&-A A Menial Struggle.
" I have indeed," acknowledges old Dick, still roaring
" WeU, Sandie has made a mistake now; and that's
what I have come to see you about," declares Patricia,
growing suddenlj"- very solemn.
Whereupon Mr. Bohun followed suit. Seating himself
besides her, he takes her hand in his.
" Now, what can I do for j'ou?" he asks comfortably
" Ah, how diffictdt it is to explain ! " returns she pathe¬
tically; " some things come slowly to the hps, and this is
one of them." Here she pauses again, and feels that her
courage is s-wiftly and surely ebbing away from her. " I
am going to ask you something dreadful," she whispers at
last in a tone that is just barely audible to him. " But,"
with trembhng lips and downcast eyes, " you must try
not to think too hardly of me on account of it."
" There is no need to try, my dear," says old Bohun
tenderly. " I couldn't think hardly of your mother's child,
if I tried."
" When I am twenty-four (which won't be a very, very
long time," dismally), " I shall inherit, through some cousin
of my mother's, ,£1,000. I want you to advance me now
£340 of it."
She blushes crimson and hangs down her head.
Old Bohun laughs.
" Is that all ? " asks he. " Why, I thought you were
going to confess to half a dozen murders at least, or, at
all events, to a poisoning, bad as my own contempla ted
one of a moment since. The one you found me out in,
eh '? " Here he chuckles agaiir involuntarily at the remem¬
brance of it; and then, at a second and later memor)',
pulls himself up rather short and looks quite grave.
" I must tell you all about it," says Patricia ; and forth¬
with reveals to him her trouble: Sandie's evil behaviour;
her father's ignorance of it, and his inability to find even
so small a sum of ready money just now; and her own
determination to come over to him, as the one person hkely
to help her in her perplexity.
When she has finished, she looks up wistfully at him
out of her beautiful earnest eyes.