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THE HOUSE BY THE WORKS. BY THE AUTHOR OF “ OCCUPATIONS OF A RETIRED LIFE," " THE CRUST AND THE CAKE,” ETC.
lies in deadly danger, which of us would CHAPTER XII.-A PERFORD INTERIOR.
not, if he could, postpone the crisis which MISS PENDLEBURY and Kate were must either restore joy or slay hope ? Which
still sipping their tea from the same of us would not crave one more day's respite, old Chelsea cups, which the former remem- if, haply, its sunshine or breeze may bring a bered as the anxious admiration of the high little more strength for the wrestle on whose days and holidays of her youth, when Lois En- issues so much depends ? ticknapp herself was announced. She had Only the last time she had seen Lydia the come to report to Aunt Barbara about the girl had spoken bitterly, as if her doom real state of things with old Dan Chambers, was harder than she could bear. Lois's faith of whose memories, fears, and ambitions and courage did not fail ; but Lydia's fits of that lady had heard for the first time the despair began to shake her nerve. A tainted day before. Also Lois intended to carry off air will poison the strongest man who reLydia to pass the evening in her own home, peatedly enters it, because at each essay it where she was often welcomed now, though saps his resisting power. kind Hannah Enticknapp and her old servant And Lois stood quite still outside the discreetly left her but little noticed.
parlour door, and asked herself, “What can be But when Aunt Barbara saw Lois she ex- the will of God?” And she answered in her claimed that she and her guest were just heart, “ His judgments need not make haste, starting to pay a visit to Lois's mother, and and His thunderbolts fly better on His own why should they be baulked of that pleasure, wind than from human artillery. While I because Lois herself could now conduct them can spare Lydia, I think I may.” And then there? “Why, indeed!” Lois answered she went in. gaily, always ready to throw herself into any “Lydia," she said, "Miss Pendlebury and little scheme of kindliness and joy. But a friend of hers wish to visit my mother towhen she turned to smile upon the visitor, night. Perhaps you will not care to come.” the smile died on her face, and there swept “ Certainly not," Lydia answered. " I over it the white rigidity which Miss Pen- think I am able to amuse myself for one dlebury remembered at their first introduc- evening." tion, but which she had almost forgotten Lois was still stunned by the terror which in the geniality she had since learned to had fallen upon her. Otherwise her sensilove.
tive sympathy would have detected the edge “Shall I find Lydia in the parlour ? Il in Lydia's voice. As it was, she felt this wish to speak a word with her,” she said, in was a good opportunity for proving to Lydia a manner which, in anybody else, would that she could now trust her with herself, have seemed haughtiness, but in sweet Lois which Lydia had more than once passionately Enticknapp was only unutterably strange and accused her of being unable to do. So she stiff.
only bade her a cheerful good night and “Yes, you will, and it is quite time that kissed her, and hastened away, lest any she put away her work," answered Miss awkward question or remark might rise. Pendlebury; and Lois arose and went, swiftly By the time Aunt Barbara and Kate had and silently, with none of the smiles and donned their bonnets and mantles Lois was gestures with which we are accustomed to herself again, or, as Kate whispered to Miss round off our entrances and exits.
Pendlebury, “ The roses are thawed—the “You must not judge of her for awhile,” icicles are dew-drops." said Miss Pendlebury to Kate. “She was
“I have never been on foot in Perford like this when I first met her. Is it some before,” Kate observed, as they stepped from lingering survival of Quaker coolness and re- the door. serve, or is it merely the effect of a stranger's “ Can that really be so?” exclaimed Aunt presence? She seems to freeze."
Barbara. “But if she does,” said Kate, “it is into “ Yes,” Kate repeated. " When I was a frozen roses."
child the servants were expressly forbidderi And Lois went slowly towards the parlour. to bring me here ; and so it acquired to me A great responsibility had fallen upon her, that sort of taboo which we accept without and her heart trembled. When a dear one reasoning about it. I have often felt it VII. N.S.
would be a relief to do some forbidden thing; Perford bell-maker. If you will come here but it never occurred to me to commit this by day-time, I will get the key of the tower virtuous trespass on closed preserves.” and show them to you.
