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that she would manage tolerably well for
herself, for "she were a right plucked 'un,
Miss Marian were."

They were right. It needed little skill
in physiognomy to trace, even under the
influence of the special circumstances
surrounding her, the pluck, and spirit, and
determination in every feature of Marian
Ashurst's face. They were patent to the
most ordinary beholder; patent in the
brown eye, round rather than elongated
small yet bright as a beryl; in the short
sharply curved nose, in the delicately
rounded chin, which relieved the jaw of a
certain fulness, sufficiently characteristic,
but scarcely pretty. Variety of expression
was Marian's great charm; her mobile
features acting under every impulse of her
mind, and giving expression to her every
thought. Those who had seen her seldom,
or only in one mood, would scarcely have
recognised her in another. To the old man,
lying stretched on his death-bed, she had
been a fairy to be worshipped, a plaything
to be for ever prized. In his presence the
brown eyes were always bright, the small,
sharp, white teeth gleamed between the ripe,
red lips, and one could scarcely have traced
the jaw, that occasionally rose rigid and
hard as iron, in the soft expanse of the
downy cheek. Had he been able to raise
his eyes, he would have seen a very
different look in her face as, after bending
over the bed and ascertaining that her
father slept, she turned to the other
occupant of the room, and said, more in
the tone of one pondering over and repeating
something previously heard than of a
direct question:

"A hundred and thirty guineas, mother!"

For a minute Mrs. Ashurst made her no
reply. Her thoughts were far away. She
could scarcely realise the scene passing
round her, though she had pictured it to
herself a hundred times, in a hundred
different phases. Years agohow many
years ago it seemed!—she was delicate and
fragile, and thought she should die before
her husband, and she would lie awake for
hours in the night, rehearsing her own
death-bed, and thinking how she should
tell James not to grieve after her, but to
marry again, anybody except that Eleanor
Shaw, the organist's daughter, and she
should be sorry to think of that flighty
minx going through the linen and china
after she was gone. And now the time
had really come, and he was going to be
taken from her; he, her James, with his
big brown eyes and long silky hair, and
strong lithe figure, as she first remembered
himgoing to be taken from her now, and
leave her an old woman, poor and lone and
forlornand Mrs. Ashurst tried to stop the
tears which rolled down her face, and to
reply to her daughter's strange remark.

"A hundred and thirty guineas! Yes,
my dear, you're thinking of Mr.—I forget
his namethe surgeon. That was the sum
he named."

"You're sure of it, mother?"

"Certain sure, my dear! Mr. Casserly,
Dr. Osborne's assistant, a very pleasant-
spoken young man, showed me the telegraph
message, and I read it for myself.
It gave me such a turn that I thought I
should have dropped, and Mr. Casserly
offered me some sal volatile or peppermint
I mean of his own accord, and never intended
to charge for it, I am sure."

"A hundred and thirty guineas! and
the one chance of saving his life is to be
lost because we cannot command that sum!
Good God! to think of our losing him for
want of——Is there no one, mother, from
whom we could get it? Think, think! It's
of no use sitting crying there! Think, is
there no one who could help us in this

The feeling of dignity which Mrs. Ashurst
knew she ought to have assumed was scared
by her daughter's earnestness, so the old
lady merely fell to smoothing her dress,
and, after a minute's pause, said in a
tremulous voice,

"I fear there is no one, my dear! The
rector, I daresay, would do something, but
I'm afraid your father has already borrowed
money of him, and I know he has of Mr.
King, the chairman of the governors of
the school. I don't know whether Mr.

"Mr. Casserly, mother, a parish doctor's
drudge! Is it likely that he would be able
to assist us?"

"Well, I don't know, my dear, about
being able, I'm sure he would be willing!
He was so kind about that sal volatile that
I am sure he would do what——Lord! we
never thought of Mr. Creswell!"

Set and hard as Marian's face had been
throughout the dialogue, it grew even
more rigid as she heard these words. Her
lips tightened, and her brow clouded as
she said, "Do you think that I should have
overlooked that chance, mother? Do you
not know that Mr. Creswell is away in
France? He is the very first person to
whom I should have thought of applying."

Under any other circumstances, Mrs.