"Is it a cold you have taken?" asked Charles, bringing a chair to the corner of the hearth.
"I suppose so. A fresh cold. You might have heard me breathing yesterday over the way. The doctor kept me in bed. He wanted to keep me there to-day also; but to have to lie in that back-room is so wretchedly dull. Poke up the fire, will you, please, and make a blaze."
With every word he spoke, his breath seemed laboured. His voice was hollow. Now he had a fit of coughing; and the cough sounded as hollow as the voice had done.
Peter came in, welcomed Charles boisterously, and rang for tea. That, you may be sure, was acceptable to poor Charles. Fred, saying he was glad Charles had obtained the place at Prestleigh's, plunged into a few revelations touching the office politics, as well as his frequent cough and his imperfect breathing allowed, with a view of putting him au courant of affairs in