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Happiness did not depend upon the walls by which they were surrounded. So long as they were all together, they might laugh at poverty! Meanwhile Esmeralda and her father were gently trotting along towards the park at Roskillie, from whence, in hunting parlance, they were to proceed to "draw Long Gorse," and on their way were enjoying the picturesque surroundings of a meet in the country.

And so, for two years, they lived on at Castle Lashcairn; for long days sometimes Louis went off to Cook's Wall, and she despaired. Most of the time she hoped blindly. Much of the time they were incredibly happy in small things. Some slight measure of prosperity came to Loose End. The uncle who used to send the gramophone records retired from business and, buying himself an annuity, divided his money between his few relatives so that he could see what they did with it before he died. Quite a respectable flock of sheep came to take the place of those drowned in the flood and burnt in the fire; a horse and buggy went to and fro between Loose End and the station; Scottie the collie got busy and two shepherds came, building another hut at the other side of the run. A plague of rabbits showed Mr. Twist the folly of putting off the construction of rabbit-proof fencing any longer, now that he could afford it, and the gorse was once more left uncleared for months in the pressure of new things. Neighbours came, too the deposit of manganese at Cook's Wall was found cropping up on the extreme borders of Gaynor's run, and a tiny mining township called Klondyke settled itself round the excavations five miles from the Homestead. Marcella made friends with everyone, to Louis's amazement. To him friendliness was only possible when whisky had taken away his self-consciousness; the parties of miscellaneous folks who turned up on Sundays, bringing their own food, as is the way in the Bush where the nearest store is often fifty miles away, worried him at first. He stammered and was awkward and ungracious with them, but Marcella, dimly realizing that it must be bad for him to be drawn in so much upon their égoïsme

Marcella worked with an oilskin bathing-cap sent by Mrs. King, over her hair; she wore an old blue overall on which the spines of the gorse had worked havoc. And still she would not be ill to fall in with Louis's preconceived notions; living an absolutely normal, rather tough life, hardened by her father's Spartanism, she found that a natural process made very little difference to her.

"The demesne extends over the edge, and almost to the bottom of the Chine; and here, amid laurel and rhododendron, broom and gorse, the garden merges into a network of paths and stairways, with tempting seats and unexpected arbors at every turn. This seductive little labyrinth is of Mrs. Stevenson's own designing.

At night he contrived to wake for his strange courtship; and he had a peculiar ceremony when he got up in the dark and lit his candle. From a steep and wild hillside, not far form the house, he had cut from time to time five large boughs of spiked and prickly gorse. He had brought them into the house, one by one, and had hidden them in the big box that stood beside his bed.

How they murdered him I do not know, save that it was Murillo's hand who struck him down, for Lopez had remained to guard me. I believe he must have waited among the gorse bushes through which the path winds and struck him down as he passed.

And meanwhile the same intensity of pleasure from nature that I had always been capable of flowed in upon me from new scenes; above all, from solitary moments at Borough Farm, in the heart of the Surrey commons, when the September heather blazed about me; or the first signs of spring were on the gorse and the budding trees; or beside some lonely pool; and always heightened now by the company of my children.

There could not be many, however, for the underwood was not large enough to conceal more than a dozen bodies, and the keen eyes of the hunters were piercing it in every direction. They reminded me of so many huntsmen in a gorse waiting the game to be sprung; but here, the game was human. It was a terrible spectacle.

Between the forests were open wolds, dotted with white sheep and golden gorse; rolling plains of rich though ragged turf, whether cleared by the hand of man or by the wild fires which often swept over the hills.

"It's enough for a person who is going to die," answered Mary when first she heard this, "but it's not enough for a person who is going to live. I sometimes feel as if I could eat three when those nice fresh heather and gorse smells from the moor come pouring in at the open window."

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