Melbourne House, Volume 1
Part 4 out of 6
"That is all Daisy wants," her aunt went on; "but that will come, I
trust, in time."
"Daisy would do well enough," said Mrs. Randolph, "if she could get some
notions out of her head."
"What, you mean her religious notions? How came she by them, pray?"
"Why there was a person here--a connexion of Mrs. Sandford's--that set
up a Sunday school in the woods; and Daisy went to it for a month or
two, before I thought anything about it, or about him. Then I found she
was beginning to ask questions, and I took her away."
"Is asking questions generally considered a sign of danger?" said Gary
"What was that about her singing the other night?" said Mrs. Gary--"that
had something to do with the same thing, hadn't it?"
"Refused to sing an opera song because it was Sunday."
"Ridiculous!" said Mrs. Gary. "I'll try to make her see it so
herself--if I get a chance. She is a sensible child."
Mr. Randolph was walking up and down the room, and had not spoken a
word. A little time after he found himself nearly alone with Mrs.
Randolph, the others having scattered away. He paused near his wife's
"Daisy is failing," he said. "She has lost more this week than she had
gained in the two months before."
Mrs. Randolph made no answer, and did not even move her handsome head,
or her delicate hands.
"Can't you get out of this business, Felicia?"
"In the way that I said I would. You expect your words to be obeyed, Mr.
Randolph; and I expect it for mine."
Mr. Randolph resumed his walk.
"Daisy has got some things in her head that must get out of it. I would
as lieve not have a child, as not to have her mind me."
Mr. Randolph passed out upon the verandah, and continuing his walk
there, presently came opposite the windows of the library. There he saw
Daisy seated at the table, reading. Her hand was over her brow, and Mr.
Randolph did not feel satisfied with the sober lines of the little mouth
upon which the lamplight shone. Once too, Daisy's head went down upon
her book and lay there a little while. Mr. Randolph did not feel like
talking to her just then, or he would have liked to go in and see what
she was studying. But while he stood opposite the window, Capt. Drummond
came into the library.
"You here, Daisy! What are you busy about?" he said kindly. "What are
you studying now?"
"I am reading the History of England, Capt. Drummond."
"How do you like it?"
"I have not got very far. I do not like it very much."
"Where are you?"
"I have just got to where it tells about Alfred."
"Why do you read it, Daisy? Is it a lesson?"
"No, Capt. Drummond,--but--I think proper to read it."
"It is proper," said the Captain. "Come, Daisy,--suppose we go down on
the sand-beach to-morrow, and we will play out the Saxon Heptarchy there
as we played out the Crimea. Shall we?"
Daisy's face changed. "O thank you, Capt. Drummond!--that will be nice!
"If you will, I will," said the Captain.
Mr. Randolph moved away.
The next day after luncheon, Daisy followed her father when he left the
table. She followed till they were got quite away from other ears.
"Papa, I would like to go to Mrs. Harbonner's again. You said I must not
go without leave."
"Who is Mrs. Harbonner?"
"Papa, it is the place where I took the ham,--do you remember? Joanna
has enquired about her, and found that she is respectable."
"What do you want to go there again for, Daisy?"
"Joanna has found some work for her, papa. She would not have the ham
unless she could work to pay for it. I want to see her to tell her about
Mr. Randolph had it on his tongue to say that somebody else might do
that; but looking down at Daisy, the sight of the pale face and hollow
eyes stopped him. He sat down and drew Daisy up to his side.
"I will let you go."
"Thank you, papa!"
"Do you know," said Mr. Randolph, "that your mother is going to ask you
to sing that song again when Sunday evening comes?"
The smile vanished from Daisy's face; it grew suddenly dark; and a
shuddering motion was both seen and felt by Mr. Randolph, whose arm was
"Daisy," said he, not unkindly, "do you know that I think you a little
She lifted her eyes quickly, and in their meeting with her father's
there was much; much that Mr. Randolph felt without stopping to analyze,
and that made his own face as suddenly sober as her own. There was no
folly in that quick grave look of question or appeal; it seemed to carry
the charge in another direction.
"You think it is not right to sing such a song on a Sunday?" he asked.
"But suppose, by singing it, you could do a great deal of good, instead
"I will give you a hundred dollars for singing it,--which you may spend
as you please for all the poor people about Melbourne or Crum Elbow."
It was very singular to him to see the changes in Daisy's face. Light
and shadow came and went with struggling quickness. He expected her to
speak, but she waited for several minutes; then she said in a troubled
voice,--"Papa, I will think of it."
"Is that all, Daisy?" said Mr. Randolph, disappointed.
"I am going to Mrs. Harbonner's, papa, and I will think, and tell you."
Mr. Randolph was inclined to frown and suspect obstinacy; but the meek
little lips which offered themselves for a kiss disarmed him of any such
thought. He clasped Daisy in his arms and gave her kisses, many a one,
close and tender. If he had known it, he could have done nothing better
for the success of his plan; under the pressure of conscience Daisy
could bear trouble in doing right, but the argument of affection went
near to trouble her conscience. Daisy was obliged to compound for a good
many tears, before she could get away and begin her drive. And when she
did, her mind was in a flutter. A hundred dollars! how much good could
be done with a hundred dollars. Why would it not be right to do
something, even sing such a song on Sunday, when it was sung for such a
purpose and with such results? But Daisy could not feel quite sure about
it; while at the same time the prospect of getting quit of her
difficulties by this means--escaping her mother's anger and the
punishment with which it was sure to be accompanied, and also pleasing
her father--shook Daisy's very soul. What should she do? She had not
made up her mind when she got to the little brown house where Mrs.
She found mother and daughter both in the little bare room; the child
sitting on the floor and cutting pieces of calico and cloth into strips,
which her mother was sewing together with coarse thread. Both looked
just as when Daisy had seen them before--slim, and poor and uncombed;
but the room was clean.
"I thought you warn't coming again," said Mrs. Harbonner.
"I couldn't come till to-day," said Daisy, taking a chair. "I came as
soon as I could." Partly from policy, partly because she felt very
sober, she left it to Mrs. Harbonner to do most of the talking.
"I never see more'n a few folks that thought much of doing what they
said they'd do--without they found their own account in it. If I was
living in a great house, now, I'd have folks enough come to see me."
Daisy did not know what answer to make to this, so she made none.
"I used to live in a better house once," went on Mrs. Harbonner; "I
didn't always use to eat over a bare floor. I was well enough, if I
could ha' let well alone; but I made a mistake, and paid for it; and
what's more, I'm paying for it yet. 'Taint _my_ fault, that Hephzibah
sits there cuttin' rags, instead of going to school."
Again Daisy did not feel herself called upon to decide on the mistakes
of Mrs. Harbonner's past life; and she sat patiently waiting for
something else that she could understand.
"What are you come to see me for now?" said the lady. "I suppose you're
going to tell me you haven't got no work for me to do, and I must owe
you for that ham?"
"I have got something for you to do," said Daisy. "The boy has got it at
the gate. The housekeeper found some clothes to make--and you said that
was your work."
"Tailoring," said Mrs. Harbonner. "I don't know nothing about women's
fixtures,--except what'll keep me and Hephzibah above the savages. I
don't suppose I could dress a doll so's it would sell."
"This is tailoring work," said Daisy. "It is a boy's suit--and there
will be more to do if you like to have it."
"Where is it? at the gate, did you say? Hephzibah, go and fetch it in.
Who's got it?"
"The boy who is taking care of the horses."
"I declare, have you got that little covered shay there again?--it's
complete! I never see a thing so pretty! And Hephzibah says you drive
that little critter yourself. Ain't you afraid?"
"Not at all," said Daisy. "The pony won't do any harm."
"He looks skeery," said Mrs. Harbonner. "I wouldn't trust him. What a
tremenjious thick mane he's got! Well, I s'pect you have everything you
want, don't you?"
"Of such things--" said Daisy.
"That's what I meant. Gracious! I s'pose every one of us has
wishes--whether they are in the air or on the earth. Wishes is the
butter to most folks' bread. Here, child."
She took the bundle from Hephzibah, unrolled it, and examined its
contents with a satisfied face.
"What did _you_ come along with this for?" she said suddenly to Daisy.
"Why didn't you send it?"
"I wanted to come and see you," said Daisy pleasantly.
"What ails you? You ain't so well as when you was here before," said
Mrs. Harbonner, looking at her narrowly.
"I am well," said Daisy.
"You ain't fur from bein' something else then. I suppose you're dyin'
with learning--while my Hephzibah can't get schooling enough to read her
own name. That's the way the world's made up!"
"Isn't there a school at Crum Elbow?" said Daisy.
"Isn't there! And isn't there a bench for the rags? No, my Hephzibah
don't go to shew none."
Mrs. Harbonner was so sharp and queer, though not unkindly towards
herself, that Daisy was at a loss how to go on; and moreover, a big
thought began to turn about in her head.
