Julie’s curiosity—passing and perfunctory as it was—concerning the persons and influences that had worked upon Jacob Delafield since his college days, was felt in good earnest by not a few of Delafield’s friends. For he was a person rich in friends, reserved as he generally was, and crotchety as most of them thought him. The mixture of self-evident strength and manliness in his physiognomy with something delicate and evasive, some hindering element of reflection or doubt, was repeated in his character. On the one side he was a robust, healthy Etonian, who could ride, shoot, and golf like the rest of his kind, who used the terse, slangy ways of speech of the ordinary Englishman, who loved the land and its creatures, and had a natural hatred for a poacher; and on another he was a man haunted by dreams and spiritual voices, a man for whom, as he paced his tired horse homeward after a day’s run, there would rise on the grays and purples of the winter dusk far-shining “cities of God” and visions of a better life for man. He read much poetry, and the New Testament spoke to him imperatively, though in no orthodox or accustomed way. Ruskin, and the earlier work of Tolstoy, then just beginning to take hold of the English mind, had affected his thought and imagination, as the generation before him had been affected by Carlyle, Emerson, and George Sand.
This present phase of his life, however, was the outcome of much that was turbulent and shapeless in his first youth. He seemed to himself to have passed through Oxford under a kind of eclipse. All that he could remember of two-thirds of his time there was an immoderate amount of eating, drinking, and sleeping. A heavy animal existence, disturbed by moments of unhappiness and remorse, or, at best, lightened by intervals and gleams of friendship with two or three men who tried to prod him out of his lethargy, and cherished what appeared, to himself in particular, a strange and unreasonable liking for him. Such, to his own thinking, had been his Oxford life, up to the last year of his residence there.
Then, when he was just making certain of an ignominious failure in the final schools, he became more closely acquainted with one of the college tutors, whose influence was to be the spark which should at last fire the clay. This modest, heroic, and learned man was a paralyzed invalid, owing to an accident in the prime of life. He had lost the use of his lower limbs—“dead from the waist down.” Yet such was the strength of his moral and intellectual life that he had become, since the catastrophe, one of the chief forces of his college. The invalid-chair on which he wheeled himself, recumbent, from room to room, and from which he gave his lectures, was, in the eyes of Oxford, a symbol not of weakness, but of touching and triumphant victory. He gave himself no airs of resignation or of martyrdom. He simply lived his life—except during those crises of weakness or pain when his friends were shut out—as though it were like any other life, save only for what he made appear an insignificant physical limitation. Scholarship, college business or college sports, politics and literature—his mind, at least, was happy, strenuous, and at home in them all. To have pitied him would have been a mere impertinence. While in his own heart, which never grieved over himself, there were treasures of compassion for the weak, the tempted, and the unsuccessful, which spent themselves in secret, simple ways, unknown to his most intimate friends.
This man’s personality it was which, like the branch of healing on bitter waters, presently started in Jacob Delafield’s nature obscure processes of growth and regeneration. The originator of them knew little of what was going on. He was Delafield’s tutor for Greats, in the ordinary college routine; Delafield took essays to him, and occasionally lingered to talk. But they never became exactly intimate. A few conversations of “pith and moment”; a warm shake of the hand and a keen look of pleasure in the blue eyes of the recumbent giant when, after one year of superhuman but belated effort, Delafield succeeded in obtaining a second class; a little note of farewell, affectionate and regretful, when Delafield left the university; an occasional message through a common friend—Delafield had little more than these to look back upon, outside the discussions of historical or philosophical subjects which had entered into their relation as pupil and teacher.
And now the paralyzed tutor was dead, leaving behind him a volume of papers on classical subjects, the reputation of an admirable scholar, and the fragrance of a dear and honored name. His pupils had been many; they counted among the most distinguished of England’s youth; and all of them owed him much. Few people thought of Delafield when the list of them was recited; and yet, in truth, Jacob’s debt was greater than any; for he owed this man nothing less than his soul.
No doubt the period at Oxford had been rather a period of obscure conflict than of mere idleness and degeneracy, as it had seemed to be. But it might easily have ended in physical and moral ruin, and, as it was—thanks to Courtenay—Delafield went out to the business of life, a man singularly master of himself, determined to live his own life for his own ends.
