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cliff east-enders were fine scamen was ad- when the above incoherent tale of woe was mitted; but this was held to exhaust the poured into his ears, it was clearly incumbent list of their virtues. They had always been upon Monckton to set off and bring the a drunken, brawling, thriftless lot, to whom offender to a better state of mind as soon as the wise and good allowed a wide berth at might be. sea and on land (for they were both mus- The Vicar undertook the task without any cular and pugnacious); nor were they suf- misgivings as to results, and, having sent fered to haul up their boats on any part of the sorrowing wife home, betook himself to the long, curved shore, save that which ad- the beach, where Mr. Puttick was discovered joined their own quarter. However, for the hammering viciously at an overturned boat. reason parenthetically mentioned, this pro- He touched his hat and grunted on recoghibition was probably not capable of en- nising his spiritual adviser, while Monckton forcement, and if the east-end men kept seated himself upon the bottom of the boat, strictly to the strip of beach assigned to drew his knees up to his chin and, resting them, it was no doubt owing to the fact that his elbows upon them, began to talk unconthat strip enjoyed the shelter of a small cernedly about herring-driving, whence he natural breakwater, and was a safer place in gradually led up to the peculiarities of coast a spring-tide than could be found elsewhere navigation and of the currents of Kingscliff in the bay. It has already been said that Bay, upon which Puttick was an acknowJohn Monckton had managed to effect a ledged authority. great change for the better in the habits of After a time, the old man, who at first these disreputable mariners. Many of them had been silent and sullen, fell into the trap. had forsworn strong drink; a still larger He dropped his hammer, leant back against number had taken to attending church regu- the boat, folded his arms, and embarked larly; they had even, for the most part, upon a leisurely yarn which was far from given up beating their wives—a concession being new to his hearer. This related to made to the parson’s prejudices rather than the famous victory achieved by the schooneran acknowledgment of any moral obligation; yacht Bucentaur over her rival the Fredegonde for they could not but think that a little at Kingscliff regatta some years before, a viccuffing every now and then was needful and tory due wholly and solely to the exceeding salutary, and they were sure that the women acuteness of Daniel Puttick. Monckton really liked it. Yet they were willing to was told how Mr. Puttick had gone out in yield the point, because Monckton's influ- his own boat to see the race, and how the ence over them was practically unbounded. two yachts had sailed slowly past him,
Indeed, a large proportion of his rough “beatin' up for the mark-boat, as it might converts were amenable to his persuasions be a mile and a 'arf from 'ome, agin' a very and to nobody else's. There was old Daniel light easterly breeze, and the Freddygone she Puttick, for example, who would not so had all the best of it. But Lor' bless you, much as answer when the curates spoke to sir, I knowed that breeze wouldn't ’old, and him, and out of whose way Miss Kitty I seed what was comin' too, and there was Greenwood was in the habit of skipping his lordship on deck, and thinks I to myself, with terrified agility if she encountered him I could win this race for you, my lord, if on her rounds. Daniel Puttick was what I chose to it, but I ain't agoin' to.' For his friends called a “cur'ous-tempered man,” why? 'Cause he had a Plymouth pilot by which they meant that he was subject to aboard, sir. What do them Plymouth pilots fits of capricious fury, during which his hand want in our bay, I should like to know ! did not fail to fall heavily upon any member But the Blue-centre she had a mate o' mine of his family who was unlucky enough to - Willyam Lee his name was-drownded cross his path. So when Mrs. Puttick came about a twelvemonth ago, as you remember, to the Vicarage one morning, with her apron sir, Well, I just 'olds up my 'and to Wilup to her eyes, to say that. Dan had been lyam and I whistles very soft, and he seed
at it agin,” that he had flung two plates at in a moment what I meant. So he slacks out her head and shevered 'm both to hatoms, his main-sheet, and d’rectly arter there comes sir,” after which he had “locked up the gal a puff from the west'ard, and away goes the and took the key with him, so she can't get Blue-centre, and the Freddygone she never down for to do her work at Mrs. Beer's caught her agin'. 'Ah,' says I, 'that's what and this a washin' day too-and I'm afraid you gets by havin' of a Plymouth pilot, my she'll lose the place you got her, sir-and, lord. Now I could tell you another thing oh dear, oh dear! whatever shall we do!”- | about one o' them Plymouth pilots, sir, as 'd make you laugh, if it wasn't for keepin' of as it is, and upon the whole, I think they you."
act up to it better than we act up to ours. "Go on, Mr. Puttick," said Monckton, Some of them are rascals; but then so are “I'm in no hurry. Let's have the story." some of us.”
