at me, because, for sooth, he had fallen in love with you from his sister's reports, and meant to have married you himself, as soon as he had sown his wild oats.'

`I'm vastly obliged to him,' observed I.

`And so am I,' said he. `And look at this. This is Hattersley's--every page stuffed full of railing accusations, bitter curses, and lamentable complaints, ending up with swearing that he'll get married himself in revenge: he'll throw himself away on the first old maid that chooses to set her cap at him,--as If I cared what he did with himself.'

`Well,' said I, `If you do give up your intimacy with these men, I don't think you will have much cause to regret the loss of their society; for it's my belief they never did you much good.'

`Maybe not; but we'd a merry time of it, too, though mingled with sorrow and pain, as Lowborough knows to his cost--Ha, ha!' and while he was laughing at the recollection of Lowborough's troubles, my uncle came and clapped him on the shoulder.

`Come, my lad!' said he. `Are you too busy making love to my niece to make war with the pheasants?-- First of October, remember!--Sun shines out--rain ceased even Boarham's not afraid to venture in his waterproof boots; and Wilmot and I are going to beat you all. I declare, we old 'uns are the keenest sportsmen of the lot!'

`I'll show you what I can do today, however,' said my companion. `I'll murder your birds by wholesale, just for keeping me away from better company than either you or them.'

And so saying he departed; and I saw no more of him till dinner. It seemed a weary time: I wonder what I shall do without him.

It is very true that the three elder gentlemen had proved them selves much keener sportsmen than the two younger ones; for both Lord Lowborough and Arthur Huntingdon have, of late, almost daily neglected the shooting excursions to accompany us in our various rides and rambles, But these merry times are fast drawing to a close. In less than a fortnight the party breaks up, much to my sorrow, for every day I enjoy it more and more--now that Messrs Boarham and Wilmot have ceased to tease me, and my aunt has ceased to lecture me, and I have ceased to be jealous of Annabella--and even to dislike her--and now that Mr Huntingdon is become my Arthur, and I may enjoy Iris society with out restraint--What shall I do without him, I repeat?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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