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The Monthly Packet .
A LOYAL MIND.
BY THE AUTHOR OF A LOST BATTLE.'
TOM AND HIS MOTHER.
'I knocked, and the sweetest voice I had ever heard said, “Come in." But the monient I saw her eyes, I no longer wondered at her voice.'--GEORGE MacDonald. A LONDON lodging on a November afternoon ought not, according to tradition, to be very cheerful. But in pleasant contrast with the thick fog out of doors, a large fire was burning brightly, playing in the most becoming manner on the dark paper and the heavy ugly furniture. It is true that they were the only things in the room that wanted any flattery. There was a stand of flowers in the window; there were several good photographs on the walls; there were Mudie books lying on the table, and Vallauris jars, in the loveliest dead greens and blues and yellows, ornamenting the chimneypiece. There was an open piano with music on it, and a pile of songs beside it.
But the room was empty; the most living thing was an unopened letter that lay waiting on the table, square and thick, and directed in a fine bold hand to the Rev. Thomas Landor.
In a few minutes a young man came in, took up the letter, looking at it with some interest, and walked across to the fire to warm himself and read it. He was not really a handsome young man, though there was somebody who thought him so, and one hardly likes to contradict her. He was tall enough, perhaps five feet ten, with a brown complexion and dark eyes. He had a good deal of dark hair, brushed straight across a rather clever forehead; but the rest of his features were plain, and he wore no beard or moustache. It was, in fact, something of a nut-cracker face, with a long nose and a prominent chin. But the person who admired him thought-and here perhaps she was not so far wrong—that the expression of his face was perfect in its clever refinement, and that his smile was the sweetest ever seed. VOL. 4.