"I think he might come in; you know how bad the night air is for you. Are the servants astir this evening?"
"Things seem to have turned out quite kindly," spoke up Barbara. "It happens to be Anne's birthday, so mamma sent me just now into the kitchen with a cake and a bottle of wine, desiring them to drink her health. I shut the door and told them to make themselves comfortable; that if we wanted anything we would ring."
"Then they are safe," observed Mr. Carlyle, "and Richard may come in."
"I will go and ascertain whether he is come," said Barbara.
"Stay where you are, Barbara; I will go myself," interposed Mr. Carlyle. "Have the door open when you see us coming up the path."
Barbara gave a faint cry, and, trembling, clutched the arm of Mr. Carlyle. "There he is! See! Standing out from the trees, just opposite this window."
Mr. Carlyle turned to Mrs. Hare. "I shall not bring him in immediately; for if I am to have an interview with him, it must be got over first, that I may go back home to the justices, and keep Mr. Hare all safe."
He proceeded on his way, gained the trees, and plunged into them; and, leaning against one, stood Richard Hare. Apart from his disguise, and the false and fierce black whiskers, he was a blue-eyed, fair, pleasant-looking young man, slight, and of middle height, and quite as yielding and gentle as his mother. In her, this mild yieldingness of disposition was rather a graceful quality; in Richard it was regarded as a contemptible misfortune. In his boyhood he had been nicknamed Leafy Dick, and when a stranger inquired why, the answer was that, as a leaf was swayed by the wind, so he was swayed by everybody about him, never possessing a will of his own. In short, Richard Hare, though of an amiable and loving nature, was not over-burdened with what the world calls brains. Brains he certainly had, but they were not sharp ones.