stood still for a moment, and then coursed on with a bound. In a gradual, wasting illness, not very apparent to those around, it is only on such an occasion as this that its progress can be judged of.

"Papa, you have been ill!"

"True, Edina, but I am mending a little now."

"Why did you not send for me?"

"Nay, my dear, there was not any necessity for that."

A substantial tea-table had been spread, and in a very few minutes Edina was presiding at it; her travelling things off, her soft brown hair smoothed, her countenance wearing its usual cheerful gravity. Not a gravity that repelled: one that insensibly attracted, for it spoke of its owner's truth, and faith, and earnestness, of her goodwill to all about her. Sitting there, dispensing cups of tea to the doctor and Frank, she was ready to hear the news of all that had transpired in the village during her absence.

← Page-426 p.427 Page-428 →