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ness," Doll did not know what it was to | tainly did improve in both health and be selfish, and it made me feel a perfect brute for not having thought of going to her rescue before; but of course I was under the impression that she was enjoy. ing herself with her Ronald-boy, instead of which I saw it all pretty clearly now. He was in reality but a weak tool in the hands of her mother, who knew full well her powers, and never hesitated in the use to which she put them; while that snob Acre was being continually thrown in her way, because he had a handle to his name -and Lady Rockland would thankfully sell her daughter to any one for an extra title or two.
My work was cut out for me, and I must be up and doing. I settled to go out the following week to Biarritz, and there to await my orders from Dolly, who, in the mean time, was to beg her mother to allow her to leave Spain and to join me on my journey homewards. This request gave rise to much indignation on the part of Lady Rockland, who feigned great astonishment at Dolly's wish to leave her and her dear friend Sir Amos. Ronald, it seems, said nothing, and never appeared at the station to see her off; nor did he make any sign of disappointment, nor sorrow at her departure. This stung the poor child more than anything else, and made her even more eager to get away from Spain and back again into the quiet, homely, outdoor life she loved at home in England.
On Friday the 22nd I reached my destination at Biarritz, and next day Dolly arrived accompanied by her maid, having travelled leisurely up vid Cordova and Madrid. How overjoyed we were to see each other again! though I was shocked to mark how pale and ill my child was looking, and how changed she was in manner. All the sparkle and joy had gone from her, and she seemed to have grown quite listless and weary. Of course the journey from Seville might account for it; but I had grave fears that even when the fatigue had passed, her sunshine would
spirits, and entered into all that I sug gested with alacrity; she was much exercised and very busy when Hotspur and Holyday developed distemper, and I had an old chestnut mare called Wild Oats, whose progeny had arrived at the interesting ages of five and four respectively. These were Dolly's pet playthings, wild romps they were; the five-year-old a liver-chestnut colt called the Rake, with the best of shoulders, a back that would hoist him over a town, and a speck of wicked white in his eye. He would make her a rare hunter in time; but he took a good man to ride him in the mean time, and I sternly refused to allow Doll to do anything more dangerous than school him over the country on off days. The fouryear-old was a bright chestnut - Wild Agnes by name-long and low, and as nearly thoroughbred as makes no matter, active as a cat, sharp as a needle, and looked like winning a steeplechase. These, then, were Dolly's toys, and with them she played very contentedly, though very often I used to lose sight of her for the whole afternoon or morning, and found out afterwards that she had been sitting with some sick woman or reading to the old people in the workhouse. She was continually amongst the poor, and they all loved her, and rejoiced when she appeared, always gentle and sympathetic, like a ray of sunshine breaking through their grey and cloudy lives. She used to tell me she never felt happier than when she was doing some little act of kindness for her poorer brethren, and she could not bear people to think a woman who hunted must consequently be unthoughtful or unwomanly, and too much taken up with sport to trouble about the little works of love which are in reality a woman's greatest privilege and pleasure. And that brings back to my mind another scrap of song which Dolly used to sing me:Be good, sweet maid,
And let who will be clever;
Do noble things, not dream them all day long;
Yes, she used to make me wish I could do "noble things" when she sang that song; but truth to say, few people ever even succeed in dreaming them, I am afraid.
This life is made up of glimpses, and the few months we all spent together that winter form one of the pleasantest glimpses to which I now look back. It was an open winter, and my horses had the tact to keep
wake of the pack, happily out of the throng of thundering horsemen, who were hastily racing like a pent-up torrent into the field behind us. Away we went, in and out of the Braunston Lane, over the brow of the hill, and down the vale below into Owston big wood. I thought they were bound to hang there; but not a bit. They kept forging on with a lovely cry right through the wood and away again into the open; while we ploughed and plunged through those hopelessly deep rides, and emerged at last from out its depths on to the grass once more, and so on over the top of Whadborough Hill and down to the left towards Tilton. (I remember every field and every fence all through that run, but it would only bore you to hear all the names of all the places and coverts we either passed through or skirted.) Suffice it to say, we ran into our fox just as he was entering Cream Gorse in the Quorn country; and Doll and I were the first two up at the finish, and the master made her a pretty speech about her horsemanship, and she turned for home, looking really happy again, with all her troubles thrown to the winds - for there was no room for them on Bold Brennan's short back-and we jogged back to Palthorpe in high good-humor, talking the whole performance over together (which I always think one of the chief pleasures of hunting life).
