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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 343 pages of information about Beyond.

“Oh, we’ve ‘ad some pretty flirts—­up and cryin’, dear me!  I sleeps in the next room—­oh, yes, at night-time—­when you’re a widder at that age, you can’t expect nothin’ else.  I remember when I was ridin’ in Ireland for Captain O’Neill, there was a young woman—­”

Gyp thought:  ’I mustn’t let him get off—­or I shall be late for dinner,’ and she said: 

“Oh, Pettance, who bought the young brown horse?”

“Mr. Bryn Summer’ay, ma’am, over at Widrington, for an ’unter, and ’ack in town, miss.”

“Summerhay?  Ah!” With a touch of the whip to her memory, Gyp recalled the young man with the clear eyes and teasing smile, on the chestnut mare, the bold young man who reminded her of somebody, and she added: 

“That’ll be a good home for him, I should think.”

“Oh, yes, miss; good ’ome—­nice gentleman, too.  He come over here to see it, and asked after you.  I told ’im you was a married lady now, miss.  ‘Ah,’ he said; ‘she rode beautiful!’ And he remembered the ’orse well.  The major, he wasn’t ’ere just then, so I let him try the young un; he popped ’im over a fence or two, and when he come back he says, ‘Well, I’m goin’ to have ‘im.’  Speaks very pleasant, an’ don’t waste no time—­’orse was away before the end of the week.  Carry ’im well; ’e’s a strong rider, too, and a good plucked one, but bad ’ands, I should say.”

“Yes, Pettance; I must go in now.  Will you tell Annie I shall be round to-morrow, to see her?”

“Very good, miss.  ’Ounds meets at Filly Cross, seven-thirty.  You’ll be goin’ out?”

“Rather.  Good-night.”

Flying back across the yard, Gyp thought:  “‘She rode beautiful!’ How jolly!  I’m glad he’s got my horse.”

XXI

Still glowing from her morning in the saddle, Gyp started out next day at noon on her visit to the “old scoundrel’s” cottage.  It was one of those lingering mellow mornings of late September, when the air, just warmed through, lifts off the stubbles, and the hedgerows are not yet dried of dew.  The short cut led across two fields, a narrow strip of village common, where linen was drying on gorse bushes coming into bloom, and one field beyond; she met no one.  Crossing the road, she passed into the cottage-garden, where sunflowers and Michaelmas daisies in great profusion were tangled along the low red-brick garden-walls, under some poplar trees yellow-flecked already.  A single empty chair, with a book turned face downward, stood outside an open window.  Smoke wreathing from one chimney was the only sign of life.  But, standing undecided before the half-open door, Gyp was conscious, as it were, of too much stillness, of something unnatural about the silence.  She was just raising her hand to knock when she heard the sound of smothered sobbing.  Peeping through the window, she could just see a woman dressed in green, evidently Mrs.

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