Page:In the Roar of the Sea.djvu/23

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15
IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA.

pull on Sunday breeches and assume a Sunday hat, and trudge to the church. Therefore, secondly, for the ease of their own consciences, it was undesirable that S. Enodoc should be dug out of the sand.

Then lastly, and thirdly, the engulfment of the church gave them a cherished opportunity for being nasty to the rector, and retailing upon him for his incaution in condemning smuggling and launching out into anathema against wrecking. As he had made matters disagreeable to them—tried, as they put it, to take bread out of their mouths, they saw no reason why they should spend money to please him.

Mr. Trevisa had made very little provision for his children, principally, if not wholly, because he could not. He had received from the farmers and land-owners a portion of tithe, and had been contented with that rather than raise angry feelings by demanding the whole. Out of that portion he was able to put aside but little.

Aunt Dionysia arrived, a tall, bony woman, with hair turning gray, light eyes and an aquiline nose, a hard, self-seeking woman, who congratulated herself that she did not give way to feelings.

"I feel," said she, "as do others, but I don't show my feelings as beggars expose their bad legs."

She went into the kitchen. "Hoity toity!" she said to the cook, "fine story this—scalding yourself. Mind this, you cook meals or no wage for you." To Jane, "The mischief you have done shall be valued and deducted from any little trifle my brother may have left you in his will. Where is Jamie? Give me that joint of fishing-rod; I'll beat him for stealing raspberry jam."

Jamie, however, on catching a glimpse of his aunt had escaped into the garden and concealed himself. The cook, offended, began to clatter the saucepans.

"Now, then," said Mrs. Trevisa—she bore the brevet-rank—"in a house of mourning what do you mean by making this noise, it is impertinent to me."

The house-maid swung out of the kitchen, muttering.

Mrs. Trevisa now betook herself up-stairs in quest of her niece, and found her with red eyes.

"I call it rank felo-de-se," said Aunt Dionysia. "Every one knew—he knew, that he had a feeble heart, and ought not to be digging and delving in the old church. Who sent the sand upon it? Why, Providence, I presume.