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the Four Courts. He had paid one or two visits on behind the curtains, and there was something his way, so that he did not reach Fitzwilliam Place breathing somewhere. till past five o'clock. He let himself in with a latch- Then he went to the fire-place, took the poker, key, as he always did. The gas was lighted in the and poked up the bank of coal, black outside and hall, and he walked slowly upstairs to the drawing fiery red within, till it blazed up into a mighty blaze, room, thinking how lonely and quiet the house shedding a brilliant, if flickering, radiance through felt as he did so.

the whole apartment. “I declare," he said to himself, “I will buy a And what do you think he saw then ? dog ; a dog is a great companion for a man who A little girl of three, or perhaps four years old, has no other. It is something to be glad to see you curled up in his own great arm-chair fast asleep! when you come home in the evening, and it runs At first he could hardly believe his eyes, and out and wags its tail, and jumps on you, and gives rubbed them to see whether, when he looked again, you a welcome. I really think I shall buy a dog." he should find it was they that had deceived him.

He entered the large, handsome, lonely-looking Not at all ; there was the child, fast asleep, and drawing-room. He never allowed the gas in it to seeming just as cool and comfortable as if the be lighted till he was at home, and not then till he whole place belonged to her, and not to him. rang the bell and ordered it. The heavy black Then he did not know what to do. and gold curtains were drawn before the windows, He had no experience of children, but something and the fire only wanted to be stirred to make a told him that when a baby was asleep-and this

cheerful blaze, but Mr. Burke did not lift the poker sweet little fair lady was scarcely more than a baby | for that purpose : he began to walk up and down it was better not to wake her ; but let her have her

the room in the dim light given by the unstirred sleep out. So he turned round and began to walk fire, as was his custom when he had any difficult very softly away, when something else caught his business matter to think about. He never believed eyes which again amazed them. that he could think as well in the light as he could This was black trunk standing by the chair in the dark, and just now he had a very interesting where the child lay asleep, of the kind that used to case to consider as a barrister, in which he had to be called overland portmanteaus, because they were give an opinion, and he had not yet made up his first made when people began to travel over the mind what his opinion about it was, so he walked land and through different countries to India, up and down the room, deep in thought.

instead of sailing there all the way in a ship. What was that noise he heard ? Everything was “So she has taken possession of the house, and so still around him—for Fitzwilliam Place is very brought her things with her," he thought, laughing quiet, and he was so busy with his case that he quietly to himself at the oddness and absurdity of was attending to nothing else—when suddenly he the whole thing. “Of course it is some mistake. I became aware that there was a very odd little noise wonder whether the servants can explain it ? ” in the room. It was just exactly like some living So he continued his tiptoe walk to the door of creature breathing.

the room, and then, running downstairs, rang the “Why, that dog I was intending to buy can't dining-room bell violently. have presented himself to me,” he said, laughing. “What is the meaning of all this, Larry?” he “What shall I fancy next? I could declare there cried. “Who is the child upstairs ? and why is she was something breathing in the room with me." here?” But he continued his walking up and down, up and “Shure an' it's glad I am that yer honour's come down, and endeavoured to go back to the train of home to tell us, for it's puzzled intirely that thought that had been interrupted.

Bridget and meeself is; an' Bridget, she says she In vain. There it was again, and he could not won't stay in the house at all at all if there are to mistake it. Something breathing softly, deeply, be childer in it." regularly, and then a little light sound of a deeper * Children in the house! What nonsense! How breath, almost resembling a very minute snore. could there be ? But tell me all about it, Larry.

He looked round him, quite bewildered, almost Who brought the child here? and what does it feeling as if he were dreaming, and then he walked mcan? She has a trunk with her.” straight up to the windows--there were two facing “ That's it,” replied the butler, shaking his head. the street--and pulling aside the heavy black and “It's by the writin'on the box that they brought her gold curtains, peered behind them.

There was

here ; an' it was a sailor man left her who had not nothing there—indeed, I cannot say that he had ex- much English to spake of, an’ who said he'd call pected to find anything, but if there was anything to agin in the evenin' for the reward." look for he did not know where to look except “For the reward! Are you dreaming, Larry?

room.

