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No more enchanting pastime had ever been
found for them. It never palled. It was
indeed a bit of true comedy to see the
assumption by Polly of the semi-state and
airs of the great lady; the conscious smile,
the struggle not to appear proud or elated;
the assurance again and again repeated,
that she would always be their own old
Polly. Indeed they should always be with
her. For, of course, she would be at
Leadersfort all the summer and autumn,
after the season in town. And Peter, he,
of course, must retire. Give up his

"Ah, yes, mamma, dear, you know we
couldn't have Peter going about prescribing.
No, we must get him a good place.
That is, of course, if it is to be, whichno
one can tell," added Polly, wistfully.

Katey reassured her enthusiastically.
"Why it's certain, dear; what is he coming
here every day for, when Peter is out? What
did he say to me, to-night? 'I never,'
he said, 'am so happy as in this house,
because I know,' and he looked over at Polly
'I know you all like me.'"

"And what did you say, Katey dear?"

"I said that we all liked him, and that
you said he was so clever, and were always
looking forward to his coming."


ON one of the greater guest nights, the
colonel had invited Lord Shipton, for the
first time. That "life and soul," the
Reverend Mr. Webber, was also there
indispensable, it would seem, on any occasion
of revelry.

Just before the dinner began, Colonel
Bouchier, who seemed "put out" and
flushed, took the Doctor to the window.
"I shall burst a blood-vessel, Findy, if this
goes on. That low attorney has been at
it again. The insolent scoundrel! either
he or I must quit. I'm told he said to
some of his low scum in the town, 'that
he can play me like a fish.' I suppose he
thinks he can reel me out and in as he
likes. I declare I was near kicking him
down the parade to-day."

"Easy, easy, my dear colonel; that
wouldn't do at all. Maybe he might come
across me one of these days, and I might
do it for you. They can't touch me at the
Horse Guards. There's no knowing what
might happen: for, in all candour and truth,
I feel much the same to him as my poor old
mother did at the sight of a tom-cat."

The obnoxious officer, Captain Hickey,
was present on the occasion, and was as
free and unconcerned as if he were on
the best footing possible in the regiment.
It was known that two or three did not
speak to this gentleman, and that some
more did so as little as they could help.
Of this feeling he affected to be utterly
unconscious, taking his share in conversation
in a loud, unconcerned way, addressing
even those who did not desire to address
him, and affecting not to perceive that he
was rebuffed or unnoticed, being, as the
doctor said, "highly pachydermatous." The
only person to whom he was not thus
deferential was the Doctor, whom, with a just
instinct, he seemed to recognise as his
enemy. All through the dinner the Doctor
exercised a sort of protection over his
"young patient," in which there was
nothing obsequious, but which was more a
good-natured protection, and bringing him
forward. "Mr. Cecil was telling us a
capital story the other day," he said. "It
made them all laugh so when I told it to
my girls." And the Doctor did not allow
the other to relate the anecdote, but said,
"You must let me tell it, Mr. Leader:" so
the wondering youth found the meagre
scrap that he had imparted to his friend
coloured up, stretched, and varnished into
something that made the table roar. The
substratum of truth was there; but the
Doctor was admirably histrionic, and
invested the little history with dramatic
contrast, and humour, and liveliness, so
skilfully, as to make the young man believe
that he had narrated something highly
humorousa feeling attended with gratitude
to the Doctor for bringing him
forward in this way, and giving him a chance
of impressing "the other fellows" with
respect. Captain Hickey alone remained
grave and unmoved. The Doctor, like
other humorists, did not relish this
indifference. "Not up to the mark!" he
said; "not put in big letters enough like
the primer. But it is a real good story,
and I'd like you, Mr. Hickey, to understand
it. So I'll put it plainer. There
was a fellow——"

The others enjoyed this humour of the
Doctor's, and smiled and nudged each

"Don't give yourself the trouble," said
the other. "I did my best to laugh, and
don't at all demur to the intelligibility of
the matter."

A twinkle came into the Doctor's eye as
he looked up and down the table. "Demur?
We don't want demurrers in this place, or
pleadings, or rebutters, or sur-rebutters.