The Two Guardians
"They made a famous procession
My good little women and men;
Such a sight was never seen before
And never will again."
A division of a first-class carriage, occupied only by Gerald, received Marian at the
station, and first she had to be shown the hat, cloak, and umbrella with which he had
constructed an effigy, which, as he firmly believed, had frightened away all who had
thought of taking a seat in it.
"Thinking you a mad monkey, and that your keeper," said Marian, looking proudly at the
handsome face and dancing black eyes of her beautiful brother. "Why! how you are
grown, Gerald! Do stand up, and let me see if you are not taller than I am."
"No, not quite so tall, unless it is your bonnet," said Gerald, after craning up his neck in
"At any rate, you are taller than Lionel. He only comes up to my ear," said Marian.
"Poor Lionel! How are his eyes?"
"O Gerald, it is very sad. He has very little sight left. I believe he finds his way about
quite by feeling now. It has grown worse so much faster in these last three weeks."
"Poor fellow! What can he do all day?"
A long description followed, and then Gerald wanted to hear all about Caroline, and what
Marian thought fit to tell him, together with his comments, lasted till, in spite of his
effigy, a lady made an entrance, and for some time Gerald was reduced to silence, and as
he sat on the same side, to making horrible sidelong scowls at her, out of her sight, which
sorely tried his sister's propriety of countenance.
The tongues of two such happy people could not long, however, continue tied, and
presently Gerald rattled off into a history of his sporting adventures in Scotland, as if he
would detail every shot. The narration was endless, and very tiresome it would have been
to any woman but a sister, and a sister who had so much of the hunter spirit in her as
Marian; but she listened and sympathised with all her heart and soul, and understood why
such a shot was a good one, and why such another failed, and was absorbed in the interest
of the attempt to recover a wounded bird when the retriever was stupid, long after the
intruder had made her exit, and they might have returned to matters touching her more