by a lock, I may own that the stranger's personal appearance struck me, and that what I felt this time was not flattered vanity, but gratified pride. He was young, he was remarkably handsome, he was a distinguished-looking man.

All this happened in one moment. In the moment that followed, I found myself in Eunice's arms. That odious person, Miss Jillgall, insisted on embracing me next. And then I was conscious of an indescribable feeling of surprise. Eunice presented the distinguished-looking gentleman to me as a friend of hers--Mr. Philip Dunboyne.

"I had the honor of meeting your sister," he said, "in London, at Mr. Staveley's house." He went on to speak easily and gracefully of the journey I had taken, and of his friend who had been my fellow-traveller; and he attended us to the railway omnibus before he took his leave. I observed that Eunice had something to say to him confidentially before they parted. This was another example of my sister's childish character; she is instantly familiar with new acquaintances, if she happens to like them. I anticipated some amusement from hearing how she had contrived to establish confidential relations with a highly cultivated man like Mr. Dunboyne. But, while Miss Jillgall was with us, it was just as well to keep within the limits of commonplace conversation.

Before we got out of the omnibus I had, however, observed one undesirable result of my absence from home. Eunice and Miss Jillgall--the latter having, no doubt, finely flattered the former--appeared to have taken a strong liking to each other.

Two curious circumstances also caught my attention. I saw a change to what I call self-assertion in my sister's manner; something seemed to have raised her in her own estimation. Then, again, Miss Jilllgall was not like her customary self. She had delightful moments of silence; and when Eunice asked how I liked Mr. Dunboyne, she listened to my reply with an appearance of interest in her ugly face, which was quite a new revelation in my experience of my father's cousin.

These little discoveries (after what I had already observed at the railway station) ought perhaps to have prepared me for what was to come when my sister and I were alone in her room. But Eunice, whether she meant to do it or not, baffled my customary penetration. She looked

-93-

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