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"Make a notch the length of a yard on the handle of your broom," I said, "and measure the exact length of the bottom of your apron. With your broom you can get the height of the room, and with your apron the other measurements, so that you will be able to get all the sizes; and even if you are disturbed, no one would have the slightest idea of what you are doing."

"My dear sister," the bishop said, and this time his voice was soft and persuasive, "we have all our trials; life is no rosy path, but is paved with the sharp stones of duty; but yet we must all tread it as unflinchingly as we may, looking for strength where only it can be found. To you has been confided a great and important mission. You have the opportunity of doing great things for the Holy Church. You have that great and glorious object in view, and you are, moreover, filled with the pious hope of saving a lost soul, and that the soul of your erring brother. It is a task which the angels themselves might be glad to perform. To the Church is given all power here, to bind and to loose, and, for your sakes, I have promised you that your brother's errors shall be passed over. Prayers are offered up that he may be forgiven; and when the time comes, rest assured that at least no testimony shall be made against him; and that if the Church cannot bless, it will at least not curse the mistaken one. Every allowance has been and will be made for his youth at the time he forsook the right path, and the strong influences brought to bear upon him; his life has been, as you have testified in your letters, save as to this grievous falling off, an exemplary one; and I trust that, when at last stricken with illness, he will turn back as a wandering sheep to the fold. These, my sisters, are the inducementsa lost soul to be saved, the Church to be strengthened. Not often are such inducements offered. But," and here he raised and hardened his voice, "it is not by inducements only that the Church acts, but by orders and threatenings. Upon you a certain burden has been placed, hard to bear, perhaps, but not beyond your strength. From this task you must not shrink; your private wishes are as nothing in the balance. You have a duty, and would fain escape it to pass your life in the way it would please you in a convent; you would say, to serve God there, but He will not be so served; He has given you another sphere, other tasks. The convent is for those who see no path of active usefulness traced out for themnot for such as you. Who can tell what may yet occur? I at first acceded to your request, and allowed you to retire from the world, until your nephew's death clearly indicated that Providence had not destined the property of the Church to pass from the apostate father to the heretic son. Then your path of duty was clear; and although at present the future looks dark, although your brother is obstinate in his recusancy, and although he may talk of leaving his property to others, yet the case is by no means hopeless. He may repent and turn; this girl whom he has adopted may displease him; he may die without a will. These and many other contingencies may arise, but until his death your task cannot be ended."

"My dearest Grandpapa,

Robert Gregory, it has already been said, was a handsome man with a good figure. His conversation and manners might not have passed muster in critical society, still he had seen enough of the world to be able to assume the air of a gentleman sufficiently well to deceive a girl who had hardly ever conversed with a young man before in her life; his address to her was straightforward and outspoken, and yet with something deferential about it to which Sophy was quite unaccustomed, and which gratified her exceedingly.

However, it was willed that her stay with us should be even more brief than our worst fears had whispered. Percy and Ada had not left us much more than a month, when papa said at breakfast one morning: "Agnes, I wrote yesterday to Harry to come home; write to-day to Miss Pilgrim, asking her to send Polly home to-morrow." It did not need for me to look in his face; the quiver of his voice told me his meaning: they were to come home to see mamma before she died. What a dreadful shock it was. I had long known mamma must leave us soon, but she had so long been ill, and she changed so gradually, that, until papa spoke that morning, I had never realized that her time was so near at hand. Yet, when I recovered from that terrible fit of crying, I remembered how I could count back from week to week, and see how the change, gradual as it seemed, had yet been strongly marked, and that the last two months had wrought terrible havoc with her little remaining strength.

And so at last, but not without many tears and much bitter self-reproach, Sophy consented to an elopementconsented at that very interview coming from which Dr. Ashleigh surprised Robert Gregorywho, elated by his success, was making his way off without observing his usual care and precaution.

"Yes, sir; I have a small tanyard. The truth is, sir, my father was a tanner down in Essex. He's dead long since. As a boy, I never took to the business, but was fonder of going about shooting,yes, and sometimes poaching. At last I married a farmer's daughter near, and was pretty steady for a bit; still, sometimes I would go out with my old mates, and once our party fell in with the gamekeepers. Some one fired a gun, and then we had a regular fight, and there were some bad hurts given on both sides. We got off then; but some of us were known, and so I went straight up to London,and there, sir, I met the men who were here to-day, and a good many others like them, and got my living as I best could. At last my wife, who had joined me in London, got news that some relative had died and left her a little money. So she persuaded me to give it all up; and as we heard of this little place being for sale, we bought it and settled down herethat's three years ago. But I have never been able quite to get rid of my old work. They knew where I was, and threatened, if I did not help them, they would peach on me: so I agreed that I would hide anything down here for which the scent was too hot in London. Of course they pay me for it. But I mean to give it up; this will be a good excuse, as it is a terrible risk. Besides, they have not sent me down many things lately, so I expect they have found another place more handy. At any rate, I mean to give it up now."