"Poverty ain't no shame, but it's an inconvenience," said Mrs.
Harbonner. "Hephzibah may stay to home and be stupid, when she's as much
right to be smart as anybody. That's what I look at; it ain't having a
little to eat now and then."
"Melbourne is too far off for her to get there, isn't it?" said Daisy.
"What should she go there for?"
"If she could get there," said Daisy, "and would like it,--I would teach
"_You_ would?" said Mrs. Harbonner. "What would you learn her?"
"I would teach her to read," said Daisy, colouring a little; "and
anything else I could."
"La, she can read," said Mrs. Harbonner, "but she don't know nothing,
for all that. Readin' don't tell a person much, without he has books. I
wonder how long it would hold out, if you begun? 'Taint no use to begin
a thing and then not go on."
"But could she get to Melbourne?" said Daisy.
"I don't know. Maybe she can. Who'd she see at your house?"
"Nobody, but the man at the lodge, or his mother."
"He's the man that lives in the lodge, to open the gate."
"Open the gate, hey? Who pays him for it?"
"Papa pays him, and he lives in the lodge."
"I shouldn't think it would take a man to open a gate. Why Hephzibah
could do it as well as anybody."
Daisy did not see the point of this remark, and went on. "Hephzibah
wouldn't see anybody else, but me."
"Well, I believe you mean what you say," said Mrs. Harbonner, "and I
hope you will when you're twenty years older--but I don't believe it.
I'll let Hephzibah come over to you on Sundays--I know she's jumpin'
out of her skin to go--she shall go on Sundays, but I can't let her go
other days, 'cause she's got work to do; and anyhow it would be too fur.
What time would you like to see her?"
"As soon as it can be after afternoon church, if you please. I couldn't
"You're a kind little soul!" said the woman. "Do you like flowers?"
Daisy said yes. The woman went to a back door of the room, and opening
it, plucked a branch from a great rose-bush that grew there.
"We haint but one pretty thing about this house," said she presenting it
to Daisy,--"but that's kind o' pretty."
It was a very rich and delicious white rose, and the branch was an
elegant one, clustered with flowers and buds. Daisy gave her thanks and
"As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men." There was a
little warm drop of comfort in Daisy's heart as she drove away. If she
could not go to Sunday-school herself, she might teach somebody else yet
more needy; that would be the next best thing. Sunday afternoon--it
looked bright to Daisy; but then her heart sank; Sunday evening would be
near. What should she do? She could not settle it in her mind what was
right; between her mother's anger and her father's love, Daisy could not
see what was just the plumb line of duty. Singing would gain a hundred
dollars' worth of good; and not singing would disobey her mother and
displease her father; but then came the words of one that Daisy honoured
more than father and mother--"Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath
day;" and she could not tell what to do.
Daisy had gone but a little way out of the village, when she suddenly
pulled up. Sam was at the side of the chaise immediately.
"Sam, I want a glass of water; where can I get it?"
"Guess at Mrs. Benoit's, Miss Daisy. There's a fine spring of cold
"Who is Mrs. Benoit?"
"It's Juanita--Miss Daisy has heard of Mrs. St. Leonard's Juanita. Mr.
St. Leonard built a house for her,--just the other side o' them trees."
Daisy knew who Juanita was. She had been brought from the West Indies by
the mother of one of the gentlemen who lived in the neighbourhood; and
upon the death of her mistress had been established in a little house of
her own. Daisy judged that she would be quite safe in going there for
"If I turn into that road, can I go home round that way, Sam?"
"You can, Miss Daisy; but it's a ways longer."
"I like that," said Daisy.
She turned up the road that led behind the trees, and presently saw
Juanita's cottage. A little grey stone house, low-roofed, standing at
the very edge of a piece of woodland, and some little distance back from
the road. Daisy saw the old woman sitting on her doorstep. A grassy
slope stretched down from the house to the road. The sun shone up
against the grey cottage.
"You take care of Loupe, Sam, and I'll go in," said Daisy. A plan which
probably disappointed Sam, but Daisy did not know that. She went through
a little wicket and up the path.
Juanita did not look like the blacks she had been accustomed to see.
_Black_ she was not, but of a fine olive dark skin; and though certainly
old, she was still straight and tall and very fine in her appearance and
bearing. Daisy could see this but partially while Juanita was sitting at
her door; she was more struck by the very grave look her face wore just
then. It was not turned towards her little visiter, and Daisy got the
impression that she must be feeling unhappy.
Juanita rose however with great willingness to get the water, and asked
Daisy into her house. Daisy dared not, after her father's prohibition,
go in, and she stood at the door till the water was brought. Then with a
strong feeling of kindness towards the lonely and perhaps sorrowful old
woman, and remembering to "do good as she had opportunity," Daisy
suddenly offered her the beautiful rose-branch.
"Does the lady think I want pay for a glass of water?" said the woman,
with a smile that was extremely winning.
"No," said Daisy,--"but I thought, perhaps, you liked flowers."
"There's another sort of flowers that the Lord likes,"--said the woman
looking at her; "they be his little children."
Daisy's heart was tender, and there was something in Juanita's face that
won her confidence. Instead of turning away, she folded her hands
unconsciously and said, more wistfully than she knew, "I want to be
"Does my little lady know the Lord Jesus?" said the woman, with a bright
light coming into her eye.
Daisy's heart was sore as well as tender; the question touched two
things,--the joy that she did know him, and the trouble that following
him had cost her; she burst into tears. Then turning away and with a
great effort throwing off the tears, she went back to the chaise. There
stood Sam with the pony's foot in his hand.
"Miss Daisy, this fellow has kicked one of his shoes half off; he can't
go home so; it's hanging. Could Miss Daisy stop a little while at Mrs.
Benoit's, I could take the pony to the blacksmith's--it ain't but a very
little ways off--and get it put on, in a few minutes."
"Well, do, Sam,"--said Daisy after she had looked at the matter; and
while he took Loupe out of harness she turned back to Juanita.
"What is gone wrong?" said the old woman.
"Nothing is wrong," said Daisy; "only the pony has got his shoe off, and
the boy is taking him to the blacksmith's."
"Will my lady come into my house?"
"No, thank you. I'll stay here."
The woman brought out a low chair for her and set it on the grass; and
took herself her former place on the sill of the door. She looked
earnestly at Daisy; and Daisy on her part had noticed the fine carriage
of the woman, her pleasant features, and the bright handkerchief which
made her turban. Through the open door she could see the neat order of
the room within, and her eye caught some shells arranged on shelves; but
Daisy did not like to look, and she turned away. She met Juanita's eye;
she felt she must speak.
"This is a pleasant place."
"Why does my lady think so?"
"It looks pleasant," said Daisy. "It is nice. The grass is pretty, and
the trees; and it is a pretty little house, I think." The woman smiled.
"I think it be a palace of beauty," she said,--"for Jesus is here."
Daisy looked, a little wondering but entirely respectful; the whole
aspect of Juanita commanded that.
"Does my little lady know, that the presence of the King makes a poor
"I don't quite know what you mean," said Daisy humbly.
"Does my little lady know that the Lord Jesus loves his people?"
"Yes," said Daisy,--"I know it."
"But she know not much. When a poor heart say any time, 'Lord, I am all
thine!'--then the Lord comes to that heart and he makes it the house of
a King--for he comes there _himself_. And where Jesus is,--all is glory!
Do not my little lady read that in the Bible?"
"I don't remember"--said Daisy.
The woman got up, went into the cottage, and brought out a large print
Testament which she put into Daisy's hands, open at the fourteenth
chapter of John. Daisy read with curious interest the words to which she
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my
words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make
our abode with him."
Daisy looked at the promise, with her heart beating under troublesome
doubts; when the voice of Juanita broke in upon them by saying,
"Does my little lady keep the Lord's words?"
Down went the book, and the tears rushed into Daisy's eyes.
"Don't call me so," she cried,--"I am Daisy Randolph;--and I do want to
keep his words!--and--I don't know how."
"What troubles my love?" said the woman, in low tones of a voice that
was always sweet. "Do not she know what the words of the Lord be?"
"Yes,"--said Daisy, hardly able to make herself understood,--"but--"
"Then do 'em," said Juanita. "The way is straight. What he say, do."
"But suppose----" said Daisy.
"Suppose what? What do my love suppose?"
"Wouldn't it make it right, if it would do a great deal of good?"
This confused sentence Juanita pondered over.
"What does my love mean?"
"If it would do a great deal of good--wouldn't that make it right to do
"Right to do something that the Lord say _not_ do?"
"If you love Jesus, you not talk so," said Juanita sorrowfully. But that
made Daisy give way altogether.
"O I do love him!--I do love him!" she cried;--"but I don't know what to
do." And tears came in a torrent. Juanita was watchful and thoughtful.