All this time poor Miss Puttick was lan- “Most of us, I expect," said Brian moguishing under lock and key, but Monckton rosely; "it seems to me only a question of knew his man and was aware that nothing inducement. Monckton, I don't feel as if I would be gained by precipitating matters. could ever believe in anybody again-except However, as it chanced, that capital story you. about the Plymouth pilot was never told, Monckton stared for a moment; then sudfor hardly had the prefatory matter been denly it flashed across his mind that Sir entered upon when Monckton felt a touch Brian had had no time to alter his will. He on his shoulder and, turning round, saw had not remembered that before. Brian Segrave standing behind him.
“My dear boy,” he exclaimed, “I hope “I want to speak to you, Monckton," you are not thinking of your father!”. Brian said ; "they told me I should find you “Of my father? Hardly! I am thinking here."
of my brother, though, which is nearly as A glance at his face showed the other that bad, perhaps. Is it, I wonder ? Can one something was seriously amiss. “One mo- help thinking one's brother a rascal, if he is ment,” he answered, and springing to his feet, one? I wouldn't call him so to anybody but he joined Mr. Puttick, who had sheered off you; but that is just what I do think him.” a little out of respect to the young squire's Monckton took the young fellow by the recent affliction.
arm, made him sit down on the overturned “She's a sarcy young hussy, that's what boat, and seated himself close beside him. she is, sir,” Brian heard the old man say “Now go on and explain yourself,” said presently," and she hadn't no call for to he; "you wouldn't speak like that without interfere with me when I was chas-tisin' of good cause, I know.” her mother. You didn't ought to take her So Brian explained himself; and when he part, sir—no, that you didn't."
had told his tale Monckton found that he But apparently Monckton's representations was in the awkward position of being quite ended by prevailing; for, after some further unable to say that he did not think Gilbert a exchange of words, Mr. Puttick was seen to rascal. Understanding perfectly well that take his way slowly up the beach in a home nothing short of that assurance would give ward direction, grumbling as he went. Brian much comfort, he did what he con
“Well, Brian," said Monckton, as he received to be the next best thing by abstainturned. Except for a moment at the funeral, ing from comment of any kind. the two men had not met since Sir Brian's “ What do you intend to do with regard death, and it seemed natural to expect that to the future ?” he asked. the younger would make some allusion to “I haven't an idea," answered Brian. "Or his loss. However, he did not do so. rather, I have an idea, only it's a vague one.
“I know that man Puttick,” he remarked Of course I'm an absolute pauper. The meditatively. “It was he who first taught Manor House is mine ; but it is worth nothing me to swim, ages ago; but I was forbidden to me as it stands, and, as you know, I can't to have any more to do with him, because sell the place. Nor could I let it without puthe was said to be such a blackguard. Cer- ting it into repair, which would cost a lot of tainly he used to be pretty constantly drunk, money. In short, it comes to this, that I must and his language was worse than anything set about making my living immediately.” that I have ever heard since. How do you “Your brother would make some provision manage to tame these people, Monckton ” for you, no doubt." “ I'm afraid I haven't tamed Mr. Puttick,"
Brian laughed. answered Monckton. “ He is a difficult "He was good enough to hint at that; but subject, not altogether a blackguard, though. I would rather sweep a crossing than take As for bad language, of course he has been his money.” accustomed to hear it and use it all his life “So I suppose. How will you earn your long, and he means no more harm by it than bread, then ?" you do when you say "God bless
soul!' “There is really only one way in which I or Confound the thing !' It isn't among can. Organists at London churches are sailors and fishermen that one finds genuine pretty well paid, aren't they ?” blackguardism. They have their code, such Monckton shook his head.
"Some of them are ; but they are more or might be made out for him. Don't quarrel less of celebrities and, at any rate, have had with him ; that's all.” great experience in managing choirs. I am
“No,” Brian answered slowly, “I shall afraid you would have to consider yourself not quarrel with him; only the sooner I get lucky with a hundred a year.”
away from Beckton the better." “But then I could give private lessons." "Well, yes ; you can't stay on there, and
“Yes ; you might do that. But even if I don't see any other chance of employment you were quite fortunate and successful, you for you at present than the one you have would be poor-very poor; and you are not chosen. Come and see me again before you accustomed to poverty, Brian.”
