‘I am so glad you’ve come—that is, if you’ve brought my spectacles,’ said Lady Julia.
‘My pockets are crammed with spectacles,’ said Johnny.
‘And when are you coming to me?’
‘I was thinking of Tuesday.’
’No; don’t come till Wednesday. But I mean Monday. No; Monday won’t do. Come on Tuesday—early, and drive me out. And now tell us the news.’
Johnny swore that there was no news. He made a brave attempt to be gay and easy before Lily; but he failed, and he knew that he failed—and he knew that she knew that he failed. ‘Mamma will be so glad to see you,’ said Lily. ‘I suppose you haven’t seen Bell yet?’
‘I only got to Guestwick yesterday afternoon,’ said he.
’And it will be so nice our having Grace at the Small House;—won’t it? Uncle Christopher has quite taken a passion for Grace—so that I am hardly anybody now in the Allington world.’
‘By-the-by,’ said Johnny, ’I came down here with a friend of yours, Grace.’
‘A friend of mine?’ said Grace.
’So he says, and he is at Allington at this moment. He passed me in the gig down here.’
‘And what was his name?’ Lily asked.
‘I have not the remotest idea,’ said Johnny. ’He is a man about my own age, very good-looking, and apparently very well able to take care of himself. He is short-sighted, and holds a glass in one eye when he looks out of a carriage window. That’s all I know about him.
Grace Crawley’s face had become suffused with blushes at the first mention of the friend and the gig; but then Grace blushed very easily. Lily knew all about it at once;—at once divined who must be the friend in the gig, and was almost beside herself with joy. Lady Julia, who had heard no more of the major than had Johnny, was still clever enough to perceive that the friend must be a particular friend—for she had noticed Miss Crawley’s blushes. And Grace herself had no doubt as to the man. The picture of her lover, with the glass in his eye as he looked out of the window, had been too perfect to admit of a doubt. In her distress she put out her hand and took hold of Lily’s dress.
‘And you say he is at Allington now?’ said Lily.
‘I have no doubt he is at the Small House at this moment,’ said Johnny.
SHOWING HOW MAJOR GRANTLY TOOK A WALK
Major Grantly drove his gig into the yard of the ‘Red Lion’ at Allington, and from thence walked away at once to Mrs Dale’s house. When he reached the village he had hardly made up his mind as the way in which he would begin his attack; but now, as he went down the street, he resolved that he would first ask for Mrs Dale. Most probably he would find himself in the presence of Mrs Dale and her daughter, and of Grace also, at his first entrance; and if so, his position would be awkward enough. He almost