Ratler was eloquent on the beauty of old park
trees. "After all, a Scotch forest is a very scrubby sort of thing,"
said Mr. Ratler.
There was nobody in the house,--at least, they found nobody; and
within half an hour Phineas was walking about the grounds by himself.
Mr. Ratler had declared himself to be delighted at having an
opportunity of writing letters,--and no doubt was writing them by
the dozen, all dated from Loughlinter, and all detailing the facts
that Mr. Gresham, and Mr. Monk, and Plantagenet Palliser, and Lord
Brentford were in the same house with him. Phineas had no letters to
write, and therefore rushed down across the broad lawn to the river,
of which he heard the noisy tumbling waters. There was something in
the air which immediately filled him with high spirits; and, in his
desire to investigate the glories of the place, he forgot that he was
going to dine with four Cabinet Ministers in a row. He soon reached
the stream, and began to make his way up it through the ravine. There
was waterfall over waterfall, and there were little bridges here and
there which looked to be half natural and half artificial, and a path
which required that you should climb, but which was yet a path, and
all was so arranged that not a pleasant splashing rush of the waters
was lost to the visitor.