Chapter IX. {XXXII}

“Nor have these eyes, by greener hills  Been soothed, in all my wanderings.” WORDSWORTH.

{William Wordsworth (English poet, 1770-1850), “Yarrow Visited, September 1814” lines 11-12}

CHARLIE HUBBARD had been at Lake George for some days; and it was a settled thing, that after he had established himself there, and fixed upon a point for his picture, his friends from Saratoga were to pay him a visit. Accordingly, the Wyllyses, with a party large enough to fill a coach, set out for the excursion, leaving Mrs. Stanley, Jane, her sister, Mrs. Hazlehurst, and their children, at the Springs. The weather was fine, and they set out gaily, with pleasant prospects before them.

Charlie was very glad to see them, and as he had already been some time on the ground, he thought himself qualified to play cicerone. Most of the party had a relish for natural scenery, and of course they were prepared to enjoy very much, a visit to such a lovely spot. Robert Hazlehurst, it is true, was indifferent to everything of the kind; he acknowledged himself a thorough utilitarian in taste, and avowed his preference for a muddy canal, running between fields, well covered with corn and pumpkins, turnips and potatoes, rather than the wildest lake, dotted with useless islands, and surrounded with inaccessible Alps; but as he frankly confessed his want of taste, and assured his friends that he accompanied them only for the sake of their society, they were bound to overlook the defect. Mr. Stryker also said a great deal about his indifference towards les ormeaux, les rameaux, et les hameaux, affecting much more than he felt, and affirming that the only lakes he liked, were the ponds of the Tuileries, and the parks of London; the only trees, those of the Boulevards; and as for villages, he could never endure one, not even the Big Village of Washington. He only came, he said, because he must follow the ladies, and was particularly anxious to give Mrs. Creighton an opportunity of finishing his education, and — to fish. Some of the party were sorry he had joined them; but Mrs. Creighton had asked him.

{“cicerone” = guide (Italian); “les ormeaux, les rameaux, et les hameaux ... ” = elms, branches, and hamlets (French)}

“Are Mrs. Hilson and her sister still at Saratoga?” inquired Charlie Hubbard of Hazlehurst, the evening they arrived at Caldwell.

{“Caldwell” = village at the southern end of Lake George in New York State; the village has since been renamed Lake George}

“I believe so; — they were there the day before, yesterday, for Mrs. Hilson asked me to a pic-nic, at Barkydt’s { sic} — but I was engaged. I think I saw Miss Hubbard in the street, yesterday.”

{“Barkydt’s” = Barhydt’s Pond, a “little ear-shaped lake ... surrounded by pyramidal firs, pines and evergreens,” once famous for its trout fishing, owned by Jacobus Barhydt (often spelled Barhyte). A pleasure spot two miles east of Saratoga Springs, it was, in the 1830s, the site of a popular tavern and restaurant. Jacobus Barhydt died in 1840, and the property was dispersed; to be reassembled in 1881 by New York banker Spencer Trask as a summer estate After many changes, it is now owned by the Corporation of Yaddo, and run as a world-famous summer center for creative artists and writers}

“Had they the same party with them still?”

“Yes; it seemed to be very much the same party.”

Hubbard looked mortified; but he was soon busy answering inquiries as to the projected movements for the next day.

The following morning the whole party set out, in two skiffs, to pass the day on the lake. Under Charlie’s guidance, they rowed about among the islands, now coasting the shores, now crossing from one point to another, wherever the views were finest; generally keeping near enough, as they moved leisurely along, for conversation between the two boats.

“How beautifully clear the water is!” exclaimed Elinor.

“The water in the Swiss lakes is limpid I suppose, Charlie, like most mountain streams?” observed Mr. Wyllys.

“It is clear, sir; and in the heart of the Alps it has a very peculiar colour — a blueish tinge — from the glaciers, like molten lapis lazuli; entirely different from the deep, ultra-marineblue of the Mediterranean.”

“Have you any views of the Swiss lakes?” asked Elinor.”

“Yes; I can show you several — and, as usual, there is a difference in their colouring: from Lugarn; a little bit of lapis lazuli, lying like a jewel, in the green pastures, half-way up the Alps, just below the ice and snow, to the reedy lake of Morat, on the plains of Neufchâtel, more like an agate,” added Charlie, smiling.

“We shall hope to see them, when we pass through New York,” said Elinor, listening with interest.

