Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/47
THE ALPHINGTON PONIES
colour from their gowns, and with lace cuffs. They were never seen, winter or summer, without their sunshades. The only variation to the jacket was a gay-coloured shawl crossed over the bosom and tied behind at the waist.
The sisters dressed exactly alike, and were so much alike in face as to appear to be twins. They were remarkably good walkers, kept perfectly in step, were always arm in arm, and spoke to no one but each other.
They lived with their mother, and kept no servant. All the work of the house was done by the three, so that in the morning they made no appearance in the town; only in the afternoon had they assumed their war-paint, when, about 3 p.m., they sallied forth; but, however highly they rouged and powdered, and however strange was their dress, they carried back home no captured hearts. Indeed, the visitors to Torquay looked upon them with some contempt as not being in society and not dressing in the fashion; only some of the residents felt for them in their solitude some compassion. They were the daughters of a Colonel Durnford, and had lived at Alphington. The mother was of an inferior social rank. They had a brother, a major in the Army, 10th Regiment, who was much annoyed at their singularity of costume, and offered to increase their allowance if they would discontinue it; but this they refused to do.
When first they came to Torquay, they drove a pair of pretty ponies they had brought with them from Alphington; but their allowance being reduced, and being in straitened circumstances, they had to dispose of ponies and carriage. By an easy transfer the name of Alphington Ponies passed on from the beasts to their former owners.