Her thoughts were full of the sister and brother who had just left. “Queer they are!” she thought to herself. “If Davie came back to me after a year in India, I wouldn’t have liked to meet him in somebody else’s house. But they seemed quite happy to look at books, and talk about just anything and play with Jock and Mhor and tease Peter. Now I expect they’ll be talking about their own affairs, but I would have rushed at the pleasure of hearing all about everything—I couldn’t have waited. Pamela has such a leisured air about everything she does. It’s nice and sort of aloof and quiet—but I could never attain to it. I’m little and bustling and Martha-like.”
Here Jean sighed, and put her fingers through a large hole in the toe of a stocking.
“I’m only fit to keep house and darn and worry the boys about washing their ears.... Anyway, I’m glad I had on my Chinese coat.”
“Her gown should be of goodliness
Well ribboned with renown,
Purfilled with pleasure in ilk place,
Furred with fine fashion.
Her hat should be of fair having,
And her tippet of truth,
Her patclet of good pansing,
Her neck ribbon of ruth.
Her sleeves should be of esperance
To keep her from despair:
Her gloves of the good governance
To guide her fingers fair.
Her shoes should be of sickerness
In syne she should not slide:
Her hose of honesty I guess
I should for her provide.”
The Garment of Good Ladies, 1568.
Jock and Mhor looked back on the time Lord Bidborough spent in Priorsford as one long, rosy dream.
It is true they had to go to school as usual, and learn their home lessons, but their lack of attention in school-hours must have sorely tried their teachers, and their home lessons were crushed into the smallest space of time so as not to interfere with the crowded hours of glorious living that Lord Bidborough managed to make for them.
That nobleman turned out to be the most gifted player that Jock and Mhor had ever met. There seemed no end to the games he could invent, and he played with a zest that carried everyone along with him.
Mhor’s great passion was for trains. He was no budding engineering genius; he cared nothing about knowing what made the wheels go round; it was the trains themselves, the glorious, puffing, snorting engines, the comfortable guards’ vans, and the signal-boxes that enchanted him. He thought a signalman’s life was one of delirious happiness; he thrilled at the sight of a porter’s uniform, and hoped that one day he too might walk abroad dressed like that, wheel people’s luggage on a trolley and touch his hat when given tips. It was his great treat to stand on the iron railway-bridge and watch the trains snorting deliriously underneath, but the difficulty was he might not go alone, and as everyone in the house fervently disliked the task of accompanying him, it was a treat that came all too seldom for the Mhor.