“I will show them to you with great pleasure, faute de mieux, Miss Elinor; but I hope you will one day see the originals.”

{ “faute de mieux” = for want of something better (French)}

“In the mean time, however, we shall be very glad to enjoy your pictures. Have you any Italian views?”

“Yes, quite a number; wherever I went, I made sketches at least; though I have not yet had time to finish them all as pictures. In my boxes there are Venetian lagoons, and Dutch canals; a view of the Seine, in the heart of Paris, and the Thames, at London; the dirty, famous Tiber, classic Arno, and classic Avon.”

“You make our eyes water, Charlie, with such a catalogue,” said Mr. Wyllys. “You must certainly get up an exhibition, and add several of your American pictures to those you have just brought home.”

“I really hope you will do so,” said Elinor. “The transparent amber-like water of the Canada, and the emerald colour of Niagara, would appear finely in such a collection.”

{“Canada” = from the context, probably Trenton Falls on the West Canada Creek, a major tourist attraction during the 19ᵗʰ century}

“I shall never dare attempt Niagara,” exclaimed Charlie. “All the beauties of all the other waters in the world are united there. It will not do to go beyond the rapids; I should be lost if I but ventured to the edge of the whirlpool itself.”

“I have no doubt you will try it yet,” said Harry.

The young artist shook his head. “I am sometimes disposed to throw aside the brush in disgust, at the temerity of man, which can attempt to copy even what is most noble, in the magnificent variety, and the simple grandeur of nature.”

“You have been sufficiently successful in what you have attempted hitherto,” said Harry. “I saw your view of Lake Ontario, in Philadelphia, just after I arrived; and I can never forget the impression it produced on me. Of all your pictures that I have seen, that is my favourite.”

“It is indeed a noble picture,” said Mr. Wyllys.

“And few men but yourself, Charlie, could have given so deep an interest to a broad field of water, with only a strip of common-place shore in the fore-ground, and a bank of clouds in the distance. A common painter would have thrown in some prettiness of art, that would have ruined it; but you have given it a simple dignity that is really wonderful!” said Hazlehurst.

“You mortify me,” said Charlie; “it is so much inferior to what I could wish.”

“Captain C — — — — — — ,” continued Harry, “who was stationed at Oswego for several years, told me he should have known your picture without the name, for a view of one of the great lakes; there was so much truth in the colour and movement of the water; so much that was different from the Ocean.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is cruel in you to flatter a poor young artist at this rate,” said Charlie.

“If it is criticism you want,” said Hazlehurst, “I can give you a dose. You were very severely handled in my presence, a day or two since, and on the very subject of your picture of Lake Ontario.”

“Pray, let me hear the criticism; it will sober me.”

“What was the fault?” said Elinor; “what was wanting?”

“A few houses and a steamboat, to make it lively.”

“You are making up a good story, Mr. Hazlehurst,” said Mrs. Creighton, laughing.

“I give you the critic’s words verbatim. I really looked at the young lady in astonishment, that she should see nothing but a want of liveliness in a picture, which most of us feel to be sublime. But Miss D — — — — — — had an old grudge against you, for not having made her papa’s villa sufficiently prominent in your view of Hell-Gate.”

“But, such a villa!” said Hubbard. “One of the ugliest within ten miles of New York. It is possible, sometimes, by keeping at a distance, concealing defects, and partially revealing columns through verdure, to make one of our Grecian-temple houses appear to advantage in a landscape; but, really, Mr. D — — — — — — ’s villa was such a jumble, so entirely out of all just proportion, that I could do nothing with it; and was glad to find that I could put a grove between the spectator and the building: anybody but its inmates would have preferred the trees.”

“Not at all; Miss D — — — — — — thought the absence of the portico, with its tall, pipe-stem columns, the row of dormer windows on the roof, and the non-descript belvidere crowning all, a loss to the public.”

{“belvidere” = as used here, a raised turret on top of a house (Italian)}

“The miserable architecture of this country is an obstacle to a landscape painter, quite too serious to be trifled with, I can assure you,” said Charlie.

“It must be confessed,” said Mr. Ellsworth, “that the order of things has been reversed here. Architecture is usually called the parent of the fine arts; but with us she is the youngest of the family, and as yet the worst endowed. We had respectable pictures, long before we had a single building in a really good style; and now that we have some noble paintings and statuary, architecture still lags behind. What a noise they made in New York, only a few years since, about St. Thomas’s Church!”

