Bride of Pendorric
Sharp and I said, ” That’s Rachel. ” So I called her Becky Sharp. I give people names. I’m Lo. She’s Hy. Wasn’t it clever of Mummy and Daddy to give us names like that. Though I’m not sure that I like being Lo. I’d rather be Hy … only in my name I mean. I’d rather be myself than old Hy. She’s always sitting about and thinking.”
    ” Not a bad occupation.” I smiled at Hyson, who continued to regard me gravely.
    ” I’ve got names for everybody—my own secret names-and Becky Sharp is one of them.”
    “Have you got one for me?”
    ” You! Well, you’re the Bride, aren’t you! You couldn’t be anything else.”

“Does Miss Bective like the name you’ve given her?” I asked. ” She doesn’t know. It’s a secret. But you see, she was at school with Mummy and she was always coming here and Hy said, One day she’ll come to stay because she never wants to go away.” “
    ” Has she said so?”
    ” Of course not. As if she would. It’s all secret. Other people never know what Becky Sharp is up to. But she wants to stay. We thought she was going to marry Uncle Roe.”
    Hyson came and put her hands on my knees; she looked into my face and said: “It was what she wanted. I don’t suppose she likes it much because you did.”
    ” You’re not supposed to say that, Hy,” Lowella warned. ” I’ll say it if I want to.”
    ” You can’t. You mustn’t.”
    Hyson was suddenly fierce.
    “I can and I will.”
    Lowella chanted: ” You can’t. You can’t.” And began to run round the pond. Hyson went in pursuit of her. I watched them running about the quadrangle until Lowella disappeared through the north door. Hyson made as though to follow her, hesitated, and turning stood looking at me for a few moments. Then she came back.
    ” Lowella’s really very childish,” she told me. She knelt at my feet and looked at me, and feeling a little embarrassed by her scrutiny I said: ” You never talk very much when she’s there. Why not?” She shrugged her shoulders.
    “I never talk unless I have something to say,” she murmured primly.
    Now it seemed she had nothing to say for she continued to kneel at my feet in a silence which went on for several minutes, then she rose suddenly and stood looking up at the windows.
    She lifted her hand and waved, and following her gaze I saw that the curtain at one of the windows was slightly pulled back and someone was standing about a foot from the window looking down, I could just make out a vague figure in a black hat with a band of blue about it.
    “Who’s that?” I asked sharply.
    She rose to her feet and said slowly: ” That was Granny!” Then she smiled at me and walked sedately to the north door and I was alone in the quadrangle. I looked up at the window. There was no one there and the curtain had fallen into place.
    ” Barbarina,” I murmured and I felt as though eyes were watching me, mocking me, and I did not want to stay in the courtyard any longer.
    This was ridiculous, I told myself. It was a trick. Of course, Lowella had gone in and they had decided to amuse themselves at my expense.
    But it had not been a child I had seen at the window. It had been a tall woman.
    I hurried into the house through the south door and I paused ‘before the picture of Barbarina. I fancied that the eyes were mocking me.
    This is absurd, I said as I mounted the staircase. I was a normal, uncomplicated person who did not believe in ghosts.
    Had I changed since I came to Pendorric? Was I still so self-sufficient since I had experienced emotions which had only been names to me before I met Roe Pendorrie? Love, jealousy—and now fear?
    I went straight up to my room, and as I opened the door I gasped, for a womai^ was sitting in an armchair with her back to the light. After my experience in the courtyard I must really have been unnerved, because it seemed several seconds before I recognised Morwenna. ” I’m afraid I startled you,” she said. ” I’m so

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