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lines, establish himself in the position, and,
as it were, end the war, putting things on
a satisfactory footing. Like the great German
strategist, he had planned everything
out in his cabinet. Now the time had
arrivedthe opportunity, the publicity,
everything favoured for a grand coup.
Already he had marked some points; but
to-night he would make all sure. One clever
stroke had occurred to him already.


AGAIN th' b'rouche and the nuptial greys
(expense of all this frightful, but at such
a crisis who would not be sporting?) were
at the gate, with a little crowd waiting for
the ladies to come out. Rumours of their
splendour had travelled all over the place.
Out comes the maid with a lantern, then
the two lovely girls, looking like angels;
Captain Montague follows, blazing in gold
and scarlet, his sword clinking after him, and
finally appears the Doctor, in a new coat,
white waistcoat, and shaved, as he said, as
though he were French polished. Proud
father was he that night, and yet, with his
bonhomie and twinkling eyes, there was a
firmness and decision about his mouth that
might have attracted notice. Away they
drove, Polly, as her father said, looking as
if she had been wound up, she was so restless
and eager, not able to meet any one's
eye without a smile breaking out and
spreading over her pretty face like a wave.
She never felt so happy.

Here was the avenue, the great trees
flying by, with lamps suspended, and a
grand sort of lantern afar offthe
illuminated house itself. The greys took them
magnificently up to the door, where there
was a crowd, whose faces were lit by the
reflected blaze. Round to the left they
saw an illuminated bower of canvas, which
Junter and his staff, turning builders, and
regardless of cost, had thrown out. From
within came the sounds of music. The
shadows of many figures passed and
repassed on the window-blinds. Polly's
heart was on her lips as she got out and
saw these preparations. The music made
her thrill.

They entered. Such a dazzling scene!
Junter had hung lamps and chandeliers
wherever there was the slightest coin of
vantage for such illumination. To Polly and
Katey it seemed a glimpse of heaven; the
soft music, the floating, but unwinged angels
flying roundfor a waltz was going on
the divine orchestra; Mrs. Leader, queen
of all, arrayed in splendid and gaudy
colours, her head encircled in a young
lady's wreath of flowers, which had made
a journey direct from Paris. Her face
darkened as she saw the two dangerous
girls, who, with their "scheming father,"
came to beard her in her castle. Beside
her stood Cecil, proud and dazzled by the
glorious apparition. That evening he had
had "a scene" with Mrs. Leader, and had
spoken out in a theatrical and defiant
manner; while, for the first time, he had
courageously allowed to escape him how "far
he had gone" with Miss Findlater. We
may imagine her feelings then as that low,
scheming party arrived, decked out to secure
their prey. Quite a crowd, making her look
something like a general officer surrounded
by his staff, stood round her, watching
the arrivals. There was something almost
grotesque in the Doctor's geniality; the
beaming affection, mingled with triumph,
that mantled on his faceas he would say
himself, a sort of "bless-ye-my-children"
expression. But what was it that made
this expression suddenly quiver with
uncertainty, like the surface of water under
a breeze, and finally give place to a
compound of dismay and defiance? And what
was it that made the bluff, good-natured-looking
gentleman, with a grey moustache,
standing behind Mrs. Leader, colour and
give a smart stamp? Mrs. Leader looked
from one to the other with a curious, yet
appealing smile.

"What," she said; "you know, or don't
you know, the general?"

The general had his daughter beside
him. He was always reserved and gentle,
but he was changed now; seemed furious,
and turned away. Katey and Polly saw
there was something wrong, an expression
of agony coming into the former's face.
Polly was inclined to look haughty, and
give as good as she got; Katey had that
wonderful instinct of affection, which told
her that her father had had troubles in his
life, whose ugly shadows might at any time
be projected. He had fought them off so
gallantly; it was hard. However, here was
Captain Montague carrying off Polly
ostentatiously, and Mr. Cecil, half boldly, half
timorouslyfor the general's daughter was
beside himdrawing Katey away. Then,
after a moment's hesitation, the Doctor
threw back his head scornfully, and strode

"That man here?" said the general.
"Do you know him? Do you venture to
let him in here?"

The light came into Mrs. Leader's dull