As Harry Musgrave left the room my lady rang the bell, and when the servant answered it she turned to Bessie and said in her iced voice, “Perhaps you would like to send for a shawl?”
“Thank you, but I will not go out again,” said Bessie mildly, and the servant vanished.
Mr. Logger, who had really much amiability, here offered a remark: “A very fine young man, that Mr. Musgrave—great power of countenance. Wherever I meet with it now I say, Let us cherish talent, for it will soon be the only real distinction where everybody is rich.”
Mr. Cecil Burleigh made an inarticulate murmur, which might signify acquiescence or the reverse.
Lady Latimer said, “Young ladies, I think it is time you were going up stairs.” And with dutiful alacrity the young ladies went.
“Never mind,” whispered Dora to Bessie with a kiss as they separated. “If you take any notice of Aunt Olympia’s tempers, you will not have a moment’s peace: I never do. All will be right again in the morning.” Bessie had her doubts of that, but she tried to feel hopeful; and she was not without her consolation, whether or no.
ANOTHER RIDE WITH THE DOCTOR.
Half-past nine was the breakfast-hour at Fairfield, and Bessie Fairfax said she would prepare for her ride before going down.
“Will you breakfast in your riding-habit, miss?—her ladyship is very particular,” said Mrs. Betts in a tone implying that her ladyship might consider it a liberty. Bessie said Yes, she must not keep Mr. Carnegie waiting when he came.
So she went down stairs in her habit and a crimson neck-tie, with her hair compactly rolled up, and looking exceedingly well. Lady Latimer justified Dora’s predictions: she kissed Bessie as if she had never been affronted. Bessie accepted the caress, and was thankful. It was no part of her pleasure to vex my lady.
They had not left the breakfast-table when the servant announced that Mr. Carnegie had arrived. “We will go out and see you mount,” said Lady Latimer, and left her unfinished meal, Mr. Cecil Burleigh attending her. Dora would have gone too, but as Mr. Logger made no sign of moving, my lady intimated that she must remain. Lady Latimer had inquiries to make of the doctor respecting several sick poor persons, her pensioners, and while they are talking Mr. Cecil Burleigh gave Bessie a hand up into her saddle, and remarked that Miss Hoyden was in high condition and very fresh.
“Oh, I can hold her. She has a good mouth and perfect temper; she never ran away from me but once,” said Bessie, caressing her old favorite with voice and hand.
“And what happened on that occasion?” said Mr. Cecil Burleigh.
“She had her fling, and nothing happened. It was along the road that skirts the Brook pastures, and at the sharp turn Mr. Harry Musgrave saw her coming—head down, the bit in her teeth—and threw open the gate, and we dashed into the clover. As I did not lose my nerve or tumble off, I am never afraid now. I love a good gallop.”