What reward can the man expect for leaving a child herself extremely comfortable, shrugging her little here except a good thrashing for his impudence ?” shoulders up to her ears, and crossing her little fat

"'Deed, there's not a man in Ireland fitter to give legs to her great inconvenience, as a man might it him thin than yer honour, an' much good may it cross his long ones for ease, and called out with a do him ; but that's just what he said, an' no other." chuckling laugh, “Now I'm pap-pa

!" " The writing on the box," repeated Mr. Burke, “What would you like for supper?” asked Mr. who had hardly attended to the words when they Burke rather timidly, and regarding her somewhat were spoken, but remembered them now with the as a man might regard some little unknown wild hope that they might throw some light on the animal of whose habits he was ignorant, and who matter. “ The writing on the box. Well, I can see had been suddenly introduced into his drawingwhat that is, at any rate, and perhaps find out from that where the child ought to have been taken to." “ Jam !” replied the young lady, without an in

So he went upstairs again, and by the firelight stant's hesitation. read the direction on the box. But the box Mr. Burke thought jam was rather an odd and seemed to have been a good deal battered and unsatisfactory supper, but he supposed it was all knocked about, and part of the piece of paper that right. had been pasted on it to have the direction written “If she doesn't know, who should ?” he reasoned on had been torn or washed off ; there was no to himself. “Dogs, horses, all animals know by name—it was the upper piece that was gone ; but to instinct what they should eat, why not children ? his great surprise he found that what was left was And I have often noticed that they seem sticky.” the right address of his house—the number, and the So he rang the bell, and when his factotum street, and the city—“No Fitzwilliam Place, Bridget appeared, he said, as calmly as he could, Dublin."

“ Bridget, this little girl wants her supper. Bring He had not the least expected to tind this, so he some jain, please.” was a good deal startled. The trunk, then, had But if he was calm, Bridget was not. First she been meant to come to him, whatever the child stared at him in mute amazement, and then she may have been. Why had the address with his spoke. name been torn away? What could it all mean? From the moment she entered the room, the

Just at that moment the little girl moved, un- child had drawn her pretty golden brows together, curled her legs, sat upright, and awoke.

while her blue eyes pecred doubtfully from under She was small and fat and fair, with flaxen hair them. She had given her command for jam curling all over her head. She had a bright colour, without hesitation to the man, but she was doubtful and large surprised blue eyes, that looked straight whether the woman would carry it out. at Mr. Burke, as if she expected him to tell her all “An’ were ye expectin' her thin?” cried Bridget, about it. She was a very pretty child, and she was more in the manner of a mistress than a servantdressed in a little embroidered nankeen pelisse, and a manner which the housekeepers of single gentle. a straw hat trimmed with white ribbon lay on the men do sometimes acquire. “ An' were ye exground by her side, where she had thrown it before pectin' her, and never tould me one single word she fell asleep.

about it ? an' ye might have knocked me down wid Mr. Burke was so unaccustomed to children that a feather when the queer man handed her in.” he felt quite shy and rather afraid of this little “I was not expecting her,” replied Mr. Burke, stranger. He had a notion that children roared rather crossly. “I have no more idea who she is about everything, and if this child began to roar he or why she's here than you have ; but I suppose had not the least idea what he should do. He she must be-fed ?" rather thought he should take to his heels and run And he looked rather helplessly from the child to away:

the woman, and from the woman to the child. The little girl, however, did not seem to have any “Fed, is it? An' was it to feed the likes of her idea of roaring ; nor did she appear at all shy or I took service with yer? It's either she or I must afraid of Mr. Burke, whatever his feelings towards go, thin, for the house won't hold us both, it will her might be. On the contrary, she, as I said be

not." fore, stared full at him with her big blue eyes, “We'll talk about that afterwards. Of course smiled very sweetly, showing a nice little mouthful she's not going to stay here. It is some mistake ; of white teeth like sugar-plums as she did so, but in the meantime we can't starve her. Do bring and said in a pretty lisping voice, “I want my a little jam, Bridget.” supper."

“I want my supper-I so hungry?” murmured Then she leaned back in the chair and made the little animal in the chair, with a wail in her

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she ought to be sent ; and as for the jam, Bridget, she asked for it herself.”

Bridget gave a little laugh at that.

“ If you give childer all they ask for, sir,” she said confidentially, “there would not be many of them left at the end of the year, maybe. Lave her to me, if yer plase,” with a little wave of the hand, “an' I'll do her justice.”

“I want my supper,” reiterated the young lady.

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“A little jam in a saucer will not be much trouble,” And Bridget, nodding her head at her, and saying, he said soothingly.

