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year, as Governor, had been running for some months. Having been assured, moreover, that New Zealand was a 'self-governing colony,' Lord Henry naturally inferred that there would be nothing for him to do except to represent the Queen. He had heard indeed of a Maori war, but was it not the business of the Commander of the Forces to put that down?
It was, therefore, in a very pleasant and self-satisfied frame of mind that Lord Henry landed at Wellington from the Moonbeam,' under a salute, and amid the cheers of the populace, and was escorted by Sir Hector and his body-guard to Government House. Though Lyttelton was Greville's eventual destination, he could not well refuse the hospitable invitation of the Governor to take up his quarters for a few days at Wellington before proceeding southward.
This brief parenthesis gave our hero an opportunity of observing the conflicts of Blues and Buffs' in an entirely new sphere.
Sir Hector, who had been for some time due at Sydney as Governor of New South Wales, started for his destination three days after Lord Henry's arrival at Wellington, having previously given his successor a lucid précis of the situation, which was to Lord Henry wholly unintelligible. The main facts appeared to be that Sir Hector's responsible advisers had introduced into the New Zealand Parliament a bill for paying all its members 400l. a year each and travelling expenses; and the ministry, being defeated on this measure, had insisted on an appeal to the constituencies, which, at the time of Lord Henry's arrival, was taking place. There was also a Maori war going on in the Waikato country, where the natives were vigorously peppering the British troops with powder and shot, bought, in spite of an ordinance to the contrary, from colonial traders. There were thus politico-military questions calculated to puzzle wiser heads than Lord Henry's bristling on all sides; and when Sir Hector was gone to Sydney, and the new Governor was left with no officials to consult but his aide-de-camp and his private secretary-who were, if possible, more ignorant than himself-it may be imagined that his Excellency felt rather in the dark.
On the morning after Sir Hector Crowen's departure, three of the leading members of the Opposition were announced at Government House. After preliminary courtesies had been exchanged, they propounded their friendly purpose of cautioning his Excellency against placing implicit confidence in the ministers who now provisionally held office. It was, as they said, with this disinterested view that Messrs. Brown, Jones, and Robinson waited upon the Governor, who, as a stranger in the colony, might be misled by his so-called 'advisers.' The ministers were, said they, men of no position in the colony— mere adventurers, who had, by their want of judgment and principle, brought about the present crisis.'
Scarcely had Lord Henry succeeded in bowing out his guests, when the chief members of the Administration were ushered into the viceregal presence. Having taken with Sir Hector a formal part in
the reception of Lord Henry a few days before, these gentlemen were not altogether strangers to him. Mr. Jobson, the Prime Minister, was the chief spokesman. He talked of the weather, of the charming climate of the colony, of the attachment of himself and his colleagues to Sir Hector-whom they had, in fact, bullied into the resignation of his post. Apropos of Sir Hector, reference was made to the bushrangers, who were then haunting his new dominion in New South Wales, and by a natural transition in the conversation, these marauders were compared to the far more insidious enemies who at this moment were disturbing the peace of New Zealand. When Lord Henry was expecting a dissertation on Maoris and their 'pahs,' Mr. Jobson explained that the real foes to the Governor's future peace, against whose machinations it was the duty of his responsible advisers to warn his Excellency at the earliest possible moment, were the identical Brown, and Jones, and Robinson who had just retired from his presence.
Mr. Jobson, who was quite aware that the triumvirate of the Opposition had been first in the field, exercised his right of reply on their supposed attacks on the Jobson administration very freely; and Lord Henry, whose addled brain was quite unequal to any reply or discussion, determined, when the visit was ended, to rush forth at once, and escape the danger of a third deputation.
The carriage was therefore ordered immediately. To Greville, who was to leave for Lyttelton the next day, and was the companion of his drive, and to whom, therefore, he could safely confide his perplexities, Lord Henry, in the course of their afternoon's drive, confessed his troubles and anxieties.
