“Poor little mortal,” he said, as she went. “I am afraid that in her case summum jus was summa injuria.”
“It was quite right to prosecute that mischievous woman,” said Mr. Flight.
“Maybe,” said Gerald; “but wheat will grow alongside of tares.”
“I hope the girl is wheat,” half ironically and severely said the lady.
Gerald shrugged his shoulders and took his leave.
CHAPTER XVI. “SEE, THE CONQUERING HERO COMES”
And with trumpets and with banners
As becomes gintale good manners.-Thackeray.
A telegram from Sir Jasper brought the good news that Fergus’s name was high on the Winchester roll, and that he was sure of entering college after the holidays. Gillian alone was allowed to go up to the station with her uncle Reginald to meet the travellers, lest the whole family should be too demonstrative in their welcome. And at the same time there emerged from the train not only Captain Armytage, but also Lancelot Underwood and his little boy. All the rest of his family were gone to Stoneborough to delight the hearts of Dr. May and his daughter Ethel.
Gillian was in such training that she durst not embrace her brother when he tumbled out of the carriage, though she could hardly keep her feet from dancing, but she only demurely said-
“Mamma and all of them are at Aunt Jane’s.”
“Come then,” said Sir Jasper to Captain Armytage, for which Gillian was not grateful, or thought herself not, for she made a wry face.
There was a good deal of luggage-theatrical appliances to be sent to the pavilion.
“This may as well go too,” said Captain Armytage.
“Oh! oh! It is the buccaneer’s sword!” cried little Felix. “How lovely! Last time we only had Uncle Jack’s, and this is ever so much longer!”
“Do let me draw it!” cried Fergus.
“Not here, my boy, or they would think a conspiracy was breaking out. Ha!” as a sudden blare of trumpets broke out as they reached the station gate.
“Oh, is it for him?” cried Felix, who had been instructed in Fergus’s triumph.
the conquering hero comes,
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums!”
said the General.
Fergus actually coloured crimson, but the colour was deepened as he muttered “Bosh!” while two piebald ponies, drawing the drummers and trumpeters in fantastic raiment, preceded an elephant shrouded in scarlet and gold trappings, with two or three figures making contortions on his back, and followed by a crowned and sceptred dame in blue, white, and gold, perched aloft on a car drawn by four steeds in glittering caparisons.
“Will you mount it, Fergus?” asked his uncle. “You did not expect such a demonstration.”
Fergus bit his lip. It was hard to be teased instead of exalted; but Fely and he were absorbed in the pink broadsides that the lady in the car was scattering.