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      "So I have to sit down and submit to that tamely," she murmured. "You little white-faced cat, you pink doll, so you are going to get the best of me. We shall see; oh, yes, we shall see. If I could be somewhere where I could tear myself to pieces, where I could scream aloud and nobody could hear! If I could only face him now and smile and say honeyed words! Tomorrow, perhaps, but not tonight. Even I have my limits. . . . He's coming back!"Now the third couple clasp hands, arch arms, and let the whole countermarching train sweep through; and a beautiful arch they make, for they are the aforesaid captain and Charlotte Oliver. "Hands round!"--hurrah for the whirling ellipse; and now it's "right and left" and two ellipses glide opposite ways, "to quile dat golden chain." In the midst of the whirl, when every hand is in some other and men and girls are tossing their heads to get their locks out of their eyes, at the windows come unnoticed changes and two men loiter in by the front hall door, close to the fiddler. One has his sword on, and each his pistols, and their boots and mud-splashed uniforms of dubious blue are wet and steamy. The one without the sword gives the fiddler a fresh name to sing out when the spinning ring shall straighten into its two gay ranks again, and bids him--commandingly--to yell it; and with never a suspicion of what it stands for, the stamping and scraping fiddler shouts the name of a man who "loves a good story with a positive passion."

      "Long ago the Portuguese at Macao had a corresponding jargon for their intercourse with the Chinese: and it may be safely stated that wherever the Chinese have established permanent relations with any country, a language of trade has immediately sprung into existence, and is developed as time rolls on and its necessities multiply."I don't know what I shall do, I'm sure," Arthur heard him say, as though to himself.

      But it was not for long that Hetty remained like that. There was much to be done yet and much to learn. The thought of Gordon spurred her on. If she could get this woman into her power and force her to speak, all would be well. Hetty never doubted for a moment that Leona Lalage was at the bottom of her lover's misfortunes.

      Still, if Gregg's conjectures were anywhere near the mark, in a very few hours it would be[Pg 114] known all over England that the jaws of the future had opened and disclosed this monstrosity to the eyes of the present. There would be a great stir of excitement; the newspapers would be full of the event. Indeed, the whole course of the world might be altered as a result of this astounding revelation.

      "Refused me! Oh, it's so; it's so! Ah! if you could have witnessed her dignity, her wisdom, her grace, her compassionate immovableness, you'd never think of her as the little Harper girl again. She said that if the unpremeditated, headlong way in which I had told my passion were my only mistake, and if it were only for my sake, she would not, if she could, answer favorably, and that I, myself, at last, would not have a girl who would have a man who would offer his love in that way, and that she would not have a man who would have a girl who would have a man who should offer his love in that way.""Yes, I know. But you don't know even how your mother is acquainted with her."


      What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?"


      "Lieutenant, I can't help believing he's out here to make a new record for himself, at whatever cost!"


      "Richard Thorndyke Smith! My dear boy," she cried, while the nieces gasped at each other with gestures and looks all the way between Terpsichore and Melpomene, and then the four cried in chorus, "We know your mother!"