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+ X [AH Rights Reserved. ] <> 1 THE PAIGNTON HONOUR il x ? A ? ALICE & CLAUDE ASKEW, Authors of "The Shulamite," "Testimony," See. A A A A ?- A ?- ?- -? ?-? -? ? A ?l -A 1, A ?l t SYNOPSIS. X.OTIT. F'wnos, lately a widower, has beea absent in Australia fo eirhteen months, his two daughters in Brumals, and hi* sun iiruce at Oxford and with Sir Mark Thorndale s faniilT, which in< lude« a pretty daughter Doreen, to whom Btuc- ha. iust lvecome en gaffed. They are now reunited at the xaeent ml home, Charlton Park. There is an old saying, When Paignton honour yields to shame, Uxtinct shall be the Paignton name." Lord Paifrrton tells his girls that he has bought a houso in KuiKhts)>vi.ipo, and promises them a season lfl town. Marion whisper* to her sister,"We shall be able to xft Basil and -Gre-orv." These are two young men with whom the sisters have become friendlv during their absence in Belgium. The family nolh-itor, David Mozeley, is bonitied to bear of this extnufant u. knowing that owing to Lord Paignton a eare- lesKne-s in money matters be is drifting to rum. Mozeley II partner rt-iiisi ko that the Paignton honour will soon be worth very little. Lord l'aignton, although on the rerge of ruin, has bought house in town for himself and his daughters Mary and Amy. promising to give his son's fiancee, Doreen, a season there alfo. After a visit to his bank Lord Paignton is astounded to learn the truth of his position, and outside ineeti Owen Mortimer, a man whose acquaintance he has made on board ship. Mortimer suggests that Lord Paignton may become a millionaire by putting himself unreservedly into his hands, and succeeds in talking him over. It is decided that the London House shall be a wedding gift to Bruce and Doreen. for none of the children guess the tru- state of affairs. Doreen is now staying at Charlton Park, the is keenly interested in politics, and Bruce has decided to fo into Parliament. Mortimer is also staying there, and aving completely deceived Lord Paignton, makes up his mind to marry Marion, but the girls are doubtful of him. Owen Mortimer, while staying at Charlton Park, is told by tLord Paignton that his daughters are to marry for love. His lordship remarks that he wonders why Mortimer has Clever married. Mortimer speaks in a sentimental way of an sarly love affair, and is angry with himself by being touched with remorse for the way in which he is deceiving his host. Friends of rs:i::ItI i;i:et::e motor, ad I Paignton invites them to dinner. Bruce and Doreen wander Away by themselves, and the young man tells her that four years before he became fooli-hly infatuated with a girl named Agnes MUlfmve, who by chance he has seen again that morning. When they return to the lawn Mortimer's iriends have arrived, and Bruce is horrified to find that they ire Mr. Musgrave and his daughter Agnes. He is vexed at having been persuaded to tell Doreen the story. Bruce feels keenly the discomfort of his posit'on, and is worried to think tiiat such a man as Musgrave should have business with his father. Lord Paignton sends him to show Agnes the rockery, and Doreen is apprehensive when she sees them go off together. Agnes calms Bruce's suspicions And reassures him by telling him that there is no reason why they should not be friendly and that she means him no harm by her visit. At dinner Lord Paignton calls for a loving-cup called the Luck of the Paigntons," and rises and drinks the health of Bruce and Doreen, but to the general consternation. it slips through his fingers and is smashed to atoms. The family remove to Wandsborough House for the London reason, and one night the Paigntons gave a big ball. Some of the guexta speak with astonishment of meeting such p??.,?i as the Mu?gr'3ves and Mostimer there. One says They're a ipair of thievea, and Paignton ought to be warned." CHAPTER X. A MAIDEN'S SECRXT. "A pair of thieves!" These were hard words to be spoken by one guest in a man's house of that man's guests, and, as a matter •of fact, they did not pass unchallenged. Gordon Collier, who had travelled a good deal in America, had a word to say in favour of Mortimer. "I don't know anything about the solicitor fellow," he said, "and he may be as bad as you make him out. I'll admit, too, that I've heard pretty stiff things said of Mortimer in the States, but, after all, the lame may be said of most men who go in for tbig deals. And, with regard to Mortimer, I once saw him perform as plucky an act as any I've ever come across, and so you see I give him credit for that. A brave man can't be altogether bad; I've always held that as an axiom." Collier was asked to tell the story, and he did so in a few simple words. "It was a few years ago, up Yukon way. Mortimer got up there, like so many others of us, on the hunt for gold; and one of our party, a lad to whom Mortimer had taken rather a fancy, got lost, left behind or something, and the weather wa3 so awful that it seemed utterly usele to search for him. It was decided that he must be left to his fate, and that the party must push on; we