*AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.' 3
deed, he had no objection whatever to fill the Park
with relations, so long as they left him undisturbed
to follow his own devices.
Not that the education of these children was
neglected. They had all tuition that was necessary;
and Lilian, having a talent for music, learned to sing
and play the piano very charmingly. She could ride,
too, and sit her horse a inerveiUe, and had a passion
for reading—perhaps inherited. But, as novels were
her principal literature, and as she had no one to
regulate her choice of them, it is a matter of opinion
whether she derived much benefit from them. At
least she received little harm, as at seventeen she was
as fresh-minded and pure-hearted a child as one might
care to know.
The County, knowing her to be an heiress—though
not a large one—called systematically on her every
three months. Twice she had been taken to a ball by
an enterprising mother with a large family of un¬
promising sons. But as she reached her eighteenth
year her father died, and her old home, the Park,
being strictly entailed on heirs male, passed from her
into the hands of a distant cousin utterly unknown.
This young man, another Archibald Chesney, was
abroad at the time of his kinsman's death—in Egypt,
or Hongkong, or Jamaica—no one exactly knew which
—until after much search he was finally discovered to
be in Halifax.
From thence he had written to the effect that, as
he probably should not return to his native land for
another six months, he hoped his cousin (if it pleased
her) would continue to reside at the Park—where all
the old servants were to be kept on—until his return.
It did please his cousin; and in her old home she
still reigned as queen, until after eight months she
received a letter from her father's lawyer warning her
of Archibald Chesney's actual arrival in London.
This letter failed in its object. Lilian either would