There is some “ Then you know nothing about Perford !" curious, rude engraving on one of them, cried Lois enthusiastically, like one who has separated into three stages. On the highest entire possession of a treasure which others there are flying figures with trumpets and refuse to value because they consider it was harps ; on the next there are priests and got cheaply. “Have you never been inside children with singing books, and on the the church? Then we will go in now; for lowest there are five workmen with their this is the night when it is dusted, and the tools, and underneath is gravencharwomen know me."
• Thomas Falcon and his men, Kate Pride never forgot Perford church,
William, Joseph, George, and Ben,
Made us all with all their might. as she first saw it, with a few candles dimly
Ring us, if you please, aright. glimmering here and there in its dusky depths.
Glory to God in highest heaven.
Sixteen hundred ninety-seven.' She had seen vast and glorious continental churches, but none had ever taken possession They were his free gift. Though the bells of her with such a sense of space and mys- do not say so, the church record does; and tery, for space and mystery are not measured oh, Miss Pride !” exclaimed Lois, with a by yards or feet. A feeling of recognition start of delighted recollection, “there is stirred within her. “Could she have ever something down this aisle which you ought been brought there when she was a baby?” | to see.” she asked herself.
Kate followed her swift steps_swift with "Is it very old ?" she asked in a whisper. a joyful freedom, a thousand times more
“ It is older as a church than as a build- reverent than the slow cringe of a slave, ing,” said Lois. "A chapel was founded over-simulating what he does not feel. And here by a knight of Henry V.'s train, who Kate thought to herself that she had never accidentally slew his dearest friend in the before in her life had such a cicerone as this. chase. There is a bit of old stone wall in It was not dry-as-dust antiquarian stories she Church Street which they say belongs to the had been hearing, but living lines from the hermitage he built for himself. But this poem of humanity-wine from the sweet church itself was only built in the time of vintages of the past, stored in a heart which Queen Elizabeth. They say it was hindered gave it the rich flavour of age without its for a while, because the timber that was pre-cobwebs. pared for it was made into a blazing beacon Lois passed many a quaint memorial at to give warning of the Spanish armada; the which Kate would have liked to linger, and great scaffold poles for the tower were she paused before a tiny, plain slab of planted upright, and lit at the top. And marble scarcely larger than a schoolboy's you must have heard our bells, Miss Pride, slate. But from it Kate read :for they sound softly as far as Culstead. They will ring to-night while you are at our house, for they always ring on Thurs
JAMES BURGESS, days. One Thursday night, in the reign of For fifty years the faithful servant and friend of George I., a lady who lived at Perwood
HENRY PRIDE, that was where the railway station is now
Haberdasher, of Cooke's Alley, in this place, who, welcomed home her only son, whom she had
sorrowing, erects this tablet. mourned as worse than dead-for, he had left home in anger, and had been cast away “I thought you would like to see that," with his shipmates on a desert island. She said Lois. sent down word for the ringers to ring, and “ Thank you,” answered Kate. “I ought she did the same the next week, and every to have seen it long ago." Was her father week while she lived, and when she died she really so blind to the true dignity of man left a bequest that it might go on for ever, as that he had hastened to forget the simple the will said, 'even as she should go on prais- worth of that record because his grandfather ing God in the mansions of His eternal king- had been the “haberdasher of Cooke's dom. But I was beginning to tell you Alley”? about the bells, and that ought to have come “ It is the only tablet connected with your first, for if there had been no bells she could family,” related Lois, “though their graves not have bidden them ring. These bells are all outside in the churchyard. But there were made in Queen Elizabeth's time by a is no other grave with the name of Burgess
TO THE MEMORY OF
on it. Sometimes I think your great-grand- windows with fantastically-shaped panes, the father put up that because James Burgess had lower half of which was screened by blinds, been a stranger and a bachelor, and he did which gave those within the command of the not like him to be quite forgotten in the place shop, without forfeiting their privacy. It where he had lived and been so good.” was further lit by a window at the other end,
