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"Henrietta," she observed, "look modest, if you can; and let that be your finery. (Brocade !" she thought within herself, "and mischief knows how many yards of it! and enough lace, I see, for window curtains. And not a ten-pound note in her pocket, I'll be bound.")

But Henrietta had as lief be hanged for a sheep as a lamb, and was too well-used to snubbing to mind it much.


Sheila !" she called out. lace! "


"What lovely

'The nuns made it," my dear mother answered innocently.

"Nuns!" cried grandmamma, too startled to speak as loudly as she meant.


Yes; the nuns in the convent at Kilballyfrancis. They were so kind about it— they were all working at it to get it done in time

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"Nuns!" repeated her mother-in-law quite sepulchrally.

Henrietta looked nervously triumphant. It would, of course, be queer if Sheila should turn out a Catholic after all, her father being a Rector; but hadn't she (who was always called a fool) said so?


Yes," explained Sheila. "It is always the

nuns, or the poor girls they teach, who make


the lace in Ireland

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Lace!" cried her mother-in-law, as if nothing much worse could be made by anybody. "Lace, indeed!"

Perhaps my poor father was tired of it all; perhaps he was in a mischievous humour. He remarked cheerfully: "Oh, yes! And Sheila took me to thank them; and they made as much of me as if I hadn't been a heretic parson marrying another heretic parson's daughter!"

"Hubert!' said his mother. "To me? To me-in your father's house, and your father's presence!"

To tell the truth his father did not seem to mind much; he did not care sixpence if all the nuns in Ireland called him a heretic parson; he was a beneficed clergyman and a canon of Lowminster, and it made no difference. All the same he was glad to hear the sound of wheels outside, and sincerely hoped the bustle of departure would stop the discussion.

"Shall I go on the box?" suggested Hubert, while cloaking his sisters.


Yes, do," said Mr. Burscough, "it'll keep you out of mischief."

But, inside, my grandmother maintained a stony silence. Not till the door of the Tufted drawing-room was thrown open did she relax; then, indeed, did she adjust her expression to suit a company that had done nothing amiss. She went in first, large, handsome, and imposing, in a black watered silk, that proclaimed at once her means and her moderation. That Sheila would be sent in to dinner before everybody she knew ; but Sheila should not precede her into the drawing-room.

Lord Drumshambo had been boasting to his guests of the Irish bride's beauty, and had just appealed to his wife in support of his statements when the Burscough family arrived.

"Let them judge for themselves," Lady Drumshambo answered. "She'll be here in

five minutes."

("The very best of women," the old Lord complained to himself, "wouldn't confess under the rack that a girl not her own daughter was out-of-the-way pretty.")

And at that very moment Lady Drumshambo was saying aside to the County Member's wife, "Mrs. Hubert Burscough is really a lovely little creature


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Then the door opened, and the butler announced my grandmother, etc.

There were five gentlemen and three ladies in the room when all the Burscoughs walked into it, and the four gentlemen and two ladies who had not seen the bride before all perceived their host's triumphant look around meant "Well! what did I say ? "


Quite right," the County Member's wife responded, not in words, of course, but by a little nod. The gentlemen did not nod, but they were strongly of her (and Lord Drumshambo's) opinion; her husband, Sir Bolt Fencey, did not, however, as she did, admire the bridegroom, too. Even before dinner was announced, Lord Drumshambo, who seemed to make his countrywoman's beauty a personal matter, got them in a corner and said impatiently:

"" Well?"

She's all you promised," declared Sir Bolt. "But what were your young Irish fellows about to let her be carried off by this English parson ? "

"A very handsome couple," said Lady Fencey.

"Oh, I only go said her husband.

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half way with you," "He's too little and

slim; with his long eyelashes, and pretty nose and he has too much complexion; enough for a girl."

Sir Bolt's own large face was all complexion, of a deep purplish red, and he weighed about sixteen stone; when he blew his thick nose he made a noise like a foghorn.

His son, who was much better looking, young Mr. Barnsdale, and his friend, Mr. Kirby Misperton, though they had no occasion to say so aloud, were much of his opinionwhat had the young men in County Waterford been about to let that lovely Irish girl be carried off by yonder English parson, with the delicate complexion, large eyes, and outrageously long, dark eyelashes. He was too slight and too short and he looked too young to be a husband. It would have annoyed his mother finely had she been able to know that every man in the room thought Miss Desmond ought to have done much better for herself. What annoyed, somehow, as it was, was to note that Sheila, who had always betrayed a certain diffidence, and dread of doing or saying something wrong down at the Rectory, did not seem in the least shy here: without appearing even to notice that the rooms were big, and the company fine, she

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