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intendence on his nursery establish- self-appointed guardian began to

A still more frequent super- pour in consignments of toys, which vision over the child's welfare was soon littered the young civilian's given by his friend, Lieutenant Falk- house; Benares lacquered bricks, land, who, although he declined the little wooden elephants and camels, young widower's proposal that he cups and saucers, and tea equipages ; should give up his bungalow in can- a swing to be hung up in the verantonments, and share the other's more da; with a rocking-horse as large comfortable house in the civil lines, as a Burmah pony. A visitor to spent almost as much time there as Mr Cunningham's house in those if he had been a permanent occupant days of a morning would generally of it. The subaltern had plenty of find the same group assembled there: leisure ; and his friend's servants the father in an easy-chair smoking were never sure during their mas- his cheroot; his friend sitting more ter's long absence in court at what erect, as became a man with strict moment they might not receive a military ideas, and not smoking, visit from Falkland, and even if —the two watching the child and they had been disposed to neglect the old bearer on the floor together, the child would have been prevented engaged in the joint task of erecting by his vigilance. But indifference a tower, which, from the number to their master's children is not a of bricks strewed about the room, fault of Indian servants; their weak- promised to assume the proportions ness is rather in the way of too of a very Babel. much petting and indulgence. In Thus passed the child's earliest the case of a baby, however, there years, when just as she was beginwas not much room for injudicious ning to prattle freely, and had been kindness; the little Olivia's wants advanced to the dignity of a seat on a were sufficiently ministered to by raised chair at her father's breakfastthe stout young mussalmáni wo- table, a disruption took place of the man who had been engaged from small commonwealth which had cona neighbouring village to fulfil ducted the government of the little the office of wet-nurse; and the Olivia's household. Falkland was young civil surgeon of the station, appointed to the staff of the army Dr Mackenzie Maxwell, declared in on the frontier, and the good doctor his daily visits that no child could was transferred to another station ; be better cared for, or more thriv- while the advent of his successor ing. As the little Olivia grew out was heralded by a reputation for his of babyhood, almost the first person power of subduing the strongest conshe came to recognise after her nurse stitutions of adults, and a perfectly and the old bearer who was ap- ogre-like capacity for the massacre pointed her special attendant, was of children; such as escaped the first the young officer; and the child onslaught of his calomel, it was ruwould hold out her little arms to moured, invariably succumbed to the greet him as he came up the avenue subsequent treatment. The arrival of of an evening while she was tak- this terrible official caused a general ing her walk in the old man's panic in the station. Mrs Spangle, arms, attended by the nurse and the wife of the brother civilian alanother female, while a tall office- ready referred to, determined to anmessenger with a red belt, brass ticipate by a year or two the time plate, and gigantic umbrella brought fixed for the inevitable home up the rear. Long before she could voyage ; and Cunningham, thus left understand the use of them, the without his friends, accepted her


offer to take his little daughter to tinental life and climate to her taste, England with her own children, to Mrs Maitland had continued from be made over on arrival to the that time to reside with her niece in charge of his only sister.

various parts of the south of Europe. To Mrs Maitland, Cunningham's Meanwhile Cunningham remained sister, who had no children of her in India ; although not a brilliant own, the arrival of her little niece man, his industry, temper, and was a very welcome event; she soon judgment had gained for him a concame to love the child as her own, siderable reputation in his service, and Olivia found in her house á and whenever he was on the point happy home, where even the dim- of taking a furlough, the transfer to mest recollections of India soon some new employment had always faded away. Nor were the father's happened to prevent his doing so; letters calculated to recall them. now a neglected district to bé Cunningham did not possess the brought into proper form ; now a sort of literary power which alone newly-annexed province to be recould have enabled those duced to order,--some call in the quainted with the scenes among way of preferment appealing to his which it was spent to realise his sense of duty and the love of distincmode of life ; and, under the feeling tion, and tempting him to stay in that his letters had no real interest the country. Thus year


year for the reader when they passed passed away without the intended beyond mere personal topics, his furlough being taken ; till at last, correspondence, though still affec- when Olivia was arrived at womantionate, gradually became brief and hood, and the question arose whether infrequent. His sister's letters were instead of his going home the daughlonger and more regular, for all home ter should not rejoin her father in allusions could be understood by the India, he was invited by the Govparent, and full accounts of his ernment to assume charge of the daughter, her health, progress, and province ceded by the Nawab of occupation, made up an interesting Mustaphabad, and to introduce the letter; and as soon as the child was blessings of British rule into the able to write herself, each mail carried districts so long misgoverned by a letter from her to her unknown that unfortunate prince. Such a father, all to be carefully filed by request could not be refused; and the Indian exile, and containing a Cunningham, feeling that his complete record of progress, begin- daughter was more at home with ning with the uncertain ink - trac- the aunt who had been a mother ings over her aunt's pencilled out- to her for so many years, than she lines, and so through the large could be with the father who had round-hand and short stiff senten- now become little more than a name, ces of childhood and all the vari- and being, it must be confessed, ous developments of girlish hands, now quite reconciled to his solitary to the easy writing and ready ex- life, had just proposed a scheme pression of the accomplished young for completing his new task and

