*AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.' 249
the hedge. 'At a distance she is beautiful; I am
always wondering whether distance lends enchantment
to the view ?'
' No, it does not'—absently. He is looking over
' You seem to know all about it'—archly—' shall I
ask how ? What lovely red berries!' suddenly at¬
tracted by some colouring a few yards away from her.
' Do you see ? Wait until I get some.'
Springing on to a bank she draws down to her some
bunches of mountain-ash berry, that glow like live
coals in the fading greenery around them, and having
detached her prize from the parent stem prepares to
rejoin her companion who is somewhat distant.
' Why did you not ask me to get them for you ? '
he asks, rousing himself from his reverie; ' how preci¬
pitate you always are ! Take care, child, that bank is
'But I am a sure-footed Httle deer,' says Miss
Chesney, with a saucy shake of her pretty head, and, as
she speaks, jumps boldly forward.
A moment later, as she touches the ground, she
staggers, her right ankle refuses to support her, she
utters a slight groan and sinks helplessly to the
' You have hurt yourself,' exclaims Cyril, kneeling
beside her. ' What is it, Lilian—is it your foot ?'
' I think so,'—faintly—' it seems twisted. I don't
know how it happened, but it pains me terribly. Just
there aU the agony seems to rest. Ah !'—as another
dart of anguish shoots through the injured ankle.
' My dear girl, what shall I do for you ? Why on
earth did you not take my advice ? ' exclaims Cyril in
a distracted tone. A woman's grief, a woman's tears,
always unman him.
' Don't say you told me how it would be,' murmurs
Lilian, with a ghastly attempt at a smile that dies away
in g,nother moan. ' It would be adding insult to