In the first place, he was conscious, like many other young men of his time, of a strong repulsion toward the complexities and artificialities of modern society. As in the forties, a time of social stir was rising out of a time of stagnation. Social settlements were not yet founded, but the experiments which led to them were beginning. Jacob looked at the life of London, the clubs and the country houses, the normal life of his class, and turned from it in aversion. He thought, sometimes, of emigrating, in search of a new heaven and a new earth, as men emigrated in the forties.
But his mother and sister were alone in the world—his mother a somewhat helpless being, his sister still very young and unmarried. He could not reconcile it to his conscience to go very far from them.
He tried the bar, amid an inner revolt that only increased with time. And the bar implied London, and the dinners and dances of London, which, for a man of his family, the probable heir to the lands and moneys of the Chudleighs, were naturally innumerable. He was much courted, in spite, perhaps because, of his oddities; and it was plain to him that with only a small exercise of those will-forces he felt accumulating within him, most of the normal objects of ambition were within his grasp. The English aristocratic class, as we all know, is no longer exclusive. It mingles freely with the commoner world on apparently equal terms. But all the while its personal and family cohesion is perhaps greater than ever. The power of mere birth, it seemed to Jacob, was hardly less in the England newly possessed of household suffrage than in the England of Charles James Fox’s youth, though it worked through other channels. And for the persons in command of this power, a certain appareil de vie was necessary, taken for granted. So much income, so many servants, such and such habits—these things imposed themselves. Life became a soft and cushioned business, with an infinity of layers between it and any hard reality—a round pea in a silky pod.
And he meanwhile found himself hungry to throw aside these tamed and trite forms of existence, and to penetrate to the harsh, true, simple things behind. His imagination and his heart turned toward the primitive, indispensable labors on which society rests—the life of the husbandman, the laborer, the smith, the woodman, the builder; he dreamed the old, enchanted dream of living with nature; of becoming the brother not of the few, but of the many. He was still reading in chambers, however, when his first cousin, the duke, a melancholy semi-invalid, a widower, with an only son tuberculous almost from his birth, arrived from abroad. Jacob was brought into new contact with him. The duke liked him, and offered him the agency of his Essex property. Jacob accepted, partly that he might be quit of the law, partly that he might be in the country and among the poor, partly for reasons, or ghosts of reasons, unavowed even to himself. The one terror that haunted his life was the terror of the dukedom. This poor, sickly lad, the heir, with whom he soon made warm friends, and the silent, morbid duke, with the face of Charles V. at St. Just—he became, in a short time, profoundly and pitifully attached to them. It pleased him to serve them; above all did it please him to do all he could, and to incite others to do all they could, to keep these two frail persons cheered and alive. His own passionate dread lest he should suddenly find himself in their place, gave a particular poignancy to the service he was always ready to render them of his best.
The duke’s confidence in him had increased rapidly. Delafield was now about to take over the charge of another of the duke’s estates, in the Midlands, and much of the business connected with some important London property was also coming into his hands. He had made himself a good man of business where another’s interests were concerned, and his dreams did no harm to the duke’s revenues. He gave, indeed, a liberal direction to the whole policy of the estate, and, as he had said to Julie, the duke did not forbid experiments.
As to his own money, he gave it away as wisely as he could, which is, perhaps, not saying very much for the schemes and Quixotisms of a young man of eight-and-twenty. At any rate, he gave it away—to his mother and sister first, then to a variety of persons and causes. Why should he save a penny of it? He had some money of his own, besides his income from the duke. It was disgusting that he should have so much, and that it should be, apparently, so very easy for him to have indefinitely more if he wanted it.
He lived in a small cottage, in the simplest, plainest way compatible with his work and with the maintenance of two decently furnished rooms for any friend who might chance to visit him. He read much and thought much. But he was not a man of any commanding speculative or analytic ability. It would have been hard for him to give any very clear or logical account of himself and his deepest beliefs. Nevertheless, with every year that passed he became a more remarkable character—his will stronger, his heart gentler. In the village where he lived they wondered at him a good deal, and often laughed at him. But if he had left them, certainly the children and the old people would have felt as though the sun had gone out.
