Page:In the Roar of the Sea.djvu/303

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IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA.

self, though with manifest effort. That sufficed Judith. She no longer looked for, cared for love from her aunt. It satisfied her if Miss Trevisa left her unmolested.

Moreover, Judith enjoyed the walk to Polzeath every day, and, somehow, the lessons to Jamie gave her an interest that she had never found in them before. Oliver was so helpful. When Jamie was stubborn, he persuaded him with a joke or a promise to laugh and put aside his ill-humor, and attack the task once more. The little gossiping talk after the lesson with Oliver, or with Oliver and his father, was a delight to her. She looked forward to it, from day to day, naturally, reasonably, for at the Glaze she had no one with whom to converse, no one with the same general interests as herself, the same knowledge of books, and pleasure in the acquisition of information.

On mountain sides there are floral zones. The rhododendron and the gentian luxuriate at a certain level, above is the zone of the blue hippatica, the soldanella, and white crocus; below is the belt of mealy primula and lilac clematis. So is it in the world of minds—they have their levels, and can only live on those levels. Transplant them to a higher or to a lower zone and they suffer, and die.

Judith found no one at Pentyre with whom she could associate with pleasure. It was only when she was at Polzeath with Uncle Zachie and Oliver that she could talk freely and feel in her element.

One day Oliver said to her, "Judith"—for, on the understanding that they were cousins, they called each other by their Christian names—"Judith! are you going to the ball at Wadebridge after Christmas?"

"Ball, Oliver, what ball?"

"That which Mr. Mules is giving for the restoration of his church."

"I do not know. I—yes, I have heard of it; but I had clean forgotten all about it. I had rather not."

"But you must, and promise me three dances, at least."

"I do not know what to say. Captain Coppinger"—she never spoke of her husband by his Christian name, never thought of him as other than Captain Coppinger. Did she think of Oliver as Mr. Menaida, junior? "Captain Coppinger has not said anything to me about it of late. I do not wish to go. My dear father's death——"