were short of food a8 it was, short of almost everything, in fact, and our dogs were dying off or so weak that they could hardly pull the tileigh. "We talked it over, and we were all for ,going oil-all except Mortimer. We tried to persuade him that it was madness, but he wouldn't listen to us. He went back by him- self. You fellows, who have never been in that part of the world, may not understand what that meant-it was practically certain ,death-but Mortimer just shrugged his ahoulders, made the best preparations he could, and off he went. Well, I don't know what you may say, but I call a man who can do that, whatever his character may be, -a hero." "Did he save the boy?" asked someone. "He did," returned Collier. "Of course, I didn't hear what had happened till months and months afterwards when I came across Mortimer again in Seattle. He didn't make any boast of it then-laughed it off, in fact. He found the boy almost perished with cold —came up only just in time. Both of them nearly got frozen after that, and they were attacked by wolves, too-had a devil of a time—until by sheer good luck they struck across another expedition. Well, that's all about it," Collier concluded, "and I tell you that I'm quite ready to shake Mortimer by the hand when I come across him." The little story had been told impressively, and there was no further talk of warning Lord Paignton against his guests. Wynne, who had spoken so violently, was the first to retract hiB words. "I spoke from hearsay more than anything else," he wid "and I may be wrong. I've heard that Musgrave need to lend money at ruinous interest to boys and young men whom Mortimer had taught to gamble. I had the story direct from one of them. Anyway, it's no business of mine, nor, I suppose, of anyone here. Lord Paignton is a liberty to choose his own friends for himself." "And he's a jolly good sort," put in Reggie Haines, "while Bruce is one of the best. I wouldn't say a word to upset either of them for worlds." Collier and Kenny fully agreed, and then the matter was allowed to drop. The chances of the favourite for the Goodwood Cup pro- Tided a less dangerous toric. After a while Gregory Venner looked in .again-lie was like a restless spirit and not enjoying himself at all. He had found Amy, too deeply engaged to sit out a dance with him. As the other men were just going he .sighed, and settled himself in an easy chair. In the meanwhile, in the great hall, brilliantly illuminated and richly decorated with exotic flowers, dancing was going on to the soft strains of a Hungarian band. Of course, Doreen had opened the ball with Bruce, and they had danced nearly every dance together since then. Just now, however, Bruce was waltzing with Agues, and Doreen, who had refused to dance that particular dance at all, watched the couple with jealous eyes. She stood by the side of her mother, pouting prettily, and not at all sure whether she ought to be angry or not. Ladv Thorndale laughed at her, as did Mrs. Coverdale, who presently joined them. "I don't care," protested Doreen. "I want to have Bruce all to myself this even- lag. I m not going to give him up to anyone eite at all. I ca n't help it, Eileen, even if I am jealous"—this to her sister—"it's my nature, I suppoae. And I hate that girl." Agnes was always "that girl" to Doreen. She had never quit", got over her jealousy, aroused that day at Charlton Park and there had been occasions, since then, when she had imagined that she had ground to be disturbed in spirit. Agnes Musgrave cer- tainly appeared anxious to see as much of Bruce as possible, and whenever she visited at Wandsborough House—which was not often she had a quiet way of monopolising Doreen's &ance which caused that little My ,en bl annoyance. And than they con61dera e. ally meet out riding in Rotten would occaSlOn who never rode in Lon- Row, and that this w? taking an unfair don, felt t a 1 Shfhad got it into her head tkat Agnes She had t? do her bad turn if the oppor- -as rea.d.y to do her & .teelf With a tunity should ever present itself- With a woman's quick instinct she d solicitor's daughter still car«* Bruce, and would not hesitate to win him only she, Doreen, could be got nd o? Ut course, she quite absolved Bruce from auv thought of unfaithfulness, but MU, ahe told he-elf, are so easily led, so weak in t e of temptation when temptation takes the *h&pe of a pretty woman. It ?s all very well for people to laugh at her for being jealous—they should know' how much cauee the had for being so. And, indeed, Doreen's suspicions were not altogether unfounded. It was true t' );tt Bruce Paignton appealed to Agnes more than any other man; true that she had been genuinely fond of him in t hose days when she had so nearly succeeded in making him cap- tive. Of course, there was the added charm of a title, to say nothing of considerable for- tune, but, to do Agnes Musgrave justice, it was the man himself by whom she was attracted. She had shed genuine tears when the relationship between them had been broken off. All her other affairs had been merely flirtations. That had been her