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Take the quiz Dictionary Devil The dictionary has been scrambled—can you put i Play the game. He happened to be staying at Lord Merivale's once when there was an alarm of fire in the Castle. The galleries were filled with smoke, and the rooms were filled with guests, who all flew down to the great hall in any attire they could find, but strange to say the Countess was nowhere to be seen. Lady Mary was in hysterics, shrieking for her mother, and imploring every one to save her ; whilst all the time the old lady was standing in the midst of them, not daring to confess herself, since not one of the twenty people, who sat with her every day at dinner, had an idea that there, in beauty un- adorned, shorn of all her fair proportions, and minus all her ' substitutions,' as Guy used to call them, stood the Countess of Merivale herself!
Blackstone, speaking for the first time after an hour's devoted attention to the conversation, "how fearful to be thus at the mercy of a dependant! I remember, in days gone by, my old mother used to say " " Oh, papa! TURN we now to another scene, a fairer scene than the suburban villa, in spite of its nineteenth- century-elevation, and all its modern improve- ments ; gaze now, ye eyes that love the old baronial halls of England, on that large, straggling pile of buildings, gray with age and green with ivy, and see what a grand old house Sir Felix Bohun called his home.
Here and there a turret ; here and there a projection ; windows of all sorts and all sizes ; and the whole surrounded by a broad gravel terrace, from the centre of which sloped a broad flight of stone steps; then another gravel terrace, and another flight of steps ; a third gravel terrace, and one last flight of steps these leading to a wide park, studded with groups of trees, sheep under some, and deer under others ; and the grass pressed down into little narrow paths, not meant IN THE CUPBOARD.
Bohun to do away with. This was the back of Bohun Court. The entrance was on the gloomy side of the house, looking to the north ; and there the stone court- yard, and the stone lions-rampant, and the massive iron-bound oaken door, kept up all the dignity of a baronial hall.
But to turn to the sunny side. On a bright, fresh morning, in early spring, when the sun's rays fell so warmly on the breakfast-room that it. He had not to look long, for, taking advantage of one of the above-mentioned short cuts, another figure was soon seen emerging from an avenue of chesnuts, and wending its way along one of the little beaten tracks.
Bohun stood still and watched it advancing. As it approached nearer, his eyes seemed to wan- der to the landscape, and rest almost lovingly on its beauty. The haze of a spring morning, and an easterly breeze, was spread like a gauze veil over hill and dale, and over the Bohun wood. Bohun stood without his hat, and on his forehead, high and somewhat bald, could be counted many more wrinkles than even the eyes of an enemy would have detected on that of Sir Felix. It was a face of extreme gentleness and benevolence ; but though nature had given him a five years advantage of his brother in point of youth, every one would have said the ages were reversed, and pronounce in favour of Sir Felix, for Mr.
Bohun looked care-worn and old. All his life long, Mr. Bohun had been the working brother, and Sir Felix the man of the guy world, born for society and pleasure, and carefully avoiding all the worries of every-day existence. Since these worries must fall to the lot of some one person in a family, even if not to all the members, it so happened that destiny had laid them on the shoulders of Mr.
He managed the estate, hired the servants, heard the grievances, paid the bills, and would have laid down his life metaphorically for Bohun Court, so it was a labour of love, though a labour all the same. The first a fine lady, who looked upon the venerable house as a retreat for a fortnight at Easter and a few months in winter, and hated it all the rest of the year.
The unobtrusive useful- ness of Mr. Bohun gave her no sort of concern ; it was nothing to her, except that it left Sir Felix at liberty to spend the springs in London and the summers abroad with her. Consequently, during her reign, he was acknowledged and authorised regent. Even down to the village children, more hats were doffed to Mr. Bohun than ever little ragged brims were pulled to Sir Felix. Then came the second Lady Bohun. She was a confirmed invalid. Wealth and beauty had been hers, but health had been denied her.
To her Mr. Bohun was the most devoted of brothers. Sir Felix was invariably kind and good to her, but in her state of health she could not tie him down to Bohun Court it was so dull for him all very well when the house was full of company, for the hunting season, for instance, or for the pheasants ; but in the dull season, when he had always been accustomed to gad about, she would not, for worlds, condemn him to a quietude which depressed him no ; he should go and amuse himself.
