102 A Menial Struggle.
woman of the house, stands his gun in a corner of the
room, and holds out his hand to Miss Heriot.
" Good-morning," he says, smiling. " It seems late in the
day for that salutation, doesn't it ? But you will remem¬
ber that we did not see you at breakfast."
"No." The tender smile has died from her lips, and
once again the cold, unfriendly glance that seems reserved
for him alone displays itself in her steady eyes. " My
father was not going shooting this morning; I never cai«
to attend an early breakfast unless he is there."
" I can quite understand," says Felix, who is not alto¬
gether displeased by this speech.
"Have you had good sport?" asks'Miss Heriot pre¬
sently, with all the au- of one who feels that something
7nust be said.
" Pretty well. I got separated from the others about
twenty minutes ago, and, seeking them, stumbled on this
cottage." Here he turns to the good woman of the house :
" To tell you the truth," he goes on with a very
courteous friendliness, "I hoped you would give me a
light, as my matches have somehow disappeared."
"Ye're welcome to anything I have, sir," replies the
woman in a low melancholy voice, but with unmistakable
hospitality. The extreme sadness of her look and tone
strikes Felix. She is a handsome woman, with a soft Irish
face and a brogue of the richest quality. Even as he
watches her, struck by something peculiarly woeful in her
expression, that expression changes as if by magic, and
another one of maternal wrath takes its place. Her eyes'
have fallen upon her son and heir nestling in Imogen's
" Patsey! ye thief o' the world, come out o' that!"
exclaims she, indignantly. " Is it to spile the good lady's
fine gown, ye would ? Look at yer muddy feet, ye young
blagguard, an' they lyin' widout a blush agin her ilegant
skirt ! Arrah, where were ye caught at all, that I can't
dhrive a bit o' manners into ye I Come out o' that, I tell
" Oh no! Please, no," intercedes Imogen, earmestly, as
she presses the boy's bonny saucy head against her breast.