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twenty more. Mrs. Derwent vowed she could not survive him ;-but she lived on, nevertheless, as only those people contrive to exist' whose place is earnestly coveted.
Mrs. Pemberton's thin cloak had suffered severely from the splashing it had sustained. Though its best days were long past, she knew that her husband would not afford her another, and resented the injury accordingly. She was a short, stout, fierce-looking woman, with black hair and eyes ;-án inveterate dislike to her brother-in-law in particular, and a bad opinion of her fellow-creatures in general.
“ Go your ways, Derwent! The time may come when I shall have my revenge:" Roger Pemberton said, as he stood in the field, looking up the lane, where, at some distance, Sir Frederick's carriage was again in sight, rapidly ascending the hill.
“ What makes you stand on the bank, Lewis, bowing and grinning to the people who have just driven your own brother into the ditch ? I tell you, once for all, man, if
choose to take
up with our ways at Languard, you must have nothing to do with the fine people at Maydwell!"
"I am likely to see little enough of them, Roger :" answered Lewis, with a sort of sigh. “Miss Derwent only bowed in acknowledgment of a trifling service I rendered in showing her and her friend across the fields, when they had left the carriage and lost their way, the first evening of their arrival."
“ It's very lucky I did not come across them !” said Roger, fiercely. “They should have heard nothing from me but what would have sent them back pretty quick the road they
I hope you did not show them the way through my fields. I'd set them in the stocks, if I caught them trespassing !"
His brother did not answer him.
"I wonder such a gentleman as you set up to be, is not ashamed of such doings !" resumed Roger, sneeringly. So, you were sneaking
after these girls, the other night, when I found you mooning about on the top of the hill ? Why, Sir Frederick would horsewhip you if he caught you on the premises !"
Enough of this, brother !” said Lewis, gravely. “Let us go into the house. The men have done work, and I dare say Rebecca is tired. You are later home than usual."
He offered his arm to his sister-in-law, to ascend the steep field; but she was still too much occupied in wiping her cloak to take it.
“ Hast got thee clothes spoilt, dame ?” enquired her husband. "I'll make old Derwent buy thee a new cloak, if that's the worse for the sprinkling. Here's Lewis can take your compliments to his honour. He'll be glad of the excuse to be hand and glove with the fine folks at the Place. I wonder he does not
perceive how much better they suit him than we do. It's a thousand pities, certainly, that he hasn't got the · snug Parsonage-house, in the village! He could write poetry to the young ladies, and toady the squire, then, to his heart's content; but, as it is, he must put up with my house, and be glad of my beggarly curacy, for want of a better."
Lewis did not notice his coarse jesting. He was the more disposed to forbearance, at that moment, partly because he knew that Roger was still out of humour at having been compelled to yield the pas to Sir Frederick's equipage, and partly, because his thoughts were so much occupied with wondering what account Miss Derwent would give of their manner of becoming acquainted,—which, from her embarrassment, and Sir Frederick's glance of surprise, he suspected she had not previously mentioned,—that he scarcely heard a syllable of his brother's grumbling sarcasms.
Very little of his time was spent with this disagreeable couple. He did not enter the room where the farmer's supper was laid out, the thin blue-moulded skim-milk cheese of the country, with bacon, and sour cider ; but turned into the apartment he had occupied ever since he was a boy, -a room opening by a glass door into the garden. Mr. and Mrs. Pemberton had not ejected him from these premises, because they attached no value to the simple prettiness of the parlour, with the gay borders coming up to the threshold. Besides, Lewis was a florist; and they never chose to enquire at whose expense the beds were furnished with fresh roots, flower-pots provided to keep his favourite plants through the winter, and all the incidental charges borne about the plot of ground, which they must have known were from time to time incurred. Occasionally, Mrs. Pemberton condescended to take from him, without thanks, a large bunch of flowers, which, as she had no other use for them, she sent, along with the vegetables, eggs and poultry, to market.