I really did not expect any Grace to answer; for the laugh was as tragic,
as preternatural a laugh as any I ever heard; and, but that it was high
noon, and that no circumstance of ghostliness accompanied the curious
cachinnation; but that neither scene nor season favoured fear, I should
have been superstitiously afraid. However, the event showed me I was a
fool for entertaining a sense even of surprise.
The door nearest me opened, and a servant came out,--a woman of between
thirty and forty; a set, square-made figure, red-haired, and with a hard,
plain face: any apparition less romantic or less ghostly could scarcely
"Too much noise, Grace," said Mrs. Fairfax. "Remember directions!" Grace
curtseyed silently and went in.
"She is a person we have to sew and assist Leah in her housemaid's work,"
continued the widow; "not altogether unobjectionable in some points, but
she does well enough. By-the-bye, how have you got on with your new
pupil this morning?"
The conversation, thus turned on Adele, continued till we reached the
light and cheerful region below. Adele came running to meet us in the