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84 TYLNEY HALL.

gude." So saying she applied herself to the removal of

the packages, while the Baronet and his sister proceeded

up stairs.

" And now, welcome again to the Hall, Kate," he said,

kindly leading her into the drawing-room^ " and I'm glad

at heart you've run a ring back again to the old house,

where you were roused."

" I'm thinking, Mark," she replied smiling, (e that the

old house has been getting itself an awful ill name since I

left. Probably the ghost of Sir Walter has been playing

its fearsome pranks beyond the common ; but the postillion

who should have driven us the last

stage, fairly jumped out

of the saddle at the mere mention of Tylney Hall ; and as

he resolutely refused to ride a foot in that direction he got

a discharge on the spot ; and we were compelled to accept

the services of the strange substitute you saw."

" "

Unlucky Joe, for a ! pony exclaimed Sir Mark, with

a vehement slap of his hand on " his buckskins, the more

luck, Kate, for you that he bolted ; for I've booked myself

to ride over him roughshod. But now I think of it, you

married into Scotland before Bedlamite was foaled. Sad

changes in the family, Kate, since we parted first Herbert,

and then Bedlamite, and then your husband but

don't hang down your head. I forgot, in naming it, that

I was putting the loaded collar on you, when I ought to

cry, Hold up."

The widow of the Laird of Glencosie really drooped her

head, and the tears stood in her eyes at the Baronet's allusion

to her losses; but she repressed her emotion, and inquired

after her nephews, whom she had left as mere children.

((

My dear Kate," said Sir Mark, adopting a confidential

tone, (t the boys are like my preserves, both a pleasure and

a plague. You've seen a hen when some cockney ignoramus

has furnished her with a hatch of eggs, half ducks

and half chickens ;

the chickens will not take to the water,

and the ducklings will not take to the land and so it is

with my two sons. You cannot get Ringwood into learning,

or Raby out of it and there I am on the edge of

the pond, trying to keep the brood together.

If Ringwood

would read a little, and Raby would sport a little, it would

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