The school-children and young people of the village trooped in, and made their obeisances, and sang the Christmas Carol--
"God rest you, merry gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay."
Then one of the party produced an image of the Virgin and Child, and another offered comfits in a box; a third presented the wassail-cup, into which Raby immediately poured some silver, and Coventry followed his example. Grace fumbled for her purse, and, when she had found it, began to fumble in it for her silver.
But Raby lost all patience, and said, "There, I give this for the lady, and she'll pay me NEXT CHRISTMAS."
The wassailers departed, and the Squire went to say a kind word to his humbler guests.
Miss Carden took that opportunity to ask Mr. Coventry if he had noticed the picture with its face to the wall. He said he had.
"Did you read the inscription?"
"No. But, if you are curious, I'll go back to the dining-room, and read it."