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children's minds are perverted by crimsoning checks and brow and their copy-book moralities!'

neck; and Oliver thought her lovely. Yes, but you omit the two im- She was not shy, and yet so marportant words, in time. You omit vellously prone to blush (he was the patience. We can all wish, accustomed, remember, to young but-Miss Fleming stopped, rather ladies of the world): she was digabruptly, and recollected by how nified and yet so thoroughly frank, so many hours her acquaintance with charmingly simple. He came a step Mr. Carew could be reckoned.

nearer; her eyes sank beneath his. But few have the endurance to * And who is Jane?' He felt his attain ?' he finished for her. Well, own self-possession returning fast, if I was to wish at this moment it as hers ebbed away. would be to be the possessor of this 'Jane is my friend Millicent's valley, and to spend my life in a sister. You saw Milly with me at perpetual summer morning beneath Swindon ?' its shades.'

'I did not know you remarked me • How fortunate it is for us our thero at all.' desires are not brought to pass !' * I remember you quite well. You cried Esther. "You were tired of were good enough to help me fishing in two hours, and now wish through the crowd, and when we to spend all your life beside a trout- went back to the carriage we told stream.'

Jane, who remarked—I do not liko * But not fishing.'

to say any more, Mr. Carew.' "Oh!'

Esther intended this mention of Miss Fleming grew interested in his name to put their acquaintance ferns again; Mr. Carew first looked upon the most formal and frigid into the water, and then began to footing; but, having said it, she take his rod to pieces. He was

knew in a moment that it had taken dreadfully afraid of his new ac- precisely the opposite effect, and quaintance going away, but not ex- felt rather frightened at the result. perienced enough, himself, to know I think my cousin will be waiting exactly how to set her at ease. for me, sir,' and she half turned to Would a commonplace about the go away. scenery be the right kind of thing . But you have dropped your to begin next? or, like other rustics, flower in the river. Seo, shall I get would the young person be su- it for you? premely indifferent to the things Tho damask rose, the gaudy obshe lived amongst? He remembered ject of Joan's animadversion, had her saying something about effects, fallen from her hat into the water, and heather in August, and hazarded and was eddying fast away toward it. “This is a very beautiful place, the little fall just beneath the rocks. really, for England. It reminds me ' It does not signify in the least, we of Switzerland.'

have plenty more in our garden,' Esther looked up full in his face. cried Esther. Please take no trouble · What! you have been to Switzer- about it.' land, then ?

But Oliver persevered in his at· Dozens of times.'

tempts at rescuing the flower, and * Really?

after some difficulty succeeded. 'I • Well, not quite-let mo sce, will not return it to you,' he refour, five, yes, I have been there marked. It would spoil your hat five times. I have done it tho- now.' roughly, now.'

Then throw it back into tho * How strange!' remarked Miss river, please.' Fleming, musing.

' It is a lovely colour. I remarked • What! to have been in Switz- it when I first saw you.' erland ?

• It is quite a common rose, sir, “No, I mean, I mean-that Jane not worth looking at,' and Esther must have been wrong in what she felt an odd quickening of her breath thought. And then she coloured while he examined the flower so again - an honest, ruddy colour, reverently; an emotion caused by


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shame, no doubt, over her own Nothing, I am persuaded, ripens foolish vanity in having worn it. intimacy between two young per

* I am thinking of making a col- sons, respectively aged eighteen and lection of dried plants,' went on twenty-two, more than the juxtaMr. Carew; they are interesting position necessarily caused by one memoranda of one's travels. If you of them looking over any kind of will allow me, I will keep this for book that happens to be held in the my first specimen;' and he stuck other's hand. It took Miss Fleming the rose in his button-hole. :

several minutes to inspect the difEsther's breath came faster. This ferent varieties of flies, to give man was a stranger, was half-pre- grave opinions on their merits, to sumptuous, yet she could not put admire, to detract, to advise. When him down, and, which was worse, she had finished some occult influshe could not feel displeased. He ence made her feel as though she looked so handsome standing there had known Mr. Carew half her life in audacious possession of her at least, and that it would be sheer flower; there was such thorough, affectation for her to pretend any boyish good-humour in his auda- longer that her cousin David wanted city; how could she feel dis- her to return. pleased? That it was thoroughly So when Carew asked her if they unprincipled, however, to prolong were not near the junction of the the acquaintance a single minute Lynn waters, and whether this more was beyond all question; and would be the best time in the so she made another allusion to her morning to see it to advantage, cousin, and, turning round at once, she answered, quite composedly, began to walk away.

