having buttons on their boots. It seemed to him newfangled and unnecessary, and William was very conservative by nature.
But the next time he passed the cottage it was a dolorous face that tried unconvincingly to smile at him through the window. William's heart sank. He was loyal to his friends and always took their troubles as his own. Mrs. Roundway came down slowly to the cottage gate with his cookie boy and disclosed her grief almost tearfully.
" It's that Bert," she said sadly. " He's come back, curls an' all. He's heard of her bein' back home an' an heiress, as you might say, an' he's took rooms at the White Lion an' comin' here every day. His curls is as yellow as ever, an' it was his yellow curls she never could resist. No woman could resist 'em. His curls and his blue eyes. An' he's made up Ins mind to get Maggie along of her money. He'll spend her money an' drive her to her grave. I know 'im. Never was no good. An' poor George has stopped comin' all along of him. Here's your cookie boy, love. She helped me make it. She put the buttons on its boots. She's that clever."
William walked away thoughtfully, nibbling his cookie boy's head. At the corner of the road he met Mrs. Hemmings. She was smiling and blushing girlishly. Her companion was a tall man who walked bareheaded, displaying a glorious crop of flaxen curls. Mrs. Hemmings smiled at William and he responded with marked coldness.
" Who's the brat ? " he heard the flaxen-haired man
say as he passed.
For the next few days William was too busy to have much time or thought to spare for Mrs. Hemmings' love affairs. William was a boy of many interests. He had almost forgotten the distress she had shown on their last meeting when next he wandered down the