Kate followed her out of the church with now covered by a full chintz curtain of out a word. At the door she turned and quaint pattern. The chairs had cushions looked again at the great dusky place. Was of the same ; there was a side-table laden part of its mysterious charm due to the fact with work-boxes and a big Bible. There that here her homely, old-fashioned fore were some curious wooden figures of rude fathers had worshipped, had borne their German carving on the high, narrow mantelhumble sorrows and joys, had been baptized, board, with its deep frilling of green stuff, married, and buried? We scarcely know and another brown jar like that in the shop what threads are wrought into our being. stood inside the grate, but with a growing
They had to go round the church to come myrtle instead of cut flowers; for the baking out into the High Street, and Lois still had oven warmed the house, so that fires were her guileless honours to do. She pointed out slow to come and swift to vanish from its a house “which artists came to see ;” it was sitting-rooms. such a fine old timbered house ; “but they “ You have kept faithfully to your old would not like to go into it,” she added sorrow- dwelling-place,” said Kate Pride. fully; “it is so dirty. An old woman who lives Hannah Enticknapp smiled and looked there tells me she can remember when there around with loving eyes. “ When some of were pictures in the panels; but they are all my former neighbours come to visit me," gone now; they've torn down a great deal said she, “ it seems dull to them, for, indeed, of the panelling for firewood. Poor things! they say so, which I sometimes think is not the rooms are very draughty in winter.” quite kindly. It is not what it was when
They came out in front of the quaint shop- Jacob brought me here. They have shut in window, with its small, heavily-framed panes. the churchyard, and built great flat factories Behind the counter, in an oaken chair, sat in place of pleasant dwellings. Sometimes Hannah Enticknapp, knitting a soft grey I think I should not know Perford, if I had stocking. Within reach of her hand was not seen it from then till now. But I could her calf-bound ledger, a brown jar full of never find that old Perford if I sought for it dahlias, and a Wedgwood inkstand fashioned over all the world, neither anywhere else like the base of a Doric column.
could I find the house where Jacob and I It was not Aunt Barbara's first visit to the lived together, and whence he went to fine old Quakeress, but it was her first lamp- God.” lit visit, and when she saw that pretty picture, “I cannot give up the old life, except for she remembered her return to Perford, and new life,” she went on. “I do not look how the pleasant shop had seemed an oasis forward to dying in this house. That will in its desert. With the memory of that first be as God directs. But if Lois and I did night, not lately thought of, came memory as some advise us, we should find some little of the sweet wild face which had so touched cottage with a rose-tree in the garden, and Aunt Barbara's heart. And now it was no a poultry yard behind, and we should have more unknown. With her foot on Lois Entick- to spend our whole lives in sparing and napp's threshold, Miss Pendlebury recalled caring for ourselves, which would not be where she had first seen Lydia Calderwood. good for us, and we should have no relations
Hannah Enticknapp welcomed them cor- with other people, which would be bad for dially. “ Thou art a fellow-townswoman,” | us. I love roses, and Else never lets the she said, when Kate was introduced. “Thy house be without flowers, and Lois keeps people were here, old inhabitants, when Jacob some chickens in her little green garden. and I were strangers. Follow me to the But roses and poultry will not satisfy a soul, parlour,” she said. “I will bid Paul Stach nor fill hands which have thrown away work to look to the shop.”
to grasp them.” And so Kate found herself in a parlour And then Kate thought within herself, behind a shop-a room of the class in which these must be people such as her father her father and her father's father had been called "unsuccessful,” because, while he had bred. She wondered how he could be gilded a great prison to shut himself in, and ashamed of it, if it had been at all like this. heaped up a great store to worry himself This was divided from the shop by a wall of about, they had only made for themselves a
home which was to them a resting place, and chosen it in preference to something else. to others a refuge.
