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she asked suddenly, in a confidential whisper.
"I do."

"Show Miss Vanstone her room," said the
captain, looking as if the whole house belonged
to him. "The spare room, the landlady's spare
room, on the third floor front. Offer Miss
Vanstone all articles connected with the toilet of
which she may stand in need. She has no
luggage with her. Supply the deficiency; and
then come back and make tea."

Mrs. Wragge acknowledged the receipt of
these lofty directions by a look of placid
bewilderment, and led the way out of the room;
Magdalen following her, with a candle
presented by the attentive captain. As soon as they
were alone on the landing outside, Mrs. Wragge
raised the tattered old book which she had been
reading when Magdalen was first presented to
her, and which she had never let out of her hand
since; and slowly tapped herself on the forehead
with it. "Oh, my poor head," said the tall lady,
in meek soliloquy; "it's Buzzing again worse
than ever!"

"Buzzing?" repeated Magdalen, in the utmost

Mrs. Wragge ascended the stairs, without
offering any explanation; stopped at one of the
rooms on the second floor; and led the way in.

"This is not the third floor," said Magdalen.
"This is not my room surely?"

"Wait a bit," pleaded Mrs. Wragge. "Wait
a bit, miss, before we go up any higher. I've got
the Buzzing in my head worse than ever. Please
wait for me till I'm a little better again."

"Shall I ask for help?" inquired Magdalen.
"Shall I call the landlady?"

"Help?" echoed Mrs. Wragge. "Bless you,
I don't want help! I'm used to it. I've had the
Buzzing in my head, off and onhow many
years?" She stopped, reflected, lost herself,
and suddenly tried a question in despair. "Have
you ever been at Darch's Dining-Rooms in
London?" she asked, with an appearance of the
deepest interest.

"No," replied Magdalen, wondering at the
strange inquiry.

"That's where the Buzzing in my head first
begun," said Mrs. Wragge, following the new
clue, with the deepest attention and anxiety.
"I was employed to wait on the gentlemen at
Darch's Dining-RoomsI was. The gentlemen
all came together; the gentlemen were all
hungry together; the gentlemen all gave their
orders together——" She stopped, and tapped
her head again despondently, with the tattered
old book.

"And you had to keep all their orders in your
memory, separate one from the other?"
suggested Magdalen, helping her out. "And the
trying to do that, confused you?"

"That's it!" said Mrs. Wragge, becoming
violently excited in a moment. "Boiled pork
and greens and peas-pudding, for Number One.
Stewed beef and carrots and gooseberry tart, for
Number Two. Cut of mutton, and quick about
it, well done, and plenty of fat, for Number
Three. Codfish and parsnips, two chops to
follow, hot-and-hot, or I'll be the death of you,
for Number Four. Five, six, seven, eight, nine,
ten. Carrots and gooseberry tartpeas-pudding
and plenty of fatpork and beef and
mutton, and cut 'em all, and quick about it
stout for one, and ale for t'otherand stale
bread here, and new bread thereand this
gentleman likes cheese, and that gentleman doesn't
Matilda, Tilda, Tilda, Tilda, fifty times over,
till I didn't know my own name againoh lord!
oh lord!! oh lord!!! all together, all at the
same time, all out of temper, all buzzing in my
poor head like forty thousand million bees
don't tell the captain! don't tell the captain!"
The unfortunate creature dropped the tattered
old book, and beat both hands on her head, with
a look of blank terror fixed on the door.

"Hush! hush!" said Magdalen. "The captain
hasn't heard you. I know what is the
matter with your head now. Let me cool it."

She dipped a towel in water, and pressed it
on the hot and helpless head which Mrs. Wragge
submitted to her with the docility of a sick

"What a pretty hand you've got," said the
poor creature, feeling the relief of the coolness,
and taking Magdalen's hand admiringly in her
own. "How soft and white it is! I try to be
a lady; I always keep my gloves onbut I can't
get my hands like yours. I'm nicely dressed,
though, ain't I? I like dress: it's a comfort to
me. I'm always happy when I'm looking at my
things. I sayyou won't be angry with me?—I
should so like to try your bonnet on."

Magdalen humoured her, with the ready
compassion of the young. She stood smiling and
nodding at herself in the glass, with the bonnet
perched on the top of her head. "I had one, as
pretty as this, once," she said—"only it was
white, not black. I wore it when the captain
married me."

"Where did you meet with him?" asked
Magdalen, putting the question as a chance means of
increasing her scanty stock of information on the
subject of Captain Wragge.

"At the Dining-Rooms," said Mrs. Wragge.
"He was the hungriest and the loudest to wait
upon of the lot of 'em. I made more mistakes
with him, than I did with all the rest of them
put together. He used to swearoh, didn't he
use to swear! When he left off swearing at me,
he married me. There was others wanted me,
besides him. Bless you, I had my pick. Why
not? When you have a trifle of money left you,
that you didn't expect, if that don't make a lady
of you, what does? Isn't a lady to have her
pick? I had my trifle of money, and I had my
pick, and I picked the captainI did. He was
the smartest and the shortest of them all. He
took care of me and my money. I'm here, the
money's gone. Don't you put that towel down
on the tablehe won't have that! Don't move
his razorsdon't please, or I shall forget which