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throw himself into the ranks of gushing Radicalism at what seemed to be the hour of its approaching triumph. • Well, what next, I wonder ?' said Sir T. Tarleton. “If Merry
• pebble goes at this pace, depend upon it he won't keep his team together for six months. He may play at Ritualism or Methodism, or send the Church to Jericho if he likes, but when he comes to trifle with the law of entail, and conspire with the poachers to stop all our sport, it's time for the landowners to look alive. Don't talk to me about the Liberal party and the progress of opinion while all the good old Whigs are being dished and served up. I'd rather have the Tories back again, and then we could fight and turn them out, and know where we were, at all events.'
Jem was just about to suggest to his uncle that they knew where they were, and to give reasons for self-gratulation on the happy position of affairs, when the library door opened, and a visitor of some consequence was announced, who proved to be no less a personage than the Secretary of State for the Colonies, who had been an old college friend of Sir T. Tarleton's, and who, knowing that Jem had fought for the party at Shamboro', came to offer him, through his uncle, a lucrative appointment in the West Indies which lay within his patronage.
We pay our fellows who lose, you see—what are we likely to do with those who win ?' chuckled the Cabinet Minister as he unfolded his gracious intentions to the rather ungrateful Jem, whose associations with Demerara were blended with mutinous negroes, swamps, and yellow fever.
Not anticipating any demurrer on the part of his fastidious nephew, Sir Thomas, who had just paid the balance of the Shamboro' bills, and did not see his way to any English career for Jem, assured his old friend that this was the very thing he had wished for his nephew, who, he was sure, would at once have spoken for himself if he had not been rather taken aback at this unexpected bit of good luck. Without waiting for further thanks, the Colonial Minister, who was, he said, due to meet a deputation at the office, instantly rushed out of the room, and was out of Arlington Street before Jem had realised the situation.
But am I really to take this place, my dear uncle, and bury myself alive in British Guiana, where I care for nobody, and nobody cares for me?'
Well, all I can say is, if you don't, I can't tell what you are to do with yourself, except lounge about the Travellers', and rough it on your four hundred a year. I've nothing for you, and that horrid election has fairly cleared me out. So I should say, “take the goods the gods provide you.” A firstrate opening for a clever fellow! Why, there's my old friend Eastbrook, Governor-General of India, with his 28,000l. a year, and he began not so long ago as Superintendent of Honduras; and they shifted him from Belize to Trinidad, and from Trinidad to Jamaica, and from Jamaica to Van Diemen's Land, and
from Van Diemen's Land to Nova Scotia, and from Nova Scotia to the Cape of Good Hope, and from the Cape to Bombay; and when poor Scatterbrains got into a scrape about some war with the Rajpoot Princes, they sent Eastbrook to Calcutta, and he spends half his time on the cool hills at Simla, and they tell me leads a very jolly life of it. So you see what you may come to before long, and all out of this Demerara appointment. No, don't thank me-thank those beneficent stars which saved you from Shamboro' and a career of juvenile Jacobinism, which would have ended in smoke, or something worse.'
Jem had not the remotest idea of thanking his uncle. Indeed, it was as much as he could do to refrain from banning him; but seeing no alternative open to him but, outwardly at least, to accept his sentence of transportation, he did what people often do when they feel compelled to say something which they intend shall mean nothinghe asked a question:
'Ought I to write to the Secretary of State about this, Uncle Tarleton?'
Well, I don't know that you need. He considers the favour done to me for backing the party by starting you for Shamboro', and it wasn't necessary for him to trouble himself about your fitness for the post, as the salary will come out of the revenues of the colony, and there will be nobody to grumble about it in the House of Commons, and pretend that it's a job.'
Jem's disgust would, in spite of his awe of his uncle, have found utterance in some protest at this last remark, if all further conversation had not been suddenly suspended by the arrival of a telegraphic message summoning Sir Thomas from the room.
