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music on a broken stick; after him, through the slight hollow, Ned Harefel pranced like a young faun; and last skipped Katharine Adare, a little fairy in the sunlight. Irvie had twined the daisychain round her neck; and the loose ends, as she danced, floated behind her with her floating hair. The soft baby-face was all aglow with pleasure, and the red innocent lips were parted. First round one vast trunk, and then round the other, the children danced in order; and as the day was passing, their shadows flitted beside them, and the still leaves were moved by a quickening breath of air. Suddenly the little leader caught sight of his aunt watching the play, and stopped abruptly.

“Go on, go on,” cried his followers, looking up at the lady and laughing.

She nodded encouragement, but Irvine would not move.

“What is she looking at?" asked he, ungraciously, and moved slowly towards the house.

“Irvie," breathed Miss Harefel, in a persuasive tone; but at the sound of her voice he moved the faster, ran up the steps at the farther end of the terrace, and dashed into an open window.

Ned returned philosophically to the careful carving of a stick, which he had abandoned at his cousin's orders; but Katharine, who had been dancing like a little woodland creature, stood looking after Irvine with a most woe-begone expression. She could not understand why he came and went so suddenly, and was so often cross about nothing.

Though Miss Katharine Adare was an honoured guest that evening, and it was the clear duty of Master Irvine Dale to contribute to her amusement, he left the whole task to the son of the house, and did not come to tea. This was a serious matter. His temper was well known to be odd, but his appetite was invariably good. Mrs Parley, the nurse, had no patience with his vagaries; Miss Susan Harefel declared herself distracted; and Lady Harefel protected herself from alarm by remarking frequently that her nephew had gone to the village with the cowman. He had not gone to the village, nor sought the company of the cowman. When he left his playmates, he ran through the house, out on to the front lawn, and straightway into the shrubbery. He had several dens in the thickest parts of this miniature forest. Pushing his way to one of these, he threw himself down with a sense of relief. He felt deeply ill-used, but did not know why. He wished his aunt Susan would let him alone. She made him cross; and it was wicked to be cross. It was wicked, too, not to love his aunt. He did love his aunt Ellen; but he wanted something more from her. The world seemed a very big, cruel place, and himself a very unfortunate little boy. He derived a gloomy pleasure from his growing hunger. He began to feel cold, and pictured his aunt Ellen's dismay, when she found him dead in the morning. Imagination had gone a little too far. He sat up and looked round nervously. It was already somewhat dark among the bushes, and all the little sounds of leaf and twig were unnaturally loud. He stood up and listened. The thought that his aunts would be frightened by his absence was no longer wholly satisfactory. He felt a glow of sympathy with Lady Harefel, and then a chill again. A dry branch cracked, and the child started and looked quickly round. Then he pushed his way out of the shrubbery, and walked slowly and noiselessly towards the house, with eyes fixed straight before him. Coming near the door, he made a rush, and stood breathless in the lighted hall, just as Miss Partridge, my lady's maid, entered it from the back premises with a jug of hot wine-and-water. Her mistress, who was sleepy, and fancied that she had a chill, had gone comfortably to bed, instead of dressing for dinner; but her somewhat acid Hebe, who thought it the duty of grown persons in their intercourse with children to be always improving the occasion, stopped when she saw the boy, and shook her head at him with portentous solemnity. So

you have come in at last, Master Irvine," she said ; " and time enough, I should think. I do only hope that your poor dear aunt Ellen has not been made dangerously ill by your humours. I hope so, I am sure." And she shook her head again, till the spoon jingled in the tumbler. The child looked at her speechless, with horror in his eyes.

was wicked to be cross. It was wicked, too, not to love his aunt. He did love his aunt Ellen; but he wanted something more from her. The world seemed a very big, cruel place, and himself a very unfortunate little boy. He derived a gloomy pleasure from his growing hunger. He began to feel cold, and pictured his aunt Ellen's dismay, when she found him dead in the morning. Imagination had gone a little too far. He sat up and looked round nervously. It was already somewhat dark among the bushes, and all the little sounds of leaf and twig were unnaturally loud. He stood up

and listened. The thought that his aunts would be frightened by his absence was no longer wholly satisfactory. He felt a glow of sympathy with Lady Harefel, and then a chill again. A dry branch cracked, and the child started and looked quickly round. Then he pushed his way out of the shrubbery, and walked slowly and noiselessly towards the house, with eyes fixed straight before him. Coming near the door, he made a rush, and stood breathless in the lighted hall, just as Miss Partridge, my lady's maid, entered it from the back premises with a jug of hot wine-and-water. Her mistress, who was sleepy, and fancied that she had a chill, had gone comfortably to bed, instead of

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