"How surprised I am! Come in. You are about the last fellow I should have expected to see."

Frank laughed gaily. He enjoyed taking them by surprise in this way; enjoyed the gladness shining from their eyes at sight of him, the hearty welcome.

"I dare say I am. How are you all, Charley? There are the young ones, I see! Is that Alice? She has grown!"

Alice came bounding towards him, dropping the yellow blossoms from her apron. They had not seen him since the previous Christmas twelvemonth, when he had spent a week at Spring Lawn. Little Robert did not know him, and stood back, shyly staring.

"And is this my dear little Bob?" cried Frank, catching him up and kissing him. "Does he remember brother Frank? And—why, there's mamma!—and papa! Come along."

The child still in his arms, he went on to meet Major

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