" Sure, care's an enemy to life."
" I am slain by a fair, cruel maid."
" It is all over," she says dejectedly. " It appears those
people must be asked."
" I never heard of anything so unreasonable," declares
Miss Heriot, laying down her pencil and sinking into a
chair opposite to her mother with quite a stricken air.
" It is perfectly indecent, their asking themselves here.
Papa should not encourage them. He is very weak on
" Not so weak as tender-hearted," corrects Lady Olivia
loyally. "And, of course, I can see how there would be a
diificulty in refusing to receive an—an old friend."
" Friend! AVhat friendship could there be between
papa and a cotton-spinner ? The idea is absurd. Because
one happens to have been at a public school with someone,
is that a reason why the somer-no .siiall hang himself round
one's neck all one's days 1 Time .should have shown this
man the difference between him and a Heriot. But one
never knows what to expect from people of that class.
By-the-bye, how many of them are there?"
"Four—father and moth.jVj one son. and a daughter."
"Ah! so few 1" says Imogen, with mild sarcasm.
"Few? Do you think four few?" asks Lady Olivi.a,
opening her eyes. Never in ner life, dear soul, did she
understand anything that wasn't put before her in the
ver}- plainest print.
"Well, there might certainly have been more of them,"
returns Imogen demurely. " There might have been three