"There he is," said Duke suddenly ; don't be afraid Cicely."-Page 181.
"QUITE UNEXPECTED," "A GOLDEN AGE," "PINAFORE DAYS,"
"GEOFF AND JIM," ETC.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY GORDON BROWNE, R.I.
WELLS GARDNER, DARTON & CO.
3, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E.C.
AND 44, VICTORIA STREET, S.W.
IN THE SCHOOLROOM
SPICK AND SPAN
A FRIGHT AND A FROCK
DUKE KEEPS SILENCE
A BLOCK FOR CICELY
SOME OF JANE'S OPINIONS
FACE TO FACE
MRS. DUNCAN EXPLAINS
DUKE IN DIFFICULTIES
XXIV. FROM BAD TO WORSE 159
XXV. AT LAST 167
XXVI. JUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED 179
XXVII. TEMPER AND GUNPOWDER 189
XXVIII. "IN ALL TIME OF OUR TRIBULATION" 199
SXXIV. A CLEARER VIEW 209
XXV. IN THE END 215
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
"'There he is,' said Duke suddenly". Frontispiece
"Jane repeated to Cicely all the information" 13
In rushed five breathless and excited children 27
"It amused Lena to see her cousin's alarm" 50
"Cicely, in her fear, made a sudden pause 68
"She had to find every tool" 73
"But what became of the heiress?". .
"Hullo who is this ?" .129
"Oh, Uncle Herbert, do tell me how he is !" 139
"You shall not hurt it" 157
"Duke seized her roughly" 163
"Cicely thrust the envelope into the fire" 173
"Duke picked up the envelope Cicely had rejected" 187
"'Come at once,' he shouted" .191
"Are you tired of holding my hand ? 203
"'Pick and 'Pan will tell you somefin" 221
" ARE you tired, Grandpapa ?"
"Does your head ache ?"
"Yes, dear. I am 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 ?"
"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
'Saturday,' as if there were not fifty-two Wednesdays and
Saturday in a year. Have you written it ? "
"Then begin: Dear Sir,-May I take the liberty of
asking you to come to me as 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
"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-
"Oh is that my Uncle Herbert?" asked Cicely,
looking up ; "then I shall see him at last I"
Mr. Lorton glanced across at his grand-daughter, and
nodding his head sadly (so Cicely fancied) echoed hei
"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."
"' I 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
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-
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
"Grandpapa has a headache," 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
"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
:ight years, ever since Cicely came from Jamaica, a little
ot of three. "You don't say so, Miss-dear me 1"
"I 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. I
wonder why he's coming."
"Well, Miss Cicely," and then Jane bent her head over
her work and shook it mysteriously, as if she really 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
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.
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
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)
"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
time 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
"Jane repeated to Cicely all the information."-Page 12.
LOOKING BACK. 15
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 children, 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,
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.
MR. LORTON is at home, sir, but he was taken very ill
in the night, and can't see any one," said the man-
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.
"I'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
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
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
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, stoo ng, kissed
her on the cheek.
"Poor child !" he said, kindly, I am so-ry 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-"
"I 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 ?"
"Oh, I can't sleep," sighed Cicely.
"Then lie down, and let me talk to you," said Mr. Duncan.
"I 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 I"
"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 gentle
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. In a
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."
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 you stay and talk to me ?
I-I have something to tell you."
The tone in which 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 I
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 youm
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
"Will you do what I ask you now, Cicely ?"
"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.
I 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,
"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
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. ft 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
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 !"
"Don't, Jane 1" cried Cicely, with almost a scream. "Oh,
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
"WELL, of all the outlandish places I" 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. Such a
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 ?"
I 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
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
"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
"I 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
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.
I am quite vexed that you should have had such a 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
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 long as she would tell hei
about her father.
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 tv'
children to be, for no one, not even their mother, wou
have known them apart had Alfred put on Alice's frock,
" In rushed five breathless and excited children."-Page 26,
1_1 ~_ __ __
NOT EXPECTED. 29
and Alice Alfred's little sailor suit. They were the fairest
of the children, for their brown hair had a 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.
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
"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 I 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
"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
"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."
VERY STRANGE. 31
"So do 1," said their mother, laughing.
So does 'Pick and 'Pan," said the two little voices
. 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-
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
"I'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
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
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 lookedin 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
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
"Mother was sure you would like a fire after your
journey," she remarked with a rather grown-up air. "We
don't often have fires in our bedrooms, except when it is
very cold inthewinter, orwe're ill; but we dress and undress
in the nursery, and say our prayers there, which is nicely
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-
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
"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 n'ind so much, but I don't think I shall be able to
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-
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
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
"Why, Yane, 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."
