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VERONICA, LADY GALE, as she styled
herself, was established in a respectable, but
by no means fashionable, hotel, at the West
End of London. She had brought none of
the Italian servants with her, and had even
dismissed her French maid, and taken in
her stead a middle-aged Swiss woman of
staid ugliness.

For Prince Cesare de' Barletti lodgings
had been found, within a convenient
distance of the hotel. At these modest apartments
he was known as Signor Barletti
merely. And this temporary lopping of
his title had been executed at Veronica's
express desire, lest the glories which she
had anticipated sharing with him by-and-bye,
should be tarnished in their passage
through regions of comparative poverty
and obscurity. She also had enjoined on
Cesare to keep himself aloof from such of
his compatriots as he might chance to meet
in London. This latter injunction,
however, he had not kept to the letter.

The truth was that poor Cesare was
desperately dull and forlorn. His visits
to Veronica were of the most rigidly formal
character, and the invariable presence of
the Swiss maid during these interviews had
caused some sharp words to pass between
the cousins.

"At Naples, at least, I could see you and
speak to you sometimes without a hideous
duenna," complained Cesare.

"At Naples things were different. Have
patience. We must risk nothing by
imprudence. Louise understands no Italian.
You can say what you please before her."

"But I hate the sight of her. Dio mio,
how ugly she is!"

Then Veronica would bid him go out and
amuse himself. But he declared that London
depressed his spirits with a leaden
weight; that he could not speak ten words
of English, so as to be understood, nor
understand half that number when spoken;
that he could not wander about the streets
all day; that he had no club to resort to;
that London was cold, ugly, smoky, noisy,
dull, and that there had not even been one
fog since his arrivala spectacle he had all
his life longed to see.

At this climax Veronica lost patience.

"In short," she observed, disdainfully,
"you are like a spoiled child, and don't
know what you want."

"On the contrary, I know but too well.
Cara, if I could only be with you, the time
would pass quickly enough. But I am
more banished from your society now than
I was whenhe was alive."

And in his utter ennui Cesare had
scraped acquaintance with certain of his
own countrymen, who frequented a foreign
café, and smoked many a cigar with men
whose appearance would have mortified
Veronica to the quick, could she have
beheld her cousin in their company. And
yet the difference of a coat would have
transformed some of them into as good
men as he, even including the pedigree of
the Barlettis in the list of his advantages.
But it was just the coat which Veronica
would very well have understood to be of
extreme importance.

Mr. Frost had, as he had said to Hugh
Lockwood, declined to act as Veronica's
legal adviser. But he had, at Cesare's
request, given her the name of a respectable