And Cheiron, in his Sunday best, walked into the room.
Halcyone was not present. If children were wanted they were sent for. It was not seemly for them to be idling in the drawing-rooms.
But Miss Roberta felt so pleasantly nervous, that she said timidly, after they had all shaken hands:
“Ginevra, can we not tell William to ask Halcyone to come down, perhaps Mr. Carlyon might like to see her again.”
And William, who had not got far from the door, was recalled and sent on the errand.
“What a very beautiful view you have from here,” Mr. Carlyon said, by way of a beginning. “It is an ideal spot.”
“We are glad you like it,” Miss La Sarthe replied, graciously; “as my sister and I live quite retired from the world it suits us. We had much gayety here in our youth, but now we like tranquillity.”
“It is, however, delightful to have a neighbor,” Miss Roberta exclaimed—and then blushed at her temerity.
The elder lady frowned; Roberta had always been so sadly effusive, she felt. Men ought not to be flattered so.
Mr. Carlyon bowed, and the platitudes were continued, each felt he or she must approach the subject of Halcyone’s lessons, but waited for the other to begin.
Halcyone, herself, put an end to all awkwardness after she very gently entered the room. There was no bounding or vaulting in the presence of the aunts.
“Is it not kind of Mr. Carlyon to wish to teach me Greek?” she said, including both her relatives. “I expect he has told you about it though.”
The Misses La Sarthe were properly surprised and interested. Most kind they thought it and expressed their appreciation in their separate ways. They both hoped their great-niece would be diligent, and prove a worthy pupil. It was most fortunate for Halcyone, because her stepfather, Mr. James Anderton, might decide at their request not to send another governess, and, “No doubt it will be most useful to her,” Miss La Sarthe continued. “In these modern days so much learning seems to be expected of people. When we were young, a little French and Italian were all that was necessary.”
Then Mr. Carlyon made friends of them for life, by a happy inspiration.
“I see you are both musicians,” he said, pointing to the antiquated musical instruments. “A taste of that sort is a constant pleasure.”
“We used to play a good deal at one time,” admitted Miss La Sarthe, without a too great show of gratification, “and my sister was quite celebrated for her Italian songs.”
“Oh!” gasped Miss Roberta, blushing again.
“I hope I may have the pleasure of hearing you together some day,” said the Professor, gallantly.
Both ladies smilingly acquiesced, as they depreciated their powers.
And just before their visitor got up to leave, Miss La Sarthe said with her grand air:
“We hope you find your cottage comfortable. It used to be the land steward’s, before we disposed of the property we no longer required. It always used to have a very pretty garden, but no doubt it has rather fallen into decay.”