2 A Mental Strwj.jle,
smiling, "and some of them have memories. This one has.
And when he expresses a wish to come and see me. ar.d
make my wife's acquaintance, what can I do but write and
say how welcome he and his will bo I "
"What, indeed!"'assents Lady Olivia, her soft mouth
widening into an answering smile to his. '• But just now
it will be inconvenient, and a teriible bore into the bargain.
How they are to be amused is more than I can tell you;
the neighbourhood is so empty, and wo ourselves-------She
pauses, and her smile dies into a deep regret. " There is a
son, is there not, and a daughter i'' She lifts her eyes to
his and sighs faintly as she says this. The sigh belongs,
however, to the pause.
'' A son and a daito-hter: ves. As to amusin<: them, the
former will hunt, I supposo, and probably ruin one of my
best hunters before the expiration of liis visit: and the
girl—oh ' as for the girl. I should think she will do very
well," says Sir Hugh, cavalierly. '• Imogen will see to that."
'• Ah ! yes," says the mother ; but Imogen's pale, aris¬
tocratic, disdainful face rises before her as she savs it, and
she calctilates to a nicety the amount of cold courtesy that
will be accorded by her to these unwelcome guo.sts. " What
is their name?" she inquires, i-ather faintly, '• Perliaps,
after all, if the name is good, people will not ask questions ;
and some of those unpleasant people have been known t j
possess in a marvellous manner names of the most liigh
" Brown," returns Sir Hugh with distinct abasenuMit.
" Brown 1 " Her heart dies within her. '• With an e ? "
she asks weakly. It is her last hope, but oven this is not
to be gratified.
" I don't know—I suppose not—I dare s;vv. Yes,'
stammers Sir Hugh, in such confusion that she feels
naught left to her but despair and •'Brown !"
There is a deep and eloquent silence for quite a minute
"How did he make his money?" she asks miserabh'.
Even as she puts to him this inquiry, she beijins to think
with dismay of what the ^^■hole country-side will sav of
them—the Heriots—who had been up to this so carefully