Bohun was the greatest of comforts, her counsellor, her almoner, her com- panion, and her friend. Day by day, all day long if she liked, Mr. Bohun was at her beck and call to take her orders and do her commissions, light as air as they always were! It was his study, his happiness, and his pastime to make those suffering years pass as pleasantly to her as possible ; and when, at last, the garden chair became too great an exertion, and Lady Bohun was reduced to her sofa, the very lawn in front of her morning room was cut up and laid out under her directions and his superintendence, that to the last she might inhale the fragrance she so loved, and die in the midst of her favourite occupations ; and this, in fact, she did, and "Sir Felix became this time, in reality, a disconsolate widower.
And Mr. Bohun, did he not miss her? And now people really looked upon Mr. Bohun as safe. He had been heir presumptive not heir presumptuous for five-and-forty years ; now they said he might surely be called heir apparent, and not a voice in all the country round but cordially exclaimed they hoped it might be so. In fact, Sir Felix himself had given it out he never in- tended to marry again ; and he went abroad, and ran the gauntlet of every sort of temptation, and came home again.
Business, however, connected with his pos- sessions, took him up to town. Now let us go back to the figure advancing towards Mr.
Bohun with outstretched hands, the figure of a gray- haired man, his long locks streaming in the air, a set colour in his thin, worn cheeks, and a white neck-cloth to betoken his vocation. I see a letter in your hand confirmation or refutation?
Tell me, in a word, is the rumour true? The rumour is quite true. Sir Felix is really going to be married again, and this is the an- nouncement. Bohun held up the letter, and the Rector of Bohun sat down on a bench, overpowered by his feelings.
Bohun shall tell me of it! It is only the old story over again! My dear friend, if w r e lost you, what should we do? How can we spare you if circumstances should require you to give us less of your personal and moral support? Bohun, "and still here I am amongst you. Dear me! Bohun, firmly ; " and I always have thought it that my brother was not the man to settle down quietly as a widower. Mel- ville, do not approve of being put on the shelf merely because they happen to be widowers.
Melville was not to be consoled. He had made up his mind, in common with all the neighbourhood, that Bohun Court was never again to see a Lady Bohun a Mrs. Bohun would have been welcomed as a novelty ; but to see Sir Felix bring home another bride, and to have to " make her acquaintance," as the saying is, was a trial of fortitude.
Melville ; " it really came upon us like a thunderbolt, this rumour. Had you any idea when Sir Felix went up to town? How did this young lady, if it is a young lady, contrive to make so sudden an impression? Bohun, leading the old gentleman to a rustic bench on the grass under one of the clumps of old elms ; " sit down, and hear the very small cause from which this great event sprung. In the first place, you must know, that my brother went to town on money matters; that it was absolutely necessary he should see his man of business with- out half an hour's delay ; that not finding him at his office, he pursued him all over the City, and on returning late in despair to his office, found he had just left it for good, and had started for the station ; you must also know, by the way, that this happy man of business possesses a villa in the suburbs with quite a reputation for beauty and luxury.
But to proceed : guess the small cause of this new phase in the destiny of Sir Felix! Blaekstone had just driven off, that he always went home to din- ner, that he always dined and slept at The Laurels. Now this was a delay which might have put my brother to the greatest inconvenience, and, in fact, somehow or other, he must see Mr. Blackstone that night, and so it struck him that the best thing he could do would be to follow him down to the station it was merely an inter- view of a few minutes that was required he might catch him before he started.
At what time did he go? At 5' Sir Felix looked at his watch, and jumped into the first Hansom. He reached the station exactly as the first gate was being closed, and saw Mr. Blackstone rushing towards the carriages. To rush after him, and to spring into a vacant seat by his side, was the work of a moment in another he was steaming towards The Laurels " Well, then, the watch had not stopped? Bohun ; " we must now only imagine ourselves walking up the hill to this suburban villa.
Sir Felix laughing at the adventure, and Mr. Blackstone, and last, not least, to Miss Blackstone, and it seems that the charms and accomplishments of the latter for I am told she sings like any nightingale made the two hours pass like two minutes, although my brother affirms most seriously that he never had an idea of losing that 9'15 train. At twenty mi- nutes before nine he looked at his watch, and as Miss Blackstone had just began another song, he calculated that he could hear it out, and then he slily looked at it again.
