to that. When not by her side, he was ever marching
with sharp strides, hurrying through rooms and down
alleys and groves until he had discovered and attached
himself to her skirts. And, curiously, the object
of his jealousy was the devoted Alonzo! Mr. Beamish
laughed when he heard of it. The lady’s
excitement and giddy mien, however, accused Poltermore
of a stage of success requiring to be combated immediately.
There was mention of Duchess Susan’s mighty wish
to pay a visit to the popular fortune-teller of the
hut on the heath, and Mr. Beamish put his veto on
the expedition. She had obeyed him by abstaining
from play of late, so he fully expected, that his
interdict would be obeyed; and besides the fortune-teller
was a rogue of a sham astrologer known to have foretold
to certain tender ladies things they were only too
desirous to imagine predestined by an extraordinary
indication of the course of planets through the zodiac,
thus causing them to sin by the example of celestial
conjunctions—a piece of wanton impiety.
The beau took high ground in his objections to the
adventure. Nevertheless, Duchess Susan did go.
She drove to the heath at an early hour of the morning,
attended by Chloe, Colonel Poltermore, and Caseldy.
They subsequently breakfasted at an inn where gipsy
repasts were occasionally served to the fashion, and
they were back at the wells as soon as the world was
abroad. Their surprise then was prodigious when
Mr. Beamish, accosting them full in assembly, inquired
whether they were satisfied with the report of their
fortunes, and yet more when he positively proved himself
acquainted with the fortunes which had been recounted
to each of them in privacy.
’You, Colonel Poltermore, are to be in luck’s
way up to the tenth milestone,—where your
chariot will overset and you will be lamed for life.’
‘Not quite so bad,’ said the Colonel cheerfully,
he having been informed of much better.
’And you, Count Caseldy, are to have it all
your own way with good luck, after committing a deed
of slaughter, with the solitary penalty of undergoing
a visit every night from the corpse.’
‘Ghost,’ Caseldy smilingly corrected him.
‘And Chloe would not have her fortune told,
because she knew it!’ Mr. Beamish cast a paternal
glance at her. ‘And you, madam,’
he bent his brows on the duchess, ’received
the communication that “All for Love”
will sink you as it raised you, put you down as it
took you up, furnish the feast to the raven gentleman
which belongs of right to the golden eagle?’
‘Nothing of the sort! And I don’t
believe in any of their stories,’ cried the
duchess, with a burning face.
‘You deny it, madam?’
’I do. There was never a word of a raven
or an eagle, that I’ll swear, now.’
‘You deny that there was ever a word of “All
for Love”? Speak, madam.’
‘Their conjuror’s rigmarole!’ she
murmured, huffing. ’As if I listened to