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      Keeling sat silent for a moment longer. Then he rose too.This appeal was more successful. Something in the simple dignity of Keelings reply had silenced her, and she was led away like a wicked little elephant between her daughter and Alice. Not one word did Keeling say till they had left the room, and then, though his usual allowance of port on Sunday was one glass after lunch and two after{29} dinner, he helped himself again and pushed the bottle towards Hugh.

      "With King Richard and the true Commons," was the reply; and the door was instantly unclosed, and John Leicester, a tall, pale complexioned man, with an aquiline visage and sharp black eyes, accompanied by Ralph Rugge, John Kirkby, and Allan Theoder, entered the apartment.

      "Please, m?aster, there's trouble on the farm."


      Her voice suddenly ceased again, as if a tap been turned off by some external agency, and Alice wisely made no reply of any kind, feeling sure that in a minute or two her mother would begin to give vent to that faint snoring which betokened that she had gone to sleep again. That did not interrupt the flow of her ecstatic musings, whereas her mothers general attitude to all the novel institutions which were so precious to her gave her a tendency to strong shudderings. Only half an hour ago Mrs Keeling had said that she was sure she saw nothing wrong in confession and{100} would not mind going herself if she could think of anything worth telling Mr Silverdale about.... Alice had drawn in her breath sharply when her mother said that, as if with a pang of spiritual toothache.


      Good-evening, Miss Propert, he said. I want you, if you will, to leave your work now, and come into the drawing-room to talk to my wife and daughter for a few minutes, while I ring for a cab for you. It is snowing hard.