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looking and grizzling over what might have been.”
But, 'Lizbeth, 'Lizbeth! one's father and one's mother!”
Elizabeth would answer nothing; but when she dusted her sacred little table she would leave the Bible open at a page containing a Divine answer to the cry of Margaret's heart.
One Saturday evening, after Margaret had been suffering in silence many hours, she suddenly looked up from her work.
“ 'Lizbeth,” said she, “will you lend me your Sunday gown to-morrow?”
Elizabeth looked quite pleased.
"Why, Margaret, you will do finely in it: and, do you know, you could not have asked me at a more convenient time, for, as it happens, the Reverend Mr Straightways preaches in our chapel to-morrow, and he always has a slap at finery; and yet, rather than leave it in the
cupboard unaired for a whole fortnight, I might
have been tempted to put it on. Ah laws! this world! the pomps and the vanities! Will you have the black lace on it as it is?”
How little curiosity you have, ’Lizbeth! Don't you wonder where I am going ?”
Of course I do.” “Well, then,” answered Margaret, flinching a little in her voice, but looking straight at Elizabeth with a pale, firm face, “I am going to Wrexham Church."
Elizabeth's blue eyes looked her through and through. Margaret looked back into hers, unfalteringly, though mournfully; and they understood one another as well as if they had spoken. Elizabeth's gaze had said, “Canst thou ?" and Margaret had answered, “I can.”
“Speed ye well, Margaret !” said Elizabeth Vandereck; “the pure of heart are always brave.”
“I was one of the choir," said Margaret. “I will go to my place and sing as I used to do.
you know, my father once said, when I was quite a child, he only went to church to hear me sing.”
Now, that was not right to say to a child,” observed Elizabeth.
My Gracie has also a very pretty voice of her own,” she added, kissing the little one who was in her arms as she spoke.
The next morning the young widow attired Margaret with her own hands, and bade her “God speed !” as she sent her forth on her journey.
The dove-coloured silk, which had seen the inside of the little Methodist chapel many a time since that day when Elizabeth Transom first wore it there as Joshua Vandereck's bride, became Margaret wondrously well.
She looked once more like “the young lady of Darnley Chace,” as the villagers used to call her when she lived with Mrs Kennedy.
She was to be at both morning and afternoon service, and to eat her dinner of oatmeal cake,
which she carried in her pocket, in one of the quiet lanes through Wrexham Downs.
“I feel,” said she, as she parted from Elizabeth, “ like one of those poor wretches going to be tried by red-hot ploughshares. Every pang I suffer and show will be taken as evidence of
Elizabeth stood and waved her apron as long as she could see her.
At sunset she went to the same spot, which was some little distance from the cottage, to look out for her.
It was not long ere she saw a form of softer grey than the cliffs flitting quickly down the beach.
“Here she comes, children,” said Elizabeth, setting the twins down on the stones. “Here comes our dove. Does she bring the olivebranch, I wonder ?”
She ran to meet her, caught both her hands, and peered affectionately into her face.
“ What cheer, mate?” said she, using one of her husband's homely phrases, in her own soft, pleasant voice.
“None, 'Lizbeth, none." “What! no olive-branch, my poor tired dove?"
” “Ah! no, 'Lizbeth; all's dry and withered where I've been, and hard and bitter. Let me come back into the ark and die.”
She took hold of Elizabeth's plump arm with both her hands, and leaned upon
it wearily. “I am heartsore and footsore, 'Lizbeth. Take me home."
“ You must have some tea before you tell me all about it,” said Elizabeth, “and before I tell you my adventures; for I have had quite remarkable things happen since you went away this morning. I am longing to tell you ; so pray
make haste and get your tea and your story told, that I
tell mine." When tea was over, the house shut, and the children asleep, Margaret told her story—how