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Chapter II

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« on: November 23, 2022, 09:42:47 am »

WINNINGTON took his morning coffee on a verandah of the hotel, from which the great forests of Monte Vanna were widely visible. Upwards from the deep valley below the pass, to the topmost crags of the mountain, their royal mantle ran unbroken. This morning they were lightly drowned in a fine-weather haze, and the mere sight of them suggested cool glades and verdurous glooms, stretches of pink willow herb lighting up the clearings---and in the secret heart of them such chambers "deaf to noise and blind to light" as the forest lover knows. Winnington promised himself a leisurely climb to the top of Monte Vanna. The morning foretold considerable heat, but under the pines one might mock at Helios.


She came, a vision of morning, tripping along in her white shoes and white dress; followed by her English governess, the lady, as Winnington guessed, from West Belfast, tempered by Brooklyn, The son apparently was still in bed, nor did anyone trouble to hurry him out of it. The father, a Viennese judge en retraite, as Winnington had been already informed by the all-knowing porter of the hotel, was a shrewd thin-lipped old fellow, with the quiet egotism of the successful lawyer. He came up to Winnington as soon as he perceived him, and thanked him in good English for his kindness to Euphrosyne of the day before. Winnington responded suitably and was soon seated at their table, chatting with them while they took their coffee. Euphrosyne shewed a marked pleasure in his society, and upon Winnington, steeped in a holiday reaction from much strenuous living, her charm worked as part of the charm of the day, and the magic of the mountain world. He noticed, however, with a revival of alarm, that she had a vigorous German appetite of her own, and as he watched the rolls disappear he trembled for the slender figure and the fawn-like gait.

After breakfast, while the governess and the girl disappeared, the father hung over the verandah smoking, beside the Englishman, to whom he was clearly attracted. He spoke quite frankly of his daughter, and her bringing up. "She is motherless; her mother died when she was ten years old; and since, I must educate her myself. It gives me many anxieties, but she is a sweet creature, dank sei Gott! I will not let her approach, even, any of these modern ideas about women. My wife hated them; I do also. I shall marry her to an honest man, and she will make a good wife and a good house-mother."

"Mind you choose him well!" said Winnington, with a shrug. His eyes at that moment were critically bent on a group of Berliners, men of the commercial and stock-broking class, who, with their wives, had arrived a couple of nights before. The men were strolling and smoking below. They were all fat, red-faced and overbearing. When they went for walks, the man stalked in front along the forest paths, and the woman followed behind, carrying her own jacket. Winnington wondered what it might be like to be the wife of any of them. These Herren at any rate might not be the worse for a little hustling from the "woman movement." He could not, however, say honestly that the wives shewed any consciousness of ill-fortune. They were almost all plump, plumper even than their husbands, expensively dressed and prosperous-looking; and the amount of Viennese beer they consumed at the forest restaurants to which their husbands conducted them, seemed to the Englishman portentous.

"Yes, my daughter is old-fashioned," resumed the ex-judge, complacently, after a pause. "And I am grateful to Miss Johnson, who has trained her very well. If she were like some of the girls one sees now! Last year there was a young lady here---Ach, Gott!" He raised his shoulders, with a contemptuous mouth.

"Miss Blanchflower?" asked Winnington, turning towards the speaker with sudden interest.

"That I believe was her name. She was mad, of course. Ach, they have told you?---of that Vortrag she gave?---and the rest? After ten minutes, I made a sign to my daughter, and we walked out. I would not have had her corrupted with these ideas for the whole world. And such beauty, you understand! That makes it more dangerous. Ja, ja, Liebchen---ich komme gleich!"

For there had been a soft call from Euphrosyne, standing on the steps of the hotel, and her fond father hurried away to join her.

At the same moment, the porter emerged, bearing a bundle of letters and newspapers which had just arrived. Eager for his Times Winnington went to meet him, and the man put into his hands what looked like a large post. He carried it off into the shelter of the pines, for the sun was already blazing on the hotel. Two or three letters on county business he ran through first. His own pet project, as County Councillor,---a county school for crippled children---was at last getting on. Foundation stone to be laid in October---good! "But how the deuce can I get hold of some more women to help work it! Scandalous, how few of the right sort there are about! And as for the Asylums Committee, if we really can't legally co-opt women to it, as our clerk says"---he looked again at a letter in his hand---"the law is an ass!---a double-dyed ass. I swear I won't visit those poor things on the women's side again. It's women's work---let them do it. The questions I have to ask are enough to make an old gamp blush. Hallo, what's this?"