Mr. James Maxwell was shortly gazetted as head of the Immigration Department in British Guiana, salary 1,200l. a year, just thrice the amount of the allowance he had hitherto enjoyed, and more than ten times as much as he was ever likely to earn from any occupation in England. Most of his acquaintances considered him 'an awfully lucky fellow' to drop into so princely a stipend with nothing to do, as they said, but to whack the coolies and pocket the money.' It was arranged to give Jem a parting dinner at Willis's Rooms, with a popular nobleman in the chair, who was at once a good cricketer and a fluent orator, and everything went off as well as possible. Finally, Jem went off too, cursing, we regret to say, the hard fate which bestowed talents originally intended for the extirpation of despots and the regeneration of mankind on the walloping of niggers and the development of sugar-canes. But as the Cornish cliffs receded from his gaze on the deck of the West Indian steamer, the AgentGeneral of Immigration for British Guiana was comforted by the thought which has consoled other exiles in a similar predicament, viz. that it would lead to something else.' And once settled at his post in Demerara, Jem developed into a highly important official, intent upon his duties, and nursing his ambition for some higher service which was still in the future, when we finally part with him.
CHARLES GREVILLE in the meantime had landed at Rio, without much thought of what would become of him. He was naturally of a careless, happy disposition, ready to take things as they came, without much concern or feeling of responsibility. Popular at school, at college, everywhere, a good shot, a plucky horseman, good, if he pleased, at books, a bit of an artist, more than a bit of a musician, good-looking, good-tempered, “sound and free from vice, Charles had enjoyed perhaps as happy a combination of advantages as a young man of six and twenty could possess. But, like the rolling stone which gathers no moss, Charles had rolled from Eton to Oxford, from Oxford to Lincoln's Inn, from Lincoln's Inn to Shamboro', from Shamboro' to St. Nazaire, from St. Nazaire to Rio, and now he was about to roll on from Rio across the Pampas, and possibly to the Andes, and it was difficult for him to point to any single practical result accomplished for the bettering of himself or his fellow-creatures by all his desultory wanderings.
As soon as he had landed he sallied forth to survey the conspicuous church of Nossa Senhora da Gloria, which had attracted him, as it attracts all who enter the magnificent harbour. Returning to his hotel, he found on his table a pencil note from an old friend, Henry St. John, who happened to be with his yacht in Rio harbour, and had accidentally learned from the British Consul of Greville's arrival. The sight of the note, and its contents inviting him on board the Moonbeam,' and promising him news of his friends at the Grange, brought to the system of Greville a shock which Professor Tyndall would best describe. If that distinguished philosopher had seen Charles jump up, seize his hat, and rush to the door as he held St. John's note in his hand, he would probably have described the performance as a complex mass of action, emotional, intellectual, and mechanical, evoked by the impact on the retina of the infinitesimal waves of light coming from a few pencil marks on a bit of paper. What actually happened was that Charles, forgetful of his own dignity and of the mud through which he was running along the street in wild pursuit of recent news of the Grange people, rushed at once to the quay in search of the Moonbeam. As there were at least a thousand vessels of all nations in the harbour, some at the wharves and some far off at anchor, and as the majority of the people on the quay spoke tongues unknown to Charles, the discovery of the • Moonbeam' was not a very simple process. His only chance seemed to be to try the British Consulate, where, to his joy, he found St. John just about to start in a shore boat for the ‘Moonbeam.'
'Well, old fellow, fancy dropping on you here of all places in the world. Why, I thought you were at the bottom of the Bay of Biscay long ago. Well, all I can say is the “Woman in White” is nothing to it all. But come along at once and let's go off to my yacht.'
Charles had no chance of putting in a word, for the voluble St. John kept up the ball all the way to the Moonbeam,' and it was not until they were on board that he had a chance even of asking how the people at the Grange' were.
Well, I tried hard to persuade Augustus to come out with me, but he said something about his cousin being seedy, and he seemed as anxious about her as old Gus can be about anything. But now I must show you all over the yacht before we get on home affairs,' and then he rattled on in praises of the Moonbeam,' which was certainly a magnificent craft of about 700 tons, with a powerful screw, and splendid fittings, and everything first rate.
“I'm going off to Australia to-morrow, and you must come with me-you've only to go ashore after dinner and pack up your traps, for we shall weigh anchor before sunrise to-morrow. It's just the place to suit you. Why, they said you were going to New Zealand to be a squatter or a tallow boiler, or something of that kind, before you were drowned ; and now you've come to life again, the least you can do is to fulfil the vows made in a previous state of existence. I'll put you ashore at Wellington, or Lyttelton, or Auckland, or wherever you please. We'll go round the Horn or through the Straits of Magellan if you like to bave a brush with the Patagonians, and there's Tahiti and Fiji to be seen if you like it; or who knows but that you may pick up a bride in the islands of the south. And though we have no ladies on board, we have a Colonial Governor whom I've engaged to land in New Zealand sooner or later. Here he comes.
