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Delaport Green opposite Molly, and Lady Sophia Snaggs, a spirited, cheery Irishwoman, separated from the hostess by Billy, with whom the latter had always, in the past weeks, been ready to discuss the poverty and the failings of Sir Edmund Grosse.

Delaport Green tried to interject some civil remarks, but Lady Groombridge paid not the slightest attention. The only visitors who interested her in the least were Rose and Edmund Grosse. She could hardly remember why she had invited Mrs. Delaport Green and Molly when she met them in London, and Billy was always Lord Groombridge's guest.

While they were having tea, Molly, leaning back, said quietly: "I see from what you said before we went over the house that you have not heard that Sir Edmund Grosse is ruined?" Mrs. Delaport Green gave a little shriek of excitement. "He trusted all his affairs to a scoundrel, and this is the result." Molly's tone was still negative. "Well, that does seem a shame!"

In the sweet, soft air many delicate trees and shrubs were developed as well as if they had been in quite a sheltered place. Lady Groombridge was giving tea to the first arrivals when Mrs. Delaport Green and Molly were shown into the big hall of the Castle. "Let us come for a walk; we can slip out through this window," murmured Sir Edmund, as he took her empty tea-cup from his cousin.

It was fast becoming known that Molly's chaperone was a thorough gambler. Sir Edmund Grosse was not unwilling to dawdle under the shade of an old wall with Mrs. Delaport Green that Saturday evening in the country. "I feel terribly responsible," she said, in her thin eager little voice; "I am sure that boy is going to propose to my protégé!" "What boy?" asked Edmund, in a tone of indifference.

Certainly the dislike, if dislike it were, did not prevent him from very constantly seeking her society. It was the only intimacy that Molly had formed since she had come up to London. As Lent was drawing to a close, Mrs. Delaport Green became much occupied at the thought of how many services she wished to attend.

Her speech was not often kindly, and there was an element of defiance even in her quietness, for her unmistakable social ease was distinctly negative. Molly was rich and dressed well, and Mrs. Delaport Green was a very clever woman, whose blunders were rare and whose pet vice was not unfashionable. There was nothing in this life to soften and ripen the best side of Molly.

"If you had only heard him preach last Sunday you couldn't say such hasty, unkind, horrid things!" "It is true," said Molly. "Our hostess is pleased to be mysterious," said the fat man, and "you know," turning to Mrs. Delaport Green, "it's very likely that he is sorry he made such a sacrifice, but I don't think that prevents its having been a noble action at the time."

"No, no, Miss Dexter, that will be all right." She turned from him, laughing, and went indoors to Mrs. Delaport Green's room. She found that lady writing letters, and the floor was scattered with them, six deep round the table. She put her hand to her face as Molly came in. "There are no possible trains," said Molly, "so I'm afraid you must bear it.

And now she felt the strength in him, not weakened, but lit up with a kind of pathos. He might have been a true friend to any man or woman. He was really fond of Adela Delaport Green, and that position in itself was tragic enough. It was plain to Molly, although nothing had been breathed on the subject that morning, that Tim would not find it hard to forgive his Adela.