The two old men sat in the library, eyeing the blue envelope that lay on the end of the long table nearest the fireplace, where a merry but unnoticed blaze crackled in the vain effort to cry down the shrieks of the bleak December wind that whistled about the corners of the house.
Someone had come into the roomthey did not know who nor whento poke up the fire and to throw fresh coals into the grate. No doubt it was the parlourmaid. She was always doing something of the sort. It seemed to be her duty. Or, it might have been the housekeeper, in case the parlourmaid was out for the evening. Whoever it was, she certainly had poked up the fire, and in doing so had been compelled to push two pairs of feet out of the way to avoid trampling upon them.