sound. Dolly was enjoying herself, and beginning to look better and more like her old self again. She used to come out hunting three days a week; and I never enjoyed myself half so much when she was not there, for it did me good to see her pleasure, and there was not one in the crowd who could touch her. She could give the best man out two stone and a beating on Bold Brennan, the old dun horse with yellow eyes and a bobtail. Such a clinker he was of the old-fashioned stamp, with a short, round body and a fine little head. Doll looked beautiful on him, and it was a treat to see them sailing away together over that sea of grass, flitting over their fences with consummate ease and understanding. I remember one run we had, when she gave them all the go-by. It was on a Tuesday; the meet was at Brooke (with the Cottesmore), and there was a huge crowd out, as it is rather a favorite place. It was a muggy, damp morning that smelt like a hunting-day, and a delicious breath of wet dead leaves rose from the ground as we jogged up, amid cheery greetings and good-natured chaff, to draw Prior's Coppice. Doll and I always kept away from our friends while hounds were drawing, as we liked hearing what was going on- and one cannot do that with two or three hundred horsemen talking and laughing on every side. So, as was our custom, on that day we passed quietly inside the wood, and stood silently Time jogged on, too; and though Dolly waiting in the ride while Wilson drew the never used to speak about Ronald St. covert up-wind towards us. Hark! there Clair, I could not help feeling that she was was a whimper. "That's right, I'll bet." still unhappy and troubled about the inexThen came a silence; again another mu- plicable coolness which had arisen besical throat corroborated the fact that a tween them. (It is always so much more fox was on foot. "Hyke to 'im, hyke!" healthy and comfortable to have a quarrel from Joe, and a crack of his thong; then out, if there is to be a row; but defend one and another spoke to it, till all the me from the silent misunderstanding when pack joined in the glorious chorus. What both sides believe the other in the wrong, a cry! There was a rare scent in the cov- and neither can bring themselves to break ert, that was clear. "Listen! Did I hear the ice. That little rift within the lute is a holloa from the top end?" Yes, there the mischief.) She used to hear at interit was again—a ringing scream from Will vals from her mother, who wearied her at the corner, and followed by "Gone with reiterations of the prowess and !" as aay!" the hounds crashed charms of Sir Amos; but of Ronald — through the straggly fence and tumbled never a word. I once asked Dolly into the ridge-and-furrow field beyond-whether he was still at Seville; but she some driving on the line, and others scor. ing to the cry as they sped away over the grass, pointing for Owston. Meanwhile Doll and I had secured what we were scheming for -a good start; and as I stood up in my stirrups, she settled herself down into her saddle, and we both caught our horses by the head and pushed down the middle ride through the gate at the bottom, and were striding away in the
did not know, and so the subject dropped. One day, as she and I were driving to the meet at Ayston, we passed a couple of horses going on.
"Whose are those, Nunky?" asked Dolly. "I don't think I know them, and I never saw the groom out before."
"I don't know, darling," I replied. "Two of the best in England, going on for some young duffer, I expect, who
probably won't know his own horses when instinctively that this was no less a perhe sees them at the meet." For, be it son than Ronald St. Clair. So instead of said, I was very bitter in my sentiments making my advances, I turned and jogged towards the golden youth of the rising off after the hounds, deeming it better generation; soft I thought them; wanting that they should patch up old scores in in grit and backbone; discontented, unless private. I was well rewarded when shortly provided with a luncheon-basket and end-afterwards dear Doll rode up to me, her less cigars, besides a huge flask attached face lit up with joy, a changed and radiant to the saddles of both first and second being, exclaiming: horses. They have the best horses that money can buy, because they are not men enough to ride a bad one, and even then, unless the hounds run fast and the day be fine and the country perfection, it "isn't good enough." Sometimes, given all these, they will go home early because the fox didn't go in the right direction, and "no one could be expected to ride over a beastly line like that." I have no sort of patience with them nowadays.
