that morning of all others! What a fuss there would be! And what excuse could she make for her absence from home? There was only one, as it seemed to Daisy, that she could make—she had been out for a walk.

But the shifting clouds had now gathered in a dense mass overhead, and the rain came pouring down. Daisy had brought no umbrella: nothing but a fashionable parasol about, large enough for a doll: one cannot be expected on such an occasion to be as provident as the renowned Mrs. McStinger. The wind took Daisy's cloak, as before; the drifting rain-storm half blinded her. Before she reached home, her pretty muslin dress, and her dainty parasol, and herself also, were wet through.

"Now where have you been?" demanded Mrs. St. Clare, pouncing upon Daisy in the hall, and backed by Tabitha; whilst Lydia, who had that morning risen betimes, thanks to the exacting dressmaker, looked on from the door of the breakfast-room.

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