" Who was that gentleman I saw ? " asked Vere, as her mother
■oso and kissed her once more on her silky fair hair. " Is he any
relation of papa's ? He was very kind."
Lady Dolly coloured ever so little.
"Oh! that's Jack. Surely you remember seeing Jack three
years ago at Homburg, when you came out to meet me there?"
" Is he a relation of ours ? "
" No; not a relation exactly; only a friend."
" And has he no name but Jack ? "
"Of course. Don't say silly things. He is Lord Jura, Lord
Shetland's son. He is in the Guards. A very old acquaintance,
dear—recollects you as a baby."
" A friend of my father's, then ? "
"Well, no, dear, not quite. Not quite so far back as that.
Certainly he may have fagged for poor Vere at Eton perhaps, but I
doubt it. Good-bye, darling. I will send you Adrienne. You
may put yourself in her hands hlindly. She has perfect taste."
Then Lady Dolly opened the door, and escaped.
Vere Herbert was left to herself. She was not tired; she was
strong and healthful, for all the white rose paleness of her fair
skin; and a twelve hours' tossing on the sea, and a day or two's
rumbling on the rail, had no power to fatigue her. Her grand¬
mother, though a humdrum and a cat, according to Lady Dolly,
had sundry old-fashioned notions from which the girl had benefited
both in body and mind, and the fresh strong air of Bulmer Chase—
a breezy old forest place on the Northumberland seashore, where
the morose old duchess found a dower house to her taste—had
braced her physically, as study and the absence of any sort of
excitement had done mentally, and made her as unlike her mother
as anything female could have been. The Duchess of Mull was
miserly, cross-tempered, and old-fashioned in her ways and in her
.prejudices, but she was an upright woman, a gentlewoman, and no
fool, as she would say herself. She had been harsh with the girl,
but she had loved her and been just to her, and Vere had spent her
life at Bulmer Chase not unhappily, varied only by an occasional
visit to Lady Dolly, who had always seemed to the child something
too bright and fair to be mortal, and to have an enchanted exist¬
ence, where caramels and cosaques rained, and music was always
heard, and the sun shone all day long.
She was all alone. The Fraulein was asleep in the next room.
The maid did not come. The girl kneeled down by the window-
seat and looked out through one of the chinks of the blinds. It
was late afternoon by the sun; the human butterflies were be¬
ginning to come out again. Looking up and down she saw the
whole sunshiny coast, and the dancing water that was boisterous
enough to be pretty and to swell the canvas of the yachts standing
off the shore.
" How bright it all looks!" she thought, with a little sigh;