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      When he reached the first lodge, an exquisitely beautiful little building, kept with such scrupulous neatnessthe ivy closely clipped, the lattice windows shining like diamonds, the stone mullion white and spotless, the garden like a toy, with its spring flowersthat it looked as if it had been built yesterday, instead of a century ago, the lodge-keepers wife came out and opened the gates, and courtesied with a subdued little smile, as if she were glad to see him, but wouldnt for the world be so disrespectful as to show it.Thank you, said Esmeralda, with a flash of her eyes and a sudden blush.

      No! said Esmeralda. There was a dash of color in her cheek, and her glorious eyes flashed under their lashes. Yes, they are talking about me. It is not very kind, is it? I cant help being born in Australia; andwith a sudden thrill in her voiceI wouldnt if I could! And I cant help having all this money! Oh, I hate England, andand all the English people!

      Lady Wyndover went over to him and laid her trembling hand upon his arm."Oh, John Hulbert is good; he is frank and true. He is not like the other. But oh, Martin, pity Lostwithiel and his sin, as you pity me and my sin! It is past and done. I was mad when I cared for hima creature under a spell. You won my heart back to you by your goodnessyou made me more than ever your own. All that he had ever been to meall that I had ever thought or felt about himwas blotted out as if I had never seen his face. Nothing remained but my love for youand my guilty conscience, the aching misery of knowing that I was unworthy of you."

      We shall be delighted, dear Lord Trafford, she said. And Im sure you couldnt have given this girl a greater treat. She is always wailing and moaning for what she calls the open air. She laid her hand on Esmeraldas head as she spoke, and Trafford noticed the red-gold hair contrasted with Lady Wyndovers white paw. Perhaps her ladyship intended him to notice it.

      Take these off! she said. Every one, as they gazed at her, would say that the Marquis of Trafford had married her for the wealth which the dress and the jewels proclaimed. Take them off!



      Is this true, Ralda, or is Varley only spoofing us?Oh, no, she said. I should have been too quick for him. I should have stepped aside.


      This is nice, she said. The air is so cool, and the trees look so green and fresh down there. She leaned over the rail still further, and looked down, and watched the passers-by on the pavement below. Some of them paused a moment to listen to the music, some smiled, and a few glanced at the brilliantly lighted windows with a scowl.