was equally evident--beyond question, for Mrs. Perks, to judge by the look of her, was not one to grant the benefit of any doubt. Her effect upon blue litmus paper would assuredly have been most striking and instantaneous. In spite of everything Miriam fell to thinking. But she was too weary and famished to cogitate for long. She decided to accept the circumstances as they were.
"Sir," said Mrs. Perks, addressing the elderly gentleman in the shrillest of voices, "if you only knew what I've suffered this blessed night--but that you never will. Oh, the awful 'orrors and ghastly visions I've 'ad of your 'avin' your throat cut from ear to ear, no less. Bein' a widder, and 'avin' no manly 'eart to lean on since Perks went below--that is 'is body I should say, for, as is well-known to you, Mr. Bartons, 'is soul soared straight upwards--I feel these things the more. Thank God you're 'ere, Mr. Bartons, safe and sound, and not 'acked about as I seed you in my mind's eye. 'Eaven be praised, I say, for it's long-