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trifles of to-day. At least, I know that was
the explanation Mr. Gray once gave me of
what we all thought the great improvement
in Harry Gregson's way of behaving.

My lady hesitated so long about what she
had best say, that Harry grew a little
frightened at her silence. A few months
ago it would have surprised me more than it
did now; but since my lord her son's death,
she had seemed altered in many ways,—
more uncertain and distrustful of herself, as
it were.

At last she said, and I think the tears
were in her eyes: "My poor little fellow,
you have had a narrow escape with your life
since I saw you last."

To this there was nothing to be said but
"Yes;" and again there was silence.

"And you have lost a good, kind friend,
in Mr. Horner."

The boy's lips worked, and I think he
said, "Please, don't." But I can't be sure;
at any rate, my lady went on:

"And so have I,—a good, kind friend, he
was to both of us; and to you he wished to
show his kindness in even a more generous
way than he has done. Mr. Gray has told
you about his legacy to you, has he not?"

There was no sign of eager joy on the lad's
face, as if he realised the power and pleasure
of having what to him must have seemed
like a fortune.

"Mr. Gray said as how he had left me a
matter of money."

"Yes, he has left you two hundred
pounds."

"But I would rather have had him alive,
my lady," he broke out, sobbing as if his
heart would break.

"My lad, I believe you. We would rather
have had our dead alive, would we not; and
there is nothing in money that can comfort
us for their loss. But you knowMr. Gray
has told youwho has appointed us all our
times to die. Mr. Horner was a good, just
man; and has done well and kindly, both by
me and you. You perhaps do not know"
(and now I understood what my lady had
been making up her mind to say to Harry,
all the time she was hesitating how to begin)
"that Mr. Horner, at one time, meant to
leave you a great deal more; probably all he
had, with the exception of a legacy to his old
clerk, Morrison. But he knew that this
estateon which my forefathers had lived
for six hundred yearswas in debt, and that
I had no immediate chance of paying off this
debt; and yet he felt that it was a very sad
thing for an old property like this to belong
in part to those other men, who had lent the
money. You understand me, I think, my
little man?" said she, questioning Harry's
face.

He had left off crying, and was trying to
understand with all his might and main;
and I think he had got a pretty good general
idea of the state of affairs; though probably
he was puzzled by the term "the estate
being in debt." But he was sufficiently
interested to want my lady to go on; and he
nodded his head at her, to signify this to her.

"So Mr. Horner took the money which he
once meant to be yours, and has left the
greater part of it to me, with the intention of
helping me to pay off this debt I have told
you about. It will go a long way, and I
shall try hard to save the rest, and then I
shall die happy in leaving the land free from
debt." She paused. "But I shall not die
happy in thinking of you. I do not know if
having money, or even having a great estate
and much honour, is a good thing for any of
us. But God sees fit that some of us should
be called to this condition, and it is our duty
then to stand by our posts, like brave
soldiers. Now, Mr. Horner intended you to
have this money first. I shall only call it
borrowing it from you, Harry Gregson, if I
take it and use it to pay off the debt. I
shall pay Mr. Gray interest on this money,
because he is to stand as your guardian, as it
were, till you come of age; and he must fix
what ought to be done with it, so as to fit
you for spending the principal rightly when
the estate can repay it you. I suppose, now,
it will be right for you to be educated. That
will be another snare that will come with
your money. But have courage, Harry.
Both education and money may be used
rightly, if we only pray against the temptations
they bring with them."

Harry could make no answer, though I am
sure he understood it all. My lady wanted
to get him to talk to her a little, by way of
becoming acquainted with what was passing
in his mind; and she asked him what he
would like to have done with his money, if
he could have part of it now? To such a
simple question, involving no talk about
feelings, his answer came readily enough.

"Build a cottage for father, with stairs in
it, and give Mr. Gray a school-house. O,
father does so want Mr. Gray for to have his
wish. Father saw all the stones lying quarried
and hewn on Farmer Hale's land; Mr.
Gray had paid for them all himself. And
Father said he would work night and day,
and little Tommy should carry mortar, if the
parson would let him, sooner than that he
should be fretted and frabbed as he was, with
no one giving him a helping hand or a kind
word."

Harry knew nothing of my lady's part in
the affair; that was very clear. My lady
kept silence.

"If I might have a piece of my money, I
would buy land from Mr. Brookes, he has
got a bit to sell just at the corner of Hendon
Lane, and I would give it to Mr. Gray; and,
perhaps, if your ladyship thinks I may be
learned again, I might grow up into the
schoolmaster."

"You are a good boy," said my lady.
"But there are more things to be thought of

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