Such were the news, coupled with assertions about her own honesty and that of Molly her maid, who would never have stolen a certain trumpery gold sleeve-button of Mr. Esmond's that was missing after his fainting fit, that the keeper's wife brought to her lodger. Esmond took his handkerchief when his nurse left him, and very likely kissed it, and looked at the bauble embroidered in the corner.

I think I could make a drawing of the sleeve-button on the arm with which he held the umbrella over us; there were five different forms of insect-life represented on it, but I remember them all. "I'm afraid you haven't enjoyed yourself very much," said Miss Lowder, looking at me rather critically. "I? why no, perhaps not; I don't generally enjoy myself very much."

These are great doings, but really no greater than his small doings, for the least of these is just as impossible for other earthly creatures as are an Alpine tunnel or a battleship. A large convention of chimpanzees could not combine to make one pin or one sleeve-button, if they tried.

Father Cruse might have been right in his diagnosis, and the sleeve-button might form but a minor link in the chain of events circling the problem to the solution of which he had again consecrated his life, but certain it was that the clew Kitty had discovered had only strengthened his own convictions.