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ON the next morning, however, there
was a change, and awakening, after that
too brief holiday. A telegram arrived
directing the carriage to be sent to meet
the morning train, and by ten o'clock Mrs.
Leader was at home again, and once more
in command. She walked into the library
and sent for Mr. Leader. He came, but
attended by his daughter. There was an
air of extra dignity about Mrs. Leader,
drawn, perhaps, from the elevating
atmosphere whence she had just descended.
She scarcely waited for the family greetings,
when she broke out with:

"I have got a letter from Mrs. Raper,
saying that you have offered rooms to those
people. Is this piece of folly true?"

Mr. Leader hesitated, and grew
confused. "Cecil was very ill," he stammered,
"and we thought that the change of

She gave him a look of contempt. "Oh!
of course. I suppose those low creatures
talked you over: they are clever enough
for that:  but I shall have no such
degrading intrusion. We are not going to
have our house overrun by this low Doctor
and his satellites: write and tell them that
it is out of the question."

Mary had been listening with astonishment,
waiting for her father to make some
defence. To her surprise he was turning
away, uttering some faint protest. Then
she interposed, her cheeks glowing.

"You cannot refuse! Oh, it is common
humanity! It would disgrace us!
Especially now that papa has forgiven and
forgotten all."

"Forgiven and forgotten!" repeated the
lady. "Is this true?"

"No, not exactly," said Mr. Leader, in
great nervousness; "but as he was lying
there sick, I thought——"

"Yes, of course; just what I said. These
low intriguers got round you."

"They are no intriguers," said the
daughter, in a low, firm voice. "Within
these few days, papa and I have learnt to
know what they are, and what is their true
nature. I am proud to have such a sister,
and think now it was the most sensible act
of Cecil's foolish life."

Mrs. Leader's strange face paled as she
listened. Such a thing had never happened
before. This quiet girl had never dared to
make the faintest opposition to her views.
She was aghast at this boldness, still more
at the steady eye and firm tones with which
the objection was made.

"This does not concern you," Mrs.
Leader said at last; "you cannot understand
this insult to your family. Until you
are old enough, please not to interfere."

"But surely it concerns papathe head
of our familyhe can give shelter to his
own son, who is sick and broken?"

"But it concerns me," said Mrs. Leader,
working gradually into heat. "Some
respect is owing to me, and I do not choose
to be exposed to drunken orgies and
disgraceful conduct in the house I live in.
Those people must not comeand your
father shall not force them on me. You must
not interfere in these things. Who gave
you any authority? Surely you forget
your position in reference to me. I am not
your mother, but I am your father's wife:
though he seems to care very little that
respect shall be paid to me."

Again the daughter answered firmly:
"You would not care for such respect as