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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMacleod Of Dare - Chapter 3. Fionaghal
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Macleod Of Dare - Chapter 3. Fionaghal Post by :Dusty13 Category :Long Stories Author :William Black Date :May 2012 Read :2537

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Macleod Of Dare - Chapter 3. Fionaghal

CHAPTER III. FIONAGHAL

And, indeed, when they entered the house--the balconies and windows were a blaze of flowers all shining in the sun--they found that their host and hostess had already come downstairs, and were seated at table with their small party of guests. This circumstance did not lessen Sir Keith Macleod's trepidation; for there is no denying the fact that the young man would rather have faced an angry bull on a Highland road than this party of people in the hushed and semi-darkened and flower-scented room. It seemed to him that his appearance was the signal for a confusion that was equivalent to an earthquake. Two or three servants--all more solemn than any clergyman--began to make new arrangements; a tall lady, benign of aspect, rose and most graciously received him; a tall gentleman, with a gray mustache, shook hands with him; and then, as he vaguely heard young Ogilvie, at the other end of the room, relate the incident of the upsetting of the cab, he found himself seated next to this benign lady, and apparently in a bewildering paradise of beautiful lights and colors and delicious odors. Asparagus soup? Yes, he would take that; but for a second or two this spacious and darkened room, with its stained glass and its sombre walls, and the table before him, with its masses of roses and lilies-of-the-valley, its silver, its crystal, its nectarines, and cherries, and pineapples, seemed some kind of enchanted place. And then the people talked in a low and hushed fashion, and the servants moved silently and mysteriously, and the air was languid with the scents of fruits and flowers. They gave him some wine in a tall green glass that had transparent lizards crawling up its stem; he had never drunk out of a thing like that before.

"It was very kind of Mr. Ogilvie to get you to come; he is a very good boy; he forgets nothing," said Mrs. Ross to him; and as he became aware that she was a pleasant-looking lady of middle age, who regarded him with very friendly and truthful eyes, he vowed to himself that he would bring Mr. Ogilvie to task for representing this decent and respectable woman as a graceless and dangerous coquette. No doubt she was the mother of children. At her time of life she was better employed in the nursery or in the kitchen than in flirting with young men; and could he doubt that she was a good house-mistress when he saw with his own eyes how spick and span everything was, and how accurately everything was served? Even if his cousin Janet lived in the south, with all these fine flowers and hot-house fruits to serve her purpose, she could not have done better. He began to like this pleasant-eyed woman, though she seemed delicate, and a trifle languid, and in consequence he sometimes could not quite make out what she said. But then he noticed that the other people talked in this limp fashion too: there was no precision about their words; frequently they seemed to leave you to guess the end of their sentences. As for the young lady next him, was she not very delicate also? He had never seen such hands--so small, and fine, and white. And although she talked only to her neighbor on the other side of her, he could hear that her voice, low and musical as it was, was only a murmur.

"Miss White and I," said Mrs. Ross to him--and at this moment the young lady turned to them--"were talking before you came in of the beautiful country you must know so well, and of its romantic stories and associations with Prince Charlie. Gertrude, let me introduce Sir Keith Macleod to you. I told Miss White you might come to us to-day; and she was saying what a pity it was that Flora MacDonald was not a Macleod."

"That was very kind" said he, frankly, turning to this tall, pale girl, with the rippling hair of golden brown and the heavy-lidded and downcast eyes. And then he laughed. "We would not like to steal the honor from a woman, even though she was a Macdonald, and you know the Macdonalds and the Macleods were not very friendly in the old time. But we can claim something too about the escape of Prince Charlie, Mrs. Ross. After Flora Macdonald had got him safe from Harris to Skye, she handed him over to the sons of Macleod of Raasay, and it was owing to them that he got to the mainland. You will find many people up there to this day who believe that if Macleod of Macleod had gone out in '45, Prince Charlie would never have had to flee at all. But I think the Macleods had done enough for the Stuarts; and it was but little thanks they ever got in return, so far as I could ever hear. Do you know, Mrs. Ross, my mother wears mourning every 3d of September, and will eat nothing from morning till night. It is the anniversary of the battle of Worcester; and then the Macleods were so smashed up that for a long time the other clans relieved them from military service."

