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A Child of the Glens by Edward Newenham Hoare

McAravey had been much worse all Saturday


Almost

immediately she fell off into a broken and uneasy sleep, while Elsie and her friends whispered together at the door.

"We shall gee you again the day after to-morrow, Sunday," said Lady Eleanor, as they prepared to start. "We are going to Ashleigh Church, and will lunch at Mr. Smith's--he says you always stay for Sunday-school."

"Yes," said Elsie, "that is very nice, and I'll be sure to be out--unless gran is too bad," she added, anxiously glancing towards the bed.

Sunday came, and there was quite an excitement at Ashleigh Church when the clumsy hired carriage from Ballycastle drove up, and the two ladies appeared.

The Rev. Cooper Smith, who had been popping his head out of the vestry door off and on for the last ten minutes, was in readiness to receive his guests, and then retired to have as much time as possible for a last look at the specially prepared sermon. Mrs. Cooper Smith was too anxious about the lunch to go to church, but all the rest of the family were assembled in full force. Elsie, however, did not put in an appearance, and the absence of her fine voice left a sad gap in the somewhat too elaborate service that had been, got up for the occasion.

After service was over the clergyman took his guests to see poor Elsie Damer's grave. Lady Eleanor suggested that something should be added to the

inscription, setting forth the way in which the name had been discovered. How this should be done was the subject of conversation during the walk to the rectory. There they found Elsie just arrived. Mrs. McAravey had been much worse all Saturday, and Elsie could not get away in time for church. She had only come now because the dying woman had expressed a wish to see Mr. Smith. This news cast a shadow over the party. Elsie remained for luncheon, on Mr. Smith's promising to be ready to start immediately after, when the returning carriage could bring them a considerable distance on the way, dropping them at a point not more than two miles from Tor Bay.

"I must say good-bye now," said Lady Eleanor, drawing Elsie aside as they left the dining-room; "I cannot tell you how glad we are to have found you, and to have found you so like your dear mother too. It is too bad papa and mamma cannot see you, as we must leave to-morrow; but we shall meet again soon."

"I do not know about that," replied poor Elsie, almost breaking down.

"My dear child, you do not think we are going to let you be lost again! And this is what I want to say to you, Elsie, dear: will you promise to come over to us when--I mean if anything happens to Mrs. McAravey?--she cannot live long, poor old body."

"Oh, you are too kind!" cried Elsie, fairly bursting into tears, and hiding her face on her new friend's shoulder--"you are too kind; but how can I promise? It sometimes seems my duty to stay here."

Eleanor More was a true woman, and so--though surprised at this sudden outbreak--she lifted the girl's head between her hands, and kissing her forehead, said, "There, Elsie, child, don't fret, I will not press you now. God will show you your duty, and make your way plain before you. They are coming now, and the carriage is at the door."

CONCLUSION.

The summer had waned away; the autumn tints were already on the trees, and the light of the September afternoon was growing feeble and uncertain, as a dainty little figure scrambled out of the low carriage that had drawn up before the neatest and most ideal of English cottage homes. Lady Eleanor More stood at the garden wicket to receive her friend, and behind her in the doorway was to be seen a tidy, white-capped little old woman.


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