eventually retiring on the pension When Olivia was about twelve which he had now earned to join years old her uncle died, and his sister and daughter in Italy, his widow was shortly afterwards when the plan was upset by the ordered for her health to the south news that Mrs Maitland had acof France; and having now no ties cepted the offer of marriage from an with England, and finding Con- Italian nobleman. To Cunningham



the idea of such a connection seemed for ever ! even if you don't marry in thoroughly repulsive ; for although India, your father will never let you the Count was reported to be un- come to me again.” Olivia could exceptionable in every respect save only reply through her tears by rethat he was a good deal younger turning the embrace ; nor was there than his intended bride, Cunning- time for further words, for just at ham's Indian experiences were not that moment rang the warning-bell, calculated to remove the insular summoning those who were not prejudices of an Englishman; and passengers to leave the vessel. notwithstanding that his sister Thus was Olivia launched upon wrote to him that her marriage her new life, of the personages movshould make difference to ing around which she had as yet Olivia, for that her future hus- had only two slight glimpses. Some band was equally desirous with eight years before, Colonel Falkland, herself that she should continue returning to England to recover to make her home with them till from a wound, had paid a visit to her father returned from India, a Florence to see his god-daughter, sudden anxiety now possessed him then just entering on girlhood. He lest his daughter, living in a foreign stayed there for some weeks, living household, should also fall in love at an hotel in the neighbourhood with a foreigner and so be altogether of Mr Maitland's apartments, and lost to him. He determined, there- passing the greater part of each fore, that she should join him for day with his friends; and visithe remainder of his service; and, tors in those days to the picturewriting to express his decision in galleries in that city could not but terms so peremptory as seemed to notice with interest the two sightthe kind aunt a poor requital of the seers—the bronzed soldier-like man, many years of loving care bestowed who walked lame and with the on his child, he knew scarcely an aid of a stick, accompanied by the easy moment till he heard in reply slight young girl ; surely not his that his instructions would be acted daughter, they thought, he seemed on at once. Mrs Maitland and too courteous and deferential in Olivia made a speedy visit to Eng- manner, and she, though deland, in order that the latter might ferential in turn and striving to be placed in charge of the wife of a tend him with care, yet did not brother civilian returning to India; evince the familiarity of a child and after a brief interval occupied with a parent. The young lady in the preparatiori of Olivia's outfit, acted as guide and interpreter, while aunt and niece parted at Southamp- her companion, whose life had been ton with mutual tears and sorrow- spent in camps or the dull routine ings, each to enter on a new life. of an Indian official, was never tired The Count had followed his intend- of pursuing his first acquaintanceed bride to London, and the mar- ship with art under such auspices; riage was to take place immediately and when his young companion after Olivia's departure, when the would bring him before some favourmarried pair would return to live ite masterpiece, his eyes would often in Italy “ Farewell, my darling turn involuntarily from the beautichild !” she said, folding her niece ful saint or madonna on canvas to to her breast in the little cabin of the still more beautiful face, as he the steamer, as it lay on the parting thought, lighted up with the rays of morning alongside of the quay in innocence and youthful enthusiasm. Southampton Docks; "farewell, and In such companionship it seemed to Falkland as if a vision of his taking the principal share, and the youth had come back again, unal- colonel merely throwing in an occaloyed by the sadness and sorrow sional question or remark by way which marked that episode of ear- of fuel to keep the fire alight. lier days. It is her mother come Or if Falkland and Olivia were back to earth again, he said to him- alone, their talk would mostly reself; God grant she may be spared volve about Olivia's pursuits and to grace it longer! Olivia and her half-formed thoughts; for her new aunt on their part had been pre- friend, while reserved about himpared to receive their new acquaint- self, was yet of a sympathetic ance with warmth, as one holding nature which invited the confidence the highest place in Mr Cunning- of others, although there was no ham's esteem. The greatest friend want of humour or even a certain I have in the world, he wrote to playful yet subdued sarcasm in his his daughter, and the finest soldier conversation. And had Olivia in the Indian army. “ And the been capable of such analysis, she most perfect gentleman," declared might have discovered that while Olivia's aunt with enthusiasm, after she had opened to her new comhe had paid his first visit. “I panion all the recesses of her young thought Indian officers would be mind, she knew little about him mere soldiers, with uncouth man- save that he was kind, gentle, and ners; but our colonel might be a unselfish, bent chiefly on minisprince, although I hope he will tering to the happiness of those dress better when he gets to Eng- around him. That the young girl land, and take to wearing shirt- should have endowed him with collars. Poor man! he seems to every noble attribute was a natural suffer a good deal from his wound, consequence of her being at the age although he never complains. I of hero-worship. Thus when at last think on the mornings when he Falkland was obliged to bring his comes in late, and won't take any visit to an end, and to continue his breakfast, that he must have had journey towards England, the parta bad night.” As for Olivia, who ing left Olivia with a new ideal of · had never before met any gentle- perfection to add to the gallery of man, young or old, on intimate saints and madonnas enshrined in terms, and from whose girlish mind the respect of her fervent young the germs of any tenderer emotions heart; while Falkland, although no were absent, her godfather seemed definite ideas for the future yet the impersonation of all that was possessed him, went off with a new noble and dignified and kind. She interest in life awakened. The would fain have asked him about leave-taking was provisional only; the wars in which he had taken for the plan was discussed of a part, as the little party sate to meeting in the autumn on the Lake gether of an afternoon or evening of Como, when, said Falkland in at Mrs Maitland's lodgings, or rest- his low voice, looking into her ed by the wayside after a drive to ingenuous young face with some spot of interest in the neigh- kindly smile, as he held her hand bourhood ; but Falkland was not a at parting, his young mistress man to talk much about himself, or should go on with her course of indeed to talk much about any. instruction in Italian. But when thing, and the conversation usually autumn' arrived, he was summoned turned upon the travels and experi- to India to take up the important ences of the ladies, Mrs Maitland appointment which he now held; and the letter from the Governor- judge of character, there appeared General himself containing the something of hardness and apparoffer, was a form of application for ent unscrupulousness about Kirke his services which a zealous public which instinctively repelled her ; servant could not refuse to obey. and Olivia perceiving that her aunt So their next meeting was deferred did not share her admiration for till seven years later, when Olivia him, did not seek to exchange conarrived at Mustaphabad, and the fidences with her on the subject. child-girl had developed into the Kirke too, as well as Falkland, exbeautiful young woman.