"You are not much of a Jacobite, Sir Keith," said Mrs. Ross, smiling.

"Only when I hear a Jacobite song sung," said he. "Then who can fail to be a Jacobite?"

He had become quite friendly with this amiable lady. If he had been afraid that his voice, in these delicate southern ears, must sound like the first guttral drone of Donald's Pipes at Castle Dare, he had speedily lost that fear. The manly, sun-browned face and clear-glancing eyes were full of animation; he was oppressed no longer by the solemnity of the servants; so long as he talked to her he was quite confident; he had made friends with this friendly woman. But he had not as yet dared to address the pale girl who sat on his right, and who seemed so fragile and beautiful and distant in manner.

"After all," said he to Mrs. Ross, "there were no more Highlanders killed in the cause of the Stuarts than used to be killed every year or two merely out of the quarrels of the clans among themselves. All about where I live there is scarcely a rock, or a loch, or an island that has not its story. And I think," added he, with a becoming modesty, "that the Macleods were by far the most treacherous and savage and bloodthirsty of the whole lot of them."

And now the fair stranger beside him addressed him for the first time; and as she did so, she turned her eyes towards him--clear, large eyes that rather startled one when the heavy lids were lifted, so full of expression were they.

"I suppose," said she, with a certain demure smile, "you have no wild deeds done there now?"

"Oh, we have become quite peaceable folks now," said he, laughing. "Our spirit is quite broken. The wild boars are all away from the islands now, even from Muick; we have only the sheep. And the Mackenzies, and the Macleans, and the Macleods--they are all sheep now."

Was it not quite obvious? How could any one associate with this bright-faced young man the fierce traditions of hate and malice and revenge, that makes the seas and islands of the north still more terrible in their loneliness? Those were the days of strong wills and strong passions, and of an easy disregard of individual life when the gratification of some set desire was near. What had this Macleod to do with such scorching fires of hate and of love? He was playing with a silver fork and half a dozen strawberries: Miss White's surmise was perfectly natural and correct.

The ladies went upstairs, and the men, after the claret had gone round, followed them. And now it seemed to this rude Highlander that he was only going from wonder to wonder. Half-way up the narrow staircase was a large recess dimly lit by the sunlight falling through stained glass, and there was a small fountain playing in the middle of this grotto and all around was a wilderness of ferns dripping with the spray, while at the entrance two stone figures held up magical globes on which the springing and falling water was reflected. Then from this partial gloom he emerged into the drawing-room--a dream of rose-pink and gold, with the air sweetened around him by the masses of roses and tall lilies about. His eyes were rather bewildered at first; the figures of the women seemed dark against the white lace of the windows. But as he went forward to his hostess, he could make out still further wonders of color; for in the balconies outside, in the full glare of the sun, were geraniums, and lobelias, and golden calceolarias, and red snapdragon, their bright hues faintly tempered by the thin curtains through which they were seen. He could not help expressing his admiration of these things that were so new to him, for it seemed to him that he had come into a land of perpetual summer and sunshine and glowing flowers. Then the luxuriant greenness of the foliage on the other side of Exhibition Road--for Mrs. Ross's house faced westward--was, as he said, singularly beautiful to one accustomed to the windy skies of the western isles.

"But you have not seen our elm--our own elm," said Mrs. Ross, who was arranging some azaleas that had just been sent her. "We are very proud of our elm. Gertrude, will you take Sir Keith to see our noble elm?"

He had almost forgotten who Gertrude was; but the next second he recognized the low and almost timid voice that said.

"Will you come this way, then Sir Keith?"

He turned, and found that it was Miss White who spoke. How was it that this girl, who was only a girl, seemed to do things so easily, and gently, and naturally, without any trace of embarrassment or self-consciousness? He followed her, and knew not which to admire the more, the careless simplicity of her manner, or the singular symmetry of her tall and slender figure. He had never seen any statue or any picture in any book to be compared with this woman, who was so fine, and rare, and delicate that she seemed only a beautiful tall flower in this garden of flowers. There was a strange simplicity, too, about her dress--a plain, tight-fitting, tight-sleeved dress of unrelieved black, her only adornment being some bands of big blue beads worn loosely round the neck. The black figure, in this shimmer of rose-pink and gold and flowers, was effective enough; but even the finest of pictures or the finest of statues has not the subtle attraction of a graceful carriage. Macleod had never seen any woman walk as this woman walked, in so stately and yet so simple a way.