The cases are quite different.'” And then they had a talk about things in “And I said," added her mother, “Friend general, and about poor old Dan Chambers Peters, man doth not live by bread alone. in particular; for the struggle was going And it is well that man knows that in his altogether too hard for the old man. He no heart, else we might be all in the workhouse longer needed only the piece of bread and together, the guardians and thee, and everythe cup of tea, which had been so hard to body.'” get; he needed also care and guidance. He “I have been asking about Stott's almshad got out-door relief allowed him, but for houses,” remarked Miss Pendlebury. "I a month only; at the end of that time his had noticed they had vanished from Stott's case was to be reconsidered.
Row, and Lois tells me they have been re“But the guardians have really some built at New Culstead.” mercy under what looks so cruel,” said Yes, that is so," said Hannah EntickHannah Enticknapp. “The relieving officer napp,
“ The land in Stott's Row grew very comes to our shop, and I mentioned the valuable, and then, thou seest, just at that time matter to him, and he explained it to me. they discovered that it could not be healthy He said, 'What is half-a-crown a week, and for the old folks to live where they had what will it do? For a poor widow, work- grown old, and were in sight of their children ing hard, and with two or three children, and grand-children. I say nothing on the growing better able to help themselves question whether charity houses should stand every day, it will perhaps pay the rent till where factories may be built; but if that is the day of trouble is over. But half-a- wrong, then they need not have brought in crown a week and two or three loaves will the plea of unhealthiness, and if it was unnot keep old Chambers, and where is the healthy, it was fit for nothing. They used rest to come from? If some day the poor to keep twelve old people on the original man is found dead from starvation, then the foundation. By reducing the number to guardians will be blamed for having con- eight, and adding on the ground-rent of the nived at his obstinacy by giving him a little old premises, they have managed to found help, instead of compelling him to come into Stott's school, up in New Culstead, where the house, by withholding all.' John Peters the little ones learn the number of square is not a bad man,” said Hannah Enticknapp miles in a county before they can tell you with a humorous smile, “ though his speech what a square is.” sounds hard. He cannot understand how “ And the eight alms - people are old old Dan can choose his empty, dirty room, domestic servants and retainers of our Culinstead of the big, clean workhouse. He stead gentry,” said Kate Pride, with a sneer says 'there ain't a poor man in Perford as in her voice. well lodged as the paupers.'"
“Well, never mind," answered the good Yes," said Lois,” he said to me the Quakeress with her sweet calmness. “Our other day, ‘Now, miss, you can't say you poor people will learn presently that they would make such an awful fuss at having to must work for no wage that will not provide live likes they do in the house. You've been for their own old age, and will learn what inside, and you knows the food is fit to eat, work will do so, and will go where it can be and the beds is decent. I know the com-found. We never do well when we think that pany ain't select, but they're mostly much of the former days are better than these. It a muchness, and needn't grumble at that. seems so sometimes, because only the good Would lords and ladies kick up a row if has survived, and the foolish and bad have they were purwided with better than they'd perished. We know of more evil and ever had before, and no more trouble think- misery now, because we have better means ing about it? It's onreasonable, Miss of knowing everything. All England rings Lois.'"
with a story of starvation, where a hundred “And what did you say, Lois?” asked such stories would never have been heard Miss Pendlebury.
before the days of newspapers. Dost thou “I said,” answered Lois, "Mr. Peters, understand? God has predestined all men the workhouse has not been the terror of my and all things to grow better and to go life, against which I have been fighting all forward. But the pace is their own, thee my days. To avoid it has not been my sole knows. Else we should be slaves tied and ambition. If I ever find myself there, it will dragged with chains, dost thou not see ? in. be, most likely, because I have voluntarily stead of children free to do a little mischief and turn our toys upside down, but never One is evidently a citizen of Christiania, and able to escape from the security of our the other is in the dress of a Lapp. And Father's house. It does not help the world here in this corner is an outline of fells and to say it is going back, for we can strive to fiords, with a line crossing them all, to show climb the steepest hill; but who would strain the way the Lapp reached his friend. That himself on a path that was slipping down plate belonged to my grandmother's people ; beneath his feet?"
