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"That means, that you want to drive; eh,
Dooley?" said Miss Charlewood.

"'Es," answered Dooley, honestly.

"Oh, pray be careful; don't give him the
reins!" cried his mother.

"Never fear, Mrs. Saxelby. Dooley shall
stand here at my knee, and he shall hold one bit
of the reins, and I'll hold the other, and we'll
drive together. So."

This arrangement, though not quite up to the
height of that ideal happiness, driving the
ponies "all by himself," was yet very delightful
to Dooley, who wisely made the best of the

"You can understand, Mrs. Saxelby, that
mamma has been a good deal occupied, when I
tell you that, besides Mr. Dawson, we have
had his mother and cousin staying at the manor
for the last fortnight."


Yes; and we have had to go about with
them a good deal. The cousin, Miss O'Brien,
is a great horsewomanlike most Irishwomen,
I believeand Clem has been her cavalier, and
shown her the neighbourhood."


Mrs. Saxelby's voice was the least bit
constrained, and she drew her shawl round her
shoulders with a suppressed sigh.

"You're not cold, Mrs. Saxelby?"

"No, not cold. But I believe there is a touch
of east in the wind; and a cloud passed across
the sun; andandit is not quite as pleasant
as it was."

"We will turn and take the Higsworth Park
road home, if you like. Steady, Jill, steady, pet;
that's it, go along, beauties."

"Do 'long, booties!" echoed Dooley.

"What was I saying? Oh yes. About Miss
O'Brien. She is charmed with the rides and
drives about here; and she told me, with her
piquant little taste of a brogue, that she was
quite astonished to find anything fresh and
green within twenty miles of Hammerham; for
that she had imagined it to be darkened with
a perpetual cloud of smoke, and surrounded by
a sort of wizard's circle of cinders for miles and

"Is sheI supposeshe is handsome?"

"She is an exceedingly fine girl, and better
than handsome. I think she has the brightest
and most expressive face I ever saw, and she is
as clever as she can be. I wish her cousin
Malachi had half her brains! Clement is delighted
to find that she will listen to his holding forth
on his pet hobbyGandry and Charlewood, and
all their wonderful enterprises in the four quarters
of the globefor any length of time. And
what's more, she remembers what he tells her.
She astonished papa at dinner yesterday, by
correcting him about the number of miles
already laid down, of the new South American

"She must be very clever," said Mrs. Saxelby,

"She is. She really is. But, entre nous,
I'm not sure that her memory would have been
quite so accurate, if the information had been
imparted by papa instead of Clem. However,
that's no business of ours, is it?"

"Oh no," rejoined Mrs. Saxelby, in a queer
little voice that didn't seem to belong to her;
and then she relapsed into a silence that was
unbroken by either until they came within sight
of the widow's cottage at Hazlehurst.

"Dere's Mr. Tarlewood!" shouted Dooley.
"Mr. Tarlewood, I've been diving!"

"You'll dive again, head-foremost out of
the carriage, if you don't keep still, Dooley,"
said Penelope. "Now, see here. For just
this last little bit, I'll give you the reins into
your own hands, all by yourself. Hold them
very steady. Now, bring us up to the gate in

Clement Charlewood was waiting at the little
garden gate, and came forward to help his sister
and Mrs. Saxelby out of the carriage.

"I hope you have had a pleasant drive, Mrs.
Saxelby," said Clement.

He had lifted out Dooley in his arms, and
was stroking the little fellow's curls from his
forehead as he held him. Something came up
into Mrs. Saxelby's throat and gave her a
choking sensation that made her eyes fill with

"Thank you; a charming drive. II hear
dear me, I don't know what this can be in
my throatI hear that I have to congratulate

"Thank you. Yes, we are to lose her very
soon; but my mother will have her comparatively
near at hand, after all. It is scarcely like
a separation."

"Mrs. Charlewood is fortunate. I have to
be parted from my Mabel, and without the
comfort of confiding her to a husband's protecting

Mrs. Saxelby let her tears brim over and run
down her cheeks, without saying anything more
of the choking sensation in her throat.

Dooley struggled down out of Clement's
arms, and, running to his mother, took her

"Tibby will tum back, mamma," said he,
manfully. "I soor s'e will tum back. 'Cos Tibby said so."

"Good-bye, Mrs. Saxelby," said Penelope.
"I won't get out, thank you; we must be
driving homewards. If you'll let me, I will
come again before long, and give Dooley another
lesson in driving."

Penelope did not appear to see Mrs. Saxelby's
tears. She never required any softness of
sympathy from others, and never expressed any to
others. But perhaps her feigned unconsciousness
was real kindness.

The widow stood inside the garden gate and
watched the vehicle as it rolled swiftly away
along the level road. Then she went into her
little sitting-roomwhich somehow looked very
poor and threadbare to her eyes under the
bright sunlightand, taking Dooley on her
knee, held the child's soft cheek to her breast,
and cried until his yellow curls were all wet