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A Child of the Glens by Edward Newenham Hoare

Cooper Gore Smith presents his compliments to Lady Waterham


This

was just what Jim had contemplated, and it was not without difficulty that good George Hendrick brought him to a sounder judgment. Unlike Jim's youthful friends, who, partly animated by love of mischief and partly by youth's natural hopefulness, had encouraged him to indulge the most glowing fancies, Hendrick showed him gently, but plainly, how fragile was the foundation on which he had been building. The watch might have been stolen, or lost, or given away. There might turn out to be no direct or traceable connection between Lady Waterham and the unknown woman whose property it had been. Jim was not shaken in his own private conviction (strengthened as it had been by his dream), but he was too hard-headed not to admit the reasonableness of Mr. Hendrick's arguments; and the more he heard of the tales that had been circulated, the more deeply he regretted his pride and misplaced confidence. He finally made no objection to Hendrick's proposal that the matter should be left in the hands of the Rev. Cooper Smith, who was going to England in the course of ten days, and was willing to make a slight detour to Leeds. So it was settled. The watch and locket were entrusted to the rector, who promised to see the watchmaker and Lady Waterham.

"You seem more annoyed than anything else," said Jim crossly to Elsie, when the final arrangements were being made in the rectory study.

"I cannot say I am pleased," replied the

girl. "I fear lest you should be disappointed, Jim; and, on the other hand, I don't want to be anything but what I am. I have not been brought up a lady, and to find that I had been born one would be no pleasure. If you could be a lord, Jim, without affecting me, it would be all right."

"Why, Elsie, you have no ambition."

"None to be put in a false position, which I could not rightly fill."

CHAPTER IX.

"What a solemn and mysterious communication," said Lady Waterham, laughing, as she handed a letter across the breakfast table to her husband.

"Pooh! my dear, it is some Irish beggar; you had better not see him," said his lordship as he rose from the table.

"O scarcely--it would be too impertinent."

The letter ran as follows:--

"The Rev. Cooper Gore Smith presents his compliments to Lady Waterham, and trusts that she will find it convenient to receive him on Tuesday morning at about eleven o'clock, when he hopes to have the honour of waiting on her ladyship.

"The Rev. Cooper Gore Smith's reasons for troubling Lady Waterham can scarcely be explained in a letter. Suffice it that the affair on which he is engaged is of considerable importance to those chiefly concerned, and may even prove not to be without interest for her ladyship.

"_Railway Hotel, Leeds,_ "Sept. 3, 187--."

This the worthy man flattered himself was in his best style. He was considerably puffed up by the importance of his mission, and, although he had the wisdom to keep them secret, his aspirations were nearly as far-reaching as those of Jim himself. To have been the friend and patron of two long-lost scions of nobility was an idea too romantic and agreeable not to be dwelt on, even though he reminded himself again and again that it had probably no foundation. It was, therefore, with no little self-importance that the note was penned, and in a similar frame of mind he started for Burnham Park next morning.


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