But to return to my story. On arrival at the meet, I was busying myself with Dolly's elastics, and all the inventions and devices with which a riding-habit is cursed, and of which even the safety skirt of the present time is not altogether innocent. She had prevailed on me to let her ride the Rake to-day for a treat, as the dun horse was lame, and she was pining to have a hunt on the young one. As usual I gave in; but I felt I should not be happy until I had her safely back at home again; and so, what with seeing to her curb-chain, bit, and girths, etc., the strange horses and their master went out of my head. There were not quite so many people out that day, and we kept close up to the hounds, and left the field just behind them (by way of soothing the Rake, who plunged and fretted if he had any one between himself and the hounds), so it was not until we reached the covert-side that we looked round to see who was out. Of course my eye very soon lit on the newcomer. By Jove, I had maligned him when I made those disdainful remarks to Dolly! He looked like a workman all over, with his long, thin legs, good seat, and fine hands; a nice-looking chap, too, with quick blue eyes, and a good firm mouth. I liked him involuntarily, and was just about to go up and make his acquaintance (which mercifully is a thing one can do out hunting), when I suddenly observed Dolly turn deadly white, and look as if she were going to faint. At the same time the stranger's eyes met hers, and I saw him raise his hat to her in a courteous way (very unlike the bow of the golden youths I had been denouncing on my way to the meet). As he rode up alongside of her, it flashed across me - something told me
Oh, Nunky, I am so thankful! He didn't mean it, after all. Just fancy! mother told him I was engaged to that dreadful Sir Amos, and made him believe he was standing in my way, and behaving ungenerously! and that's why he wasn't a bit sorry when I left Spain, and never came to say good-bye. I never did feel so happy in all my life. Now it is all cleared up, and I know Ronald is the man I thought him. Nunky, dear, he asked me to prove I have forgiven him by promising, to be Mrs. Ronald. Don't you think I had better say yes?"
I think she had answered that question for herself before she ever asked it of me, for I never saw two happier-looking transformations than she and Ronald were half an hour later when hounds found their fox in Wardly Wood, and ran through Ayston Spinny on towards Manton. I was a good deal taken up watching how the Rake comported himself, for though he had been schooled over fences, and jumped like a sky-rocket, he had never seen hounds before. That he was a handful, I could see. Mad keen, as soon as he saw a fence he made up his mind to have it somehow, and as long as he got into the same field with the hounds, how he got there mattered little to him. A slashing fencer, if he would only take time; but the sight of hounds seemed to have sent him crazy. My heart was in my mouth with anxiety for Dolly's safety, but she was enjoying herself hugely, and riding the violent little brute as only one in a thousand could have handled him. We had been running pretty fast for about twenty minutes, and having turned short to the left from Manton, were now sailing along the greensward of Oakham pastures by the back of the Grange. It looked as if our fox had made his point for Ranksborough. Dolly was well up to the front, and a little to the left of the hounds, and riding her own line. We were coming to a blackish-looking bullfinch, with a ditch on the take-off side, and I noticed that all the field bore away to the right, though the hounds kept fleeting on straight ahead. Wilson, while turning, still kept his eye on the leading hounds, and in doing so he caught sight
My God! and had it come to this? Just as the cup of happiness had reached her poor little lips, must it be dashed ruthlessly away? Only that very morning had she blossomed once more into the joyous, sunny girl, through the newly found happiness of knowing her lover strong and true, and now a very few hours later she was lying hurt unto death, with no more hope of health or love or life. (No, not of love, for that we lavished on her a thousand times the more.) I asked Ronald to stay with us; poor boy! I knew he could never rest if he were not in the same house, and ever ready to do her behests, and ease her pain with his tender, loving care.
It seemed strange irony of fate that the days of Dolly's death should have been among the happiest of her life; but so it was, for she had found that which she had lost her faith in the man she loved.
of Dolores sailing behind them straight Shortly after his arrival the doctor came for the fence. He instantly halloaed to down, looking very grave. I saw at once her, "This way, miss; you can't get over by his face that there was no hope. When there!" and immediately a dozen voices I asked him he shook his head, and said raised the cry of "Hold hard! this way." "that although she might linger on for a All to no avail. The Rake was tearing time, she could never recover, for her and lunging wildly at his bridle; he would spine was injured beyond all hope. take no denial, though he was only half looking at the fence in his anxiety not to be turned away from the hounds. Dolly knew her only chance lay in sitting quite still with her hands down. She did not like the way her horse was going at the fence, and the last four strides was a wild rush with his head in the air. He took off with the wrong leg, and I heard a sounding crash as he caught his fore legs in the binder, and fell with his chest against the oaken ox-rail which stood three feet away from the fence on the landing side. That finished it, for the impetus with which he was going sent him against it with such force that he turned a complete somersault, and lay there with his head doubled under him, and a broken neck. Good heavens, what a ghastly fall! I galloped for my life to the spot where poor Dolly was lying crushed and senseless under the Rake's dead body. (A man could not have saved himself from a fall like that-how much less a woman, handicapped as she is with pommel and habit!) It makes me feel sick and giddy now when I think of it. There were many willing hands, and we extricated her at last, and got her home as well as we could in a borrowed carriage. I remember at the time wondering how it was that Ronald had not helped to get her out. When I came to think of it, I had not seen him since the beginning of the run. I found out all that two hours later, when I was standing miserably at home awaiting the doctor's verdict. Suddenly I heard a horse galloping up the gravel outside. Poor Ronald for it was he, almost speechless with apprehension - had come to find out what had happened. It appeared that he had lost a shoe early in the run, and had gone off to Oakham to get another put on. In riding across the fields that we had passed ("spooring" our foot-tracks), he came upon a small crowd of people standing round the dead body of a horse, whose crushed saddle and broken pommels told their woful tale.
