not quite; it was worse, for another GRYF had joined the
author:nature source：Xinkou opening and closing network browse: 【大middle小】 release time:2023-11-30 08:38:30 Comments:
'I am sorry to say it was settled so as to go with the title. The only chance for them is what can be saved--'
'Save everything, then,' exclaimed Lady Martindale. 'I am sure I would give up anything, if I did but know what. We have not had leaders for a long time past, and Theodora's dumb boy does as well as the second footman; Standaloft left me because she could not bear to live in a cottage; Grimes suits me very well; and I do not think I could do quite without a maid.'
'No, indeed, my dear mother,' said John, smiling; 'that is the last thing to be thought of. All my father wished to know was, whether it would grieve you if we gave the care of the gardens to somewhat less of a first-rate genius?'
'Not in the least,' said Lady Martindale, emphatically. 'I shall never bear to return to those botanical pursuits. It was for her sake. Dear little Helen and the rest must be the first consideration. Look here! she really has a very good notion of drawing.'
John perceived that his mother was happier than she had ever been, in waiting upon the children, and enjoying the company of Violet, whose softness exactly suited her; while her decision was a comfortable support to one who had all her life been trained round a stake. They drove and walked together; and Lady Martindale, for the first time, was on foot in the pretty lanes of her own village; she had even stopped at cottage doors, when Violet had undertaken a message while Theodora was out with Percy, and one evening she appeared busy with a small lilac frock that Helen imagined herself to be making. Lady Martindale was much too busy with the four black-eyed living blossoms to set her heart on any griffin-headed or monkey-faced orchids; and her lord found that she was one of those who would least be sensible of his reductions. Theodora was continually surprised to see how much more successful than herself Violet was in interesting her, and keeping her cheerful. Perhaps it was owing to her own vehemence; but with the best intentions she had failed in producing anything like the present contentment. And, somehow, Lord and Lady Martindale seemed so much more at ease together, and to have so much more to say to each other, that their Cousin Hugh one day observed, it was their honeymoon.
'I say, John,' said Percy, one night, as they were walking to the vicarage, 'I wish you could find me something to do in the West Indies.'
'I should be very sorry to export you--'
'I must do something!' exclaimed Percy. 'I was thinking of emigration; but your sister could not go in the present state of things here; and she will not hear of my going and returning when I have built a nest for her.'