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Cashel Byron's Profession

Chapter 12
When the autumn set in, Alice was in Scotland learning to shoot; and Lydia was at
Wiltstoken, preparing her father's letters and memoirs for publication. She did not write
at the castle, all the rooms in which were either domed, vaulted, gilded, galleried, three-
sided, six-sided, anything except four-sided, or in some way suggestive of the "Arabian
Nights' Entertainments," and out of keeping with the associations of her father's life. In
her search for a congruous room to work in, the idea of causing a pavilion to be erected
in the elm vista occurred to her. But she had no mind to be disturbed just then by the
presence of a troop of stone-masons, slaters, and carpenters, nor any time to lose in
waiting for the end of their operations. So she had the Warren Lodge cleansed and lime
washed, and the kitchen transformed into a comfortable library, where, as she sat facing
the door at her writing-table, in the centre of the room, she could see the elm vista
through one window and through another a tract of wood and meadow land intersected
by the high-road and by a canal, beyond which the prospect ended in a distant green
slope used as a sheep run. The other apartments were used by a couple of maid-
servants, who kept the place well swept and dusted, prepared Miss Carew's lunch,
answered her bell, and went on her errands to the castle; and, failing any of these
employments, sat outside in the sun, reading novels. When Lydia had worked in this
retreat daily for two months her mind became so full of the old life with her father that
the interruptions of the servants often recalled her to the present with a shock. On the
twelfth of August she was bewildered for a moment when Phoebe, one of the maids,
entered and said,
"If you please, miss, Bashville is wishful to know can he speak to you a moment?"
Permission being given, Bashville entered. Since his wrestle with Cashel he had never
quite recovered his former imperturbability. His manner and speech were as smooth
and respectful as before, but his countenance was no longer steadfast; he was on bad
terms with the butler because he had been reproved by him for blushing. On this
occasion he came to beg leave to absent himself during the afternoon. He seldom
asked favors of this kind, and was of course never refused.
"The road is quite thronged to-day," she observed, as he thanked her. "Do you know
why?"
"No, madam," said Bashville, and blushed.
"People begin to shoot on the twelfth," she said; "but I suppose it cannot have anything
to do with that. Is there a race, or a fair, or any such thing in the neighborhood?"
"Not that I am aware of, madam."
 
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