258 'airy fairy Lilian.'
returns she gently, without letting her eyes meet hia.
Then, -with an afr of deliberation, she raises her maga¬
zine, and he leaves the room.
So Sfr Guy retires from the contest, and Archibald
is elected to the coveted position of carrier to her
capricious majesty, and this very night, to her great
joy, brings her tenderly, carefully, to the dining-room,
where a sofa has been prepared for her reception.
It so happens that three days later Archibald is
summoned to London on business, and departs, leaving
■with Lilian his faithful promise to be back in time to
perform his evening duty towards her.
But man's proposals, as we know, are not always
carried out, and Chesney's falls lamentably short; as
just at seven o'clock a telegram arriving for Lady Chet¬
woode tells her he has been unexpectedly detained in
town by urgent matter, and cannot by any possibility
get home till next day.
Cyril is dining with some bachelor friends near
Truston ; so Lady Chetwoode, who is always thought¬
ful, bethinks her there is no one to bring Lilian down
to dinner except Guy. This certainly, for some in¬
ward reason, troubles her. She sighs a little as she
remembers Lilian's marked preference for Chesney's
assistance, then she turns to her maid—the telegram
has reached her as she is dressing for dinner—and says
' A telegram from Mr. Chesney—he cannot be home
to dinner. My hair will do very well. Hardy; go and
tell Sir Guy he need not expect him.'
Hardy, going, meets Sir Guy in the hall below, and
imparts her information.
Naturally enough he too thinks first of Lilian.
Much as it displeases his pride he knows he must in
common courtesy again offer her his rejected services.
There is bitterness in the thought, and perhaps a little
happiness also, as he draws his breath rather quickly,
and angrily suppresses a half smile as it curls about hia