"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."
"I 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 being so 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
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
Shad 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. Upder the hanging lamp
stood a long 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-
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
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, her 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 annoyed 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
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
SPICK AND SPAN. 41
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 inspection, 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 Cicely, touching Alfred's
"'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."
"No," said Alfred, quickly, "we's both 'Pick and 'Pan.
We's twins. You hasn't got no twin, so you doesn't
"Well," said Cicely to herself, as she watched them on
their way, I hope it isn't very selfish, but I think I'm
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 before, and the twins were
"You needn't excite yourself," 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 !"
"I 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-"
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."
S"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 I didn't mean to make faces. Sup-
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,
"I 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
"I 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 together, and that would be better, I should
We likes it," said Alfred, smiling.
"Welly much," put in Alice.
"Well, I can't understand it I" laughed Cicely, her
sorrow partly forgotten in the presence of such a strange
"'Pick and 'Pan understandss" 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.
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
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 loved were
not to be sold as 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
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.
"I 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 I 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 :
It's this way, Miss Cicely : you see you are the daughter
of the eldest son."
"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 1"
she exclaimed at last.
" It amused Lena to see her cousin's alarm."-Page 47.
ANOTHER GRANDFATHER. 51
"Well, you needn't Miss Cic- Duncan, and I shouldn't,
if I was you. It makes it a deal pleasariter to 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
"I don't believe it," Cicely repeated; "I'll 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
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
No, thank you, dear. It is better for Lena to go."
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
"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
It ran as follows: "School breaking up. Diphtheria.
Andrew and I coming to-day.-DUKE."
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
"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."
"I 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."
"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."
"It 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."
"I'm 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
"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 I" 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- "
"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. 5,
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 a 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
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
"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
"Well, you always seem to be; besides, you always
write to him and I don't. He belongs 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."
"I shan't like that," said Cicely, at least, if he teases
"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, I think. Miss Prince says it
does us good to learn to give up to the boys."
"I thought boys always gave up to girls," said Cicely,
"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
"Will they come here soon ?" asked Cicely, nervously,
for she began to dread the arrival of these lords of
"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.
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 some 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 of
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.
"I'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. "It's a pity !"
It is, Miss Cicely, and there's no doubt the world
would be nicer place if there were no boys in it. There's
never any sense in them, and never any pleasing them,
and they never come but one wishes them gone in half a
Cicely had to laugh at this in spite of melancholy fore-
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, anc
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
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
"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."
If 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
so 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. In a 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
"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 herself
in a few minutes walking with Mysie and Duke. Andrew
and Lena were on ahead. Then Duke began to show off
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 bhs cousin's attention to
various improvements his father was intending to make
about the grounds, and also to some things which his
theirr would not do.
"I shall certainly make that arrangement when the place
comes to me," declared this young gentleman.
"When will that be?" asked Cicely, in open-eyed
Oh, not for a long time, I hope; but I mean, of course,
at my father's death. There are some meadows there that are
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 be a 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 so 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 se.ion 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."
I 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.
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
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
A FRIGHT AND A FROCK.
So now she shrank from the cows and Duke laughed at
"You must learn not to mind them, Cicely," he said
comfortably. I'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 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, and a 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
as Duke was trying to help her up. Andrew came 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 seemed 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
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, in other fear, made a sudden pause, slipped and came down."-Page 65.
'-"- ,-~r:::;.- ;-
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
It was stupid to cry," she apologised with very red
cheeks, "only you see I was so startled, and my back 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
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
not 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
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
weary of them, and very weary of the sight of the splashed
and muddy frock, as Jane held it up in various lights 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 Cicely--"
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.
"I hear you have had a fall, dear," said Mrs. Duncan
quietly, as Jane turned hastily away to hide her confusion.
I hope you are not hurt ?"
"Oh, no, Aunt Carry-at least, not much. I feel rather
stiff, that's all."
"I'm 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."
"I'm afraid I am 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.
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 carpenteredd" 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
" She had to find every tool."-Page 72.
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 I" 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.
Jt 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.
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 ovei
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 to do. She was sure it was something that he ought
not to ask, and it was such a pity I such a pity !" mourned
"He said I wasn't to tell you," said Cicely, with some
importance in her tone.
"Then it's about that field. Oh! Cicely don't go
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
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
"He hasn't told me," said Cicely, putting forward one
of Duke's own arguments.
"But you know it-I have told you."
"I don't take my orders from yoit.!" 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-
cloth and turned very red, but fortunately she was not
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
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 1"
"Where are they ?" asked Andrew, springing up.
"You won't tell Lena-or anyone ?"
