“And pray what does ‘hum’ mean?” asked Mary, fixing her eyes with prodigious keenness on the woman’s face.
“Well, I don’t suppose ‘hum’ means anything,” said Mrs. Easton, still looking down.
“Doesn’t it?” said Mary. “With such a face as that it means a volume. And I’ll make it my business to read that volume.”
“And Mr. Hope shall help me.”
Walter, little dreaming the blow his own love had received, made Percy write Julia an apology, and an invitation to visit his new house if he was forgiven. Julia said she could not forgive him, and would not go. Walter said, “Put on your bonnet, and take a little drive with me.”
“Oh, with pleasure,” said Julia, slyly.
So then Walter drove her to the new house, without a word of remonstrance on her part, and Fitzroy met her radiant, and Walter slipped away round a corner, and when he came back the quarrel had dissolved. He had brought a hamper with all the necessaries of life—table-cloth, napkins, knives, forks, spoons, cold pie, salad, and champagne. They lunched beside the brook on the lawn. The lovers drank his health, and Julia appointed him solemnly to the post of “peace-maker,” “for,” said she, “you have shown great talent that way, and I foresee we shall want one, for we shall be always quarrelling; sha’n’t we, Percy?”
“N—o; n—never again.”
“Then you mustn’t be jealous.”
“I’m not. I d—despise j—jealousy. I’m above it.”
“Oh, indeed,” said Julia, dryly.
“Come, don’t begin again, you two,” said Walter, “or—no champagne.”
“Now what a horrid threat!” said Julia. “I’ll be good, for one.”
In short they had a merry time, and Walter drove Julia home. Both were in high spirits.
In the hall Walter found a short note from Mary Bartley:
“DEAR, DEAR WALTER,—I write with a bleeding heart to tell you that papa has only just discovered our attachment, and I am grieved to say he disapproves of it, and has forbidden me to encourage your love, that is dearer to me than all the world. It is very hard. It seems so cruel. But I must obey. Do not make obedience too difficult, dear Walter. And pray, pray do not be as unhappy as I am. He says he has reasons, but he has not told me what they are, except that your father has other views for you; but, indeed, with both parents against us what can we do? Forgive me the pain this will give you. Ask yourself whether it gives me any less. You were all the world to me. Now everything is dull and distasteful. What a change in one little day! We are very unfortunate. But it can not be forever. And if you will be constant to me, you know I shall to you. I could not change. Ah, Walter, I little thought when I said I would temporize, how soon I should be called on to do it. I can’t write any more for crying. I do nothing but cry ever since papa was so cruel; but I must obey. Your loving, sorrowful