*A1RY FAIRY LILIAN.' 241
' Not with everyone,' she says.
' No ?'—raising her straight, dark brows. ' Is there
then an enemy in the camp ? Not Cyril, surely ?'
' Oh, no, not CjtU.'
Their voices involuntarily have sunk a little, and
though anyone near can still hear distinctly, they have
all the appearance of people carrying on a private con¬
Lilian is silent. Guy's face, as he still strokes the
dog dreamily, has grown haughty in the extreme. He,
Hke Mabel, awaits her answer.
' What ?' says Mrs. Steyne, in an amused tone,
evidently treating the whole matter as a mere jest.
' So you are not a pet with Guy ? How horrible! I
cannot believe it. Surely Guy is not so ungallant as
to have conceived a dislike for you? Guy, do you
hear this awful charge she is bringing against you?
Won't you refute it ? Dear boy, how stern you look.'
' Do I ? I was thinking of something disagreeable.'
' Of me ?' puts in Lilian, sotto voce, with a faint
laugh tinged with bitterness. ' Why should you think
what I say so extraordinary ? Did you ever know a
guardian like his ward ? or a ward like her guardian ?
I didn't—especially the latter. They always find each
other such a mistake !'
Sfr Guy, raising his head, looks full at Lilian for a
moment: his expression is almost impossible to trans¬
late ; then getting up, he crosses the room deliberately,
and seats himself beside Florence, who welcomes hun
with one of her conventional smiles that now has
something like warmth in it.
' I think you are a very cruel little girl,' says Mrs.
Steyne, gently, not looking at Lilian; and then turns
the conversation into another channel.
' You wiU stay in the country untU after Christ¬
mas? ' says Lilian, somewhat hastily.