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Manuel looked at him, she wondered at the
change that had come on him. He seemed to
have grown old and almost drivelling. A year
or two of chafing and importunity and anxiety
had brought this all about. He was no longer
the pleasant Sir Hopkins, who gave dinners and
who ate them, and who went along the highways
of life in listen shoes. No wonder the young
flippant children of F.O. said he had quite
" broken up." " I don't speak to the Fermors
now," he went on. " All I asked her was to go
to the old duke, who used to admire her so long
ago. He couldn't refuse. I know he couldn't.
There is a history about that. Then I said, a
letter, a few lines. She wants to nurse her
interest for her family. Carter, too, who did dirty
work enough for the familythey have treated
him just the same."

Miss Manuel's eyes flashed. "Dirty work,
indeed," she said ; " but he will find his account.
As they all will."

Sir Hopkins looked a little confused. "I
meant," he said, "that old business, long ago.
As for Eastport, I give you my honour, Miss

"I have heard of that old affair," said she,
eagerly; " but never the details."

"O, it's an old story," he said, "forgotten
now. I mean their ingratitude; is it not bad?"

Said Miss Manuel, suddenly: " I have some
little influence in the direction you speak of. An
official friend told me lately that he could help
a friend of mine, in a small way; that is, I could
speak to him, you know."

"Could you! O, could you!" said Sir
Hopkins, in the fervour of senile gratitude. " How
kind, how good, how generous! O, Miss Manuel,
I shall never forget it; never, never! Anything,
you know, will do."

"It is difficult," she said; " but can promise
it to you. There was an island Prince
Somebody's, I think."

"Yes, yes. Lee Boo's. How did you know?"
he said, in astonishment.

"I know many things," said Pauline; " more
than ever a diplomatist would suppose; and I
am curious to know more. I have a woman's
taste for gossip, Sir Hopkins. Sit down there,
and tell me your little bit of ugly family
businessto amuse me."

Instantly he became the old sly-looking Sir
Hopkins, and glanced at her sideways, as he
would have done long ago at a Waipiti trying to
take him in. " I am not to be entrapped or
seduced," he seemed to say. What he did say
was, " O, it is a stupid old story, Miss Manuel;
would not interest you in the least. But," he
added, nervously, " about Harding Hanaper.
He has influence there, which he ought not to
have, and a word from him-"

"And a word from me to him?" said Pauline.
"No, I am afraid. You see, I must keep any
little trifling influence I have for my own family,
like Lady Laura, and for my slaves, who work
for me and gratify my whims."

Sir Hopkins looked at her piteously. He
understood perfectly. "I shouldn't have alluded
to it; I was irritated, you know," he said, almost
imploringly. " Family honour and chivalry. No,
it would not be right, indeed."

Miss Manuel burst into a fit of laughter.
"What heroics!" she said. "Who dreams of
touching the family honour? Not I, indeed, I
assure you. But I was only joking, Sir Hopkins.
Poor me to have influence with Harding Hanaper,
or with anyone! They only laugh at us
weak women." And she stood up. "I have
heaps of letters to write. By the way, I have
just written to Harding Hanaper." And she
pointed to a note in the distance.

Miserable irresolution was in Sir Hopkins's
anxious face. But he could not resist going
out with pride and dignity. " You are very cruel
to me, Miss Manuel," he said. " You bear
malice, I see. Good-by."

Miss Manuel stood in the same attitude for
many moments watching the door by which he
had passed. " I hold him," she said triumphantly,
"in the hollow of my hand. The wretched
creature would sell his soul for office." She was
turning to go to her desk, when the door was
opened softly, the worn face was put in again,
and Sir Hopkins said :

"If you are not busy now, Miss Manuel —— "

"Busy," said she, " not at all! We can have
an hour's comfortable chat, and teaI know you
like your afternoon cup of teaand, shall I tell
them to let in no one?"

Sir Hopkins looked over irresolutely in the
direction of Mr. Harding Hanaper's note. It
was not gone. He drew in his chair, laid his hat
on the ground beside him, as he always did, and
said, " Shall I tell you a story- ?"

"I see I shall have to re-write my letter,"
said Miss Manuel, tearing up Mr. Hanaper's

"So you see," said Sir Hopkins, with his
old Waipiti smile, as he rose to go away, having
quite talked himself into a fluent diplomatic vein,
"So you see it is nothing but a bit of old family
scandal. Such things gather at the skirts of
every respectable house in the country. Where
there are young men, there will always be a
little folly of this kind. Miss Manuel, I
beieve Mr. Harding Hanaper is still in town,
and- "

"And this is all?" said Miss Manuel, with her
eye fixed coldly on him; " this is all ?"

"This is all," Sir Hopkins said, going away.

"Very well," said she; "I shall go to my

When he had gone, Miss Manuel said to
herself, " He has not told a quarter of the truth!
He thinks he can keep his wretched old hand in
practice on me! If he chooses to play these
tricks, he must pay the penalty. I gave him one
chance, and he has thrown it away." She then
sat down to her letters. She did not write to
Harding Hanaper, but to her fresh elderly friend,
Sir John, who admired her as " a fine woman."