“Where shall we go to-night to carry off a bride?”
"But in that case," he submitted. "I might stop on for a time at all events, if it was quite certain that you weren't the case of my staying.
"No, indeed, Lady Caroline, though there is no one in the world to whom I would so gladly be under an obligation. No; this is a matter of a very different kind;" and he briefly explained to her the state of affairs at Woolgreaves, and the position of Maude and Gertrude Creswell.
There are many traditions of mysterious murders attributed to the Ford’s Ferry highwaymen. Every one is a fearsome tale and has evidently undergone many changes since it was first told. Some seem to have more versions than they are years old. None, so far as is now known, can be verified by documentary or other positive evidence. All these tales are apparently based on facts but it is also evident that each is much colored by fiction. A version of the tradition pertaining to Billy Potts and his son is here retold:
"And you, what did you say?" she put in.
The descriptions were at first extremely inartistic and unmethodical; but the effort to make them as exact and clear as was possible led from time to time to perceptions of truth, that came unsought and lay far removed from the object originally in view. It was remarked that many of the plants which Dioscorides had described in his Materia Medica do not grow wild in Germany, France, Spain, and England, and that conversely very many plants grow in these countries, which were evidently unknown to the ancient writers; it became apparent at the same time that many plants have points of resemblance to one another, which have nothing to do with their medicinal powers or with their importance to agriculture and the arts. In the effort to promote the knowledge of plants for practical purposes by careful description of individual forms, the impression forced itself on the mind of the observer, that there are various natural groups of plants which have a distinct resemblance to one another in form and in other characteristics. It was seen that there were other natural alliances in the vegetable world, beside the three great divisions of trees, shrubs, and herbs adopted by Aristotle and Theophrastus. The first perception of natural groups is to be found in Bock, and later herbals show that the natural connection between such plants as occur together in the groups of Fungi, Mosses, Ferns, Coniferae, Umbelliferae, Compositae, Labiatae, Papilionaceae was distinctly felt, though it was by no means clearly understood how this connection was actually expressed; the fact of natural affinity presented itself unsought as an incidental and indefinite impression, to which no great value was at first attached. The recognition of these groups required no antecedent philosophic reflection or conscious attempt to classify the objects in the vegetable world; they present themselves to the unprejudiced eye as naturally as do the groups of mammals, birds, reptiles,
“But no, Hastings. It is your wits that go astray. Miss Marsh proved the astuteness of her wits and the value of the higher education for women by at once putting the matter in my hands. Always employ the expert. She has amply proved her right to the money.”
I did not hesitate a moment—indeed, hesitation has seldom been one of my faults—but making my way across the room, I stepped close to him and said, in as calm a tone as I could command: "Captain Creach, I am surprised to see you in Rome!"
In the early days of the war I visited Sir Victor Horsley several times at his home. I was interested in shell shock, in the influence that the horror of war has on certain types of human nature, and he was good enough to supply me with a great deal of information. Quiet and undemonstrative, he used always to stand, or move slowly up and down the room; in the long talks we had together, I do not remember his sitting down once.
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