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mean time! Besides, she doesn't want
marquises' sons; she is a good, amiable
girl, and I'd sooner see her married to a
respectable, sensible man, without a handle
to his name, who would make her happy."

At this point of the dialogueone that
repeated itself regularly at intervalsthe
sweet and resigned face of Mrs. Leader
would disappear, and with a certain glibness
and sharpness she would decree the cl├┤ture
of that session.

"Let us say no more about it, dear.
You have lived so long among those old
musty law books, you haven't got rid of
the associations yet. You will make a
very good country gentleman, dear, but
you'll never be a man of the world. Don't
talk any more, dear, or you'll worry me."

Thus it will be seen that Mrs. Leader
had two sides to her character. By some
spectators she would be set down as a
very foolish, ridiculous woman, by others
she would be looked upon with a sort of
reverence, as charming, with such a sweet
manner, and so clever in getting on! She
certainly deserved any little honours or
tricks she marked in the game of society
she was playing, for she purchased them
at a vast expense of money and assiduity.
Thus, when the grand bazaar, for the
families of some Portuguese sailors who
had been wrecked on the coast, was got
up by a number of ladies, it was amazing
what exertions in the noble cause of charity
were made by this good lady. She was
asked for contributions in work, &c., like
other noble ladies of the island; but offered,
instead, to supply moneyhard cash. Mr.
Leader would write a cheque. The Countess
Palayo, the governor's wife, took a chief
part, and Mrs. Leader's unwearied servility
to this lady was something amazing. On
the evening of the bazaar she returned
laden with elegant rubbish, which all the
world over forms the stock-in-trade of such
salerooms. The climax was reached when
the countess, gratified by such support,
bethought her of a rather trumpery fan,
which she seemed to convey had been given
to her by Her Majesty of Portugal. And
this treasure she, as it were, put up to a
sort of private auction. Such a stimulant
could not be lost on Mrs. Leader, who,
with a bold bid of fifty pounds, was allowed
to secure the prize. She was very grateful
to the Countess Palayo for giving her the
preference. Again, Mr. Leader, looking
at the pile of useless goods that encumbered
their rooms, made a grumbling
protest: "So foolishwill do us no good in
the world;" but was, of course, summarily
disposed of in the old way.

Among the friends with whom they had
made acquaintance in the island, was a
General Fountainwith his daughter Maria
who was brother to the present Lord Seaman.
Louisa Mary, Countess of Seaman, was
a woman of vast fashionone of the powers
of the mode. Indeed, so powerful, that a
pleasant friend had likened her to a railway
pointsman; for she stood in a lofty signal-
box overlooking all the intersecting or
converging lines of fashionable traffic, and
by merely touching a lever, could turn
some humble luggage-train in upon the
grand gauge, where the glorious expresses
travelled, or shunt them off altogether. To
this lady, even though afar off, the eyes of
Mrs. Leader often turned fondly, and she
determined within herself that the Seaman
hand should ddmit her modest provincial
waggon from an inglorious siding to the
main line. But how? There was the
difficulty. It almost seemed a special act
of Providence when the general was
discovered to be at the charming island, a
little threatened with consumption. He
was to be the plank on which Mrs. Leader
was to cross warily to Lady Seaman. It
was not difficult, as Mrs. Leader went
boldly and bluntly to work. She let her
attentions down on them with the force of
an avalanche. They were overwhelmed
and swept away by them. She took
possession of the sweet daughter; heaped her
with presents, and attentions, and
worship, devising even a pet name for her,
"Mysie." The general was a stout, round-
headed grey-moustached old officer, pleasant
and agreeable to any one who gave
him a good dinner, or paid similar attentions.
A flood of English newspapers
pursued the Leaders to these shores, and
the general was never so happy as when,
with glasses perched on the tip of his nose,
he was poring over their newest Times.

He handed over Mysie without stint or
restraint to the lady who so petted and
admired her. Mysie was really a nice,
good girl, a little stout, full of good
humour and affection, and very pleasant
company. By-and-bye she became Mysikins.
And among the English exiles it
was a common topic of remark what a
sort of romantic affection existed between
the two, as though they were two girls,
one a little older than the other! Some of
the young men reported having met two
girls in broad straw hats of the same
pattern wandering on the hills. But Mrs.