When Daisy had very soon checked herself, she said in the same low,
gentle way in which she had before spoken, "What do the Lord say--to do
that some good thing,--or to keep his words?"
"To keep his words."
"Then keep 'em--and the Lord will do the good thing himself; that same
or another. He can do what he please; and he tell you, only keep his
words. He want you to shew you love him--and he tell you how."
Daisy sat quite still to let the tears pass away and the struggle in her
heart grow calm; then when she could safely she looked up. She met
Juanita's eye. It was fixed on her.
"Is the way straight now?" she asked. Daisy nodded, with a little bit of
a smile on her poor little lips.
"But there is trouble in the way?" said Juanita.
"Yes," said Daisy, and the old woman saw the eyes redden again.
"Has the little one a good friend at home to help?"
Daisy shook her head.
"Then let Jesus help. My little lady keep the Lord's words, and the
sweet Lord Jesus will keep her." And rising to her feet and clasping her
hands, where she stood, Juanita poured forth a prayer. It was for her
little visiter. It was full of love. It was full of confidence too; and
of such clear simplicity as if, like Stephen, she had _seen_ the heavens
open. But the loving strength of it won Daisy's heart; and when the
prayer was finished she came close to the old woman and threw her arms
round her as she stood, and wept with her face hid in Juanita's dress.
Yet the prayer had comforted her too, greatly. And though Daisy was very
shy of intimacies with strangers, she liked to feel Juanita's hand on
her shoulder; and after the paroxysm of tears was past, she still stood
quietly by her, without attempting to increase the distance between
them; till she saw Sam coming down the lane with the pony.
"Good bye," said Daisy, "there's the boy."
"My lady will come to see old Juanita again?"
"I am Daisy Randolph. I'll come,"--said the child, looking lovingly up.
Then she went down the slope to Sam.
"The blacksmith couldn't shoe him, Miss Daisy--he hadn't a shoe to fit.
He took off the old shoe--so Miss Daisy please not drive him hard home."
Daisy wanted nothing of the kind. To get home soon was no pleasure; so
she let Loupe take his own pace, anything short of walking; and it was
getting dusk when they reached Melbourne. Daisy was not glad to be
there. It was Friday night; the next day would be Saturday.
Mrs. Randolph came out into the hall to see that nothing was the matter,
and then went back into the drawing-room. Daisy got her dress changed,
and came there too, where the family were waiting for tea. She came in
softly and sat down by herself at a table somewhat removed from the
others, who were all busily talking and laughing. But presently Capt.
Drummond drew near and sat down at her side.
"Have you had a good drive, Daisy?"
"Yes, Capt. Drummond."
"We missed our history to-day, but I have been making preparations.
Shall we go into the Saxon Heptarchy to-morrow--you and I--and see if we
can get the kingdom settled?"
"If you please. I should like it very much."
"What is the matter with you, Daisy?"
Daisy lifted her wise little face, which indeed looked as if it were
heavy with something beside wisdom, towards her friend; she was not
ready with an answer.
"You aren't going to die on the field of battle yet, Daisy?" he said
half lightly, and half he knew not why. It brought a rush of colour to
the child's face; the self-possession must have been great which kept
her from giving way to further expression of feeling. She answered with
"I don't think I shall, Capt. Drummond."
The Captain saw it was a bad time to get anything from her, and he moved
away. Preston came the next minute.
"Why Daisy," he whispered, drawing his chair close, "where have you been
all day? No getting a sight of you. What have you been about?"
"I have been to Crum Elbow this afternoon."
"Yes, and how late you stayed. Why did you?"
"Loupe lost a shoe. I had to wait for Sam to go to the blacksmith's with
"Really. Did you wait in the road?"
"No. I had a place to wait."
"I dare say you are as hungry as a bear," said Preston. "Now here comes
tea--and waffles, Daisy; you shall have some waffles and cream. That
will make you feel better."
"Cream isn't good with waffles," said Daisy.
"Yes it is. Cream is good with everything. You shall try. I know! I am
always cross myself when I am hungry."
"I am not hungry, Preston; and I don't think I am cross."
"What are you, then? Come, Daisy,--here is a cup of tea, and here is a
waffle. First the sugar--there,--then the cream. So."
"You have spoiled it, Preston."
"Eat it--and confess you are hungry and cross too."
Daisy could have laughed, only she was too sore-hearted, and would
surely have cried. She fell to eating the creamed waffle.
"Is it good?"
"Confess you are hungry and cross, Daisy."
"I am not cross. And Preston, please!--don't!" Daisy's fork fell; but
she took it up again.
"What is the matter, then, Daisy?"
Daisy did not answer; she went on eating as diligently as she could.
"Is it that foolish business of the song?" whispered Preston. "Is _that_
the trouble, Daisy?"
"Please don't, Preston!"--
"Well I won't, till you have had another waffle. Sugar and cream,
"That's brave! Now eat it up--and tell me, Daisy, is _that_ the trouble
He spoke affectionately, as he almost always did to her; and Daisy did
not throw him off.
"You don't understand it, Preston," she said.
"Daisy, I told you my uncle and aunt would not like that sort of thing."
Daisy was silent, and Preston wondered at her. Mrs. Gary drew near at
this moment, and placed herself opposite Daisy's tea-cup, using her eyes
in the first place.
"What are you talking about?" said she.
"About Daisy's singing, ma'am."
"That's the very thing," said Mrs. Gary, "that I wanted to speak about.
Daisy, my dear, I hope you are going to sing it properly to your mother
the next time she bids you?"
Daisy was silent.
"I wanted to tell you, my dear," said Mrs. Gary impressively, "what a
poor appearance your refusal made, the other evening. You could not see
it for yourself; but it made you seem awkward, and foolish, and
ill-bred. I am sure everybody would have laughed, if it had not been for
politeness towards your mother; for the spectacle was ludicrous,
thoroughly. You like to make a graceful appearance, don't you?"
Daisy answered in a low voice,--"Yes, ma'am; when I can."
"Well you _can_, my dear, for your behaviour is generally graceful, and
unexceptionable; only the other night it was very rough and uncouth. I
expected you to put your finger in your mouth the next thing, and stand
as if you had never seen anybody. And Daisy Randolph!--the heiress of
Melbourne and Cranford!"--
The heiress of Melbourne and Cranford lifted to her aunt's face a look
strangely in contrast with the look bent on her; so much worldly wisdom
was in the one, so much want of it in the other. Yet those steady grey
eyes were not without a wisdom, of their own; and Mrs. Gary met them
with a puzzled feeling of it.
"Do you understand me, Daisy, my dear?"
"Do you see that it is desirable never to look ridiculous, and well-bred
persons never do?"
"Yes, aunt Gary."
"Then I am sure you won't do it again. It would mortify me for your
father and mother."
Mrs. Gary walked away. Daisy looked thoughtful.
"Will you do it, Daisy?" whispered Preston.
"Will you sing the song for them next time? You will, won't you?"
"I'll do what I can"--said Daisy. But it was said so soberly, that
Preston was doubtful of her. However he, like Capt. Drummond, had got to
the end of his resources for that time; and seeing his uncle approach,
Preston left his seat.
Mr. Randolph took it and drew Daisy from her own to a place in his arms.
He sat then silent a good while, or talking to other people; only
holding her close and tenderly. Truth to tell, Mr. Randolph was a little
troubled about the course things were taking; and Daisy and her father
were a grave pair that evening.
Daisy felt his arms were a pleasant shield between her and all the
world; if they might only _keep_ round her! And then she thought of
Juanita's prayer, and of the invisible shield, of a stronger and more
loving arm, that the Lord Jesus puts between his children and all real
At last Mr. Randolph bent down his head and brought his lips to Daisy's,
asking her if she had had a nice time that afternoon.
"Very, papa!" said Daisy gratefully; and then added after a little
hesitation, "Papa, do you know old Juanita?--Mrs. St. Leonard's woman,
that Mr. St. Leonard built a little house for?"
"I do not know her. I believe I have heard of her."
"Papa, would you let me go into _her_ house? She has some beautiful
shells that I should like to see."
"How do you know?"
"I saw them, papa, through the doorway of her house, I waited there
while Sam went with Loupe to the blacksmith's."
"And you did not go in?"
"No, sir--you said I must not, you know."
"I believe Juanita is a safe person, Daisy. You may go in, if ever you
have another opportunity."
"Thank you, papa."
"What are you going to do with the hundred dollars?" said Mr. Randolph,
putting his head down and speaking softly.
Daisy waited a minute, checked the swelling of her heart, forbade her
tears, steadied her voice to speak; and then said, "I sha'n't have them,
"I can't fulfil the conditions." Daisy spoke again after waiting a
"Don't you mean to sing?"
Every time Daisy waited.--"I can't, papa."
"Your mother will require it."
Silence, only Mr. Randolph saw that the child's breath went and came
"Daisy, she will require it."
