himney-piece, "in the same family for many years."
"You'll excuse me, ma'am," continued the seaman, "if I appear something inquisitive, I want to make sure that I've boarded the right craft d'ee see--I mean, that you are the right 'ooman."
A look of surprise, not unmingled with humour, beamed from Mrs Roby's twinkling black eyes as she gazed steadily in the seaman's face, but she made no other acknowledgment of his speech than a slight inclination of her head, which caused her tall cap to quiver. Captain Wopper, regarding this as a favourable sign, went on.
"You was once, ma'am, I'm told, before bein' a nuss in the family of which you've made mention, a matron, or somethin' o' that sort, in a foundlin' hospital--in your young days, ma'am?"
Again Mrs Roby admitted the charge, and demanded to know, "what then?"
"Ah, jus' so--that's what I'm comin' to," said Captain Wopper, drawing his large hand over his beard. "You was present in that hospital, ma'am, was you not, one dark No