fault. She was ready to flirt with one and all, seeing no particular harm in it. Now, having scorched her wings so badly, she was disposed to be more careful. As a matter of fact, there was a man who was very anxious to marry her, and she had quite imagined that she cared for him until, almost as unexpectedly to herself as it had been to him, Bruce Paignton had come into her life once more, and now— well. now she was not quite so certain that she wished to be the wife of Roger Fleming. I Of course, such an idea was utterly foolish, for Bruce was engaged and evidently deeply I in love, and not in the least likely to give her another thought. But at the same time she felt an instinctive and altogether un- warrantable dislike for Doreen Thorndale; a dislike which, as she very well knew, was cordially reciprocated. "Who's that dancing with Amy?" in- quired Mrs. Coverdale of her sister. "Quite a nice-looking young man, but I don't seem to have met him about anywhere." Mrs. Coverdale was by way of being a society leader. She went everywhere and knew everybody. She was quite ten years older than Doreen, the eldest of the family. There were three sons in between, two being in the Army and the third still at the Univer- sity. Eileen Coverdale had married quite young, and her husband held an important position in the Civil Service. She was small, like her sister, and very pretty. But late hours and a superabundance of society func- tions, had led to an over-early use of cosmetics. She applied them very cleverly, however, and she understood the art of putting on her clothes; in fact, she was a very smart woman, and one whom it was the thing to know. Doreen turned her eyes from watching the gyrations of Bruce and Agnes, and followed the direction indicated bv her sister. "Oh, that's Mr. Heath," she said, Mr. Basil Heath. He's a great friend both of Marian and Amy; in fact"—she gave a little laugh-" I'm sometimes inclined to think that they're both in love with him. Marian admits it, but Amy only looks it, and I don't believe anyone suspects the truth except my- self, and, of course, I haven't ventured to say a word." "But who may he be, this Mr. Heath ? Is he anybody at ail?" Mrs. Coverdale lifted her lorgnette as Baeil and Amy came once more into the field of vision. "Lord Paign- ton is really rather careless about the people he knows. That Musgrave girl, for instance. I can quite understand your objection to her, Doreen, though I don't think you've any right to claim Bruce for the whole evening." "Oh, Mr. Heath's all right," Doreen de- clared. He comes of quite a good family, and might be asked anywhere, though lie's a bit of a Bohemian by nature, and, I believe, not possessed of a superfluity of this world's goods. But they say he's going to get on— he's an artist, you know, and paints pictures which are likely to attract attention. He had one refused at the Royal Academy this year. "That was lucky for him," remarked Mrs. Coverdale drily. "I suppose it was exhibited somewhere else." "Oh, yes, at a Bond Street Gallery. There was a good deal of fuss about it some weeks ago. It was quite a good thing for Mr. Heath. I believe he's got a picture in the Salon, too." "I fancy I heard something about it," re- turned the other, with a polite yawn behind her hand. "Nevertheless I should think that the Paignton girls could do much better for themselves, and if I were their father I wouldn't let them flirt about with Mr. Basil Heath. But Lord Paignton is such an irre- sponsible person, although, of course, he's a perfect dear." The waltz came to an end as she spoke the words, the music dying down so softly that it was hard to say when it had completely ceased. Indeed, two or three couples still whirled round the room, all unconscious that the rest of the dancers were trooping from the hall. Among these were Bruce and Agnes, as Doreen noticed, her cheeks flush- ing scarlet. "They're so engrossed in each other that they forget—forget," muttered the jealous girl to herself. "Oh, I don't know why it is, but I feel"—she pressed her hands to her palpitating breut-" I feel that in some way, some day, Agnes Musgrave will come between me and the man I love. It's an in- stinct, but it's rooted itself here in my heart." She glanced up at her sister, fearing lest her heightened colour might have attracted attention, but Mrs. Coverdale was now engaged in talking to her mother, who was not, fond of dances, and who always had a tendency to go to sleep. Bruce and his partner had vanished by now, so Doreen took her place quietly upon the other side of her mother to wait till he should come to fetch her. It wasn't likely that lie would neglect her for the next dance. In the meanwhile Basil Heath and Amy had made their way to a secluded corner, banked in by palms and flowers, at the end of a covered balcony that looked out upon the garden of Wandsborough House. There was a stretch of lawn immediately beneath them, bounded by a, high wall, be- yond which flickered the lights of London. The garden had been illuminated with num- berless lanterns and tiny, coloured fairy