he thought necessary for the children, and | then start again on the road by Launceston to Exeter, driving young cattle before him. He was now eager to be gone. Not that he desired to be away from his family, but that his ambition was fired. He was resolved at no very distant date to secure Summerleaze, and build thereon the house which he had seen in a dream, and which he had declared to Tregurtha he intended to build. How many times had wild ambitions and vague aspirations rushed through his head, and found expression on his lips, and nothing had come of them! One night a dream had passed before his sleeping eyes, a jumble of impossibilities, it might be thought, and now that dream promised to realize itself.

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Throughout the week he was at home, Richard was silent concerning one matter. He was ready to talk to his little ones about what he had seen concerning the children of Mrs. Stokes, the whirligig he had come across at Okehampton, and the grand cathedral at Exeter, and the piebald horses of a circus that had passed him on the road, and the militia reviewed at Wells, and the hot springs with foul smell at Bath; and he had told his mother of his difficulties and of his successes, of his mistakes and of his gained experiences, of his prospects for the future, of the certainty of his insuring a small fortune; but he said not a word about the discovery he had made at Bewdley. Nevertheless, that discovery troubled his mind and kept him wakeful at night. It was a discovery that perplexed him beyond power of setting to rights. Why was Josephine in service? If in service, how came she to be singing and playing in the drawing-room that night? He knew so much of the ways of good houses as this, that a lady's maid is not expected to sit down to the piano in the room with her mistress. He also knew so much of Josephine as this, that for her to associate with such creatures as Mr. Polkinghorn would be unendurable. He thought of his own Polly; perhaps the maids at Bewdley were like her. Polly was a good girl, fond of work, and fond also of finery when she could get it. Polly had not been blessed by heaven with much mind, and what little mind she had was uncultivated. She could read, but read only trash-police intelligence and novels. She could write, but not spell. She could talk, but not of anything beyond village gossip. Could Josephine have borne the daily society of VOL. LX. 3091


Polly, could she breathe in such an atmosphere of vulgar interests?

Either Josephine was very much other than what he had supposed, or she was now completely out of her proper element, and suffering accordingly. It was possible that her pride, her headlong self-will, coupled with pride, had made her throw up all the advantages she had got by the will of Gabriel Gotham. Richard recollected now that she had told him her mother's fortune, which ought to have come to her, had been mismanaged and lost. It was by no means impossible that Mr. Cornellis, for whom Richard entertained the greatest aversion, might have met with a reverse and be ruined. Then, how was it that Josephine, being so close a friend of the Sellwoods, was allowed by them to drop into a menial situation? They were well off, always ready to do what was kind, and be helpful to those in distress. Yet it was the Sellwoods who, according to Mr. Polkinghorn, had recommended Josephine to her present place.

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"I wish I could have seen her," mused Richard. "It would be painful to me. but for all that, I wish I had seen her; and when I go back again to Bewdley, I must try to see her without letting her see me. I'd like to know how she bears the change. I'd like to see how she looks as a servant." He laughed. "And to be considered a low lot!"

Dicky Cable did not go near Bath on his second expedition; he went into an other part of Somerset. He was away for some time. After this, he was able to stand unsupported by Jacob Corye. He became a cattle-jobber on his own bottom; but he always dealt for Corye whilst dealing for himself, and to Corye he always gave double profits, for it was the landlord of the Magpie who had put the plum into his mouth. He began to turn over money very fast. He had a good deal of expense on his journeys; he had to lodge himself and his horse, and feed his young stock, and give skimmed milk to his calves; and the railway carriage ran away with money; and the seven little mouths at home cost more every day, for appetites grew with their bodies, and their clothing and shoeing cost more also. Nevertheless, Cable put away money.

But we are looking too far ahead. He had not started on his own foundation when Christmas came; he did so with the New Year.

The opinions of the St. Kerian people underwent a change respecting him.

Some were glad at the improvement in his circumstances; but others begrudged it. Most wondered that he should have done what was now obvious to all; they were uneasy at his having got his feet on Luck's road, when there were so many worthier men, such as themselves, who wandered in Poverty Lane. Now, those who formerly had not noticed him, nodded when he passed; and those who in former days had nodded, shook hands; and those who had in the time when he broke stones shaken hands, now asked him to lend them money, which was the greatest mark of esteem they could show him. The St. Kerian folk were in that transition mood in which it would take very little on his part to bring them into the most cordial relation. ship, and make them forget that on one side he was not a true-blooded Cornish man. The women were specially disposed in his favor, because he had proved himself so tender and true a father to his orphan girls; and some were most especially so disposed because they considered him to be a widower. But Richard Cable took no notice of the revolution. He called at none of the houses of the villagers; he scarcely spoke to those whom he passed; he returned their salutations without cordiality; and he never went to the public-house, which was the more to be marvelled at, because, whilst from home, he lived entirely in taverns. Perhaps that was why he cared for none when at St. Kerian, and spent all his available time in his cob cottage among his seven little maids.

