a servant appeared, evidently sent to look for them.
"Don't forget to-morrow," Hardyman whispered confidentially. "I'll call early--and then go on to London, and get the ring."
EVENTS succeeded each other rapidly, after the memorable day to Isabel of the luncheon at the farm.
On the next day (the ninth of the month) Lady Lydiard sent for her steward, and requested him to explain his conduct in repeatedly leaving the house without assigning any reason for his absence. She did not dispute his claims to a freedom of action which would not be permitted to an ordinary servant. Her objection to his present course of proceeding related entirely to the mystery in which it was involved, and to the uncertainty in which the household was left as to the hour of his return. On those grounds, she thought herself entitled to an explanation. Moody's habitual reserve--strengthened, on this occasion, by his dread of ridicule, if his efforts to serve Isabel ended in failure--disinclined him to take Lady Lydiard into his confidence, while his inquiries were still beset with obstacles and doubts. He respectfully entreated her Ladyship to grant him a delay of a few weeks before he entered on his explanation. Lady Lydiard's