"Vv'ell, then, my love," she said suddenly; "you shall ride
and you shall swim ; that will certainly help you better than your
Greek and your conic sessions, whatever they may be ; they sound
like something about magistrates, perhaps they have taught you
law as well ? "
" May I swim here ? " asked Vere.
"Of course; it's the thing to do. Can you dive?'
" Oh yes! I am used to the water."
"Very well, then. But wait; you can't have any bathing-
" Yes. I brought it. Would you wish to see it ? Keziah------"
Keziah was bidden to seek for and bring out the bathing-dress,
and after a little delay did so.
Lady Dolly looked. Gradually an expression of horror, such as
is depicted on the faces of those who are supposed to see ghosts,
spread itself over her countenance and seemed to change it to stone.
" That thing! " she gasped.
What she saw was the long indigo-coloured linen gown—high
to the throat and down to the feet—of the uneducated British
bather, whose mind has not been opened by the sweetness and
light of continental shores.
" That thing!" gasped Lady Dolly.
"What is the matter with it?" said Vere, timidly and per¬
"Matter? It is indecent!"
" Indecent ? " Vere coloured all over the white rose-leaf beauty
of her face.
" Indecent," reiterated Lady Dolly. " If it isn't worse! Good
gracious! It must have been worn at the deluge. The very
children would stone you! Of course I knew you couldn't have
any decent dress. You shall have one like mine made to-morrow,
and then you can kick about as you like. Blue and white or blua
and pink. You shall see mine."
She rang, and sent one of her maids for one of her bathing
costumes, which were many and of all hues.
Vere looked at the brilliant object when it arrived, puzzled and
troubled by it. She could not understand it. It appeared to be
cut off at the shoulders and the knees.
" It is like what the circus-riders wear," she said, with a deep
"Well, it is, now you name it," said Lady Dolly amused.
" You shall have one to-morrow."
Vere's face crimsoned.
" But what covers one's legs and arms ? "
"Nothing! what a little silly you are! I suppose you have
nothing the matter with them, have you? no mark, or twist, or
anything? I don't remember any when you were little. You
were thought an extraordinarily well-made baby."