"I won't tell Lena, or anyone-if I can help it."
"Oh I but promise-and I've only five minutes-I mean
"You must trust me, Mysie; I can't promise blindly."
"Oh, Andrew I"
"What is it ?"
"Well, if you tell, I'll never-never forgive. Duke and
Cicely have gone across the field-where the bull is. I
can't think how he made her do it, but they've gone, I'm
sure of it."
All right, I'll see. 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."
"What about ?"
I can't tell you."
"Then Andrew will."
"No, he won't."
Yes, he will."
"He won't; he promised."
"I'll 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.
DUKE and Cicely 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 would
sound too loud to be silenced, and then there could be no
I'm 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,
Over the stile went Cicely, for she also had looked
Sound 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
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 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.
"It's much worse if you run. He'll be after you in a
minute. Take it as coolly as I do 1"
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 help
me Oh Duke, Duke 1"
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 had
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
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
"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 torh 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
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 I it isn't that-it only hurts a little, I mean; I
twisted it the other day, and running has made it ache
"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
"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 ii
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 see it.
"You won't be very long, will you ?" faltered Cicely.
"Not a minute longer than I can help. Don't go
"Oh, no !
"I'll be quick "-and away went Andrew 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.
"It seems so cruel to leave Duke 1" said Cicely, as they
crossed the garden.
"It won't hurt him," said Andrew, shortly.
"Oh, why didn't I tell the farm-people that he was
there I" exclaimed Cicely, suddenly. I'll go back now."
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 bull 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 ?"
If 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
And in truth, here came Duke, disgust on every line of
"You might have waited to help me!" he began.
"I wanted, to, Duke ?" said Cicely, eagerly.
Andrew made no reply.
I 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 I 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 ?"
"Oh, yes; I wasn't hurt."
"Come on, then. We shall do very well, Cicely, and
no one need know unless Andrew blabs 1"
"Will he ?" whispered Cicely.
"No-never.I" replied Duke.
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
nearest her. To her surprise, he shrank and changed
"Take care-don't touch my arm, please; I-got it
"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
"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.
"It's all right, Aurit 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 ?"
"I can't tell you, Aunt Carry. Will you mind not
asking me ?"
DUKE KEEPS SILENCE. 89
"But, my dear, I mind very much, because I want to
know what you were doing. You weren't in any mis-
Andrew gave a queer little smile. "I don't think so,"
t you must tell me what it was.%
No answer came, and then Andrew stooped and kissed
"Please !" he said, softly.
"Well, dear, I must trust to you that you were doing
nothing you ought to tell us about."
"I really don't think I was doing wrong," said Andrew,
simply, and the subject dropped, as Mysie came up to say
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
But at breakfast next morning Duke's anxiety returned.
There was a cloud on his father's face, and Andrew was
late. When the boy appeared at last, he was pale and
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.
"I 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
on to him. 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
DUKE KEEPS SILENCE. 91
"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.
It 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.
"If 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*
"It wasn't Andrew's fault, Uncle Herbert; he didn't
come on his own account-he came to help me."
Y" 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"
I-I didn't know there was a bull there."
"Were you alone ?"
Would Duke speak now ? No, he kept silence, and
Cicely faltered, "I was alone then."
"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 ?"
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
"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-
Even now I don't understand what Duke was doing,"
said his 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
Every one was exceedingly kind to her. Mrs. Duncan
said her lessons should be excused that morning as hei
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
I call it cowardly-worse than being afraid of cows-and
you may tell him I said so, if you like."
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 in a 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
story-telling-doesn't it? I mean it makes them think
you've done things when you haven't-and I don't believe
Andrew moved restlessly on his sofa, but made no
"You understand what I mean, don't you ?" she asked.
"Yes, I suppose I do."
"Well then-- ?"
Oh, I've thought of all that before-often," answered
Andrew. I dare say it-isn't right, but I can't help it."
"How do you mean ?"
I'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."
Isn'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 punishmerdt.
They aren't very bad things-nothing worse fhan 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
"I should have thought he'd have been ashamed -I
should i" declared Cicely.
"All his people are so proud of him," said Andrew,
sadly; "it would be such a shock if they found it
"But they must some day," said Cicely gravely "and I
feel as if it would be all the worse later, when nothing
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."
"I can't think of anything else. Lcan 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 ?"
I 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."
"Is he ? My father was a captain. You know that Mr.
Duncan is my grandfather too ?"
"Oh, yes, I remember 1" 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
"I'm 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.
I 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- "
"I 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
"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 declared 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. Jelliepot's part. Jane
,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
"But how can I ?" asked Cicely.
I'm sure I doni'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
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.