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(All Rights Reserved.) LAZARUS IN LONDON. By F. W. ROBINSON, Author of "Grandmother's Money" "Owpn, a Waif"; Mattie, a Stray The Black Speck"; No Church," &c. BOOK TIlE NIIST.âCONTINUED. THE SHOP IN SOHO. CHAPTER XXIX. RttCOMMKVDKD A CHANGE. So the romance died out between Hugh Mack- ness and my sister Ella, and existence without it seemed very common-place, and sordid and mono- tonous, at least. I think it did, for the book of our life in Soho was n"t a hot-pressed, gilt-edged Volume of pleasant, facts and fancies. Fact was a hard and unmalleable quality hero, and there was no fancy in Fisher-street,âonly sharp competition, find the cruel winter coming when bread would be dear, and coals would rise in price, and the haber- dashery trade be dreadfully slack. Without our sUrplice Work, which was tolerably regular, we three girls iriglit have starved with it, there was a struggle and much pinching to make both ends meet, and withalâand thanks to Lydia's quiet tactâa fair front to present to our friends, and no one guessing th"t we were at times hard driven. Looking nt it philosophically, perhaps it was as well that there were times when we had to face our difficulties together-well for Ella there was not too much opportunity for brooding over the wrongs, the way she had been served," the loss of the lover who had exchanged Ella for the heiress. Tite's Academy did not see us that season there were no shillings to spare, and neither had Ella. nor I any inclination to go. "They will ask me where my Mr. Barton is," said EHa they will question me all round, and I could not face them," she added, with a shudder, if I could afford the money. You don't care to go, I know." u How do you know ? That. Ben talked you out of it long ago." Perhaps that Ben' was right, after all," I replied. And it was not exactly the place for us, she added, nor the men exact ly i he tit and proper persons to meet. Well, he was right. I daresay I should have been the better womanâmore con- tented with that station to which it has pleased iod to call me." she said mockingly, "if 1 had never gone thereânever seen Am." Ella did not evade the one subject which had ulteied lid life and stripped the tinsel from it. She would speak of Hugh Mackness defiantly as it, were, to prove that it gave her no pain to aliude to the old love and to the past life. She was a strong little woman with It all, and if herspirits werê not so high as they used to be in the old dancing days, she did not fret over her disappointment. She faced her position bravely, or was a better actress than I tl lugltt she would be. Now and then in the night a deep sigh would quiver through the roomâ when she thought I was asleep, and not likely to be listeningâand it touched my heart to hear it. and set me more surely against the man who had cast this shadow on her. But it was only in chance moments like these that I thought she had not lived him down. Still the times were early, and never having thoroughtygot my strength back I waf more ner- vous than 1 should have been under other circum- stances. I had not become settled, the shock ot the two early days in November was still with me; I seemed to be waiting for something, and in dread of something. I had not forgotten the murder of Richard Mackness, as all tht) world had seemed to have forgotten it, ere the Christmas was upon us it was before me in my waking hours.it haunted my dreams wherein my father and Isaac Garboush were two spectral figures flitting to and fro, down dusky corridors and through doors, on the glass of which was written COUNTING HOUSE, and inro that counting house where the deed was done. The end of it would come in time, I thoughtâand the curtain was not down for good. The horror of it all, and the fear of what might come in its own miserable time, perhaps, helped to keep m6 grave and weak. 1 was waiting for the unexpectedâ which always comes, they say! And whilst 1 waited, there were those who watched me anxiously as if I were a subject of perplexity to them, as though I were a delicate girl whose health it was necessary to study, aa though I had not been a healthy and strong young woman always. Of course Ben Wellmore put himself out on my account, and made himself excessively trouble- some and inquisitive, pretending all the while to ignore Ihe f/tct of being so, and inventing the most ridiculous stories to account for his interest. I have reason to believe that he postponed his journey to America for some weeks in conse- quence; he was not going in such cold weal h,-r and with the