Sir Amyas had not seen his mother again. He only knew that Mr. Wayland had come out with a face as of one stricken to the heart, a sad contrast to that which had greeted him an hour before, and while the carriage was coming round, had simply said, “I did wrong to leave her.”
It would not bear being talked over, and both son and kinsman took refuge in silence. Two hours more of this long day had passed, and then a coach stopped at the door. Sir Amyas hurried down in his eager anxiety, and came back with his uncle, holding him by the hand like a child, in his gladness, and Betty came out to meet them in the outer room with a face of grateful welcome and outstretched hands.
“Sir! sir! you have done more than all of us.”
“Yet you and your young champion here were the victors,” said Mr. Belamour.
“Ah, we dared and suffered nothing like you.”
“I hope you did not suffer much,” said the major, looking at the calm face and neatly-tied white hair, which seemed to have suffered no disarrangement.
“No,” said Mr. Belamour, smiling, “my little friend Eugene, ay, and my nephew himself, are hoping to hear I was released from fetters and a heap of straw, but I took care to give them no opportunity. I merely told them they were under a mistake, and had better take care. I gave them a reference or two, but I saw plainly that was of no use, though they promised to send, and then I did exactly as they bade me, so as to deprive them of all excuse for meddling with me, letting them know that I could pay for decent treatment so long as I was in their hands.”
“Did you receive it?”
“I was told in a mild manner, adapted to my intelligence, that if I behaved well, I might eat at the master’s table, and have a room with only one inmate. Of the former I have not an engaging experience, either as to the fare, the hostess, or the company. Of the latter, happily I know little, as I only know that my comrade was to be a harmless gibbering idiot; of good birth, poor fellow. However, the sounds I heard, and the court I looked into, convinced me that my privileges were worth paying for.”
He spoke very quietly, but he shuddered involuntarily, and Betty, unable to restrain her tears, retreated to her sister’s side.
CHAPTER XXXVI. WAKING.
So Love was still the Lord of all.—SCOTT.
The summer sun was sinking and a red glow was on the wall above Aurelia’s head when she moved again, upon the shutting of the door, while supper was being taken by the gentlemen in the outer room.
Presently her lips moved, and she said, “Sister,” not in surprise, but as if she thought herself at home, and as Betty gently answered, “Yes, my darling child,” the same voice added, “I have had such a dream; I thought I was a chrysalis, and that I could not break my shell nor spread my wings.”