It seems the beauty of the singer and her song had completely put out of his head the hour at which the hands had pointed when he looked last, for seeing they now indi- cated a quarter to nine, he calmly and gratefully took his leave, intending to walk down to the station with his host.
Blackstone seemed fidgetty, and remarked that they must walk fast ; but my brother assured him there was no hurry, and persisted in taking his time. The conse- quence was, that when they reached the station all was silent. We are much too soon, said Sir Felix. We have lost the train, thought Mr. Blackstone, and so it proved. This was his first visit, but not his last by many and many. The result of these visits you know. He an- nounces it in this letter, and says he is coming down here next week to make a few necessary arrangements.
Bohun paused, and both he and the Rector sat in silence for some time, each fully occupied with his own thoughts. Mel- ville, at last. There is so much to be done here be- fore the old house can be made fit for the recep- tion of a gay young bride. The best rooms have not been opened for more than two years, and we have let dust and mould gather a good deal about cherished relics, which, I conclude, had better now be swept away " " Memories and all?
Bohun, rising, " because I believe my brother incapable of selecting any one BO devoid of good feeling and good taste as to harbour that most pitiful of human weaknesses, jealousy of the dead. Bohun felt, was always felt by the whole household, no one seemed able to settle to anything that day.
It was a positive relief when the hoofs of the carriage horses were heard clattering into the court-yard, and Sir Felix's heavy tread sounded in the hall, for then it was over.
There was an awkwardness on both sides when the brothers met, but most on the side of Sir Felix. Bohun 's grasp of the hand was warm and hearty, but his brother's eyes met his with an anxious look, as if to say, had they dared, " Have I made a fool of myself? The same open, frank cordiality which was Mr.
To any casual observer, it would have seemed next to absurd to talk of putting Bohun Cour-t in order for the reception of the new guest, so well appointed were all the stately rooms; but Mr. Bohun soon found that his brother had not re- turned in the same contented state of mind in which he had left home.
The "best rooms," as the old housekeeper so proudly called them, were now ordered to be opened, and one bright morn- ing, followed by this ancient servant and Mr.
Bohun, Sir Felix made the tour of inspection. But in vain did the old lady expatiate on the car- pets, and turn up the corners of the chintz covers, to show how handsome the yellow satin looked underneath. Sir Felix grumbled the sun hap- pened unfortunately to be shining brightly, and the bridegroom elect made no alknvance for the dust and cobwebs of two years' seclusion from light he called the carpets faded, and the yellow 4- THE SKELETON satin gaudy, and whispered to Mr.
Bolmn that " She detested yellow she wished the drawing- rooms to be crimson. Dance, the house- keeper, " All very dingy there must be a thorough clean out, and clear out too. Dance alone who was mortified at the remarks and behaviour of her master it was not she alone w r ho looked and listened, surprised and dismayed : his brother, who followed in silence, was no less struck with the metamorphose in Sir Felix than herself, and more than once his astonishment nearly found utterance in the Shakespearian exclamation, " Thou art translated!
Bohun could hardly believe his ears. Poor Mr. What could he know about it? And now the survey of the whole house had been taken, all save one room, and it was with a visible shrinking that Sir Felix saw Mrs. Dance single out a key tied with a bow of red ribbon, and turn it in the lock. This was a small room unconnected with the suite of drawing-rooms, library, and dining-room. It was at the southern side of the house, and looked upon a flower garden cut into innumerable beds, excepting just under the wide bay-window, and 46 THE SKELETON there there was a broad border in which were all the clusters of violets and lilies of the valley.
Climbing up the window was a passion flower, throwing out its long creepers amongst the nailed- up branches of a luxuriant jessamine, and here and there a tuft of that curious brown stock which only exhales its exquisite scent at night.
They were now in this room, and Mr. Bohun walked hastily to the window the moment they entered. Sir Felix stood still, and looked round without uttering a syllable. This was a room filled with innumerable relics of the past.
This was the last Lady Bohun's own boudoir, where she had spent all her latest hours. On that sofa she had passed the suffering time ; in that chair, when breath was failing her, had she been placed by Mr. Bohun, and breathed her last sigh upon his cheek. On the grass under that window, were still the four patches worn away by the wheels of her garden chair.