Allow me to introduce to you Lord Henry Primrose,' and his lordship, taking his pipe from his mouth and his cap off bis head, courteously bowed to Greville, who returned the compliment. Charles was preparing soon afterwards to go ashore, when St. John, with a decision which seemed to forbid refusal, gave orders that two of his men should go with him to his hotel and bring him back, bag and baggage, to the Moonbeam. Though at first rather taken aback by these orders,
' Greville, who had really no plans of his own, surrendered at discretion and went ashore, bade farewell to John Brown, and before midnight was asleep in the stern cabin of the 'Moonbeam.'
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,' was the refrain of Charles's dream as he lay dozing in the stern cabin, and the voice seemed to issue not from the lips of the good little chaplain at Rio, but from some distant patron saint inspired by the people at the Grange.' Rio and its glorious harbour were almost below the horizon when Charles found himself on deck. Still the text of the chaplain's sermon haunted him as Lord Henry greeted him, puffing his cigarette, an operation which he seemed to be performing with all his might.
Lord Henry Primrose was on his way to New Zealand, of which colony he had been appointed Governor. It was the usual practice in those days, as now, to promote to the most important posts in our distant dependencies men who had proved their qualifications for the
work in subordinate and smaller spheres of action in the colonies. In the case of Lord Henry this wholesome rule had been departed from, for he had not been hitherto in the colonial service at all. As ambassador at Vienna he had given indeed some evidence of his unfitness for diplomacy; but having many old friends in Parliament and nothing to live upon at home, the ex-ambassador having a claim on his party for a billet somewhere, was transported bag and baggage to the Antipodes, and was lucky enough to find a friend in St. John, who was ready to take any number of colonial governors anywhere gratis. Lord Henry, who had an inconvenient number of creditors in England and no money to pay them with, arranged with St. John before leaving Vienna that the 'Moonbeam' should pick him up at Havre on its outward voyage, and St. John had only stipulated that they should go round the Horn, afterwards touching at Valparaiso or possibly Buenos Ayres on their way. The new Governor was due in New Zealand in the autumn, but Sir Hector Crowen, whom he was to succeed, was to hold office till Lord Henry's arrival, so that he was not closely tied to time.
As New Zealand was the eventual destination of both Charles and Lord Henry, it formed a mutual topic of conversation to both till the bell summoned them to breakfast, and curried fish and various delicacies which the skipper had picked up at Rio put distant prospects aside for the moment, especially as St. John's goodhumoured rattle began to sound, and he started a subject more interesting to Greville than even sheep farming, boiling down bullocks, or colonial administration.
'By the by, Greville, have you heard anything of the Grange people since you left England?'
'Not a word,' answered Charles, except what you have told me.' It must be observed that St. John knew nothing whatever of the affaire de cœur between Charles and Gertrude, and since he had sold his property to Mr. Shoddy, had seldom been in the neighbourhood of the Grange. The local papers, when he was in England, were sent to him, and provided him with a certain amount of pro-vincial gossip, the truth of which he had no opportunities of testing. 'Then you can make up arrears,' said he, 'with an old "Shamboro' Gazette." It's only three weeks old, and was lying about hereyesterday. There it is under the log book. I'll find, if I can, what it says about our friends. Here is a flaming paragraph about the "terrible loss of the Empire Queen,' with our late gifted candidate on board," and here is another headed "Marriage in high life," which. seems to hint that your old friend Miss Berkeley is likely to make some noble alliance, to the great gratification of her uncle, Mr. Richardson. Mr. Furbelow, of the High Street, has orders to furnish the trousseaux, and those gifted native artistes, Messrs. Aspic and Carraway, whose batteries de cuisine recently astonished the county epicures at Castle Booby, will provide the déjeûner. Then comes a report of a rattling good run with Lord Puddingtown, and an abstract
No. 607 (No. CXXVII. N.S.)