go. I know a lot of London parsons, and I “ I shall have to become accustomed to it. can at least put you in the way of hearing of After all, I don't know that I care very much, vacancies, if I can't do anything else. except for—for one or two reasons; and I'm The conversation did not last much longer. glad you haven't drowned my scheme in a Monckton, as usual, had work to do and apshower of cold water. I was half afraid you pointments to keep; and Brian, after taking would
say that it isn't an occupation for a leave of him, wandered in a somewhat irresogentleman."
lute fashion back towards home. He had made “No; I shouldn't say that, because I don't up his mind to depart from Kingscliff with think it; but very likely others will think as little delay as might be, and the question so and say so."
which was now agitating him was whether There was
a short pause, after which he should try to see Beatrice Huntley and Monckton resumed :
say good-bye to her or not. Every sympa“It makes me very sorry to think that I thetic soul who has ever been in love will am the cause of your being left destitute. understand his quandary. His hopes were It was I who dissuaded your father from shattered utterly and finally. If, as Gilbert tearing up his will at once. He came to had warned him, Miss Huntley had been out consult me in an impulsive way, and I dis- of his reach when he had had the prospect trust impulse; so I advised him to wait for of a fairly good position to offer her (for, a day or two."
when all was said, the Segraves were a fine My dear fellow, don't trouble your head old family and Beckton was a fine old place), about that,” answered Brian. “I suppose it it was evident that she must be doubly was fated that things should fall out like so now, and he shrank from the ordeal of this.”
explaining his circumstances to her. In Well, it was the will of God. I don't fact, he could not explain them without know whether you believe that; but if you making it appear as if either his father or do, you will find it easier to forgive your his brother had treated him with cruel brother."
harshness. Would it not, therefore, be “Because he couldn't help himself, do you better alike for his peace and for his dignity mean?"
that he should pass quietly out of her life “No; of course he could help himself, and her memory, making no sign ? But then, and we mustn't be scared by the old para- again, he longed with an intense longing dox. What I mean is that, this having to see her face just once more, and surely happened to you independently of your will he was entitled to that melancholy induland, so far as one can see, without any fault gence! It was not a very great privilege to of your own, you can accept your destiny claim. cheerfully, which is more than he will be So, being for the moment possessed of able to do. Does that strike you as very that inestimable treasure, an evenly balanced cold comfort ?"
mind, he wavered to and fro, like a Liberal“To tell you the truth, it is no comfort at Conservative or a Conservative-Liberal, now all," answered Brian candidly. “I know I walking some yards in the direction of Miss am a gentleman; I knew that beforehand. Huntley's villa, now hurriedly retracing his What exasperates me is to think that he is steps ; and what would have eventually benot. In plain words, I don't forgive him come of him it is impossible to say, had and can't forgive him."
not the knot of his difficulty been suddenly “Very well,” said Monckton; “I won't cut by the appearance of Miss Huntley herpress the point. You will forgive your self. brother in the long run just because you are It was just outside the town that they a gentleman. Meanwhile, I haven't a word met, near those fields which had so often to say on his behalf, though I know a case excited Mr. Buswell's cupidity; and after they had shaken hands, Miss Huntley leant seek his fortune ; but he did not have to back against the posts and rails that bordered cudgel his brains long, for by-and-by Miss the road, in an attitude which suggested that Huntley said hesitatinglyshe looked forward to a prolonged interview. “I have heard a rumour that everything This movement on her part did not escape has been left to your brother. Is it true ?" Brian's notice nor fail to rejoice his heart, Brian nodded. “Yes," he answered briefly, notwithstanding an embarrassment which “it is quite true.” she appeared to share in some degree. He “Oh, poor Esau! Do
my wished she would say something ; but she warning ?” did not, and it was he who at length broke “Yes, I remember; but I think it is only the silence by thanking her for a beautiful fair to my poor, dear old father to say that wreath which she had sent to be laid upon this has been in a sort of way a mistake. his father's coffin. Perhaps that was as good That is, if he had lived longer he would have a way of opening the conversation as any made a different will. This one was drawn that he could have adopted, since it relieved up hastily when he had very good reason to her of the awkwardness which most people be displeased with me." unfortunately feel in mentioning the dead, “If there has been a mistake, it can be set and enabled her to speak simply and kindly right,” said Miss Huntley quickly. of the old man whose last words had been “Oh, no; it is too late for that now," addressed to her.