Suddenly Mr. Bohun turned. Do not touch this room, Felix! You have a natural affection for the room, and you deserve to appropriate it. Remember, Mrs. Dance, that should Mr. Bohun be absent when the workmen come down to do up the house, the key is to be turned upon that room, and no step but my brother's enter within that door.
Dance curtsied low, and looking at Mr. Bohun, coloured tearfully, as Sir Felix strode away. I was so afraid it was to be all new done like the rest. Is there anything you would please to have altered, sir? Bohun gave the strictest injunctions on this point. Not a chair, nor a table, nor an ornament was to be moved. Dance just my books, and my stuffed birds, and some of the pictures per- haps I shall bring everything.
Dance, and make a lumber room of it. I like this room 1 love it it is my whole home, and here I shall live, and be in nobody's way. Dance, if you bring any paint, and paper, and whitewashing into it, I never will forgive you.
I think you under- stand me? I understand you perfectly ; I feel as you do yourself. Bohun, as to whether the latter should continue to make Bohun Court his home. Bohun urged that such an arrangement might not be agreeable, and hinted at chambers in the Albany. Sir Felix scouted the idea, and declared that Bohun Court could not go on without his brother, and the argu- ment raged fiercely till the bridegroom conquered, and the bachelor gave way.
And when this was settled all seemed smooth. Sir Felix started for London, and Mr. Bohun was to follow in a week, to see and be presented to the bride elect, and become acquainted with her.
The newly married couple were then to go abroad, and Mr. Bohun was to return home to make ready for their reception when they came back towards autumn. TIME had now arrived to within a few days of the wedding. Blaekstone had got through the elaborate settlements which had made his daughter mistress of forty thousand pounds, independent of her expectations; and Mrs.
Blaekstone had achieved the trousseau, and seen it all laid out for exhibition. The bride was in a great state of excitement, arranging affairs of much greater importance namely, the procession of the brides- maids, and their programme of behaviour. Also, Ponsford was in full force, regularly installed as lady's maid, and doing the honours of the millinery and jewellery with great effect. All Mrs. Black- stone's circle were very much awed and impressed with her manners on the occasion, and even Euphemia allowed herself to be guided by her in every respect.
We are going to spend the day at the Crystal Palace, and Mr. Bohun is to see me there for the first time. What had I better wear? A man of his age! Bohun was at home, than when they dressed for London dinners in the season.
Bohun's style of beauty, and did it so adroitly that Euphemia looked in the glass with a proud smile on her lips. Meanwhile, her maid was spreading out a very handsome light brown silk dress, of a shade approaching fawn. I mean that for country walks in the dust and the mud. Give me the Eugenie blue for to-day. I meant considering your present position, ma'am ; and also, since you rather wished, I thought, to wear something according to Mr. Bohun's taste. Engaged young ladies," she added, seeing a frown gathering on Euphemia's brow, " always attract so much attention.
Very well. I will wear the brown silk. That gorgeous mantilla will set it off. Do you know, Ponsford, that Sir Felix gave forty guineas for that mantilla?
I know they are very expensive. I thought they were very rare. Sir Felix said so. Because Sir Felix said there was a particular way.
And then she continued, " But, Ponsford, about Mr. Bohun is he like Sir Felix? Bohun looks much older ; more like a country gentleman, too. He has quite a different sort of manner and voice, and he has a very decided way of speaking.
Lady Mary used to say he was the most unsusceptible person she ever met. Besides, ma'anr, he is so comfortable at Bohun Court. There was a pause. A red flush came over Euphemia's face, and she paused in the operation of pulling out a bow with her bonnet strings.
The flush heightened to a glow. Something was stirring in her mind, and she breathed quicker than before. Ponsford was deeply engrossed with the folding of the Spanish mantilla.
How was it that that " something " had never stirred in Euphemia's mind before? Bohun always lived at Bohun Court? Perhaps he does not : I shall not like it if he does. I always thought Sir Felix had no ' encumbrances ' as Fanny "Washington calls relations about the house.
I must find it all out. I remember, when the Washingtons came to congratulate, Mrs. Ill ask Sir Felix cleverly perhaps Mr. Bohun only comes for the country seasons if I don't like him, I can coax Sir Felix up to town at those times ; at all events, I'll sound Sir Felix this very day. It was placed over the graceful shoulders after the most approved fashion, and Euphemia descended to the drawing-room.
