8 *AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.'
* I hate strangers,' says Lilian mournfully. * They
make me unhappy. Why can't I remain where I am ?
George or Archibald, or whatever his name is, might
just as well let me have a room here. I'm sure the
place is large enough. He need not grudge me one or
two apartments. The left wing, for instance.'
' Lilian,' says Miss Chesney, rising from her chair,
' how old are you ? Is it possible that at eighteen you
have yet to learn the meaning of the word "pro¬
priety " ? You—a young girl—to remain here alone
with a young man!'
' He need never see me,' says Lilian, quite unmoved
by this burst of eloquence. ' I should take very good
care of that, as I know I shall detest him.'
'I decline to listen to you,' says JMiss Priscilla,
raising her hands to her ears. ' You must be lost to
all sense of decorum even to imagine such a thing.
You and he in one house, how should you avoid
' Well, even if we did meet,' says Lilian, with a
small rippling laugh impossible to quell, ' I dare say he
wouldn't bite me.'
' No'—sternly—' he would probably do worse. He
would make love to you. Some instinct warns me,'
says Miss Priscilla with the liveliest horror, gazing upon
the exquisite, glowing face before her, ' that within five
days he would be making violent love to you.'
'You strengthen my desire to stay,' says Lilian
somewhat frivolously. ' I should so like to say " No "
' Lilian, you make me shudder,' says Miss Priscilla
earnestly. ' When I was your age, even younger, I had
a full sense of the horror of allowing any man to men¬
tion my nam« lightly. I kept all men at arm's length.
I suffered no jesting or foolish talking from them. And
mark the result,' says Miss Chesney with pride : ' I
defy anyone to say a word of me but what is admirable,
and replete with modesty '