"How did you hear this, Lydia?" asked Daisy, in tones from which all spirit was quenched.

"I heard it from Tabitha. She knows about it. You can ask her yourself."

And Daisy did ask. As it chanced, the maid at that moment entered the room with some beef-tea for Lydia; and Daisy, suppressing her pride and her reticence, condescended to question her. Tabitha answered freely and readily, as if there were nothing in the subject to conceal, and with a palpable belief in its truth that told terribly upon Daisy. In fact, the woman herself implicitly believed it. Mr. Blase Pellet had once favoured her with his version of the story, and Tabitha never supposed that that version existed in Mr. Pellet's own imagination, and in that alone.

"I—don't think it can be true, Tabitha," faltered poor Daisy, her heart beating wildly. "She was not a

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