Ferdinand and Miranda-or rather Angus and Mona-were quite ideal in looks, voices, and gestures.
“Almost dangerously so,” said Jane Mohun; “and the odd thing is that they are just alike enough for first cousins, as they are here, though Shakespeare was not guilty of making them such.”
“The odd thing is,” said Geraldine, as she drove home with Clement, “that this brought me back so strangely to that wonderful concert at home, with all of you standing up in a row, and the choir from Minsterham, and poor Edgar’s star.”
“An evil star!” sighed Clement.
CHAPTER XVIII. THE EVIL STAR
That were against me, what I can I will;
And there that day remained.-Tennyson.
It was on the night before the final bustle and fury, so to speak, of preparation were to set in, when arrivals were expected, and the sellers were in commotion, and he had been all day putting the singers one by one through their parts, that as he went to his room at night, there was a knock at Lancelot’s door, and Gerald came in, looking deadly white. He had been silent and effaced all the evening, and his aunt had thought him tired, but he had rather petulantly eluded inquiry, and now he came in with-
“Lance, I must have it out with some one.”
“An Oxford scrape?” said Lance.
“Oh no, I wish it was only that.” Then a silence, while Lance looked at him, thinking, “What trouble could it be?” He had been very kind and gentle with the little Miranda, but the manner had not struck Lance as lover-like.
There was a gasp again-
“That person, that woman at the gate, do you remember?”
Therewith a flash came over Lance.
“My poor boy! You don’t mean to say—”
Neither could bring himself to say the word so sacred to Lancelot, and which might have been so sacred to his nephew.
“How did you guess?” said Gerald, lifting up the face that he had hidden on the table.
“I saw the likeness between you and the girl. She reminded me of some one I had once seen.”
“Had you seen her?”
“Once, at a concert, twenty odd years ago. Your aunt, too, was strangely carried back to that scene, by the girl’s voice, I suppose.”
“Poor child!” said Gerald, still laying down his head and seeming terribly oppressed, as Lance felt he well might be.
“It is a sad business for you,” said the uncle, with a kind hand on his shoulder. “How was it she did not claim you before?-not that she has any real claim.”
“She did not know my real name. My father called himself Wood. I never knew the rest of it till after I came home. That fellow bribed the gardener, got in over the wall, or somehow, and when she saw you, and heard you and me and all three of us, it gave her the clue.”
“Well, Gerald, I do not think she can dare to—”