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      She glanced at his well-worn riding-suit and red flannel shirt.

      "But you must have a real wedding-gown, all the same, a white satin gown, with lace and pearls," pleaded Isola. "When you go to dinner-parties, by-and-by, you will be expected to look like a bride."

      "I fell asleep before the storm came on."

      "They do not help me," he explained, in answer to a glance from Mr. Corlew, "In my judgment, he has mistaken the point on which the case really hangs. At all events, I shall do better to manage it in my own way."On Bergan's return, the scene was described to him by Doctor Remy, with a minuteness and accuracy of detail and coloring that did great credit to that gentleman's powers both of observation and description. Nevertheless, there was something of cynicism, or of satire, that grated on his listener's ear; and he finally stopped the doctor's flow of eloquence with the question,

      CHAPTER XXIV."I had nothing to sayfrom the spiritual side," he answered, coolly. "Miss Bergan exhausted that; besides, it is not in my line. But, if you are pleased to desire my sort of criticism, here it is. That arm is too long, and that clavicle is not sufficiently raised, and this muscle is too flat. For the rest," he added, after a slight pause, "it is a sufficiently ambitious work."


      Astra looked at him with soft, smiling, amused eyes. "Heartfree! As much as I am," said she.


      "Do you think she could have cured my dulness?" exclaimed his wife, impatiently. "Life would have seemed still more tiresome if I had been obliged to talk when there was nothing to talk about, and to smile when I felt inclined to cry."


      The occasion in question was an evening in which Isola and her husband had been bidden to a friendly dinner, on their way through London, by the clergyman's widow with whom Allegra lived while she pursued her study of art at a famous school in St. John's Wood. The clergyman's widow, Mrs. Meynell, was a distant cousin of the Disneys, and Allegra's home had been with her from the time she left school. The extent of her wanderings after she was old enough to be sent to a boarding-school had been from Falmouth to Kensington, and from Kensington to St. John's Wood, with occasional holidays in the Isle of Thanet.