A Mental Struggle. -jy
She reddens perceptibly as she says this, and a feeling of
intense wratli takes possession of her. In a second she has
come to the hurried coirclusion that he has heard something
of their straitened circumstances, and has asked the ques¬
tion with a view to revenging himself upon her for her
slight of a moment since. The suspicion is utterly unjust;
but in her quick anger she refuses to let judgment have a
voice. With a sense of passionate resentment full on her,
she determines to meet and baffle this cruel revenge.
" My father was unable to afford it this year," she says,
her tone measured and unconcerned.
" Yes ?" returns Felix pleasanti}-, as though to be hard
up is quite the correct thing; " }'ou missed very little, I
should say. It was the slowest thing imaginable. A
meagre Park, a second-class Academy, and Operas dis¬
tinctly poor. There was somj Veiy good amateur singing,
but the professional music was hardly up to the mark.
You like music, of ct)urse ? "
"Good music, wdien I hear it," says Miss Heriot super-
ciliousl}', " which is Acry seldom. I would rather be deaf
for ever to all sweet sounds than be compelled to listen to
the usual run of pri\'ate singers—so called."
" One does hear an excellent voice, now and then, in
private, however; there were se\oral in town this year.''
" Lady ConstaiH'O Vv'arburton seems to have received
quite an ovation. I havti heard her sing."
" So have I, and I admire her voice immensely, though
I should hardly rave about it to the extent that some men
do. What do you think of it ? "
"I siiould listen quite as leniently to a street organ,
perhaps. There is as much expression in one as in the
" Poor Lady Constance !" says he, lifting his brows.
"Well, I am not a judge, I confess; but I think I should
not give it in favour of the street organ. Her brother has
managed about that appointment. I suppose you have
heard ! "
" Has he! No, I had not heard. I am glad of that, if