{“St. Thomas’s Church” = St. Thomas Episcopal Church was erected at the corner of Broadway and Houston Street, in New York City, in 1826, in the Gothic style which was only beginning to replace the Greek Revival. Susan Fenimore Cooper shared her father’s dislike of Greek Revival houses that imitated Grecian temples, and his love of the Gothic}

“Yes,” said Mr. Stryker; “the curse of the genius of architecture, which Jefferson said had fallen upon this country, has not yet been removed.”

“Some of the most ludicrous objects I have ever laid my eyes on,” said Hazlehurst, “have been pretending houses, and, I am sorry to say, churches too, in the interior of the country; chiefly in the would-be Corinthian and Composite styles. They set every rule of good taste and good sense at defiance, and look, withal, so unconscious of their absurdity, that the effect is as thoroughly ridiculous, as if it had been the object of the architect to make them so.”

“For reason good,” observed Mr. Wyllys; “because they are wanting in simplicity and full of pretension; and pretension is the root of all absurdity.”

They had now reached the spot Charlie had selected for his picture; the young artist pointed it out to Miss Wyllys, who was in the other boat.

“This is the spot I have chosen,” he said, “and I hope you will agree with me in liking the position; it commands some of the finest points on the lake: that is the Black mountain in the back-ground.”

His friends admired his choice, acknowledging that the view was one of the most beautiful they had seen.

“It must be difficult to choose, where every view is charming,” said Elinor. “How beautiful those little islands are; so much variety, and all so pleasing!”

“You will see hundreds of them, Miss Wyllys, when you have been over the lake,” said Hubbard.

“There are just three hundred and sixty-five, marm,” added one of the boatmen, the guide of the party; “one for every day in the-year.”

“This must be May-day island,” said Elinor, pointing to an islet quite near them. “This one, half wood, half meadow, which shows so many flowers.”

“May-day island it shall be for the next six weeks,” said Charlie, smiling. “I have chosen it for another view.”

“Well, good people!” exclaimed Robert Hazlehurst, from the other boat; “you may be feasting on the beauties of nature; but some of us have more substantial appetites! Miss Wyllys is a little fatigued, Mr. Stryker all impatient to get out his handsome fishing-rod, and your humble servant very hungry, indeed!”

As they had been loitering about for several hours, it was agreed that they should now land, and prepare to lunch.

“We will put into port at May-day island,” said Charlie; “I have been there several times, and there is a pretty, grassy bank, where we may spread a table-cloth.”

They soon reached the little island pointed out by Elinor, and having landed with their baskets of provisions, the meal was prepared, and only waiting for the fish which Mr. Stryker had promised to catch, and for a supply of salt which one of the boatmen had gone for, to a farm- house on the shore; this necessary having been forgotten, when the provisions were laid in. There never was a pic-nic yet, where nothing was forgotten.

Mr. Stryker soon prepared himself for action; he was a famous fisherman, and quite as proud of his rod as of his reputation, which were both Dublin-made, he said, and, therefore, perfect in their way. Mr. Wyllys and Mrs. Creighton admired the apparatus contained in his ebony walking-stick, to the owner’s full satisfaction: he had a great deal to say about its perfections, the beauty of his flies, the excellence of his hooks and lines, and so forth; and the ladies in general, Mrs. Creighton especially, listened as flatteringly as the gentleman could desire. As he was to supply the perch for luncheon, however, he was obliged to begin his labours; and taking a boat, he rowed off a stone’s throw from the shore. In turning a little point, he was surprised, by coming suddenly upon a brother fisherman: in a rough, leaky boat, with a common old rod in his hand, sat our acquaintance, Mr. Hopkins, wearing the usual rusty coat; his red silk handkerchief spread on his knee, an open snuff-box on one side of him, a dirty tin pail on the other. The party on shore were not a little amused by the contrast in the appearance, manners, and equipments of the two fishermen; the fastidious Mr. Stryker, so complete, from his grey blouse to his fishing- basket; the old merchant, quite independent of everything like fashion, whether alone on Lake George, or among the crowd in Wall-Street. Charlie, who did not know him, said that he had met the same individual on the lake, at all hours, and in all weathers, during the past week; he seemed devoted to fishing, heart and soul, having left the St. Legers at Saratoga, and come on to Lake George immediately, to enjoy his favourite pastime. It was a pleasure to see how honestly and earnestly he was engaged in his pursuit: as for Mr. Stryker, we strongly suspect that his fancy for fishing was an acquired taste, like most of those he cherished; we very much doubt whether he would ever have been a follower of Izaak Walton, had there not been a fashionable accoutrement for brothers of the rod, at the present day.

