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odious to her; but she was a well- wards the gate ; while Mrs Ogilvy looking woman, and not an ignor- stood gazing, wondering. ant one, knowing something of the one of her tenets, too, that no man world; and Robert, with his big can resist such arts;

but the anger beard and his rough clothes, had of a woman who sees them thus given Mrs Ogilvy the profoundly exerted in her very presence was humiliating consciousness that he still softened by the sensation that had ceased to look like a gentle- this woman, so experienced, still

; but the woman did not think thought Robbie worth her while.

The woman made her little He came back again in a few coquettish advances to him as if he minutes, having accompanied the had been a prince. This was how visitor to the gate, with a smile his mother interpreted her visitor's faintly visible in his beard. “Who looks : she thought no better of her is that woman ?” he said. “ She is for this, but yet the sensation was not one of your neighbours here?soothing, and raised her spirits,- “What made you go with her, even though she scorned the woman Robbie?" for it, and her son for the hesitating “Oh, she seemed to expect it, smile which after a moment began and it was only civil. Where has to light up his face.

she come from ? and how did you “However," said the lady, hur- pick such a person up?" riedly, “unless you wish for the “She is a person that will soon minister on my heels, perhaps I be—a neighbour, as you say, and a had better go now. No? you person of importance here. She will not be persuaded, indeed ? is going to be married upon the You are more hard-hearted than I minister, Robbie.” expected. So then there is noth- “The minister !” he gave a low ing for it but that I must do it whistle—“that will be a curious myself. There, Mr Ogilvy! You couple ; but I hope it's a new min

we have secrets after all- ister, and not poor old Logan, whom mysteries ! Two

can't I—whom I remember so well. I've meet together, can they, without women like that, but not having something tremendous, some among ministers. I almost think

, conspiracy or other, for each other's I've seen her somewhere. Old

Logan! But he has a wife,” “I did not say so," said Robert, Robert said. not unresponsive, though taken by “He had cne; but she's been surprise.

dead these ten years, and this lady "Oh no, you did not say so; is new come to the parish, and he but you were thinking so all the has what you call fallen in love same. They always do, don't they? with her. There are no fules like Gentlemen have such fixed ideas old fules, Robbie. I like little to about women. She had overcome hear of falling in love at that age.' her little tremor, but was

“Old Logan !” said Robert again. coquettish than ever. While she There were thoughts in his eyes held his mother's hand in hers, she which seemed to come to sudden life, held up a forefinger of the other but which his mother did not dare archly at Robert. “Oh, I've had a investigate too closely. She dreaded great deal of experience. I know to awaken them further; she feared what to expect from men.'

to drive them away.

What memShe led him out after her to the ories did the name of Logan bring? door talking thus, and down to- or were there any of sufficient force





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to keep him musing, as he seemed fellow knew you in your cradle ? to do, for a few minutes after. But Two or three have spoken to me at the end of that time he burst already on the roadinto a sudden laugh. “Old Logan!' “I never thought we could keep he said ; “poor old fellow! I it to ourselves—and why should remember him very well. The we?his mother said. model of a Scotch minister, steady- He answered with a sort of snort going, but pawky too, and some only, which expressed nothing, and fun in him. Where has he picked then fell a-musing, stretched out in up a woman like that? and what the big chair, his legs half away will he do with her when he has across the room, his beard filling up got her? I have seen the like of all the rest of the space. His mother her before."

looked at him with mingled sensa“But, Robbie, she is just a very tions of pride and humiliation—a personable, well-put-on woman, and half-admiration and a half-shame. well-looking, and no ill-mannered. He was a big buirdly man, as Janet She is not one I like,—but I am said ; and he had his new clothes, maybe prejudiced, considering the which were at least clean and fresh : changes she will make; and there but they had not made any transis no

harm in her, so far as we have formation in his appearance, as she ever heard here.'

had hoped. Was there any look of “Oh, very likely there is no a gentleman left in that large bulk harm in her; but what has she toof a man? The involuntary question do in a place like this? and with went cold to Mrs Ogilvy's heart. old Logan !" He laughed again, It still gave her a faint elation, howand then, growing suddenly grave, ever, to remember that Mrs Ainslie asked, “What changes is she going had quite changed her aspect at the to make ?"

sight of him, quite acknowledged “There are always changes," said him as one of the persons whom it Mrs Ogilvy, evasively, “when a was her mission in the world to man marries that has a family, and attract. It was a small comfort, everything settled on another foun- and yet it was a comfort. She dation. They are perhaps more in took up her stocking and composed a woman's eyes than in a man's; herself to wait his pleasure, till he I will tell you about that another should have finished his thoughts, time. But you that wanted to be whatever they were, and be disprivate, Robbie—there will be no posed to talk again. more of that, I'm thinking, now." But when his voice came finally

“Well, it cannot be helped,” he out of his beard and out of the said, crossly; "what could I do? silence, it was with a startling Could I refuse to answer her? question : " What do


mean Private !-how can you be private to do with me, mother, now I am in a place like this, where every here?”





