roached me with an inquiring look. I am afraid my returning glance did not greatly reassure her. As she came up and took my arm, she said,--
"Well! No, it's not very well. I am beaten, my dear. Your mother is simply a stony-hearted parent!"
"What did she say?"
"Oh, she wants you to grow up an old maid--as if such a thing were possible!--and says that lovers have no idea of what a mean, cruel thing it is to rob people of only daughters; and that she shall require time to think of it. What do you think of that?"
Bessie knitted her pretty brows, and dug her toes into the walk.
"Perhaps I had better go to her?" she said.
"Of course you must. But I know it won't be of any use just yet. We must, as she says, give her time. She will come around all right at the end of nine or ten years. The fact is, Bessie, she's a little bit jealous of me and regards me as an intruder."
"Poor, dear mamma!" said Bessie, her eyes becoming moist.
"Poor, dear pussy-