“It depends on what you think worst or best,” she said. “Mr. Wodehouse, you told me you were promoted—are captain now, and you have a ship?”

Mr. Nolan and the children went out on the river, and rowed up that long, lovely reach past Alfredsbury, skirting the bank, which was pink with branches of the wild rose and sweet with the feathery flowers of the Queen of the Meadows. Dick flattered himself that he pulled an excellent bow, and the curate, who loved the children’s chatter, and themselves, humored the boy to the top of his bent. Agatha steered, and felt it an important duty, and Patty, who had nothing else to do, leaned her weight over the side of the boat, and did her best to capsize it, clutching at the wild roses and the meadow-queen cruise job opportunities.

down with the stream when they had gone as far as they cared to go, and went up the hill again to the White House in a perfect bower of wild flowers, though the delicate rose blossoms began to droop in the warm grasp of the children before they got home. When they rushed in, flooding the house all through and through with their voices and their joyous breath and their flowers, they found all the rooms empty, the drawing-room silent, in a green repose, and not a creature visible. But while Agatha rushed up-stairs, calling upon her mother and Rose, Mr. Nolan saw a sight from the window which set his mind at rest. Two young figures together, one leaning on the other—two heads bent close, talking too low for any hearing but their own. The curate looked at them with a smile and a sigh. They had attained the height of blessedness. What better could the world give them? and yet the good curate’s sigh was not all for the disappointed, nor his smile for their happiness alone tourism manual.

The lovers were happy; but there are drawbacks to every mortal felicity. The fact that Edward had but nine days left, and that their fate must after that be left in obscurity, was, as may be supposed, a very serious drawback to their happiness. But their good fortune did not forsake them; or rather, to speak more truly, the disappointed lover did not forsake the girl who had appealed to him, who had mortified and tortured him, and promised with all the unconscious cruelty of candor to marry him if he told her to do so. Mr. Incledon went straight to town from the White House, intent on finishing the work he had begun. He had imposed on Mrs. Damerel as a duty to him, as a recompense for all that he had suffered at her hands, the task of receiving Wodehouse, and sanctioning the love which her daughter had given; and he went up to town to the Admiralty, to his friend whose unfortunate leniency had permitted the young sailor to return home. Mr. Incledon treated the matter lightly, making a joke of it. “I told you he was not to come home, but to be sent off as far as possible,” he said.