and I will read to you
now for a little while, Andrew, for this young lady is
wanted cisewhere for a short time.” .

“Will you come back, Cicely ?” asked Andrew, as she
vot up and handed the book to Mr. Lee.

“JT will come whenever they will let me,” she said.

“Your.aunt wants you in her room,” were the docter’s
directions, and feeling rather frightened at this unexpected
summons, Cicely went round to the boudoir, where she
found her aunt and uncle and Duke waiting for her.

“Cicely, my dear child,” said Mrs. Duncan, as Mr.
Duncan seemed unable to speak, “ Duke has been telling
us a very sad story.”

Cicely looked round, startled; she expected to find
that Duke had completely broken down after the confession
which she guessed he had made, but he was no longer
the wretched-looking boy who had cried and shivered
with his face hidden in nurse’s chair. He was very pale
and looked pained and regretful, but he looked his parents
SEE

Eee

BreRe

a

ae
ae



“Are you tired of holding my hand?’—Page 201.
“IN ALL TIME OF OUR TRIBULATION.” © 205

and Cicely full in the face and appeared more e manly than
he had ever done in their eyes before.

“ Duke seems to know more about what passed. in your
grandfather’s room the other day than your uncie or I,
and he has been telling us m

“Aunt Carry,” interrupted Cicely eagerly, “please don’t
say anything about the will. I am sure I only did what
was right in burning that one. I could not bear to think
of your younger children being unprovided for, as grand-
father said.”

“You must have made a mistake, dear. They -are
provided for, and your grandfather knows that quite well.”

Cicely looked rather bewildered. “ What could he have
meant then? He said to me, ‘Suppose that your aunt is
mistaken in thinking that—what then?’ Those were his
own words.”

“T know,” said Duke. “He was trying Cicely as he
tried me later. He was purposely misleading you, Cicély,
to see what you would do. He had made two wills—
Brace knows about that—but when he made you choose,
he had changed them. When you burnt the envelope of
the will giving you your share, you were really burning
the other will. If you had been selfish—as I was—you
would really have burnt the will in oe own favour, as I
did later.”

Cicely thought it all very puzzling, and was at Gat
distressed about her cousins, until Mr. and Mrs: Duncan
reassured her as to their future welfare.

But Cicely had a very sad story to hear from Duke, how
he had tried to influence his grandfather against her by


200 COURAGE.

making the most of all the silly fancies Jane had put into
her head. It was a painful story, and Cicely would have
stopped him had not her uncle insisted that he should tell
and she should hear it all. The fact was that Duke had
been in the room when Mr. Lee gave his opinion as to
Andrew, and the great uncertainty about the boy re-
covering his eyesight had so horrified Duke, who was the
cause of the accident, that he had confessed about the
gunpowder to his father, and followed that up with a list
of other faults which had at last opened his father’s eyes
to the great blot in his son’s character.

Mrs. Duncan had seen enough to have many fears that
Duke was not as straight-forward as they could wish, and
that he was hardly “true and just” in all his dealings ; but
to Mr. Duncan the revelation had come as a thunder-clap,
and it would take him some time to recover from the
shock.

“Tf only father would forgive me,” murmured Duke,
looking piteously at the loving eyes that were now turned
away ; “if I might have something to help me in the future
—as that would—then—I hope I should never, never do
anything of the sort again.”

“Tf only my forgiveness can keep you straight in the
future, Duke, your repentance is not what it should be—
a lasting regret with a determination to do better in the
future. You have so surrounded yourself with falsehood
that I cannot yet bring myself to believe in the absolute
sincerity of your sorrow and confession.”

“Oh! father ! father !

“You must remember that when confidence has been
“IN ALL TIME OF OUR TRIBULATION.” 207



destroyed as mine has been, the ruins are not to be built
up inamoment. You will have a hard fight with your-
self in the future, Duke, for it is not easy to be always
true, and for any one who has strayed so far from the
path it.is by no: means a light task to find it again and
keep to it. I will do all in my power to help you, my
boy, and with God’s help and a remembrance of the pain
all this has caused to us—especially to your mother and
to me—I hope you will learn to be more careful to keep
a watch over yourself, so that you may learn in time to
see the beauty of truth, and to act up to a higher standard
of principles than you now seem to understand. My
forgiveness is a small matter, for you have not sinned
agaist me, but against God. Iam not angry and have
no wish to punish you, but I cannot pretend that I am
not deeply grieved and disappointed in finding you so
different from what I thought. My confidence, as I have
said, can only be regained by seeing how true and
thorough your repentance is.”

