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little, sorted his letters, tied them up in a
bundle, locked them into his travelling-desk, and
finally, with another uneasy glance at her, he
left the room. Harriet sat quite still, her hand
upon the curtain, her face towards the window.
So she sat for several minutes after he had left
the house, in evening dress, with a loose paletot
on, and she had seen him go down the street
towards the Kursaal. Then she wrote a few
lines to George Dallas, and, having sent her
note, once more seated herself by the window.
The room was darkening in the quick
coming night, and her figure was indistinct
in its motionless attitude by the
window, when George came gaily into her

"Here I am, Mrs. Routh. What are your
commands? Nothing wrong with you, I hope?
I can't see you plainly in the dusk. Where's

"He has gone out. He had an engagement,
and I have a particular fancy to go out this
evening, to see the world; in fact, at the
Kursaal, in particular. You are always so kind and
obliging, I thought, as Stewart could not take
me if your mother did not particularly want
you this evening, you might give me your
escort for an hour."

"Too delighted," said George, with genuine
pleasure. " I am quite free. Mr. Carruthers
is with my mother, and my uncle is writing
letters for the American mail."

Harriet thanked him, and left the room;
but returned almost immediately, with her
bonnet on, and wearing a heavy black lace

"You will be smothered in that veil, Mrs.
Routh," said George, as they left the house.
"And you won't get the full benefit of this
delightful evening air."

"I prefer it," she said; " there are some men
here, friends of Stewart, whom I don't care to

They went on, almost in silence, for Harriet
was very thoughtful, and George was wondering
what made her so "low," and whether these
friends of Routh's were any of the " old set."
He hoped, for Harriet's sake, Routh was not
playing recklessly. He was very clever, of
course, but stilland with all the wisdom
and the zeal of his present mental and moral
condition, George shook his head at the
idea of a deflection into gambling on the part of

The often described scene at the Kursaal
displayed all the customary features. Light,
gilding, gaiety, the lustre and rustle of
women's dress, the murmur of voices, and the
ring of laughter in all the rooms not devoted to
play; but at the tables, silence, attention, and
all the variety which attends the exhibition of
the passion of gambling in all its stages. From
the careless lounger, who, merely passing through
the rooms, threw a few florins on the table to
try what the game was like, to the men and
women who lived for and in the hours during
which the tables were open to them, all, with
the intermediate ranks of votaries and degrees
of servitude, were there.

George was so accustomed to Harriet's
retiring manners, and so prepared to find the
scene distasteful to her, that he did not notice
her unwillingness to assume a prominent position
in any of the rooms through which they
passed. As they entered each, she drew him a
little behind the crowd in occupation, and talked
to him about the style of the apartment, its
decoration, the brilliancy of its lightin short,
made any common-place remarks which occurred
to her.

They were standing near the door of one of
the saloons, and Harriet, though her veil was
not lifted, was scanning from behind its shelter
curiously, and with a rapid sharpness peculiar
to her, the brilliant-dressed crowd, talking,
laughing, flirting, lounging on the velvet seats,
and some furtively yawning in the weariness of
their hearts; when a sudden brisk general flutter
and a pervading whisper attracted the attention
of both. The movement was caused by the
entrance of a lady, so magnificently dressed and so
extremely handsome that she could not have failed
to create a sensation in any resort of gaiety,
fashion, and the pomp and pride of life. The
voluminous folds of her blue satin dress were covered,
overflowed rather, by those of a splendid
mantilla of black lace, worn Spanish fashion over
her head, where a brilliant scarlet flower nestled
between the rich filmy fabric and the lustrous
black brown hair coiled closely round it. She
came in, her head held up, her bright black
eyes flashing, her whole face and figure
radiant with reckless beauty and assertion.
Two or three gentlemen accompanied her,
and her appearance had the same processional
air which George had commented upon in the
morning. The lady was Mrs. P. Ireton

"We're in luck, Mrs. Routh," said George.
"Here comes my uncle's fair friend, or fair
enemy, whichever she may be, in all her splendour.
What a pity Mr. Felton is not here.
Perhaps she will speak to me."

"Perhaps so," whispered Harriet, as she
slipped her hand from under his arm, and sat
down on a bench behind him. " Pray
don't move, please. I particularly wish to be

At this moment, Mrs. P. Ireton Bembridge,
advancing with her train, amid the looks of the
assembly, some admiring, some affecting the
contemptuous, and a few not remarkably
respectful, approached George. From behind
him, where her head just touched the back of
his elbow, Harriet's blue eyes were fixed upon
her. But the triumphant beauty was quite
unconscious of their gaze. She stopped for a
moment, and spoke to George.

"Good evening, Mr. Dallas. Is Mr. Felton
here? No? He is expecting his son, I

"He does not know, madam. He has not
heard from him."

"Indeed! But Arthur is always lazy about