But they had to give him room for two on the march, and the place behind him was always left vacant, which they said gave no more space than he wanted, seeing he kicked out his leg to twice its walking length. Before long, however, they had got so used to his ways that they almost ceased to regard them as faults, and he began to grow a favourite in the regiment.
Dorothy and Rowland.
Such was the force of law and custom in Raglan that as soon as any commotion ceased things settled at once. It was so now. The minds of the marquis and lord Charles being at rest both as regarded the gap in the defences of the castle and the character of its inmates, the very next day all was order again. The fate of Amanda was allowed gradually to ooze out, but the greater portion both of domestics and garrison continued firm in the belief that she had been carried off by Satan. Young Delaware, indeed, who had been revelling late—I mean in the chapel with the organ—and who was always the more inclined to believe a thing the stranger it was, asserted that he saw devil fly away with her—a testimony which gained as much in one way as it lost in another by the fact that he could not see at all.
To Scudamore her absence, however caused, was only a relief. She had ceased to interest him, while Dorothy had become to him like an enchanted castle, the spell of which he flattered himself he was the knight born to break. All his endeavours, however, to attract from her a single look such as indicated intelligence, not to say response, were disappointed. She seemed absolutely unsuspicious of what he sought, neither, having so long pretermitted what claim he might once have established to cousinly relations with her, could he now initiate any intimacy on that ground. Had she become an inmate of Raglan immediately after he first made her acquaintance, that might have ripened to something more hopeful; but when she came she was in sorrow, nor felt that there was any comfort in him, while he was beginning to yield to the tightening bonds mistress Amanda had flung around him. Nor since had he afforded her any ground for altering her first impressions, or favourably modifying a feature of the portrait lady Margaret had presented of him.
Strange to say, however, poorly grounded as was the orignal interest he had taken in her, and little as he was capable of understanding her, he soon began, even while yet confident in his proved advantages of person and mind and power persuasive, to be vaguely wrought upon by the superiority of her nature. With this the establishment of her innocence in the eyes of the household had little to do; indeed, that threatened at first to destroy something of her attraction; a passionate, yielding, even erring nature, had of necessity for such as he far more enchantment than a nature that ruled its own emotions, and would judge