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and experience of Mr. Trenchard, which he had found invaluable, and he was painfully aware that he had not thus far won popularity. For the rest, he had been more than a little lonely, an occasional visit to Knaresby, in the absence of Miss Bessie, who was away from home, having failed to afford him much enlivenment. He was jogging quietly along one of the shady lanes which bordered a part of his property when he was hailed by another equestrian, smart in white riding-breeches and a Panama hat. This was Lord Lannowe, who also had been away, but who had now returned, and who looked as glad to be at home once more as he presently stated that he was.

“No place like it,” he genially remarked. “I hope you're of the same mind, Mr. Scarth, even though you haven't been sent into honourable banishment for four years, and though you aren't old enough yet to have a daughter to keep you company."

“Is Miss Ferrand with you again, then?" asked Nigel, with a suggestion of eagerness in his voice.

“ She will be this evening, I am glad to say. She has the bad taste, with which I don't quarrel, to prefer Yorkshire to London, it appears. And how do you like Yorkshire, as far as you have got ?"

"I think," answered Nigel, smiling, “I should like it better if I had not quite so many acres of it under my control."

Lord Lannowe glanced at him shrewdly and sympathetically

“Ah, yes, that's where the shoe pinches! You have been making acquaintance with some of a landowner's worries, I hear. I'm rather sorry about Bowden, if you'll excuse my saying so."

“He was ruining the farm ; it was absolutely necessary to get rid of him," Nigel said.

You think so? Well, of course I am no judge; I have been too long away.

But he used to be a decent enough fellow in some respects, and he has had bad luck with his sons, who, I grant you, are scamps. Your uncle, I believe, always refused to disturb him.”

Nigel looked distressed. " What I did," said he, "was done with Mr. Trenchard's full approval, and indeed at his suggestion."

What, old blind Humphry? So it was his suggestion, was it? Well, he is an able man, and he has always borne a high character for benevolence into the bargain. As a general rule, I should think you might expect sound advice from him. Only you see, my dear fellow, people of our faith must bear in mind that we start handicapped; I am constantly having to bear it in mind myself. There is an unreasoning prejudice against us which we can't hope to overcome, and whenever we disoblige anybody we may rest assured that he will suspect the Pope or the Jesuits of being at our elbow."

“But surely one must do one's duty !” Nigel pleaded. “I don't know what is the use of me except to see that the estate does not deteriorate in value while it is in my hands."

"I daresay other reasons than that might be discovered for your existence," returned Lord Lannowe, laughing; “still you are right, of course, in wishing to do the best you can for the property. All I wanted to take the liberty of impressing upon you was that Catholics can very easily make themselves hated in this part of the world, and that your predecessor happened to be a rather aggressive Protestant. I should try to avoid provoking comparisons if I were you. Won't you come over and lunch with us tomorrow? Then you might have a talk with Nolan, whose opinion is always worth having; and you can also hear my daughter's first impressions of London society, which are sure to be entertaining."

Lord Lannowe, after he had touched his cob with his heel and had trotted off, waving a friendly hand, left his young neighbour with a good deal to think about. Nigel had thought a good deal about Monica Ferrand during long hours of solitude, and he could not but rejoice to hear how little London had appealed to her. Perhaps he went rather too far in taking her father's invitation as a sign that matrimonial advances on his part would not be unwelcome; but he was certainly justified in assuming that Lord Lannowe wished him well. What was not quite so pleasant was that hint that he had not managed to produce a favourable impression upon his tenantry. This, to be sure, was no news to him; he was too sensitive to evidences of favour or disfavour, too anxious to be liked and too apt to be despondent when he was not, for any illusion upon that subject to be within his capacity. Yet there is a difference between realising melancholy facts and hearing them announced by somebody else.

“It isn't certain," murmured the young man dejectedly, “it isn't a bit certain that I did well to leave the Abbey."

Of course it was not, unless he had courage enough to make light of the initial opposition for which every new proprietor must be prepared. He addressed some inward exhortations to himself, deriving a little comfort from them, and he was able to take a moderately hopeful view of the future by the time that he reached Lannowe on the following day. Beneath the classic portico of that spacious, but not very imposing white edifice he encountered Monsignor Nolan, who said:

" I'm the more glad to see you because I presume we'll get something to eat presently. I had a sick call the first thing this morning, besides having to say Mass five miles away, and I'm fasting since my dinner last night. Who says domestic chaplains do no work?

"Does anybody say so ?” asked Nigel.

“Indeed I don't know what they won't say. Haven't they been accusing you of giving notice to a tenant because he is a Methodist or a Baptist or something? I forget what he is, and I wouldn't like to swear that he himself remembers."

"Has Lord Lannowe been telling you about Bowden?” Nigel inquired.

“He did. But there was no need ; for I had heard the whole story from other quarters. Don't worry yourself about it. The truth is that the people hereabouts are not to be conciliated in a day, and if they didn't blame you for one thing, they would for another. Any stick is good enough to beat a dog with."

“That is rather cold comfort,” observed Nigel, smiling ruefully.

“It's all I can give you. Be just, and you'll get your reward in the long run.”

“If only one could be sure of being always just!”

“Ah, then you wouldn't be mortal. We can but try, and the best plan I know is to look into everything personally, taking plenty of time about it. Heaven has granted you the blessing of sight—which has been denied to Mr. Trenchard, remember.”

“ I sometimes think that he sees more than many men who have the full use of their eyes,” remarked Nigel.

Monsignor Nolan drew his hand once or twice across his chin; he had not had time to shave that morning.

“So do I," he returned at length somewhat drily. "All the same, I wouldn't ask him to lead me along a

tight-rope. Now, for pity's sake, come into the house and let a famishing man have a chance!”

In the long saloon, which the late Lady Lannowe, a woman of considerable taste, had embellished with many beautiful specimens of old furniture, silver and porcelain, Monica was sitting on a footstool beside her father, whose hand rested upon her shoulder. She jumped up, blushing a little, although there was nothing to blush about, when Nigel entered, and said, with that slight foreign accent which was always noticeable in her enunciation when she felt shy :

“How do you do, Mr. Scarth? I hope you are very well ?"

Nigel, being an Englishman and being also somewhat shy, had not much to say in answer to her greeting. It was reserved for Monsignor Nolan, who was a Celt, to remark:

"The sight of you, Miss Monica, makes us all feel a great deal better than we did. As for his lordship, he's ten years younger since yesterday.”

Lord Lannowe rubbed his hands and did not contradict the assertion.

“I am contented,” he declared. My ewe lamb has been restored to me, and she comes back just as she was when she left, which is a little more than I had dared to hope for. Monica has no opinion of fine ladies or of fine gentlemen either, she tells me.”

"I think it was they who had no opinion of me," the girl demurely corrected.

“Put it any way you please, my dear; the result remains equally satisfactory to us both. Anyhow, they have not spoilt you amongst them, nor, I am glad to notice, have they persuaded you to claw your hair down over your ears in the hideous modern style.”

Monica laughed and seemed much amused. "Oh,

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