one side, plates and dishes of the old willow pattern were ranged on its shelves; an eight-day clock in its mahogany case ticked beside the fireplace, which faced the door. The window was gay with flowers. Hyacinths in their blue glasses stood on the frame half-way up: beneath were red pots containing other plants. It was easy to be seen that this was not the abode of a common miner.
Seated in an arm-chair near the round table, which was covered with a red cloth, her back to the window, was Mrs. Bell, who had latterly become an invalid. She was rubbing some dried mint into powder. By this, and the savoury smell, Frank Raynor guessed they were to have pea-soup for dinner. But all signs of dinner to be seen were three plates warming on the fender, and an iron pot steaming by the side of the fire.
"And now, mother, how are you to-day?" asked Frank, in his warm-hearted and genuine tones of