From Mrs. Ross's chief drawing-room they passed into an antedrawing-room, which was partly a passage and partly a conservatory. On the window side were some rows of Cape heaths, on the wall side some rows of blue and white plates; and it was one of the latter that was engaging the attention of two persons in this anteroom--Colonel Ross himself, and a little old gentleman in gold-rimmed spectacles.

"Shall I introduce you to my father?" said Miss White to her companion; and, after a word or two, they passed on.

"I think papa is invaluable to Colonel Ross," said she: "he is as good as an auctioneer at telling the value of china. Look at this beautiful heath. Mrs. Ross is very proud of her heaths."

The small white fingers scarcely touched the beautiful blossoms of the plant; but which were the more palely roseate and waxen? If one were to grasp that hand--in some sudden moment of entreaty, in the sharp joy of reconciliation, in the agony of farewell--would it not be crushed like a frail flower?

"There is our elm," said she, lightly. "Mrs. Ross and I regard it as our own, we have sketched it so often."

They had emerged from the conservatory into a small square room, which was practically a continuation of the drawing-room, but which was decorated in pale blue and silver, and filled with a lot of knick-knacks that showed it was doubtless Mrs. Ross's boudoir. And out there, in the clear June sunshine, lay the broad greensward behind Prince's Gate, with the one splendid elm spreading his broad branches into the blue sky, and throwing a soft shadow on the corner of the gardens next to the house. How sweet and still it was!--as still as the calm, clear light in this girl's eyes. There was no passion there, and no trouble; only the light of a June day, and of blue skies, and a peaceful soul. She rested the tips of her fingers on a small rosewood table that stood by the window: surely, if a spirit ever lived in any table, the wood of this table must have thrilled to its core.

And had he given all this trouble to this perfect creature merely that he should look at a tree? and was he to say some ordinary thing about an ordinary elm to tell her how grateful he was?

"It is like a dream to me," he said, honestly enough, "since I came to London. You seem always to have sunlight and plenty of fine trees and hot-house flowers. But I suppose you have winter, like the rest us?"

"Or we should very soon tire of all this, beautiful as it is," said she; and she looked rather wistfully out on the broad, still gardens. "For my part, I should very soon tire of it. I should think there was more excitement in the wild storms and the dark nights of the north; there must be a strange fascination in the short winter days among the mountains, and the long winter nights by the side of the Atlantic."

He looked at her and smiled. That fierce fascination he knew something of: how had she guessed at it? And as for her talking as if she herself would gladly brave these storms--was it for a foam-bell to brave a storm? was it for a rose-leaf to meet the driving rains of Ben-an-Sloich?

"Shall we go back now?" said she; and as she turned to lead the way he could not fail to remark how shapely her neck was, for her rich golden-brown hair was loosely gathered up behind.

But just at this moment Mrs. Ross made her appearance.

"Come," said she, "we shall have a chat all to ourselves; and you will tell me, Sir Keith, what you have seen since you came to London, and what has struck you most. And you must stay with us, Gertrude. Perhaps Sir Keith will be so kind as to freeze your blood with another horrible story about the Highlanders. I am only a poor southerner, and had to get up my legends from books. But this wicked girl, Sir Keith, delights as much in stories of bloodshed as a schoolboy does."

"You will not believe her," said Miss White, in that low-toned, gravely sincere voice of hers, while a faint shell-like pink suffused her face. "It was only that we were talking of the highlands, because we understood you were coming; and Mrs. Ross was trying to make out"--and here a spice of proud mischief came into her ordinarily calm eyes--"she was trying to make out that you must be a very terrible and dangerous person, who would probably murder us all if we were not civil to you."

