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activity and politeness. She suspected the girl
was ill tempered; she disliked her name; and
she was indisposed to welcome any servant who
had been engaged by Mr. Noel Vanstone. But
after the first few minutes " Louisa" grew on
her liking. She answered all the questions put
to her, with perfect directness; she appeared to
understand her duties thoroughly; and she never
spoke until she was spoken to first. After making
all the inquiries that occurred to her at the time,
and after determining to give the maid a fair
trial, Magdalen rose to leave the room. The
very air in it was still heavy to her with the
oppression of the past night.

"Have you anything more to say to me?" she
asked, turning to the servant, with her hand on
the door.

"I beg your pardon, Miss," said Louisa, very
respectfully and very quietly. " I think my master
told me that the marriage was to be tomorrow?"

Magdalen repressed the shudder that stole
over her, at that reference to the marriage on the
lips of a stranger, and answered in the affirmative.

"It's a very short time, Miss, to prepare in.
If you would be so kind as to give me my
orders about the packing, before you go down

"There are no such preparations to make as
you suppose," said Magdalen, hastily. " The few
things I have here, can be all packed at once,
if you like. I shall wear the same dress tomorrow
which I have on to-day. Leave out the
straw bonnet, and the light shawl; and put
everything else into my boxes. I have no new
dresses to packI have nothing ordered for the
occasion, of any sort." She tried to add some
common-place phrases of explanation, accounting
as probably as might be, for the absence of the
usual wedding outfit, and wedding-dress. But
no further reference to the marriage would pass
her lips, and without another word she abruptly
left the room.

The meek and melancholy Louisa stood lost in
astonishment. " Something wrong here," she
thought. " I'm half afraid of my new place already."
She sighed resignedly,— shook her head
and went to the wardrobe. She first examined the
drawers underneath; took out the various articles
of linen laid inside; and placed them on chairs.
Opening the upper part of the wardrobe next,
she ranged the dresses in it side by side on the
bed. Her last proceeding was to push the
empty boxes into the middle of the room, and to
compare the space at her disposal with the
articles of dress which she had to pack. She
completed her preliminary calculations with the
ready self-reliance of a woman who thoroughly
understood her business, and began the packing
forthwith. Just as she had placed the first
article of linen in the smaller box, the door
of the room opened; and the house-servant,
eager for gossip, came in.

"What do you want?" asked Louisa, quietly.

"Did you ever hear of anything like this!"
said the house-servant, entering on her subject

"Like what?"

"Like this marriage to be sure. You're
London bred, they tell me. Did you ever hear
of a young lady being married, without a single
new thing to her back? No wedding veil, and
no wedding-breakfast, and no wedding favours
for the servants! It's flying in the face of Providence
that's what I say. I'm only a poor
servant, I know. But it's wicked, downright
wickedand I don't care who hears me!"

Louisa went on with the packing.

"Look at her dresses!" persisted the house-servant,
waving her hand indignantly at the bed.
"I'm only a poor girlbut I wouldn't marry the
best man alive without a new gown to my back.
Look here! look at this dowdy brown thing
here. Alpaca! You're not going to pack this
Alpaca thing, are you? Why, it's hardly fit for a
servant! I don't know that I'd take a gift of
it if it was offered me. It would do for me if I
took it up in the skirt, and let it out in the
waistand it wouldn't look so bad with a bit of
bright trimming, would it?"

"Let that dress alone, if you please," said
Louisa, as quietly as ever.

"What did you say?" inquired the other,
doubting whether her ears had not deceived her.

"I saidlet that dress alone. It belongs to
my mistress; and I have my mistress's orders to
pack up everything in the room. You are not
helping me by coming hereyou are very much
in my way."

"Well!" said the house-servant, "you may be
London bred, as they say. But if these are your
London mannersgive me Suffolk!" She opened
the door, with an angry snatch at the handle,
shut it violently, opened it again, and looked in.
"Give me Suffolk!" said the house-servant, with
a parting nod of her head to point the edge of
her sarcasm.

Louisa proceeded impenetrably with her packing up.

Having neatly disposed of the linen in the
smaller box, she turned her attention to the
dresses next. After passing them carefully in
review, to ascertain which was the least valuable
of the collection, and to place that one in the
bottom of the trunk for the rest to lie on, she
made her choice with very little difficulty. The
first gown which she put into the box, wasthe
brown Alpaca dress.

Meanwhile, Magdalen had joined the captain
down stairs. Although he could not fail to
notice the languor in her face and the listlessness
of all her movements, he was relieved to find that
she met him with perfect composure. She was
even self-possessed enough to ask him for news
of his journey, with no other signs of agitation
than a passing change of colour, and a little
trembling of the lips.

"So much for the past," said Captain Wragge,
when his narrative of the expedition to London,