4 <AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.*
not or could not bring herself to name the day that
should part her for ever from all the old haunts and
pleasant nooks she loved so well. She was not brave
enough to take her ' Bradshaw' and look up the
earliest train that ought to convey her away from the
Park. Indeed, so utterly wanting in decency and
decorum did she appear at this particular epoch of her
existence that the heart of her only aunt—her father's
sister—was stirred to its depths. So much so that,
after mature deliberation (for old people as well as
great ones move slowly), she finally packed up the
venerable hair-trunk, that had seen the rise and fall of
several monarch s, and marched all the way from Edin-
bro' to this Midland English shire, to try what firm
expostulation could do in the matter of bringing her
niece to see the error of her ways.
For a whole week it did very little.
Lilian was independent in more ways than one.
She had considerable spirit and 5001. a year in her own
right. Not only did she object to leave the Park, but
she regarded with horror the prospect of going to
reside with the guardians appointed to receive her by
her father. Not that this idea need have filled her
with dismay. Sir Guy Chetwoode, the actual guar¬
dian, was a young man not likely to trouble himself
overmuch about any ward; while his mother, Lady
Chetwoode, was that most gracious of all things, a
beautiful and lovable old lady.
Why Mr. Chesney had chosen so young a man to
look after his daughter's interests must for ever remain
a mystery—perhaps because he had happened to be
the oldest son of his oldest friend, long since dead.
Sir Guy accepted the charge because he thought it
uncivil to refuse, and chiefly because he believed it
likely Miss Chesney would marry before her father's
death. But events proved the fallacy of human
thought. W^hen Archibald Chesney's demise appeared
in the 'Times,' Sir Guy made a little face and took