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Margaret slept well. But she heard from Stevens again next morning over her toilette that cook was not to be trusted, should be got rid of, that she was deceitful, had been seen, after all, with the shabby man from London.

"She took her oath that she'd never mentioned you to him, you nor your visitors, only Dr. Kennedy who attends you. But I'd not believe her oath. A hat with feathers she had on, and a ring on her finger when she went out with him. Such goings-on are not fit for a respectable Christian house, and so I told her."

Margaret listened inattentively, and irritably. She did not want ever to think again of that shabby man or her own unreasoned fears. She bade the maid be silent, attend to her duties. Stevens sniffed and grumbled under her breath. Afterwards she asked if the doctor were coming up again this morning.


"He might want to sound you. You'd best have your Valenciennes slip."

"Don't be so absurd."

Nevertheless the query set her thinking of Peter Kennedy and his love for her. Desultory thinking connects itself naturally with a leisurely toilette. She was sorry for Peter and composed phrases for him, comforting noncommittal phrases. She thought it would do him good to get to London, his