SHE had a belief that her father's house [FE] [MS] was nicer than other people's houses. It stood off from the high road, in Black's Lane, at the head of the turn. You came to it by a row of tall elms standing up along Mr Hancock's wall. Behind the last tree its slender white end went straight up from the pavement, hanging out a green balcony like a birdcage above the green door. The lane turned sharp there and went on, and the long brown garden wall went with it. Behind the wall the lawn flowed down from the white house and the green veranda to the cedar tree at the bottom. Beyond the lawn was the [FE] kitchen garden, and beyond the kitchen garden the orchard; little crippled apple trees bending down in the long grass. She was glad to come back to the house after the walk with Eliza, the nurse, or Annie, the housemaid; to go through all the rooms looking for Mimi; looking for Mamma, telling her what had happened. 'Mamma, the red-haired woman in the sweetie-shop has got a little baby, [MS] and its hair's red, too.... Some day I shall have a little baby. I shall dress him in a long gown-' 'Robe.' 'Robe, with bands of lace all down it, as long as that; and a white christening cloak sewn with white roses. Won't he look sweet?' 'Very sweet.' [FE] 'He shall have lots of hair. I shan't love him if he hasn't.' 'Oh, yes, you will.' 'No. He must have thick, flossy hair like Mimi, so that I can stroke him. Which would you rather have, a little girl or a little boy?' 'Wellwhat do you think?' 'I thinkperhaps I'd rather have a little girl.' She would be like Mamma, and her little girl would be like herself. She couldn't think of it any other way. The school-treat was held in Mr Han- cock's field. All afternoon she had been with the children, playing Oranges and lemons, A ring, a ring of roses, and Here we come gathering nuts in May, nuts [FE] [MS} in May, nuts in May: over and over again. And she had helped her mother to hand cake and buns at the infants' table. The guest-children's tea was served last of all, up on the lawn under the immense, brown brick, many windowed house. There wasn't room for everybody at the table, so the girls sat down first and the boys waited for their turn. Some of them were pushing and snatching. She knew what she would have. She would begin with a bun, and go on through two sorts of jam to Madeira cake, and end with raspberries and cream. Or perhaps it would be safer to begin with raspberries and cream. She kept her face very still, so as not to look greedy, and tried not to stare at the Madeira cake lest people should [FE] see she was thinking of it. Mrs Hancock had given her somebody else's crumby plate. She thought: 'I'm not greedy. I'm really and truly hungry.' She could draw herself in at the waist with a flat, exhausted feeling, like the two ends of a concertina coming together. She was doing this when she saw her mother standing on the other side of the table, looking at her and making signs. 'If you've finished, Hatty, you'd better [MS] get up and let that little boy have some- thing.' They were all turning round and looking at her. And there was the crumby plate before her. They were thinking: 'That greedy little girl has gone on and on eat- ing.' She got up suddenly, not speaking, and left the table, the Madeira cake and [FE] the raspberries and cream. She could feel her skin all hot and wet with shame. And now she was sitting up in the drawing-room at home. Her mother had brought her a piece of seed-cake and a cup of milk with the cream on it. Mamma's soft eyes kissed her as they watched her eating her cake with short crumbly bites, like a little cat. Mamma's eyes made her feel so good, so good. 'Why didn't you tell me you hadn't finished?' 'Finished? I hadn't even begun.' 'Oh-h, darling, why didn't you tell me?' 'Because I--I don't know.' 'Well, I'm glad my little girl didn't snatch and push. It's better to go without than to take from other people. That's [FE] ugly.' Ugly. Being naughty was just that. Doing ugly things. Being good was being beautiful like Mamma. She wanted to be like her mother. Sitting up there [MS] and being good felt delicious. And the smooth cream with the milk running under it, thin and cold, was delicious too. Suddenly a thought came rushing at her. There was God and there was Jesus. But even God and Jesus were not more beautiful than Mamma. They couldn't be. 'You mustn't say things like that, Hatty; you mustn't, really. It might make something happen.' 'Oh, no, it won't. You don't suppose they're listening all the time.' Saying things like that made you feel [FE] good and at the same time naughty, which was more exciting than only being one or the other. But Mamma's frightened face spoiled it. What did she thinkwhat did she think God would do? Red campion-- At the bottom of the orchard a door in the wall opened into Black's Lane, below the three tall elms. She couldn't believe she was really walking there by herself. It had come all of a sudden, the thought that she must do it, that she must go out into the lane; and when she found the door unlatched, something seemed to take hold of her and push her out. She was forbidden to [MS] go into Black's Lane; she was not even [FE] allowed to walk there with Annie. She kept on saying to herself: 'I'm in the lane. I'm in the lane. I'm dis- obeying Mamma.' Nothing could undo that. She had disobeyed by just standing outside the orchard door. Disobedience was such a big and awful thing that it was waste not to do something big and awful with it. So she went on, up and up, past the three tall elms. She was a big girl, wearing black silk aprons and learning French. Walking by herself. When she arched her back and stuck her stomach out she felt like a tall lady in a crinoline and shawl. She swung her hips and made her skirts fly out. That was her grown-up crinoline, swing-swinging