230 A Menial Struggle.
It Is plain her coming has been heard, because Imogen
has sprung from the bed, and now I'emains mute by the
side of it, with pretty dishevelled hair and anguished eyes
that are full of a subtle defiance. She has clasped her
hands together, and it seems to the mother, trembling on
the threshold, that the beautiful face has grown suddenly
aged and lined by passionate care. Lady Olivia stretches
jrrt her arms to her.
" Imogen, come to me ! " she cries aloud; " come ! Am
I not your mother ? "
There is a minute's pause, and then the girl's sad face
changes. The defiance elies from it; and all at once she
runs to Lady Olivia, and twines her arms round her, and
hides her mournful eyes upon her breast, and " Oh,
mother ! mother ! mother ' " moans she, through her sad
And ■with the morning light comes the knowledge that
after all the sacrifice was needless ! It brings a letter from
Lady Edgerton's solicitor, containing the news of the old
laely's sudden demise at her mansion in Grosvenor Square,
and states further that by her wdll she had bequeathed to
her " well-beloved grand-niece, Imogen Heriot," all that of
which she died possessed, amounting in toto to about one
hundred thousand j)ound31