"Well, you know, Sir Keith," said Mrs. Ross, apologetically, "you acknowledge yourself that you Macleods were a very dreadful lot of people at one time. What a shame it was to track the poor fellow over the snow, and then deliberately to put brushwood in front of the cave, and then suffocate whole two hundred persons at once!"

"Oh yes, no doubt!" said he; "but the Macdonalds were asked first to give up the men that had bound the Macleods hand and foot and set them adrift in the boat, and they would not do it. And if the Macdonalds had got the Macleods into a cave, they would have suffocated them too. The Macdonalds began it."

"Oh, no, no, no," protested Mrs. Ross; "I can remember better than that. What were the Macleods about on the island at all when they had to be sent off, tied hand and foot, in their boats?"

"And what is the difference between tying a man hand and foot and putting him out in the Atlantic, and suffocating him in a cave? It was only by an accident that the wind drifted them over to Skye."

"I shall begin to fear that you have some of the old blood in you," said Mrs. Ross, with a smile, "if you try to excuse one of the cruelest things ever heard of."

"I do not excuse it at all," said he, simply. "It was very bad--very cruel. But perhaps the Macleods were not so much worse than others. It was not a Macleod at all, it was a Gordon--and she a woman, too--that killed the chief of the Mackintoshes after she had received him as a friend. 'Put your head down on the table,' said she to the chief, 'in token of your submission to the Earl of Huntly.' And no sooner had he bowed his neck than she whipped out a knife and cut his head off. That was a Gordon, not a Macleod. And I do not think the Macleods were so much worse than their neighbors, after all."

"Oh, how can you say that?" exclaimed his persecutor. "Who was ever guilty of such an act of treachery as setting fire to the barn at Dunvegan? Macdonald and his men get driven on to Skye by the bad weather; they beg for shelter from their old enemy; Macleod professes to be very great friends with them; and Macdonald is to sleep in the castle, while his men have a barn prepared for them. You know very well, Sir Keith, that if Macdonald had remained that night in Dunvegan Castle he would have been murdered; and if the Macleod girl had not given a word of warning to her sweetheart, the men in the barn would have been burned to death. I think if I were a Macdonald I should be proud of that scene--the Macdonalds marching down to their boats with their pipes playing, while the barn was all in a blaze fired by their treacherous enemies. Oh, Sir Keith, I hope there are no Macleods of that sort alive now."

"There are not, Mrs. Ross," said he, gravely. "They were all killed by the Macdonalds, I suppose."

"I do believe," said she, "that it was a Macleod who built a stone tower on a lonely island, and imprisoned his wife there--"

"Miss White," the young man said, modestly, "will not you help me? Am I to be made responsible for all the evil doings of my ancestors?"

"It is really not fair, Mrs. Ross," said she; and the sound of this voice pleading for him went to his heart: it was not as the voice of other women.

"I only meant to punish you," said Mrs. Ross, "for having traversed the indictment--I don't know whether that is the proper phrase, or what it means, but it sounds well. You first acknowledge that the Macleods were by far the most savage of the people living up there: and then you tried to make out that the poor creatures whom they harried were as cruel as themselves."

"What is cruel now was not cruel then," he said; "it was a way of fighting: it was what is called an ambush now--enticing your enemy, and then taking him at a disadvantage. And if you did not do that to him, he would do it to you. And when a man is mad with anger or revenge, what does he care for anything?"

"I thought we were all sheep now," said she.

"Do you know the story of the man who was flogged by Maclean of Lochbuy--that is in Mull," said he, not heeding her remark. "You do not know that old story?"

They did not; and he proceeded to tell it in a grave and simple fashion which was sufficiently impressive. For he was talking to these two friends now in the most unembarrassed way; and he had, besides, the chief gift of a born narrator--an utter forgetfulness of himself. His eyes rested quite naturally on their eyes as he told his tale. But first of all, he spoke of the exceeding loyalty of the Highland folk to the head of their clan. Did they know that other story of how Maclean of Duart tried to capture the young heir of the house of Lochbuy, and how the boy was rescued and carried away by his nurse? And when, arrived at man's estate, he returned to revenge himself on those who had betrayed him, among them was the husband of the nurse. The young chief would have spared the life of this man, for the old woman's sake. "_Let the tail go with the hide_," said she, and he was slain with the rest. And then the narrator went on to the story of the flogging. He told them how Maclean of Lochbuy was out after the deer one day; and his wife, with her child, had come out to see the shooting. They were driving the deer; and at a particular pass a man was stationed so that, should the deer come that way, he should turn them back. The deer came to this pass; the man failed to turn them; and the chief was mad with rage. He gave orders that the man's back should be bared, and that he should be flogged before all the people.