I mean my father's mother.
She was a And then, by way of discussing how merely Norwegian by descent, and she was not a high wages do not always mean prosperity, Moravian"--and Lois playfully lowered her conversation slipped to the thrifty workmen voice, as if some sedate ghosts might be in of the Black Forest and the wooden carvings the room, and she did not wish to hurt their on the mantel-shelf. And then Aunt Barbara feelings. “It was she who taught my father asked if they would show Kate the strange, the songs and stories he told me. One of suggestive household gods which they had my grandmother's great-uncles had been a already shown her. And taking a bright bishop of Bergen, and father used to think brass candlestick of heavy old make, Lois that plate had been made for him, because, led the way up the bare wooden stairs to the on the leaf of the open Bible which is carved wide, low room over the shop. The candle on his tomb, there is the text about 'entershed but a subdued light, yet sufficed to taining strangers.'
taining strangers.' It was through grandshow Kate the plain panelling, the stained mother's people that father came to England floor with its strips of blue carpet, strong and and married mother. Grandmother's brother rough in texture and without pattern, and was one of the Norwegian prisoners taken the stiff, stout oak furniture, a little older in Napoleon's wars, to whom the English than that in the parlour, and therefore, like Quakers were so kind. His stories made venerable people, placed in the room of father wish to come to England, and from honour.
him he got many introductions among the But Lois had her treasures to show. There Friends. And it was grandmother who sent was the stiff drawing of Herrnhut, with its us Else Beck, and our cat's great-grandstraight streets and rows of trees. “My mother,” finished Lois with a gay laugh, as father visited Herrnhut nearly forty years Else appeared bearing a tray and followed ago,” she said ; "that was when he first met by her familiar yellow Floss. “Yes,” said our foreman, Paul Stach. Paul's great-grand- Lois, "we owe a great deal to grandmother uncle was one of the first people who settled Ingebjora. Sometimes I wish father had in Herrnhut, and he was the very first to dig named me after her.” in the pretty green graveyard you see in the “Ah, that was my fault,” explained her picture. Afterwards he went to the Green mother. “I was not over-wise in those land mission. And this is the model of a days, and I thought it had a wild, pagan canoe made by one of the first Greenland sound.” converts. Matthew Stach sent it home to And while Hannah Enticknapp surrounded Herrnhut. It belongs to Paul; but he likes Kate Pride with her gentle, old-fashioned us to hang it here, because then it is quite hospitalities, her honey, her lemonade, and safe. That is a portrait of Count Zinzen- her crisp biscuits, Aunt Barbara drew her dorf. It is very old; it comes from my hand through the daughter's arm and grandfather's house in Copenhagen. So does saidthat pot, Miss Pride. Do you know what it “ Lois, did not you meet Lydia Calder
It is just my grandmother's old coffee- wood for the first time last March ?” pot. Do not you think the bright brass A paleness swept over Lois's face, but her looks pretty in this shady room? and it is eyes flashed with swift Norse fire. She what
my father had his breakfast from every would have trusted her own life to Miss morning when he was a boy. Do you Pendlebury's kindness; but in her passionate notice the big plate standing on the little desire to save Lydia, she felt ready to resent shelf? If you look at it closely you will see any word that might startle the peace she that part of what appears like a pattern is was guarding, and recall the fever of despair really German character. It is very quaint; that had scarcely departed. I do not think I could make it out if my Yes," she answered, “I did.” sather had not told me what it is. It means “ I think I saw her first,” said Miss Pendle“the paths to a true friend lie straight, bury, "for she travelled with me from the though he be far away.” Do you see the sea-side ; I recalled that to-night. Don't be picture of the two men supping together ? fierce, Lois. You have taken all responsi