100 TYLNEY HALL. " Oh, it must be delightful," exclaimed Miss Twigg. e< For my own part, I don't mean to give up going on the water and lakes are so romantic! And besides, nobody ever endangers and frightens one, except one's own brothers." " It's all your own fault," said young Twigg, " if sisters didn't squawk out so, and go into kicking hysterics, there'd be no fun in frightening 'em. But I'll be bound Miss Rivers knows better how to behave in a boat." " I really cannot answer for my behaviour," said Grace, " if I had to climb into a tree for my life, like King Charles the Second." (i Well, I'll warrant then, you're no coward on land, Miss," said young Twigg, with as gallant an air as he could assume " ; would you believe it, mother made faces all the way here, and would have it the horses were running away though nothing was taking fright but herself. And there's 'Tilda won't walk out for fear, 'cause she's three times seen a dark woman, like a gipsy, about the lanes." "As for me," said Mrs. Twigg, " I don't care who knows it, but I wasn't used to a carriage till late in life: and two hackney coach-horses, you know, Sir Mark, is one thing, and a pair of spirity rumbustical high-mettled ani- mals, is another ; and they're mettlesome enough, though Mr. T. bought greys on purpose, as being the oldest, and likely to be most steadiest." " Pooh, pooh, Mrs. T.," said Mr. " Twigg, the horses so con- go no better than they should do ; only you're foundedly timid ! Matilda's right though, about the brown woman, for I don't half like her myself. I'm sure she's a thief, by her face ; and says you, a man ought to know what a thieving face is, who has set as sheriff at the Old Bailey. I'll lay sixpence she has often been worshipped before Mr. Justice Rivers here." " I really cannot say, sir," returned the Justice ; " but there are laws against trespassers and vagrants and if the woman has damaged your property or annoyed you in person, by begging I should be happy, on your information to discharge my duty as a magistrate."
TYLNEY HALL. 101 " Why, as for my property," answered Twigg, " I can't say she has ever taken so much as a stick out of a hedge, or a mushroom from a field ; and so far from begging, the I ever chucked to her she duck-and-draked only copper into a ! pond My lady, thinks I, if you'd begun life like me you'd know a hapenny's a hapenny." " There is something mysterious about her, that is cer- tain," said Miss Twigg ; " and she mutters to herself so I should fancy she was a witch, only she does not look old enough." "I believe, mem, J ' inquired Mrs. Twigg, addressing Mrs. Hamilton, " you are a good deal troubled with witches in Scotland ; I have been reading about them in Macbeth ?" " They are not so rife in the north, madam, as they were two hundred years ago," replied Mrs. Hamilton, with difficulty composing her " face. Some few, and especially the Highlanders, still believe in the influence of the evil eye ; and attribute to it a mortality among their cattle, or a dearth in their dairies." l( You hear that, Mr. Twigg," said his lady with an awe-struck face and a tone almost " sepulchral. We make no butter with four cows, and haven't a drop of cream to our teas- And as to cattle going into the Bills of Mortality, didn't four sucking-pigs die of the measles last week, just as we'd made up our minds who to send 'em to ? And didn't all our chickens go in pips as fast as they was ready for the spit ? And didn't the calf disappear the very day after it was weaned as if by magic ? Sir Mark, pray what is your opinion ? " Faith, madam, said Sir Mark, tf it's my belief there isn't a witch in the parish, let alone little Grace here. And if Grace had an evil eye in her head, she would have murrain'd a cross-grained cow that chased her last summer, but Ringwood ran up just at pancake-time, and stopped the tossing." " And pray, Mr. Justice Rivers, what is your opinion of our strange losses ? " inquired the bewildered Mrs. Twigg. l( Felony, madam larceny petty larceny fraud embezzlement, and breach of trust," responded the Justice; " and the proper is remedy confinement whipping H 3