lights. It was a clear moonlight and star- light. night, and there were many couples wandering up and down the lawn or sitting in the shadow of the trees. The air was soft and balmy, with the perfume of hot-liouse flowers. Amy leant her arm upon the balustrade of the balcony and gazed down at the garden without saying a word. She was looking very charming in the white ball dress of the debutante. She wore no jewellery at all, but had a cluster of roses at her breast and a single rose in her fair, flaxen hair. The soft colouring of her cheeks was a little deeper than usual, and she was breathing quickly— doubtless from the exerciae of dancing, though it could hardly have been dancing t i, though the pulses in her throat palpitate as they did, that made her play so nervously with her fan and turn her face away so that her partner should not be able to look into her eyes. "What a lovely night." She murmured the conventional phrase for the sake of say- ing something. She felt that she had to Bpeak. Basil Heath had not yet seated himself; he, too, was leaning over the balustrade, his arms folded. Mrs. Coverdale had been quite right when she spoke of him as good-looking. He was tall and broad-shouldered, and the sort ot inan who would look equally well in the dress clothes or the frock-coat of con- vention, or in a rough shooting suit, trudg- ing across the moors. He was inclined to be fair, but he wore his hair so short that it could hardly be counted in his colouring. He was clean-sliaven, and he had blue eyes and a well-shaped aquiline nose; a pleasant ad- dress, too-he was always at his ease in whatever company he might be. "Not a bit like an artist," that was the general opiniou pronounccd about him, "but a good fellow- just the port to get on equally well with men and wo: "1 hat's a very trite observation, Amv," he said with a smile. "We'll agree that it's a beautiful night, and then we'll find some- thing more entertaining to talk about. Not art, please, or my pictures—though I'm sure it s presumption on my part to bracket them with the word art—but some other subject altogether. 'You used to chatter freelv enough when we were in Verton Plage. Does living in a fine house and being a soeietv young lady make so much difference?" It was true that Amy often seemed to lose her tongue now when she was with Basil Heath. As he had pointed out, it had been very different when they were at Verton. But then, of course, he did not know. or even suspect, the painful uncertainty that racked her heart. The fact was, that at Verton she had imagined, fondly imagined, for quite a long time, that it was she, and not her sister, whom Basil preferred. On the eventful day of the rescue it was she, and not Marian, whom Basil had carried ashore in his anna when it had been found impossible to beach the boat. She had been the more frightened of the two certainly, and Marian had got ashore with only a little assistance from Gregory Yenner. For a little while after this the four young people had gone about to- gether, and it was only towards the latter days of their stay that they had sorted them- selves in such a way that Gregory usually fell to her lot, while Basil and Marian gravi- tated to one another. Then Marian had begun to confide in her cister, to tell her how much she really cared for Basil, and Amy, always secretive, deeply attached to her sister, too, had never breathed a word of her own feelings. If it was Marian whom Basil really cared for the most, then she was ready to sacrifice herself and to suffer in silence. The thought of the convent came back to her in those davs. "Basil—or the convent," that is what she re- peated to herself over and over again. "Basil --or the convent." And even up till to-day there was no cer- tainty in her mind. Basil had not made any avowal of love to Marian any more than to herself. Was it not possible that Marian was mistaken, that she had simply been lis- tening to the dictates of her own heart? It was a horrible position, and Amy suffered— Buffered because of her love for Marian and because of the horrible uncertainty of the whole thing. It had been hateful, too, to listen to the frequent suggestions that Gregory Yenner cared for her or that she might care for him. It was quite true that Gregory had paid her marked attention in those days at Verton, and still more since he had vis; d the Paigntons in London. He was ready to propose if she gave him the slightest encouragement. But Gregory Ven- ner was nothing to her-she had no affection for him whatever—only she had never con- tradicted her sister, for fear lest Marian should suspect the rivalry that was in her heart. And now—why, there could be no doubt about it-Basil was seeking her out in pre- ference to Marian. The two girls were very much in demand, of course, that evening, but Basil had begged her to give him an early dance. He had been very insistent Upon the point. He had not danced with Marian yet, was not to do so till much later in the evening. What was Amy to understand from this? Surely, that it was to her he gave the preference. No wonder, then, that