The Malefactor HTML version

I.7. Lord Of The Manor
She came slowly towards the two men through the overgrown rose garden, a thin, pale,
wild-eyed child, dressed in most uncompromising black. It was a matter of doubt whether
she was the more surprised to see them, or they to find anyone else, in this wilderness of
desolation. They stood face to face with her upon the narrow path.
"Have you lost your way?" she inquired politely.
"We were told," Aynesworth answered, "that there was a gate in the wall there, through
which we could get on to the cliffs."
"Who told you so?" she asked.
"The housekeeper," Aynesworth answered. "I will not attempt to pronounce her name."
"Mrs. Tresfarwin," the child said. "It is not really difficult. But she had no right to send
you through here! It is all private, you know!"
"And you?" Aynesworth asked with a smile, "you have permission, I suppose?"
"Yes," she answered. "I have lived here all my life. I go where I please. Have you seen
the pictures?"
"We have just been looking at them," Aynesworth answered.
"Aren't they beautiful?" she exclaimed. "I--oh!"
She sat suddenly down on a rough wooden seat and commenced to cry. For the first time
Wingrave looked at her with some apparent interest.
"Why, what is the matter with you, child?" Aynesworth exclaimed.
"I have loved them so all my life," she sobbed; "the pictures, and the house, and the
gardens, and now I have to go away! I don't know where! Nobody seems to know!"
Aynesworth looked down at her black frock.
"You have lost someone, perhaps?" he said.
"My father," she answered quietly. "He was organist here, and he died last week."
"And you have no other relatives?" he asked.