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ON this subjectthe question of how Hester
was to be conveyed to Glenlucethe Mother
Augustine took council with her brother. For
Sir Archie Munro had not yet gone from

He had been coming nearly every day to
visit his sister in her convent, and very often
he had seen Hester at her work in the mother’s
room. He acknowledged himself rather shocked
at her childish occupation of dressing dolls;
thought her too full-grown and serious-looking
for so simple a diversion.

She does these little things very prettily,
you know,” he said one day, when she was
absent at Hampton Court, and he lifted and
handled a little figure with a man's curiosity
about a woman’s work. “But isn’t it rather
an odd amusement for a young woman? And
she is a young woman, you know, Mary;
young, indeed, but still a woman.”

The Mother Augustine was very merry over
this mistake. “So you have thought that
poor Hester was playing the baby!” she said.
But you must know that each of these
figures represents a womanmy mother, for
instance, or Cousin Madge.”

My mother! Cousin Madge!” repeated
Sir Archie, in bewilderment.

Yes, or any other lady requiring to be
handsomely clothed by a pair of skilful hands.
These are not a child’s dolls, but a dressmaker's

Sir Archie did not follow the explanation.
At all events, it did not enlighten him as to
Hester's actual calling.

And I want to consult with you about
getting our young protégée sent to Ireland,”
said the mother. “I have found her a home.
You could never guess where. In Glenluce

Sir Archie's face beamed with satisfaction.
Why, how have you managed it?” he said.
I should not have thought it easy to persuade
my mother to invite her. I did think myself
of petitioning Aunt Margaret—”

But, Archie,” said the mother, gravely,
You must not be under a mistake. This
young girl is not going as a visitor to Glenluce.
My mother needs a dressmaker and seamstress
at the Castle, and I have accepted the situation
for Hester.”

Sir Archie was a long time taking it in. That
his mother should have need of some one to do
her sewing he could not wonder, but that Hester
should be sent into his house in such a character;
it did not seem to please him.

I do not think such an arrangement can
ever suit,” he said. “Aunt Margaret would
have taken her in upon a visit. I had thought
of writing to her.”

You had thought of writing to her!” said
the Mother Augustine, in surprise, and then
checked herself and was silent, though she
looked as if she could have said more.

Her brother glanced up suddenly, at the
change in her voice, and met her eyes. And
then he did a thing unheard of in the family
traditions of Sir Archieblushed.

The Mother Augustine returned Hester’s
little lay figure to its box in silence; and began
to speak of something else. In the midst of
such speaking the sound of a carriage was heard
outside upon the stones, the door was thrown
open, and Hester appeared.

Her fair hair was dressed gracefully under a
pretty little hat. She wore a pale grey robe of
silk, and long coral ear-rings in her ears. Her
cheeks were flushed with a slight shame, and
her lips were quivering with a joyful smile. She
was conscious of being better dressed than it was
fitting she should be, but so eager to see her
friend that the uneasiness of such consciousness
was swallowed up in joy.

She advanced a few steps into the room, then
stopped short, and stood abashed. Sir Archie
on the one side looked flushed and embarrassed,
the Mother Augustine, on the other, looked
grave and displeased.

Hester stood, as at bay, for a few moments,
seeming as if she would have turned and run
away, then suddenly came forward rapidly,
pulled off her coquettish hat and threw it on the

I knew how it would be,” she said, in a
low vehement voice, a tear flashing from under
her drooped eyelids. “Lady Humphrey would
insist on dressing me up so. I knew it was
not right; that you would not like it.”

The Mother Augustine glanced at her brother,
and caught the expression of his face, before he