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The canaries sang riotously in the window just as their faraway progenitors had sung for Madam. Sunlight was doing wonders for the canaries and the gilt cages. They were the Taj Mahal, Marco Polo's cities of gold; they were all the fine webbing of the centuries which never can quite hide the immortal song within. Jenny in a blue print frock stood on tiptoe to let Solomon and Robert the Devil fight for the seed between her lips. They fluffed out, balls of angry down, and Mab came in at the front door with some news from Bredon.

"Dick's done it," he cried. "A baronet, no less."

"Oh dear! What would Grandma say," cried Jenny, plumping down on the window seat. They looked at each other guiltily, these two miscreants from whom Madam had expected so much.

"And I've never even won a ticket in Tattersalls," said Mab.

"But the Comyn name has come to honour at last," cried Jenny. "Through beer!"

page 416

They laughed until Jenny mopped her eyes. Then, by a like impulse—they so often thought in common, these two—they looked through the window. After last night's frost brown leaves dropped gently from the walnut trees. In and out of the branches racketed bright parrots come down from the ranges. Over Clent hills sparkled Comyn Sorley's new fences, browsed Comyn Sorley's sheep.

"Comyns and Sorleys all one at last," said Jenny. "But there are no more pioneers." Then she cried with a sudden glow: "But, oh, Uncle Mab, isn't it fun to think of all the lives and lives ahead of us still!"