that they were within a quarter of Mr. Carew walked beside her. 'I an hour's walk from Waters-meet, suppose your cousin would not con- and it would be very little out of her descend to impart any of his fishing way to go there before she returned knowledge to me,' he remarked, to her cousin, and, if Mr. Carew quite quictly, and as though he had pleased, she would be glad to show not for a moment imagined that him the path. 'It is not the first Miss Fleming had intended to take time I have led strangers through leave of him. It would be too the woods' (her conscience pleaded much to expect that one of the against its own misgivings). Only great high-priests would conde- last summer I showed that dear old scend to initiate a neophyte into the clergyman all the way along the mysteries of the stream.'

Valley of Rocks, and even Joan did "I am sure David would show not blame me. There can be no you his flies, sir' (she could not harm!' And as Miss Fleming's feel angry, being glad herself that mind never took into account that he had not taken her at her word): the dear old clergyman was fifty-five 'very likely you have not got the and gouty-footed and paternal, Mr. right sort. We find the fish rise Oliver Carew handsome and twentybetter to green-drakes and stone- two, and wearing a damask rose (of flies than any other at this soason hers) in his button-hole, we may of the year.'

presume that extreme simplicity 'What! you understand some of really prevented her from discerning the mysteries, then ?'

these somewhat material differences • David and I tie our flies our- in the condition of the two strangers. selves, generally. He had a pre- 'This is Waters-meet, Mr. Carew. sent of some from London once, Please don't say you are disapand they were really beautiful to pointed, even if you feel so.' look at; but the fish didn't seem to Mr. Carew was not disposed to see it, and never rose to them as be disappointed with anything that they do to the ones we copy from Esther's handsome face asked him nature. Shall I look at yours? to admire. He already thought Perhaps, like those of David's, they Lynmouth the least slow place, for are too fine for the country fish to the country, that he had ever been understand.'

in. The valley was fresher than

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Switzerland, the streams were more glossy wreaths of ivy, whose weabrown and transparent than any in ther-blanched roots are knotted in the highlands, everything was gold- fantastic distortions amidst the rifts coloured (so he-averred, and very of iron-grey stone; the masses of probably thought, in the first bran- fallen rock which lie, moss-covered new emotion of this rustic flirta- and overturned with the luxuriant tion); and in a few more moments leafage of a thousand trailing plants; Esther had quite forgotten that -reader, if you have stood on a June their acquaintance dated from yes- morning in that fairest valley in terday, and was sitting on her England, do you not remember all favourite rock, close to the water, these details of the picture? Seen with Mr. Carew leaning over her, in the cool green light of noonas he animadverted, with great that shaded and most exquisite warmth and eloquence, upon the green, deepened here and there by varied beauties of the scene.

the rich brown of hoary pine-stems, Was it not necessary for him to or broken, at rare intervals, by bend down, if he would make his quivering shafts of ruddy goldvoice heard at all above the rush was it not a dangerously lovely backof water? And had she not rested ground to a lovely face of scarce in precisely the same manner when eighteen? Do you wonder that, accompanying that dear old parson then and there, Mr. Carew thought through the Valley of the Rocks how pleasant it would be to begin last summer?

rehearsing the first act in that pleasantest drama of all our lives, that he forgot the horrible dangers which

await young lads of fortune when CHAPTER VII.

they admire anything between an

heiress and a milkmaid, and only CONCERNING FLY-FISHING.

remembered the noble lines of Falling in love, after a day's ac- Esther's glowing face, the gentle, quaintance, with a face like Esther honest eyes that looked so frankly Fleming's, is not a thing of extreme difficulty to a very young lad under Well, he had been better trained any circumstances. To Oliver Carew than to do such foolish things : he it came with remarkable facility had been duly taught how to reguupon this summer morning and late both his fancies and affections. among the dangerous loneliness of But lads of fortune will, occasionthese silent woods.

