A Mental Struggle. 17
when they reach The Chevies there is just barely time left
them to get into their evening clothes.
Lady Olivia receives them with that placid smile that
serves for most occasions, and with a few ordinary ex¬
pressions that mean little or nothing. Sir Hugh greets
them warmly, some old, undefined, half-forgotten sensations
springing to life within his breast as he grasps between
both his own the hard, brown hand of his ci-devant school-
friend. Perhaps he experiences some faint shock as he
gazes upon the face of the man who had once been the
light-haired boy—the gay stripling—the slender young
man—so well known to him both at Eton and Oxford.
Oddly enough, Mr. Brown, senior, very strangely re¬
sembles the fanciful portrait drawn of him by Miss Heriot.
Stout, with an abundant crop of rather upright hair, and
with a broad, good-humoured face, the successful million-
naire gives one the full impression that he belongs of right
to the smaller class of farming gentry. This, with his
general air of being "up in the morning, oh, so early! "
and having the scent of heather and corduroy about him,
arises from the fact that of late years (indeed, ever smce
his retirement from trade) he has taken lovingly to the
culture of mangolds and the breeding of shorthorns and
But, however correct she had been in her reading of
Brown pere, Miss Heriot had been ignominiously in the
wrong with regard to the others. Mrs. Brown, far from
being fat, red, and cookish, is remarkably slight and fragile,
and very charming both in manner and appearance.
Miss Brown, whose Christian name is Elinor, is a smaller
edition of her mother, when one has got reconciled to the
fact that she is without the gentle expression and the
delicate air of self-possession that sits so pleasantly upon
the latter. She is pretty, and elegant in appearance, how¬
ever, with good eyes of a pale grey, and refined features,
and would, in all probability, pass in a crowd without over¬
But it was in her description of Felix Brown that ISIiss
Heriot had been most at fault. Anyone more unlike a
boor could hardly be imagined. Tall, fair, distinguished-