wind blowing tiko that, he said, oh, noâand then he had promised his mother not to start till it was a tine day, he told me, very gravely. At this I Raid plainly that he must tak- me "forafoo) to talk like that," when he an swered, sharply tooâ Well, I'm not going till you're looking better, and that's the long and the short of it I Oh, really « YAs-oh; really!" he repeated. Are they waiting for you over there all this while ? I asked. Are who waiting?" he inquired. u Somebody's waiting for you in Amfiricaâ-some- body's sent for you, I suppose?" I replied. "Lord bless you, no," he laughed out. Nobody is anxious about my coming, or wondering what keeps me away. Nobody expects meâI shan't be even interviewed. What are you going for? I inquired. "I'm going to settle down there I cannot account for a sinking sensation that came on just then but I felt very much like an eight-day clock whose pendulum had suddenly slipped down about a quarter of a yard. I had had no breakfast that morning I remembered, and rfobody had been able to persuade ma to eat any- thing, and Lydia and Klla had harassed me so much with slices of dry toast andâugh !âhalf a bloater, that! could have made faces at themâ hence, I was naturally a little faint. But lest he should think I was likely to be faint about him or his projects I said quite brisklyâ "There are more chances in the New World than in the Old. I think you are wise." Yea, I think I am," he replied, complacently. I am going to try my luck, at all events." I hope you will succeed." Thankee," he replied, I hope I shall." Ho did not seem pleased to receive my congratu- lations; on the contrary, a deep wrinkle cut into and across his forehead as he looked at me. He was standing at the parlour door, and I was sitting in the easy chair by tho fire, too tiredâvery un- pleasantly too tiredâto work that morning. though I had a. surplice in my lap for appearance sake, and was making believe a hit. Ella was in the shop, and Lydia had gone marketing in Little Earl-street with an eye to dinner. Hen would have wasted all the morning if I had let him. Nothing pleased him more just at that time than to block up the whole doorway, and waste his time talking to me, unt,ill told him he had b f ter go to his work, and that 1 was sorry to see he A'as getting lazy in his old age. Then he would, as a rule, take his departure upstairs. To-day he was so extra talkative that I said at lastâ Haven't you any work to do to-day ?" "Can't say I have," he replied, "else 1 shouldn't be standing here," which was a direct story. "Is trade bad with you?" I inquired. "Well," he answered, hesitatingly, I don't like taking any long jobs, ns I may start off at any moment When the weather clears up," 1 broke in. Yesâexactly so." he replied, and small johs are not always to be had for the asking. You Mf electricity is like a little bahy at present, and wants nursing and pampering and trying on all kinds of experiments to see what agiees with it best. And it sucks up more ready cash in experi- ments than I care to disperse just now, with my passage-money and my outfit on my ulÃod:) Yes," I said. Do you. likH America P,¡ I don't know. I've never thought about it ?" Haven't you, though ?" Hut I wouldn't leave my own native land for all the world," I said. What I Not leave this beastly neighbourhood!" he exclaimed. Beastly or not, it's my home isn't it ? You have no right "No, I haven't," he said very rapidly, "and I don't mean beastly, of course, It's a very nice placeâI like it luyself-I live in it-I wouldn't live any where else in Kngl-nd, but. you ought to be able to do better, you three girfsâto get into a bigger business, or a different bU<lllletls, 01 some- thing-the place doesn't a^ree with you, that's what I mean." Yes, it does." "Ah You don't know anything about that just now. You want a sea voyage,' or a change of that sort to bring you round, Miss Maudâto make you like yourself again -old Edmistoun says 80-1 have been talking to himâhad a lot of talk » Pity you had not something better to talk about. I am sure, Mr. Weilmore," 1 said with dignity. "Hewasstandmg at his door," Ben explained, "and I thought I'd ask himâI mean, I thought I'd tell him that you weren't getting on quite as wet! as might have been expected, after a 11 the half-crowns he had pocketedâand he said you wanted a change of air. That was all." Oh, that was all," I said, ironically. Wanted bracing. And if there's a bracing place in all the world it's Woking wavâwhere my old mother livesâwonderfully bracing. And Miss Lydia says she'd be glad if you'd go, and so does