He told his mother what had happened, and showed so much mortified pride that she no longer dissuaded him from keeping his word. "Only pray don't tell her your name," said she.
"Well, but what am I to do if she asks it?"
"Say Thompson, or Johnson, or anything you like, except Little."
This request roused Henry's bile. "What, am I a criminal to deny my name? And how shall I look, if I go and give her a false name, and then she comes to Bayne and learns my right one? No, I'll keep my name back, if I can; but I'll never disown it. I'm not ashamed of it, if you are."
This reduced poor Mrs. Little to silence; followed, in due course, by a few meek, clandestine tears.
Henry put on his new tweed suit and hat, and went up to the villa. He announced himself as the workman from Cheetham's; and the footman, who had probably his orders, ushered him into the drawing- room at once. There he found Grace Carden seated, reading, and a young woman sewing at a respectful distance. This pair were types; Grace, of a young English gentlewoman, and Jael Dence of a villager by unbroken descent. Grace was tall, supple, and serpentine, yet not thin; Jael was robust and ample, without being fat; she was of the same height, though Grace looked the taller. Grace had dark brown eyes and light brown hair; and her blooming cheek and bewitching mouth shone with expression so varied, yet vivid, and always appropriate to the occasion, grave or gay, playful or dignified, that her countenance made artificial faces, and giggling in-the-wrong-place faces, painfully ridiculous. As for such faces as Jael's, it killed them on the spot, but that was all. Jael's hair was reddish, and her full eyes were gray; she was freckled a little under the eyes, but the rest of her cheek full of rich pure color, healthy, but not the least coarse: and her neck an alabaster column. Hers was a meek, monotonous countenance; but with a certain look of concentration. Altogether, a humble beauty of the old rural type; healthy, cleanly, simple, candid, yet demure.
Henry came in, and the young lady received him with a manner very different from that she had worn down at the works. She was polite, but rather stiff and dignified.
He sat down at her request, and, wondering at himself, entered on the office of preceptor. He took up the carving-tools, and explained the use of several; then offered, by way of illustration, to work on something.