In London he showed little or nothing of his peculiar ways and pursuits; was, in fact, as far as anybody knew—outside half a dozen friends—just the ordinary, well-disposed young man, engaged in a business that everyone understood. With Lady Henry, his relations, apart from his sympathy with Julie Le Breton, had been for some time rather difficult. She made gratitude hard for one of the most grateful of men. When the circumstances of the Hubert Delafields had been much straitened, after Lord Hubert’s death, Lady Henry had come to their aid, and had, in particular, spent fifteen hundred pounds on Jacob’s school and college education. But there are those who can make a gift burn into the bones of those who receive it. Jacob had now saved nearly the whole sum, and was about to repay her. Meanwhile his obligation, his relationship, and her age made it natural, or rather imperative, that he should be often in her house; but when he was with her the touch of arrogant brutality in her nature, especially toward servants and dependents, roused him almost to fury. She knew it, and would often exercise her rough tongue merely for the pleasure of tormenting him.
No sooner, therefore, had he come to know the fragile, distinguished creature whom Lady Henry had brought back with her one autumn as her companion than his sympathies were instantly excited, first by the mere fact that she was Lady Henry’s dependent, and then by the confidence, as to her sad story and strange position, which she presently reposed in him and his cousin Evelyn. On one or two occasions, very early in his acquaintance with her, he was a witness of some small tyranny of Lady Henry’s toward her. He saw the shrinking of the proud nature, and the pain thrilled through his own nerves as though the lash had touched himself. Presently it became a joy to him whenever he was in town to conspire with Evelyn Crowborough for her pleasure and relief. It was the first time he had ever conspired, and it gave him sometimes a slight shock to see how readily these two charming women lent themselves, on occasion, to devices that had the aspect of intrigue, and involved a good deal of what, in his own case, he would have roundly dubbed lying. And, in truth, if he had known, they did not find him a convenient ally, and he was by no means always in their confidence.
Once, about six months after Julie’s arrival in Bruton Street, he met her on a spring morning crossing Kensington Gardens with the dogs. She looked startlingly white and ill, and when he spoke to her with eager sympathy her mouth quivered and her dark eyes clouded with tears. The sight produced an extraordinary effect on a man large-hearted and simple, for whom women still moved in an atmosphere of romance. His heart leaped within him as she let herself be talked with and comforted. And when her delicate hand rested in his as they said goodbye, he was conscious of feelings—wild, tumultuous feelings—to which, in his walk homeward through the spring glades of the park, he gave impetuous course.
Romantic, indeed, the position was, for romance rests on contrast. Jacob, who knew Julie Le Breton’s secret, was thrilled or moved by the contrasts of her existence at every turn. Her success and her subjection; the place in Lady Henry’s circle which Lady Henry had, in the first instance, herself forced her to take, contrasted with the shifts and evasions, the poor, tortuous ways by which, alas! she must often escape Lady Henry’s later jealousy; her intellectual strength and her most feminine weaknesses; these things stirred and kept up in Jacob a warm and passionate pity. The more clearly he saw the specks in her glory, the more vividly did she appear to him a princess in distress, bound by physical or moral fetters not of her own making. None of the well-born, well-trained damsels who had been freely thrown across his path had so far beguiled him in the least. Only this woman of doubtful birth and antecedents, lonely, sad, and enslaved amid what people called her social triumphs, stole into his heart—beautified by what he chose to consider her misfortunes, and made none the less attractive by the fact that as he pursued, she retreated; as he pressed, she grew cold.
When, indeed, after their friendship had lasted about a year, he proposed to her and she refused him, his passion, instead of cooling, redoubled. It never occurred to him to think that she had done a strange thing from the worldly point of view—that would have involved an appreciation of himself, as a prize in the marriage market, he would have loathed to make. But he was one of the men for whom resistance enhances the value of what they desire, and secretly he said to himself, “Persevere!” When he was repelled or puzzled by certain aspects of her character, he would say to himself:
“It is because she is alone and miserable. Women are not meant to be alone. What soft, helpless creatures they are!—even when intellectually they fly far ahead of us. If she would but put her hand in mine I would so serve and worship her, she would have no need for these strange things she does—the doublings and ruses of the persecuted.” Thus the touches of falsity that repelled Wilfrid Bury were to Delafield’s passion merely the stains of rough travel on a fair garment.
But she refused him, and for another year he said no more. Then, as things got worse and worse for her, he spoke again—ambiguously—a word or two, thrown out to sound the waters. Her manner of silencing him on this second occasion was not what it had been before. His suspicions were aroused, and a few days later he divined the Warkworth affair.
