Dolores looked on in a sort of silent scorn at a young man who could talk so eagerly about “a trumpery raree-show,” especially for an object that she did not care about. None of them knew how far it was the pride of authorship and the desire of pastime. Only Jasper said when he heard their report-
“Underwood is a queer fellow! One never knows where to have him. Socialist one minute, old Tory the next.”
“A dreamer?” asked Dolores.
“If you like to call him so. I believe he will dawdle and dream all his life, and never do any good!”
“Perhaps he is waiting.”
“I don’t believe in waiting,” said Jasper, wiping the dust off his photographic glasses. “Why, he has a lovely moor of his own, and does not know how to use it!”
“Conclusive,” said Gillian.
CHAPTER X. NOBLESSE OBLIGE
The other won’t agree thereto,
So here they fall to strife;
With one another they did fight
About the children’s life.
Babes in the Wood.
“I say, Aunt Cherry,” said Adrian, “the fossil forest is to be uncovered to-morrow, and Merrifield is going to stay for it, and I’m going down with him.”
“Fossil forest? What, in the Museum?”
“No, indeed. In Anscombe Cove, they call it. There’s a forest buried there, and bits come up sometimes. To-morrow there’s to be a tremendous low tide that will leave a lot of it uncovered, and Merrifield and I mean to dig it out, and if there are some duplicate bits they may be had for the bazaar.”
“Yes, they have been begging Fergus’s duplicates for a collection of fossils,” said Anna. “But can it be safe? A low tide means a high tide, you know.”
“Bosh!” returned Adrian.
“Miss Mohun is sure to know all about the tides, I suppose,” said Clement; “if her nephew goes with her consent I suppose it is safe.”
“If-” said Mrs. Grinstead.
Adrian looked contemptuous, and muttered something, on which Anna undertook to see Miss Mohun betimes, and judge how the land, or rather the sea, lay, and whether Fergus was to be trusted.
It would be a Saturday, a whole holiday, on which he generally went home for Sunday, and Adrian spent the day with him, but the boys’ present scheme was, to take their luncheon with them and spend the whole day in Anscombe Cove. This was on the further side of the bay from the marble works, shut in by big cliffs, which ran out into long chains of rocks on either side, but retreated in the midst, where a little stream from the village of Anscombe, or rather from the moorland beyond, made its way to the sea.