She stared. "How did you know that?"
"Who should know better than I? He wrote from London, explaining."
"I did what I could—I believed in it!" said Mrs. Tregent. "He was charming, for a while."
"But he broke down. She's too short, eh?" Maurice asked.
"Don't laugh; she's ill."
"What's the matter with her?"
Mrs. Tregent gave the visitor a look in which there was almost a reproach for the question. "She has had a chill; she's in bed. You must see her."
She took him up-stairs and he saw his child. He remembered what his mother had told him of the grievous illness of Fanny Knocker. Poor little Vera lay there in the flush of a feverish cold, which had come on the evening before. She grew worse, from the effect of a complication, and for three days he was anxious about her; but even more than with his alarm he held his breath before the distress, the disappointment, the humility of his old friend. Up to this hour he had not fully measured the strength of