One Maid's Mischief

One Maid's Mischief

by George Manville Fenn
     
 

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ONE OF HER VICTIMS.

Seven o'clock in the morning, and _chee-op--chee-op--chee-op--chirrup--
pee-yew_--a splendid thrush waking the echoes with his loud notes; the
blackbirds down in the copse whistling a soft love-song to their silent
mates, waiting in their cup-like nests for the first chip of the
blotched eggs; Coelebs, the chaffinch,… See more details below

Overview

ONE OF HER VICTIMS.

Seven o'clock in the morning, and _chee-op--chee-op--chee-op--chirrup--
pee-yew_--a splendid thrush waking the echoes with his loud notes; the
blackbirds down in the copse whistling a soft love-song to their silent
mates, waiting in their cup-like nests for the first chip of the
blotched eggs; Coelebs, the chaffinch, pouring down tinkling strains
from the pink-blossomed apple-trees; while the larks high above the
young corn and clover, twittered their joyous hymn in rivalling accord
to the May-morning sun. The dew lay heavy and cold upon the tawny,
sweet-scented wallflowers, and the freshness of feeling in the shade
whispered that the silvery whiteness of their hues was not far removed
from frost.

So thought the Reverend Arthur Rosebury, as he stood contemplating the
flower-beds in front of the quaint old Rectory, whose windows were
framed in the opening blossoms of a huge snaky-stemmed wistaria, one of
which windows--his own--was wide open, and had been for an hour, while
its fellow over the little drawing-room was delicately draped in snowy
dimity.

Geraniums formed the subject of the Reverend Arthur's contemplation as
he stood upon the closely-shaven, dewy lawn; and he had just come to the
conclusion that he had better wait another week before filling his beds
with the scarlet trusses, when there was the sharp sound of brass rings
upon a rod. The dimity curtains were drawn aside, the casement window
was opened and carefully hooked back, and the kit-cat living portrait of
a pleasant plump little woman of about forty appeared in the frame.

"Arthur, I'm sure you are getting your feet wet," she chirped.

The tall, very thin curate of Little Magnus looked dreamily up at the
window, and then down at his feet, stooping a good deal to obtain a
nearer view. Slowly rising, he looked up at the window again, took off
his soft felt hat, smoothed his thin grey hair, and said slowly:

"No, my dear, I think not."

"But I'm sure you must be, Arthur; it's a very heavy dew?" cried the
little lady, emphatically.

"Yes, my dear Mary," he replied, in a slow, deprecating way, "it is a
very heavy dew, but I have got on my goloshes."

"Ho!" exclaimed the little lady, and she disappeared.

The Reverend Arthur Rosebury began to make a peculiar humming noise,
somewhat suggestive of a large bumble-bee trying to practise a chant,
which was his idea of singing, and was walking slowly off towards a
laurel-shaded walk when the little lady once more appeared at the
window.

"Arthur!"

"Yes, my dear Mary?"

"Don't you go far away; breakfast won't be long."

"No, my dear Mary."

"Where shall you be?"

"Down by the bees."

"You'll come when I whistle?"

"Yes, my dear Mary."

The lady disappeared once more, and the curate of Little Magnus went
slowly and deliberately down the garden of the Rectory, where he had
been for many years resident; the wealthy rector, who was a canon of
Dunchester, finding a sermon or two a year nearly all he could give to
the little parish.

The bees were visited, both those dwelling in the round-topped,
old-fashioned straw hives and the occupants of the modern square boxes,
cunningly contrived to enable the proprietor to commit honied burglaries
without adding bee-murder to the offence.

The bees were as busy as those immortalised by Dr Watts, and coming and
going in the bright sunshine, making a glorious hum in a snowy
cherry-tree close at hand, and suggesting to the curate's mind ample
supplies of the cloying sweet, about five hundredweights of which he
hoped to sell at a shilling a pound.

The Reverend Arthur went slowly away, smiling in his heart--he rarely
smiled visibly--happy and thankful for his lot; opened the white gate in
the tall green hedge, and after closing it carefully, began to walk
across the drenched grass, a couple of soft-eyed, mousy-skinned Alderney
cows slowly raising their heads to stare at him, munching the grass the
while, and then coming to meet him, lowing softly.

"Ah, Dewnose! Ah, Bessy," he said, pulling the great flapping ears of
each in turn, and inhaling the puffs of warm, sweet-scented breath as he
passed, the cows watching him for a few moments, and then, evidently
thinking fresh dewy grass preferable to the best of curates, they
resumed their quiet "crop crop" of the verdant meal.

The meadow crossed, another gate led back into the garden, where a long
glass-house stood with open door inviting the Reverend Arthur to enter
and breathe the warm, deliciously-scented air.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012769275
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
07/19/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
0 MB

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