“Not here, and now, my darling,” he whispered, pressing her arm to his side, for he felt her silent sobs. “Strive for calmness.”
“It seems but the other day he was at church with me, and now—here!”
Mr. Carlyle suddenly changed their places, so that they stood with their backs to the hedge, and to any staring stragglers who might be lingering on the road.
“There ought to be railings round the tomb,” she presently said, after a successful battle with her emotion.
“I thought so, and I suggested it to Lord Mount Severn but he appeared to think differently. I will have it done.”
“I put you to great expense,” she said, “taking one thing with another.”
Mr. Carlyle glanced quickly at her, a dim fear penetrating his mind that his sister might have been talking in her hearing. “An expense I would not be without for the whole world. You know it, Isabel.”
“And I have nothing to repay you with,” she sighed.
He looked expressively amused, and, gazing into her face, the expression of his eyes made her smile. “Here is John with the carriage,” she exclaimed. “Let us go, Archibald.”
Standing outside the gates, talking to the rector’s family, were several ladies, one of them Barbara Hare. She watched Mr. Carlyle place his wife in the carriage; she watched him drive away. Barbara’s lips were white, as she bowed in return to his greeting.
“The heat is so great!” murmured Barbara, when those around noticed her paleness.
“Ah! You ought to have gone in the phaeton, with Mr. and Mrs. Hare as they desired you.”
“I wished to walk,” returned the unhappy Barbara.
“What a pretty girl that is!” uttered Lady Isabel to her husband. “What is her name?”
VISIT OF THE HARE FAMILY.
The county carriages began to pour to East Lynne, to pay the wedding visit, as it is called, to Mr. and Lady Isabel Carlyle. Of course they displayed themselves in their most courtly state. Mr. Carlyle, always a popular man, had gained double his former importance by his marriage with the daughter of the late Earl of Mount Severn. Among the earliest visitors went Justice and Mrs. Hare, with Barbara.
Isabel was in her dressing-gown, attended by Joyce, whom she was just asking to take the place of her late maid, if Miss Carlyle would consent to the transfer.
Joyce’s face lighted up with pleasure at the proposal. “Oh, my lady, you are very kind! I should so like it! I would serve you faithfully to the best of my ability.”
Isabel laughed. “But Miss Carlyle may not be inclined to transfer you.”
“I think she would be, my lady. She said a day or two ago, that I appeared to suit you, and you might have me altogether if you wished, provided I could still make her gowns. I make them to please her, you see, my lady.”