Ella. Don't you ? he said, turning to my sister. Yes, 1 do," answered Eila, very positively. Oh I you've all been talking of this?" "Yes." "When?" "When you went upstairs early last night," Ben confessed. I happened just to mention ii-and 1 wrote to mother about it too. She'd be very glad to have you, I'm sure. She's an amiable old lady, and fond of societyâyoung people's societyâand I want her to see you, and all that, you know. And of course you'll hear from her, and 1 hope you'll go-I do really hope you'll go, Miss Maud, for a week or so. Pray do." I'm not asked yet." "But And I could not go, if I were asked. I wouldn't think of it." There, don't go making up your mind before you have had a minut.e to consider it," he cried, warmly; that's like you, alwuy-n in such a hurry to say this and that., without thinking the matter over seriously. You will go, I hopeâyou won't disappoint the old ladyâshe's tha dearest old woman in the world, upon my soul, she is! and you'd like Woking. It's a jolly place. Tuere's a cemetery, and a prison, and a madhouse or two, but they all keep themselves very nice and quiet, and no one is obliged to run after thein, of course." What are you saying. Hen ?" I said. And the walks and drives are downright pretty, you know, and then there's the roltll to Guildford, and the Hermitage Wood. and the Silent Pool, and the common, and a breeze strong enough to blow your head off. Do think it over," he added with strange earnestness, 1 want you to get well so bad It Then he walked out of the shop into Fisher- street, afraid of hearing me say again that 1 had made up my mind mt to go. And perhaps I haa then, being a little surprised at this conspiracy against me, or for meâthis secret attempt to get me out of Soho into the house of a stranger whom I had not seen in my life, into the fresh air and green fields lying beyond the mighty London where my life was cast, and was shrivelling up a little. It was all a surprise; but I thought it overâ talked it over presently with Ella and Lydia, both persistent, both veiy pressing that 1 should accept an invitation which had not yet arrived, both so certain it would do me a great deal of good, and make them so happy when 1 came home to them again all the stronger, better, brighter for my visit. Ella was more persevering in her entreaties than even Lydia, she who I knew never agreed with her half-sister long. "You two would fet quarrelling," I said to her in my room that night, and I should not be at home to play peacemaker." :-ohe shaH have it all her own way till you come back again. "Honour?" Honour bright," said Ella. "But Ben's mother! What do I know of Ben's mother!" "She's a good soul," answered Ella. "I only wonder she has not asked some of us before. And the fowl", and eggs, and butter she has teen FlAnd- ing us for the last three months like a warm- hearted old creature that she is." "Yes." I said, she must be very kind." And well off, too, in her little way, I daresay." I daresay she is." Weil, go then." I have often thought I should like to see Ben's mother," I said. but to billet one'. self upon her âat her expUlse-is quite another tiling.* M We might arrange about the expense, or make some return presently," said Ella. What return?" Well, I don't know exactly. Ask her back to Fisher-street after Ben has gone to America, and take her to the British Museum," said Ella. I laughed, but did not say again very positively that I would not go. I would wait and see what kind of invitation it was like, whether it was very hearty mid its writer wanted me to come, or had been pressed by her big son to ask me to come. I should know by the style of the epistle. Wonder- ful foreknowledge of most of us is to know when we are wanted Wonderful mess that writer makes of it tooâclever as he thinks himself!âwhen he asks any poor soul out of compliment. And two letteisâboth country lettera-ca.me to int by the morrow's first post. Here they are without commentâ From Mrs. Wellmore, Woodbine Cottage, Woking. Nov. 11th,â13â, MY DEAB "4.UD PROTHBROB, My SOli tells me you are ailing and weak; pray come to my quiet little cottage and get well. I should so like 10 see you. 1 shall lit! very if you will come, and if an old WOIIIHD'S ways will not trouble you too much. 1 6.ltvect you. Your friend, REBECCA. WKIXMORK. From William Protheroe, Bath Hotel, Bournemouth. N0v,11t.h,-18- My DEARKST CHILD, Lyilia writes 1.0 me that she thinks it is my imperative "uty to a;-k you to spend a few days here, and that the Seli air woul he hi^h'y htlllelicial in your present state of lieah h. f have IH, reason to be reminded of my duty -imperallve tlrtll.h"rwlse-uy olle who ls ollly allied to 10" uy m.miage, and who should not be tilt? first to assert any claim upon lIIe wblch she does not legally possess. 