Vainly was Ivinghoe reminded of the agricultural dinner. He was only too glad to escape it, and besides, he thought he could be there in time.
Nevertheless, the present was delightful, and after dinner the young people all went off to the great assembly-room, whence Anna came back to coax Uncle Lance to play for them. All the elders jumped up from their several discussions. Even Lady Rotherwood moved on, looking as benign as her feelings would permit. Jane squeezed Geraldine’s arm, exceedingly amused. Lance struck up, by request, an old-fashioned country dance; Lord Rotherwood insisted that “Lily” should dance with him, as the remnant of forty good years ago or more, and with Sir Roger de Coverley the day ended.
Poor little Maura, making an excuse to wander about the gardens in the moonlight, saw the golden locks shining through the open windows, and Lord Ivinghoe standing over them, went home, and cried herself to sleep over the fickleness of the nobility, when she had better have cried over her own unjustified romance, excited by a few kindly speeches and a cup of tea.
And Emilia! What was Gerald’s one laughing turn with her, compared with his long talk with Dolores in the moonlight?
CHAPTER XXII. THE REGATTA
She saw a forget-me-not in the grass,
Gilly-flower, gentle rosemary,
Ah! why did the lady that little flower pass,
While the dews fell over the mulberry-tree?
Such of the party as were not wanted for the second day of the bazaar, and were not afraid of mal de mer, had accepted the yachting invitation, except the three elders at St. Andrew’s Rock. Even Adrian and Felix were suffered to go, under Sophy’s charge, on the promise to go nowhere without express permission, and not to be troublesome to any one.
“Sophy can say, ‘Now, boys,’ as effectively as Wilmet,” said Geraldine, when she met Lance, who had been to the quay to see them off.
“She did not say so to much advantage with her own boys,” said Clement.
“We weren’t Harewoods,” returned Lance, “and John never could bear to see a tight hand over them; but there’s good in them that will come out some day.”
Clement gave an emphatic “Humph!” as he sat down to the second breakfast after Anna had gone to the cliff to resume her toils.
“Who are gone?” asked Geraldine.
“Poor Marilda, smilingly declaring she shall be in misery in the cabin all the time, Fernan, and four Vanderkists, General Mohun, Sir Jasper, and some of his progeny; but others stay to help Miss Mohun finish up the sales.”
“Does Lord Ivinghoe go?”
“Oh yes, he came rushing down just in time. Francie was looking like a morning rose off the cloister at Vale Leston.”
“I am sorry they have another day of it. I don’t see how it can come to good,” said Geraldine.