"Yes, papa"--was said rather faintly.
"And I think you must do it."
No response from Daisy; and no sign of yielding.
"How do you expect to get over it?"
"Papa, won't you help me?" was the child's agonized cry. She hid her
face in her father's breast.
"I have tried to help you. I will give you what will turn your fancied
wrong deed into a good one. It is certainly right to do charitable
things on Sunday."
There was silence, and it promised to last some time. Mr. Randolph would
not hurry her: and Daisy was thinking, "If ye love me, keep my
commandments." "_If ye love me_"--
"Papa,"--said she at last, very slowly, and pausing between her
words,--"would you be satisfied,--if I should disobey you--for a hundred
This time it was Mr. Randolph that did not answer, and the longer he
waited the more the answer did not come. He put Daisy gently off his
knee and rose at last without speaking. Daisy went out upon the verandah
and sat down on the step; and there the stars seemed to say to her--"If
a man love me, he will keep my words." They were shining very bright; so
was that saying to Daisy. She sat looking at them, forgetting all the
people in the drawing-room; and though troubled enough, she was not
utterly unhappy. The reason was, she loved her King.
Somebody came behind her and took hold of her shoulders. "My dear little
Daisy!" said the voice of Preston, "I wish you were an India-rubber
ball, that I might chuck you up to the sky and down again a few times!"
"Why? I don't think it would be nice."
"Why?--why because you want shaking; you are growing dull,--yes,
absolutely you are getting heavy! you, little Daisy! of all people in
the world. It won't do."
"I don't think such an exercise would benefit me," said Daisy.
"I'd find something else then. Daisy, Daisy," said he, shaking her
shoulders gently, "this religious foolery is spoiling you. Don't _you_
go and make yourself stupid. Why I don't know you. What is all this
ridiculous stuff? You aren't yourself."
"What do you want me to do, Preston?" said Daisy standing before him,
not without a certain childish dignity. It was lost on him.
"I want you to be my own little Daisy," said he coaxingly. "Come!--say
you will, and give up these outlandish notions you have got from some
old woman or other. What is it they want you to do?--sing?--Come,
promise you will. Promise me!"
"I will sing any day but Sunday."
"Sunday? Now Daisy! I'm ashamed of you. Why I never heard such nonsense.
Nobody has such notions but low people. It isn't sensible. Give it up,
Daisy, or I shall not know how to love you."
"Good night, Preston"--
"Daisy, Daisy! come and kiss me and be good."
"Good night"--repeated Daisy without turning; and she walked off.
It half broke June's heart that night to see that the child's eyes were
quietly dropping tears all the while she was getting undressed.
Preston's last threat had cut very close. But Daisy said not a word; and
when, long after June had left her, she got into bed and lay down, it
was not Preston's words but the reminder of the stars that was with her
and making harmony among all her troubled thoughts--"If a man love me,
he will keep my words."
In spite of the burden that lay on Daisy's heart, she and Capt. Drummond
had a good time the next morning over the Saxon Heptarchy. They went
down to the shore for it, at Daisy's desire, where they would be
undisturbed; and the morning was hardly long enough. The Captain had
provided himself with a shallow tray filled with modelling clay; which
he had got from an artist friend living a few miles further up the
river. On this the plan of England was nicely marked out, and by the
help of one or two maps which he cut up for the occasion, the Captain
divided off the seven kingdoms greatly to Daisy's satisfaction and
enlightenment. Then, how they went on with the history! introduced
Christianity, enthroned Egbert, and defeated the Danes under Alfred.
They read from, the book, and fought it all out on the clay plan, as
they went along. At Alfred they stopped a good while, to consider the
state of the world in the little island of Britain at that time. The
good king's care for his people, his love for study and encouragement of
learning; his writing fables for the people; his wax candles to mark
time; his building with brick and stone; his founding the English navy,
and victories with the same; no less than his valour and endurance in
every time of trial; all these things Capt. Drummond whose father had
been an Englishman, duly enlarged upon, and Daisy heard them with greedy
ears. Truth to tell, the Captain had read up a little for the occasion,
being a good deal moved with sympathy for his little friend, who he saw
was going through a time of some trial. Nothing was to be seen of that
just now, indeed, other than the peculiarly soft and grave expression
which Daisy's face had worn all this week; and which kept reminding the
Captain to be sorry for her.
They got through with Alfred at last--by the way, the Captain had
effaced the dividing lines of the seven kingdoms and brought all to one
in Egbert's time--and now they went on with Alfred's successors. A place
was found on the sand for Denmark and Norway to shew themselves; and
Sweyn and Canute came over; and there was no bating to the interest with
which the game of human life went on. In short, Daisy and the Captain
having tucked themselves away in a nook of the beach and the tenth and
eleventh centuries, were lost to all the rest of the world and to the
present time; till a servant at last found them with the information
that the luncheon bell had rung, and Mrs. Randolph was ready to go out
with the Captain. And William the Conqueror had just landed at Hastings!
"Never mind, Daisy," said the Captain; "we'll go on with it, the next
chance we get."
Daisy thanked him earnestly, but the thought that Sunday must come and
go first, threw a shadow over her thanks. The Captain saw it; and walked
home thinking curiously about the "field of battle"--not Hastings.
Daisy did not go in to luncheon. She did not like meeting all the people
who felt so gay, while she felt so much trouble. Nor did she like being
with her mother, whose manner all the week had constantly reminded Daisy
of what Daisy never forgot. The rest of Saturday passed soberly away.
There was a cloud in the air.
And the cloud was high and dark Sunday morning, though it was as fair a
summer day as might be seen. Some tears escaped stealthily from Daisy's
eyes, as she knelt in the little church beside her mother; but the
prayers were deep and sweet and strong to her, very much. Sadly sorry
was Daisy when they were ended. The rest of the service was little to
her. Mr. Pyne did not preach like Mr. Dinwiddie; and she left the church
with a downcast heart, thinking that so much of the morning was past.
The rest of the day Daisy kept by herself, in her own room; trying to
get some comfort in reading and praying. For the dread of the evening
was strong upon her; every movement of her mother spoke displeasure and
determination. Daisy felt her heart beating gradually quicker and
quicker, as the hours of the day wore on.
"Ye ain't well, Miss Daisy,"--said June, who had come in as usual
without being heard.
"Yes I am, June," said Daisy. But she had started when the woman spoke,
and June saw that now a tear sprang.
"Did you eat a good lunch, Miss Daisy?"
"I don't know, June. I guess I didn't eat much."
"Let me bring you something!"--said the woman coaxingly--"some
strawberries, with some good cream to 'em."
"No--I can't, June--I don't want them. What o'clock is it?"
"It is just on to five, Miss Daisy."
Five! Daisy suddenly recollected her scholar, whom she had directed to
come to her at this hour. Jumping up she seized her hat and rushed off
down stairs and through the shrubbery, leaving June lost in wonder and
At a Belvidere, some distance from the house and nearer the gate, Daisy
had chosen to meet her pupil; and she had given orders at the Lodge to
have her guided thither when she should come. And there she was; Daisy
could see the red head of hair before she got to the place herself.
Hephzibah looked very much as she did on weekdays; her dress partially
covered with a little shawl; her bonnet she had thrown off; and if the
hair had been coaxed into any state of smoothness before leaving home,
it was all gone now.
[Illustration: THE BELVIDERE.]
"How do you do, Hephzibah?" said Daisy. "I am glad to see you."
Hephzibah smiled, but unless that meant a civil answer, she gave none.
Daisy sat down beside her.
"Do you know how to read, Hephzibah?"
The child first shook her shaggy head--then nodded it. What that meant,
Daisy was somewhat at a loss.
"Do you know your letters?"
"What is that letter?"
Daisy had not forgotten to bring a reading book, and now put Hephzibah
through the alphabet, which she seemed to know perfectly, calling each
letter by its right name. Daisy then asked if she could read words; and
getting an assenting nod again, she tried her in that. But here
Hephzibah's education was defective; she could read indeed, after a
fashion; but it was a slow and stumbling fashion; and Daisy and she were
a good while getting through a page. Daisy shut the book up.
"Now Hephzibah," said she, "do you know anything about what is in the
Hephzibah shook her head in a manner the reverse of encouraging.
"Did you never read the Bible, nor have any one read it to you?"
Daisy thereupon began to tell her little neighbour the grand story which
concerned them both so nearly, making it as clear and simple as she
could. Hephzibah's eyes were fixed on her intently all the while; and
Daisy, greatly interested herself, wondered if any of the interest had
reached Hephzibah's heart, and made the gaze of her eyes so unwavering.
They expressed nothing. Daisy hoped, and went on, till at a pause
Hephzibah gave utterance to the first words (of her own) that she had
spoken during the interview. They came out very suddenly, like an
unexpected jet of water from an unused fountain.