“An' ye shall have it, yer darlin'," quickly dis“ Is it jam in a saucer ? ” she cried, with supreme appeared out of the room, and hastened to prepare contempt in her voice. “Shure it's good bread- the little one's meal. an’-milk I'll make, with the sugar in it. Jam in a The child now left the chair, Mr. Burke watching saucer is no supper at all at all for a Christian her movements rather anxiously. She began child. Leave the darlin' to me, sir, an’ we'll keep trotting up and down the room at a queer little her and take care of her.”

pace, but not up and down the whole room, only a "Keep her !” cried he, almost angrily. “I have particular part of it; for instead of going as far as the nothing on earth to do with her. She is brought wall, and so enjoying the length of the apartment, here by mistake, and the man who left her, Larry she invariably turned at a certain red flower in the said, is coming back this evening, and then we carpet, and then again at the edge of the hearth. shall find out what it means, and send her wherever rug. She put her hat on a little on one side before

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she did this, and puffing out her rosy cheeks, Tell her a story! What could he tell her a story blew through her puckered lips.

about ? What interest would she take in anything “What a very extraordinary little creature it is !” that interested him? thought the poor master of the house, as he watched “Tell me one,” he replied coaxingly. “Tell me her with anxious eyes.

how little Rose came here." " I'm the cap’n !” she said suddenly, and then Rose came in a big, big ship, sailing, sailing burst out laughing.

over the sea. Pap-pa put me in it. When'll The captain ; yes, of course she was. Then he pap-pa come ?” she added quickly, and put up saw exactly what she was about. She was walking her lip as if ready to cry. the quarter-deck. And it was a foreign sailor " Oh, very soon indeed,” said Mr. Burke, conman, Larry said, had left her here. She had siderably alarmed at the prospect of tears. a voyage; she had crossed over the wide it

pap-pa left you here, and is he coming back for blue seas—and not merely the narrow channel that divides Ireland from England—before she had Pap-pa at home. The sailor brought me here. been left at his door. Captains don't walk the Don't you know sailors ? Sailors are so kind. Oh, quarter-deck so as to catch the observation of me got so very wet, and went in litile, little boat, children during those voyages that last only not in the nice big ship; and me was so hungry a few hours. She was fresh from a long voyage - and thirsty, and got no dinner and no supper. Poor she had come from another quarter of the globe. little me!”

The quarter-deck is that portion of the deck of a “ Poor little Rose!” repeated Mr. Burke, fondling ship which belongs to the first-class passengers

and her, and quite astonished to find how comfortable the officers, and the habit of turning when walking he felt with little Rose on his knee nestling herself up and down a room, just as this baby had turned, up against him. may be noticed in naval officers at home.

“ And can you tell me nothing more--nothing “Come here, little girl,” said Mr. Burke, holding more at all? Who was in the big ship with out his hand to her.

Rosie?" She ran up gladly to him at once, without shyness “ The cap'en was there, and he gave me cakes or fear.

and sweeties. Don't you love the cap'en ?" “ Tell me what is your name? what are you “And was mamma there ?" called ? "

“Oh, no, not mamma ; she wasn't there. Nursey "A pretty little girl," was the instant reply.

was." "Pap-pa's darling."

“ And where is nursey now ?” Oh, yes,” he said, smiling ; “but what else? Nursey wasn't in the little, little shaking naughty What do the servants call you, you know? Nurse, boat-nursey didn't come out of the big ship at you know, what does she call you ?"

all. The sailor men took a great jump with Rose “Little missie.”

into the sea, and held me up in the big waves, and “Well—but you have a name, I suppose? Are they went over me, and me touldn't see.” you Jane, or Anne, or Margaret, or what?"

Then Rose did not seem disposed to chatter any " I not Jane, or Anne, or Margaret," she replied, more, or to answer any more of the questions Mr. with some indignation ; “ I'm Rose."

Burke asked her. "Oh, you are Rose, are you?” said he.

“I'll slide on your foot,” she said, and slipping “Yes. Rose--little Rosebud,” she answered down his leg, seated herself astride on the foot that simply. “Take Rose up on your knee.”

happened to be crossed over his knee. And she began trying to hitch herself up, the “Faster! faster!” she cried, jogging herself up and action suiting the word.

down to show him what he was to do. “Stupid Mr. Burke lifted her on his knee, where she horse! lazy horse! I'll beat you. Go on, go on!” settled herself most comfortably, and then pouted And Mr. Burke found himself obliged to dance up her pretty lips towards his, and said, with the his leg up and down, with the little maiden on it, air of a queen offering a reward to a subject, with a rapidity, and at last a vehemence, that almost kiss you.”

put him out of breath. He kissed her cheerfully, and putting his arm Then she climbed up the leg she had slid down, round her, drew her towards him.