answered Brian. And then, to divert her “I have thought so often since that, if we attention from a dangerous topic, he began had not lost our presence of mind, we might unfolding his plans for the future, representhave saved him," she said, "and I have ing them in as optimistic a light as he could, wondered whether you thought so too. I and declaring, truthfully enough, that the remember nothing except running away and career of a successful organist had greater hearing the crash; but one can see now how attractions for him than any other. it must have happened. Of course he could The scheme took Miss Huntley's fancy : not get up as quickly as we did, and if I had she was not, apparently, one of those who only thought of that, instead of flying like a deem the career in question unworthy of a coward
gentleman. “After all,” said she, “I am not sure you could not have saved sure that Jacob has the best of it. You will him; you would only have been killed too,” become famous now and compose oratorios interrupted Brian; “there wasn't a second and be made a baronet and all sorts of fine to spare. Besides, I suppose it was bound things, instead of vegetating down at Kingsto happen. Monckton says it was the will cliff all your days, as you had every inclinaof God."
tion to do. And then you will always have “Oh, does he?" exclaimed Miss Huntley that nice old Manor House to escape to when with an air of disappointment and disgust. you want to be rid of the world for a time. “What a stupid, commonplace speech to I think I am rather glad that you have been make! I should have expected something made the victim of this—mistake.” better than that from Mr. Monckton."
Here was a prophecy of a much more “But if that is what he believes ?" encouraging nature than Monckton's; but it “Well
, if he said it sincerely—only then he was somewhat painful to Brian, because he might as well be a Mussulman at once. And could not help perceiving its absurdity. Yet yet I don't know; possibly he is right. But perhaps it was as well that she should take I'm glad I didn't hear him say it; it sounds things in that way. He smiled; and after a so painfully like one of Clementina's remarks. while she asked him when he proposed to go Clementina can always bring a beautiful to London. spirit of resignation to bear upon the mis- “Oh, very soon," he replied ; "in a day or fortunes of her neighbours."
two, at the outside, I think. I want to get “That isn't like Monckton, at all events. away.” Whatever he may be, he is no humbug." " That is highly flattering to the friends
“No, I don't think he is ; I beg his par- whom you are so anxious to leave. Allow don. Am I not one of his disciples ?.” me to thank you in their name."
There was another interval of silence, “ It is Beckton that I am anxious to leave; during which Brian scraped the mass off the not anything or anybody else, Heaven railings with the point of his stick and won- knows !” said Brian. dered how he could best impart the informa- He spoke so seriously and the language of tion that he must go out into the world and his eyes was so plain that she became serious
also. "I see,” she said. And then, with a hardly mixes in the kind of society to which
“Really," said Miss Huntley, “I should There was no excuse for prolonging the suspect you of meaning to be insultingly interview. Brian held her hand for a moment, ironical if I didn't know that you were intook one long last look at the beautiful face capable of irony. It is quite true that I am which he hardly expected ever to see again admitted into the most distinguished circles, and, murmuring some unintelligible words, and it is not less true that my grandfather turned away. But he had not taken half-a- was a respectable artisan. At least, I trust dozen steps before Miss Huntley called him that he was respectable; but I couldn't affirm back.
oath. Pray, don't come and see me “By the way," said she, with a certain if you think you will be bored; but if you assumption of carelessness (because the so fail to appear I shall know the reason. lemnity of his leave-taking had startled her a “I will come, then—if I can,” answered little)," if you remember my existence some- Brian gravely. where about April next, you might look me So she waved her hand to him and walked up and report progress. I shall be found at swiftly away, leaving an aching heart behind 95, Park Lane, under the fostering care of her. A hopeless lover is a difficult man to Clementina, who admires genius and will be please ; and although, perhaps, Brian was not proud to make your acquaintance."
so selfish as to wish that Miss Huntley should Brian hesitated. “Thank you," he replied, be in love with him, her friendly indifference "you are very kind; but I am afraid I shall gave him nearly as much pain as if he had not be exactly—that is, you know an organist been.
APRIL has come!
And that pure green-
Around is seen
In budding grove and hedgerow, glist'ning clear,
And in the dewy-tender grassy spear;
[flowers, Bringer of Beauty and of radiant Mirth
While the three darling flowers, our Childhood's
Make fragrant the west wind, which drives, serene,
The gorgeous, pilèd clouds o'er mead and heath.
From shore to shore,
The glancing arrows of the western rain
Sweep lightly o'er
A hundred fields, and thro' the dusty lane,
As when the patriarch saw it in the land,
Bound the bright shadows, over mount and moor,
Joy holding everywhere high festival.