ut of it.'
Helen did not speak another word. About half-past six Miss Toller put on her best clothes and appeared in the dining-room. Helen punctually served the dinner. A seat was allotted to Miss Toller at the bottom of the table opposite Miss Everard and next to Mr. Goacher, who faced Mrs. Poulter. Mrs. Mudge's wine was produced, and Mr. Goacher graciously poured out a glass for Miss Toller.
'At this festive season, ma'am.'
A second glass was not offered, although Mrs. Mudge's supply was liberal. Mr. Goacher did not stint himself.
'There are beautiful churches in Northamptonshire, I believe, Miss Toller?' said the reverend gentleman after the third glass.
'Yes, very beautiful.'
'Ah! that is delightful. To whatever school in the Establishment we belong, we cannot be insensible to the harmony between it and our dear old ivy-clad towers and the ancient gravestones. I love old country churches. I often wish my lot had been cast in a simple rural parish.'
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