ON THE PAVEMENT
" FYNE was not willing to talk; but as I had been already let into the secret, the fair-minded little man recognized that I had some right to information if I insisted on it. And I did insist, after the third game. We were yet some way from the end of our journey.
"Oh, if you want to know,' was his somewhat impatient opening. And then he talked rather volubly. First of all his wife had not given him to read the letter received from Flora (I had suspected him of having it in his pocket), but had told him all about the contents. It was not at all what it should have been even if the girl had wished to affirm her right to disregard the feelings of all the world. Her own had been trampled in the dirt out of all shape. Extraordinary thing to say-- I would admit, for a young girl of her age. The whole tone of that letter was wrong, quite wrong. It was certainly not the product off a--say, of a well-balanced mind.
"If she were given some sort of footing in this world,' I said, 'if only no bigger than the palm of my hand, she would probably learn to keep a better balance.'
" Fyne ignored this little remark. His wife, he said, was not the sort of person to be addressed mockingly on a serious subject. There was an unpleasant strain of levity in that letter, extending even to the references to Captain Anthony himself. Such a disposition was enough, his wife had pointed out to him, to 'alarm one for the future, had all the circumstances of that pre-