{“Isaak Walton” = Isaak Walton (1593-1683), author of The Compleat Angler}

Several of the ladies also fished for half an hour; Mrs. Creighton begging for a seat in Mr. Stryker’s boat, that she might profit by his instructions. While they were out, a small incident occurred, which amused the spectators not a little. Mrs. Creighton had risen, to look at a fish playing about Mr. Stryker’s line, when she accidentally dropped a light shawl, which fell from her arm into the water; an involuntary movement she made as it fell, also threw a basket of her companion’s flies overboard, at the same instant: he had just been showing them off.

“Oh, Mr. Stryker, my shawl!” exclaimed the lady.

But the fashionable fisherman was already catching eagerly at his own precious flies; he succeeded in regaining the basket, and then, bethinking him of his reputation for gallantry, turned to Mrs. Creighton, to rescue the shawl; but he had the mortification to see old Mr. Hopkins already stretching out an arm with the cachemere, which he had caught almost as soon as it touched the water, and now offered to its fair owner, with the good-natured hope that it had not been injured, as it was hardly wet. The lady received it very graciously, and bestowed a very sweet smile on the old merchant; while Mr. Stryker, quite nettled at his own flagrant misdemeanour, had to face a frown from the charming widow. It was decidedly an unlucky hour for Mr. Stryker: he only succeeded in catching a solitary perch; while Mr. Hopkins, who had been invited to join the party, contributed a fine mess. The fault, however, was all thrown on the sunshine; and Mr. Hopkins confessed that he had not had much sport since the clouds had broken away, earlier in the morning. Everybody seemed very ready for luncheon, when hailed from the island, for that purpose. The meal was quite a merry one; Mrs. Creighton was the life of the party, saying a great many clever, amusing things. She looked charmingly, too, in a little cap, whose straw-coloured ribbons were particularly becoming to her brown complexion. Mr. Stryker gradually recovered from the double mortification, of the shawl, and the solitary perch, and soon began talking over different fishing excursions, with his friend A — — — , in Ireland, and his friend B — — — , in Germany. The rest of the party were all cheerful and good-humoured. Mr. Ellsworth was quite devoted to Elinor, as usual, of late. Mary Van Alstyne amused herself with looking on at Mrs. Creighton’s efforts to charm Harry, pique Mr. Stryker, and flatter Mr. Wyllys into admiring her; nor did she disdain to throw away several arch smiles on Mr. Hopkins. “She seems successful in all her attempts,” thought Mary. Harry was quite attentive to her; and it was evident that Mr. Stryker’s admiration had very much increased since they had been together at the Springs. He had set out for Saratoga, with the firm determination to play the suitor to Elinor; he resolved that he would not fall in love with the pretty widow; but a clever coquette and a man of the world, are adversaries well matched; and, as usual in such encounters, feminine art and feminine flattery seemed likely to carry the day. Mr. Stryker, in spite of himself, often forgot to be properly attentive to Elinor, who appeared to great disadvantage in his eyes, when placed in constant contrast with Mrs. Creighton. He scarcely regretted now, his little prospect of favour with the heiress, for the poorer widow had completely fascinated him by her graceful flatteries, the piquancy of her wit, and her worldliness, which, with Mr. Stryker, passed for her wisdom. Even Mary Van Alstyne, though prejudiced against her, was obliged to confess, as she watched Mrs. Creighton, that she admired her. The lady had thrown herself on the grass in a graceful position; excited by admiration, she had a brilliant colour; her dress was always studiously fashionable and becoming, in its minutest details; her amusing remarks flowed freely from a conscience under no other restraints than those of policy or good-breeding; and her manner, though always studied for effect, was particularly well studied and agreeable. Her companions thought her charming. Elinor, at the same moment, was standing by her side, in a simple dress, with no attempt to disguise a plain face under finery, and in a perfectly quiet position, which was graceful without her knowing it. Her whole manner, indeed, was always natural; its simplicity was its great charm, for one felt confident that her grace and sweetness, her ease and quiet dignity, flowed readily from her character itself. Whether these ideas occurred to any of the party besides Miss Van Alstyne, we cannot say; it is certain, however, that Mrs. Creighton was all prepared for observation, Elinor, as usual, quite regardless of it.

