Page:What will he do with it.djvu/83

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grassy knolls. See where, at the crossing of three roads upon the waste, the landscape suddenly unfolds, an upland in the distance, and on the upland a building, the first sign of social man. What is the building? only a silenced windmill, the sails dark and sharp against the dull leaden sky.

Lionel touched the driver,—"Are we yet on Mr. Darrell's property?" Of the extent of that property he had involuntarily conceived a vast idea.

"Lord, sir, no; we be two miles from Squire Darrell's. He han't much property to speak of hereabouts. But he bought a good bit o' land, too, some years ago, ten or twelve mile t' other side o' the county. First time you are going to Fawley, sir?"

"Yes."

"Ah! I don't mind seeing you afore; and I should have known you if I had, for it is seldom indeed I have a fare to Fawley old Manor House. It must be, I take it, four or five years ago sin' I wor there with a gent, and he went away while I wor feeding the horse; did me out o' my back fare. What bisness had he to walk when he came in my fly? Shabby."

"Mr. Darrell lives very retired, then? sees few persons?" "S'pose so. I never seed him as I knows on; see'd two o' his hosses though,—rare good uns;" and the driver whipped on his own horse, took to whistling, and Lionel asked no more.

At length the chaise stopped at a carriage gate, receding from the road, and deeply shadowed by venerable trees,—no lodge. The driver, dismounting, opened the gate.

"Is this the place?"

The driver nodded assent, remounted, and drove on rapidly through what night by courtesy he called a park. The enclosure was indeed little beyond that of a good-sized paddock; its boundaries were visible on every side: but swelling uplands covered with massy foliage sloped down to its wild, irregular turf soil,—soil poor for pasturage, but pleasant to the eye; with dell and dingle, bosks of fantastic pollards; dotted oaks of vast growth; here and there a weird hollow thorn-tree; patches of fern and gorse. Hoarse and loud cawed the rooks; and deep, deep as from the innermost core of the lovely woodlands came the mellow note of the cuckoo. A few moments more a wind of the road brought the house in sight. At its rear lay a piece of water, scarcely large enough to be styled a lake; too winding in its shaggy banks, its ends too concealed by tree and islet, to be called by the dull name of pond. Such as it was it arrested the eye before the gaze turned