Thus she came to know Mrs. Coventry rather well, though at the bottom of her heart she was reluctantly aware that she would never grow really attached to this Madonna-faced young woman who so prided herself on her conscience, and was so severe on the failings of others. She was called "sweet little Mrs. Coventry" by the station when her cold had subsided, for her beauty, combined with her puritanical notions, formed a novel attraction. As time went on she learnt to ride, and play tennis after a fashion, also to dance quite nicely, in order, as she carefully explained, to please her husband; but as George Coventry did not dance, and openly preferred racquets to tennis, and pig-sticking and polo to aimless rides, the excuse seemed a trifle superfluous. At the same time, everyone agreed that however indifferently she might ride or play tennis, her husband
Now Phadrig went often to the mill and hid in the chest that he might watch the fairies at work; but he had great pity for the poor old Phouka in his tattered clothes, who yet directed everything and had hard work of it sometimes keeping the little Phoukas in order. So Phadrig, out of love and gratitude, bought a fine suit of cloth and silk and laid it one night on the floor of49 the mill just where the old Phouka always stood to give his orders to the little men, and then he crept into the chest to watch.
“You ought to know me,” he replied, “for I belong to this place; but make haste now and come away, or evil will befall you.”
Across the cruelly sharp film of ice he tore, at top speed, head down; whirling through the deepening dusk like a flash of tawny light.
We returned to Auchnacarrie that same evening, and the next day one Donald McLeod came and was closeted for a long while with Lochiel and Mr. Secretary Murray. When he left, I was told he was from the Prince, who was in a safe place, and that my letters were confided to his care. I never dreamed at the time of enquiring about the money I had handed Murray, supposing it had gone too, but long afterwards was told by McLeod himself that Mr. Secretary had informed him that he had only sixty louis d'ors, which was barely sufficient for himself, so he went back to the Prince without a shilling of the money that the Duke had raised with so much pains, and which I had so hardly delivered.
“There’s another good stunt we done, in getting that ol’ feller,” remarked Holt, ten minutes later, as he and Venner made their way downhill with their prize. “I’ll bet my share of his pelt he’s the fox that’s been working the hencoops all along the valley, this winter. He’s a whooping big cuss. And no common-size fox could ’a busted in the coop doors like he did at a couple of places. Now that we got the fox, I s’pose it’s up to us to get the wolf.”
CHARM FOR THE FAIRY STROKE.
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