devoutly. "We wretched English people have nothing half so
sensible ; you know that, Helene, as well as I do. Vere is tall and
very like her poor father and the old Duke."
"But Vere—surely that is not the name ofa girl?"
" It was her father's. Ttiat was the old duchess's doing too.
Of course one will call her Vera. Well, au revoir, ma tres chere, a
" With nods and becks and wreathed smiles," and many good-
days and pretty words, poor Lady Dolly got away from her
friends and her acquaintances, and had the common luxury of
hearing them all begin laughing again as soon as they imagined she
had got out of earshot. Her young courtiers accompanied her, of
course, but she dismissed them on the doorstep.
" I can't think of anything but my child to-day! " she said very
charmingly. " So glad you think her nice-looking. When she is
dressed, you know------" and she disappeared into her own house
with the phrase unfinished, leaving all it suggested to her hearers.
"Where's Vere?" she said sharply to her counsellor, entering
the breakfast-room, before the empty stove of which, from the
sheer fireplace club-room habit of his race, that person stood
"Gone to her room," he answered. "You've made her cry.
You were nasty, weren't you ? "
" I was furious I You wouldn't have been ? That vile dress!
that abominable old woman! And kissing me too—me—on the
Her companion smiled grimly,
"She couldn't tell that one musn't touch you when you're
'done up.' You didn't do up so much three years ago. She'll
soon learn, never fear."
" You grow quite horribly rude. Jack."
He smoked serenely.
" And quite too odiously coarse."
He continued to smoke.
She often abused him, but she could never do without him ; and
he was aware of that.
" And what a height she is! and what her gowns will cost 1
and she must come out soon—and that horrid flelSne!" sobbed
Lady Dolly, fairly bursting into tears. She had been so gay anr*
comfortable at Trouville, and now it was all over. What comfori
could there be with a girl nearly six feet high, that looked twenty
years old when she was sixteen, and who called her " Mother I "
" Don't make a fuss," said the counsellor from the stove. " She's
very handsome, awfully pretty, you'll marry her in no time, and
be just as larky as you were before. Don't cry, there's a dear little
soul. Look here, the cutlets are getting cold, and there's all these
mullets steaming away for nothing. Come and eat, and the thing
?on't seem so terrible,"