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"Child, why in the name of all that was
irrational, didn't you send to me at once?'

"She told me not to do so."

"She left no message for me?"

"Yes she did."

"Myrrha, you would try any man's
patience. What was it? And why didn't
you deliver it at once?"

"Have you given me time? Haven't I
had enough to do in answering your
questions? The message was only this
I was to tell Kenneth that she would soon
write: that, meanwhile, he was not to be
anxious for her, that no harm had
happened to her, or, as far as she knew, was
likely to happen to her."

"' No harm had happened to her, or, as
far as she knew, was likely to happen to
her'!" Mr. Stewart repeated this to himself,
as he went off to find Mrs. Moss.
From her he gathered no further information;
but it somewhat reassured him to find
that she evidently expected her mistress's
return within a very short time.

"You should have gone with her, Mrs.

"Sir, she forbade it utterly."

Mr. Stewart went into the breakfast-
room. He looked about there keenly and
searchingly, possibly hoping to find the
envelope of the letter, and so to get some
clue. Presently Myrrha stood beside him.

"Mr. Stewart," she said, in a just audible
whisper, " what can it mean? Won't
you tell me what you think is the matter?
The more I think about it the more frightened
I get. Aunt Daisy had a strange
look in her eyes sometimes, quite like a
person who had been, or might be, mad.
I feel sure she had some dreadful trouble
to hide. I can't help thinking that she has
gone away to destroy herself."

Mr. Stewart turned upon Myrrha
savagely; but the girl looked so white, so
scared, such a fragile, unstable creature,
that instead of the harsh words that rose
to his lips, what he spoke was mere
reasuring banter. Then he stood, perhaps
ten minutes, contemplating his own hand
apparently, seeing nothing, and thinking

"What are you going to do?" asked
Myrrha, when he moved.

"Going to do? I'm going to find her
to take care of her. She is not fit to be
alone and in trouble. It is what you say,
of how ill she looked, that makes me
anxious: otherwise, of course, one would
merely wait till she came home."

"Mr. Stewart, what shall I do? She
told me to ask you."

"What shall you do? Why just stay here
quietly till your Aunt Daisy comes back."

"She will never come back."

"Or, if you prefer to do soif you think
you shall be lonely herejust return to
your friends. That might be bestto
return to your friends."

"I have no friends to whom I can return."

"Stay here, then, for the present. For
the present, Myrrha, I have no thought to
spare for your affairs."

"Of course not. I never expected you
would have. I knew you would be far too
much alarmed about poor Aunt Daisy."

"I'm not alarmed, but I'm anxious."

"She told me to do all I could to comfort
you; but, of course, I know I can do
nothing. And she said you would be kind
to me."

"So I will be, by-and-bye, when I've
time to think about you. Good-bye, now."
And so he left her.

"He cares more for Aunt Daisy's little
finger than for me, and all the world
besides. And I do like him. And I love
Redcombe. And I can't go home, and I
won't go out as a governess, and what am
I to do? What will become of me?"

And Myrrha burst into passionate crying.
It didn't matter if she did make her eyes red
and her face swollen; there was no one to
see her, and there would be nobody; at
which terribly pathetic thought her sobs
and tears burst forth afresh.

Mr. Stewart, as he went away, thought
to himself: " Of any woman but Daisy,
acting as she acts, speaking as she speaks,
one would have the most serious suspicions.
But Daisy is, has been, and will be,

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