He went on with his life at Scroope for a week after the funeral without resolving upon anything, or taking any steps towards solving the O'Hara difficulty. He did ride about among the tenants, and gave some trifling orders as to the house and stables. His brother was still with him, and Miss Mellerby remained at the Manor. But he knew that the thunder-cloud must break over his head before long, and at last the storm was commenced. The first drops fell upon him in the soft form of a letter from Kate O'Hara.


I am not quite sure that I ought to address you like that; but I always shall unless you tell me not. We have been expecting a letter from you every day since you went. Your friend from Ennis came here, and brought us the news of your uncle's death. We were very sorry; at least I was certainly. I liked to think of you a great deal better as my own Fred, than as a great lord. But you will still be my own Fred always; will you not?

Mother said at once that it was a matter of course that you should go to England; but your friend, whose name we never heard, said that you had sent him especially to promise that you would write quite immediately, and that you would come back very soon. I do not know what he will think of me, because I asked him whether he was quite, quite sure that you would come back. If he thinks that I love you better than my own soul, he only thinks the truth.

Pray,--pray write at once. Mother is getting vexed because there is no letter. I am never vexed with my own darling love, but I do so long for a letter. If you knew how I felt, I do think you would write almost every day,--if it were only just one short word. If you would say, 'Dear Love,' that would be enough. And pray come. Oh do, do, pray come! Cannot you think how I must long to see you! The gentleman who came here said that you would come, and I know you will. But pray come soon. Think, now, how you are all the world to me. You are more than all the world to me.

I am not ill as I was when you were here. But I never go outside the door now. I never shall go outside the door again till you come. I don't care now for going out upon the rocks. I don't care even for the birds as you are not here to watch them with me. I sit with the skin of the seal you gave me behind my head, and I pretend to sleep. But though I am quite still for hours I am not asleep, but thinking always of you.

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