He turned over a large blue envelope, and looked at a name stamped across the back. It was the name of a well-known firm of London solicitors. But he had no dealings with them, and could not imagine why they should have written to him.

He opened the letter carelessly, and began to read it,---presently with eager attention, and at last with amazement. It ran as follows:

"From Messrs. Morton, Manners & Lathom,
            London, W.C.

"Dear Sir,--We write on behalf of Lord Frederick Calverly, your co-executor, under Sir Robert Blanchflower's will, to inform you that in Sir Robert's last will and testament---of which we enclose a copy---executed at Meran six weeks before his decease, you are named as one of his two executors, as sole trustee of his property, and sole guardian of Sir Robert's daughter and only child, Miss Delia Blanchflower, until she attains the age of twenty-five. We believe that this will be a complete surprise to you, for although Sir Robert, according to a statement he made during his last illness to his sister, Miss Elizabeth Blanchflower, intended to communicate with you before signing the will, his weakness increased so rapidly, after it was finally drawn up, that he was never able to do so. Indeed the morning after his secretary had written out a clear copy of what he himself had put together, he had a most alarming attack from which he rallied with difficulty. That afternoon he signed the will, and was just able to write you the letter which we also enclose, marked by himself, as you will see. He was never properly conscious afterwards, and he died in Paris last Thursday, and was buried in the Protestant cemetery at Mont Parnasse on the Saturday following. The will which was in our custody was opened in London yesterday, by Lord Frederick Calverly, in Miss Blanchflower's presence. We understand from her that she has already written to you on the subject. Lord Frederick would also have done so, but that he has just gone to Harrogate, in a very poor state of health. He begs us to say that he is of course quite aware that your engagements may not allow you to accept the functions offered you under the will, and that he will be in considerable anxiety until he knows your decision. He hopes that you will at least accept the executorship; and indeed ventures to appeal very strongly on that account to your old friendship for Sir Robert; as he himself sees no prospect of being able to carry out unaided the somewhat heavy responsibilities attaching to the office.

"You will see that a sum of 4000 is left to yourself under the will.

    "We remain, dear Sir,
       "Your obedient servants,

"Mark Winnington, Esq., J.P.
    Bridge End, Maumsey, Hants."

A bulky document on blue paper, and also a letter, had dropped to the ground. Winnington stooped for the letter, and turned it over in stupefaction. It was addressed in a faltering hand, and marked "To be forwarded after my death." He hastily broke the seal.

"My Dear Mark Winnington,--I know well what I am laying upon you. I have no right to do it. But I remember certain days in the past, and I believe if you are still the same man you were then, you will do what I ask. My daughter ought to be a fine woman. At present she seems to me completely out of her mind. She has been captured by the extreme suffrage movement, and by one of the most mischievous women in it; and I have no influence with her whatever. I live in terror of what she may do; of what they may lead her to do. To attempt to reason with her is useless; and for a long time my health has been such that I have avoided conflict with her as much as possible. But things have now come to such a pass that something must be done, and I have tried in these last weeks, ill as I am, to face the future. I want if I can to save Delia from wasting herself, and the money and estates I should naturally leave her, upon this mad campaign. I want, even against her will, to give her someone to advise and help her. I feel bitterly that I have done neither. The tropics ruined me physically, and I seem to have gone to pieces altogether the last few years. But I love my child, and I can't leave her without a real friend or support in the world. I have no near relations, except my sister Elizabeth, and she and Delia are always at feud. Freddie Calverly, my cousin, is a good fellow in his way, though too fussy about his health. He has a fair knowledge of business, and he would have been hurt if I had not made him executor. So I have appointed him, and have of course left him a little money. But he could no more tackle Delia than fly. In the knock-about life we have led since I left the Colonial Service, I seem to have shed all my old friends. I can think of no one who could or would help me in this strait but you---and you know why. God bless you for what you once did for me. There was never any other cloud between my poor wife and me. She turned to me after that trouble, and we were happy till the end.