and asked him calmly whether she should stand on She nestled up against him, burrowing her flaxen his shoulders or sit on his head, and on his rather head into his waistcoat, and then playing with his hastily declining either honour, she said reproachwatch-chain.

fully and with severity, “ You must play with Rose." “Tell me a story,” she said to him confidingly. She rocked herself about in his arms, and sang

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a child's lullaby in a sweet little treble voice of “Now then, little Rose, eat your supper," he said her own, reminding him of something, he knew not cheerfully. what, till out of the far away past a verse rose up “ You must feed me," was the reply, and the in his memory, and he too' began to sing, and smooth cheek nestled more than ever into his chanted monotonously the lullaby well known in whiskers. every nursery

What was to be done? What could he do? “Bye baby bunting,

Nothing, it appeared to him, but obey orders. So Papa's gone a-hunting,

very cautiously he filled the spoon with the nice To fetch a pretty rabbit-skin

soft, white, refreshing food, and listed it to the pretty To wrap his baby bunting in."

little lips that gaped open for it like a bird.

Miss Rose ate a hearty meal, and then she put “Again! again!" cried the imperious little maiden

her chubby hands together and said gravely, “Thank whenever he stopped the ditty which we have

God for Rose's good supper." one and all of us often heard, and again and

To his own surprise the minute after he had again did Mr. Burke repeat the old familiar

done it, Mr. Burke kissed the flaxen head when lines, all the time holding the pretty creature

she uttered her childish grace; but if the act asclasped in his arms, and rocking her up and down

tonished himself, it contained no surprise for the against his breast.

young lady on his knee : she was evidently quite accustomed to kisses and caresses, and took his as

a matter of course. CHAPTER II.- WHO SHE IS.

All the time Mrs. Bridget stood by in amazement,
T this moment Bridget entered not unmixed with delight, at this novel scene enacted

the room with a covered china in her master's drawing-room, of which that master
basin in her hand. She lifted was one of the principal characters.
the lid, and showed that it con- “Well, to be sure ! bless her pretty heart !” she
tained a plentiful supply of nice murmured to herself at intervals.
warm bread and milk ; nor had “Rose very sleepy-do let me go to my nice

she forgotten to put the sugar in warm bed,” said the little girl at last, and slipping it that she had mentioned when Mr. Burke pro- off Mr. Burke's knee, she knelt down, resting herself posed jam. .

against it, and clasping her two small hands to. Rose, the minute she saw this, sat bolt upright on gether, softly and reverently saidMr. Burke's knee, clapped her hands, and laughed “Please God bless pap-pa and the cap'en, and and shouted out “Oh, goody! goody!”

make Rose a good little child." Bridget was rather astonished to see the attitude “ Pap-pa and the cap'en,” that was all. Was in which her master and the little strange child there no one else for little Rose to love and were, and how very contented they both of them pray for? no mother, or sister, or brother-only seemed with it. It was a queer sight certainly, but “pap-pa and the cap'en ?” Was that all? Had she only said, “Now, miss dear, you come to me the little fearless, caressing, coaxing being been and I'll give you your supper."

cared for and loved and tended only by two men-But “miss dear” clung to her first friend, and was by “pap-pa

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rather inclined to be naughty, saying

, “ No, no; you Now, I'll go to bed, please," cooed the sweet

manner.

give me my supper-you, you—not she,” pointing at tiny voice ; “ I am so very, very sleepy." Bridget with her thumb over her rebellious little Mr. Burke turned to Bridget in despair. white fat shoulder (which pushed itself up against “What is to be done now ?” he inquired, almost Mr. Burke) in a significant, if not very elegant piteously. “How can she go to bed ? Larry says

the sailor will call again to-night, I suppose to take “Give the child to me, if yer plase,” said Bridget her away. She can't go to bed.” to her master.

“ Deed, sir, thin, do you understand a word about “No, no, you must give me my supper,” repeated it at all, either who she is or where she came Rose, clasping her arms round his neck, and rub- from ? " bing her smooth cheek into his whiskers.

“I do not, Bridget, any more than you do ; it is Suppose you hand me the bread and milk, all a mistake. She has been left here by mistake." Bridget,” said he rather sheepishly.

“The darlin'! was Bridget's somewhat irre“Well, to be sure-dear heart alive!” murmured levant reply. Brịdget, and put the basin down on a little table Rose is so sleepy,” murmured the little child. beside him so that he might do as she wished. * Please, dear, put me to bed ; I am so tired.”

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