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ner of their child's return to There is nothing more to be them, was not very unnatural, done that I can see,” Connie perhaps. Certainly it seemed remarked. to me one of the occasions on “Would it relieve Mrs Trent's which silence is particularly mind," Tom inquired, “if you golden; but it didn't seem put it to her that no matter 80 to Hilda.

how firmly poor Harding reOur views on most subjects fuses the money now, his daughdiverged, and we were used to ter, under the guidance of her that. But I was really sorry highly practical mother, is to see her so extremely worried pretty sure to put in a sucover this refusal of David's cessful claim for a large amount legacy to the child. I wished by the time she is twentyshe would talk to some sensible one ?" person about it, like Connie I believe Mr Hunter told Winder, who might have per- Hilda something of that kind, suaded her that it was not a and I should think it was desperate tragedy-yet. But highly likely to happen. But she had given up going to no event at such a distance of Winderleigh, and I had to go time can be made clear or conby myself.

soling to Hilda. She lives One very pleasant morning, entirely in the present, and her on a non-hunting day, Connie violent dislike for Patsy comand I and Tom Milbanke had plicates her feelings in a hopebeen practising strokes on the less way." golf course, and I lunched with “ Is it true that the child them afterwards. It was cheer- set the house on fire, and then ful in Connie's little morning. hid herself purposely away!

upstairs, where we Connie asked. smoked cigarettes after lunch, "No, quite untrue. But the and I always felt at home with servants got up that story, for that pair. I was in a mood they all disliked her. Simpson to talk, and the fact is you told me the real facts, that the can't get much help from people fire was caused by candles left unless they understand the burning too near to some light situation. So I let them under muslin curtains which must stand it quite clearly. I really have blown into the ilame and wasn't giving Hilda away, for blazed up. But as for Patsy, what they had heard from she wasn't hiding at all. She outside put her in a much had gone to save her donkey, worse light than what I told which wasn't in the smallest them.

danger, and Bill Gresham found “It seems to me that Mr her trying to drag it out of Trent was quite right in leav- the stable." ing that provision for the child “Just what the boys would he had adopted, and it seems have done! Dear little girl ! ” to me that her father was said Connie warmly. equally right in refusing it. “I found her a trial to live

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with, that dear little girl," I may mean, and that it can't admitted.

be done by writing.” “Oh, she's the daughter of Very true," said Tom a half-breed, I'm practically judicially. certain," Tom declared. “See ‘But I don't see how it can her riding, with her ankles be done at all," Connie objected, working, and heels kicking all wrinkling her brows. the time, exactly the way a “Nor do I. And I'm sure Red Indian rides. And then that the sooner the whole unthe dark immovable face of fortunate business is buried the creatureoh, I made up and forgotten, the better it my mind about her that day would be for the peace of the the children were all riding world," I agreed. “But you donkey-races over at the Red can't control emotional people House. Do you remember, with argument. So I suppose Joey, I told you then ?" it will end in my going along

“Yes, I remember, but it with her." makes no difference now. Now What a rotten idea!” and that she has gone, I mean. “Perfectly right too!” said At the time it rather amused Tom and Connie in the same me to think there was Red breath. Indian blood in her veins, and At this point the two boys to watch her queer ways, 80 burst in upon us, to inform cold and suspicious. She was their mother that she had forespecially suspicious of Hilda, gotten her promise to exercise because Hilda was most affec- King Cole after lunch, and to tionate to her.”

take them along with her on “A weakness that she seems their donkeys, Punch and Judy. to have overcome,” Connie ob- Connie rose obediently; she served drily. “I'm sorry for was a perfect slave to Bertie the child.”

and Ted. But Tom Milbanke I did not tell them that it sat on, and steadily assailed was David's being 80 sorry me with arguments, as he called for the child ” that had turned them, against the rotten idea. Hilda utterly against her. I “I thought you were going didn't want to repel Connie to hunt, and I was on the from Hilda, and Connie was point of buying that grey cob rather lofty-minded.

of Joan Oliphant's for you. “Well, the upshot of it all He's too small for her, but he's is,” I said, “that now Hilda well up to your weight, and a declares she is bound to go to perfect fencer. Joan said you Canada herself, see these in- had better have a day on him jured parents, and soothe their to try how you liked him. feelings. Well, no! To be Quite sensible of her; and exact, it wasn't their feelings there's a Meet on Tuesday at that she dwelt on particularly, Hinton Cross." but she declares she is bound I didn't refuse to try the to justify herself, whatever that grey cob; in fact, I wanted him, and the more I thought David, to get a word from him. of hunting the less attractive This I continued to do for a seemed the prospect of Canada, whole hour, and there was all snowy, and savage, and absolutely no response. At solitary.

the end of the hour I knew That evening I got Hilda to that I was alone in the room, sit downstairs with me after quite alone. Well, I was satisdinner. We sat in David's fied. I have never had the smoking-room, and it was a smallest belief in the survival great step for her; to believe of what people choose to call that she could even enter the their souls after death. And place seemed impossible to her this experiment was enough for a week before. I took care to me; it only left me very tired have her patience cards at and rather cold, though I was hand, and she played her inter- sitting on the rug close to the minable games quite steadily, fire. without talking.

