Bundy shook his head. Lor', how we fooled Massa Fox! exclaimed Nancy, bursting once more into a rollicking laugh. The advantages of Boy Hanlon鈥檚 counsel and protection were soon apparent. Herbert, thanks to Hanlon鈥檚 coaching, but aided not a little by his own native intelligence, and the excellent education he had received, proved an apt scholar in the military school. He soon learnt his drill, and was passed for duty much more quickly than was usually the case with recruits. Mr. Farrington, who had commenced drill at the same time, but who enjoyed the officer鈥檚 privilege of taking it easy, and who was somewhat slow of apprehension to boot, was still at company drill when Private Larkins, fully accoutred, and admirably 鈥榯urned out,鈥?took his place in the ranks on guard, mounting parade. 北京赛车千里马计划怎么样 Lor', how we fooled Massa Fox! exclaimed Nancy, bursting once more into a rollicking laugh. After much delay and many rebuffs, Mr. Jimlett鈥檚 inquiries had been crowned at length with success. Tracing the line which the gun-runners commonly took, he had been gradually drawn towards the frontier of Natal. While hesitating to pass beyond the boundary, rumours reached him of Englishmen settled among the native tribes; of one in particular, who had risen to some eminence among them, and was reputed rich in wives and cattle. This personage he thought might give him some information; and, not without delay and difficulty, he made his way to his kraal. The object of Jimlett鈥檚 inquiries was stated with some caution to the English settler, who had been so long resident in his savage home, that he was almost denationalised. But if the chief had lost many of the customs of civilised life, just as he had discarded the dress, he had assumed in place of it much of that wily caution peculiar to the savage. Jimlett could get nothing out of him for a long time. The chief displayed as much, if not more circumspection than the lawyer鈥檚 clerk. It seemed impossible to draw a word out of him. He still spoke English fluently, and was perfectly calm and self-possessed. [Pg 172] It was after the usual luncheon hour before Martin Disney went back to the Angler's Nest. He had been for a long walk by the river, trying to walk down the devil that raged within him, before he could trust himself to go home. His wife was alone in the drawing-room, sitting by the fire with her baby in her lap; but this time he did not pause on the threshold to contemplate that domestic picture. There was no tenderness in the eyes which looked at his wife鈥攐nly a stern determination. Every feature in the familiar face[Pg 181] looked strange and rigid, as in the face of an accuser and judge. Do you mean to leave this house? He shook hands with husband and wife and hurried Isola to the door. 鈥業t is cruel to keep me in this suspense, mother,鈥攆or you have been one to me always. I implore you to tell me the whole truth.鈥? She leant back in her basket-chair, revelling in the rural atmosphere, and in that new sense of being in the bosom of her family. Tim leapt upon her lap and licked her face, in token of his acceptance of her into the home-circle. Nobody had ever called Miss Leland a beauty, nor had she ever received those disquieting attentions which follow the footsteps of exceptional loveliness. She was sometimes described as a girl who grew upon one; and people who knew her well generally ended by thinking her distractingly pretty. She had a brilliant complexion, of the true English type, fair and blooming鈥攁 complexion which indicated perfect health and an active, orderly life; no late hours or novel-reading over the fire鈥攁n out-of-door complexion, which would have looked its best under a neat little felt hat in the hunting-field, or under a coquettish straw sailor hat on board a yacht. Her eyes were blue-grey, with long, brown lashes and boldly[Pg 107] marked eyebrows; her nose was firmly modelled, inclining a little to the aquiline order. Her mouth was the prettiest feature in her face, and yet it was a shade larger than accepted perfection in mouths. It was a mouth chiefly remarkable for character and expression; and, indeed, it was the individuality and variety of expression in the fair young face which constituted Miss Leland's chief claim to distinction. What are diamonds, said Susan, philosophically, with the foreman's arm sustaining her at a sharp turn in the road, "if you don't care for each other?" Lor', how we fooled Massa Fox! exclaimed Nancy, bursting once more into a rollicking laugh. Captain Hulbert took his yacht to other waters in November, only to come sailing back again in December, when he finally laid up the Vendetta in winter quarters, and took up his abode at the Mount, where he availed himself of his brother's stud, which had been reduced to two old hunters and a pair of carriage-horses of mediocre quality. And so the shortening days drew on towards Christmas; baby's first Christmas, as that small person's adorers remarked鈥攁s if it were a wonderful thing for any young Christian to make a beginning of life鈥攁nd all was happiness at the Angler's Nest. All was happiness without a cloud, till one morning鈥擜llegra and her brother being alone in the library, where she sometimes painted at her little table-easel, while he read鈥攕he put down her palette and went over to him, laying her hand upon his shoulder as he sat in his accustomed place in the old-fashioned bow-window.