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him as a son-ah, what's that I'm saying? Didn't Sir Thomas tell me to be careful, and not have him so much about when the girls grew up? And didn't I wonder what was to be done when I saw as plain as eyes could see that he and Iva were growing towards each other? Wasn't I fretting myself about it, for, try as we might, it was just impossible to keep Reggie off, the darling? There was that about him—sure, now, I'm an old fool!" and suddenly Lady Tilbury drew herself together, and shook off the melting mood. "It's no use, I tell you, no use whatever," cried she, angrily apostrophising herself, " "sitting there, whining and weeping! Is it Iva's mother you are, and can't do better for her than this? Much she'll have to thank you for, if in her bad hour you let them point the finger at her!" Lady Tilbury rose and rang the bell. Iva need not have been afraid of what her mother would say at the Deanery.

"Dear me! There could not have been anything really between those two!" exclaimed. Esther Chancellor, as the carriage rolled away from the door. "Of course, they have known each other all their lives, and as he was just going out to India she must have given him her photograph to take with him, and he had not had time to put it elsewhere."

"I thought you said they both looked most dreadfully caught?" asserted her next sister, aggrieved by the collapse of the romance.

"So they did. He in particular. I never saw Reggie Goffe look disconcerted before. Never imagined he could look disconcerted. And it was more than that-it was the terrified glance he threw at Iva! He seemed perfectly aghast; and well he might. Iva's face was a caution! It was enough to provoke a girl of Iva's temper to have such a thing happen, -even if there were nothing serious behind. Iva is proud, and she is awfully particular. I never knew a girl so particular. Lady Tilbury is not half so particular as Iva."

"Lady Tilbury is not particular at all." "And she is so very open. So frank and jolly. I do like Lady Tilbury! Everybody does; even mamma. It was so much better of her to say out that they were fond of Reggie Goffe, and would miss him, than to pretend there was any love affair, when I daresay there was nothing of the kind. Some people like to make out that every man who comes near their daughters falls a victim; that is so ridiculous, and it takes nobody in, because directly a man is really in love with a girl it is patent to everybody he meets." And Miss Esther Chancellor, who bade fair to become just such another shin

ing light in cathedral circles as her esteemed parent, primmed up her lips, and felt that she had disposed of the subject conclusively.

She did not see Lady Tilbury smile to herself as the carriage drove on.

Iva, however, had a sudden illumination, and a month previously this would have found vent almost before the wheels began to turn. Why not? She and her mother always told each other everything, discussed every turn of events, poured into each other's ears all the trivial by-play, the "He saids" and "She saids" which go for so much in women's talk; wherefore it would have been the most natural thing in the world to have plunged in medias res on the present occasion.

But Iva's lips were glued together.

She wished-she longed to speak; her heart was aching from very loneliness—the loneliness of a long, silent month-and still she could not. It seemed as though she never could.

All had been so strange-and so quick. One day the old pleasant, familiar state of things-Reggie a little dangerous, a little apt to encroach, but on the whole just Reggie, as to whom caution might be spurned and superfluous hints scouted-the next, a lover claiming a lover's privilege on the brink of an eternal separation.

It seemed the flash of a dream, that unreal afternoon in the November gloaming.

First there had been the commonplace meeting in the garden, with spectators standing by, and only a little mutual consciousness on her part and his, not without its charm.

It did not ill become a delinquent to be serious, and keep his eyes averted. There had been the pleasure of punishing him, the pleasure of knowing that he felt his punishment and knew perfectly to what it was due, as he stalked along by Miss St. Leger's side.

Miss St. Leger, cheerfully conversing with so acceptable a beau, might fancy herself in luck; but Iva knew better. She could interpret every lingering movement, every absent-minded halt; and the nervous, artificial laugh, the perfunctory rejoinder, the troubled, oppressed, downcast demeanour, all so unlike the usual Reggieoh, how Ethel St. Leger would have stared if she had known!

To tell the truth frankly, Iva had enjoyed that half-hour.

Then had come the shock, felt to her very heart's foundation.

Not on her account altogether, then, was the altered countenance of her friend-there was this behind.

A rupture of every tie to be made, a whole

new cast of life to be taken within the space of a few short hours? Who would not have looked thoughtful, overcast-who, at least, that was not brimming with the excitement of anticipation?

And that Reggie was not brimming was very evident. One swift glance he threw at Iva when the news was out, communicated in Sir Philip's thin, tremulous, high-pitched accentsand the glance pierced through her like a knife; --but he had relapsed instantly into his former attitude, and scarcely responded at all to the fresh efforts of Miss St. Leger. Even Ethel had left off bombarding, and taken to playing with Jess the spaniel, ere the house was reached.

And then how often Iva saw what happened then! The apparently matter-of-course arrangement by which she fell behind, and marshalled her guests in front; her pretext of summoning her sisters, in hopes that Reggie would remain in the hall to meet them, and give her a chance, one chance, of saying a kind word; his resolute grasp upon the moment, and determination to wring from it more than this; the very snapping of the lock in the door of the little room, as it closed behind him and herall, all were indelibly stamped upon her memory for ever.

In visions of the night she could hear the

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