ally, have eyes of their own whereEsther had chosen her resting with to see, and, which is a vast place at the spot where the meeting deal more perilous, boyish, honest of the two moorland streams is first impulses of their own to follow. visible among the woods; a spot Oliver had tried hard, under the which, shut in amidst abrupt and family direction, to fall in love with verdured hills on all sides save that an unexceptionably plain heiress for of the waters, forms one of the most some months past, and had not succharming Ruysdael-like woodland ceeded. Without knowing one word pictures in the world. The single of Esther's family or estate, save that flash of the two streams just at the she lived at a farm and wore a shepmoment when, parted still by a herd's-plaid gown, he was ready, as ravine of foam, they break, a liquid far as inclination went, to ask her glass of delicate grey and silver- to accept him, and all he posgreen, across the bed of black pro- sessed or was heir to, at that mojecting rock; the glimpses on the ment. Oh, desperate perversion ! left of the Lynn valley, hung with Oh, headlong blindness of the masses of densely-shadowed foliage natural man! to the summit, and with only its • And so Jane thought me & topmost crags exposed to the yellow farmer's son. She must be extralight of the noonday sun; the pre- ordinarily sharp-sighted. They had cipitous granite cliff upon the right, got, as you must perceive, whole its ravine and fissures filled with cycles away from scenery and com

up to his.

monplace. What data did she go thing to hurt you, sir? Why, I upon, do you suppose ?'

have lived, myself, in a farm-house Milly's 'description of you, per- since I was four years old, and the haps. Milly laughs at my heroes- few friends and acquaintance that I mean at the heroes I like to read we have are quite plain country of-I mean,' Esther stammered fu- people like ourselves.

I only riously, 'at persons of large size mean that you look very unlike a and sunburnt complexions."

farmer's son, and I think so still, • Thank you: I quite understand but I know a farmer may be as the description Jane received. A much a gentleman as a prince, and large-sized, sunburnt person. It -Oh! Mr. Carew, I would not exactly enabled her to form a true have said anything to hurt your estimate of my calling.'

feelings for the world.' 'True?' said Esther, hastily, and Long afterwards did Oliver Carew with a quick glance at his face. remember Esther Fleming as she

Oh! I beg your pardon. I thought then looked. The expression of her Jane had been mistaken.'

eyes, lighting up with earnest kindThe visible disappointment in her ness, the trembling smile of her voice pleased Mr. Carew not a little. rich scarlet lips, even the ray of In a moment-in one of those mo- sunlight that lingered, golden, with ments, which, trivial as they seem, such vividly-bright distinctness in do so much to turn aside all the her dark hair, he remembered them after-currents of a man's life, he re- all. What he did in the present solved to play upon it. Whatever emergency was to take her hand happened--and already he scarcely and hold it for a moment in his, dared to ask himself what he de- then assure her that, so far from sired should happen-it would be feeling offended, he had never been amusing to himself to act for a time moro flattered in his life. “And I under a false character; amusing, am not a farmer, myself,' he added, some day, perhaps, to see the girl's “although most of my family have surprise when she should know the followed that occupation for generatruth, and discover with what new tions past. I am a soldier. Rather Lord of Burleigh she had had the a different craft.' presumption to fall in love. 'I Now Esther had a distinct idea really cannot see anything in the that all men in the army were profession of farming to be ashamed irresistible but unprincipled; one of,' he remarked ; 'but, of course, or two legends of Miss Millicent everyone has his own ideas upon Dashwood's supplying the first the subject of social disgrace.' clause in this belief, Joan's stories

' I see no disgrace in any employ- of her own grandfather, Garratt ment whatever. I think a farmer's Fleming, the other. But still, even must be a very happy life,' cried with the knowledge of Mr. Carew's Esther, hastily. 'If I were a man, dangerous attributes, she did not I would rather follow anything else take to immediate flight. It was so in the world than a profession that tempting here in the cool delicious should keep me chained to a shade; this stranger, whom she close London counting-house-but would certainly never see again in then

her whole life, was so unlike any• Oh! you are trying to make one she had ever talked to before; what amends you can to me-try- such an unwonted, flattering sensaing to apply what salve you can to tion of gratified vanity throbbed at my prido-you are very good. I her own heart;—and then, David thank you.'

could not want her! And so they His solemn tone made Esther talked on and on until at length a believe that she had really said sudden gleam of western sunshine something exceedingly wounding to fell broad upon the boulders at her the young man's feelings, and very feet, and then Esther, with a guilty kind and earnest did her great dark start, remembered that it was aleyes look up into his face. Surely ready afternoon. She had been you don't think that I meant any- passing hours, not minutes as they

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