The Old Lady's Bedroom 119
silver casket. Then she sat down on a low chair, and calling Irene, made her kneel before her, while she looked at her hand. Having examined it, she opened the casket, and took from it a little ointment. The sweetest odour filled the room, like that of roses and lilies—as she rubbed the ointment gently all over the hot swollen hand. Her touch was so pleasant and cool, that it seemed to drive away the pain and heat wherever it came.
" Oh, grandmother! it is so nice!" said Irene. "Thank you; thank you."
Then the old lady went to a chest of drawers, and took out a large handkerchief of gossamerlike cambric, which she tied round her hand.
" I don't think I can let you go away to-night," she said. " Would you like to sleep with me?"
" Oh, yes, yes, dear grandmother!" said Irene, and would have clapped her hands, forgetting that she could not.
"You won't be afraid then to go to bed with such an old woman?"
" No. You are so beautiful, grandmother."
" But I am very old."
"And I suppose I am very young. You won't