"I have heard too something of you from Maumsey people, since I inherited Maumsey, though I have never been able to go there. I know what your neighbours think of you. And now Delia is going to be your neighbour. So, drawing a bow at a venture, as a dying man must, I have made you Delia's guardian and trustee, with absolute power over her property and income till she is twenty-five. When she attains that age---she is now nearly twenty-two---if she marries a man approved by you, or if you are satisfied that her connection with militant suffragism has ceased, the property is to be handed over to her in full possession, and the trust will come to an end. If, on the contrary, she continues in her present opinion and course of action, I have left directions that the trust is to be maintained for Delia's life-time, under certain conditions as to her maintenance, which you will find in the will. If you yourself are not willing to administer the trust, either now or later, the property will devolve to the Public Trustee, for whom full instructions are left. And at Delia's death it will be divided among her heirs, if she has any, and various public objects.

"I cannot go further into details. My strength is almost out. But this one thing may I beg?---if you become my child's guardian, get the right person to live with her. I regard that as all-important. She must have a chaperon, and she will try to set up one of the violent women who have divided her from me. Especially am I in dread of a lady, an English lady, a Miss Marvell, whom I engaged two years ago to stay with us for the winter and read history with Delia. She is a very able and a very dangerous woman, prepared, I believe, to go to any length on behalf of her 'cause.' At any rate she filled Delia's head with the wildest suffragist notions, and since then my poor child thinks of nothing else. Even since I have been so ill---these last few weeks---I know she has been in communication with this woman. She sympathises with all the horrible things they do, and I am certain she gives all the money she can to their funds. Delia is a splendid creature, but she is vain and excitable and they court her. I feel that they might tempt her into any madness.

"Goodbye. I made the doctor give me strychnine and morphia enough to carry me though this effort. I expect it will be the last. Help me, and my girl---if you can---for old time's sake. Goodbye.
    "Your grateful old friend,
       "Robert Blanchflower."

"Good heavens!" was all Winnington could find to say, as he put down the letter.

Then, becoming aware, as the verandah filled after breakfast, that he was in a very public place, he hastily rose, thrust the large solicitor's envelope, with its bulky enclosures, into his coat pocket, and proceeded to gather up the rest of his post. As he did so, he suddenly perceived a black-edged letter, addressed in a remarkably clear handwriting, with the intertwined initials D.B. in the corner.

A fit of silent laughter, due to his utter bewilderment, shook him. He put the letter with all its fellows into another pocket and hurried away into the solitude of the woods. It was some time before he had succeeded in leaving all the tourists' paths and seats behind. At last in a green space of bilberry and mossy rock, with the pines behind him, and the chain of the Dolomites, sun-bathed, in front, he opened and read his "ward's" first letter to him.

"Dear Mr. Winnington,---I understood---though very imperfectly---from my father, before he died, that he had appointed you my guardian and trustee till I should reach the age of twenty-five, and he explained to me so far as he could his reason for such a step. And now I have of course read the will, and the solicitors have explained to me clearly what it all means.

"You will admit I think that I am placed in a very hard position. If my poor father had not been so ill, I should certainly have tried to argue with him, and to prevent his doing anything so unnecessary and unjust as he has now done---unjust both to you and to me. But the doctors absolutely forbade me to discuss any business with him, and I could do nothing. I can only hope that the last letter he wrote to you, just before his death, and the alterations he made in his will about the same time, gave him some comfort. If so, I do not grudge them for one moment.

"But now you and I have to consider this matter as sensible people, and I suggest that for a man who is a complete stranger to me, and probably altogether out of sympathy with the ideas and principles I believe in and am determined to act upon---(for otherwise my father would not have chosen you)---to undertake the management of my life and affairs, would be really grotesque. It must lead to endless friction and trouble between us. If you refuse, the solicitors tell me, the Public Trustee---which seems to be a Government office---will manage the property, and the Court of Chancery will appoint a guardian in accordance with my father's wishes. That would be bad enough, considering that I am of full age and in my right mind. I can't promise to give a guardian chosen in such a way, a good time. But at any rate, it would be less odious to fight a court and an office, if I must fight, than a gentleman who is my near neighbour in the county, and was my father's and mother's friend. I do hope you will think this over very carefully, and will relieve both yourself and me from an impossible state of things. I perfectly realise of course that my father appointed you my guardian in order to prevent me from making certain friends and doing certain things. But I do not admit the right of any human being---not even a father---to dictate the life of another. I intend to stick to my friends, and to do what my conscience directs.

