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      "Tell Captain Irby you can't wait any longer," replied Kincaid with a mock frown and gave Anna yet gayer attention a minute more. Then he walked beside his cousin toward the command, his horse close at his back. The group, by pairs, chose view points. Only Miss Valcour stayed in the carriage with the General, bent on effecting a change in his mind. In Mobile Flora had been easily first in any social set to which she condescended. In New Orleans, brought into the Callenders' circles by her cousin Mandeville, she had found herself quietly ranked second to Anna, and Anna now yet more pointedly outshining her through the brazen splendor of this patriotic gift of guns. For this reason and others yet to appear she had planned a strategy and begun a campaign, one of whose earliest manoeuvres must be to get Irby, not Kincaid, made their uncle's adjutant-general, and therefore to persuade the uncle that to give Kincaid the battery would endear him to Anna and so crown with victory the old man's perfectly obvious plan.

      Ohahwe were going over some old favorites of Lord Trafford. What a pity it is that you dont play, dont care for music, Esmeralda!Why not? he asked, almost roughly.

      Esmeralda left him presently, nodding his head and talking softly to himself, and went to her own room. The prospect of that nights dinner irritated and annoyed her. The great crowd would come to stare at her and whisper about her wealth and her luck in marrying a marquis, and she would have to go about among them and talk and smilesmile though her heart was breaking. She moved about the room restlessly for a time, then went into the garden, carefully avoiding crossing the terrace where Trafford and Ada were talking, and suddenly came upon Norman lying full length in the shade of a bay-tree. A tennis racket was by his side, and a straw hat tilted over his eyes. He heard her step, and sprung to his feet with a sigh of relief.

      He had never entered her room before. Why had he come to-night? A sudden hope shot warmly through her heart, and the blood began to rise in her face; then it died away again, for as he came forward into the light of the softly shaded lamp, she saw his face and noted its haggard and stern expression. There was something in his dark eyes that she had never seen there beforea terrible sternness which added a vague terror to her surprise at his presence.She put it from her gently and set her teeth hard. At any cost they must not know anything; they must not even know that she was suffering.

      But Varley declined his glass, and with a pleasant, musical Good-night, boys, sauntered out of the saloon.


      "No, he won't. He doesn't propose to if he could and he couldn't if he did. To get the battery off to-morrow--"


      Are all the villages and people in England like this? she asked, as they went on their way again.Not literally. That evening, yes, an end of it, but not the very next four, did Kincaid spend with Anna. It merely looked so to Flora Valcour.