“We must carry off some flowers from May-day island,” said Mr. Ellsworth, preparing to gather a bouquet for Elinor. He had soon succeeded in collecting quite a pretty bunch, composed of wild roses, blue hare-bells, the white blossoms of the wild clematis, the delicate pink clusters of the Alleghany vine, and the broad-leaved rose- raspberry, with several other varieties.

{“Alleghany vine” = a flowering wild vine, which had been a favorite of Susan Fenimore Cooper’s paternal grandmother Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper}

Mr. Stryker offered a bouquet to Mrs. Creighton.

“It is really quite pretty; but to make it complete, I must have one of those scarlet lobelias, on the next island; they are the first I have seen this season. Mr. Hazlehurst, do be good-natured, and step into that boat, and bring me one.”

“I can do that without the boat, Mrs. Creighton, here is a bridge,” replied Harry, springing on the trunk of a dead tree, which nearly reached the islet she had pointed out; catching the branch of an oak on the opposite shore, he swung himself across. The flowers were soon gathered; and, after a little difficulty in reaching the dead tree, he returned to the ladies, just as they were about to embark again. Perhaps he had caught a spark of the spirit of coquetry from Mrs. Creighton, and resented her flirting so much with Mr. Stryker; for he did not give her all the flowers he had gathered, but offered a few to each lady as she entered the boat.

“Thank you, Mr. Hazlehurst, very gallantly done,” said Mrs. Creighton, placing one of the lobelias, with a sprig of Mr. Stryker’s, in her belt.

As they rowed leisurely along, Charlie Hubbard pointed out some of the localities to Miss Wyllys and Robert Hazlehurst.

“These mountains are very different in their character, Mr. Hubbard, from those you have recently been sketching in Italy and Switzerland,” observed Mr. Ellsworth.

“Entirely different; their forms are much less bold and decided.”

“Yes; all the mountains in this country, east of the Mississippi, partake, more or less, of the same character; forming rounded ridges, seldom broken into those abrupt, ragged peaks, common in other parts of the world.”

“But the elevation of these mountains is much less than that of the Alps, or high Apennines,” observed Mr. Wyllys; “do not the mountains in Europe, of the same height, resemble these in formation?”

“No, sir, I think not,” replied Ellsworth. “They are generally more bold and barren; often mere masses of naked rock. I am no geologist, but it strikes me that the whole surface of the earth, in this part of the world, differs in character from that of the eastern continent; on one hand, the mountains are less abrupt and decided in their forms with us; and on the other, the plains are less monotonous here. If our mountains are not grand, the general surface of the country seems more varied, more uneven; there is not so large a proportion of dead level in this country as in France, Germany, Russia, for instance; we have much of what we call a rolling country — even the prairies, which are the plains of this region, show the same swelling surface.”

“The variety of character in the landscape of different countries, must be a great charm to one of your profession, Hubbard,” observed Harry. “A landscape painter must enjoy travelling more than any other man; nothing is lost upon you — every time you look about you there is something new to observe. How you must have enjoyed the change from the general aspect of this country — fresh, full of life and motion, yet half-finished in the details — to old Italy, where the scenery and atmosphere are in perfect harmony with the luxurious repose of a great antiquity!”

“I did indeed enjoy the change beyond expression!” exclaimed Charlie. “I have often felt thankful, in the best sense of the word, that I have been enabled to see those great countries, Italy and Switzerland; it has furnished me with materials for thought and delight, during a whole lifetime.”

“It would be a good plan to get you appointed painting attaché to the Legation, Hubbard,” said Harry. “As you have seen the south of Europe, would you not like to take a look at the northern regions?”

“Not much,” replied Charlie. “I should have nothing but ice to paint there, for half the year.”

“Well, I suppose there is something selfish in my wish to carry you to the North Pole; but when I was in Brazil, I had a very disinterested desire that you should see the Bay of Rio.”

“Is it really so beautiful?” asked Elinor.

“Yes; finer even than Naples, as regards scenery; though it wants, of course, all the charm of recollection which belongs to the old world.”

“You must forget everything like fine scenery when you go to St. Petersburg,” said Robert Hazlehurst.

“Not at all; I hope to take a trip to the Crimea while I am in Russia. I shall do my best to ingratiate myself with the owner of some fine villa on the Black Sea.”

“And have you really made up your mind to be a regular diplomatist?” asked Mr. Wyllys.

