all the proceedings of the Squire towards her little boy. They were not of the wisest kind, it must be owned; the child sipped the strong ale with evident relish, and clamoured for everything which he saw the others enjoying. Aimée could hardly attend to Molly for her anxiety as to what her boy was doing and eating; yet she said nothing. Roger took the end of the table opposite to that at which sat grandfather and grandchild. After the boy’s first wants were gratified, the Squire addressed himself to Molly.

“Well! and so you can come here a-visiting, though you have been among the grand folks! I thought you were going to cut us, Miss Molly, when I heard you was gone to the Towers. Couldn’t find any other place to stay at, while father and mother were away, but an earl’s, eh?”

“They asked me, and I went,” said Molly; “now you’ve asked me, and I’ve come here.”

“I think you might ha’ known you’d be always welcome here, without waiting for asking. Why, Molly! I look upon you as a kind of daughter more than Madam there!” dropping his voice a little, and perhaps supposing that the child’s babble would drown the signification of his words.

“Nay, you needn’t look at me so pitifully; she doesn’t follow English readily.”

“I think she does!” said Molly, in a low voice—not looking up, however, for fear of catching another glimpse at Aimée’s sudden forlornness of expression and deepened colour. She felt grateful, as if for a personal favour, when she heard Roger speaking to Aimée the moment afterwards in the tender terms of brotherly friendliness; and presently these two were sufficiently engaged in a separate conversation to allow Molly and the Squire to go on talking.

“He’s a sturdy chap, isn’t he?” said the Squire, stroking the little Roger’s curly head. “And he can puff four puffs at grandpapa’s pipe without being sick, can’t he?”

“I san’t puff any more puffs,” said the boy resolutely. “Mamma says ‘No.’ I san’t.”

“That’s just like her!” said the Squire, dropping his voice this time, however. “As if it could do the child any harm!”

Molly made a point of turning the conversation from all personal subjects after this, and kept the Squire talking about the progress of his drainage during the rest of lunch. He offered to take her to see it; and she acceded to the proposal, thinking, meantime, how little she need have anticipated the being thrown too intimately with Roger, who seemed to devote himself to his sister-in-law. But, in the evening, when Aimée had gone upstairs to put her boy to bed, and the Squire was asleep in his easy-chair, a sudden flush of memory brought Mrs. Goodenough’s words again to her mind. She was virtually tête-à-tête with Roger, as she had been dozens of times before; but now she could not help assuming an air of constraint; her eyes did not meet his in the old frank way; she took up a book at a pause in the conversation, and left him puzzled and annoyed at the change in her manner. And so it went on during all the time of her visit. If sometimes she forgot, and let herself go into all her old naturalness, by-and-by she checked herself, and became comparatively cold and reserved. Roger was pained at all this—more pained day after day; more anxious to discover the cause. Aimée, too, silently noticed how different Molly became in Roger’s presence. One day she could not help saying to Molly—

“Don’t you like Roger? You would, if you only knew how good he is! He is learned, but that is nothing; it is his goodness that one admires and loves.”

“He is very good,” said Molly. “I have known him long enough to know that.”

“But you don’t think him agreeable? He is not like my poor husband, to be sure; and you knew him well, too. Ah! tell me about him once again. When you first knew him? When his mother was alive?”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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