The sketch that follows concerns the life of one little lonely woman who lived in a north-country village; it may suggest many things to many lonely women all over the world. She was just an ordinary woman, so ordinary that in the crudeness of their speech the women of the village described her as " faal," or ugly; the men, when they spoke of her, shrugged their shoulders and smiled contemptuously. She lived in an ivy-covered cottage on the outskirts of the village, and only in the flowers of her garden did she confide. Sometimes a villager, in passing the garden gate, would glance inquiringly at the pathetic little figure bending over the plants, but always she misconstrued the meaning of the glance. Solitude breeds suspicion. She was known to have an income; the villagers supposed that her parents were far-seeing people. They must have realised that this daughter with the prematurely grey hair and watery-blue eyes framed in spectacles could never even hope to marry, and so they provided for her. Perhaps, in thus analysing the situation, they forgot to be generous. The Little Grey Woman, as they called her, had remained with an invalid mother long after the other members of the family left to find mates for themselves. She remained behind long after the bloom of youth had left her cheeks, and it may be she became infected with the spirit of fretfulness and irritability which is invariably associated with a sickroom.