1 hav" & right to be treated with courtesy and respectâas 1 have always treated her, as 1 treated her mother till the last moment of her decease, as Lydia knows, U you all kllow. I am very sorry you have been Indisposed, alld 1 am only grieved thAt my mealls do not allow of my offering anyone even my favourite child-a boll- day at my expanse at present. I wish tiley iJid. 1 have not cum" illto illY legacy; I have only had a paliry fifty pounds on IlCCOUllt, I have 110 ready money, or scarcely all." ready money, now, and am here on sufferance till It pleases lhe 6XtlCul",rs to tile estate to adviince me the amount to which I am legally entitled, I call110L get. aw",) from this place, which is lowering to the system unless olle is weak at the chest, which let. us all thank Q- is not the case with me and 1 think 'he delay ill 1Ilakill¡( another advanceâ1 do not want it JkXL alld cruel. I am recommended Briehton by a piiyjlcian whom [ have consulted here. Tell Mr. Mllek "e5S whell you see him tlHtt this place does not agree wilh me. The chemists' shops are numerous, and delJresslllg to II. sensitive nature like my own, and peuple wil,1t hhlck things ovel. their mouths give me Ii tendency tu qualmishness. Nevertheless I alII think- ⢠u^ of yon very much. Whan I am at Brighton, and when I really fe-l as if I were my own master and there is & little spare cash to disburse, you will be the first I shall eonsi ierâthe first whom I shall call upon to come and allure the fresh air with me. I suffer from dreadful headaehes you will be sorry to hear, and the visitore at the hotel 1 c>tllnot uear, Tney are 1J0t of my c(lI.ssln RnV way-they are terribly mixed. Please post me early copies of the Mouey Market Review, The Hullionist, and the. Mincmg Lane Machine by Friday's cnuiury mail, and I willsettle with you for the whole amount immediately I return t,.> town. Those papers are notin demand here, people thillklllg of lJothillg but their coughs. Mean- while with love to you all. Believe Ole, Your a.ffect.ionate father, WlIAIAM PBOXHKKOZ. CHAPTER XXX: PERPLEXKD. I answered one of my letters the following day, nnd the second letter I took 24 hours to consider before committing myself to the responsibility of II. rcply. To my father I, first, gave the informa- tion that 1 had not seen Mr. Hugh Mackness for some time, and was not likely to see him again. Secondly, that I had received an invitation into the country from Mrs. Wellmore, of Woking. And, thirdly, that after a conference with Lydia, it had been found too great a strain upon our present resources to send him the three papers weekly which he required, and which Lydia thought had better be ordered by Mr. Protheroe of a local book- seller. We were always so very much pressed towards Christmas time, and the business in Fisher-street that year was not, prospering, indeed was abso- lutely going down hill with the hard times which had come to many of its inhabitants; and Lydia point-blank refused to send the newspapers, Klla had objected to this, "as if a shilling or so a week were going to ruin us," she said. It might," said Lvclia so gravely that I feared she was keeping something backâsome bad news of the tllkillgS," or of the tuxes, or of a trouble in saving up week by week for the rent, which the ugent would call for-like a fhish of lighl,ning-on the very dav iI, was due, like a hard-hearted mon- ster as he WIlS, for all his smiles and smirks. "Isâis anything wrong?" I asked, nervously, of Lydia. No. no, Maud," Lydia hastened to say; "but we must be careful for a time, with the trade going away from us; and there are three of us to keep, and we must have some new stock for Christmas we«k. And father can buy his own newspapers surely ?" I am not doing my share of work," I said, and yet you want ma to go into the country." ,1 For a week or two very much indeed," said Lydia. There will be one less to feed," was my rueful answer. There will be one of us, at least, to get well and Strong," said Lydia. One of us cried Ella; what do you mean V" Is not Maud one of us ?" asked Lydia, sharply, and wp did not put any more questions to her, although in doubt as to her meaning. The following day, having well considered my next step, I accepted the invitation of Mrs. Well- more, much to everybody's delight, especially that of Ken, who I am almost sure danced in his ro £ »i thai evenins;, he shook the house so violently. And