Christmas came the second since Richard Cable and his family had been at St. Kerian. The first saw him in great poverty, without prospect of betterment; the second shone on him with a future opening before him; but it did not find him, for all that, with a more softened and Christmas-like spirit. He arrived at home on the eve.

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Over the great fire that burned on what is locally termed the "heath-grate hung a caldron, in which was boiling the plumpudding for the morrow. Cable sat in the armchair by the fire, with little Bessie on one knee, and Susie on the other, with Lettice standing in the chair behind him, scrambling up his back, and the four other children sitting on their stools in a semicircle round the fire. They were in neat stuff frocks, with clean white pinafores over them. The father was full of joy and fun, when a tap came at the door, and some neighbors entered to congratulate him on his return and to hear the news.

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They stood before the fire, thrusting the little girls aside, talking, asking questions, hinting pretty broadly their desire to know how his affairs went well-intentioned visitors, with kindly-meant inquiries, but vexing to Cable, who did not care to be disturbed. He answered shortly, with gravity; he showed no pleasure at the visit; he put aside their questions unanswered. He did not ask the intruders to be seated and take a pipe; so that, after a few minutes, somewhat disconcerted, they retired. An opportunity for conciliation had been offered, and rejected.

Richard Cable had never cared for the society of his fellow-men, even in the old days, but then he had not shunned it. Now that he had entered on a business which took him among men, he valued his privacy more than formerly. He was not at home for very long, and whilst there, he desired to be left alone with his precious ones. The St. Kerian people were not travellers; they remained stationary where their fathers had stood, and their grandfathers before them. Richard Cable had become a rolling stone, after having fallen among them with every promise of becoming a fixture. The proverb says that a rolling stone gathers no moss; but the St. Kerian stones collected very little, and Cable at every roll came back with the gold moss clinging to him. A rolling stone he was, stony to all he encountered, hard, unyielding; but with his centre of gravity never displaced, always drawing him towards the cob cottage; and when he was there, there was nothing stony about him, there he was soft, soft as moss.

Scarce had the visitors gone, when another rap came at the door, and before he had called to enter, the door flew open, and in danced several mummers. St. George, with a tin pot and a cock's feather for helmet and plume, and a fishpan lid for shield, and a red shawl for mantle; the dragon of pasteboard, overlaid with tinfoil. King Herod with a gold-paper crown and corked moustache and beard. Beelzebub with a black sweep's suit, and complexion to match. Some of the smallest of the children began to cry- Bessie and Susie, who were on his knees; Lettice stood behind him, peering over his shoulder, feeling herself safe behind such a bulwark; but the others laughed, jumped about like kids, and clapped their hands. Cable would have driven the mummers out; he threatened them; but Mary and Martha interposed and entreated him to let them see the show. Then ensued the

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old-fashioned masque of St. George and the Dragon, in doggerel rhyme. The mummers were all boys, and they had learned the traditional play by heart. They recited their parts without much animation and action, as though saying their collects in Sunday school. It was dull fun to Cable; but it delighted the little maidens, their delight reaching its climax when Mary cried out: "Oh! I know who St. George is! You are Walter Penrose." Thereat St. George interrupted the performance to pull a huge, red-streaked apple, a quarendon, out of his trousers pocket, and present it to Mary with a bow and a laugh: “And this is St. George's Christmas present to little Mary Cable."

Then the demon brandished his club, made of sacking, enclosing hay, and, banging the performers with it right and left, shouted at the top of his voice:

Up and cometh Beelzebub,
And knocketh them all down with his club.

Whereupon the mummers danced out of the door. Then Richard Cable stood up, put down Bessie and Susie, shook off Lettice, and went to the door and put the bolt across it and turned the lock.

"O father!" cried Mary, "wasn't that kind of Walter? He is so good! He always gives me sugarplums whenever I see him."

"My dear Mary," said her father, "I object to you receiving any presents from any St. Kerian people. Walter Is

he the blacksmith's son? Well, the time will come when you will hold up your head too high to take apples from and play with the sons of common village blacksmiths. Throw that apple away!" "O father!" cried all the little girls together.

"Don't say that," pleaded Mary. "Take out your knife, father, and cut the apple into seven."

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Joyful, all ye nations rise,

Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."

