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THE

CORNHILL MAGAZINE .

AUGUST, 1874.

Three Feathers.

CHAPTER I.

MASTER HARRY.

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OU are a wicked boy, Harry,” said a delightful old lady

of seventy, with pink cheeks, silver hair, and bright eyes,

to a tall and handsome lad of twenty, “and you will break your mother's heart. But it's the way of all you Trelyons. Good looks, bad temper, plenty of money, and the maddest fashion of spending itthere you are, the whole of you. Why won't you go into the house ?”

“It's a nice house to go into, ain't it?” said the boy, with a rude laugh. “Look at it!"

It was, indeed, a nice house,—a quaint, old-fashioned, strongly-built place, that had withstood the western gales for some three or four centuries. And it was set amid beautiful trees, and it overlooked a picturesque little valley, and from this garden-terrace in front of it you would catch some VOL. XXX.-20, 176,

7.

glimpse of a tiny harbour on the Cornish coast, with its line of blue water passing out through the black rocks to the sea beyond.

“And why shouldn't the blinds be down ? " said the old lady. “It's the anniversary of your father's death."

“It's always the anniversary of somebody's death," her grandson said, impatiently flicking at a standard rose with his riding-switch, "and it's nothing but snivel, snivel from morning till night, and the droning of the organ in the chapel, and the burning of incense all about the place, and everybody and everything dressed in black, and the whole house haunted by parsons. The parsons about the neighbourhood ain't enough,—they must come from all parts of the country, and you run against 'em in the hall, and you knock them over when you're riding out at the gate, and just when you expect to get a pheasant or two at the place you know, out jumps a brace of parsons that have been picking brambles."

“Harry, Harry, where do you expect to go to, if you hate the parsons 80 ? " the old lady said ; but there was scarcely that earnestness of reproof in her tone that ought to have been there. “And yet it's the way of all you Trelyons. Did I ever tell you how your grandfather hunted poor Mr. Pascoe that winter night ? Dear, dear, what a jealous man your grandfather was at that time, to be sure! And when I told him that John Pascoe had been carrying stories to my father, and how that he (your grandfather) was to be forbidden the house, dear me, what a passion he was in! He wouldn't come near the house after that; but one night, as Mr. Pascoe was walking home, your grandfather rode after him, and overtook him, and called out, . Look here, sir ! you have been telling lies about me. I respect your cloth, and I won't lay a hand on you; but, by the Lord, I will hunt you till there isn't a rag on your back!' And sure enough he did ; and when poor Mr. Pascoe understood what he meant he was nearly out of his wits, and off he went over the fields, and over the walls, and across the ditches, with your grandfather after him, driving his horse at him when he stopped, and only shouting with laughter in answer to his cries and prayers. Dear, dear, what a to-do there was all over the county side after that! and your grandfather durstn't come near the house,—or he was too proud to come ; but we got married for all that ob, yes! we got married for all that.”

The old lady laughed in her quiet way.

You were too good for a parson, grandmother, I'll be bound," said Master Harry Trelyon. “ You are one of the right sort, you are. If I could find any girl, now, like what you were then, see if I wouldn't try to get her for a wife.”

“Oh yes ! ” said the old lady, vastly pleased, and smiling a little; " there were two or three of your opinion at one time, Harry. Many a time I feared they would be the death of each other. And I never could have made up my mind, I do believe, if your grandfather hadn't come in among them to settle the question. It was all over with me then. It's the way of you Trelyons; you never give a poor girl a chance. It isn't ask and have,—it's come and take ; and so a girl becomes a Trelyon before

she knows where she is. Dear, dear, what a fine man your grandfather was, to be sure ; and such a pleasant, frank, good-natured way as he had with him! Nobody could say No twice to him. The girls were all wild about him; and the story there was about our marriage ! Yes, indeed, I was mad about him too, only that he was just as mad about me ; and that night of the ball, when my father was angry because I would not dance, and when all the young men could not understand it, for how did they know that your grandfather was out in the garden, and asking nothing less than that I should run away with him there and then to Gretna ? Why, the men of that time had some spirit, lad, and the girls, too, I can tell you ; and I couldn't say No to him, and away we went just before daylight, and I in my ball-dress, sure enough, and we never stopped till we got to Exeter. And then the fight for fresh horses, and off again; and your grandfather had such a way with him, Harry, that the silliest of girls would have plucked up her spirits! And oh! the money he scattered to get the best of the horses at the posting-houses; for, of course, we knew that my father was close after us, and if he overtook us, then a convent in France for me, and good-bye to George Trelyon--"

“Well, grandmother, don't stop !" cried the lad before her: he had heard the story a hundred times, but he could have heard it another hundred times, merely to see the light that lit up the beautiful old face.

“We didn't stop, you booby!" she said, mistaking his remark; stopping wasn't for George Trelyon. And oh! that morning as we drove into Carlisle, and we looked back, and there, sure enough, was my father's carriage a long way off. Your grandfather swore, Harry-yes, he did ; and well it might make a man swear. For our horses were dead beat, and before we should have time to change, my father would be up to claim me. But there ! it was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me, for who could have expected to find old Lady MacGorman at the door of the hotel, just getting into her carriage, and when she saw me she stared, and I was in such a fright I couldn't speak, and she called out, 'Good heavens, child, why did you run away in your ball-dress? And who's the man?' His name, madam,' said I, is George Trelyon.' For by this time he was in the yard, raging about horses. “A nephew of the Admiral, isn't he ?' she says, and I told her he was ; and then quick as lightning what does she do but whip round into the yard, get hold of your grandfather, my dear, and bundle both of us into her own carriage ! Harry, my father's carriage was at the end of the street, as I am a living woman. And just as we drove off, we heard that dear, good, kind old creature call out to the people around, Five guineas apiece to you if you keep back the old gentleman's carriage for an hour!' and such a laughing as your grandfather bad as we drove down the streets, and over the bridge, and up the hill, and out the level lanes. Dear, dear, I can see the country now. I can remember every hedge, and the two rivers we crossed, and the hills up in the north, and all the time your grandfather kept up the laugh, for he saw I was frightened. And there we were wedded, sure

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