Duke dropped his face in his hands for a moment, then
he pushed back his hair, threw up his head and said
quickly: “1 will try, father. I want to make you proud
of me again.”

“And there is some one else whose forgiveness you
should ask. You have tried to injure her a

“Ah! please don’t, Uncle Herbert,” said Cicely. For
as he spoke Mr. Duncan had laid his hand on Cicely’s
shoulder, so as to leave no doubt as to his meaning.

Duke’s pride had received many a hard shock that day,
but none so severe as when he heard Cicely pleading
for him.


208 COURAGE.



“You needn’t ask, Duke,” she said, holding out her
hand. “I have so much need of forgiveness for all I have
done, that I only want you to love me and let us be
happy again !”

Duke stooped and kissed Cicely.

“You are just what Andrew said you were, Cicely ; and
I will “never, as me as I live, call you a coward !” he
said.

“And all this time Iam afraid we are forgetting poor
Andrew,” said Mrs. Duncan, and the brightness that had
for a moment come into Duke and Cicely’s faced faded,
and they became once more grave and anxious,
CHAPTER XXIxX.
A CLEARER VIEW.

“MOTHER, I made the girls behave very unkindly to
Cicely, and I’m afraid Miss Prince thought it was Cicely’s
fault. What must I do?”

“You know best, Duke,” replied Mrs. Duncan.

“Must I really go and tell Miss Prince about it as well
as Lena and Mysie ?”

“You know what you ought to do, my son.”

“Oh, mother !”
_ “The way of transgressors is hard,’’”’ said his mothei
sadly. .

“It is, mother, only it is such a pity that they don’t
know it beforehand—they might do very differently then.”

“Were you not taught right from wrong, Duke? Did
not your father and I, and all who had the care of you
from your babyhood, tell you that there is but one kind
of happiness worth having, which is only to be found in
doing your duty? But without God’s help you cannot
always know your duty—still less do it. You must have
a strength given to you which is not yourown, Will
you pray for that, Duke ?”

“T'll try, mother.”

“To try earnestly is to succeed,” said his mother with
a kiss on the boy’s forehead, and without another word

Duke left the room. :
209 P
210 COURAGE.



Half an hour later, when the three girls were in the .
schoolroom with Miss Prince, trying to do a little needle-
work while she read a story to them after their tea—for
any of their usual games had been found impossible—
Duke came into the room, looking rather pale.

“May I speak to you, Miss Prince?” he said rather
huskily. ‘“ I—I’ve something I want to tell you all.”

Lena flung down her work.

“Oh! don’t—oh! don’t, Miss Prince! don’t let him
tell us—I know it’s about Andrew—something dreadful !”
and Lena sobbed uncontrollably.

“Tt isn’t about Andrew,” said Duke, quietly ; do shut
up, Lena, and don’t make such a noise.”

Miss Prince fetched the salts for Lena to smell, and in
a few minutes she was able to listen with some
composure.

In spite of Cicely’s protests, when she found out what
he had come to say, Duke made his confession bravely
and fully, to the horrified ears of his sisters and theit
governess. Lena was very indignant that Duke had
misled her so much, but as with her usual habit of laying
the blame on others she entirely considered that any
unkindness she might have shown towards Cicely was his
fault, there could be no question of her being personally
to blame.

Mysie put her arms round Cicely and kissed her,
murmuring that she was “so very—so sorry, very sorry !”
and then went and kissed Duke with even more tender-
ness, and Duke did not repulse her this time.

Miss Prince also kissed Cicely, and said she hoped that
A CLEARER VIEW. 211

after this they would all understand each other better ;
and as after this fresh agitation even needle-work would
be difficult to attend to, she suggested that they should
all go out into the garden, provided they took some rugs
if they sat down on the grass. It seemed easier to talk
- and make friends away from the house, with the deep-
blue and orange sky above them and the birds all around
them singing their evening hymn. The only dark cloud
now was the uncertainty as to poor Andrew.