et he was not coming, tooâthat was an under- stood thing between us. I had told him very gmvely liefore giving him my letter to his mother to post,, I was not, gOing toO be harassed by his lookinu in, and running down at all times and seasons," and he said with alacrity, "Certainly not. You and the old lady will be all to your- selves. It is not likely you want me to bother you." Of course not." I'll just show you the way down though, and introduce you to the old lady, and make matters a little squnre at Woodbine Cottage." Hut » An<1 t'n coine back by the last train, upon my word I will," he added, not allowing me to finish my sentence;" you can't travel by yourself all that way." It's only half-an-houfs railway journey." And you won't travel by yourself," he added, with rather more firmness than he was in the habit of exhibiting to me. Very well," I said. I was rather glad he was going. It would re- lieve me from the embarrassment of meeting a perfect stranger such as Mrs. Wellmore was, after all, and he could show me the way to his mother's cottage and make himself generally useful. And two or three days afterwardsâand a very dull, fogtry day it wlIs-l bade Lydia and Ella good bye, and being still weak and childish in my way, â¢shed a few tears at parting with them,as though I were going away for a long time. They kept bright faces for me, although I could read a little story behind Klla's fatewellsmile. Come back well and strong," cried Ella, just as you were beforeâbefore lather got rich, she added drily. I Take care of her, Mr. Wellmore," were the last word" I heard Lydia MV. Trust me for that," said Ben. Then we went, down Fisher-street together, and Mrs. Rond rushed to the door to look after us, as in duty bound. "fjoing into the country, I hear," she said, and Mr. Wellmore, too Not on your honeymoon, is it?" "Oh! noânothing of the sort," I answered. "She's going to my mother's," explained Ben, shortly, t/ien we were out of Mrs. Bond's range. Hut we were not free from all inquiriesâfrom people who asked embarrassing questions and communicated bad news. Sal Garboush loomed out of the fog, and was I upon us before we were aware. She stood block- ing up the pavement, a tall, gaunt woman, who seemed to have got thinner since I had seen her a few days ago followed by a small army of boys and girls who were making fun of her style of progression, which had been a trifle vacillating, and which she had cut short every twenty yards to stop and harangue her tormentors, ana call them terribly had names. She was sober enough this morning, and, in lieu of a bonnet, had drawn her check shawl over her head and ears, and was c'utchinj it under her square double chin. There was an odd, ar.ive look on her broad face, and she did not break into smiles like a clown, as she generally did upon meeting anybody from home. I here was a seriousness about her which was almost refreshing at first sight. H"llo," sue said in a deep bass, "you and him together. 1 hat's sumfink like. And how are you both ?" We are pretty well, thank you, Sal," answered Hen;" whitt's the matter with you this morning?" The old chap's done it at last, shot if he ain't," said Sal. Done it ( What has he done ? He's gone and caught the bloomin' roomatics awfulâand can't set up this morning," said Miss Garboush he s like a hubbyâwon't moveâwon't do anything to shake hisatilt together." J'm very sorry," I said, he was all right last night." That's the wust of himâhe takes you sudden like, and puts all your day's 'rangements out." Have you had the doctor? "TIle parish cove looked in fer arf a minitâjest put his silly head round the door, and for two pins .<1 shut it in," said Sal," and wot, do yer think he says ? I hope not bad news." He says he mussen't be moved,and he shouldn't wonder if he don't go off." Go off Hook it altogether. That's a pooty nice mess, ain't iI P" Wnat are vou doing for him?" '«sked Ben. â¢â¢ Wot clln fdo?" said Sal helplessly-. Eh ?'' said Ben, not hard up again ?" Not a penny, Mr. Wellmore, not a penny, Miss Mud-and that's tho blessed truth. I daresay that's Elumlink to do with his complaint, for he didn't get anythink to eat yesterday." Nor you ?" "Oh! "10 used to itâIt don't matter to me," said Sal, I can stand a heap." Why didn't he tell us last flight P" I asked. "Oh! catch him saying a word to you lot t That't hisrubbitching prideâperhaps hers right," she added, but you might have had a bone or two," "Sally," said Ben, after fumbling in his pocket, u here's an odd shillingâget- the old man some- thing, and tell him I'll come round iateto-aight and see how he is." "Yerwilljl" Yes." I know if yer says yer will, Ver will," remarked Satty then yer ain't goin' to be married, you two, this morning'?" And Sal gave one of her broadest grins at the suggestion. Not this morning. Sal," said Ben;44 too foggy." 