Mischief, spirit, and glee sparkled all over her face as she thus bandied words with the old Cossack, who almost equally enjoyed the tilt.

‘Captain Keeldar, you have no mercantile blood in your veins. Why are you so fond of trade?’

‘Because I am a mill-owner, of course. Half my income comes from the works in that Hollow.’

‘Don’t enter into partnership, that’s all.’

‘You’ve put it into my head! you’ve put it into my head!’ she exclaimed with a joyous laugh. ‘It will never get out; thank you.’ And, waving her hand, white as a lily and fine as a fairy’s, she vanished within the porch, while the Rector and his niece passed out through the arched gateway.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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