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IT was no wonder that Saxon could not be
found when he was wanted, or that it was late
before he returned to the house. His imprisonment
lasted altogether more than an hour; and
when Miss Rivière at length rose and went away,
he took a long walk round in another direction,
in order that he might be able to account for
his absence.

He had no sooner made his appearance,
however, in the drawing-room, than the Earl carried
him off to Signor Colonna' s study, and there
left him. The Italian met him with outstretched
hands; and Olimpia, who was writing busily,
looked up and smiled as he came in.

"What am I to say to you, Mr. Trefalden?"
exclaimed Colonna. " How shall I thank you?"

"Pray don't mention it," said Saxon, shyly.

"How can I help mentioning it? An act of
such munificence . . . ."

"I should be so much obliged to you,"
interrupted Saxon, " if you would say nothing
about it."

"You may compel me to silence, Mr. Trefalden;
but every true heart in Italy will thank

"I hope not, because I don't deserve it. I
did it to to please Miss Colonna."

"Then I hope that you at least permitted her
to thank you as you deserve to be thanked, Mr.
Trefalden," said the Italian, as he glanced
smilingly from the one to the other. " And
now will you pardon me if I ask you a

"I shall be happy to answer a thousand."

"You have given us your cheque for a very
large sum," said Colonna, taking the paper from
his desk, and glancing at it as he spoke. " For
so large a sum that I have almost doubted
whether your banker will cash it on presentation.
It is unusual, at all events, for even
millionnaires like yourself, Mr. Trefalden, to
keep so many loose thousands at their banker's.
May I ask if you have given this a thought?"

Saxon stared hard at the cheque across the
table, and wondered whether Olimpia had really
doubled it or not; but the slope of the desk
prevented him from seeing the figures distinctly.

"I have thought of it," he replied, with a
troubled look, " andand I am really
afraid . . . ."

"That your balance will be found insufficient
to cover it," added Colonna, entering a brief
memorandum on the margin of the cheque. " It
is fortunate that I asked the question."

"I am very sorry," stammered Saxon.

"Why so? It is a matter of no importance."

"I was afraid . . . ."

"I do not kncw, of course, how your money
is placed," said Signor Colonna, " but I should
suppose you will have no difficulty in transferring
to Drummond's whatever amount may be

"It's in government stock that is, a great
part of it," replied Saxon, mindful of the New
Overland Route Railway and Steam-Packet
Company, Limited.

"Oh, then you will only have to sell out.
Nothing easier."

Nothing easier, indeed! Poor Saxon!

"You may have to go up to town, however,"
added Colonna. " By the way, who is your

But Saxon did not even know what a
stockbroker was.

"My cousin manages my money for me," said
he; " I must go to him about it."

"Mr. Trefalden of Chancery-lane?"


Signor Colonna and his daughter exchanged

"I do not see that you need trouble your
cousin this time," said the Italian, after a
moment's hesitation.

"Why not?"

"Because a lawyer has nothing to do with
the transfer of stock. He can only employ a
stockbroker for you; and why should you not
employ a stockbroker for yourself? It is more

"I don't think my cousin William would like
it," said Saxon, hesitatingly.

"Pray pardon me, but is it well that you
should defer so much to his opinion? Might
it not lead him to think himself privileged to
establish some sort of censorship over your

Saxon was silent. He knew that his cousin
had already established that censorship, and that
he had submitted to it. But he did not feel
inclined to acknowledge it.

"The present," said Signor Colonna, " is a