1 did not like this light way of treating the posi- tion, and might have said sometMbg severe to one or another of them, u 6 .1 had not ioiestalled me by a laugh which roused the whole street, and brought Mr. Perkins, the young man in the same line of business as ourselves-the" alarming sacri- fice opposition monsterâto his shop door to see what was the matter over the way. Wouldn't be able to see which was which," said Sal. Ah, well, have the sun on the kepple o'! ya, when you two git spliced. It's wot should be, and I'll lose a day's work but wot I'll see the weddin'; and I'll have a drink that night if I never had one afore. Yer seeâyer ony wait an' |see! "I believe, Sally, you've been drinking already, or you'd never go on like this," I said, half re-1 proachfullv, half indignantly. I ain't, on my soul and body, not a dram,' said Sally, with gravity; not the ghost o' a chanceâ no sich luck. Is this all to the old cove's account, Mr. Wellmore?" she added, looking closely at the shilling in her hand. Yea, every penny of it. Don't forget." He's to have a loat from the perish when I go round for it" yer know ? He won't want no more bread." That is all for the old man," said Ben, with emphasis. Werry wellâwho's a goin' to sneak it? On'y I'm a bit upset, and wants keepin' together with a drop of sumfink." Get some coffee." Sal tossed up her head and said, with withering contemptâ "Muckery!" We were thinking of proceeding on our way, but as we made a step forward so did Miss Garboush. She had evidently not done with us. Ben glanced at me askance and smiled, and Sally Garboush, very watchful as it proved, said very quickly, and almost resentfullyâ What are yer larfin' at ? I was not laughing," responded Ben, politely I was about to tell Miss Protheroe we should be late for the train if we did not step out a little faster. Good day; look to the old father, Salâ don't forget him." I'll put the sHutters up to-night for yer, Miss Mud." "Thank you, Sallv." And yer won't forgit to see the old cove when yer comes back to-night?"she said again, with a steady stare in her great dark eyes at my com- panion. No. I have said I won't forget." I'm a thinkin' said Sal, biting her finger nails as if in some perplexity, that I'd go and see him now if I was you." Now ? repeated Ben. "He's in a queer way, yer know. He mayn't live till yer get back if the fog gets on his chist and he begins to bark. Lor, how he does go it then! And," added Sal, "he wants to see yer werry bad, t'm sure. Why didn't you say so before?" asked Ben. "I thought the night 'd do; but there, if yer'll go now, I'd be glad." Have you been waiting in Fisher-street to tell me this ? asked Ben, curiously. WeIl-yes-I 'ave," confessed Miss Garboush. Ben stemed to consider this communication with grave attentionânot to regard it carelessly, or as the passing fancy of an eccentric woman. His manner certainly surprised me; there came a sud- den shadow to his face, or I readfacea badly. Maud," he said, I should like to see old Isaac for a minute, if you don't mind very much. The court is only a few steps back. and he may want to say something. He may be going to die," he added, in a lower voice, as though fearful of dis- tressing the feelings of the daughter who, after all, had said the same thing. I will go with you," I said quickly, "I should like to see him too." « Noâthe place is not fit for you," he replied. I know what it is like. 1 have been amongst them with Lydia before now when anyone has been very ill." Yes, yes; but you were strong then; and this may be something catching." Rheumatics! And he may have something to say to me alone. If you will walk quietly down the street it will be better." I'll see to her," Sal said, to my dismay, till yer come back ag'in. We'll go on slow down 'ere, and wait opposite the Regentâif yer don't mind, Miss Mudâif I'm 'spectable enough for yer, now yer've got a new dress on," she added, with a little envy of my new merino. "The evening will do, I daresay, Maud," said Ben, irresolutely, and reading my objections pretty correctly, unlessâunlessâthere is any particular reason that he has for seeing me." Is that likely ?'' Ben hesitated, then he said franklyâ "Yes. It is very possible." Pray, see him then I said. There is no hurry for this particular train. I will go back home and wait for you." "No. There