"Very well," continued Macleod. "It was done. But it is not safe to do anything like that to a Highlander; at least it _was not safe to do anything like that to a highlander in those days; for, as I told you, Mrs. Ross, we are all like sheep now. Then they went after the deer again; but at one moment the man that had been flogged seized Maclean's child from the nurse, and ran with it across the mountain-side, till he reached a place overhanging the sea. And he held out the child over the sea; and it was no use that Maclean begged on his knees for forgiveness. Even the passion of loyalty was lost now in the fierceness of his revenge. This was what the man said--that unless Maclean had his back bared there and then before all the people, and flogged as he had been flogged, then the child should be dashed into the sea below. There was nothing to be done but that--no prayers, no offers, no appeals from the mother, were of any use. And so it was that Maclean of Lochbuy was flogged there before his own people, and his enemy above looking on. And then? When it was over, the man called aloud, 'Revenged! revenged!' and sprang into the air with the child along with him; and neither of them was ever seen again after they had sunk into the sea. It is an old story."

An old story, doubtless, and often told; but its effect on this girl sitting beside him was strange. Her clasped hands trembled; her eyes were glazed and fascinated as if by some spell. Mrs. Ross, noticing this extreme tension of feeling, and fearing it, hastily rose.

"Come, Gertrude," she said, taking the girl by the hand, "we shall be frightened to death by these stories. Come and sing us a song--a French song, all about tears, and fountains, and bits of ribbon--or we shall be seeing the ghosts of murdered Highlanders coming in here in the daytime."

Macleod, not knowing what he had done, but conscious that something had occurred, followed then into the drawing-room, and retired to a sofa, while Miss White sat down to the open piano. He hoped he had not offended her. He would not frighten her again with any ghastly stories from the wild northern seas.

And what was this French song that she was about to sing? The pale, slender fingers were wandering over the keys; and there was a sound--faint and clear and musical--as of the rippling of summer seas. And sometimes the sounds came nearer; and now he fancied he recognized some old familiar strain; and he thought of his cousin Janet somehow, and of summer days down by the blue waters of the Atlantic. A French song? Surely if this air, that seemed to come nearer and nearer, was blown from any earthly land, it had come from the valleys of Lochiel and Ardgour, and from the still shores of Arisaig and Moidart? Oh yes; it was a very pretty French song that she had chosen to please Mrs. Ross with.

"A wee bird cam' to our ha' door"--

this was what she sang; and though, to tell the truth, she had not much of a voice, it was exquisitely trained, and she sang with a tenderness and expression such as he, at least, had never heard before,--

"He warbled sweet and clearly;
An' aye the o'ercome o' his sang
Was 'Wae's me for Prince Charlie!'
Oh, when I heard the bonnie bonnie bird
The tears cam' drappin' rarely;
I took my bonnet off my head,
For well I lo'ed Prince Charlie."

It could not have entered into his imagination to believe that such pathos could exist apart from the actual sorrow of the world. The instrument before her seemed to speak; and the low, joint cry was one of infinite grief, and longing, and love.

"Quoth I, 'My bird, my bonnie, bonnie bird,
Is that a sang ye borrow?
Are these some words ye've learnt by heart,
Or a lilt o' dool an' sorrow?
'Oh, no, no, no,' the wee bird sang;
'I've flown sin' mornin' early;
But sic a day o' wind an' rain--
Oh, wae's me for Prince Charlie!'"

Mrs. Ross glanced archly at him when she discovered what sort of French song it was that Miss White had chosen; but he paid no heed. His only thought was, "_If only the mother and Janet could hear this strange singing!_"

When she had ended, Mrs. Ross came over to him and said, "That is a great compliment to you."

