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"Oh, yes! I have watched Ella, my sister Mrs. Lovegrove, for years. She is past mistress of the art of flirtation. Sentiment and the appeal of her femininity, a note of unhappiness and the suggestion the man's friendship may assuage it..."

"Mrs. Lovegrove is a very charming woman. But Margaret Capel was not in the least like her."

"Or any other woman?"


"You have put yourself out of court. No woman is unlike any other. Your 'pale fair Margaret' admits, from the first, that Gabriel Stanton attracts her. And this at a moment when she should allow herself to be attracted by no man. When she has just gone through the horrors of the Divorce Court."

"You are not bringing that up against her?"

"I am not bringing anything up against her. But you asked me about the letters. I have only read a dozen of them, and that is how they strike me. A little dull and, on her part, flirtatious."

"I hope you won't do the book at all if you don't feel sympathetic."

"Believe me I shall be sympathetic if there is anything with which to sympathise. Do you know her early life, or history? It is hinted at, partly revealed here, but I should like to see it clearly."

"Won't she tell you herself?" He smiled. I answered his smile.

"She has left off coming since I have begun to