and countenance, that in his absence of mind he did not perceive that he barred the entrance into the office, when a gentle touch, and a respectful "By your leave, Master Walter," made him start out of the way. The person for whom he made room was an elderly woman, of a remarkably prepossessing countenance, her dress suiting her age and condition, yet put on with more than common neatness for her class of life in Ireland. Over her head she had a large coloured shawl or kerchief, with cap underneath, which made a straight band in front, over the gray parted hair, on the smooth forehead, and fell in folds over her shoulders, while a snow-white muslin was pinned across her bosom.
She inquired from the postmaster whether, "by the blessing of Heaven, there would be a letter for her from her son in America. The Widow Walsh, sir, I am; if you'd be pleasing to look it out for me. Peter never failed me these five years. And you are sensible, sir, yourself, that you had always the luck to find them blessed lette