"Should you however accept the guardianship---after this candid statement of mine---you will, I suppose, feel bound to carry out my father's wishes by refusing me money for the purposes he disapproved. He told me indeed that I should be wholly dependent on my guardian for money during the next three years, even though I have attained my legal majority. I can say to you what I could not say to him, that I bitterly resent an arrangement which treats a grown person like a child. Such things are not done to men. It is only women who are the victims of them. It would be impossible to keep up friendly relations with a guardian who would really only be there---only exist---to thwart and coerce me.

"Let me point out that at the very beginning a difference must arise between us about the lady I am to live with. I have chosen my chaperon already, as it was my moral if not my legal right to do. But I am quite aware that my father disapproved of her, and that you will probably take the same view. She belongs to a militant suffrage society, and is prepared at any moment to suffer for the great cause she and I believe in. As to her ability, she is one of the cleverest women in England. I am only too proud that she has consented---for a time---to share my life, and nothing will induce me to part with her---as long as she consents to stay. But of course I know what you---or any ordinary man---are likely to think of her.

"No!---we cannot agree---it is impossible we should agree---as guardian and ward. If indeed, for the sake of your old friendship with my father, you would retain the executorship---I am sure Lord Frederick Calverly will be no sort of use!---till the affairs of the will, death-duties, debts, and so on, are settled---and would at the same time give up any other connection with the property and myself, I should be enormously grateful to you. And I assure you I should be very glad indeed---for father's sake---to have your advice on many points connected with my future life; and I should be all the more ready to follow it, if you had renounced your legal power over me.

"I shall be much obliged if you will make your decision as soon as possible, so that both the lawyer and I may know how to proceed.
            "Yours faithfully,
               "DELIA BLANCHFLOWER."

Mark Winnington put down the letter. Its mixture of defiance, patronage and persuasion---its young angry cleverness---would have tickled a naturally strong sense of humour at any other time. But really the matter was too serious to laugh at.

"What on earth am I to do!"

He sat pondering, his mind running through a number of associated thoughts, of recollections old and new; those Indian scenes of fifteen years ago; the story told him by the Swedish lady; recent incidents and happenings in English politics; and finally the tone in which Euphrosyne's father had described the snatching of his own innocent from the clutches of Miss Blanchflower.

Then it occurred to him to look at the will. He read it through: a tedious business; for Sir Robert had been a wealthy man and the possessions bequeathed---conditionally bequeathed---to his daughter were many and various. Two or three thousand acres of land in one of the southern counties, bordering on the New Forest; certain large interests in Cleveland ironstone and Durham collieries, American and South African shares, Canadian mortgage and railway debentures:---there was enough to give lawyers and executors work for some time, and to provide large pickings for the Exchequer. Among the legacies, he noticed the legacy of 4000 to himself.

"Payment for the job!" he thought, and shook his head, smiling.

The alternative arrangements made for transferring the trust to the Public Trustee, should Winnington decline, and for vesting the guardianship of the daughter in the Court of Chancery, subject to the directions of the will, till she should reach the age of twenty-five, were clear; so also was the provision that unless a specific signed undertaking was given by the daughter on attaining her twenty-fifth birthday, that the moneys of the estate would not be applied to the support of the "militant suffrage" propaganda, the trust was to be made permanent, a life income of 2000 a year was to be settled on Miss Blanchflower, and the remainder, i.e. by far the major part of Sir Robert's property, was to accumulate, for the benefit of his daughter's heirs should she have any, and of various public objects. Should Miss Blanchflower sign the undertaking and afterwards break it, the Public Trustee was directed to proceed against her, and to claim the restitution of the property,
subject always to her life allowance.

"Pretty well tied up," thought Winnington, marvelling at the strength of feeling, the final exasperation of a dying man, which the will betrayed. His daughter must somehow---perhaps without realising it---have wounded him to the heart.

He began to climb again through the forest that he might think the better. What would be the situation, supposing he undertook what his old friend asked of him?

