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Matryona rose, took from the window Simon's old shirt she had been patching, and gave it to the stranger. She also brought out a pair of trousers for him. "There," said she, "I see you have no shirt. Put this on, and lie down where you please, in the loft or on the oven." The stranger took off the coat, put on the shirt, and lay down in the loft.

"To tell the truth, Tiffles, I had no intention of going, till this morning, when it suddenly occurred to me that a little trip in the country, and the fun of seeing your panorama and hearing you lecture, would drive away the blues. I had a bad fit of them last night." Here Patching turned, and looked Marcus in the face, without seeming to recognize him.

"Those blasted nationalists," he growled; "they spend their time shoving the idea of revenge into folks' heads, and patching up hatred with their Leagues of Patriots and their military tattoos and their twaddle and their newspapers, and when their war does come they say 'Go and fight." "There are some of them who have died in the first line. Those have done more than their duty."

Marcus had no eye for the charms of nature that morning, and he responded not to the remark which the artist had addressed to him. Whereupon Patching determined not to speak to Marcus again that day. They followed the mysterious female down the road which led to the village.

And hitherto he had been very successful in patching up and keeping entire his eggshell of conceit. But that affair with Alec was a very bad business. Had Beauchamp been a coward, he would have suffered less from it. But he was no coward, though not quite so courageous as Hector, who yet turned and fled before Achilles.

"You'll be treading the road to destruction in mighty short order if you don't keep still," he returned grimly. "Now stop this foolishness and tell me what's gone with that chicken." After a great deal of questioning and patching together, we finally got her story, but I cannot say that it threw much light upon the matter.

'This is disgraceful indigestion. Binkie, we will go to a medicine-man. We can't have our eyes interfered with, for by these we get our bread; also mutton-chop bones for little dogs. The doctor was an affable local practitioner with white hair, and he said nothing till Dick began to describe the gray film in the studio. 'We all want a little patching and repairing from time to time, he chirped.

"In any case, were it not better to let the race die out, instead of laboriously piecing and patching at a too old garment, and so leave room for a new race to come up, which the fruit of experience, both sweet and bitter, left behind in books, might enable to avoid like ruin?"

"I have no trouble now in patching and piecing that rag the world calls a character. I can sit at your feet every day unquestioned. To be sure, others do the same, but they are female eccentrics, and have cast off the rag altogether." Sir Austin drew nearer to her. "You would have made an admirable mother, madam." This from Sir Austin was very like positive wooing.

As if to make up for these improvements, the colt's markings began to set. They took the shapes of a saddle-stripe, three white stockings, and an irregular white blaze covering one side of his face and patching an eye.