extraordinary in the light of the early plainness that had made him bolt? He became conscious of an extreme curiosity, an irresistible desire to see her.
"Oh, papa," said Vera, "Mr. Tregent's so kind; he's so good as to promise us a visit from his mother."
The young man's friendly eyes were still on the child's face. "I'll tell her all about you. Oh, if I ask her, she'll come!" he repeated.
"Does she do everything you ask her?" the girl inquired.
"She likes to know my friends!"
Maurice hesitated, wondering if he were in the presence of a smooth young humbug to whom compliments cost nothing, or in that of an impression really made—made by his little, fluttered, unpopular Vera. He had a horror of exposing his child to risks, but his curiosity was greater than his caution. "Your mother mustn't come to us—it's our duty to go to her," he said to Mr. Tregent; "I had the honor of knowing her—a long time ago. Her mother and mine were intimate friends. Be so good as to men-