Chapter I.

Laurel Cottage

It was a roomy cottage in a small by-road of the environs of Kennington, bordering on South Lambeth. Frost and snow lay on the ground outside, and bitter blasts in the air: within, sitting round the scanty fire in a bare-looking but not very small parlour, were Mrs. Raynor, Edina, and the younger children, the two former busily employed making brown chenile nets for the hair.

When Edina was out one day searching for some

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