‘Look at the drawings, Milly, and then return it,’ I whispered.
At his request I allowed him to look at my unfinished sketch of the bridge, and while he was measuring distances and proportions with his eye, Milly whispered rather angrily to me.
‘And why should I?’
‘Because he wants it back, and only meant to lend it to you,’ whispered I.
‘Lend it to me—and after you! Bury-me-wick if I look at a leaf of it,’ she retorted in high dudgeon. ’Take it, lass; give it him yourself—I’ll not,’ and she popped it into my hand, and made a sulky step back.
‘My cousin is very much obliged,’ I said, returning the book, and smiling for her, and he took it smiling also and said—
’I think if I had known how very well you draw, Miss Ruthyn, I should have hesitated about showing you my poor scrawls. But these are not my best, you know; Lady Knollys will tell you that I can really do better—a great deal better, I think.’
And then with more apologies for what he called his impertinence, he took his leave, and I felt altogether very much pleased and flattered.
He could not be more than twenty-nine or thirty, I thought, and he was decidedly handsome—that is, his eyes and teeth, and clear brown complexion were—and there was something distinguished and graceful in his figure and gesture; and altogether there was the indescribable attraction of intelligence; and I fancied—though this, of course, was a secret—that from the moment he spoke to us he felt an interest in me. I am not going to be vain. It was a grave interest, but still an interest, for I could see him studying my features while I was turning over his sketches, and he thought I saw nothing else. It was flattering, too, his anxiety that I should think well of his drawing, and referring me to Lady Knollys. Carysbroke—had I ever heard my dear father mention that name? I could not recollect it. But then he was habitually so silent, that his not doing so argued nothing.
WE VISIT A ROOM IN THE SECOND STOREY
Mr. Carysbroke amused my fancy sufficiently to prevent my observing Milly’s silence, till we had begun our return homeward.
’The Grange must be a pretty house, if that little sketch be true; is it far from this?’
‘’Twill be two mile.’
‘Are you vexed, Milly?’ I asked, for both her tone and looks were angry.
‘Yes, I am vexed; and why not lass?’
‘What has happened?’
’Well, now, that is rich! Why, look at that fellow, Carysbroke: he took no more notice to me than a dog, and kep’ talking to you all the time of his pictures, and his walks, and his people. Why, a pig’s better manners than that.’
’But, Milly dear, you forget, he tried to talk to you, and you would not answer him,’ I expostulated.