'airy fairy LiLIAIf.' 257
bald—happy Archibald!' cackles the little doctor
merrily, being immensely tickled at his own joke.
' Archibald Chesney is her cousin,' replies Lady
Chetwoode with a sigh, gazing rather wistfully at the
girl's flushed, averted face.
So Lilian gains the day, and Sir Guy coming into
his mother's boudoir half-an-hour later is told the glad
' Dr. Bland thinks her so much better,' Lady Chet¬
woode tells him. ' But she is not to let her foot touch
the ground,—so you must be careful, darling,' to Lilian.
' Will you stay with her a little whUe, Guy ? I must go
and write some letters.'
' I shan't be in the least lonely by myself. Auntie,'
says LiHan smoothly, letting her fingers stray mean¬
ingly to the magazine beside her; yet in spite of this
chilling remark Sir Guy lingers. He has taken up his
station on the hearth-rug and is standing with his
back to the fire, his arms crossed behind him, and
instead of seeking to amuse his wounded ward, is
apparently sunk in reverie. Suddenly, after a pro¬
tracted silence on both sides, he raises his head, and
regarding her earnestly says,
' May I take you down to dinner to-night, Lilian ? '
' Thank you,'—formally—' it is very kind of you
to offer. Sir Guy. But Archie was here a moment ago,
and he has promised to take that trouble upon himself.'
Then in a low but perfectly distinct tone, ' I can trust
Although no more is said, Guy thoroughly under¬
stands her thoughts have travelled backwards to that
one unlucky night when, through a kiss, he sinned
past all chance of pardon. As his own mind follows hers,
the dark colour mounts slowly to his very brow.
' Am I never to be forgiven for that one offence ?'
he asks, going up to her couch and looking gravely
down upon her.
' I have forgiven, but unhappily I cannot forget,*