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“I believe I am going to drive mamma into town, sir," answered Paul.
“Oh, very well, quite right-but will Paul drive you home again, my dear ?"
· No, we shall be at home by five, earlier than he can be spared. I must send James by train to drive us back.
Mamma, I can drive you," put in Gordon indignantly.
Mrs. Wynne laughed, even her husband turned back to say, “ My dear, you will on no account let Gordon have the reins."
“Not in Marsh Lane even? It is so straight and level, the ponies will go of themselves."
“No, nowhere. He is far too young,” and Mr. Wynne was gone, little thinking what seeds of dissension he had sown.
Gordon looked terribly disappointed, and equally sulky.
“Never mind, my boy," said Mrs. Wynne cheerfully," being too young is a fault on the right side, and one that is mending every day.". "If I don't drive I sban't
at all." Certainly you will not drive, as papa has said no." “I will, mamma! It is a great shame-I can drive quite well,” pursued the boy fiercely.
“Hush, hush," answered Mrs. Wynne soothingly“ have we finished ?-Oh, I beg your pardon, Mr. Cradock, there is no hurry."
“Now, Gordon, let me bear no more about it. Papa has forbidden it, and that is quite enough.”
“Then I won't go," cried Gordon, pushing back his chair, and dashing out of the room, he slammed the door behind him.
Mrs. Wynne sighed.
The breakfast party broke up. Mrs. Wynne sent Laura, rather sharply, to put on her bonnet, and then went on to the parlour.
“ Gordon !"
Gordon sprung out of his corner, and flung his arms round her, “Mother dear, do let me !" · “No, I cannot.”
to the station last week.”
“And you nearly upset me, and papa was quite angry at my allowing it. No, I should only have let you drive in Marsh Lane, but now that is forbidden crying won't mend it, so run up and get ready.” Do
you mean you won't let me ?” “ Certainly not."
“Then I won't go, that I won't,” and he flung himself upon the floor in a passion of tears.
Mrs. Wynne knew it was useless to reason or argue with Gordon when in this state. To command ? That she could not venture. She could not risk the entry into such a struggle for mastery as she had with Paul or David when far older than Gordon, with her youngest born and best loved child. She thought herself quite sufficiently hard-hearted to leave him to go and dress herself. As it was, the little delay there had already been, made her keep the pony carriage waiting two minutes, a most unusual event: she would not offer the vacant place to one of the others, hoping to the last that he would repent. No, they were all in the pony carriage, Paul impatient to crack his whip and be off. There was no excuse for any further delay.
Henrietta ran down the flagged pathway to the iron gates swung so grandly open..
“ Yes, mamma.
“My dear,” said Mrs. Wynne, speaking low and bending over the carriage to her, “ see that Gordon is amused and happy, it is a terrible disappointment to him. Perhaps you could all walk to Fordhurst, he was wanting the other day to go nutting-in half-anhour or so.—Thank you.- Now Paul! Good-bye all.”
And so Paul drove off, not at all sorry that his youngest brother was not behind him to engross bis mother's attention, for thus he had her all to himself.
Henrietta sauntered about the garden for ten min. utes with Frank, who was bound by a ten o'clock train to spend a few days with some college friend near Chelmsford; then made a feint at a little housekeeping; next took out the dress she had worn the preceding evening to mend, but found the flounce pulled off for such a distance that she left it for Hannab after all, and finally ventured to the parlour to see what could be done with Gordon.
He was crouching in a corner of the sofa pretending to read. Mr. Cradock, a much more unwelcome sight to Henrietta, for she was always a little shy of him, was reading in good earnest at the window. She bent over the sofa.
“ Gordon !" No answer.
“ Gordon dear, we are going to Fordhurst Wood, you will come with us?”
Her accents were so pretty in their persuasiveness that Mr. Cradock could not but pause to listen.
No answer. “Do, there's a good boy; we are all going, and it will be such fun."
Gordon was silent in smouldering passion.
“Come, look up, boy, and say yes !” pursued Hetty half laughing, and trying to raise that obstinately bent head.
“Go away!" cried Gordon, not only pushing off her soft white hand, but hitting her with his own,
“You wretch, you !" cried Mr. Cradock springing forward, seizing the boy by both his arms and dragging him up, looking all the while as if he would much have preferred knocking him down; “how dare you strike your sister ? Beg her pardon this minute!"
Henrietta, between astonishment at Gordon's blow and Mr. Cradock's prompt and unexpected indigna
tion, had as yet said and done nothing.
Now one glance into her little brother's face showed her that he was astonished and awed, but none the more likely to obey this imperious command.
“ His sister has no time to wait for scenes," she said with a woman's quick tact, and forcing a laugh,
she must go and put on her bonnet,” and away she ran.
In the ball she met Barbara. “ Barbara, go to the parlour and keep the peace, Mr. Cradock must leave him alone before you,” and she ran up stairs.
But Mr. Cradock was already following her. For each step she took his long resolute legs took five; and when she dashed into her mother's sitting-room at the head of the stairs, he knocked and entered too.
“ Henrietta !”
“Go, go!" she cried, stamping her foot and struggling with her tears.
“He has not hurt you ?” he asked anxiously.
“Not me, only my feelings," she answered, trying to smile.
“I shall tell Mr. Wynne."
“You won't," and she laughed, or tried to do so, for the attempt ended in a sob.
& You are hurt."
' ; "and if I had been, your caring for it so much would have made the pain pleasure.'
“ You sweet woman !" thought Mr. Cradock. 'It was very seldom he was beguiled even into fondness of tone, now he bent down and just touched her forehead with his grave lips.
Then, Miss Wynne, I will wait for you and your sisters in the garden,” he said in his usual voice the moment afterwards, as if nothing had passed, and turned and went away. But from that moment Henrietta loved him tenfold more than she had ever done before.
But if she had not loved him with all her ready young heart six months ago, why had she engaged herself to him ? Those who know such a character as Henrietta Wynne's, will well feel how and why, though they might find it hard to describe how its good points—simplicity, trustingness, and sweet huinour,-its less favourable ones, a carelessness often bordering on audacity, and at times upon recklessness,-a heart easily touched by admiration and affection,-had combined together to let her drift into pledging herself to one so unlike herself both in tastes and dispositions. So sensible and intellectual, no wonder his devotion to so gay and idle a girl as herself both touched and delighted her; so grave and composed, that the awe in which she had ever in secret stood of him had in it a vague pleasure. True, she had once or twice seen this gravity degenerate into a sullen resentment which appalled her; and she could not but be conscious that altogether she regarded him with more fear and respect than she quite liked to be mingled with her love towards the man who would hereafter be her husband. But surely a freer love would come at the right time, if not before marriage, after it; and as to failings of temper, who was perfect? certainly not herself; and if she should have to bear with some ill-humour, he would have to bear with a great deal more carelessness and audacity.
Touched by this little mark of love as she was, and happy in each remembrance of it, she soon vexed him sorely. Barbara and Elizabeth succeeded as little as herself in inducing Gordon to join the nutting-party. Henrietta declared they were only going for bis sake, and so should not go this morning at all; perhaps after dinner he would think better of it. Mr. Cradock bad thought she was going at least as much for the pleasure of his company as for that of such a “pas