128 TYLNEY HALL. to depend on a special Providence for their sustenance, they have apparently so little earthly means of their own. Her dress, however, though coarse and ill-made, could not conceal the symmetry of a shape that had belonged to that " order of fine forms" which is peculiar to the half-caste females of the West Indies. She had the taper waist, the full round limbs, and the graceful easy carriage. More- over she had the abundant black hair, curling naturally into ringlets, too inflexible to uncoil themselves at every and her eyes were of as dark breath of heat or moisture ; a hue, black and bright as cannel-coal, and equally apt to emit fire and flame. As soon as she came near enough, the Squire, who rode a little a-head, jumped off his horse, and planted himself before her, holding out what remained of his right hand. " Here," he " said, sixpen'north of fortune-telling. " Won't bilk you cross with silver and all that ! " The wise man makes his own fortune," said the woman f< with great dignity, and he himself best knows its aspect/' f< High-ropes, eh ? " said the 'Squire somewhat abashed by this rebuff. "Won't look at my palm suppose the two off-fingers make a difference. No matter welcome to the tizzy." " Give it to your slaves," exclaimed the woman, with an imperious wave of the arm and a look of scorn that implied as much contempt for his silver as for Twigg's copper. " Egad, boys," said Sir Mark, " I begin to think the Justice is right, and that she comes of good blood. She reminds me wonderfully of Mrs. What's-her-Name, in the character of I'll Cleopatra. warrant her father was at the " very least the King of the Gipsies ! " There is no more Gipsy-blood in my veins than in that young gentleman's," returned the woman, pointing her finger at the Creole; and gazing so earnestly on his face, that for some minutes she seemed unconscious of any other presence. Her mind evidently turned inward, and she had the abstracted look of a person revolving the past or the future with intense interest. At last she spoke. " Although no gipsy, I have some skill in augury, and if you will favour me, young gentleman, with your hand "
TYLNEY HALL. 129 f ' Try her, St. Kitts, try her," exclaimed Sir Mark, " now we have found her, let us give a good account of her ; let her open, man, and we shall soon see if she gives tongue to the right tune." Here he drew St. Kitts aside, adding, in a lower tone, " let her cross your hand with a crown though, for she is not one of the common sort." In obedience to this direction, St. Kitts gave her a crown, which she immediately transferred to the huntsman, with the air of one accustomed to bestow such largess ; making Dick stare with as much amazement, as if he had seen with his own eyes a hare turning into a witch. He lifted his hand as if to touch his hat, but checked his arm midway, and then sat twirling the coin between his finger and thumb, with a ludicrous look of appeal towards his master ; partly in doubt whether he ought to accept it from a distressed gentlewoman, and partly in fear that the money was from the Devil's mint, and would burn a hole in his pocket. " " Pouch it, Dick ; pouch it ! said Sir Mark, in an aside. " If you don't fancy her herself, you can drink it to the health of the Lancashire Witches, or any others you like." Accordingly Dick pocketed the piece, whilst St. Kitts extended his hand to the fortune-teller, who grasped it between her own, and even kissed it, muttering inaudibly, and at the same time trembling so that it was visible to the eye, as if feeling, or affecting to feel, the prophetical agitations of the ancient sybils. " There is a black cloud," she said, " over your star, but there is a bright sun in store. Remember me ! The past you do not remember the present you do not under- stand the future you cannot foresee. But I know it all. Remember me ! You have but one present trouble ; and it concerns a gold ring for a lady's finger." " Hark " to ! Gipsy shouted the Baronet " the old ; story, by Jove! To her ! St. Kitts ! to her, to her again ! What odds she don't name the lady tf I " hope, Sir," said St. Kitts, you are already satisfied of her abilities as a Pythoness. So far from thinking of marriage, I give you my honour 1 am not even an hour ? "