1'- A Mentcd Strugejle,
"Altogether different," said Lady Olivia, a little vehe¬
mently. " And I am not thinking of Patricia now; I am
thinking of you. As for your never marrying, that is out
of the question. I do not believe it. It is only that you
have not seen him yet. An opportunity should be afforded
you. See how well Constance did in her first season."
" Excellently well; yet I would not have married Harry
for all the world," declared Imogen decidedly, if gently.
" He is kind and desirable in many ways, I know; but
there are so many Harrys in the world. Besides, if I am
to be married, why I am; and I daresay he will condescend
to come even so far as this for me. Indeed, dearest, it will
be wiser to stay at home for this one year at least."
Lady Olivia gave in finally to this steady pleading, and
the family ,sta\'ed at home all May and June, instead of
spreading its wings towards smoky town, as was its wont.
Sir Hugh fretted and fumed over the decision a good deal
ft first, and even trie;l to insist upon their going, oflering
to sell all manner of impracticable things to enable them
to do so ; but Imogen was firm, and after a while the
question was dropped. Sir Hugh, however, happening to
go up to town for a day or two towards the close of the
season, brought back to Imogen a very handsome bracelet,
which she understood to represent a rewaid for valour, and
To follow iqi their lately begun economy the Heriots
determined upon spending a quiet .autumn and winter at
honie, to be eiilivcne<l only by a hunting lunch or two.
With Spartan heroism they had even made up tlieir minds
to leave empty all the guest-cliambcrs (that up to this had
never known a moment in whit-li they might grow danip),
wdien there descended upon them lil:e a bombshell that
unwelcome letter from old Brown. It was a letter not to
be cast aside or treated lightly. It was full of kindly
memories and friendly reminiscences. Sir Hugh i,'rew
warmer at bea,rt as he read it, and finally it was decided
that old Brown and his family should be aflectionately
invited to The Chevies.
This letter, innocent as it was, put a full stop to all their
virtuous deshes and designs for retrenchment, and was