272 TYLNEY HALL. the first object he beheld on alighting- on his feet was Marguerite, who had apparently been listening and watching the progress of the fete through a crevice in the paling. As she turned her head towards him, her brow was flushed, and her eyes were unusually bright and fierce, probably from her having been a witness of the indignity so recently offered to her foster-son. She hastily caught his arm, and with a precautionary finger on her lip, drew him aside to some distance. At last she stopped, and addressed him in a tone of mockery that matched with her words. " We are out of sight and ear-shot in this thicket. And now, why does Walter Tyrrel shun the company of his equals and inferiors, and leave Grace Rivers to the uninterrupted attentions, and perhaps caresses, of his rival ? " " Let Rnigwood answer that," said the Creole with a glance at his clothes, glossy with wet, " I am dripping from top to toe." " So much the better," said the woman, with a long and freezing look, " It is a new baptism, 'ihis sprinkling names you Sir Walter Tyrrel.
TYLNEY HALL. 273 Put up with this, and the puniest schoolboy shall make you a mark for his sixpenny squirt." " Be at rest, Marguerite," said the Creole, with a significant nod and a bitter smile. " You are spurring the willing horse. My birth cleared, Ringwood has promised to meet me." " He shall meet me first,"" exclaimed the woman, shaking her hand aloft, as if it brandished its familiar knife. " Twice, aye, thrice have you been foiled by his arm, and would you now meet him on equal terms ? But what do I talk of equal terms ? Has he a mother to weep for him ? Has he a foster-mother even, to break her heart for him, and die in his death? Is there a poor, lone, desolate, wretched woman, that will lose her all in Ringwood, her last joy, her last treasure on earth, and all the dearer to her, that she has no puling hope of joy or treasure in heaven ? Will a shrieking voice be heard in the wilderness of the world, crying Marguerite, Marguerite, where is my son— you have let him venture his precious life-blood against a red puddle ? No, Walter Tyrrel, I will have no duel. When you strike, N 3