Heartsease or Brother's Wife HTML version

Chapter I.2
She's less of a bride than a bairn,
She's ta'en like a colt from the heather,
With sense and discretion to learn.
A chiel maun be patient and steady
That yokes with a mate in her teens.
Woo'd and Married and A'
A gentleman stood waiting at the door of a house not far from the Winchester
'Is my brother at home, James?' as the servant gave a start of surprise and
'No, sir; he is not in the house, but Mrs.--; will you walk in? I hope I see you
better, sir.'
'Much better, thank you. Did you say Mrs. Martindale was at home?'
'Yes, sir; Mr. Arthur will soon be here. Won't you walk in?'
'Is she in the drawing-room?'
'No, I do not think so, sir. She went up-stairs when she came in.'
'Very well. I'll send up my card,' said he, entering, and the man as he took it, said,
with emphasis, and a pleading look, 'She is a very nice young lady, sir,' then
opened a room door.
He suddenly announced, 'Mr. Martindale,' and that gentleman unexpectedly
found himself in the presence of a young girl, who rose in such confusion that he
could not look at her as he shook her by the hand, saying, 'Is Arthur near home?'
'Yes--no--yes; at least, he'll come soon,' was the reply, as if she hardly knew
what her words were.
'Were you going out?' he asked, seeing a bonnet on the sofa.
'No, thank you,--at least I mean, I'm just come in. He went to speak to some one,
and I came to finish my letter. He'll soon come,' said she, with the rapid ill-
assured manner of a school-girl receiving her mamma's visitors.
'Don't let me interrupt you,' said he, taking up a book.
'O no, no, thank you,' cried she, in a tremor lest she should have been uncivil. 'I
didn't mean--I've plenty of time. 'Tis only to my home, and they have had one by
the early post.'
He smiled, saying, 'You are a good correspondent.'
'Oh! I must write. Annette and I were never apart before.'
'Your sister?'
'Yes, only a year older. We always did everything together.'
He ventured to look up, and saw a bright dew on a soft, shady pair of dark eyes,
a sweet quivering smile on a very pretty mouth, and a glow of pure bright deep
pink on a most delicately fair skin, contrasted with braids of dark brown hair. She
was rather above the ordinary height, slender, and graceful, and the childish
beauty of the form or face and features surprised him; but to his mind the chief
grace was the shy, sweet tenderness, happy and bright, but tremulous with the