Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/334

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A Study in Temptations.

had he so little of the hero that he remained like a stock or a stone in the presence of girlhood and beauty? If this was the influence of Dawes of Balliol, the sooner that person was given a colonial appointment the better. He was not wanted in London.

When luncheon was at an end, Jane was obliged to leave them, as she had an engagement to drive in the Park with another new relation — a lady who need not detain us, since she was only remarkable for her visiting list. Warbeck coloured a little when he wished Jane good-bye. "I am afraid, too," he added, "we shall not meet again for some time. As my grandmother is so much better, I shall return to France to-morrow." He held the door open for her, and again half-sighed, as, having wished him a pleasant journey, she passed out.

"Warbeck!" said the Dowager, "surely you do not mean that? You are not going away again?"

"I have a great deal of work on hand," he said, with some awkwardness." I am preparing one or two speeches and a short pamphlet, and I find I get fewer interruptions in Veronne. It is such a dull little village. There is only one man there I can talk to — Pere Villard, the historian. And he is also there for quiet, so we only meet to argue!"

"But," said her ladyship— "but what do you think of Jane?" She could scarcely conceal her impatience.

"Your letters," said Warbeck, after some hesitation, "had given me no idea— but I have exchanged so few words with her.I certainly did not expect to see so — so — tall a girl!"

Lady Warbeck had frequently observed that a man's