The doctor did not think his life in danger, though the
shock might prove more severe than he anticipated, but
he was most anxious for the boy’s eyesight. There were
many sad days for the household just then—Andrew was
a favourite with all, and from the housekeeper to the little
knife-boy, who was found sitting on a coal-scuttle crying
bitterly at the thought of Mr. Andrew’s possible blindness
—every one felt the same.

Andrew slowly recovering from the shock, bruises,
and severe scorching he had received (for, luckily, the
burns were not very deep), was the centre of all the house-
hold thoughts, and from his darkened room came most
of the comfort that was to be had just then.

“Never mind, Aunt Carry,” he said brightly, one day,
when putting up his hand to touch her cheek he had
found a tear on it; “of course it will be a great dis-.
appointment if I am to be blind, but I don’t think I need
be quite useless) When I am well enough, I mean to
learn the blind writing and reading, and I shall get Duke
to learn his lessons with me, and I know Cicely will read
to me, so that I need not be so very ignorant. When we


212 COURAGE.



think of what blind men have done, it ought not to be se
very discouraging—ought it ?”

“No, dear, and I ought not to have discouraged you,
for there is still hope—great hope that your sight may be
saved. When Mr. C came down last he thought
there was an improvement.”

“J didn’t feel any improvement,” sighed Andrew.

“Perhaps not, but he knows best in what state your
eyes are. He is a wonderfully clever oculist.” .

“Yes, and I like him awfully ; he is so kind.”

Duke had to return to school alone—a harder punish-
ment than any of them knew except Andrew, with whom
Duke had some private conversation the day before he
left.

“twill be rather hard at first,” poor Duke had muttered
in husky tones, as he sat by Andrew’s sofa. “I hope I
shan’t come to grief—and I can’t even write to you,
Andrew, and tell you about it all! You would have to
get. one of the girls or mother to read the letters to you.
Well—TI deserve it—but I:wish you hadn’t to be punished
too. You didn’t: deserve to have such a thing happen to
you.”

“JT think I deserve just as much punishment—if you
call it that—as you do,” said Andrew, decidedly. “I
suppose because I mayn’t see things with my eyes now,
that my mind has been seeing everything much more
clearly, because I do all my looking inside. I think I am
as much—or more—to blame than you, Duke, because if
_& had spoken out at first—when you sometimes—some-
times let Uncle Herbert and Aunt Carry think I—I had


A CLEARER VIEW. 213

done things—if I had then risked your calling me a sneak
and had not kept silence and taken the blame—which
seems to me now to have been wrong, because it was
acting an untruth towards them—you would never have
been so tempted and—and might have been spared all
this now.”

“Tt wasn’t your fault, Andrew !” exclaimed Duke. “You
know know how. horrid I was—I am—if I am likely to be
blamed, and it wouldn’t have been like you to tell tales of
met?

“Ah! Duke, that’s just it. Telling tales and speaking
the truth have got mixed up in our minds and must be
disentangled. If the truth is to be followed, I had no
more right to stand between you and your parents when
you deserved punishment than when you deserved praise.
I thought, in my self-satisfaction, that I was doing some-
thing rather grand and noble, but I see now that I was
not being true to you nor to my uncle and aunt. I misled
them as much as you did and with no better motive—
merely to keep peace with you and prevent you from
calling me a sneak. H was Cicely who first showed me
that there was a difference between the two. She said
your father and mother had a right to know your true
character and that I ought not to continue to screen you.
and she had the courage of her opinions, though you
could not call her a tell-tale.” d

Duke coloured and was silent. With all his regret and
repentance there were some subjects that were very bitter
for him to discuss, even though he often thought of them
when alone. He had begun to understand that to tell a
214 COURAGE.







lie may show a more cowardly disposition than the in-

ability to face a harmless old cow, and that between truth
_and courage there is a very strong Jink which only can be
severed by the constant eating of the rust of self-deception,
which will in time destroy even the finest metal,
CHAPTER XXX.
IN THE END,

JANE shed many tears when she parted from Cicely, and
Cicely cried too, but more from sympathy than from any
real regret, though at first she missed her handmaid, and
felt awkward at brushing her own hair and buttoning her
own boots. However in a short time she grew quite
accustomed to the change, and then wondered how she
could have borne to have a maid always “fussing round”
her.

