corner, took a long white cloth from the floor, and wound it about her head and face. Then she closed the other door, in at which the moon had looked, trimmed a small horn lantern that stood on the hearth, and turned to receive me.
' You are very welcome, Mr. Vane !' she said, calling me by the name I had forgotten. ' Your entertainment will be scanty, but, as the night is not far spent, and the day not at hand, it is better you should be indoors. Here you will be safe, and a little lack is not a great misery.'
'I thank you heartily, madam/ I replied. 'But, seeing you know the name I could not tell you, may I not now know yours ? '
'My name is Mara,' she answered.
Then I remembered the sexton and the little black cat.
Some people,' she went on, ' take me for Lot's wife, lamenting over Sodom; and some think I am Eachel, weeping for her children; but I am neither of those.'
'I thank you again, Mara,' I said. —May I lie here on your floor till the morning ? '
' At the top of that stair,' she answered, ' you will find a bed—on which some have slept better than they expected, and some have waked all the night and slept all the next day. It is not a very soft one, but it is better than the sand—and there are no hyenas sniffing about it!'
The stair, narrow and steep, led straight up from the room to an unceiled and unpartitioned garret, with one wide, low dormer window. Close under the sloping roof stood a narrow bed, the sight of which with its white