When Sir Wilfrid Bury spoke to him of the young officer’s relations to Mademoiselle Le Breton, Delafield’s stiff defense of Julie’s prerogatives in the matter masked the fact that he had just gone through a week of suffering, wrestling his heart down in country lanes; a week which had brought him to somewhat curious results.
In the first place, as with Sir Wilfrid, he stood up stoutly for her rights. If she chose to attach herself to this man, whose business was it to interfere? If he was worthy and loved her, Jacob himself would see fair play, would be her friend and supporter.
But the scraps of gossip about Captain Warkworth which the duchess—who had disliked the man at first sight—gathered from different quarters and confided to Jacob were often disquieting. It was said that at Simla he had entrapped this little heiress, and her obviously foolish and incapable mother, by devices generally held to be discreditable; and it had taken two angry guardians to warn him off. What was the state of the case now no one exactly knew; though it was shrewdly suspected that the engagement was only dormant. The child was known to have been in love with him; in two years more she would be of age; her fortune was enormous, and Warkworth was a poor and ambitious man.
There was also an ugly tale of a civilian’s wife in a hill station, referring to a date some years back; but Delafield did not think it necessary to believe it.
As to his origins—there again, Delafield, making cautious inquiries, came across some unfavorable details, confided to him by a man of Warkworth’s own regiment. His father had retired from the army immediately after the Mutiny, broken in health, and much straitened in means. Himself belonging to a family of the poorer middle class, he had married late, a good woman not socially his equal, and without fortune. They settled in the Isle of Wight, on his half-pay, and harassed by a good many debts. Their two children, Henry and Isabella, were then growing up, and the parents’ hopes were fixed upon their promising and good-looking son. With difficulty they sent him to Charterhouse and a “crammer.” The boy coveted a “crack” regiment; by dint of mustering all the money and all the interest they could, they procured him his heart’s desire. He got unpardonably into debt; the old people’s resources were lessening, not expanding; and ultimately the poor father died broken down by the terror of bankruptcy for himself and disgrace for Henry. The mother still survived, in very straitened circumstances.
“His sister,” said Delafield’s informant, “married one of the big London tailors, whom she met first on the Ryde pier. I happen to know the facts, for my father and I have been customers of his for years, and one day, hearing that I was in Warkworth’s regiment, he told me some stories of his brother-in-law in a pretty hostile tone. His sister, it appears, has often financed him of late. She must have done. How else could he have got through? Warkworth may be a fine, showy fellow when there’s fighting about. In private life he’s one of the most self-indulgent dogs alive. And yet he’s ashamed of the sister and her husband, and turns his back on them whenever he can. Oh, he’s not a person of nice feeling, is Warkworth—but, mark my words, he’ll be one of the most successful men in the army.”
There was one side. On the other was to be set the man’s brilliant professional record; his fine service in this recent campaign; the bulldog defense of an isolated fort, which insured the safety of most important communications; contempt of danger, thirst, exposure; the rescue of a wounded comrade from the glacis of the fort, under a murderous fire; facts, all of them, which had fired the public imagination and brought his name to the front. No such acts as these could have been done by any mere self-indulgent pretender.
Delafield reserved his judgment. He set himself to watch. In his inmost heart there was a strange assumption of the right to watch, and, if need be, to act. Julie’s instinct had told her truly. Delafield, the individualist, the fanatic for freedom—he, also, had his instinct of tyranny. She should not destroy herself, the dear, weak, beloved woman! He would prevent it.
Thus, during these hours of transition, Delafield thought much of Julie. Julie, on the other hand, had no sooner said good night to him after the conversation described in the last chapter than she drove him from her thoughts—one might have said, with vehemence.
The Times of the following morning duly contained the announcement of the appointment of Captain Warkworth, D.S.O., of the Queen’s Grays, to the command of the military mission to Mokembe recently determined on by her Majesty’s government. The mission would proceed to Mokembe as soon as possible, but of two officers who on the ground of especial knowledge would form part of it, under Captain Warkworth’s command, one was at present in Canada and the other at the Cape. It would, therefore, hardly be possible for the mission to start from the coast for the interior before the beginning of May. In the same paper certain promotions and distinctions on account of the recent Mahsud campaign were reprinted from the Gazette. Captain Henry Warkworth’s brevet majority was among them.
