to A Mental Struggle.
" Charming—and so is your idea; but I do not think 1
shall go," returns Imogen calmly.
Lady Olivia, who is just leaving the room, looks back at
"You haven't been out to-day; it would do you good,"
she says gently, but does not wait for an answer.
"Ah now, Imogen, why disappoint us?" complains
Patricia fondly. "Mr. Brown and you in front; Elinor
and I behind. X piarti carre complete, all in one moment."
" To say nothing of Sandie and me as outriders ! " puts
in Sylvia. " Say yes, Imogen, and the thing is done.
There is nothing to prevent you. The day will not
rain. Your escort will be faithful. Mr. Bro-wn, I feel
assured, -ndll not upset you in any dyke. Be persuaded,
then ! "
As once again her name is coupled with that of Felix
Brown, Imogen flushes faintly, and diaws back with a
slight haste suggestive of extreme hauteur.
" I cannot go with you to-day, Silvia," she says gentbr,
but very distinctly.
" 'An' if she -^"on't, she won't,' " quotes Miss Yelverton,
with a slight shrug. " Well, I must leave you, as I have
a word to say to Sir Hugh from my father. Coming,
" Mr. Bro-(%'n," says Patricia, smiling back at him as
she leads the silent Elinor to the door in Sylvia's wake,
" v:e have failed. I leave it to you to persuade Imogen
to come with us to The Grange."
They have all gone now, and Imogen, lifting her head,
finds herself alone with Felix. Rising to her feet with
the little graceful larrguor that belongs to her, she moves,
without haste, to the door.
" Miss Heriot—one -word," exclaims Felix, as he stands
by the door ready to open it for her, his hand upon the
handle. His lips are tightly set. " Wluj will you not go
to-day with the others to The Grange ?"
He waits impatiently for his answer, but none comes.
Standing thus before her, gazing down on her lowered eyes
and calm, unutterably lovely face, the possibility of loving
and yet murdering a woman is borne in upon him.