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      But Bergan was not the only visitor at the studio. Doctor Remy's straight-featured, intellectual face was often to be seen there, with its chill and satirical expression half-obliterated by a look of kindly interest. And his aid was not less ready than Bergan's, and, perhaps, more valuable. Hints and criticisms, suggested by his profound anatomical and physiological knowledge, often came just in time to prevent a blunder, or clinch a success.


      Mr. Crowther would have lingered for farther conversation before getting into the family landau, but Colonel Disney bade a rather abrupt good morning to the whole group, and hurried his wife and sister down the hill.

      "Pardon me," said he, "but that sort of aid, I can give myself, if it be necessary."

      Daughters of millionaires are generally given to that sort of thing, arent they? said Varley Howard.


      Was she to put on her finery and go! There would be time yet to send a note to Mrs. Baynham, excusing herself on the score of illness. The doctor's party would not start before half-past nine. What was she to do? Oh, she wanted to see him once morejust once morein the brightly-lighted rooms, amidst a crowdin a place where he would have no chance of repeating those wicked, wicked wordsof forgetting all that was due to his own honour and to hers. In the crowded ball-room there would be[Pg 58] safetysafety even from evil thoughts. Who could think of anything amidst the sound of dance music, the dazzle of lamps and flashing of jewels?

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      For some moments, Bergan lay thinking over the conversation. Never had Dr. Remy's low and limited notions of life been so nakedly presented to his abhorrent gaze. A certain distrust and dread awoke within him, accompanied by a chill creeping of the flesh, as at something not altogether human. It impressed him that there was a dark and sinister peculiarity about this man, with the rarely cultivated intellect and the inert affections,this man whom he had so long called his friend, and who, so far as he knew, had not ill deserved the name;a peculiarity that could not fail to be pernicious to lives and characters too intimately connected with him. Running over in his mind the whole course of their acquaintance, he could not remember ever to have heard the doctor give utterance to one lofty aspiration, one purely benign impulse, one word of hearty sympathy or generous affection. His opinions and beliefs were chill products of the intellect, unwarmed by any glow of the affections, unpurified by any strict assay of conscience. And Bergan was just beginning to discover that, while pretending to great breadth and depth, they were really narrow, because limited to life and earth, and shallow, because never penetrating below or above the reach of the human intellect, when his thoughts suddenly began to grow vague and dim, as if seen through a mist, and the next moment, he was sound asleep.She dawdled away the morning; she sculled against the stream for nearly three hours, and then let her boat drift down the river to the garden above the towpath. It was long past her usual time for luncheon when she moored her boat to the little wooden steps, leaving it for Thomas, the gardener, to pull up into the boat-house. She had made up her mind that if Lostwithiel troubled himself to make any inquiry about her health he would call in the morning.

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      "And a very sensible decision," returned Doctor Remy, as quietly as if he were not filled with unexpected delight that the information which he had hoped to gain only at cost of some deep and difficult scheming, was thus placed within easy reach. "I only wonder that you have not done it before."

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      "You ought not to make sport of weak people's fancies, for I am sure you don't believe in ghosts," said Allegra, leaning with one elbow on the piano, turning over pieces of music absently, a graceful figure in a dark green velvet gown, cut just low enough to show the fine curves of a full, round throat, white and smooth as ivory.


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