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herself by artificially reddening the insides of her
eyelids, so as to produce an appearance of inflammation
which no human creature but a doctor
and that doctor at close quarterscould have
detected as false. She sprang to her feet and
looked triumphantly at the hideous transformation
of herself reflected in the glass. Who could
think it strange now if she wore her veil down,
and if she begged Mrs. Lecount's permission to
sit with her back to the light?

Her last proceeding was to put on the quiet
grey cloak, which she had brought from Birmingham,
and which had been padded inside by Captain
Wragge's own experienced hands, so as to
hide the youthful grace and beauty of her back and
shoulders. Her costume being now complete,
she practised the walk which had been originally
taught her as appropriate to the charactera
walk, with a slight limpand, returning to the
glass, after a minute's trial, exercised herself
next in the disguise of her voice and manner.
This was the only part of the character
in which it had been possible, with her physical
peculiarities, to produce an imitation of Miss
Garth; and here the resemblance was perfect.
The harsh voice, the blunt manner, the habit of
accompanying certain phrases by an emphatic
nod of the head, the Northumbrian burr
expressing itself in every word which contained the
letter "r"—all these personal peculiarities of the
old north country governess were reproduced to
the life. The personal transformation thus
completed, was literally what Captain Wragge had
described it to bea triumph in the art of self-
disguise. Excepting the one case of seeing her
face close, with a strong light on it, nobody who
now looked at Magdalen could have suspected
for an instant that she was other than an ailing,
ill-made, unattractive woman of fifty years old
at least.

Before unlocking the door she looked about
her carefully, to make sure that none of her stage
materials were exposed to view, in case the landlady
entered the room in her absence. The only
forgotten object belonging to her that she discovered
was a little packet of Norah's letters, which
she had been reading overnight, and which had
been accidentally pushed under the looking-glass
while she was engaged in dressing herself. As she
took up the letters to put them away, the thought
struck her for the first time—"Would Norah
know me now if we met each other in the
street?" She looked in the glass, and smiled
sadly. "No," she said, "not even Norah."

She unlocked the door, after first looking at
her watch. It was close on twelve o'clock.
There was barely an hour left to try her
desperate experiment, and to return to the lodging
before the landlady's children came back from

An instant's listening on the landing assured
her that all was quiet in the passage below
She noiselessly descended the stairs, and gained
the street without having met any living creature
on her way out of the house. In another minute
she had crossed the road, and had knocked at
Noel Vanstone's door.

The door was opened by the same woman-
servant whom she had followed on the previous
evening to the stationer's shop. With a momentary
tremor, which recalled the memorable first
night of her appearance in public, Magdalen
inquired (in Miss Garth's voice, and with Miss
Garth's manner) for Mrs. Lecount.

"Mrs. Lecount has gone out, ma'am," said
the servant.

"Is Mr. Vanstone at home?" asked Magdalen,
her resolution asserting itself at once against
the first obstacle that opposed it.

"My master is not up yet, ma'am."

Another check! A weaker nature would have
accepted the warning. Magdalen's nature rose
in revolt against it.

"What time will Mrs. Lecount be back?"
she asked.

"About one o'clock, ma'am."

"Say, if you please, that I will call again, as
soon after one o'clock as possible. I particularly
wish to see Mrs. Lecount. My name is
Miss Garth."

She turned and left the house. Going back
to her own room was out of the question. The
servant (as Magdalen knew by not hearing the
door close) was looking after her; and, moreover,
she would expose herself, if she went
indoors, to the risk of going out again exactly at
the time when the landlady's children were sure
to be about the house. She turned mechanically
to the right; walked on until she reached
Vauxhall-bridge; and waited there, looking out over
the river.

The interval of unemployed time now before her
was nearly an hour. How should she occupy

As she asked herself the question, the thought
which had struck her when she put away the
packet of Norah's letters, rose in her mind once
more. A sudden impulse to test the miserable
completeness of her disguise, mixed with the
higher and purer feeling at her heart; and
strengthened her natural longing to see her
sister's face again, though she dare not
discover herself and speak. Norah's later letters
had described, in the fullest detail, her life as a
governessher hours for teaching, her hours of
leisure, her hours for walking out with her
pupils. There was just time, if she could find a
vehicle at once, for Magdalen to drive to the
house of Norah's employer, with the chance of
getting there a few minutes before the hour when
her sister would be going out. "One look at
her will tell me more than a hundred letters!"
With that thought in her heart; with the one
object of following Norah on her daily walk, under
protection of the disguise, Magdalen hastened
over the bridge, and made for the northern bank
of the river.

So, at the turning-point of her lifeso, in the
interval before she took the irrevocable step, and
passed the threshold of Noel Vanstone's door