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Angels’ Visits
by [?]

His gaze wandered from Mr. Brown to a young and rather stylishly-dressed woman who was approaching—a tall, good-looking girl with a slight limp, whose hat encountered unspoken feminine criticism at every step. Their eyes met as she came up, and recognition flashed suddenly into both faces.

“Fancy seeing you here!” said the girl. “Well, this is a pleasant surprise. ”

She held out her hand, and Mr. Jobling, with a fierce glance at Mr. Brown, who was not behaving, shook it respectfully.

“I’m so glad to see you again,” said the girl; “I know I didn’t thank you half enough the other night, but I was too upset. ”

“Don’t mention it,” said Mr. Jobling, in a voice the humility of which was in strong contrast to the expression with which he was regarding the antics of Mr. Brown, as that gentleman wafted kisses to the four winds of heaven.

There was a pause, broken by a short, dry cough from the parlor window. The girl, who was almost touching the sill, started nervously.

“It’s only my missis,” said Mr. Jobling.

The girl turned and gazed in at the window. Mr. Jobling, with the stem of his pipe, performed a brief ceremony of introduction.

“Good-evening,” said Mrs. Jobling, in a thin voice. “I don’t know who you are, but I s’pose my ‘usband does. ”

“I met him the other night,” said the girl, with a bright smile; “I slipped on a piece of peel or something and fell, and he was passing and helped me up. ”

Mrs. Jobling coughed again. “First I’ve heard of it,” she remarked.

“I forgot to tell you,” said Mr. Jobling, carelessly. “I hope you wasn’t hurt much, miss?”

“I twisted my ankle a bit, that’s all,” said the girl; “it’s painful when I walk. ”

“Painful now?” inquired Mr. Jobling, in concern.

The girl nodded. “A little; not very. ”

Mr. Jobling hesitated; the contortions of Mr. Brown’s face as he strove to make a wink carry across the road would have given pause to a bolder man; and twice his wife’s husky little cough had sounded from the window.

“I s’pose you wouldn’t like to step inside and rest for five minutes?” he said, slowly.

“Oh, thank you,” said the girl, gratefully; “I should like to. It—it really is very painful. I ought not to have walked so far. ”

She limped in behind Mr. Jobling, and after bowing to Mrs. Jobling sank into the easy-chair with a sigh of relief and looked keenly round the room. Mr. Jobling disappeared, and his wife flushed darkly as he came back with his coat on and his hair wet from combing. An awkward silence ensued.

“How strong your husband is!” said the girl, clasping her hands impulsively.

“Is he?” said Mrs. Jobling.

“He lifted me up as though I had been a feather,” responded the girl. “He just put his arm round my waist and had me on my feet before I knew where I was. ”

“Round your waist?” repeated Mrs. Jobling.

“Where else should I put it?” broke in her husband, with sudden violence.

His wife made no reply, but sat gazing in a hostile fashion at the bold, dark eyes and stylish hat of the visitor.

“I should like to be strong,” said the latter, smiling agreeably over at Mr. Jobling.

“When I was younger,” said that gratified man, “I can assure you I didn’t know my own strength, as the saying is. I used to hurt people just in play like, without knowing it. I used to have a hug like a bear. ”

“Fancy being hugged like that!” said the girl. “How awful!” she added, hastily, as she caught the eye of the speechless Mrs. Jobling.