"My children sing better than the trained choristers outside," said Cable to himself. He sat motionless, though the carollers waited without for their Christmas greeting. They did not get it. The rolling stone was stone indeed; and the more it rolled, and the more the prospect of gathering gold moss opened before it, the more flinty it became.

Then the choir went away; and the hushed children and their silent father heard the singers carolling before another house half a mile away. The music came to them faint and sad. There was no peace, no mercy mild and reconciliation in the heart of Richard Cable that Christmas eve.



JOSEPHINE'S position in Bewdley Manor had gone through a change, a change advantageous in one way, but bringing with it great vexations.

Miss Otterbourne was a small old lady, of delicate bones and mind, of small ideas and petty interests. She lived in her great house without a companion, made calls in her grand carriage when the coachman allowed her to use the fat horses, pottered in her conservatories about her flowers, and picked them only when suffered to do so by the head gardener. She kept a great many servants, and was badly served by them. She spent a great deal of money, and had little pleasure out of it. Josephine was shocked to see how the old lady was pillaged by all her attendants. She kept cows, and bought her butter; poultry, and purchased her eggs; had gamekeepers, but ate very little game. Her pheasants cost her about their weight in silver. She grew grapes and apricots and nectarines and peaches, which the gardener sold in Bath, and put the money into his own pocket. Her porcelain was

butler, took his tone, and behaved to Josephine with insolence, at least in his pres. ence. Yet, behind his back, they were ready to speak to her with kindness and show her little attentions. They let her understand that they groaned under his tyranny, but were too timorous to revolt. The house was, moreover, too good to be left, except for some extraordinary chance of betterment; and servants who came there well-intentioned, gradually swal lowed their scruples and sank to the general level.

broken, and had to be replaced inces- one capacity or another, he was the most santly, because the china shopkeeper respectable; but the old butler, Vickary, tipped the breakers for every breakage. on whom Miss Otterbourne chiefly relied Every tradesman who attended the house as a trusty servant who had the interests put money into the servants' pockets, on of the family at heart, was a prime source the understanding that they made work of evil in the place. Josephine made him for artisans there. Every shopkeeper keep his distance. She behaved towards who dealt with the house gave a percent-him with such proud reserve and scarce age to the servants to encourage waste. veiled abhorrence, that he scowled at her Coal-wagons were incessantly bringing and prophesied her speedy dismissal. their loads to the house, which apparently The other servants, all cringing to the consumed as much as a glass-furnace; but the coal-cellar door was left always open for all the cottagers to supply themselves from it, and a sack was deposited every turn of the wagon at the gardener's, or the gamekeeper's, or at the lodge, or at the coachman's, or at the house of the mother of the boy who cleaned the knives. The gardener was annually carrying off prizes at flower-shows; but the greenhouses were never properly stocked, and fresh supplies, enough to fill every stage, had to be ordered from the nurserymen every autumn and spring. Fifteen hogsheads of ale were got rid of in that house in the twelve months by a household of teetotalers; the wine-cellar needed the laying-down of expensive wines every year, although Miss Otterbourne no longer gave dinner-parties. A milliner and her assistant from Bath were engaged in Bewdley House half their time, yet Miss Otterbourne had only two new gowns in the year. Bewick's "British Birds" and "Fishes" and "Quadrupeds" deserted the shelves of the library, as if they were leaving the ark of Noah, and turned up in a second-hand bookseller's at Bath. Valuable pieces of old Worcester china, fine Chelsea figures, unaccountably got mislaid; but certain dealers in London would have been happy to sell them back to the good lady.

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"My servants," said Miss Otterbourne, are perfectly trusty. I have left my purse about; I have allowed coppers to remain on my chimney-piece, and I have never lost a farthing.'

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It is a curious fact that the conscience of many domestic servants draws a line at money. It is most rare to find one who will purloin a coin; but beyond that line, in far too many cases, all scruple ceases. Josephine soon discovered how her mistress was being plundered. The housekeeper winked at the petty robberies; she shut her eyes to a good deal more that filled Josephine with horror and disgust. John Thomas Polkinghorn was vain and foolish, but he was not vicious. Among the many men attached to the house in