They sat

and looked at each shawl and her white cap, its natural other across the little area of the occupant and mistress. Her stockpeaceful room. He, stretching half ing had dropped into her lap, and across it, too big almost for the she looked at him with a pathos little place. She, in her white and wistfulness in her eyes which

He was

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were scarcely concealed by the want me to do more honest work. anxious smile which she turned I will need to, I suppose.” He upon him. They were not equal paused here, and gave her a keen in anything, in this less than look, which, fortunately, she did in other particulars — for he was not understand.

“But the thing is, indifferent, asking her the question I'm good for nothing. I cannot dig, without much care for the answer, and to beg I am ashamed. I've while she was moved to her finger- done many things, but I've not ends with anxiety on the subject, worked much all my life. I will thrilling with emotion and fear. be left on your hands—and what She looked at him for her inspira- will you do with me?” tion, to endeavour to read in his not so indifferent, after all, as when eyes what answer would suit him he began. He was almost in earnbest, what she could say to follow est, keeping his eye upon her, to his mood, to please him or to guide read her face as well as her words. him as might be. Mrs Ogilvy had But somehow she, who not many experiences that were anxious to divine him, to discover encouraging She had little con- what he wished her to say—she fidence in her power to influence had no notion, notwithstanding all and to lead. If she could know her anxiety, what it was he desired what he would like her to say, that to know. would be something. She had in My bonnie man !” she said, her heart a feeling which, though “it's a hard question to answer. very quiet, was in reality despair. What could I wish to do with you She did not know what to do with but what would be best for yourhim — she had no hope that it self? I have made no plan for would matter anything what she you, Robbie. Whatever you can wanted to do. He would do what think of that you would like—or he liked, what he chose, and not whatever we can think of, putting anything she could say.

our two heads together—but just, My dear,” she said, “when my dear, what would suit you this calamity is overpast, and you besthave got settled a little, there “But suppose there is nothing I will be plenty of things that you would like — and suppose I was could do."

just on your hands a helpless “That's very doubtful,” he said ; lumpand you

have not much faith in it “I will suppose no such thing," yourself. I've been used to do she said, with the tears coming to nothing. I don't know what work her eyes; why should I suppose is like. Do you think I'm fit for that of my son ? No, no! no, no ! it? I had to work on board ship, You are young yet, and in all your and how I hated it words could strength, the Lord be praised ! never tell. I was too much of a You might have come back to me dusser, they said, to do seaman's with the life crushed out of you, work. They made me help the like Willie Miller; or worn with cook-fancy, your son helping the that weary India, and the heat and cook!"

the work, like Mrs Allender's son It is quite honest work,” she in the Glen. But you, Robbie--" said, with a little quiver in her “What would you have done voice—“quite honest work.” with me,” he repeated, insisting,

He laughed a little. “That's like though with a half-smile on his you,” he said ; “and now you will face, “if it had been as bad as


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that-if I had come to you like quiries, but even now had not penethem?

trated his meaning. He wanted Why should we think of that more distinct information than he that is not, nor is like to be? Oh! had got. Her gentle ease of living, my dear, I would have done the her readiness to supply his wants, best I could with a sore heart. I to forestall them even—the luxury, would just have done my best, and as it seemed to him after his wild pinched a little and scraped a little, and wandering career, of the longand put forth my little skill to settled house, the carefully kept make you comfortable on what gardens, the little carriage, all the there was.”

modest abundance of the humble es“You have every air of being tablishment, had surprised him. IIe very comfortable yourself,” he said, had believed that his mother was all looking round the room. “I thought but poor—not in want of anything so when I came first.

