"He is not false. Why should you think him false?"

"I do not think it; but if he were--! Never mind. If he be true to you, I will not burden him. If I can see you happy, Kate, I will bear all the rest." That which she would have to bear would be utter solitude for life. She could look forward and see how black and tedious would be her days; but all that would be nothing to her if her child were lifted up on high.

It was now the beginning of April, which for sportsmen in England is of all seasons the most desperate. Hunting is over. There is literally nothing to shoot. And fishing,--even if there were fishing in England worth a man's time,--has not begun. A gentleman of enterprise driven very hard in this respect used to declare that there was no remedy for April but to go and fly hawks in Holland. Fred Neville could not fly hawks at Scroope, and found that there was nothing for him to do. Miss Mellerby suggested--books. "I like books better than anything," said Fred. "I always have a lot of novels down at our quarters. But a fellow can't be reading all day, and there isn't a novel in the house except Walter Scott's and a lot of old rubbish. By-the-bye have you read 'All Isn't Gold That Glitters?'" Miss Mellerby had not read the tale named. "That's what I call a good novel."

Day passed after day and it seemed as though he was expected to remain at Scroope without any definite purpose, and, worse still, without any fixed limit to his visit. At his aunt's instigation he rode about the property and asked questions as to the tenants. It was all to be his own, and in the course of nature must be his own very soon. There could not but be an interest for him in every cottage and every field. But yet there was present to him all the time a schoolboy feeling that he was doing a task; and the occupation was not pleasant to him because it was a task. The steward was with him as a kind of pedagogue, and continued to instruct him during the whole ride. This man only paid so much a year, and the rent ought to be so much more; but there were circumstances. And "My Lord" had been peculiarly good. This farm was supposed to be the best on the estate, and that other the worst. Oh yes, there were plenty of foxes. "My Lord" had always insisted that the foxes should be preserved. Some of the hunting gentry no doubt had made complaints, but it was a great shame. Foxes had been seen, two or three at a time, the very day after the coverts had been drawn blank. As for game, a head of game could be got up very soon, as there was plenty of corn and the woods were large; but "My Lord" had never cared for game. The farmers all shot the rabbits on their own land. Rents were paid to the day. There was never any mistake about that. Of course the land would require to be re-valued, but "My Lord" wouldn't hear of such a thing being done in his time. The Manor wood wanted thinning very badly. The wood had been a good deal neglected. "My Lord" had never liked to hear the axe going. That was Grumby Green and the boundary of the estate in that direction. The next farm was college property, and was rented five shillings an acre dearer than "My Lord's" land. If Mr. Neville wished it the steward would show him the limit of the estate on the other side to-morrow. No doubt there was a plan of the estate. It was in "My Lord's" own room, and would shew every farm with its acreage and bounds. Fred thought that he would study this plan on the next day instead of riding about with the steward.

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