The World, the Flesh, and the Devil. 9
" I am afraid you are an egotist," she said, smiling at him with
lovely, inscrutable eyes.
She went across the lawn to Lady Fridoline.
" Are we going to have any magic ? " she asked.
" You must not utter that word before Mr. Jermyn, unless you
want to offend him. He has a horror of any idea of that kind. He
calls his wonderful gift only insight, the power to look through tho
face into the mind behind it, and from the mind to the life which
the mind has shaped and guided. He claims no occult power—
only a keener vision than the common run of mankind. He is
going to sit in the library for tlie next half-hour, and if anybody
wants to test his powers they can go in—one at a time—and talk
Anybody seemed likely to be e^'erybody in this case, for there
was a general and hurried movement towards the house.
" Come," said Edith Champion peremptorily, and she and
Hillersdon followed the crowd, getting in advance of most people,
with swift, vigorous steps.
The library at Fridoline House was a large room that occupied
nearly the whole of one wing. It was approached by a corridor,
and Mrs. Champion and her escort found this corridor choked with
people, all eager to interview Mr. Jermyn.
The approach to the oracle was strongly defended, however, by
two gentlemen, who had been told off for that purpose, one being
a Colonel of Engineers and the other a Professor of Natural Science.
" We shall never get through this herd," said Gerard, looking
with infinite contempt at the throng of smart people, all panting for
a new sensation. " Let us try the other door."
He was an intimate at Fridoline House, and knew his way to tho
small ante-room at the back of the library. If the door of that
room were unguarded he and his companion might surprise the
wizard, and steal a march upon all that expectant frivolity in the
corridor. The whole thing was beneath contempt, no doubt, and
he, Gerard Hillersdon, was not even faintly interested in it, but it
interested Edith Champion, and he was anxious to gratify her
He led her round by the hall and Lady Fridoline's boudoir, to tho
room behind the libraiy, opened the door ever so gently, and listened
to the voices within.
" It is wonderful, positively wonderful," said a voice in awe-