"Mother says, you're the fus'ratest little girl she ever see!"
Daisy was extremely confounded. The thread of her discourse was so
thoroughly broken indeed, that she could not directly begin it again;
and in the minute of waiting she saw how low the sun was. She dismissed
Hephzibah. telling her to be at the Belvidere the same hour next
As the shaggy little red head moved away through the bushes, Daisy
watched it, wondering whether she had done the least bit of good. Then
another thought made her heart beat, and she turned again to see how low
the sun was. Instead of the sun she saw Gary McFarlane.
"Who is that, Daisy?" said he, looking after the disappearing red head.
"A poor little girl--" said Daisy.
"So I should think,--very poor!--looks so indeed! How came she here?"
"She came by my orders, Mr. McFarlane."
"By your orders! What have you got there, Daisy? Let's see! As sure as
I'm alive!--a spelling book. Keeping school, Daisy? Don't say no!"
Daisy did not say no, nor anything. She had taken care not to let Gary
get hold of her Bible; the rest she must manage as she could.
"This _is_ benevolence!" went on the young man. "Teaching a spelling
lesson in a Belvidere with the thermometer at 90 deg. in the shade? What
sinners all the rest of us are! I declare, Daisy, you make me feel bad."
"I should not think it, Mr. McFarlane."
"Daisy, you have _a plomb_ enough for a princess, and gravity enough for
a Puritan! I should like to see you when you are grown up,--only then I
shall be an old man, and it will be of no consequence. What _do_ you
expect to do with that little red head?--now do tell me."
"She don't know anything, Mr. McFarlane."
"No more don't I! Come Daisy--have pity on me. You never saw anybody
more ignorant than I am. There are half a dozen things at this moment
which I don't know--and which you can tell me. Come, will you?"
"I must go in, Mr. McFarlane."
"But tell me first. Come, Daisy! I want to know why _is_ it so much
more wicked to sing a song than to make somebody else singsong?--for
that's the way they all do the spelling book, _I_ know. Hey, Daisy?"
"How did you know anything about it, Mr. McFarlane?"
"Come, Daisy,--explain. I am all in a fog--or else you are. This
spelling book seems to me a very wicked thing on Sunday."
"I will take it, if you please, Mr. McFarlane."
"Not if I know it! I want my ignorance instructed, Daisy. I am persuaded
you are the best person to enlighten me--but if not, I shall try this
spelling book on Mrs. Randolph. I regard it as a great curiosity, and an
important question in metaphysics."
Poor Daisy! She did not know what to do; conscious that Gary was
laughing at her all the while, and most unwilling that the story of the
spelling book should get to Mrs. Randolph's ears. She stood hesitating
and troubled, when her eye caught sight of Preston near. Springing to
him she cried, "O Preston, get my little book from Mr. McFarlane--he
won't give it to me."
There began then a race of the most uproarious sort between the two
young men--springing, turning, darting round among the trees and bushes,
shouting to and laughing at each other. Daisy another time would have
been amused; now she was almost frightened, lest all this boisterous
work should draw attention. At last, however, Preston got the spelling
book, or Gary let himself be overtaken and gave it up.
"It's mischief, Preston!" he said;--"deep mischief--occult mischief. I
give you warning."
"What is it, Daisy?" said Preston. "What is it all about?"
"Never mind. Oh Preston! don't ask anything, but let me have it!"
"There it is then; but Daisy," he said affectionately, catching her in
his arms,--"you are going to sing to-night, aren't you?"
"Don't Preston--don't! let me go," cried Daisy struggling to escape from
him; and she ran away as soon as he let her, hardly able to keep back
her tears. She felt it very hard. Preston and Gary, and her mother and
her father,--all against her in different ways. Daisy kneeled down by
her window-sill in her own room, to try to get comfort and strength;
though she was in too great tumult to pray connectedly. Her little heart
was beating sadly. But there was no doubt at all in Daisy's mind as to
what she should do.--"If a man love me, he will keep my words." She
never questioned now about doing that.
The dreaded tea bell rang, and she went down; but utterly unable to eat
or drink through agitation. Nobody seemed to notice her particularly,
and she wandered out upon the verandah; and waited there. There
presently her father's arms came round her before she was aware.
"What are you going to do, Daisy?"
"Nothing, papa," she whispered.
"Are you not going to sing?"
"Papa, I can't!" cried Daisy dropping her face against his arm. Her
father raised it again and drawing her opposite one of the windows,
looked into the dark-ringed eyes and white face.
"You are not well," said he. "You are not fit to be up; and my orders to
you, Daisy, are to go immediately to bed. I'll send you some medicine by
and by. Good night!"
He kissed her, and Daisy needed no second bidding. She sprang away,
getting into the house by another door; and lost no time. Her fear was
that her mother might send for her before she could get undressed. But
no summons came; June was speedy, thinking and saying it was a very good
thing for Daisy to do; and then she went off and left her alone with the
moonlight. Daisy was in no hurry then. She knelt by her beloved window,
where the scent of the honeysuckle was strong in the dewy air; and with
a less throbbing heart prayed her prayer. But she was not at ease yet;
it was very uncertain in her mind how her mother would take this order
of her father's; and what would come after, if she was willing to let it
pass. So Daisy could not go to sleep, but lay wide awake and fearing in
the moonlight, and listening to every sound in the house that came to
The moonlight shone in peacefully, and Daisy lying there and growing
gradually calmer, began to wonder in herself that there should be so
much difficulty made about anybody's doing right. If she had been set on
some wrong thing, it would have made but a very little disturbance--if
any; but now, when she was only trying to do right, the whole house was
roused to prevent her. Was it so in those strange old times that the
eleventh chapter of Hebrews told of?--when men, and women, were stoned,
and sawn asunder, and slain with the sword, and wandered like wild
animals in sheepskins and goatskins and in dens and caves of the earth?
all for the name of Jesus. But if they suffered once, they were happy
now. Better anything, at all events, than to deny that name!
The evening seemed excessively long to Daisy, lying there on her bed
awake, and listening with strained ears for any sound near her room. She
heard none; the hours passed, though so very slowly, as they do when all
the minutes are watched; and Daisy heard nothing but dim distant noises,
and grew pretty quiet. She had heard nothing else, when turning her head
from the moonlight window she caught the sight of a white figure at her
bedside; and by the noble form and stately proportions Daisy knew
instantly whose figure it was. Those soft flowing draperies had been
before her eyes all day. A pang shot through the child, that seemed to
go from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet.
"Are you awake, Daisy?"
"Yes, mamma," she said feebly.
"Get up. I want to speak to you."
Daisy got off the bed, and the white figure in the little night dress
stood opposite the other white figure, robed in muslin and laces that
fell around it like a cloud.
"Why did you come to bed?"
"Papa--papa ordered me."
"It's all the same. If you had not come to bed, Daisy if you had been
well,--would you have sung when I ordered you to-night?"
Daisy hesitated, and then said in a whisper:
"No, mamma--not that."
"Think before you answer me, for I shall not ask twice. Will you promise
to sing the gypsy song, because I command you, next Sunday in the
evening? Answer, Daisy."
Very low it was, for Daisy trembled so that she did not know how she
could speak at all, but the answer came,--
"I can't, mamma."
Mrs. Randolph stepped to the bell and rang it. Almost at the same
instant June entered, bearing a cup in her hand.
"What is that?" said Mrs. Randolph.
"Master sent Miss Daisy some medicine."
"Set it down. I have got some here better for her. June, take Daisy's
"Oh mamma, no!" exclaimed Daisy. "Oh please send June away!"
The slight gesture of command to June which answered this, was as
imperious as it was slight. It was characteristically like Mrs.
Randolph; graceful and absolute. June obeyed it, as old instinct told
her to do; though sorely against her will. She had held hands before,
though not Daisy's; and she knew very well the look of the little whip
with which her mistress stepped back into the room, having gone to her
own for it. In a Southern home that whip had been wont to live in Mrs.
Randolph's pocket. June's heart groaned within her.
The whip was small but it had been made for use, not for play; and there
was no play in Mrs. Randolph's use of it. This was not like her father's
ferule, which Daisy could bear in silence, if tears would come; her
mother's handling forced cries from her; though smothered and kept under
in a way that shewed the child's self-command.
"What have you to say to me?" Mrs. Randolph responded, without waiting
for the answer. But Daisy had none to give. At length her mother paused.
"Will you do what I bid you?"
Daisy was unable to speak for tears--and perhaps for fear. The wrinkles
on June's brow were strangely folded together with agitation; but nobody
"Will you sing for me next Sunday?" repeated Mrs. Randolph.
There was a struggle in the child's heart, as great almost as a child's
heart can bear. The answer came, when it came, tremblingly--
"I can't, mamma."
"You cannot?" said Mrs. Randolph.
"I can't, mamma."
