THE MISTRESS OF THE SILVER MOON.
" That I will ! " said Curdie. " What is it, ma'am ? *
" Only something not to do," answered the old lady; " if you should hear any one speak about me, never to laugh or make fun of me."
" Oh, ma'am !" exclaimed Curdie, shocked that she should think such a request needful.
" Stop, stop," she went on. " People hereabout sometimes tell very odd and in fact ridiculous stories of an old woman who watches what is going on, and occasionally interferes. They mean me, though what they say is often great nonsense. Now what I want of you is not to laugh, or side with them in any way; because they will take that to mean that you don't believe there is any such person a bit more than they do. Now that would not be the case—would it, Curdie ? n
" No indeed, ma'am. I've seen you."
The old woman smiled very oddly.
"Yes, you've seen me," she said. "But mind," she continued, " I don't want you to say anything—only to hold your tongue, and not seem to side with them."
"That will be easy," said Curdie, " now that I've seen you with my very own eyes, ma'am."
" Not so easy as you think, perhaps," said the old lady, with another curious smile. " I want to be your friend," she added after a little pause, " but I don't quite know yet whether you will let me."