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Valentine lay still, looking at the summer beauty outside. No one knew of the tears that gathered slowly in those proud eyes; no one knew of the passionate weeping that could not be stilled. When Lady Charteris returned in two hours, Valentine had regained her calm, and there was no trace of tears in the smiles which welcomed her. Proudly and calmly she bore the great disappointment of her life.

For innocent blood shall the doom come, though my eyes shall not behold it, and through these two Feringhees" she indicated Gerrard and Charteris "who shall execute justice on the murderer in the day when they shall make a road for a corpse through the great wall of Agpur."

Ronald was not in the house when the guests arrived; they came rather before the appointed time. His mother and Lady Charteris had gone to the library together, leaving Valentine in the drawing room alone. Ronald found her there.

Charteris was the head and front of the offending, for Gerrard's self-suppression in placing himself under his orders had had the unlooked-for effect of concentrating attention, and blame, on the man nominally responsible.

Old friends whispered to her that "it would be a splendid match for her son," and "how happy she would be with such a daughter-in-law as Miss Charteris, so beautiful and dignified;" and all this because Ronald wanted to secure Valentine's friendship, so that she might intercede for Dora.

If the man happens to be brittle, that's his lookout, concluded the bloodthirsty Babe. 'My dear man, said Charteris, 'there's all the difference between a decent tackle and a bally scrag like the one that doubled Tony up. You can't break a chap's collar-bone without trying to. 'Well, if you come to think of it, I suppose the man must have been fairly riled.

Had his misfortunes been accidental had they been any other than they were, the result of his boyish folly and disobedience, he would have found them easier to bear; as it was, the recollection that it was all his own fault drove him mad. Before morning he had written a farewell note to Lady Charteris, saying that he was leaving Florence at once, and would not be able to see her again.

One day Honour broke into a deep discussion of the social and educational topics touched on in the Princess with a question which had no relation to them whatever. It was clear that her thoughts were far from Gerrard's exposition of his views, or why should she suddenly have asked how long it took him to reach Charteris at Kardi with the guns after receiving his note entreating him to hasten?

In there the colonel was reading The Times in the Louis Quinze salon, with a grave pucker on his high, thin forehead. He could not get any grasp of the world's events. There was an attack on the censor by Northcliffe. Now what did he mean by that? It was really very unkind of him, after so much civility to him. Charteris would be furious.

The most remote suspicion that Valentine had mistaken him that she loved him never crossed the mind of Ronald Earle. He was singularly free from vanity. Perhaps if he had a little more confidence in himself, the story of the Earles might have been different. Lady Charteris looked at her daughter's calm, proud face.

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