'AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.' 243
• Summer was dead and Autumn was expiring,
And infant Winter laughed upoa the land
AU cloudlessly and cold.'
The men spend half their days wondering if it will
be a good hunting-season, the women are wrapt in
delicious dreams of fur and velvet.
At the Cottage all the roses have fluttered into their
graves, but in their place a sweeter flower has bloomed.
Cecilia's eyes have grown brighter, gladder, her step
firmer, her cheek richer in the tint that rivals the
peach. In her calm home she has but one thought,
one hope, and that is Cyril. She has forbidden him to
mention their engagement to Lady Chetwoode, so as
yet the sweet secret is all their own.
Florence has gained a bona fide admirer; Mr.
Boer—after much deliberation—having (for private
reasons) decided in favour of Miss Beauchamp and her
fifteen thousand pounds. But not for Mr. Boer, how¬
ever well-connected, or however fondly cherished by a
rich and aged uncle, can Miss Beauchamp bring her¬
self to resign all hope of Guy and Chetwoode.
At Steynemore, Mabel and her baby are laughing the
happy hours away; though to speak more accurately it
is at Chetwoode most of them are spent. At least
every second week they drive over there to find their
rooms ready, and stay on well content to talk and crow
at' Auntie,' until the handsome head of that dearest of
old ladies is fairly turned.
LUian has of course gone over heart and mind to
Miss Steyne, who rewards her affection by practising
upon her the most ingenious tortures. With a crafti¬
ness terrible in one so young, she bides her opportunity
and then pulls down all her friend's golden hair; at
other times she makes frantic efforts at gouging out
her eyes, tries to cut her eye-teeth upon her slender
fingers, and otherwise does all in her power to tear hei
limb from limb. She also appears to find infinite
amusement in scrambling up and down Miss Chesney's