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He ended with a rude harsh laugh.

The soft eyes turned towards him hurriedly,
and with an imploring look.

Mr. Grainger said, in a low voice, but which
was distinctly heard, “Our friend Ross is in
one of his malicious moods to-day. He is allowed
to say what he likes here. He is a privileged

Indeed he is,” said Mr. Tillotson, good
humouredly, “and he has a right to be; for we
are actually plaintiff and defendant in a lawsuit.
But we’ll have some wine together,

Ross’s face darkened. “I don’t jest about
thathe said, slowly, “and don’t mean to jest
about it. I don’t take any wine. They have
put me on a regimen. Take it away, do you
hear.” (This was to Mr. Bowler, whose opinion,
expressed later at a ManshunUs dinner, was,
that that partyrefusing of his liquor as he
didwas as ill-reggurlated a man as ever he

Regimen!” said Mr. Grainger, in a low
voice to Mrs. Tillotson, “he’s been keeping a
regimen, indeed. It’s almost luckythough
you may not think so, Mrs. Tillotsonthat I
am here, for he is working himself up into one
of his moods. Look how he glares at your
husband! He thinks he has been insulted in some
way. Everything, indeed, is an insult to him
now. This magnificence, the wines, the
pictures, at this moment, have beenthrust in his
face,’ he would call it, to make him feel his
own poverty. I wish I were beside him.”

Piteous distress was in Mrs. Tillotson’s face.
She all but wrung her hands.

I feel what you say to be true,” she went
on, “and every day I feel the want in myself
of that power that can control others. I am
wretchedly weak. Even this very afternoon
some one came to our housea wild, half-savage
beingforced himself in, hunting for my
husband. Why should this happen to us? Why
should Rossfor it was one of his set, I know
expose us to this?”

A quick light came into Grainger’s eyes.
What sort of man was this? Was he short,
stout, with red rings round his eyes?”

She almost started. “Why, you know all
things,” she said.

No, that was none of Ross’s set. He
was of your husband’s set." His voice got
lower. “But I have no right to speak to you
of such things. I could have prevented his
coming; but you would think, naturally, that I
was officiously thrusting myself into all your
concerns. I may say this much, that he is a
dangerous man, and it grieves me to tell you
that his presence here bodes your husband some
trouble. I must warn you of this.”

They were so earnest in their talk, and her
eyes were turned to him with such eagerness,
that neither of them noticed Mr. Tillotson
utterly abstracted from his neighbour’s
conversationwatching them with an expression of
pain that was evident to all.

Go on, tell me more,” he said. “That is,
if you will so indulge me. I may be a little

No, I recollect now,” she went on. “You
must be wrong; for he suddenly changed and
became quite deferentialthat it was all a
mistake, and that he only wanted a small debt that
my husband owed him.”

And he changed in this way when you——?
This is important.”

When I——let me think. O, let me recollect.
Yes. When he found that I knew nothing
of him, or that my husband had not told me
anything of him.”

Ah, there it is,” said Grainger, hastily. “I
see through all these little ruses. I met that
man abroad, and I know him by heart. I know
the whole at this moment. There is some passage
in your husband’s life which he——”

You are mistaken,” she said, passionately.
You are fond of repeating that——”

I do not know it, but I believe it. Think
of that night at St. Alans, when he left your
table. This man knows something of itfound
that you were not in the secret, and will work
upon your husband for ends of his own to keep
it from you. That is the game; at least, so I
read it.”

The colour came to her cheeks. “I do not
so accept it,” she said. “Your theories are too
ingenious, and built on too slight a foundation.
This is some common man who is in want of

Grainger bent his head and smiled. “As you
please. You won’t understand me till it is too
late. You will call me then, and I shall not
come, perhaps. What if I tell you his name,
which you do not know, Mrs. Tillotson?”

Ah! that would be a proof,” she said.

Eastwood,” he said, in a slow distinct voice,
and with his eyes steadily fixed on her.


THERE were other eyes, which they had not
noticed, bent forward, devouring them. There
was a pale face watching this whispered
conversation, where the heads were bent together,
almost with agony. The heavy stout lady
beside the host, thoughmaking an excellent
dinner,” as she said herself afterwards, thought
him almostimpolite, Bunnett,” andnever so
much as asked me if I had a mouth belonging
to me.”

Ross, too, from afar off, had been watching
also with a bitter sneer on his mouth, restless,
impatient, and not attending to his neighbour.
He saw the worn, anxious look on Mr. Tillotson’s
face; and, with that ill humour of his which
took any victim that offered, said, half aloud,
Look at our friend’s face! Just look!
Tillotson, I say, are you going to eat your guests
with your dinner? Are you ill? Don’t he look
ill, now? I appeal to the ladies.”

There was an unconcealed sneer and insolence
in the way this was spoken. Mr. Tillotson
coloured and recovered. “I am quite well,” he
said, coldly. “Why do you say I look ill?”

Interest. Interest, of course,” said Ross,

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