pressed the intention when leaving One other Indian acquaintance Italy of paying his relatives another was made by Olivia, four years visit, but was diverted from carrying later, when Rupert Kirke, a lieu- it into effect by the outbreak of the tenant in the Bengal army, arrived Crimean war, at the first rumour of at Venice, where Mrs Maitland which he set out for Constantinople, and her niece were then staying, seeking employment as a volunteer also, like Falkland, on his way with the Turkish army. In this home. Kirke was first cousin to capacity he seemed on the road Cunningham and his sister, and to enhance his military reputation, brought an introduction from the when he was unfortunately tempted former. “A clever fellow," said to accept a commission in the Turkthe brother, in his letter, “and a ish contingent, and thereby found first-rate soldier, with a great future himself shelved from active service before him, if he only keeps during the remainder of the war, straight.” And indeed Rupert on the termination of which he was Kirke looked every inch a soldier, obliged to return to India. and although not the least a lady's man, as the term is understood, To Olivia Cunningham, sailing for was found to be excellent com- India, the change of life was even pany; well-mannered, well-dressed, more complete than to the other well - read, and apparently both young ladies who were borne in the good-natured and good-tempered. same steamer with her out of SouthOlivia took a great liking to her ampton Docks. They, for the most new-found relative, while Kirke part, though leaving friends and for his part did not conceal his homes behind them, had been gratification in her society, nor, brought up to regard England as although he made little pretence of a temporary resting-place, and the caring for pictures or churches, his voyage to India as the culminating enjoyment of the sight-seeing ex- point in their girlhood. To Olivia cursions made under her guidance this departure for that country came -excursions, however, in which as the result of a sudden resolve, made Mrs Maitland invariably joined, for necessary by the breaking upof EuroOlivia was no longer a child. And pean ties. Nor had she ever known after he had passed on to England, the meaning of home as that term is a correspondence was maintained understood. For herit had not meant between the two, when Kirke's sisters and brothers, and home inclever letters came to be very inter- terests, and a settled dwelling-place. esting to the fair recipient. The Her home, so far as she had been elder lady, however, did not respond able to realise the idea, had been a with warmth to the feelings of her suite of apartments at Florence, succompanion about the letters and ceeded by a suite of apartments at their writer. Without being a keen Rome or Naples ; her friends had



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