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of this sort, when she would gradually grind
down this creature to the very dust. That
evening's post brought a letter from her
friend, Lady Seaman, announcing that she
would be down on the next day, and that
she would bring her cousin, Jessie Forsythe,
who, from her liveliness, would be a great
addition to the party. Further, this lady
added, that she had some great news to
tell her dear Mrs. Leader.

Accordingly, the next evening a needlessly
large supply of carriagesthe family
omnibus, waggonette, &c.— went to meet
the august party and their baggage. It
was state day at Leadersfortfull
uniform of the menials. Lady Seaman, her
daughters, and the young lord, with Miss
Forsythe, were the first instalment of the
party. Miss Forsythe was a young lady of
singular sprightliness and vivacity, qualities,
however, which required the steel of male
society to strike them out. This young lady
was of rather a cloudy age, "with one foot,"
as the Doctor would have said, "over the top
of the stile, neither this side of it nor that;"
neither old nor young, but on the narrow,
debatable ground. However, she bewildered
her spectators so opportunely by her
energetic spirits, that no one, after a moment,
could reflect on this nice question, and if he
did think of it later, had only his recollection
to go upon.

This party, then, took possession of the
house. Katey, more a stranger in that
mansion than they were, heard all the fuss and
noise of their arrival. Cecil, her husband,
now pretty well recovered, was eager to get
up and assert his position. It was while she
was gently combating this desire, he urging
it very pettishly, that Mary Leader came to
the door, and taking her into the dressing-
room, spoke with her hurriedly:

"You must come down to-night and
be on the watch, for a great many things
will be carried on. So you must be always
present, and watchful after his and your
own interests. Mind and come down."

Every moment our Katey felt her gentle
soul roused, growing more and more
resolved and rigid, as it were, for she was
conscious of Mrs. Leader's bitter animosity,
and had seen the gleam of hatred in her
eyes. She knew, too, that this was only the
beginning, and the hint that Mary Leader
had given her warned her that she must
prepare for a miserable struggle against
persecution and mortification. She
proceeded at once to array herself, and, as the
hour approached, went down-stairs, and
quietly entered the drawing-room.

She heard a great chatter of tongues, but
as she entered there was a sudden stillness.
All the faces were turned to her. They
were all foes, and Lady Seaman regarded
her with a haughty contempt, as who should
say, "What does this mean?" Sparks
of anger shot from Mrs. Leader's eyes.
There was "a great awkwardness," as even
Mr. Leader felt. But Mary Leader at once
rose, and saying half aloud, "Papa, won't
you introduce Katey?" ran to her, and
brought her forward. The ceremonies had
therefore to be gone through. Katey,
unused to these rites of official society, had,
however, confidence, and acquitted herself
perfectly. The two Ladies Mariner received
her with sniffs, that polite and suspicious
form interrogatory, often found very
confusing. But, after this interruption, things
settled down into the old course.

What attracted Katey most, as she looked
round wondering and bewildered, was the
new young lady, Miss Jessie Forsythe, the
sound of whose tongue, and what she
herself would call a ringing laugh, seemed like
the busy rattle of a large sewing-machine.
The play of feature, of gesture, the inflections
of her voice, were unflagging, and
Katey noted, with a little wonder, that this
light artillery was all being played on Mr.
Leader, whom the young lady had driven
into a corner, and to whom her attentions
seemed not at all unacceptable.

The dinner was on the usual grand
Leader scale, which was exhibited like the
state liveries on such splendid occasions,
though when at home and by themselves
it was saidat least by the servantsthat
a certain stinginess and penuriousness
prevailed. All through that meal Mrs. Leader
inquired, in her gentle, plaintive way, about
a dear lady whose acquaintance had cost
her about five hundred pounds; or a charming
duchess, for whose rare nod, and more
frequent stare of non-recognition, she had
paid considerably more. However, even
that meagre shape of "living near the
rose" was very acceptable, in lieu of better
things, and a deal of intimate conversation
went on concerning many distinguished
leaders of fashionable life, of whom Mrs.
Leader had about the same familiar
knowledge that a diligent newspaper reader has of
crowned heads and crown princes. Katey,
solitary and bewildered, listened to this
"clackit." Mrs. Leader studiously
overlooked her. Beside Mr. Leader was the
vivacious Jessie, never ceasing, never tiring, but
with a studious obsequiousness to him, and
a frequent "Now, do tell me about that, Mr.