She sat down then, by the window, and began to chat with Miss Maggie; and very soon Mr. Smith heard her say this:—

"No, Maggie, I don't know, really, what I am going to do—truly I don't. Business is so turrible dull! Why, I don't earn enough to pay my rent, hardly, now, ter say nothin' of my feed."

Miss Maggie frowned.

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"But I thought that Hattie—ISN'T Hattie having some new dresses—and

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Bessie, too?"

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A sigh passed Miss Flora's lips.

"Yes, oh, yes; they are having three or four. But they don't come to ME any more. They've gone to that French woman that makes the Pennocks' things, you know, with the queer name. And of course it's all right, and you can't blame 'em, livin' on the West Side, as they do now. And, of course, I ain't so up ter date as she is. And just her name counts."

"Nonsense! Up to date, indeed!" (Miss Maggie laughed merrily, but Mr. Smith, copying dates at the table, detected a note in the laugh that was not merriment.) "You're up to date enough for me. I've got just the job for you, too. Come out into the kitchen." She was already almost at the door. "Why, Maggie, you haven't, either!" (In spite of the incredulity of voice and manner, Miss Flora sprang joyfully to her feet.) "You never had me make you a—" Again the kitchen door slammed shut, and Mr. Smith was left to finish the sentence for himself.

But Mr. Smith was not finishing sentences. Neither was his face expressing just then the sympathy which might be supposed to be showing, after so sorry a tale as Miss Flora had been telling. On the contrary, Mr. Smith, with an actual elation of countenance, was scribbling on the edge of his notebook words that certainly he had never found in the Blaisdell records before him: "Two months more, then—a hundred thousand dollars. And may I be there to see it!"

Half an hour later, as on the previous day, Mr. Smith saw a metamorphosed woman hurrying down the little path to the street. But the woman to-day was carrying a bundle—and it was the same bundle that the woman the day before had brought.

But not always, as Mr. Smith soon learned, were Miss Maggie's visitors women. Besides Benny, with his grievances, young Fred Blaisdell came sometimes, and poured into Miss Maggie's sympathetic ears the story of Gussie Pennock's really remarkable personality, or of what he was going to do when he went to college—and afterwards.

Mr. Jim Blaisdell drifted in quite frequently Sunday afternoons, though apparently all he came for was to smoke and read in one of the big comfortable chairs. Mr. Smith himself had fallen into the way of strolling down to Miss Maggie's almost every Sunday after dinner.