as she went. At the turn the cow-parsley and rose [FE] campion began: on each side a long trail of white froth with the red tops of the campion pricking through. She made herself a nosegay. Past the second turn you came to the waste ground covered with old boots and rusted, crumpled tins. The little dirty brown house stood there behind the rickety blue palings; narrow, like the piece of a house that has been cut in two. It hid, stooping under the ivy bush on its roof. It was not like the houses people live in; there was some- thing queer, some secret, frightening thing about it. The man came out and went to the gate [MS] and stood there. He was the frightening thing. When he saw her he stepped back and crouched behind the palings, [FE] ready to jump out. She turned slowly, as if she had thought of something. She mustn't run. She must not run. If she ran he would come after her. Her mother was coming down the garden walk, tall and beautiful in her silver-gray gown with the bands of black velvet on the flounces and the sleeves; her wide, hooped skirts swung, brushing the flower borders. She ran up to her, crying, 'Mamma, I went up the lane where you told me not to.' 'No, Hatty, no; you didn't.' You could see she wasn't angry. She was frightened. 'I did. I did.' Her mother took the bunch of flowers [FE] out of her hand and looked at it. 'Yes,' she said, 'that's where the dark red campion grows.' She was holding the flowers up to her face. It was awful, for you could see her mouth thicken and redden over its edges and shake. She hid it behind the flowers. And somehow you knew it wasn't your naughtiness that made her cry. There was something more. She was saying in a thick, soft voice, [MS] 'It was wrong of you, my darling.' Suddenly she bent her tall straightness. 'Rose campion,' she said, parting the stems with her long, thin fingers. 'Look, Hatty, how beautiful they are. Run away and put the poor things in water.' She was so quiet, so quiet, and her [FE] quietness hurt far more than if she had been angry. She must have gone straight back into the house to Papa. Harriett knew, be- cause he sent for her. He was quiet, too. . . . That was the little, hiding voice he told you secrets in.... She stood close up to him, between his knees, and his arm went loosely round her to keep her there while he looked into her eyes. You could smell tobacco, and the queer, clean man's smell that came up out of him from his collar. He wasn't smiling; but somehow his eyes looked kinder than if they had smiled. 'Why did you do it, Hatty?' 'Because-I wanted to see what it would feel like.' 'You mustn't do it again. Do you [FE] hear, you mustn't do it.' 'Why?' 'Why? Because it makes your mother unhappy. That's enough why.' But there was something more. Mamma had been frightened. Something to do [MS] with the frightening man in the lane. 'Why does it make her?' She knew; she knew; but she wanted to see what he would say. 'I said that was enough.... Do you know what you've been guilty of?' 'Disobedience.' 'More than that. Breaking trust. Meanness. It was mean and dishonour- able of you when you knew you wouldn't be punished.' 'Isn't there to be a punishment?' 'No. People are punished to make [FE] them remember. We want you to forget.' His arm tightened, drawing her closer. And the kind, secret voice went on. 'Forget ugly things. Understand, Hatty, nothing is forbidden. We don't forbid, because we trust you to do what we wish. To behave beautifully.... There, there.' She hid her face on his breast against his tickly coat, and cried. She would always have to do what they wanted; the unhappiness of not doing it was more than she could bear. All very well to say there would be no punishment; their unhappiness was the punishment. It hurt more than any- thing. It kept on hurting when she thought about it. The first minute of to-morrow she [FE] would begin behaving beautifully; as beautifully as she could. They wanted you to; they wanted it more than any- [MS] thing because they were so beautiful. So good. So wise. But three years went before Harriett understood how wise they had been, and why her mother took her again and again into Black's Lane to pick red campion, so that it was always the red campion she remembered. They must have known all the time about Black's Lane; Annie, the housemaid, used to say it was a bad place; something had happened to a little girl there. Annie hushed and reddened and wouldn't tell you what it was. Then one day, when she was thirteen, standing by the apple tree, Connie Hancock told her. A secret.... Behind the dirty blue [FE] palings.... She shut her eyes, squeezing the lids down, frightened. But when she thought of the lane she could see nothing but the green banks, the three tall elms, and the red campion pricking through the white froth of the cow-parsley; her mother stood on the garden walk in her wide, swinging gown; she was holding` the red and white flowers up to her face and saying, 'Look, how beautiful they are.' She saw her all the time while Connie was telling her the secret. She wanted to get up and go to her. Connie knew [MS] what it meant when you stiffened suddenly and made yourself tall and cold and silent. The cold silence would frighten her and she would go away. Then, Harriett thought, she could get back to her mother [FE] and Longfellow. Every afternoon, through the hours before her father came home, she sat in the cool, green-lighted drawing-room read- ing Evangeline aloud to her mother. When they came to the beautiful places they looked at each other and smiled. She passed through her fourteenth year sedately, to the sound of Evangeline. Her upright body, her lifted, delicately obstin- ate, rather wistful face expressed her small, conscious determination to be good. She was silent with emotion when Mrs Hancock told her she was growing like her mother.