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heartily at the affair; and even Miriam was worked up to a smile at last. But she continued very mournful, notwithstanding, over the loss of her sister, as she would call her.
Mr. Sargent did his best to enliven the party. He was a man of good feeling, and of more than ordinary love for the right. This, however, from a dread of what he would have called sentimentality, he persisted in regarding as a mere peculiarity, possibly a weakness. If he made up his mind to help any one who was wronged, for which, it must be confessed, he had more time that he would have cared to acknowledge, he would say that he had
interest in such or such a case;" or that the case involved points of interest" which he was “ willing to see settled.” He never said that he wanted to see right done : that would have been enthusiastic, and unworthy of the cold dignity of a lawyer. So he was one of those false men, alas too few! who always represent themselves as inferior to what they are. Many and various were the jokes he made upon Poppie and Jeames, ever, it must be confessed,
with an eye to the approbation of Miss Burton. He declared, for instance, that the Armageddon of class-legislature would be fought between those of whom the porter and Poppie were the representatives, and rejoiced that, as in the case of the small quarrel between Fitz James and Roderick Dhu, Poppie had drawn the first blood, and gained thereby a good omen. And Lucy was pleased with him, it must be confessed. She never thought of comparing him with Thomas, which was well for Thomas. But she did think he was a very clever, gentlemanly fellow, and knew how to make himself agreeable.
He offered to see her home, which she declined, not even permitting him to walk with her to the railway.
The Two Old Women.
HE found the two old women, of whom
Mattie still seemed the older, seated together at their tea. Not a ray of the afternoon sun could find its way into the room. It was dusky and sultry, with a smell of roses. This, and its strange mingling of furniture, made it like a room over a broker's in some country
“Well, Miss Burton, here you are at last !” said Mattie, with a half-smile on the half of her mouth.
"Yes, Mattie, here I am. Has grandmother been good to you ?”
“Of course she has—very good. Everybody is good to me.
a very fortunate child, as my father says, though he never seems to mean it."
“ And how do you think your patient is ?” asked Lucy, while Mrs. Boxall sat silent, careful not to obstruct the amusement which the child's answers must give them.
Well, I do not think Mrs. Boxall is worse. She has been very good, and has done everything I found myself obliged to recommend. I would not let her get up so
soon as she wanted to.”
“ And what did you do to keep her in bed ?” asked Lucy
Well, I could not think of a story to tell her just then, so I got the big Bible out of the bookcase, and began to show her the pictures. But she did not care about that.
I think it was my fault, though, because I was not able to hold the book so that she could see them properly. So I read a story to her, but I do not think I chose a very nice one."
Mrs. Boxall made a deprecating motion with her head and hands, accompanied by the words :
“She will say what she thinks—Bible or Prayer-book.”
“ Well, and where's the harm, when I mean none ? Who's to be angry at that ? I will say,” Mattie went on, “that it was an ugly trick of that woman to serve a person that never did her any harm; and I wonder at two sensible women like Mrs. Boxall and Deborah sticking up for her.”
“Is it Jael she means, grannie ?” asked Lucy very softly.
“ Yes, it is Jael she means," answered Mattie for herself, with some defiance in her
'For my part," she continued, “I think it was just like one of Syne's tricks."
“ Have you seen Mr. Spelt to-day, Mattie ?” asked Lucy, desirous of changing the subject, because of the direction the child's thoughts had taken.
“Well, I haven't," answered Mattie," and I will go and see now whether he's gone or not. But don't you fancy that I don't see through it for all that, Miss Burton," she continued. "I shouldn't have been in the way, though-not