He himself was a man of moderate means and settled habits. His small estate and modest house, which a widowed sister shared with him during six months in the year, left him plenty of leisure from his own affairs, and he had filled that leisure, for years past, to overflowing, with the various kinds of public work that fall to the country gentleman with a conscience. He was never idle; his work interested him, and there was no conceit in his quiet knowledge that he had many friends and much influence. Since the death of the girl to whom he had been engaged for six short months, fifteen years before this date, he had never thought of marriage. The circumstances of her death---a terrible case of lingering typhoid---had so burnt the pity of her suffering and the beauty of her courage into his mind, that natural desire seemed to have died with her. He had turned to hard work and the Bar, and equally hard physical exercise, and so made himself master both of his grief and his youth. But his friendships with women had played a great part in his subsequent life. A natural chivalry, deep based, and, in manner, a touch of caressing charm, soon evoked by those to whom he was attached, and not easily confounded in the case of a man so obviously manly with any lack of self-control, had long since made him a favourite of the sex. There were few women among his acquaintances who did not covet his liking; and he was the repository of far more confidences than he had ever desired. No one took more trouble to serve; and no one more carelessly forgot a service he had himself rendered, or more tenaciously remembered any kindness done him by man, woman or child.

His admiration for women was mingled indeed often with profound pity: pity for the sorrows and burdens that nature had laid upon them, for their physical weakness, for their passive role in life. That beings so hampered could yet play such tender and heroic parts was to him perennially wonderful, and his sense of it expressed itself in an unconscious homage that seemed to embrace the sex. That the homage was not seldom wasted on persons quite unworthy of it, his best women friends were not slow to see; but in this he was often obstinate and took his own way.

This mingling in him of an unfailing interest in the sex with an entire absence of personal craving gave him a singularly strong position with regard to women, of which he had never yet taken any selfish advantage; largely, no doubt, because of the many activities, most of them disinterested, by which his life was fed and freshened; as a lake is by the streams which fill it.

He was much moved by his old friend's letter, and he walked about pondering it, till the morning was almost gone. The girl's position also seemed to him particularly friendless and perilous, though she herself, apparently, would be the last person to think so, could she only shake herself free from the worrying restrictions her father had inflicted on her. Her letter, and its thinly veiled wrath, shewed quite plainly that the task of any guardian would be a tough one. Miss Blanchflower was evidently angry---very angry---yet at the same time determined, if she could, to play a dignified part; ready, that is, to be civil, on her own conditions. The proposal to install as her chaperon, instantly, without a day's delay, the very woman denounced in her father's last letter, struck him as first outrageous, and then comic. He laughed aloud over it.

Certainly---he was not bound in any way to undertake such a business. Blanchflower had spoken the truth when he said that he had no right to ask it. And yet----

His mind dallied with it. Suppose he undertook it, on what lines could he possibly run it? His feeling towards the violent phase of the "woman's movement," the militancy which during the preceding three or four years had produced a crop of outrages so surprising and so ugly, was probably as strong as Blanchflower's own. He was a natural Conservative, and a trained lawyer. Methods of violence, in a civilised and constitutional State, roused in him indignant abhorrence. He could admit no excuse for them; at any rate no justification.

But, fundamentally? What was his real attitude towards this wide-spread claim of women, now so general in many parts of the world, admitted indeed in some English Colonies, in an increasing number of the American states, in some of the minor European countries---to share the public powers and responsibilities of men? Had he ever faced the problem, as it concerned England, with any thoroughness or candour? Yet perhaps Englishmen---all Englishmen---had now got to face it.

Could he discover any root of sympathy in himself with what were clearly the passionate beliefs of Delia Blanchflower, the Valkyrie of twenty-one, as they were also the passionate beliefs of the little Swedish lady, the blue-stocking of fifty? If so, it might be possible to guide, even to control such a ward, for the specified three years, at any rate, without exciting unseemly and ridiculous strife between her and her guardian.

"I ought to be able to do it"---he thought---"without upsetting the apple-cart!"

For, as he examined himself he realised that he held no closed mind on the subject of the rights or powers or grievances of women. He had taken no active part whatever in the English suffragist struggle, either against woman suffrage or for it; and in his own countryside it mattered comparatively little. But he was well aware what strong forces and generous minds had been harnessed to the suffrage cause, since Mill first set it stirring; and among his dearest women friends there were some closely connected with it, who had often mocked or blamed his own indifference. He had always thought indeed, and he thought still---for many reasons---that they attributed a wildly exaggerated importance to the vote, which, as it seemed to him, went a very short way in the case of men. But he had always been content to let the thing slide; having so much else to do and think about.