The Times leader on the announcement pointed out that the mission would be concerned with important frontier questions, still more with the revival of the prestige of England in regions where a supine government had allowed it to wither unaccountably. Other powers had been playing a filching and encroaching game at the expense of the British lion in these parts, and it was more than time that he should open his sleepy eyes upon what was going on. As to the young officer who was to command the mission, the great journal made a few civil though guarded remarks. His record in the recent campaign was indeed highly distinguished; still it could hardly be said that, take it as a whole, his history so far gave him a claim to promotion so important as that which he had now obtained.
Well, now he had his chance. English soldiers had a way of profiting by such chances. The Times courteously gave him the benefit of the doubt, prophesying that he would rise to the occasion and justify the choice of his superiors.
The duchess looked over Julie’s shoulder as she read.
“Schemer,” she said, as she dropped a kiss on the back of Julie’s neck, “I hope you’re satisfied. The Times doesn’t know what to make of it.”
Julie put down the paper with a glowing cheek.
“They’ll soon know,” she said, quietly.
“Julie, do you believe in him so much?”
“What does it matter what I think? It is not I who have appointed him.”
“Not so sure,” laughed the duchess. “As if he would have had a chance without you. Whom did he know last November when you took him up?”
Julie moved to and fro, her hands behind her. The tremor on her lip, the light in her eye showed her sense of triumph.
“What have I done,” she said, laughing, “but push a few stones out of the way of merit?”
“Some of them were heavy,” said the duchess, making a little face. “Need I invite Lady Froswick anymore?”
Julie threw her arms about her.
“Evelyn, what a darling you’ve been! Now I’ll never worry you again.”
“Oh, for some people I would do ten times as much!” cried the duchess. “But, Julie, I wish I knew why you think so well of this man. I—I don’t always hear very nice things about him.”
“I dare say not,” said Julie, flushing. “It is easy to hate success.”
“No, come, we’re not as mean as that!” cried the duchess. “I vow that all the heroes I’ve ever known had a ripping time. Julie”—she kissed her friend impulsively—“Julie, don’t like him too much. I don’t think he’s good enough.”
“Good enough for what?” said Julie’s bitter voice. “Make yourself easy about Captain Warkworth, Evelyn; but please understand—anything is good enough for me. Don’t let your dear head be troubled about my affairs. They are never serious, and nothing counts—except,” she added, recklessly, “that I get a little amusement by the way.”
“Julie,” cried the duchess, “as if Jacob—”
Julie frowned and released herself; then she laughed.
“Nothing that one ever says about ordinary mortals applies to Mr. Delafield. He is, of course, hors concours.”
“It is you, Evelyn, who make me méchante. I could be grateful—and excellent friends with that young man—in my own way.”
The duchess sighed, and held her tongue with difficulty.
When the successful hero arrived that night for dinner he found a solitary lady in the drawing room.
Was this, indeed, Julie Le Breton—this soft, smiling vision in white?
He expected to have found a martyr, pale and wan from the shock of the catastrophe which had befallen her, and, even amid the intoxication of his own great day, he was not easy as to how she might have taken his behavior on the fatal night. But here was someone, all joy, animation, and indulgence—a glorified Julie who trod on air. Why? Because good fortune had befallen her friend? His heart smote him. He had never seen her so touching, so charming. Since the incubus of Lady Henry’s house and presence had been removed she seemed to have grown years younger. A white muslin dress of her youth, touched here and there by the duchess’s maid, replaced the familiar black satin. When Warkworth first saw her he paused unconsciously in surprise.
Then he advanced to meet her, broadly smiling, his blue eyes dancing.
“You got my note this morning?”
“Yes,” she said, demurely. “You were much too kind, and much—much too absurd. I have done nothing.”
“Oh, nothing, of course.” Then, after a moment: “Are you going to tie me to that fiction, or am I to be allowed a little decent sincerity? You know perfectly well that you have done it all. There, there; give me your hand.”
She gave it, shrinking, and he kissed it joyously.
“Isn’t it jolly!” he said, with a schoolboy’s delight as he released her hand. “I saw Lord M—— this morning.” He named the prime minister. “Very civil, indeed. Then the commander-in-chief—and Montresor gave me half an hour. It is all right. They are giving me a capital staff. Excellent fellows, all of them. Oh, you’ll see, I shall pull it through—I shall pull it through. By George! it is a chance!”
And he stood radiant, rubbing his hands over the blaze.
The duchess came in accompanied by an elderly cousin of the duke’s, a white-haired, black-gowned spinster, Miss Emily Lawrence—one of those single women, traveled, cultivated, and good, that England produces in such abundance.