now they had come to sit on the balcony among the palms and flowers, that the girl fluttered with her fan and trembled so that she could hardly answer Basil when he spoke. "What shall we talk about?" she hesitated lit last. "You shall choose the topic, Basil." "Very well, Amy, I will." He came and Bat by her side, gently disengaging the fan from her fingers. "I suggest that we shall talk about ourselves. There is a question that I want to ask you." I CHAPTER XL I I "MY LITTLE SISTER." I Amy's heart leapt within her. Basil wished to ask her a question. What other question could it be than that which she so dearly craved? And yet, even in that moment of exaltation, there was a senae of pain that weighed dully upon her brain. She was a sympathetic little soul, and she could not bear to hurt anyone. Poor Marian-how cruel it all was! But Basil was talking and she was obliged to give him her attention. He was fanning her gently, too, with the feather fan which he had taken from her hand. She was glad of the soft air upon her cheek, for she felt a little faint-the night was so sultry, the atmosphere so highly perfumed. "You know it came as a tremendous shock to me," so Basil was saying, "when I learnt that you and your sister were not what I had imagined you to be in those days at Verton. I'm a queer sort of fellow in some ways, Amv, a bit of a Bohemian, and I believe I should have run away-yes, simply packed up my things and fled if I'd had the smallest notion that my two little friends were really the Honourable Marian and the Honourable Amy Paignton, smart young ladies, who belong to one of the oldest families in Eng- land." "You would have run away—why?" mur- mured Amy. Basil laughed. "I suppose it's because I've always had it so well rubbed in, ever since I was a lad, that I am what they call a detri- mental, the sort of fellow whom all se lf- respecting young ladies of any position ought to avoid as they would avoid anyone suffering from scarlet-fever or the measles, or some- thing infectious. You see, my father, the old squire, made a bit of a mess of his life, and there was nothing very much to leave for us boys. We all had to fight for ourselves, even Bob—that's the eldest of us—had to leavo the Army because he couldn't afford to keep it up. And my other two brothers went to Canada, where they still are, working with their hands like any labourer over here. And I'd have gone with them, too, if I hadn't had a certain talent for painting. I made the most of it, but it never brought me in a real living, and I've led a sort of hand to mouth existence ever since the old dad died." "But you're doing better now," Amy ven- tured to interrupt. "You asked me not to speak about it, you know, but you brought up the subject yourself-your latit pic- ture-" He shrugged his shoulders. "That sort of fame is very ephemeral," he smiled. "As a matter of fact, I've been quite content with my life just as it was. There's always been my life jiist as it was. quite enough to get along with in my simple Bohemian way, and I don't think I ever ex- pected to do much more. I've got plenty of pride you see, but not much ambition. "But I don't see," hesitated Amy, "why you should have wanted to run away from Verton, or why you should have been afraid of us because of this." "Why, it's quite simple," he said. He had folded and laid down the fan by now, and he was leaning towards her, talking very earnestly. "I was falling in love, you see.- He did not notice how Amy fluttered as he spoke the words, nor how her breast heaved. "Do you think I'd have risked allowing a Ttcli girl, a girl of name and position, to fall in love with such an outsider as I?" he went on. "No, Amy, that's just where my pride comes in. It wouldn't be fair, vou t;ee- neither fair to her nor to myself. I despise & man who marries for money, a man who won't work for himself. That's why I should have run away." "Yes." Amy could hardly bring herself to speak. She knew that Basil held these views for he had laughingly spoken to the same effect one day at Verton. But what was his leading up to? What would he say next? A soft waltz tune floated out from the hall, where a fresh dance had been in pro- greets for some minutes. Amy was engaged for it, of course, and no doubt her partner, whoever he might be, was searching for her vainly. What did it matter? Basil had opened the feather fan, spread- ing it out upon his knees; he was staring in- tently at the feathers as though he wished to count how many there were. "The mischief of it all was," he went on, "that I didn't find out the truth till it was too late. I had fallen head over ears in love, and-and I had some reason to believe that my love was re- turned. I may be flattering myself in say- ing this-I may be a conceited fool-but a man can feel that sort of thing right down in his heart. Don't you understand what I mean, Amy?" She bent her head and made no reply. A rosebud had fallen from the bosom of her dress; she picked it up aii-d pulled it to pieces, peta,l ? ??' with nervous fingers. ?eJI. that brings me to the question I want to as? you," he went on. "I've fallen in love with a girl who is artles apove me in every way. I ve an idea that she cares, too, or I wouldn t venture to say a word. I want you to tell me, Amy, if you think I ought to let money be an absolute bar between us? T shouldn t care if she never gave me a farthing-Id far sooner be independent and earn my own hvmg. As far as familv goes Im all right, it'o only this accursed monev I don t think." faltered Amy, "it should make any difference." She had reached the heart of the rose by now; it fell, from her fingers into her lap. I "?ou don t? What a dear child you are Amy, to say that. I always felt I could talk things over with you, and that you would understand. Of course, you know what I've b,?on anving at. I ?d' j?t now that I wasn't ambitious, but that's all nonsense ? ?i?? Jf? ? J am ambitious for her sake. I'm iyJtwhat I Tve got myself a bit talked about; it means that I shall go up if I can stick to it- If it warm t for that I don't think I'd have ventured to speak at all." He was talking in quick, disjointed sen- tences. "You can tell me, Amy," he went on, "and that's why I was so keen on having the first dance with you this evening. You're with her all the hme-you must know just what she feels about it." Yes, Amy was beginning to understand now. All the time that he had been speaking her heart had been gradually sinking within her breast. The elation of that moment when he had said that he had a question to ask her had been dwindling away; the truth had been gradually forcing itself into her brain. If it were she whom he loved—she, and not her sister-there would have been none "of this long preamble; he would jvst have seized her hand instead of taking the wretched feather fan and spreading it out on his knees and counting the feathers. Yes, he would have seized her hand; he would have looked into her eyes and there and then he would have told her that he loved her And how the dance music, am it filtered through from the ball-room, seemed to be mocking her! She had been conscious of it inockil g while he spoke—a dreamy love-song, with just that touch of melancholy that the gipsies love. She knew what the end would be; she had heard the tune before; there was laughter in it—and tears. The son- from which the waltz was taken told it. own story. Why was it that these gipsy melodies always blerifed tragedy with love? Were the two thia^s so inseparable? Alter all, what had she to complain ofP The truth had never been hidden from her. Marian had been quite right. Marian knew that Basil cared, and she had never been afraid to proclaim the fact. As for Amy her- self, she had been a little fool, but, thank Heaven, no one had suspected it, no one knew. No one should ever know. It was dark out there upon the balcony, and he could not see her face. She was thankful for that, only she wished that he would fan her again, or that she could take the fan from his hand and use it herself, for she felt faint, faint and giddy, and the scent oi roses and lilies was so overpowering—roses and lilies. "Tell me, Amy," he was aaving quite softly, and with no knowledge of the storm to which he had given rise in the girl's brain. "It will be most awfully ST.-eet of you if you will give me a hint. Marian must have oon- fided in her little sister. I daren't say a word to her before I know. Does she care for me enough not to worry about the money? Does she want me to speak? Once or twice I've imagined she does, but then I may have been deceiving myself. When a man's in love "Marian loves you, Basil." Amy recog- nised the sound of her voice, but she had no real consciousness of her lips forming the frords. Yet they sounded quite smooth and even. "What a silly fellow you are to have hesitated at all." She gave a little laugh at this point, and it sounded quite natural. "The money doesn't matter at all, papa said so himself. As long as the man's a gentle- man 21 He interrupted her here, he seized her hand and lifted it to his lips. "Oh, what an angel you are, Amy! How I wish I'd spoken to you before! I'll do just as you advise, my little sister." He spoke the words a second time: "My little sister." The music ceased, just as Amy knew it would, with those few weird bars of melody which could make the hearer laugh or cry, according to his mood. Amy rose, standing up stiffly, and her cheeks were white as the moon that shone down upon them. "I'm so glad, Basil," she said, "that I have been able to help you. You needn't be the least bit anxious. Marian loves you. You've only got to speak to her to-night. And now, will you take me back, please? I've already missed a dance, and that's a terrible crime, isn't it? Basil rose, too, and offered her his arm. "We're always going to be the very best of friends, aren't we, Amy, dear?" he whis- pered. "I never had a little sister Amy broke into a short hysterical laugh. "That's what they would call me if I went into the Convent," she murmured—"Sister Amv-" But Basil did not understand w's6 she meant. (To be Continued.) ———




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