Page:What will he do with it.djvu/95

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"Do neither!" said the host, abruptly. Then, turning away, he lighted his candle, murmured a quick good-night, and disappeared through a side-door which led to his own rooms.

Lionel looked round for Fairthorn, who now emerged ab anqulo from his nook.

"Oh, Mr. Fairthorn, how you have enchanted me! I never believed the flute could have been capable of such effects!"

Mr. Fairthorn's grotesque face lighted up. He took off his spectacles, as if the better to contemplate the face of his eulogist. "So you were pleased! really?" he said, chuckling a strange, grim chuckle, deep in his inmost self.

"Pleased! it is a cold word! Who would not be more than pleased?"

"You should hear me in the open air."

"Let me do so-to-morrow."

"My dear young sir, with all my heart. Hist!"—gazing round as if haunted,—"I like you. I wish him to like you. Answer all his questions as if you did not care how he turned you inside out. Never ask him a question, as if you sought to know what he did not himself confide. So there is some thing, you think, in a flute, after all? There are people who prefer the fiddle."

"Then they never heard your flute, Mr. Fairthorn." The musician again emitted his discordant chuckle, and, nodding his head nervously and cordially, shambled away without lighting a candle, and was engulfed in the shadows of some mysterious corner.




CHAPTER IV.

The old world and the new.

It was long before Lionel could sleep. What with the strange house and the strange master, what with the magic flute and the musician's admonitory caution, what with tender and regretful reminiscences of Sophy, his brain had enough to work on. When he slept at last, his slumber was deep and heavy, and he did not wake till gently shaken by the well-bred arm of Mr. Mills. "I humbly beg pardon: nine o'clock, sir, and the breakfast-bell going to ring." Lionel's toilet was soon hurried over; Mr. Darrell and Fairthorn were talking together as he entered the breakfast-room,—the same room as that in which they had dined.

"Good morning, Lionel," said the host. "No leave-taking