IN A WINTER CITY. 293
" This fancy of yours.**
Lady Hilda grew very pale.
" My dear Clafrvaux,** she said, with chUUest
contempt, " you are not my keeper, nor my
husband, nor anything else, except one of my
trustees, I do not know that being a trustee
gives you a title to be impertinent. You really
talk as yoK might to your gamekeeper's daughter,
if you thought you saw the girl ' going wrong.'
What M, DeUa Eocca feels for me is merely
S3'mpathy in ideas and tastes. But if it were
anything else, whose business would it be ? "
Lord Ciairvaux laughed.
"Yes!—^you are a Ukely creature to inspfre
friendship! As if there were ever a woman worth
looking at who could keep a man at that!—»
don't let us fence about it, HUda. Perhaps t
haven't any right to say anything. You're your
own mistress and aU that, and answerable to
nobody. Only, can you deny that I am your
brother ? "
" I have always understood you were! I con¬
fess you make me regret the cfrcumstance."
" Now that's Ul-natured, very iU-natured," he