I have remembrances of yours—

... words of so sweet breath composed

As made the things more rich.

Hamlet.... You do remember all the circumstance?

Horatio. Remember it, my lord?

Hamlet. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting

That would not let me sleep.

... poor Ophelia,

Divided from herself and her fair judgment.

Sleep rock thy brain,

And never come mischance.—Hamlet.

MRS. Crawford was not in the least apprehensive of the safety of the young people who had been placed under her care upon this day. She had been accustomed in the good old days at Arradambad, when the scorching inhabitants had lifted their eyes unto the hills, and had fled to their cooling slopes, to organise little open-air tiffins for the benefit of such young persons as had come out to visit the British Empire in the East under the guidance of the major's wife, and the result of her experience went to prove that it was quite unnecessary to be in the least degree nervous regarding the ultimate welfare of the young persons who were making collections of the various products of Nature. It was much better for the young persons to learn self-dependence, she thought, and though many of the maidens under her care had previously, through long seasons at Continental watering-places, become acquainted with a few of the general points to be observed in maintaining a course of self-dependence, yet the additional help that came to them from the hills was invaluable.

As Mrs. Crawford now gave a casual glance round the descending party, she felt that her skill as a tactician was not on the wane. They were walking together, and though Lottie was of course chatting away as flippantly as ever, yet both Markham and Mr. Glaston was very silent, she saw, and her conclusions were as rapid as those of an accustomed campaigner should be. Mr. Glaston had been talking to Daireen in the twilight, so that Lottie's floss-chat was a trouble to him; while Oswin Markham was wearied with having listened for nearly an hour to her inanities, and was seeking for the respite of silence.

“You naughty children, to stray away in that fashion!” she cried. “Do you fancy you had permission to lose yourselves like that?”

“Did we lose ourselves, Miss Vincent?” said Markham.

“We certainly did not,” said Lottie, and then Mrs. Crawford's first suggestions were confirmed: Lottie and Markham spoke of themselves, while Daireen and Mr. Glaston were mute.

“It was very naughty of you,” continued the matron. “Why, in India, if you once dared do such a thing——”

“We should do it for ever,” cried Lottie. “Now, you know, my dear good Mrs. Crawford, I have been in India, and I have had experience of your picnics when we were at the hills—oh, the most delightful little affairs—every one used to look forward to them.”

Mrs. Crawford laughed gently as she patted Lottie on the cheek. “Ah, they were now and again successes, were they not? How I wish Daireen had been with us.”

“Egad, she would not be with us now, my dear,” said the major. “Eh, George, what do you say, my boy?”

“For shame, major,” cried Mrs. Crawford, glancing towards Lottie.

“Eh, what?” said the bewildered Boot Commissioner, who meant to be very gallant indeed. It was some moments before he perceived how Miss Vincent could construe his words, and then he attempted an explanation, which made matters worse. “My dear, I assure you I never meant that your attractions were not—not—ah—most attractive, they were, I assure you—you were then most attractive.”

“And so far from having waned,” said Colonel Gerald, “it would seem that every year has but——”

“Why, what on earth is the meaning of this raid of compliments on poor little me?” cried the young lady in the most artless manner, glancing from the major to the colonel with uplifted hands.

“Let us hasten to the carriages, and leave these old men to talk their nonsense to each other,” said Mrs. Crawford, putting her arm about one of the daughters of the member of the Legislative Council—a young lady who had found the companionship of Standish Macnamara quite as pleasant as her sister had the guidance of the judge's son up the ravine—and so they descended to where the carriages were waiting to take them towards Cape Town. Daireen and her father were to walk to the Dutch cottage, which was but a short distance away, and with them, of course, Standish.

“Good-bye, my dear child,” said Mrs. Crawford, embracing Daireen, while the others talked in a group. “You are looking pale, dear, but never mind; I will drive out and have a long chat with you in a couple of days,” she whispered, in a way she meant to be particularly impressive.

