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      The young fellow looked at him with some little surprise; Trafford was not usually short-tempered or irritable.Quite recently we discovered that Mrs. Chetwynde, with her child, had arrived at a camp callederDogs Earyes, that is the extraordinary name. In fact, she wrote a letter, dated from that place. I myself at once came out, anderlearned that she had left the camp one day to walk to another, called Three Star. I identified her by a photograph which I possessed.

      "So was Rubens' wife, Helena Forman; but what would one do in a world peopled with Helena Formans? There are galleries in Antwerp which no man should enter without smoke-coloured spectacles, if he would avoid being blinded[Pg 49] by a blaze of red-haired beauty. I am told that the Miss Crowthers will have, at least, a million of money between them in days to come, and that they are destined to make great matches. Perhaps we shall see some of their soupirants at the ball. Since the decay of the landed interest, the chasse aux dots has become fiercer than of old."It will be the study of my life to gratify your every wish. I know that I am quite unworthy of youthat there are many men less unworthybut I will do my best to make you happy, if you will trust yourself to me. I do not ask you if you care for me; that could scarcely be, seeing how short a time you have known me, but I will try to win your love, and I hope that I shall succeed. What will you say?

      Better come down with me to-morrow, said Lord Selvaine. There is a kind of conference on. Things are very bad, you know.

      Well! Was I wrong? Here is your sisters husband. Go together to Saint-Germain, and dont let me see either of you until everything is arranged. I hate all talk of money affairs.

      "Yes, there we are all agreed. Mr. Crowther had the good taste to find a charming site, and the bad taste to erect an architectural monstrosity, a chimera in red brick. There was a grange once in the heart of that wood, and the Crowthers have the advantage of acorns and chestnuts that sowed themselves while the sleepy old monks were telling their beads. How do you like Miss Crowther?"


      Vous vous tutoyez. [92]


      Esmeralda at lunch recounted her adventure to Lady Wyndover, telling it in the most casual way, and she was much surprised and puzzled when her ladyship almost dropped her knife and fork, and sunk back in her chair with an exclamation of annoyance.