A Mental Struggle. 101
dog ?" say some; but who would be a bhd, say T, for at
least nine months out of the twelve ? Poor little wi'etches,
how unhappy they must be to-day ! How terrified by the
invasion of a savage tribe into their quiet territories !
And yet------" she checks herself abruptly and laughs a
little. I ihinlc she was going to say, " And yet what a
capital thing cold grouse isl" when the wickedness of such
a thing occurred to her.
A yard or two more brings her to the cottage where
she would be. Ten minutes suffice for the telling of her
sympathy, and the offering of the contents of the pretty
purse. Alas! they are not enough to redeem Mr.
Dempsey from his trouble. It is a welcome help, but not
the whole sum, and Imogen, pale and sorrowful, sinks
upon a low chair, and ponders dismally upon the people
she may or may not ask to help her and Mrs. Dempsey.
Her charities up to this have been entirely confined to
her own slender resources, and to have to ask for assis¬
tance for her poor is abominable to her. So she grows
pale and silent, and very sad.
Into the midst of this sadness and perplexity comes a
little child, who, creeping cautiously up to her, at last,
emboldened by the lack of prevention, climbs into her
Almost as he finds his way into this happy shelter, a
young man, eager for a light for his pipe, finds his way
to the cottage-door, and from that to the family sitting-
room, where Imogen is sitting with the pretty three-year-
old baby upon her knee.
Imogen! No longer the cold, unapproachable Imogen
of his everyday life, but a tender, lovable Imogen, who is
smiling down at the little boy, whose bare brown feet kick
triumphantly and unforbidden amongst the fashionable
bows and kiltings of her gown.
A tall woman, with dark blue eyes and reddish hair, is
standing by the hearthstone. She is very pale, and her
eyes are red with weeping. These sad eyes are turned on
Imogen with a look in them of unutterable gratitude.
Felix Brown, crossing the threshold, advances nearer to
them, and so attracts notice. He smiles at the sorrowful