'If these wretched ministers don't get a majority out of the new Parliament, I shall have nothing for it but to send for a new set. I wish you'd take to politics, Greville, and save me from these fellows. I never saw such a set of cads in my life. Cabinet ministers, indeed! Why, there's not a man among them that can sound his aspirates, or speak the Queen's English. And they have the impudence to tell me that it does not matter what instructions I may have from home, but I must do what they tell me. St. John says he's going to take you down in the "Moonbeam " to-morrow to Lyttelton. Why don't you stand for some place down there, and come back a ready-made Prime Minister? I think you said you had a contested election in England, so it won't be anything new to you.'
'Thank you very kind,' replied Greville, suppressing the inward sense of horror which the bare idea of a colonial edition of his Shamboro' campaign suggested; but I've no money to spend in electioneering; and I came out here in the hope of retrieving, if possible, the losses in which English political contests have involved me. I'm going in for sheep farming up country in Canterbury, and if I can get a berth in that line, I must stick to it-for the present, at least."
The next morning, wind and tide favouring, St. John made ready
for his departure, and warned Greville to be ready. Wellington was as lively as it could under any circumstances be with preparations for the forthcoming elections; and though no ribbons or rosettes, either buff or blue, were visible, there were many tokens that something was ruffling the ordinary calm current of colonial life. St. John, who had not troubled himself to inquire into politics, and knew nothing of the pending election, supposed innocently that the knots of people on the quay were assembled in honour of himself and the Moonbeam,' and expressed a hope to Greville that the crowd would not cheer, as he should not know what to say in reply. Before, however, the Moonbeam' was clear of Cook's Straits, Greville had an opportunity of explaining the position of affairs to his friend, so that when they arrived at Lyttelton the hubbub going on there and at Christchurch did not surprise him. But Greville's first object was not to amuse himself with colonial politics, but to find out his old schoolfellows, the Arkwrights, with whom he hoped to ally himself in his new calling. Luckily falling in at the Christchurch Club with a wool-broker with whom the Arkwrights had transactions, Charles learnt that they had a sheep-run about sixty miles off, not far from Timaru. Bidding farewell to St. John, who was to be off, as soon as he had coaled the 'Moonbeam,' for Melbourne, where he had promised to pick up a bishop going home for a change, Greville started the next morning by one of Cobb's coaches, which had not then, as now, been superseded by a railway, for Arkwright's station, close to which the coach passed, and early in the afternoon he was deposited within a few yards of Arkwright's wool-shed, and not more than a quarter of a mile from their house.
The Arkwright brothers, having started with very small capital, had taken three years to attain their present position, which was not indeed a very grand one. They had between them about 10,000 sheep, pastured on an area of about 30,000 acres. What with the cost of fencing and building, and losses by floods and other casualties, and fluctuations in the wool market, the Arkwrights, though both without encumbrances in the shape of wife or child, had up to this time found it as much as they could do to make both ends meet. A loan from their agents at 8 per cent. hung round their necks, and under all circumstances the sudden descent on the Dovedale station of an old friend with a little capital, and prepared to embark it in their business, was a very welcome apparition. The elder brother, who had been some years ago stroke of the Brasenose boat at Oxford, and had always affected athletics rather than classics or mathematics, was engaged in an attempt to shoe his mare at a forge close to the shed where the coach deposited Greville, and did not at first hear the coach or see any of its passengers; nor was it until the vehicle had resumed its journey that he noticed a young man, who, by his uncolonial appearance, was evidently a fresh arrival, standing a few yards off. Mutual recognitions were soon exchanged, and all the hundred questions sure to grow out of so sudden an encounter asked and answered. Leaving the mare's shoe to be finished
off by the smith, Arkwright piloted his friend to the house, a small but comfortable wooden mansion, where his younger brother was engaged in some interesting culinary operations which formed a striking contrast to Charles's last remembrance of Fred Arkwright's polo performances at Oxford. After a hearty banquet on mutton at nothing a pound, Charles fully propounded all his plans to the Arkwrights. The preliminaries of their partnership were speedily arranged. Charles was to put 10,000l. into the business, and it so happened that a favourable opportunity for extending it was just now presented by the low price of sheep, and the offer of a neighbouring squatter to part with a portion of his run. In order to complete the necessary formalities, and to make arrangements with the bank, Fred Arkwright and Greville went into Christchurch as soon as possible to settle everything. And though the lawyer who was to draw up the deed of partnership was a candidate for a seat in the Assembly, electioneering in New Zealand was such a deadly-lively affair as not to interfere with ordinary professional business. The firm, therefore, of Arkwright and Greville was, in a few hours and by a few strokes of the pen, duly consolidated.
