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“Bah, it is his business. Some poor adventuring artist, I doubt not, though his clothes are so fine, and his linen of a dazzling whiteness.
Those artists are always good for nothing.”
“But he is a grand gentleman, Marcelline.'
“La, la, la! Your English are all milords abroad."
“Well, then, look here,” and Dolores produced the card triumphantly.
“ And what does that mean to say ?" asked Marcelline incredulously.
“ It means that he is a grand person, and down there at the bottom is where he lives-Wentworth Court. That means a château in a large park, like M. de Cevennes's, where your cousin lives."
“ Ah?" said Marcelline, more respecte fully.' “Now, Mademoiselle, you eat your déjeûner, and I shall ask this fine stranger if he will eat and drink something." And she tied on a clean apron, and walked into the garden, followed by Dolores's wistful eyes.
Sir Guy was standing with his back to the house, looking down at the lovely view, perfect in full sunshine. At his feet lay the old town, rearing its many spires to the blue sky; and on either side wound the yellow curving Seine, bounded by fields and clumps of trees, and shut in by the fair green hills of Normandy.
“Quite an English landscape," murmured the young man, opening his book.
“He is handsome, certainly,” reflected Marcelline, coming down a side path and contemplating the stalwart form and handsome face she caught just in profile.
She had a genuine woman's weakness for a good-looking man.
“Will Monsieur permit me to offer him
a glass of wine ?" she said, stepping briskly up;
and he turned smiling, quite surprised at so unexpected a courtesy.
“ A thousand thanks, no," answered the young man—"I breakfasted quite recently."
“We have not much to offer, but if Monsieur deigns“No, thank you all the same.
I will just make the sketch you kindly gave me permission for, and withdraw at once."
To account for Marcelline's sudden change of demeanour we must here record that her greatest weakness was a fondness for money, and having heard much of English liberality she assumed her pleasantest manner with a view to obtaining some personal experience thereof. Nor was she disappointed, for when still lingering she begged him to remain as long as he pleased, Sir Guy, with an intuition of what was expected of him, placed a most
liberal douceur in her unreluctant palm.
“This is a lovely spot," he remarked, and Marcelline with a shrug and an elevation of the eyebrows admitted that it was "pretty enough.”
Perhaps she found it a little dull, Sir Guy suggested.
“Dull, mon Dieu! yes, and in the Winter cold enough to freeze one. The wind blows in hurricanes off the hills, and comes in at the windows, which are not too secure against the currents of air.” Then you
live here in the Winter too ?” “Oh, yes, all the four seasons. It is triste enough for old people, but it is like being buried alive for a young creature like Mademoiselle,” Marcelline responded.
She knew Paris of course ? the young man surmised. Paris ! dear beautiful Paris ! ah, how well ! Had she been in the picture galleries of the Louvre ?
Once, years ago-she did not remember much of it.
Had she by chance seen a picture called La Cruche Cassée.
Probably—she did not recollect now.
"Because,” said Sir Guy—“it is a favourite picture of mine, and your young lady here is the exact image of it I would give five Napoleons to paint her.”
“Monsieur would really like to paint Mademoiselle ?"
“ There is nothing I should like so much.” “And how long would it take, Monsieur ?" “Three days, perhaps.”
Marcelline began to reflect. To throw away five Napoleons would be madness. It would be a pleasure to the girl, whose life was dull enough, and Madame Power need never be the wiser for it.