“For a time, sir; so long as I can serve under Mr. Henley, or a man like him.”

“I used to see a good deal of Henley, some twenty years since,” observed Mr. Wyllys. “I should think him particularly well fitted for his duties.”

“I have the highest respect for him,” replied Harry.

“He is a good model for an American diplomatist,” added Robert Hazlehurst. “A man of ability, good education, and just principles, with simple, gentlemanly manners; always manly in his tone, and firm as a rock on all essential points.”

“But those are only a small portion of the qualifications of a diplomatist,” said Mr. Stryker. “According to the most approved models, the largest half should be cunning.”

“Mr. Henley is particularly clear-sighted — not easily deceived either by himself others; and that is all that American diplomacy requires,” said Harry. “I am proud to say that our government does not give us any dirty work to do; we have chiefly to act on the defensive.”

“Set a thief to catch a thief,” said Mr. Stryker, with his usual dry manner. “I don’t believe in the full success of your virtuous diplomatist. How is a man to know all the turnings and windings of the road that leads to treaties, unless he has gone over it himself?”

“But an honest man, if he is really clear-headed and firm, has no need of these turnings and windings; he goes more directly to the point, and saves a vast deal of time and principle, by taking a more honourable road.”

“Suppose a man has to make black look white, I should like to see your honourable diplomatist manage such a job,” said Mr. Stryker.

“But our government has never yet had such jobs to manage. We have never yet made a demand from a foreign power that we have not believed just. Intrigue is unpardonable in American diplomacy, for it is gratuitous; a man need not resort to it, unless his own taste inclines him that way. It is an honourable distinction of our government, as a government, that it has never committed a single act of injustice against any other power, either by open force, or underhand manœuvres. We have been wronged sometimes, and omitted to demand justice as firmly as we might have done; but there is, probably, no other government among the great powers of Christendom, that has been so free from offensiveguilt, during the last sixty years, as that of this country.”

{This was, of course, before the Mexican-American War, which the Cooper family viewed with considerable misgivings. James Fenimore Cooper was incensed that the United States did not pursue with greater vigor American claims against France for damages caused to American shipping during the Napoleonic wars.}

It was evident that Mr. Stryker was not in the least convinced by Harry’s defence of honest diplomacy.

“The ladies must find great fault with Washington diplomacy,” he added, turning to Mrs. Creighton and Elinor: “they are never employed; not a single fair American has ever figured among les belles diplomats of European saloons, I believe.”

“Perhaps the ladies in this country would not condescend to be employed,” said Elinor.

“Don’t say so, Miss Wyllys!” exclaimed Mrs. Creighton, laughing; “I should delight in having some delicate mission to manage: when Mr. Stryker gets into the cabinet, he may send me as special envoy to any country where I can find a French milliner.”

“You had better go to Russia with Mr. Henley and Mr. Hazlehurst; I have not the least doubt but they would find your finesseof great service,” said the gentleman.

Mrs. Creighton blushed; and Harry coloured, too.

“The very idea of such an ally would frighten Mr. Henley out of his wits,” said the lady, recovering herself; “he is an incorrigible old bachelor; that, you must allow, is a great fault of his, Mr. Hazlehurst.”

“If he be incorrigible,” said Harry.

“But that is not clear,” said Mr. Stryker to the lady; “he is a great admirer of yours.”

“Come, a truce to diplomacy, Josephine; I am going to beg Miss Wyllys for a song,” said Ellsworth.

Elinor sang very readily, and very sweetly; the Swiss airs sounded charmingly among the hills; and she was accompanied by Mary Van Alstyne, while Charlie, with the two Hazlehursts, made up a respectable second for several songs.

Some gathering clouds at length warned the party to turn inn-ward again.

“It is to be hoped the shower won’t reach us, for your sake, ladies,” said Robert Hazlehurst.

“I hope not, for the sake of my bibi!“ said Mrs. Creighton. “It is the prettiest little hat I have had these three years; it would be distressing to have it spoilt before it has lost its freshness.”

{” bibi“ = a stylish hat of the 1830s}

“There is no danger, marm,” said one of the boatmen, with a good- natured gravity, that made Mrs. Creighton smile. “Them ‘ere kind of clouds often goes over the lake, without coming up this way.”

And so it proved; the party reached the hotel safely, all agreeing that they had had a very pleasant day, and were not at all more tired than was desirable after such an excursion.