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graciously by Mrs. Leader, who had already
marked them down as the only people fit
to know in the place. Lord Shipton at once
saw what her weakness was: an intense
worship of rank and fashion, rendered almost
ludicrous by contrast with her plain
features and ungainly dress and bearing.
Of this weakness Lord Shipton took advantage.
He at once assumed a position of
superiority, which Mrs. Leader was content
to acknowledge.

From this visit he was enabled to announce
some of the future plans. How
the whole house was to be remodelled and
decorated— " middle age Jenkins," an
architect whose title to fame seemed to be that
he had been employed by Lord Mountvulture
to alter Mountvulturehad already
furnished plans. A " dear Lady
Buckstone," had recommended a bran-new
housekeeper, almost titled herself from
living with titled people, and who would
consent to accept the unlimited control of
a " Commoner" household, at an enormous
salary. This official was to be down presently,
and was engaged in securing a large
staff of servants, all town made, and all
more or less stamped over with the hall
mark: no vulgar testimonial of " sober,
honest, steady," &c. being wanted, but
services with Lord A., Sir Thomas B., and
Lady C., being indispensable. The same
"dear Lady Buckstone" had recommended
an upholster, who had " done up Buckstone,"
and who was to be reckless in adornment.
It was calculated that in about six
weeks all would be ready for the distinguished
staff of visitors, as well as servants,
whom the same " dear Lady Buckstone"
had kindly consented to engage, she herself
acting as a genteel housekeeper to the party.
Lord Shipton and family were secured,
but the vulgarians of the place were not
likely to gain entrance. And another piece
of news brought away by Lord Shipton was
that H. R. H. the Commander-in-Chief had
been graciously pleased to grant a commission
in a dragoon regiment (Du Barry's) to
his eldest son, which was also secured,
through the mysterious agency of " dear
Lady Buckstone," which had quite the air
of a special royal favour, though, indeed, it
was only in the due routine.

But within a fortnight, during which
time Lord Shipton and family had dined
and lunched there several times, there was
a more remarkable piece of news to tell.
The young girl of the house, always delicate-looking,
had been rather unwell since
she came down. First a cold, then a cough:
and it was an important occasion when
our friend the Doctor received a message,
desiring his professional attendance at
Leadersfort. The flutter and excitement
through the house was tremendous.

"No, no, Peter, dear," says Katey,
"you must go up and shave clean, and
there's a beautiful white tie lying on your

For the Doctor, on all occasions of state,
always appeared in the insignia of office.
he set off calm, and with a benediction on
himself: " God be with the work!"

He saw the young lady. It has been
mentioned that his skill was not of the
deepest. " Only a little kitarrtongue
feathery. See here, ma'am, hot water to
the feet to-night, mixed with what I'll
send up, and a lotion that I'll prescribe;
and see here, ma'am, bales of blankets
on her. We must induce perspiration,

Mrs. Leader regarded him already with
open dislike, " a low familiar fellow;" and
the Doctor, it must be said, showed no
hypocrisy in his feelings. He spoke on
his return of the pride of the " cobbler's
dog," and of setting paupers on horses
and the direction in which they ride, and
christened her old " Medewsy." On his
third visit there was a surprise in store for
him. He noticed an air of bustle and
confusion in the house which puzzled him
a good deal, and he was received in
the library by Mr. and Mrs. Leader very

"Well, how's the cold, ma'am? No
relapse, surely?—weather's against us

"I am sorry to inform you she is very
bad, indeed. We had to telegraph for
Doctor Gunter from town; he says you
wholly mistake the case."

"Oh, that's what we all say of each
other," said the Doctor, collecting himself
for danger; "but I said to you, Mr. Leader,
that these things are slippery."

"Oh, this is very serious," said Mrs.
Leader; "it is very wrong and very

Mr. Leader only remarked: " Doctor
Gunter says it is on the chest, and that my
poor child is threatened with consumption."

"You ought to have known at once,"
said Mrs. Leader.

"Oh, this is all very well, ma'am. You
don't know the jealousies of the profession.
Who's this Gunter at all? My opinion is
as good as his any day."

"Not heard of Doctor Gunter, the