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      He sighed at the destruction of his unreasonable hope. operations

      He hesitated a moment, remembering that riding double was scarcely a proper mode of progress for a great lady; then he took her in his arms and swung her behind him.

      Flora ignored the comment. She laid a second palm, on the upraised booty, made one whole revolution, her soft crinoline ballooning and subsiding with a seductive swish as she paused: "And you shall share these blessings, grannie, love, although of the assets themselves"--she returned the bag to its sanctuary and smoothed the waist where the paper proceeds of the schoolmistress's gold still hid--"you shall never handle a dime." She sparkled airily.

      Im very glad to see you, Miss Chetwynde. I hope you have forgiven me for not being present to receive you, but I am an old man, and am obliged to hoard my strength. Trafford has told me a great deal about you, and I am very, very pleased to see you. It is very kind of you to leave London and come to us, and I hopeI do hopethat you will not find it dull. We will do our best to amuse you and make you forget all that you lose by coming to us.Whats that? he demanded, with the quick resentment of a tipsy man thirsting for a fight. Whos that as spoke? Scraggy-head, warnt it? I thought so! And you calkilate Esmeraldas forgot us all, do you, Ed-er-ward? Aint that[268] what he said, boys, or did my ears misdeceive me? Here, come out of it! Stand up and repeat them words like a man, and Ill knock the head off yer!

      I must get a map of the country, he said, and plan out some excursions.

      Esmeralda waited. She was startled, but not frightened; she did not forget that the horses were under her care, and she held them firmly, and looked straight between their ears. The healthy paleness of her face had flushed, but the color had gone again; the long lashes veiled her eyes.


      I wont? said Taffy. Oh, wont I! Why not?



      As he opened the door of his sitting-room, some one rose from the depths of an arm-chair. It was a young man. The lamp was shaded, and Trafford did not recognize him for a moment.