6 Gerard ; or,.
till you are gone. You must dine with me and share my opeia-
' Don Giovanni' is an opera of which one can never have too muc ,
and a new soprano is to be the Zerlina, a South American gin of
whom great things are expected,"
" Is Mr. Champion at home ? "
" No, he is in Antwerp, There is something important going on
there—something to do with railways. You know how he rushes
about. I shall have no one but my cousin, ISIrs. Gresham, whom
you know of old, the Suflblk vicar's lively wife. We shall be almost
tete-d-tete. I shall expect you at eight o'clock,"
" I will be punctual. What a threatening day ! " he said, looking
up at the gathering darkness which gave a wintry air to the summer
foliage, " There must be a storm coming."
" Evidently. I think I had better go home. Will you take me
to my carriage ? "
"Let me get you some tea before you go,"
They strolled across the grass to the leafy tent, A good many
people had gone, scared by the thunder-clouds. Lady Fridoline
had deserted her post in the portico, tired of saying good-bye, and
was taking a hasty cup of tea amidst a little knot of intimates. She
was lamenting the non-arrival of some one,
" So shameful to disappoint me, after distinctly promising to be
here," she said,
" Who is the defaulter, dear Lady Fridoline ?" asked Mrs.
" Mr. Jermyn, the new thought-reader,"
" Jermyn!" echoed a middle-aged man, who was attending to
Lady Fridoline's tea, " Jermyn, the mystery man, I should hardly
call him by the old name of thought-reader. He marks a new
departure in the region of the uncanny. He is not content with
picking up pins, or finding unconsidered trifles. He unearths
people's secrets, reads their hidden lives in a most uncomfort.able
way. I have seen a large party reduced to gloom by half an hour
of Mr, JermjTi. I would as soon invite Mephistopheles to a garden-
party. But people are so morbid, they \yill hazard anythint^ for a
" It is something to touch only the fringe of other worlds"
replied Lady Fridoline, " and whatever Mr. Jermjm's power may be
it hes beyond the plummet line of bur thought or touch. He told
me of circumstances in my own life that it was impossible for him
to have discovered except by absolute divination."