CHARLES was soon initiated into the mysteries of a settler's life. In a few short months he could shear a sheep, shoe a horse, not only cook but eat a 'damper,' and as he had never been a wine bibber or an epicure, he fell in naturally to a tea and mutton diet. Before the year had ended there were few more accomplished squatters in Canterbury than Charles Greville. By a vigorous effort he had, as he thought, choked off all sentiment, though, when on solitary duty at some distant hut on the confines of the station, he could not help reverting sometimes to the Grange and its inmates, as people of a past dreamland. But his talk was, for the most part, of bullocks, wire fences, and the mysteries of wool cleaning. He had, as may be remembered, written to Lady Anne from Valparaiso, and had given her for the first time an address which might enable her to write in return and, as he then feared, to wind up for ever their correspondence. Lyttelton' was the only address he could then give, and the good lady must have speedily availed herself of the information, for on September 1, not devoted in New Zealand, as in England, to St. Partridge, Greville, as he came back from a hard day's work to the station, found a letter bearing the Shamboro' post-mark, which had been forwarded by the Arkwrights' agent from Lyttelton. With a tremulous hand he seized the letter. The absence of all associations likely to awaken recollections of the past had deluded Charles into the supposition that he had succeeded in subduing all tokens of tenderness, and that the bitterness of romance was past. But when, on opening Lady Anne's envelope, he found that besides her own letter it contained a little pencil note, written and directed by Gertrude
herself, his weakness was soon revealed to him. And it was well for him that the sudden appearance of Fred Arkwright compelled him to nerve himself to composure. I see
'Any news about the price of wool on the other side? you've got a letter by the Suez mail,' sharply asked Fred.
No, it's only from my people, nothing about business,' quietly replied Charles, thrusting the despatches into his pocket till a more convenient season for perusing them should arrive.
He then learnt from Lady Anne's report that the rumours which had reached him about Gertrude's intended marriage were not only wholly false, but that her illness was causing them all grave anxiety, and that under Sir Todd Parker's advice the experiment of a winter in Madeira had been resolved on. There was little detail as to the actual state of the patient, and of local or parochial news; the only item, of any consequence, was that of Mr. Richardson's apoplectic seizure, which, though it had not terminated fatally, was causing much anxiety among his creditors. In a postscript Lady Anne added, 'You will find in my envelope a little pencil note from a friend.'
What may have been the contents of that note it would be profane to inquire. For many months to come it travelled about in the breast pocket of Greville's waistcoat which was nearest to his heart, and not being marked 'private and confidential,' it was tolerably safe from the perusal of the Dovedale world, even if it should have gone astray. It is hardly necessary to say that it was answered at considerable length.
But the Suez mail and its contents made not the slightest change in the outward life and demeanour of Charles. As before, so he continued steadily at his work-in the wool shed and at the out stations, in business enterprise to Christchurch or Timaru. Whatever his hand found to do, he did it with his might. And thus two years passed away, during which the Suez mail supplied him with constant but varying tidings from the Grange.
Two winters in Madeira had in some degree restored Gertrude, but Mr. Richardson had also partially recovered from his 'seizure; and as long as he lived, Greville felt that whatever success he might achieve at Dovedale, he might as well woo some bright particular star' in the Southern Cross as Gertrude, and he resigned himself to his lot. Gertrude, on her part, did not urge his return to England, for she knew the misery it would occasion both her and him.
In the third autumn of Greville's life at Dovedale it became necessary that one of the partners should go to England on business, and it was decided that Greville could best be spared. The period of his absence would be from October to May. It so happened that the months prescribed by the doctors for what they hoped would be Gertrude's last sojourn in Madeira, fell within this period. St. John had offered to take the Berkeleys out in his yacht. Finding that the extra time occupied by the journey to England via Panama, the West Indies, and Madeira would not exceed the ordinary direct route by