The chastisement which followed was so severe, that June was moved out
of all the habits of her life, to interfere in another's cause. The
white skinned race were no mark for trouble in June's mind; least of
them all, her little charge. And if white skin was no more delicate in
reality than dark skin, it answered to the lash much more speakingly.
"Missus, you'll kill her!" June said, using in her agitation a carefully
disused form of speech; for June was a freedwoman. A slight turn of the
whip brought the lash sharply across her wrist, with the equally sharp
words, "Mind your own business!"
A thrill went through the woman, like an electric spark firing a whole
life-train of feeling and memory; but the lines of her face never moved,
and not the stirring of a muscle told what the touch had reached,
besides a few nerves. She had done her charge no good by her
officiousness, as June presently saw with grief. It was not till Mrs.
Randolph had thoroughly satisfied her displeasure at being thwarted, and
not until Daisy was utterly exhausted, that Mrs. Randolph stayed her
"I will see what you will say to me next Sunday!" she remarked calmly.
And she left the room.
It was not that Mrs. Randolph did not love her daughter, in her way; for
in her way she was fond of Daisy; but the habit of bearing no opposition
to her authority was life-strong, and probably intensified in the
present instance by perceiving that her husband was disposed to shield
the offender. The only person in whose favour the rule ever relaxed, was
June was left with a divided mind, between the dumb indignation which
had never known speech, and an almost equally speechless concern. Daisy
as soon as she was free had made her way to the window; there the child
was, on her knees, her head on her window sill, and weeping as if her
very heart were melting and flowing away drop by drop. And June stood
like a dark statue, looking at her; the wrinkles in her forehead scarce
testifying to the work going on under it. She wanted first of all to see
Daisy in bed; but it seemed hopeless to speak to her; and there the
little round head lay on the window-sill, and the moonbeams poured in
lovingly over it. June stood still and never stirred.
It was a long while before Daisy's sobs began to grow fainter, and June
ventured to put in her word and got Daisy to lay herself on the bed
again. Then June went off after another sort of medicine of her own
devising, despising the drops which Mr. Randolph had given her. Without
making a confidant of the housekeeper, she contrived to get from her
the materials to make Daisy a cup of arrowroot with wine and spices.
June knew well how to be a cook when she pleased; and what she brought
to Daisy was, she knew, as good as a cook could make it. She found the
child lying white and still on the bed, and not asleep, nor dead, which
June had almost feared at first sight of her. She didn't want the
arrowroot; she said.
"Miss Daisy, s'pose you take it?" said June. "It won't do you no
hurt--maybe it'll put you to sleep."
Daisy was perhaps too weak to resist. She rose half up and eat the
arrowroot, slowly, and without a word. It did put a little strength into
her, as June had said. But when she gave back the cup and let herself
fall again upon her pillow, Daisy said,
"June, I'd like to die."
"O why, Miss Daisy?" said June.
"Jesus knows that I love him now; and I'd like--" said the child
steadying her voice--"I'd like--to be in heaven!"
"O no, Miss Daisy--not yet; you've got a great deal to do in the world
"Jesus knows I love him--" repeated the child.
"Miss Daisy, he knowed it before--he's the Lord."
"Yes, but--he wants people to _shew_ they love him, June."
"Do, don't! Miss Daisy," said June half crying. "Can't ye go to sleep?
It was but three minutes more, and Daisy had complied with her request.
June watched and saw that the sleep was real; went about the room on her
noiseless feet; came back to Daisy's bed, and finally went off for her
own pillow, with which she lay down on the matting at the foot of the
bed, and there passed the remainder of the night.
The sun was shining bright the next morning, and Daisy sat on one of the
seats under the trees, half in sunshine, half in shadow. It was after
breakfast, and she had been scarcely seen or heard that morning before.
Ransom, came up.
"Daisy, do you want to go fishing?"
"No, I think not."
"You don't! What are you going to do?"
"I am not going to do anything."
"I don't believe it. What ails you? Mother said I was to ask you--and
there you sit like a wet feather. I am glad I am not a girl, however!"
Ransom went off, and a very faint colour rose in Daisy's cheek.
"Are you not well, Daisy?" said Mr. Randolph, who had also drawn near.
"I am well, papa."
"You don't look so. What's the matter, that you don't go a fishing, when
Ransom has the consideration to ask you?"
Daisy's tranquillity was very nearly overset. But she maintained it, and
only answered without the change of a muscle, "I have not the
inclination, papa." Indeed her face was _too_ quiet; and Mr. Randolph
putting that with its colourless hue, and the very sweet upward look her
eyes had first given him, was not satisfied. He went away to the
"Felicia," said he low, bending down by his wife,--"did you have any
words with Daisy last night?"
"Has she told you about it?" said Mrs. Randolph.
"Told me what? What is there to tell?"
"Nothing, on my part," answered the lady nonchalantly. "Daisy may tell
you what she pleases."
"Felicia," said Mr. Randolph looking much vexed, "that child has borne
too much already. She is ill."
"It is her own fault. I told you, Mr. Randolph, I would as lief not have
a child as not have her mind me. She shall do what I bid her, if she
dies for it."
"It won't come to that," said Mrs. Gary. Mr. Randolph turned on his
Meantime, another person who had seen with sorrow Daisy's pale face, and
had half a guess as to the cause of it, came up to her side and sat
"Daisy, what is to be done to-day?"
"I don't know, Capt. Drummond."
"You don't feel like storming the heights, this morning?"
Again, to him also, the glance of Daisy's eye was so very sweet and so
very wistful, that the captain was determined in a purpose he had half
had in his mind.
"What do you say to a long expedition, Daisy?"
"I don't feel like driving, Capt. Drummond."
"No, but suppose I drive,--and we will leave Loupe at home for to-day. I
want to go as far as Schroeder's Hill, to look after trilobites; and I
do not want anybody with me but you. Shall we go?"
"What are those things, Capt. Drummond?"
"Yes. What are they?"
"Curious things, Daisy! They are a kind of fish that are found on land."
"Fish on land! But then they can't be fish, Capt. Drummond?"
"Suppose we go and see," said the captain; "and then if we find any, we
shall know more about them than we do now."
"But how do you catch them?"
"With my hands, I suppose."
"With your _hands_, Capt. Drummond?"
"Really I don't know any other way,--unless your hands will help. Come!
shall we go and try?"
Daisy slowly rose up, very mystified, but with a little light of
interest and curiosity breaking on her face. The Captain moved off on
his part to get ready, well satisfied that he was doing a good thing.
It went to the Captain's heart nevertheless, for he had a kind one, to
see all the way how pale and quiet Daisy's face was. She asked him no
more about trilobites, she did not talk about anything; the subjects the
Captain started were soon let drop. And not because she was too ill to
talk, for Daisy's eye was thoughtfully clear and steady, and the Captain
had no doubt but she was busy enough in her own mind with things she did
not bring out. What sort of things? he was very curious to know. For he
had never seen Daisy's face so exceeding sweet in its expression as he
saw it now; though the cheeks were pale and worn, there was in her eye
whenever it was lifted to his a light of something hidden that the
Captain could not read. It was true. Daisy had sat stunned and dull all
the morning until he came with his proposal for the drive; and with the
first stir of excitement in getting ready, a returning tide of love had
filled the dry places in Daisy's heart; and it was full now of feelings
that only wanted a chance to come out. Meanwhile she sat as still as a
mouse and as grave as a judge.
The hill for which they were bound was some dozen or more miles away. It
was a wild rough place. Arrived at the foot of it, they could go no
further by the road; the Captain tied his horse to a tree, and he and
Daisy scrambled up the long winding ascent, thick with briars and
bushes, or strewn with pieces of rock and shaded with a forest of old
trees. This was hard walking for Daisy to-day; she did not feel like
struggling with any difficulties, and her poor little feet almost
refused to carry her through the roughnesses of the last part of the
way. She was very glad when they reached the ground where the Captain
wanted to explore, and she could sit down and be still. It was quite on
the other side of the mountain; a strange looking place. The face of the
hill was all bare of trees, and seemed to be nothing but rock; and
jagged and broken as if quarriers had been there cutting and blasting.
Nothing but a steep surface of broken rock; bare enough; but it was from
the sun, and Daisy chose the first smooth fragment to sit down upon.
Then what a beautiful place! For from that rocky seat, her eye had a
range over acres and acres of waving slopes of tree tops; down in the
valley at the mountain foot, and up and down so many slopes and ranges
of swelling and falling hillsides and dells, that the eye wandered from
one to another and another, softer and softer as the distance grew, or
brighter and more varied as the view came nearer home. A wilderness all,
no roof of a house nor smoke from a chimney even; but those sunny ranges
of hills, over which now and then a cloud shadow was softly moving, and
which finished in a dim blue horizon.
"Well, are you going to sit here?" said the Captain, "or will you help
me to hunt up my fishes?"