There was one difference between the feelings with which she descended the staircase, and those with which she had mounted them. TJien she said Mr. Bohun was to see her for the first time; now she felt that she was going to see kirn.
Blackstone, as hep daughter entered the room, "I do think, my dear, that is the very prettiest bonnet I ever saw. But, surely, you are very plainly dressed? I should have thought that lovely blue silk would have been more the thing? No sooner had he entered the room, than Mrs. Blackstone called his attention to her daughter's Spanish mantilla. It is a pleasure to give Euphemia anything pretty, for she does such credit to it. Her whole dress to- day is fait-ti-peindre. It was Ponsford's taste, and Ponsford's triumph; and whilst the daughter was simply pleased at it, the mother was silent from feeling obliged, somewhat reluctantly, to acknowledge it.
A large party went in Mrs. Blackstone's suite to the Crystal Palace that day. She had engaged a room for thirty, instead of disarranging The Laurels before the wedding, when a still larger number of friends were invited to breakfast. Amongst the most intimate of these friends ranked the Washingtons, very wealthy people of the same sphere as the Blackstones. Washington had several daughters, and Fanny, with a younger sister, were to be two of the bridesmaids.
It was Fanny for whom Miss Blackstone had laughingly promised to send, should she find that Mr. Bohun was "worth having. There was no want of money in that pretty suburb of London.
Houses and carriages all bore equally the unmistakable stamp of wealth, from the well-appointed barouche of Mrs. Washington with its handsome bays, down to Euphemia's own basket carriage with its soft blue velvet cushions. And their dress! Every one had been anxious to do honour to that party, and certainly Mrs. Blackstone's guests did that day make a most refulgent show.
Fanny Washington came up to her imme- diately. No; certainly there was no one there who could be Mr. She did not like remark- ing upon his absence to Sir Felix ; it was making his brother of too much importance ; besides, she had been talking conversation to him for two hours, beating about the bush to find out all she could without deliberately asking the plain ques- tion, " Is Bohun Court his home? I shall not be afraid of him. Washington came to walk and talk confidentially with Mrs.
She had married three daughters herself, and was therefore quite au fait in such matters. She was full of delight at " dear Phemy's " good fortune and happiness, but thought her looking rather pale and nervous. That was always a great trial for a young girl, and she knew from experience how glad all the brides she ever knew were when that part of the ordeal was over. Blackstone like a bee humming in her ear, " fortunately for dear Phemy, Sir Felix has no relations but a brother.
I am delighted to hear we are to meet him here to-day. I looked in the Baronetage and saw he was five years younger than Sir Felix, but it did not say if he were in the army or the navy ; per- haps he is a barrister? Blackstone thought not. She believed he was merely a country gentleman. Wash- ington was down upon her directly. Blackstone, in her own heart, had always had more than a suspicion that Mr.
Bohun lived entirely at Bohun Court, and once or twice it had occurred to her that she ought very deli- cately to insinuate to Sir Felix that if that were the case, Euphemia ought to be officially informed 60 THE SKELETON of the fact, and consulted as to whether such an arrangement met her approbation ; but somehow or other she had never had courage to attack him on the subject, and, besides, there was always a sort of hauteur about Sir Felix, in spite of his courteous manners, which, to confess the plain truth, kept her at a distance.
But this sort of delicacy and timidity would not have been understood or appreciated by Mrs. Crossword Assistant. Home Trending Help Requests Blog. Search over 3 million crossword answers - updated daily Search. Definitions and usage Before we get to our crossword answers for 'skeleton in the cupboard', take a look at the definitions and example uses below, sometimes these help you think of different words or phrases that are common to 'skeleton in the cupboard' and give you a hint.
A scandal that is kept secret; "there must be a skeleton somewhere in that family's closet" Crossword Answers 8 Letters S K E L E T O N The hard structure bones and cartilages that provides a frame for the body of an animal.Definition of a skeleton in the/ cupboard in the Idioms Dictionary. a skeleton in the/ cupboard phrase. What does a skeleton in the/ cupboard expression mean? Word of the Day; Help; For webmasters: Free content; Linking; Lookup box; Close. skeleton in the/(one's) cupboard (redirected from a skeleton in the/ cupboard) skeleton in the/(one's.