THE GAMEKEEPER'S DAUGHTER
" The little bird."
Nancy felt completely mystified. What a different world this seemed to hers!
"What toys are you going to get?" continued Iris.
" Oh, no toys. I live in the cottage in the forest. Dad is always so busy, and I help him look out for poachers—so I have useful presents, I don't have toys. Granny gave me this warm cloak last year ; and then, Dad's pockets get so full of sweets that they last for months."
" Sweets and useful things aren't p'esents," said Iris, surprised. " Poor little girl! Wouldn't you like toys ?" she added.
" I think so, Miss—at least, I've not seen many. Cousin Janey has a skipping-rope and a workbox, but she won't let me touch them."
" Ah! you've been here long enough, Iris darling. I hear Nurse calling you," exclaimed a soft voice, and her ladyship, with a kindly look at the visitor, laughingly caught up her little daughter in her arms before the child even knew she was there. Then she received the message, gave the little messenger a slice of cake, and in a moment Nancy was leisurely munching the fee as she trudged her way back on the grass through the frosty park. The dusk was gathering, when suddenly in the stillness she heard a dull thwack