Duke’s return to school made the house much quieter
and regular in its habits. Cicely had learnt some Latin from
Mr. Lorton, and she now studied for an hour every day with
Andrew. This was a source of pleasure to both of them,
for Cicely had always liked her Latin studies, which re-
minded her of her beloved grandfather, and Andrew liked
it because he was making some return for the many hours
Cicely had spent in reading ‘to him when he was not
allowed to study. As she was so much less advanced than
he was, there was little fear of his overworking, and. the
doctors were glad to give him something to employ him-
self with that was useful and interesting, and would heln
to keep up his former studies if ever he was well enough
to take them up again.

Old Mr. Duncan had taken a most lively interest in all

215
216 COURAGE,

that concerned Duke and Cicely, and had watched with
interest the boy’s struggles to be generous and truthful,
and Cicely’s anxiety that every one should appreciate the
effort he was making. It was also a matter of interest to
him to have a fearless little girl come into his room, kiss
his hand, and offer to do anything she could for him—for
after that second interview Cicely had not been afraid of
him. Mr. Duncan began to think that Mr. Lorton (of
whom he had hitherto held a very contemptuous opinion)
must have been rather a good fellow, as his grand-daughter
was so little afraid of him, and he began to look for the
daily visit Cicely asked if she might pay him, and invent
small requirements that he might give her the pleasure
of being useful. It was a new phase in the life of the
hot-tempered, sarcastic old gentleman, and gave an
additional interest to his life, which had of late years
grown somewhat dull.

There was some excitement among the elder members
of the family when it was krown that Mr. Duncan had
sent for his lawyer to come from London to see him.

Cicely heard it without a thought as to her own possible
interest. She had grown lately so absorbed in helping
Andrew to bear the anxiety as to his eyesight, that she
was all unconscious that the black-coated, gold-spectacled,
elderly gentleman looked at her with very kindly eyes as
he spoke of her as “poor Alfred’s daughter.”

One thing pleased her very much: Mr. Duncan made
her two presents. One was a pretty little pearl ring, set
in an old-fashioned style, which had belonged to her
grandmother ; the other was the diamond crescent he had
IN THE END. a1



given to his bride on her wedding-day. It was far too
beautiful and valuable for a child of twelve to wear, as she
could wear the little ring; but it was put away in safety,
and to all who knew Mr. Duncan well, this gift showed
plainly that the old offence was forgotten or forgiven, and
that “Alfred’s daughter” was to take her place as her
father’s representative.

In the schoolroom Cicely got on much better than she
had ever thought possible. There were occasional passages
of arms between herself and Lena, but'as arulethey managed
to keep on very friendly terms. Lena could not help feeling
sometimes a pang of jealousy when she found that Andrew
missed Cicely more than any member of the household,
except, perhaps, his aunt; but she felt she had brought
this upon herself by not having sufficient self-control to
do what was required by him when he was ill. Now that
chance was gone, and though Lena might have tried to
re-establish herself once more as Andrew’s special friend
and cousin, she had no love of a darkened room, nor had
she the hopefulness and brightness which are so helpful
and necessary for a constant attendance in a sick-room.
She had from the first taken the most gloomy view of
Andrew’s eyesight, and was quite persuaded that he would
in time become totally blind, and a helpless burden on
Cicely’s good nature. Lena, therefore, had no great
inclination to transfer such a load from Cicely’s shoulders
to her own. She was more. jealous of Mr. Duncan’s open
preference for the new-comer, forgetting that she had had
it in her power to make herself as pleasant to him long
before Cicely had ever come into the house.
a8 - COURAGE. .

The long, hot days were very trying to Andrew, who
shrank from all glare, and could only leave the house for
exercise when the sun had gone down, and it was
twitight. Lena had sometimes joined Cicely and Andrew
at such times, and been very welcome ; but she could not
stand the midges that bit so venomously at that hour, and
after a few trials came to the conclusion that she preferred
a book indoors.