“Well, so you’re going,” said the duchess, to Warkworth. “And I hear that we ought to think you a lucky man.”
“Indeed you ought, and you must,” he said, gaily. “If only the climate will behave itself. The blackwater fever has a way of killing you in twenty-four hours if it gets hold of you; but short of that—”
“Oh, you will be quite safe,” said the duchess. “Let me introduce you to Miss Lawrence. Emily, this is Captain Warkworth.”
The elderly lady gave a sudden start. Then she quietly put on her spectacles and studied the young soldier with a pair of intelligent gray eyes.
Nothing could have been more agreeable than Warkworth at dinner. Even the duchess admitted as much. He talked easily, but not too much, of the task before him; told amusing tales of his sporting experience of years back in the same regions which were now to be the scene of his mission; discussed the preparations he would have to make at Denga, the coast town, before starting on his five weeks’ journey to the interior; drew the native porter and the native soldier, not to their advantage, and let fall, by the way, not a few wise or vivacious remarks as to the races, resources, and future of this illimitable and mysterious Africa—this cavern of the unknown, into which the waves of white invasion, one upon another, were now pressing fast and ceaselessly, toward what goal, only the gods knew.
A few other men were dining; among them two officers from the staff of the commander-in-chief. Warkworth, much their junior, treated them with a skillful deference; but through the talk that prevailed his military competence and prestige appeared plainly enough, even to the women. His good opinion of himself was indeed sufficiently evident; but there was no crude vainglory. At any rate, it was a vainglory of youth, ability, and good looks, ratified by these budding honors thus fresh upon him, and no one took it amiss.
When the gentlemen returned to the drawing room, Warkworth and Julie once more found themselves together, this time in the duchess’s little sitting room at the end of the long suite of rooms.
“When do you go?” she asked him, abruptly.
“Not for about a month.” He mentioned the causes of delay.
“That will bring you very late—into the worst of the heat?” Her voice had a note of anxiety.
“Oh, we shall all be seasoned men. And after the first few days we shall get into the uplands.”
“What do your home people say?” she asked him, rather shyly. She knew, in truth, little about them.
“My mother? Oh, she will be greatly pleased. I go down to the Isle of Wight for a day or two to see her tomorrow. But now, dear lady, that is enough of my wretched self. You—do you stay on here with the duchess?”
She told him of the house in Heribert Street. He listened with attention.
“Nothing could be better. You will have a most distinguished little setting of your own, and Lady Henry will repent at leisure. You won’t be lonely?”
“Oh no!” But her smile was linked with a sigh.
He came nearer to her.
“You should never be lonely if I could help it,” he said, in a low voice.
“When people are nameless and kinless,” was her passionate reply, in the same undertone as his, “they must be lonely.”
He looked at her with eagerness. She lay back in the firelight, her beautiful brow and eyes softly illuminated. He felt within him a sudden snapping of restraints. Why—why refuse what was so clearly within his grasp? Love has many manners—many entrances—and many exits.
“When will you tell me all that I want to know about you?” he said, bending toward her with tender insistence. “There is so much I have to ask.”
“Oh, some time,” she said, hurriedly, her pulses quickening. “Mine is not a story to be told on a great day like this.”
He was silent a moment, but his face spoke for him.
“Our friendship has been a beautiful thing, hasn’t it?” he said, at last, in a voice of emotion. “Look here!” He thrust his hand into his breast pocket and half withdrew it. “Do you see where I carry your letters?”
“You shouldn’t—they are not worthy.”
“How charming you are in that dress—in that light! I shall always see you as you are tonight.”
A silence. Excitement mounted in their veins. Suddenly he stooped and kissed her hands. They looked into each other’s eyes, and the seconds passed like hours.
Presently, in the nearer drawing room, there was a sound of approaching voices and they moved apart.
“Julie, Emily Lawrence is going,” said the duchess’s voice, pitched in what seemed to Julie a strange and haughty note. “Captain Warkworth, Miss Lawrence thinks that you and she have common friends—Lady Blanche Moffatt and her daughter.”
Captain Warkworth murmured some conventionality, and passed into the next drawing room with Miss Lawrence.
Julie rose to her feet, the color dying out of her face, her passionate eyes on the duchess, who stood facing her friend, guiltily pale, and ready to cry.