Very slowly, for her, Anthea climbed down from the high dog-cart, aiding Small Porges to earth, and with his hand clasped tight in hers, and with lips set firm, she turned and entered the hall. But, upon the threshold, she stopped, and stood there utterly still, gazing, and gazing upon the trim orderliness of everything. Then, seeing every well remembered thing in its appointed place,—all became suddenly blurred, and dim, and, snatching her hand from Small Porges’ clasp, she uttered a great, choking sob, and covered her face.
But Small Porges had seen, and stood aghast, and Miss Priscilla had seen, and now hurried forward with a quick tap, tap of her stick. As she came, Anthea raised her head, and looked for one who should have been there, but was not. And, in that moment, instinctively she knew how things came to be as they were,—and, because of this knowledge, her cheeks flamed with a swift, burning colour, and with a soft cry, she hid her face in Miss Priscilla’s gentle bosom. Then, while her face was yet hidden there, she whispered:
“Tell me—tell me—all about it.”
But, meanwhile, Bellew, striding far away across the meadows, seeming to watch the glory of the sun-set, and to hearken to a blackbird piping from the dim seclusion of the copse a melodious “Good-bye” to the dying day, yet saw, and heard it not at all, for his mind was still occupied with Adam’s question:—
“What would Miss Anthea say?”
Which, among, other things, has to do with shrimps, muffins, and tin whistles
A typical Kentish Village is Dapplemere with its rows of scattered cottages bowered in roses and honeysuckle,—white walled cottages with steep-pitched roofs, and small latticed windows that seem to stare at all and sundry like so many winking eyes.
There is an air redolent of ripening fruit, and hops, for Dapplemere is a place of orchards, and hop-gardens, and rick-yards, while, here and there, the sharp-pointed, red-tiled roof of some oast-house pierces the green.
Though Dapplemere village is but a very small place indeed, now-a-days,—yet it possesses a church, grey and ancient, whose massive Norman tower looks down upon gable and chimney, upon roof of thatch and roof of tile, like some benignant giant keeping watch above them all. Near-by, of course, is the inn, a great, rambling, comfortable place, with time-worn settles beside the door, and with a mighty sign a-swinging before it, upon which, plainly to be seen (when the sun catches it fairly) is that which purports to be a likeness of His Majesty King William the Fourth, of glorious memory. But alas! the colours have long since faded, so that now, (upon a dull day), it is a moot question whether His Majesty’s nose was of the Greek, or Roman order, or, indeed, whether he was blessed with any nose at all. Thus, Time and Circumstances have united to make a ghost of the likeness (as they have done of the original, long since) which, fading yet more, and more, will doubtless eventually vanish altogether,—like King William himself, and leave but a vague memory behind.