Then the bridegroom sprung lightly in beside her, the carriage door closed, the horses started, and the happy pair were off.
* * * * *
Sybilla Silver went back to the Court alone. My lady, in sullen dignity, took her daughter and went straight to her jointure house at the other extremity of the village.
She stood in the confer of a lengthy suite of apartments—the new Lady Kingsland’s—opening one into the other in a long vista of splendor. She took a portrait out of her breast and gazed at it with brightly glittering eyes.
“A whole year has passed, my mother,” she said, slowly, “and nothing has been done. But Sybilla will keep her oath. Sir Jasper Kingsland’s only son shall meet his doom. It is through her I will strike; that blow will be doubly bitter. Before this day twelvemonth these two shall part more horribly than man and wife ever parted before!”
MR. PARMALEE’S LITTLE MYSTERY.
Kingsland Court had from time immemorial been one of the show-places of the county, Thursday being always set apart as the visitors’ day.
The portly old housekeeper used to play cicerone, but the portly old housekeeper, growing portlier and older every day, got in time quite unable to waddle up and down and pant out gasping explanations to the strangers.
So Miss Sybilla Silver, with her usual good nature, came to the rescue, got the history of the old house, and the old pictures, and cabinets, and curiosities, and suits of armor and things by heart, and took Mrs. Comfit’s place.
The first Thursday after the marriage of Sir Everard there came sauntering up to the Court, in the course of the afternoon, a tall young gentleman, smoking a cigar, and with his hands thrust deep in his trousers pockets.
He was not only tall, but uncommonly tall, uncommonly lanky and loose-boned, and his clothes had the general air of being thrown on with a pitchfork.
He wore a redundance of jewelry, in the shape of a couple of yards of watch-chain, a huge seal ring on each little finger, and a flaring diamond breastpin of doubtful quality.
His clothes were light, his hair was light, his eyes were light. He was utterly devoid of hirsute appendages, and withal he was tolerably good-looking and unmistakably wide awake.
He threw away his cigar as he reached the house, and astonished the understrapper who admitted him by presenting his card with a flourishing bow.
“Jest give that to the boss, my man,” said this personage, coolly. “I understand you allow strangers to explore this old castle of your’n, and I’ve come quite a piece for that express purpose.”
The footman gazed at him, then at the card, and then sought out Miss Silver.
“Blessed if it isn’t that ’Merican that’s stopping at the Vine, and that asked so many questions about Sir Everard and my lady, of Dawson, last night,” he said.