With horror the poor boy recognized the Rake, and as nobody seemed able to give him any definite information as to what had happened, he turned, and putting spurs to his horse, galloped straight to my house.
Ronald and I watched over her, and hardly ever left her side during those last three months. She never complained, but said she was quite happy with me and Ronny as her nurses. We often used to have what she called "big talks," and it was then that I used to partially understand what a beautiful nature hers was, and why it was that she could impart that longing after all that is pure and good through her very voice when she sang to us; for I believe that her soul had lived in heaven all through her life, and now the time had come when she should join it there.
So she quietly passed away one twilight evening in May just thirteen years ago. She was lying on her sofa, with the cool breath of spring softly sighing through the open window, her head resting on Ronald's arm, and her dear little brown hand in mine, while the one other creature she loved best sat mournfully at her feet, waiting with wistful eyes for her to get up and take him out for a run. (Poor old Ben! he only dimly understood that those days could never come again.) We had been talking over our ideas of "life and death, and that vast forever." I remember her saying she thought our lives were partly planned for us by Providence; that when we are born we are each fitted out
For many years they prosecuted their rude trade without interference, but about the year 1660, the Spaniards (to whom the island belonged), jealous of their prosperity and increasing numbers, resolved to drive them from the island altogether. This policy turned out to be a fatal one, as it was the primary cause of the establishment of the renowned brotherhood which was probably the chief factor in depriving Spain of her valuable trade with her American colonies.
with a little map, with only big mountains | cans," hence the origin and derivation of and great rivers already marked out, while the term "Boucanier " or Buccaneer. the little hills and brooks and towns we are left to fill in for ourselves. It had never struck me before; but I think, after all, it was pretty near the mark. That evening comes back to me very distinctly. I remember, too, her saying that kindness and charity always seemed to her a better religion than only taking care to go to church on Sunday mornings, and in the afternoons setting to work to crab the complexions or the clothes of the people who occupied the pew in front; and she quoted two little lines, which have remained in my heart ever since:
THE middle of the seventeenth century witnessed the rise of one of the most remarkable communities of either ancient or modern times. We refer to the celebrated association commonly known as the Buccaneers, or, as they preferred to designate themselves, "The Brethren of the Coast." This organization, at first few in number and comparatively harmless, was destined to grow to such formidable dimensions as to prove the most persistent enemy and relentless foe which Spain then in the zenith of her power had to encounter in her struggle for the mastery of the New World.
At first the Spaniards had things pretty much their own way, and many small bodies of the hunters were waylaid and massacred. Soon, however, the Buccaneers adopted precautions for their safety, and only ventured abroad in numerous and well-armed detachments. When forced to
fight they defended themselves with such determination as to generally beat off the Spaniards, although the latter seldom risked an attack unless they were in considerably superior numbers. The Buccaneers at this time were principally Frenchmen, and their countrymen in Tortugas (a neighboring island) speedily came to their assistance. Seeing affairs becoming more serious than they had anticipated, and despairing of success by their own efforts, the Spanish authorities applied to the court of Madrid for assistance. Van Delmof, a famous officer who had acquired considerable renown in the Low Countries, was at once despatched with large reinforcements. He reached St. Domingo in 1663, and at once began hostilities. With a body of five hundred picked men he marched on Savannah, which was the headquarters of the Buccaneers. Although only numbering from a hundred to a hundred and twenty, the hunters resolved to meet him, which they did, and after a stubborn fight utterly routed the Spaniards, with the loss of Van Delmof and many of his men.
This unexpected defeat completely demoralized the Spanish authorities, and they resolved to adopt other tactics. They again recurred to their plan of only attacking small parties when they themselves were in superior numbers, and for some The original home of the Buccaneers time a war of extermination on both sides was the island of St. Domingo, in the was waged. At last the Spaniards, deWest Indies, where they pursued the spairing of ridding themselves of their peaceful avocation of hunters of the foes by fair fight, hit upon the plan of dewild cattle with which that island then priving them of their means of livelihood, abounded. The encampments or villages and organized a general hunt throughout where they smoked or otherwise prepared the island, and in course of time destroyed the meat and hides were known as " bou-nearly the whole race of wild cattle. Their