“T shall never want eyes as long as you are not tired of
describing things to me,” said Andrew, one evening, when
Cicely had given him a glowing account of a brood of
moor-hens she had been watching on the pond, as they
sat there for a short rest. “It was good for me that you
came here, Cicely.”

“It was good for me too,” said Cicely, and after a pause
she added, with some hesitation, “Do you know that Mr.
C is coming here to-morrow to test your eyes?”

“No; is he?”

“Yes. He hopes that there will be some improvement,

”



and if so
“What?”
“He thinks your eyes may be still very useful to you.”
‘There was a silence.
“And if not?” said Andrew at last in a lower tone.
There was no answer. Cicely tried to swallow the
lump in her throat and speak cheerfully, but she could
not, and a slight pressure of her hand was the only reply.
“Well--God’s will be done,” said Andrew, softly.
“J will tell you something that I think you will like to
hear,” said Cicely, presently, in her usual bright voice; at


IN THE END. 219

any rate, I know J liked hearing it. It was the other day
—at least, not quite the other day, but some time ago
when Mr. C was coming oftener. He said to Aunt
Carry about you
“Are you sure you ought to tell me, Cieee asked

_ Andrew, quickly.

“Sure,’- answered Cicely with a laugh. “He said:
‘That boy is a very fine fellow, Mrs. Duncan, and he has
a very rare kind of courage which enables him to bear his
own troubles without complaint, while he is full of
sympathy for the complaints of others. There is nothing
of the indifference of the stoic about him except his self-
forgetfulness.’ Aunt Carry looked so pleased—and so
did I!”

“They don’t know—no one can—what a coward I have
felt at heart; how hard it has seemed to trust in Divine
mercy and goodness, and not to look only to human help
—to the doctors. At times I felt such a coward that,
rather than live to be blind, I have wished that I could
die.”

“That isn’t cowardly if you overcome the feeling. And
now we must be very hopeful, because I do think, Andrew,
that your eyes must be better. You haven’t had so much
of the shutter closed lately, and you have come out earlier
in the evening, before the glow of sunset was gone.”

Just then Mrs. Duncan’s voice was heard calling them
in out of the dew, and the conversation came to an end.

It was a happy day for all when Andrew’s eyes were
pronounced out of danger. Never was unselfish rejoicing
more general in a household than on this occasion. There




220 COURAGE.

was still care to be taken: strong light to be avoided, long
reading, small print, overwork of any kind to be guarded
against; but with care and attention to rules, the doctors
saw no reason for further anxiety as to the ultimate cure,
and there was every hope that Andrew might live to lead
as useful a life as any other boy of his age and capacity.

Cicely was sitting on the nursery floor that evening, with
Alfred and Alice on each side of her. She had been
telling them the story of the “Three Bears” in a very
dramatic manner, and Bertie had also been drawn into
the circle by the delightful growls of the big bear. As the
story ended there was a shout for another, but Cicely
looked at the clock and said she was afraid it was too late
to begin anything now, as they would not like stopping in
the middle if nurse came in to put them to bed.

“Then Cicely must stay with them till nurse came!”
they clamoured together.

“Very well; only if I do, suppose you tell me a story for
a change.”

“A true ’tory ?” asked Alfred.

“Yes, please,” said Cicely.

“’Pick and ’Pan will tell you somefin,” said - Alfred,
catching her round the neck -as he stood behind her.
“Pick and ’Pan can tell you that muffer, and farver, and
gran’ papa says they is welly glad that you comed to live
here !”

“That is very kind of them,” laughed Cicely, though she
coloured with pleasure at the unexpected compliment.

“And so is Lena, and Mysie, and Bat, and Andrew,
and nursie, and Lucy, and Mr. Bwace, and Mrs. Jelliepot,






































































































































“CDPick and ’Pan will tell you somefin,’ said Alfred.”—Page 220.
IN THE END, 223





and Mary, and Eliza, and Jane—no, she’s gone—and
Sophia——” :

“Why, that’s everybody!” said Bertie.

“And evewybody,” added Alfred with another hug.

“That's very kind of everybody,” said Cicely, but how
about Spick and Span?”

“? Pick and ’ Pan is welly glad too!” said Alfred.

“’Ess—’ Pick and ’Pan is!” chanted Alice—and then
nurse came in.