"O I'll sit here," said Daisy. She did not believe much in the success
of the Captain's hunt.
"Won't you be afraid, while I am going all over creation?"
"Of what?" said Daisy.
The Captain laughed a little and went off; thinking however not so much
of his trilobites as of the sweet fearless look the little face had
given him. Uneasy about the child too, for Daisy's face looked not as he
liked to see it look. But where got she that steady calm, and curious
fearlessness. "She is a timid child," thought the Captain as he climbed
over the rocks; "or she was, the other night."
But the Captain and Daisy were looking with different eyes; no wonder
they did not find the same things. In all that sunlit glow over hill and
valley, which warmed every tree-top, Daisy had seen only another
light,--the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. With that love round her,
over her, how could she fear anything. She sat a little while resting
and thinking; then being weary and feeling weak, she slipped down on the
ground, and like Jacob taking a stone for her pillow, she went to sleep.
So the Captain found her, every time he came back from his hunt to look
after his charge; he let her sleep, and went off again. He had a
troublesome hunt. At last he found some traces of what he sought; then
he forgot Daisy in his eagerness, and it was after a good long interval
the last time that he came to Daisy's side again. She was awake.
"What have you got?" she said as he came up with his hands full.
"I have got my fish."
"Have you! O where is it?"
"How do you do?" said the Captain sitting down beside her.
"I do very well. Where is the fish? You have got nothing but stones
there, Capt. Drummond?"
The Captain without speaking displayed one of the stones he had in his
hand. It looked very curious. Upon a smooth flat surface, where the
stone had been split, there was a raised part which had the appearance
of some sort of animal; but this too seemed to be stone, and was black
and shining, though its parts were distinct.
"What is that, Capt. Drummond? It is a stone."
"It is a fish."
"But you are laughing."
"Am I?" said the Captain, as grave as a senator. "It's a fish for all
"This curious black thing?"
"What sort of a fish?"
"Daisy, have you had any luncheon?"
"Then you had better discuss that subject first. Soldiers cannot get
along without their rations, you'll find."
"What is that?" said Daisy.
"Daily bread, Daisy. Of one sort or another as the case may be. Where is
Daisy had charge of it and would not let him take it out of her hands.
She unfolded napkins, and permitted the Captain to help himself when
she had all things ready. Then bread and butter and salad were found to
be very refreshing. But while Daisy eat, she looked at the trilobite.
"Please tell me what it is, Capt, Drummond."
"It is a Crustacean."
"But you know I don't know what a Crustacean is."
"A Crustacean, is a fellow who wears his bones on the outside."
"Capt. Drummond! What do you mean?"
"Well I mean that, Daisy. Did you never hear of the way soldiers used to
arm themselves for the fight in old times? in plates of jointed armour?"
"Yes, I know they did."
"Well these fellows are armed just so--only they do not put on steel or
brass, but hard plates of bone or horn that do exactly as well, and are
jointed just as nicely."
"And those are Crustaceans?"
"Those are Crustaceans."
"And was this thing armed so?"
"Splendidly. Don't you see those marks?--those shew the rings of his
armour. Those rings fitted so nicely, and played so easily upon one
another, that he could curl himself all up into a ball if he liked, and
bring his armour all round him; for it was only on his back, so to
"And how came he into this rock, Capt. Drummond?"
"Ah! how did he?" said the Captain, looking contentedly at the
trilobite. "That's more than I can tell you, Daisy. Only he lived before
the rock was made, and when it was made, it wrapped him up in it,
somehow; and now we have got him!"
"But, Capt. Drummond I----"
"What is it?"
"When do you suppose this rock was made?"
"Can't just say, Daisy. Some rocks are young, and some are old, you
know. This is one of the old rocks."
"But how do you know, Capt. Drummond?"
"I know by the signs," said the Captain.
"What is an old rock? how old?"
"I am sure I can't say, Daisy. Only that a _young_ rock is apt to be a
good deal older than Adam and Eve."
"How can you tell that?"
"When you see a man's hair grey, can't you tell that he is old?"
"But there are no grey hairs in rocks?" said Daisy.
"Yes, there are. Trilobites do just as well."
"But I say," said Daisy laughing, "how can you tell that the rock is
old? You wouldn't know that grey hairs were a sign, if you saw them on
"Pretty well, Daisy!" said the Captain, delighted to see her interested
in something again;--"pretty well! But you will have to study something
better than me, to find out about all that. Only it is true."
"And you were not laughing?"
"Not a bit of it. That little fellow, I suppose, lived a thousand
million years ago; may as well say a thousand as anything."
"I can't see how you can tell," said Daisy, looking puzzled.
"That was a strange old time, when he was swimming about--or when most
of them were. There were no trees, to speak of; and no grass or anything
but sea-weed and mosses; and no living things but fishes and oysters and
"Where were the beasts then, and the birds?"
"They were not made yet. That's the reason, I suppose, there was no
grass for them to eat."
Daisy looked down at the trilobite; and looked profoundly thoughtful.
That little, shiny, black, stony thing, _that_ had lived and flourished
so many ages ago! Once more she looked up into the Captain's face to see
if he were trifling with her. He shook his head.
"True as a book, Daisy."
"But Capt. Drummond, please, how do you know it?"
"Just think, Daisy,--this little fellow frolicked away in the mud at the
bottom of the sea, with his half moons of eyes--and round him swam all
sorts of fishes that do not live now-a-days; fishes with plate armour
like himself; everybody was in armour."
"Half moons of eyes, Capt. Drummond?"
"Yes. He had, or some of them had, two semi-circular walls of eyes--one
looked before and behind and all round to the right, and the other
looked before and behind and all round at the left; and in each wall
were two hundred eyes."
The Captain smiled to himself to see Daisy's face at this statement,
though outwardly he kept perfectly grave. Daisy's own simple orbs were
so full and intent. She looked from him to the fossil.
"But Capt. Drummond----" she began slowly.
"Well, Daisy? After you have done, I shall begin."
"Did you say that this thing lived at the bottom of the sea?"
"But then how could he get up here?"
"Seems difficult, don't it?" said the Captain. "Well, Daisy, the people
that know, tell us that all the land we have was once at the bottom of
the sea; so these rocks had their turn."
"All the land?" said Daisy. "O that is what the Bible says!"
"The Bible!" said the Captain in his turn. "Pray where, if you please?"
"Why don't you know, Capt. Drummond?--when God said, 'Let the waters be
gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.'"
The Captain whistled softly, with an amused face, and stealthily watched
Daisy, whose countenance was full of the most beautiful interest.
Almost lovingly she bent over the trilobite, thinking her own thoughts;
while her friend presently from observing the expression of her face
began to take notice anew of the thin and pale condition of the cheeks,
that had been much healthier a week ago.
"You like to look at armour, Daisy," he said.
She made no answer.
"Are you still in the mind to 'die on the field of battle?'"
He guessed the question would touch her, but curiosity got the better of
sympathy with him. He was not prepared for the wistful, searching look
that Daisy gave him instantly, nor for the indescribable tenderness and
sorrow that mingled in it. As before, she did not answer.
"Forgive me, Daisy," said the Captain involuntarily "You know you told
me you were a soldier."
Daisy's heart was very tender, and she had been living all the morning
in that peculiar nearness to Christ which those know who suffer for him.
She looked at the Captain, and burst into tears.
"You told me you were a soldier--" he repeated, not quite knowing what
"O Capt. Drummond!" said Daisy weeping,--"I wish you were!"
It stung the Captain. He knew what she meant. But he quietly asked her
"Because then," said Daisy, "you would know Jesus; and I want you to be
"Why Daisy," said Capt. Drummond, though his conscience smote him,--"you
don't seem to me very happy lately."
"Don't I?" she said. "But I _am_ happy. I only wish everybody else was
She presently wiped her eyes and stood up. "Capt. Drummond," said she,
"don't you think we can find another of these things?"
Anything to change the course matters had taken, the Captain thought,
so he gave ready assent; and he and Daisy entered upon a most lively
renewed quest among the rocks that covered all that mountain side. Daisy
was more eager than he; she wanted very much to have a trilobite for her
own keeping; the difficulty was, she did not know how to look for it.
All she could do was to follow her friend and watch all his doings and
direct him to new spots in the mountain that he had not tried. In the
course of this business the Captain did some adventurous climbing; it
would have distressed Daisy if she had not been so intent upon his
object; but as it was she strained her little head back to look at him,
where he picked his way along at a precipitous height above her,
sometimes holding to a bramble or sapling, and sometimes depending on
his own good footing and muscular agility. In this way of progress,
while making good his passage from one place to another, the Captain's
foot in leaping struck upon a loosely poised stone or fragment of rock.
It rolled from under him. A spring saved the Captain, but the huge stone
once set a going continued its way down the hill.
"Daisy--look out!" he shouted.
