But still Lady Hartledon was not quite prepared to find Mr. Carr at their house when they returned. She and Lord Hartledon went forth to the dinner; the latter behaving as though his wits were in some far-off hemisphere rather than in this one, so absent-minded was he. From the dinner they proceeded to another place or two; and on getting home, towards one in the morning, there was the barrister.

She had begun to like her husband during the latter part of their sojourn in London; had missed him terribly during this long period of lonely ennui at Hartledon; and his tender kindness to her for the past few fleeting hours of this their meeting had seemed like heaven as compared with the solitary past.

Lord Hartledon slipped the bolt of the door and read the letters at once; the foreign one first, over which he seemed to take an instant's counsel with himself. Before going down he locked them up in a small ebony cabinet which stood against the wall. The room was his own exclusively; his wife had nothing to do with it.

For Val was curiously subdued; and his present mood, sad, quiet, thoughtful, was more endearing than his gayer one had been. Mrs. Ashton did not fail to read that he was a disappointed man, one with some constant care upon him. Anne was in the hall when he entered, talking to a poor applicant who was waiting to see the Rector. Lord Hartledon lifted his hat to her, but did not offer to shake hands.

"And you would hint at some alliance between you and this Anne Ashton!" cried the countess-dowager, in a fume; for she thought she saw a fear that the great prize might slip through her fingers. "What sort of an alliance, I should like to ask? Be careful what you say, Hartledon; you may injure the young woman."

All that could be done now was to endeavour to counteract the mischief by external applications. "I wish you would let me try a remedy," said Lady Hartledon, wistfully. "A compress of cold water round the throat with oilsilk over it. I have seen it do so much good in cases of inward inflammation." Mr.

Besides, the law might be against me Scotland's iniquitous law; but in Heaven's sight Maude was my wife, not the other. So I temporized, hoping that time might bring about a relief, for Dr. Mair told me that Miss Waterlow's health was failing. However, she lived on, and " Lady Hartledon started up, her face blanching. "Is she not dead now? Was she living when you married me? Am I your wife?"

Anne, I hope you will not take it," he gravely added. "I hope not, either. Like you, I have no fear of it. I am so glad Arthur is away. Was it not wrong of that landlady to let her rooms to us when she had fever in them?" "Infamously wrong," said Lord Hartledon warmly.

Lord Hartledon had no business there at all; but the current was very strong; and if, as was too probable, he had become almost disabled, he might have drifted to it without being able to help himself; or he might have been making for it, intending to land and rest in the cottage until help could be summoned to convey him home. How he got into the water was not known.

Rather flurried me too," she continued: and indeed Hedges noticed that she seemed flurried. "What did he stop you for? To beg?" "Not that. I've never heard that he does beg. He accosted me with a cool question as to when his lordship was coming back to Hartledon. I answered that it could not be any business of his. And then you came up." "He is uncommon curious as to my lord. I can't make it out.