Simpson came in to put out When she had gone upstairs, the lights, and drew back when I moved David's chair back he saw me. to its accustomed place near "I thought you had gone upthe fire. Then I sat down on stairs, Miss Josephine," he said. the hearth-rug, as I had often I got up to go, and moved sat with him, and tried to to the door. He crossed the think him back into his chair room to the fireplace, then there, and tried to see his face. Staggered backwards, and put The room was very still, there out his hands in terror before was only a little ticking noise David's chair. from the fire, and I concen- Sir! Sir !he whispered trated all the will-power I hoarsely, "are you there?possessed on wishing to see Then he fled.

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Though we did not succeed in Meantime I bought the grey defeating Hilda's Canadian pro- cob from Joan Oliphant, and ject, we succeeded in delaying it. another hunter, a bay mare,

In this I had the effectual which cost just double the assistance of Nurse Evans, who price of the cob; but, then, seemed to be intimately ac- she was very well-bred and quainted with the rigours of well-mannered, and I did not the Canadian climate, and much find out till afterwards that alarmed for their possible effect she was a slight-a very slight on Hilda's health. So we put -whistler. It never stopped off from week to week making her, and I had great fun with any final decision about the those two horses. Sir Hugh date of departure, but I took Winder was M.F.H., and it was care not to oppose it too a small friendly sort of Hunt, obstinately.

not ambitious of notoriety, but ever 80 keen on the sport. and no one can do it better," The hounds hunted twice a I said. “It's a lucky thing it week, and three times every happened just when the frost other week.

came. How long do you supI only missed two days from pose this will hold 9" January to the end of Feb- “Oh, three days, as it's ruary, thanks to the excellent February. But why do you care that Dick Hall took of pretend to be heartless to my horses. He was an old animals and children ? It's groom of David's; and Simp- the only bit of pretence I have son, who knew his address, found in you." found him out for me. I just “ I'm not pretending, and left everything to him, for I I'm not actually heartless; only knew he was honest, and he rather hard-hearted. I don't could order all the hay and regret it at all. Most sensible oats he wanted from Hilda's people are like me; not all, of steward. Dick had his own course." notions about the feeding of “ Connie, for instance ?” he hunters, which I never inter- put in. fered with, but which Sir Hugh “ Connie has tons of sense, laughed to scorn. However, as but it absolutely forsakes her I said, if the horses are never where Bertie and Ted are consick or sorry, what more can cerned. If Connie had seen you want ?

half the things that I have I don't intend to describe seen in France, you know, the runs we had. It wasn't during those years,-she'd have a very big country, and there broken her heart. But I didn't, was rather too much woodland. and it leaves me a more useful I think hunting runs make very kind of person.” dull reading, unless you have “Oh, you're no end of use. been in them, or unless they Useful and ornamental too." have been written by a genius “What worn-out expressions like Miss Somerville. You can you employ!” easily see that she adores each I'm not original, like Bill separate horse and hound per- Gresham. Have you heard 8onally, in that curious way what he has done" that Irish people have. But “No, we never hear from I do nothing of the kind. I him. He was David's pal, but neither adore animals nor chil- not Hilda's, and I managed to dren, but I can get very good incur his august disapproval fun out of both, as I said to too. In fact, I earned it Tom Milbanke when he was thoroughly.” very much surprised at my not “ Then he must have disgoing to visit Wagtail, the grey approved with great suddencob, in the stable where he was ness. His approval was very laid up with a pretty bad cut palpable before." on his hock.

“You're mistaken, really. “Dick is looking after him, He never approved ; only took

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notice of me, and that reluc- “But why must you go, and tantly, because I insisted on it.” in the middle of the hunting? “Oh, you insisted".

Why can't you let her make a “Well, yes. It isn't amusing fool of herself in her own to be in the same house with a way?great big man who takes no “ Because I must look after notice of you. And when he's her, because there's no one else a very dignified man, you feel to go, and because David was naturally inclined to upset his awfully kind to me.” dignity, and so I did. I startled “Well, I know that, but him, in fact, considerably.” still I wish you'd startle me, And it won't be for another

month or more, as Nurse Evans “ Couldn't. You have no has convinced her that to vendignity to be upset. You’re ture into the middle of Canada just a pal of mine, and very in the month of March would useful too. But you haven't be suicidal. It is the middle, told me yet what it is that isn't it q” Bill has done?”

Quite the middle, or a bit “Oh, just turned rancher out farther. Highly temerarious in Alberta, and says he's never business, anyway. I suppose coming home no more."

Mrs Trent wouldn't consider “Alberta. That's in Cali- the rebuilding of her house fornia, isn't it?"

sufficiently important to detain Why, you cuckoo!her to look after it?"

“Oh no, of course, it's in “We've gone into all that. Calgary. I mean, Calgary is She thinks it so important the capital of Alberta. Now that she has put off everyI know, because that was where thing, except making the roof they met the Hardings for the water-tight, until after we get delivery of Patsy."

back.” “You really ought to learn “Oh well, that ought to some geography, Joey. You're hasten her return a bit. That not too old, if you begin at shows some gleams of judg. once.'

ment. But what will you do It would make me old. about your horses 9" And besides, there's no neces- Leave them to you to sell sity, for I shall know all about for me, of course." it, and more than I want to, Why, I thought you were before very long."

getting rather fond of that bay “Oh Lord ! You aren't going mare. She went like a bird to start on that crazy journey, with you last Friday." with that crazy woman, after “She is a bird, but her wind

won't be improved after a “You really ought to learn summer's grass, Tom. So there some discretion in speaking, would be very little sense in Tom. You're rather old, but keeping her. Better sell her it's never too late to mend." while I can.”

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