"Have you got one?" said Daisy, springing forward. She misunderstood his
warning; and her bound brought her exactly under the rolling stone. She
never saw it till it had reached her and knocked her down.
"Hollo, Daisy!" shouted Capt. Drummond,--"is all right?"
He got no answer, listened, shouted again, and then made two jumps from
where he stood to the bottom. Daisy lay on the ground, her little foot
under the stone; her eyes closed, her face paler than ever. Without
stopping to think how heavy the stone was, with a tremendous exertion of
strength the young man pushed it from where it lay and released the
foot; but he was very much afraid damage was done. "It couldn't help
it"--said the Captain to himself as he looked at the great piece of
rock; but the first thing was to get Daisy's eyes open. There was no
spring near that he knew of; he went back to their lunch basket and
brought from it a bottle of claret--all he could find--and with it
wetted Daisy's lips and brow. The claret did perhaps as well as cold
water; for Daisy revived; but as soon as she sat up and began to move,
her words were broken off by a scream of pain.
"What is it, Daisy?" said the Captain. "Your foot?--that confounded
stone!--can't you move it?"
"No,"--said Daisy with a short breath, "I can't move it. Please excuse
me, Capt. Drummond--I couldn't help crying out that minute; it hurt me
so. It doesn't hurt me so much now when I keep still."
The Captain kept still too, wishing very much that he and Daisy and the
trilobites were all back in their places again. How long could they sit
still up there on the mountain? He looked at the sun; he looked at his
watch. It was three o'clock. He looked at Daisy.
"Let me see," said he, "if anything is the matter. Hard to find out,
through this thick boot! How does it feel now?"
"It pains me very much, these two or three minutes."
The Captain looked at Daisy's face again, and then without more ado took
his knife and cut the lacings of the boot. "How is that?" he asked.
"That is a _great_ deal better."
"If it hadn't been, you would have fainted again directly. Let us
see--Daisy, I think I had better cut the boot off. You have sprained the
ankle, or something, and it is swollen."
Daisy said nothing, and the Captain went on very carefully and tenderly
to cut the boot off. It was a very necessary proceeding. The foot was
terribly swollen already. Again the Captain mused, looking from the
child's foot to her face.
"How is the pain now?"
"It aches a good deal."
He saw it was vastly worse than her words made it.
"My little soldier," said he, "how do you suppose I am going to get you
down the hill, to where we left our carriage?"
"I don't know," said Daisy. "You can't carry me."
"What makes you think so?"
"I don't _know_," said Daisy,--"but I don't think you can." And she was
a little afraid, he saw.
"I will be as careful as I can, and you must be as brave as you can, for
I don't see any other way, Daisy. And I think, the sooner we go the
better; so that this foot may have some cold or hot lotion or
"Wait a minute," said Daisy hastily.
And raising herself up to a sitting position, she bent over her little
head and covered her eyes with her hand. The Captain felt very
strangely. He guessed in a minute what she was about; that in pain and
fear, Daisy was seeking an unseen help, and trusting in it; and in awed
silence the young officer was as still as she, till the little head was
"Now," she said, "you may take me."
The Captain always had a good respect for Daisy; but he certainly felt
now as if he had the dignity of twenty-five years in his arms. He raised
her as gently as possible from the ground; he knew the changed position
of the foot gave her new pain, for a flush rose to Daisy's brow, but she
said not one word either of suffering or expostulation. Her friend
stepped with her as gently as he could over the rough way; Daisy
supported herself partly by an arm round his neck, and was utterly mute,
till they were passing the place of luncheon; then she broke out,--
"Oh! the trilobite!"
"Never mind the trilobite."
"But are you going to lose it, Capt. Drummond?"
"Not if you want it. I'll come back for it another day--if I break my
"I could hold it in my other hand--if I had it."
The Captain thought the bottle of claret might chance to be the most
wanted thing; nevertheless he stopped, stooped, and picked up the
fossil. Daisy grasped it; and they went on their way down the mountain.
It was a very trying way to both of them. The Captain was painfully
anxious to step easily, which among rocks and bushes he could not always
do, especially with a weight in his arms; and Daisy's foot hanging down,
gave her dreadful pain because of the increased rush of blood into it.
Her little lips were firmly set together many a time, to avoid giving
her friend the distress of knowing how much she suffered; and once the
Captain heard a low whisper not meant for his ear but uttered very close
to it,--"O Lord Jesus, help me." It went through and through the
Captain's mind and heart. But he only set his teeth too, and plunged on,
as fast as he could softly, down the rough mountain side. And if ever
anybody was glad, that was he when they reached the wagon.
There was a new difficulty now, for the little vehicle had no place in
which Daisy could remain lying down. The seat was fast; the Captain
could not remove it. He did the best he could. He put Daisy sideways on
the seat, so that the hurt foot could be stretched out and kept in one
position upon it; and he himself stood behind her, holding the reins. In
that way he served as a sort of support for the little head which he
sometimes feared would sink in a swoon; for while she lay on the ground
and he was trying measures with the wagon, the closed eyes and pale
cheeks had given the Captain a good many desperately uneasy thoughts.
Now Daisy sat still, leaning against him, with her eyes open; and he
drove as tenderly as he could. He had a frisky horse to manage, and the
Captain congratulated himself for this occasion at least that he was a
skilled whip. Still the motion of the wagon was very trying to Daisy,
and every jar went through the Captain's foot up to his heart.
"How is it, Daisy?" he asked after they had gone some distance.
"It isn't good, Capt. Drummond," she said softly.
"Bad, isn't it?"
"I have to make this fellow go slowly, you see, or he would shake you
too much. Could you bear to go faster?"
The Captain tried cautiously. But his question, and possibly Daisy's
answer, were stimulated by the view of the western horizon, over which
clouds were gathering thick and fast. Could they get home in time? that
was the doubt in both minds.
"Capt. Drummond," said Daisy presently, "I can't bear this shaking."
"Must I go slower?"
"If you please."
"Daisy, do you see how the sky bodes yonder? What do you suppose we
shall do if those clouds come up?"
"I don't know," she answered. But she said it with such a quiet tone of
voice, that the Captain wondered anew. He had hoped that her fears might
induce her to bear the pain.
"Daisy, do you think it will come up a storm?"
"I think it will."
"How soon? you know the signs better than I do. How soon will it be
"It will come soon, I think."
Yet there was no anxiety in Daisy's voice. It was perfectly calm, though
feeble. The Captain held his peace, looked at the clouds, and drove on;
but not as fast as he would have liked. He knew it was a ride of great
suffering to his little charge, for she became exceedingly pale; still
she said nothing, except her soft replies to his questions. The western
clouds rolled up in great volumes of black and grey, rolling and
gathering and spreading at a magnificent rate. The sun was presently hid
behind the fringe of this curtain of blackness; by and by the mountains
were hid beneath a further fringe of rain; a very thick fringe. Between,
the masses of vapour in the sky seemed charging for a tremendous
outburst. It had not come yet when the slow going little wagon passed
through Crum Elbow; but by this time the Captain had seen distant darts
of lightning, and even heard the far-off warning growl of the thunder. A
new idea started up in the Captain's mind; his frisky horse might not
"Daisy," said he, "my poor little Daisy--we cannot get to Melbourne--we
must stop and wait a little somewhere. Is there any house you like
better than another? I had best turn back to the village."
"No, don't,--stop!" cried Daisy, "don't go back, Capt. Drummond; there
is a place nearer. Turn up that road--right round there. It is very
The Captain obeyed, but pulled in the reins presently as he heard a
nearer growl of the coming thunder. "Daisy, where is it? I don't see
"There it is, Capt. Drummond--that little house."
"_That_?" said the Captain; but there was no more time now for retreat
or question. He sprang out, threw the reins two or three times over the
gate-post; then executed the very difficult operation of taking Daisy
out of the wagon. He could not do it without hurting her; she fainted on
his shoulder; and it was in this state, white and senseless, that he
carried her into Mrs. Benoit's cottage. The old woman had seen them and
met him at the door. Seeing the state of the case, she immediately and
with great quickness spread a clean covering over a comfortable chintz
couch which stood under the window, and Daisy was laid there from her
friend's arms. Juanita applied water and salts too, deftly; and then
asked the Captain, "What is it, sir?"
"There's a foot hurt here," said the Captain, giving more attention to
the hurt than he had had chance to do before. "Pray heaven it is not
broken! I am afraid it is,--the ankle--or dislocated."
"Then Heaven knows _why_ it is broken," said the old woman quietly. "The
gentleman will go for a doctor, sir?"
"Yes, that must be the first thing," said Capt. Drummond gravely. "Where
shall I find him?"
"Dr. Sandford--the gentleman, knows the road to Mr. St. Leonard's?"
"Yes--the Craigs--I know."
"Dr. Sandford is half way there--where the gentleman remembers a great
brown house in the middle of the cedar trees."
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