to the gate. She was walking swiftly on the heels of the straggling children. She turned her head, he saw her hand make a little flitting gesture; then she sped on, and the trailing family blotted her out from his view.
The words of a comic song--
'Paddington groan--worst ever known--
He gave a sepulchral Paddington groan--'
came into his head, and he sped incontinently back to Reading station. All the way up to London and down to Wansdon he sat with the Heart of the Trail open on his knee, knitting in his head a poem so full of feeling that it would not rhyme.
FLEUR sped on. She had need of rapid motion; she was late, and wanted all her wits about her when she got in. She passed the islands, the station, and hotel, and was about to take the ferry, when she saw a skiff with a young man standing up in it, and holding to the bushes.
'Miss Forsyte,' he said; 'let me put you across. I've come on purpose.'
She looked at him in blank amazement.
'It's all right, I've been having tea with your people. I thought I'd save you the last bit. It's on my way, I'm just off back to Pangbourne. My name's Mont. I saw you at the picture- gallery--you remember--when your father invited me to see his pictures.'
'Oh!' said Fleur; 'yes--the handkerchief.'
To this young man she owed Jon; and, taking his hand, she stepped down into the skiff. Still emotional, and a little out of breath, she sat silent; not so the young man. She had never heard any one say so much in so short a time. He told her his age, twenty-four; his weight, ten stone eleven; his place of residence, not far away; described his sensations under fire, and what it felt like to be gassed; criticized the Juno, mentioned his own conception of that goddess; commented on the Goya copy, said