Cashel Byron's Profession
One morning Miss Carew sat on the bank of a great pool in the park, throwing pebbles
two by two into the water, and intently watching the intersection of the circles they made
on its calm surface. Alice was seated on a camp-stool a little way off, sketching the
castle, which appeared on an eminence to the southeast. The woodland rose round
them like the sides of an amphitheatre; but the trees did not extend to the water's edge,
where there was an ample margin of bright greensward and a narrow belt of gravel,
from which Lydia was picking her pebbles.
Presently, hearing a footstep, she looked back, and saw Cashel Byron standing behind
Alice, apparently much interested in her drawing. He was dressed as she had last seen
him, except that he wore primrose gloves and an Egyptian red scarf. Alice turned, and
surveyed him with haughty surprise; but he made nothing of her looks; and she, after
glancing at Lydia to reassure herself that she was not alone, bade him good-morning,
and resumed her work.
"Queer place," he remarked, after a pause, alluding to the castle. "Chinese looking, isn't
"It is considered a very fine building," said Alice.
"Oh, hang what it is considered!" said Cashel. "What IS it? That is the point to look to."
"It is a matter of taste," said Alice, very coldly.
"Mr. Cashel Byron."
Cashel started and hastened to the bank. "How d'ye do, Miss Carew," he said. "I didn't
see you until you called me." She looked at him; and he, convicted of a foolish
falsehood, quailed. "There is a splendid view of the castle from here," he continued, to
change the subject. "Miss Goff and I have just been talking about it."
"Yes. Do you admire it?"
"Very much indeed. It is a beautiful place. Every one must acknowledge that."
"It is considered kind to praise my house to me, and to ridicule it to other people. You do
not say, 'Hang what it is considered,' now."
Cashel, with an unaccustomed sense of getting the worst of an encounter, almost lost
heart to reply. Then he brightened, and said, "I can tell you how that is. As far as being
a place to sketch, or for another person to look at, it is Chinese enough. But somehow
your living in it makes a difference. That is what I meant; upon my soul it is."