That Josephine was not more with them was due to the forethought of Mrs. Sellwood, who wrote confidentially to her sister to tell her that Josephine had known better days, was well educated, and by birth a lady, forced by circumstances she was not at liberty to disclose, to go into menial service. Miss Otterbourne was the kindest-hearted of old maids, a generally kind-hearted race, but she was weak. She had fallen a prey to several unscrupulous ladies' maids in succession. Girls well recommended had come to her, and the general bad tone of the house had lowered them; she herself had contributed to their deterioration by ill-judged kindness, by making of them confidants, and almost friends. She had trusted them, when they were neither by education nor character worthy to be trusted. They had abused her kindness. One after another had taken to drink. Miss Otterbourne would not believe it; she supposed poor Jane or Marianne or Emily was subject to fits, or had a weak heart; and Mrs. Sell. wood had sometimes to come down from Essex to rout a disagreeable and disreputable companion from her sister's house. The old lady, perhaps feeling her loneliness, and with her heart craving for love, was so liable to fall under the dominion of her servants, that Mrs. Sellwood was glad to be able to assist Josephine and her own sister at once, to put the former with one who would be kind to her, and to give the latter a companion who was perfectly reliable.

Miss Otterbourne at once perceived

that her new attendant was what her sis-averse from telling tales of her fellowter had described her. a lady, and with domestics. her natural kindness did what lay in her power to soften to her the hardship of her lot.

On the morning after her arrival at Bewdley, Josephine rose with a weight on her heart. She had not slept well. She was pale, and her eyes looked large and sad when she appeared before Miss Otterbourne to assist her in dressing. The old lady spoke gently to her. She told her that she had heard from Mrs. Sellwood that Josephine had met with troubles which had forced her into a situation for which she was not born, and assured her that she would be a good mistress to her, and not exact from her more than what was really needed.

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The liking which Miss Otterbourne showed for her excited the jealousy of the female servants and the suspicion of Mr. Vickary. This latter saw that he would not be able to influence Josephine and get her under his power. He was irritated at the contempt she showed him, and aware that she saw through and mistrusted him. He also saw that she was acquiring a preponderating influence over the mistress, which threatened his supremacy.

Josephine had more to think about than her own past troubles; but, unfortunately, those concerns which now occupied her thoughts were in themselves troubles. She missed her old freedom; she was shy My servants are all so honest and so of asking a favor of Miss Otterbourne, or respectable, and so devoted to me, that I she would have entreated to be given a am sure you will like them. They never bedroom to herself. The old lady did not give me any trouble, and set a good ex- know that she had not one; the domestic ample to the entire parish. But as you arrangements were left to the housekeeper, belong by birth to a superior class, you and those maids were given separate will not mix with them much. I shall ex-rooms who stood highest in her favor. pect you to be chiefly about my person, and when not engaged in dressing me, to attend to my wardrobe. I should be glad if you could read to me in the evenings. I cannot use my eyes by lamplight, at least not much; and the evenings are tedious to me. I play patience, but one tires in time even of patience."

Later on, Miss Otterbourne made overtures to get into Josephine's confidence, but without avail. Josephine's secret was not one she cared to share. She soon fell into her work; it was not difficult, and the old lady was not exacting. She felt how considerate towards her Miss Otterbourne was, and she was grateful for it, but not inclined to open her heart to her. Miss Otterbourne was not one who could understand her course of conduct or appreciate her motives.

The monotonous life that Josephine was now leading, the constant restraint, the necessity for reserve, the tediousness of listening to the weak talk of the old lady, and the repugnance she felt for the society of her fellow-servants, were almost more than Josephine could bear, and only her strong resolution to go through with what she had undertaken kept her at Bewdley. As she began to see how completely Miss Otterbourne was deceived in her servants, how she was cheated, and what a demoralizing influence in the place the trusty butler was, she became uneasy in mind; she did not like to allow her mistress to continue in her delusion, and yet she was

At night, Josephine hardly enjoyed refreshing sleep; she was not so much tired out with her work as fagged; her nerves were overwrought, not her muscles. What would she not now have given for a row on the sea or a stroll by herself in the garden! Sometimes the oppressiveness of her life threatened to drive her mad, and she made efforts to think of the sea, the gulls, the passing ships, to give breath and space to her mind, that was becoming cramped in Bewdley life.

While she read in the evenings to Miss Otterbourne, her mind was absent, for the books which the old lady selected were uninteresting to Josephine. She, like Aunt Judith, was a veal-eater, and must have her mental diet devoid of the blood of ideas and the firmness of intellectual growth. Josephine had been so independent hitherto, that the constraint of hav ing in all things to submit to the will of another, to hear ineptitudes without reply. ing, to go through a mechanical round of duties that led to nothing, were an especial trial to her. But she had the clear sense to see that it was a schooling she needed; she was learning self-restraint.

One evening the old lady was tired of the reading, did not care for patience, and, as she had a little of the fretfulness induced by nettle rash still about her, she began to grumble at never being able to hear a bit of music. With diffidence, and yet eagerness, Josephine volunteered to play and sing. She was diffident, because

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