'There was very little of that, as far as I can learn;-- very little encouragement indeed! What we saw here was the worst of it. He was hardly with her at all at Mistletoe.'
'I hope it will make him more cautious;--that's all,' said Miss Penge. Miss Penge was now a great heiress having had her lawsuit respecting certain shares in a Welsh coal mine settled since we last saw her. As all the world knows, she came from one of the oldest Commoner's families in the West of England, and is, moreover a handsome young woman, only 27 years of age. Lady Penwether thinks that she is the very woman to be mistress of Rufford, and I do not know that Miss Penge herself is averse to the idea. Lord Rufford has been too lately wounded to rise at the bait quite immediately; but his sister knows that her brother is impressionable and that a little patience will go a long way. They have, however, all agreed at the hall that Arabella's name shall not again be mentioned.
RUFFORD was a good deal moved as to the trial of Mr. Scrobby. Mr. Scrobby was a man who not long since had held his head up in Rufford and had the reputation of a well-to-do tradesman. Enemies had perhaps doubted his probity; but he had gone on and prospered, and, two or three years before the events which are now chronicled, had retired on a competence. He had then taken a house with a few acres of land, lying between Rufford and Rufford Hall,--the property of Lord Rufford, and had commenced genteel life. Many in the neighbourhood had been astonished that such a man should have been accepted as a tenant in such a house; and it was generally understood that Lord Rufford himself had been very angry with his agent. Mr. Scrobby did not prosper greatly in his new career. He became a guardian of the poor and quarrelled with all the Board. He tried to become a municipal councillor in the borough, but failed. Then he quarrelled with his landlord, insisted