"Yes, if I may. If you will let me pray for you."
"Certainly, my dear. My dear Ruth, you don't know how often I sin; I do so wrong, with my few temptations. We are both of us great sinners in the eyes of the Most Holy; let us pray for each other. Don't speak so again, my dear; at least, not to me."
Miss Benson was actually crying. She had always looked upon herself as so inferior to her brother in real goodness, had seen such heights above her, that she was distressed by Ruth's humility. After a short time she resumed the subject.
"Then I may get you a black gown?--and we may call you Mrs. Hilton?"
"No; not Mrs. Hilton!" said Ruth hastily.
Miss Benson, who had hitherto kept her eyes averted from Ruth's face from a motive of kindly delicacy, now looked at her with surprise.
"It was my mother's name," said Ruth, in a low voice. "I had better not be called by it."
"Then let us call you by my mother's name," said Miss Benson tenderly. "She would have---- But I'll talk to you about my mother some other time. Let me call you Mrs. Denbigh. It will do very well, too. People will think you are a distant relation."