Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Classical Novels > Aunt Jane's Nieces29 > CHAPTER VIII. THE DIPLOMAT.
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 Aunt Jane was in her garden, enjoying the flowers. This was her especial garden, surrounded by a high-box hedge, and quite distinct from the vast expanse of shrubbery and flower-beds which lent so much to the beauty of the grounds at Elmhurst. Aunt Jane knew and loved every inch of her property. She had watched the shrubs1 personally for many years, and planned all the alterations2 and the construction of the flower-beds which James had so successfully attended to. Each morning, when her health permitted, she had inspected the greenhouses and issued her brief orders—brief because her slightest word to the old gardener incurred3 the fulfillment of her wishes. But this bit of garden adjoining her own rooms was her especial pride, and contained the choicest plants she had been able to secure. So, since she had been confined to her chair, the place had almost attained4 to the dignity of a private drawing-room, and on bright days she spent many hours here, delighting to feast her eyes with the rich coloring of the flowers and to inhale5 their fragrance6. For however gruff Jane Merrick might be to the people with whom she came in contact, she was always tender to her beloved flowers, and her nature invariably softened7 when in their presence.  
By and by Oscar, the groom8, stepped through an opening in the hedge and touched his hat.
"Has my niece arrived?" asked his mistress, sharply.
"She's on the way, mum," the man answered, grinning. "She stopped outside the grounds to pick wild flowers, an' said I was to tell you she'd walk the rest o' the way."
"To pick wild flowers?"
"That's what she said, mum. She's that fond of 'em she couldn't resist it. I was to come an' tell you this, mum; an' she'll follow me directly."
Aunt Jane stared at the man sternly, and he turned toward her an unmoved countenance9. Oscar had been sent to the station to meet Louise Merrick, and drive her to Elmhurst; but this strange freak on the part of her guest set the old woman thinking what her object could be. Wild flowers were well enough in their way; but those adjoining the grounds of Elmhurst were very ordinary and unattractive, and Miss Merrick's aunt was expecting her. Perhaps—
A sudden light illumined the mystery.
"See here, Oscar; has this girl been questioning you?"
"She asked a few questions, mum."
"About me?"
"Some of 'em, if I remember right, mum, was about you."
"And you told her I was fond of flowers?"
"I may have just mentioned that you liked 'em, mum."
Aunt Jane gave a scornful snort, and the man responded in a curious way. He winked10 slowly and laboriously11, still retaining the solemn expression on his face.
"You may go, Oscar. Have the girl's luggage placed in her room."
"Yes, mum."
He touched his hat and then withdrew, leaving Jane Merrick with a frown upon her brow that was not caused by his seeming impertinence.
Presently a slight and graceful12 form darted13 through the opening in the hedge and approached the chair wherein Jane Merrick reclined.
"Oh, my dear, dear aunt!" cried Louise. "How glad I am to see you at last, and how good of you to let me come here!" and she bent14 over and kissed the stern, unresponsive face with an enthusiasm delightful15 to behold16.
"This is Louise, I suppose," said Aunt Jane, stiffly. "You are welcome to Elmhurst."
"Tell me how you are," continued the girl, kneeling beside the chair and taking the withered17 hands gently in her own. "Do you suffer any? And are you getting better, dear aunt, in this beautiful garden with the birds and the sunshine?"
"Get up,&............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved