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They were in London. The railway
station looked inexpressibly dreary, with
its long vistas ending in black shadow, its
sickly lamps blinking like eyes that have
watched all night and are weary, and its
vast glazed roof, through which the grey
dawn was beginning to glimmer.

It was yet too early to attempt to go to
Mrs. Lockwood's house. They must wait
at least a couple of hours. The vicar
looked so worn, aged, and ill, that Maud
tried to persuade him to seek some rest at
the hotel close to the station, promising
that he should be roused in due time. But
he refused to do so.

"Sit here," he said, leading Maud into
a waiting-room, where there was a dull
coke fire smouldering slowly, and where a
solitary gas-light shed a yellow glare over
a huge, bare, shining centre table, leaving
the rest of the apartment in almost
darkness. "You will be safe and
unmolested here. I must go and make some
inquiriestry to find some trace—.
Remain here till I return."

Maud thought she had never seen a
room so utterly soul-depressing. No place
would have appeared cheerful to her at that
moment; but this railway waiting-room was
truly a dreary and forlorn apartment. She
sat there cowering over the dull red fire, sick,
and chilly, and sad; listening nervously to
every echoing footfall on the long platform
without; to the whistle of some distant
engine, screaming as though it had lost its
way in the labyrinthine network of lines
that converged just outside the great
terminus, and were wildly crying for help
and guidance; listening to the frequent
clang of a heavy swing-door, the
occasional sound of voices (once a man laughed
aloud, and she involuntarily put her hands
up to her startled ears to shut out the
sound that jarred on every quivering nerve
with agonising discord), and to the loud,
deliberate ticking of a clock above the
waiting-room door.

At lengthhow long the time had
seemed!— Mr. Levincourt returned.

Maud started up, and tried to read in
his face if he had any tidings of Veronica,
but she did not venture to speak. He
answered her appealing look:

"I have seen the station-master," he
said. "They have not been here. I believe
that much is certain. The man was civil,
and caused inquiries to be made among
the peopleoh, my God, that I should
have to endure this degradation! — but
there was no trace of such people as I
described. This man made a suggestion.
They might have left the main line at
Dibley, and either come to London by the
other line, thus arriving at a station at
the opposite end of the town; oras I
think more probablehave reached the
junction that communicates with the coast
railways, and so got down to the sea without
touching London at all."

"0, Uncle Charles!"

"Come, my poor child, let me at least
put you into a shelter where you will be
safe from the contamination of our
disgrace. You look half dead, my poor
Maudie! Come, there is a cab waiting
here outside."

As Maud moved towards the door to
obey his summons, the light of the gas-
lamp fell full on her pale face, and he
almost exclaimed aloud at her startling
resemblance to her mother.

It seemed to the vicar that the
remembrance of his old love, thus called up at
this moment, filled his heart with bitterness
even to overflowing.

"O me!" he groaned; "I wish it were
all over! I am weary of my life."

The cab rattled over the stones through
the still nearly empty streets.

Maud's remembrance of any part of
London was very vague. She had never
even seen the neighbourhoods through
which she was now being jolted. It all
looked squalid, mean, grimy, and
uninviting under the morning light. At last
they came into a long street, of which the
further end was veiled and concealed by a
dense foggy vapour.

"What number, miss?" asked the
cabman, turning round on his seat.

"What do you say?" asked Maud,

"What number, miss? This 'ere is

"0!" cried Maud, despairingly. "I
don't remember the number!"

The cabman had pulled up his horse,
and was now examining the lash of his
whip with an air of philosophical
indifference, like a man who is weighed upon by
no sense of responsibility. After a minute or
so, he observed, with great calmness, "That's
ockkard; Gower-street is raythur a long
street, and it 'll take some time to knock at
all the doors both sides o' the way." Then
he resumed the examination of his whip

"0, Uncle Charles, I am so sorry!"
murmured Maud. "What shall we do?"

Mr. Levincourt jumped out of the cab,