53 A Mental Struggle,
resolved upon having that vengeance on the first available
The opportunity comes all too soon. As the ponies pull
up at Mr. Bohun's door, and they are waiting for Sandie's
knock to be acknowledged, she turns to her brother.
" What has distressed you to-day, Felix ? " she asks, -with
premeditated sweetness. " You are a little unlike yorrrself,
are you not ?"
"Am I? I don't know, I'm sure. Why do you ask?"
" Oh, for no piurpose," says Miss Brown, with increasing
sweetness. " I was only a little anxious about you ; that
was all. I fancied," ■sd(;iously, " you were a little offended
in that your persuasive powers failed to bring !Miss Heriot
here -n-ith us to-day."
" AYliat a little -viper ! " thinks straightforward Sylvia
Yelverton indignantly, who has chanced to overhear this
conversation, and has seen how Felix's sensitive face has
painfully contracted and then coloured as painfully beneath
his sister's cruel glance.
" Mr. BroA^Ti, come here and see what Sandie has done
to my stirrups," she cries gaily, summoning Felix to her
side, and thereby releasing him from his embarrassment
and the scrutinising stare of his sister's cold eyes. " That
boy grows more intolerable day by day. What! is there
nothing reedly the matter with it ? Well, if you tell me
so, it convinces me I grow as stupid as he !"
Then the door is opened, and Felix taking her down
from her saddle, they all enter the house.
Half-an-hour is spent indoors—half-an-hour that works
wonders, as Sylvia in that time obtains her request, and
arranges with her host all the preliminaries of a dance to
be given at The Grange, to " celebrate her delivery from
the clutches of Uncle Carden."
Mr. Bohun, an old man, handsome and vigorou.s, and an
innocent slave to the wiles of all the pretty girls growing
up around him, is an easy prey to their machinations, and
with a free grace gives his promise for the dance desired.
Bidding him an enthusiastic farewell, they leave The
Grange, turning once or twice to salute him afresh as he
stands bareheaded upon the stone steps to watch their de-