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From morn till night, my friend." Quita read and pondered the words for the hundredth time: but the hint of melancholy in them only increased her vague feeling of annoyance, and the lines deepened between her brows.

And vanishing into her room, she bolted the door behind her. Maurice frowned, and sighed. In all his knowledge of her, Quita had never so completely lost her self-control. It was quite upsetting: and he disliked being upset the first thing in the morning. It put him out of tune for the rest of the day. But after all . . one must eat. And he retraced his steps to the dining-room.

He was simply an artist of the extreme type, endowed by temperament with the capacity for subordinating all things, his own griefs no less than the griefs of others, to one dominant, insatiable purpose. And according to his lights he must be judged. Quita remained invisible till lunch-time, lying inert, where she had flung herself, upon her unmade bed.

And Quita would have thrust her friend into Eldred's chair: but Honor, catching sight of the picture, went eagerly up to it. "My dear, how remarkable! When did you begin it?" "Ages ago, in Dalhousie; and now I want to finish it. But the lamp of inspiration won't burn. I'm afraid the wick's gone mouldy from disuse." But Honor was reading the lines above the canvas. "Ah, I see!

By now the shamianah hummed with talk and laughter and congratulation on the outcome of the Mèla. Every one had risen; and Desmond turned with the rest to add his quota to the polite speeches that were the order of the moment. But Quita, still intent upon the stirring scene without, moved forward a little space to obtain a better view of the river and the crowd.

His eagerness was an unconscious revelation of all that he had endured. "Yes. I want you to tell her, from me, that she would be doing us both a very real kindness. Honor would break her poor heart alone at Sheik Budeen; and if you put it to Quita that way, I don't think she will take your suggestion amiss." "I'm positive she won't. I'll speak to her to-morrow."

Lenox shrugged his shoulders, and going over to the easel, contemplated in silence the living likeness of his friend: while Quita, watching him, was increasingly aware of slumbering electricity that might at any moment break into a lightning-flash of speech. "It's good. Don't you think so?" she asked on a tentative note of conciliation. "Of course it is. Damned good," he answered gruffly.

Not ill that is . . . not exactly. I mean . . ." Confusion submerged her. His shoulder the woman's legitimate refuge was conveniently close; and she buried her blushes in it. At that a suspicion of the truth thrilled through him, like an electric current. "Quita look up speak to me!" he besought her; his voice low, and not quite steady. "Is it possible . . ?"

All of which Desmond was quick to understand. "Look, . . look . . ." Quita whispered suddenly, leaning towards him. "They are forcing that poor brute to the edge. He has been in before. Colonel Mayhew told me. He knows; . . . he is afraid. Oh, mon Dieu, how horrible! . . . He is over!" A mighty shout from the assembled thousands, who stood ten and twenty deep along the banks, confirmed her words.

She enlarged on the subject at breakfast one morning, in her usual direct fashion; but Desmond would have none of it. "Remember, Quita," said he, "that an artist, in the inclusive sense, when he is worth anything, stands for the strongest thing in the world . . . an idea." Her face brightened with interest. "That's true.