'May be I will.' Then, as he was leaving the room, when he was in the door-way, so that she should not see his face, he told her the news. 'She's going to marry the squire, yonder.'
' Mary Masters!'
'I always hated him from the first moment I saw him. What do you expect from a fellow who never gets a-top of a horse?' Then he turned away, and was not seen again till long after tea-time.
'IS IT TANTI?'
REGINALD MORTON entertained serious thoughts of cleansing himself from the reproach which Larry cast upon him when describing his character to his mother. 'I think I shall take to hunting,' he said to Mary.
'But you'll tumble off, dear.'
'No doubt I shall, and I must try to begin in soft places. I don't see why I shouldn't do it gradually in a small way. I shouldn't ever become a Nimrod,* like Lord Rufford or your particular friend Mr. Twentyman.'
'He is my particular friend.'
'So I perceive. I couldn't shine as he shines, but I might gradually learn to ride after him at a respectful distance. A man at Rome ought to do as the Romans do.'
'Why wasn't Hoppet Hall Rome as much as Bragton?'
'Well;--it wasn't. While fortune enabled me to be happy at Hoppet Hall-----'
'That is unkind, Reg.'
'While fortune oppressed me with celibate misery at Hoppet Hall, nobody hated me for not hunting;--and as I could not very well afford it, I was not considered to be entering a protest against the amusement. As it is now, I find that unless I consent to risk my neck at any rate five or six times every winter, I shall be regarded in that light.'
'I wouldn't be frightened into doing anything I didn't like,' said Mary.