They drove away. Lord Garle returned to the room; Lionel stood against one of the outer pillars, looking forth on the lovely moonlight scene. The part played by Roy—if it was Roy—in the night’s doings disturbed him not; but that his wife had shown herself so entirely unlike a lady did disturb him. In bitter contrast to Lucy did she stand out to his mind that night. He turned away, after some minutes, with an impatient movement, as if he would fain throw remembrance and vexation from him, Lionel had himself chosen his companion in life, and none knew better than he that he must abide by it; none could be more firmly resolved to do his full duty by her in love. Sibylla was standing outside the window alone. Lionel approached her, and gently laid his hand upon her shoulder.
“Sibylla, what caused you to show agitation when Cannonby’s name was mentioned?”
“I told you,” answered Sibylla. “It is dreadful to be reminded of that miserable time. It was Cannonby, you know, who buried my husband.”
And before Lionel could say more, she had shaken his hand from her shoulder, and was back amidst her guests.
MR. DAN DUFF IN CONVULSIONS.
Jan had said somebody might be going dead while the parish was being scoured for him; and, in point of fact, Jan found, on reaching home, that that undesirable consummation was not unlikely to occur. As you will find also, if you will make an evening call upon Mrs. Duff.
Mrs. Duff stood behind her counter, sorting silks. Not rich piece silks that are made into gowns; Mrs. Duff’s shop did not aspire to that luxurious class of goods; but humble skeins of mixed sewing-silks, that were kept tied up in a piece of wash-leather. Mrs. Duff’s head and a customer’s head were brought together over the bundle, endeavouring to fix upon a skein of a particular shade, by the help of the one gas-burner which flared away overhead.
“Drat the silk!” said Mrs. Duff at length. “One can’t tell which is which, by candle-light. The green looks blue, and the blue looks green. Look at them two skeins, Polly; which is the green?”
Miss Polly Dawson, a showy damsel with black hair and a cherry-coloured net at the back of it—one of the family that Roy was pleased to term the ill-doing Dawsons, took the two skeins in her hand.
“Blest if I can tell!” was her answer. “It’s for doing up mother’s green silk bonnet, so it won’t do to take blue. You be more used to it nor me, Mrs. Duff.”
“My eyes never was good for sorting silks by this light,” responded Mrs. Duff. “I’ll tell you what, Polly; you shall take ’em both. Your mother must take the responsibility of fixing on one herself; or let her keep ’em till the morning and choose it then. She should have sent by daylight. You can bring back the skein you don’t use to-morrow; but mind you keep it clean.”