Patience, then, and respect for honest and disinterested conviction, in any young and ardent soul; sharp discrimination between lawful and unlawful means of propaganda, between debate and stone-throwing; no interference with the first, and a firm hand against the second:---surely, in that spirit, one might make something of the problem? Winnington was accustomed to be listened to, to get round obstacles that other men found insuperable. It was scarcely conceit, but a just self-confidence which suggested to him that perhaps Miss Blanchflower would not prove so difficult after all. Gentleness, diplomacy, decision,---by Jove, they'd all be wanted! But his legal experience (he had been for some years a busy barrister) and his later life as a practical administrator had not been a bad training in each and all of these qualities.

Of course, if the girl were merely obstinate and stupid, the case might indeed be hopeless. But the picture drawn by the Swedish woman of the "Valkyrie" on her black mare, of the ardent young lecturer, facing her indifferent or hostile audience with such pluck and spirit, dwelt with him, and affected him strongly. His face broke into amusement as he asked himself the frank question---"Would you do it, if you hadn't heard that tale?---if you knew that your proposed ward was just a plain troublesome chit of a schoolgirl, bitten with suffragism?"

He put the question to himself, standing on a pinnacle of shadowed rock, from which the world seemed to sink into blue gulfs beneath him, till on the farther side of immeasurable space the mountains re-emerged, climbing to the noonday sun.

And he answered it without hesitation. Certainly, the story told him had added a touch of romance to the bare case presented by the batch of letters---had lent a force and point to Robert Blanchflower's dying plea, it might not otherwise have possessed. For, after all, he, Winnington, was a very busy man; and his life was already mortgaged in many directions. But as it was---yes---the task attracted him.

At the same time, the twinkle in his grey eyes shewed him ironically aware of himself.

"Understand, you old fool!---the smallest touch of philandering, and the whole business goes to pot. The girl would have you at her mercy---and the thing would become an odious muddle and hypocrisy, degrading to both. Can you trust yourself? You're not exactly made of flint. Can you play the part as it ought to be played?"

Quietly, his face sank into rest. For him, there was that in memory, which protected him from all such risks, which had so protected him for fifteen years. He felt quite sure of himself. Ever since his great loss he had found his natural allies and companions among girls and young women as much as among men. The embarrassment of sex seemed to have passed away for him, but not the charm. Thus, he took what for him was the easier path of acceptance. Kindly and scrupulous as he was, it would have been hard for him in any case to say No to the dead, more difficult than to say it to the living. Yes!---he would do what was possible. The Times that morning contained a long list of outrages committed by militant suffragists---houses burnt  Tdown, meetings disturbed, ministers attacked. In a few months, or weeks, perhaps, without counsel to aid or authority to warn her, the Valkyrie might be running headlong into all the perils her father foresaw. He pledged himself to protect her if he could.


The post which left the hotel that evening took with it a short note from Mark Winnington to Messrs. Morton, Manners & Lathom, accepting the functions of executor, guardian and trustee offered him under Sir Robert Blanchflower's will, and appointing an interview with them at their office; together with a somewhat longer one addressed to "Miss Delia Blanchflower, Claridge's Hotel, London."

"Dear Miss Blanchflower,---Pray let me send you my most sincere condolence. Your poor father and I were once great friends, and I am most truly sorry to hear of his death.

"Thank you for your interesting letter. But I find it impossible to refuse your father's dying request to me, nor can I believe that I cannot be of some assistance to his daughter. Let me try. We can always give it up, if we cannot work it, but I see no reason why, with good will on both sides, we should not make something of it.

"I am returning to London ten days from now, and hope to see you within a fortnight.

   "Please address, 'Junior Carlton Club, Pall Mall.'
            "Believe me,
               "Yours very truly,
                  "MARK WINNINGTON."

On his arrival in London Winnington found a short reply awaiting him.

"Dear Mr. Winnington,---As you please. I am however shortly leaving for Maumsey with Miss Marvell, who, as I told you, has undertaken to live with me as my chaperon.

"We shall hope to see you at Maumsey.
    "Yours faithfully,
        "Delia Blanchflower."

A few days later, after long interviews with some very meticulous solicitors, a gentleman, very much in doubt as to what his reception would be, took train for Maumsey and the New Forest, with a view to making as soon as possible a first call upon his ward.

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