Then the carriage went off, and Daireen put her hand through her father's arm, and walked silently in the silent evening to the house among the aloes and Australian oaks, through whose leaves the fireflies were flitting in myriads.

“She is a good woman,” said Colonel Gerald. “An exceedingly good woman, only her long experience of the sort of girls who used to be sent out to her at India has made her rather misjudge the race, I think.”

“She is so good,” said Daireen. “Think of all the trouble she was at to-day for our sake.”

“Yes, for our sake,” laughed her father. “My dear Dolly, if you could only know the traditions our old station retains of Mrs. Crawford, you would think her doubly good. The trouble she has gone to for the sake of her friends—her importations by every mail—is simply astonishing. But what did you think of that charming Miss Van der Veldt you took such care of, Standish, my boy? Did you make much progress in Cape Dutch?”

But Standish could not answer in the same strain of pleasantry. He was thinking too earnestly upon the visions his fancy had been conjuring up during the entire evening—visions of Mr. Glaston sitting by the side of Daireen gazing out to that seductive, though by no means uncommon, phenomenon of sunset. He had often wished, when at the waterfall gathering Venus-hair for Miss Van der Veldt, that he could come into possession of the power of Joshua at the valley of Gibeon to arrest the descent of the orb. The possibly disastrous consequences to the planetary system seemed to him but trifling weighed against the advantages that would accrue from the fact of Mr. Glaston's being deprived of a source of conversation that was both fruitful and poetical. Standish knew well, without having read Wordsworth, that the twilight was sovereign of one peaceful hour; he had in his mind quite a store of unuttered poetical observations upon sunset, and he felt that Mr. Glaston might possibly be possessed of similar resources which he could draw upon when occasion demanded such a display. The thought of Mr. Glaston sitting at the feet of Daireen, and with her drinking in of the glory of the west, was agonising to Standish, and so he could not enter into Colonel Gerald's pleasantry regarding the attractive daughter of the member of the Legislative Council.

When Daireen had shut the door of her room that night and stood alone in the darkness, she found the relief that she had been seeking since she had come down from the slope of that great Peak—relief that could not be found even in the presence of her father, who had been everything to her a few days before. She found relief in being alone with her thoughts in the silence of the night. She drew aside the curtains of her window, and looked out up to that Peak which was towering amongst the brilliant stars. She could know exactly the spot upon the edge of the ravine where she had been sitting—where they had been sitting. What did it all mean? she asked herself. She could not at first recollect any of the words she had heard upon that slope, she could not even think what they should mean, but she had a childlike consciousness of happiness mixed with fear. What was the mystery that had been unfolded to her up there? What was the revelation that had been made to her? She could not tell. It seemed wonderful to her how she could so often have looked up to that hill without feeling anything of what she now felt gazing up to its slope.

It was all too wonderful for her to understand. She had a consciousness of nothing but that all was wonderful. She could not remember any of his words except those he had last uttered. The bond between them—was it of love? How could she tell? What did she know of love? She could not answer him when he had spoken to her, nor was she able even now, as she stood looking out to those brilliant stars that crowned the Peak and studded the dark edges of the slope which had been lately overspread with the poppy-petals of sunset. It was long before she went into her bed, but she had arrived at no conclusion to her thoughts—all that had happened seemed mysterious; and she knew not whether she felt happy beyond all the happiness she had ever known, or sad beyond the sadness of any hour of her life. Her sleep swallowed up all her perplexity.

But the instant she awoke in the bright morning she went softly over to the window and looked out from a corner of her blind to that slope and to the place where they had sat. No, it was not a dream. There shone the silver leaves and there sparkled the waterfall. It was the loveliest hill in the world, she felt—lovelier even than the purple heather-clad Slieve Docas. This was a terrible thought to suggest itself to her mind, she felt all the time she was dressing, but still it remained with her and refused to be shaken off.

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