You are

essential to comfort, but yet very like the man in the proverb—the careful about her expenditure, and parable, I mean—whose very ser- certainly not allowing him in the vants had enough and to spare, while days of his youth, as he had often his son perished with hunger." reflected with bitterness, the indulShe was

a little surprised by gences to which, if she had been as what he said, but did not yet at- well off as she seemed now, he tach any very serious meaning to it. would have had, he thought, a “I am better off,” she said, “than right. What had she now ? Had when you went away. Some things she grown rich ? Was there plenty that I've been mixed up in have for him after her, enough to exempt done very well, so they tell me. I him from that necessity of working, never have spent what came in like which he had always feared and that. I have saved it all


you, hated ? It was, perhaps, not unRobbie.”

reasonable that he should wish to “ Not for me, mother," he said; know. “to please yourself with the thought “I told you,” he said, after a that there was more money in the short interval, “ that I was good for bank.”

nothing. If I had stayed at home, “Robbie,” she said, "you cannot what should I have been now? A be thinking what you are saying. Writer to the Signet with an office That was never my character. There in Edinburgh, and, perhaps, who is nobody that does not try to save can tell, clients that would have for their bairns. I have saved for come to consult me about where to you, when I knew not where you place their money and other such were, nor if I would ever see you things.” He laughed at the thought.

The money in the bank was “I can never be that now.” never what I was thinking of. There “ No,” she said, in tender symwould be enough to give you, per- pathy with what she was quick to haps, a good beginning—whatever think a regret on his part. "No, you might settle to do."

Robbie, my dear; I fear it's too late “Set me up in business, in fact,” for that now." he said, with a laugh. "That is “Well ! it's perhaps all the betwhat would please you best." ter: for how could I tell them what

“The thing that would please me to do with their money, who never best would be what was the best for had any of my own? No; what I you,” she said, with self-restraint. shall do is this: be a dependent on She was a little wounded by his in- you, mother, all my life; with a few

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pounds to buy my clothes, and a contentment, a sort of approval. few shillings to get my tobacco and He was not too particular nor a daily paper, now that the ‘Scots- dainty about his food: he never man' comes out daily—and some gave himself airs, as if it were not wretched old library of novels, where good enough, nor looked contempI can change my books three or four tuous of Janet's good dishes, as a times a-week : and that's how Rob man who has been for years away Ogilvy will end, that was once a from home so often does. He ate terror in his way—no, it was never heartily, innocently, like one who I that was the terror, but those I had nothing on his conscience, a was with,” he added, in an under- good digestion, and a clean record. tone.

It was not credible even that a Mrs Ogilvy's heart was wrung

man who ate his dinner like that with that keen anguish of helpless- should not be one who would work ness which is as the bitterness of as well as eat, and earn his meal death to those who can do nothing with pleasure. It uplifted her to help or deliver those they love. heart a little, and eased it, only to “Oh, my dear, my dear,” she said, see him eat. “why should that be so ? It is all Afterwards it could scarcely be yours whatever is mine. It's not a said that the conversation was refortune, but you shall be no depen- sumed ; but that day he was in a dent—you shall have your own :

mood for talk. He told her scraps and better thoughts will come—and of his adventures, sitting with the you will want more than a library of 'Scotsman'in his hand, which he foolish books or a daily paper. You did not read — taking pleasure in will want your own honest life, like frightening her, she thought; but them that went before you, and yet, after leading her to a point your place in the world—and oh, of breathless interest, breaking off Robbie ! God grant it! a good wife with a half-jest—“It was not me, and a family of your own.'

it was him." She got used to this He got up and walked about, conclusion, and almost to feel as if with large steps that made the this man unknown, who was always boards creak, and with the laugh in her son's mind, was in a manner which she liked least of all his utter- the soul of Robert's large passive

“No, mother, that will body, moving that at his will. never be,” he said.

" I'm not one Then her son returned with a sudto be caught like that. You will den spring to the visitor of the not find me putting myself in morning, and to poor old Logan prison and rolling the stone to the and the strangeness of his fate. mouth of the cave.”

“ She's like a woman I once saw “Robbie !” she cried, with a out yonder ”—with a jerk of his sense of something profane in what thumb his shoulderhe said, though she could scarcely singer, or something of that sort, have told what. But the conver- a woman that was up to anysation was interrupted here by thing." Janet coming to

the “ Don't say that, my dear, of a early dinner, to which Robert as woman that will soon be the minusual did the fullest justice. What ister's wife.” ever he might have done or said to “The minister's wife !” he said, shock her, the sight of his abundant with a great explosion of laughter. meal always brought Mrs Ogilvy's And then he grew suddenly grave. mind, more or less, back to a certain “Old Logan,” he said, with a sort


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