e had brought her again in touch with her brother-in-law after so many years, Mrs. Stewart had done a vast deal of thinking and planning. There was beautiful Severndale without a mistress excepting Peggy, a mere child, who, in Madam's estimation, did not count. Neil Stewart was a widower in the very prime of life and, from all Madam had observed, sorely in need of someone to look after him and keep him from making some foolish marriage which might end in--well, in not keeping Severndale in the family; "the family" being strongly in evidence in Mrs. Peyton. Her first step had been to secure an invitation to visit there. That done, the next was to remain there indefinitely once she arrived upon the scene. To do this she must make herself not only desirable but indispensable.
Certainly, the preceding two days had not promised much for the fulfillment of her plan. So being by no means a fool, but on the contrary, a very clever woman in her own peculiar line of cleverness, she at once set about dis
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