“Jean must certainly have her chance,” said Pamela. She took a long breath, as if she had been under water and had come to the surface. “I’ve said nothing about it to anyone, but I am greatly hoping that some arrangement can be made about sending the boys away to school and letting me carry off Jean. I want her to forget that she ever had to think about money worries. I want her to play with other boys and girls. I want her to marry.”
“Yes, that would be a jolly good scheme.” Lewis Elliot’s voice was hearty in its agreement. “It really is exceedingly kind of you. You’ve lifted a weight from my mind—though what business I have to push my weights on to you.... Yes, Jean, perhaps we ought to be turning back. The car is ordered for four o’clock. I wish you would stay to tea, but I expect you are dying to get back to Priorsford. That little town has you in its thrall.”
“I wish,” said Jock, “that The Rigs could be lifted up by some magician and plumped down in Laverlaw Glen.”
“Oh, Jock, wouldn’t that be fine?” sighed the Mhor. “Plumped right down at the side of the burn, and then we could fish out of the windows.”
The sun had left the glen, the Laverlaw Water ran wan; it seemed suddenly to have become a wild and very lonely place.
“Now I can believe about the raiders coming over the hills in an autumn twilight,” said Pamela. “There is something haunted about this place. In Priorsford we are all close together and cosy: that’s what I love about it.”
“You’ve grown quite suburban,” Lewis taunted her. “Jean, I was told a story about two Priorsford ladies the other day. They were in London and went to see Pavlova dance at the Palace, for the first time. It was her last appearance that season, and the curtain went down on Pavlova embedded in bouquets, bowing her thanks to an enraptured audience, the house rocking with enthusiasm. The one Priorsford lady turned to the other Priorsford lady and said, ‘Awfully like Mrs. Wishart!’”
As the car moved off, Jock’s voice could be heard asking, “And who was Mrs. Wishart?”
“Hast any philosophy in thee?”
As You Like It.
Miss Bella Bathgate was a staunch supporter of the Parish Kirk. She had no use for any other denomination, and no sympathy with any but the Presbyterian form of worship. Episcopalians she regarded as beneath contempt, and classed them in her own mind with “Papists”—people who were more mischievous and almost as ignorant as “the heathen” for whom she collected small sums quarterly, and for whom the minister prayed as “sitting in darkness.” Miss Bathgate had developed a real, if somewhat contemptuous, affection for Mawson, her lodger’s maid, but she never ceased to pour scorn on her “English ways” and her English worship. If Mawson had not been one of the gentlest of creatures she would not have tolerated it for a day.