is another train in half an hour. Don't, go back. Walk slowly on, Maudâplease/' Very well." I was a trifle bewildered, but the impression was deepening upon me that it was better he should go, and go alone-that it was necessary even. Some of myoId fears seemed to rise before me, even from the mist about lie streets, and there was a vague suspicion on my mind that I was connected with this new departure from the even tenour of my way. Ben turned back, and at once strode away very quickly, and I went towards the end of Fisher- streetâwith the tall woman by my side as guide, philosopher, friend, protector, or whatever I might like to consider her. The fog seemed to deepen suddenly in Fisher-street, and the men and women flitting by to become shadowy and impalpable figures after Ben Wellmore had gone. They were lighting the gas in the shop-windows here and there too, and unearthly coughs were sounding out of the gathering gloom. It's a rum day for the country," Sal Garboush said. Yes; but I shall be out of the fog there." "I know it's bright and green," commented Sal, though I on'y seed it once when I was a gal. I don't think I should hke it a bit now." Why not ? Give me the streets at any timeâthe life in 'em, and the row in 'em," she answered almost fiercely; "I should be a ravin' mad un' without sumfink to keep .me goin'âI can't bear bein' still, Miss Mud. I've too much sperrits, and too much fun in me to muddle about dead and alive fields." Yes," I said, for the want of a better reply at the moment. Give me plenty to do and all over the place," she continued. Not nussin' the old gaffer though, that gives me the creeps orfulâI can't abide that job. When he's crusty and obstinit, and won't eat and drink, and keeps a korfing and a korfing, I allers want to smash him." -1 think you ought to be buying something for him now." « In a minnit or twoâthere's no 'urry, and Mr. Welhnore left me in eharge of yer. And I ain't a goin' to lose sight o' yer, till ho comes back. Not me!" He is an old friend of yours, Sally ?" Yesâhe is," she answered, and there was a sudden brightness in her face as she spoke, and a dispersion of the sullen cloud that had settled upon her broad countenance some time sinceâ"nun better in this 'ere world than himâand nun so good as ever I cum across, or ever shall if I live till Thooselum!" "You must not make him vain by telling him so, Sally," I said, laughing a little at this sudden panegyric. It won't spile him." was Sal's confident reply, he's too good for this worldâhe won't live, yer know, werry long. They'll want him where the good 'uns are all in the lump togetherâa singin' hymns and thingsâwhere the likes o' me '11 never have a chance o' goin', and don't want to, either!" "Sally I" 1 exclaimed. "I axes pardin," she said with a new humility, I don't orfen get on religUa toe-pics, but when I do I thinks of Mister Welhnoreâallers o' him." "I had no idea he was so great a' favourite of yours," I remarked wonderingly. Yes, he is. He doesn't look down on usâhe doesn't put on airs in talkin' to usâhe 'elp8 usâ he's one o' us, without the bad that's in usâand he takes our part when we're much druv' He was here long afore you came," she went on with ex- citement, "and oh! the good he's done! Not to meâno one can do me no good!âbut he's stood by me at a pinch, and that's like a gen'elman, and knowing I'm past prayin> for. Yer don't twig." "I do not understand," I said, very much amazed. And yer never will. Only understan' thisâthat it's for his sake and 'cos he likes you gals that the eaffer and I likes the lot o' yer too, and will allers do our best for jer. And if he's fond o' yer, Miss Mud. why you're a lucky one, that's all." Why, Sally," I said, endeavouring to give a lighter turn to the discourse," you must be in love with him yourself to talk like this!" I don't know nuffink about luv," said Sal, thnughtfuXy don't think there is sich a thing outside of a thrayter; but I'd rather drop down dead here in this blessed gutter than any harm should ever cum to him." The woman's manner struck me into silence. It was strange and new, and yet when she was sober Sally Garboush was always strange. "Not quite right, poor Sal!" I had heard Ella say more than once, as if in extenuation for her es- capades, her frivolities, her deep drinks at the Feathers. And she did not seem quite right that morning as we stood in the streets waiting for Bon Wellmore. He did not keep us waiting long. He was soon at our side, and as he approached us I saw he was looking very grave and stern. (To be continued.) =



.. .--------GHOSTS AND GHOST…