‘And I daresay Redgie and Marianne will tell us all about it,’ said Phyllis, sighing. ’I should rather like to have seen it, but they will tell us.’
‘Then do you promise to stay?—there’s a dear,’ said Ada.
‘Yes,’ said Phyllis. ’Cousin Robert is coming in, and that will be very nice, and I hope he will not look as he did the day the gunpowder went off—oh, dear!’ She went back to the window to get rid of her tears unperceived. ‘Ah,’ cried she, ’there is some one in the garden!’
‘A man!’ screamed Ada—’a thief, a robber—call somebody!’
‘No, no,’ said Phyllis, laughing, ’it is only William; he has been out all the evening, and now papa has come out to speak to him, and they are walking up and down together. I wonder whether he has been sitting with Cousin Robert or at Broomhill! Well, good-night, Ada. Here comes Hannah.’
’The heir, with roses in his shoes,
That night might village partner choose.’
The 30th of July was bright and clear, and Phyllis was up early, gathering flowers, which, with the help of Jane’s nimble fingers, she made into elegant little bouquets for each of her sisters, and for Claude.
‘How is this?’ said Mr. Hawkesworth, pretending to look disconsolate, ’am I to sing “Fair Phyllida flouts me,” or why is my button-hole left destitute?’
‘Perhaps that is for you on the side-table,’ said Lily.
‘Oh! no,’ said Phyllis, ’those are some Provence roses for Miss Weston and Marianne, because Miss Weston likes those, and they have none at Broomhill. Redgie is going to take care of them. I will get you a nosegay, Frank. I did not know you liked it.’
She started up. ‘How prudent, Phyllis,’ said Eleanor, ’not to have put on your muslin frock yet.’
‘Oh! I am not going,’ said Phyllis.
‘Not going!’ was the general outcry.
’No, poor Ada cries so about being left at home with only baby, that I cannot bear it, and so I promised to stay.’
Away went Phyllis, and Reginald exclaimed, ’Well, she shall not be served so. I will go and tell Ada so this instant.’
Off he rushed, and putting in his head at the nursery door, shouted, ’Ada, I am come to tell you that Phyl is not to be made your black-a-moor slave! She shall go, that is settled.’
Down he went with equal speed, without waiting for an answer, and arrived while Eleanor was saying that she thought Ada was provided with amusement with the baby, her playthings, and books, and that Mr. Devereux had promised to make her a visit.
‘Anybody ought to stay at home rather than Phyllis,’ said Lily; ’I think I had better stay.’
‘No, no, Lily,’ said Jane, ’you are more wanted than I am; you are really worth talking to and dancing with; I had much better be at home.’