And he answered, simply, "I have never heard any singing like that."

Then young Mr. Ogilvie--whose existence, by-the-way, he had entirely and most ungratefully forgotten--came up to the piano, and began to talk in a very pleasant and amusing fashion to Miss White. She was turning over the leaves of the book before her, and Macleod grew angry with this idle interference. Why should this lily-fingered jackanapes, whom a man could wind round a reel and throw out of window, disturb the rapt devotion of this beautiful Saint Cecilia?

She struck a firmer chord; the bystanders withdrew a bit; and of a sudden it seemed to him that all the spirit of all the clans was ringing in the proud fervor of this fragile girl's voice. Whence had she got this fierce Jacobite passion that thrilled him to the very finger-tips?

"I'll to Lochiel, and Appin, and kneel to them,
Down by Lord Murray and Roy of Kildarlie:
Brave Mackintosh, he shall fly to the field with them;
These are the lads I can trust wi' my Charlie!"

Could any man fail to answer? Could any man die otherwise than gladly if he died with such an appeal ringing in his ears? Macleod did not know there was scarcely any more volume in this girl's voice now than when she was singing the plaintive wail that preceded it: it seemed to him that there was the strength of the tread of armies in it, and a challenge that could rouse a nation.

"Down through the Lowlands, down wi' the Whigamore,
Loyal true Highlanders, down wi' them rarely!
Ronald and Donald, drive on wi' the broad claymore
Over the neck o' the foes o' Prince Charlie!
Follow thee! follow thee! wha wadna follow thee,
King o' the Highland hearts, bonnie Prince Charlie!"

She shut the book, with a light laugh, and left the piano. She came over to where Macleod sat. When he saw that she meant to speak to him, he rose and stood before her.

"I must ask your pardon," said she, smiling, "for singing two Scotch songs, for I know the pronunciation is very difficult."

He answered with no idle compliment.

"If _Tearlach ban og_, as they used to call him, were alive now," said he--and indeed there was never any Stuart of them all, not even the Fair Young Charles himself, who looked more handsome than this same Macleod of Dare who now stood before her--"you would get him more men to follow him than any flag or standard he ever raised."

She cast her eyes down.

Mrs. Ross's guests began to leave.

"Gertrude," said she, "will you drive with me for half an hour--the carriage is at the door? And I know the gentlemen want to have a cigar in the shade of Kensington Gardens: they might come back and have a cup of tea with us."

But Miss White had some engagement; she and her father left together; and the young men followed them almost directly, Mrs. Ross saying that she would be most pleased to see Sir Keith Macleod any Tuesday or Thursday afternoon he happened to be passing, as she was always at home on these days.

"I don't think we can do better than take her advice about the cigar," said young Ogilvie, as they crossed to Kensington Gardens. "What do you think of her?"

"Of Mrs. Ross?"

"Yes."

"Oh, I think she is a very pleasant woman."

"Yes, but," said Mr. Ogilvie, "how did she strike you? Do you think she is as fascinating as some men think her?"

"I don't know what men think about her," said Macleod. "It never occurred to me to ask whether a married woman was fascinating or not. I thought she was a friendly woman--talkative, amusing, clever enough."

They lit their cigars in the cool shadow of the great elms: who does not know how beautiful Kensington Gardens are in June? And yet Macleod did not seem disposed to be garrulous about these new experiences of his; he was absorbed, and mostly silent.

"That is an extraordinary fancy she has taken for Gertrude White," Mr. Ogilvie remarked.

"Why extraordinary?" the other asked, with sudden interest.

"Oh, well, it is unusual, you know. But she is a nice girl enough, and Mrs. Ross is fond of odd folks. You didn't speak to old White?--his head is a sort of British Museum of antiquities; but he is of some use to these people--he is such a swell about old armor, and china, and such things. They say he wants to be sent out to dig for Dido's funeral pyre at Carthage, and that he is only waiting to get the trinkets made at Birmingham."

They walked on a bit in silence.

"I think you made a good impression on Mrs. Ross," said Ogilvie, coolly. "You'll find her an uncommonly useful woman, if she takes a fancy to you; for she knows everybody and goes everywhere, though her own house is too small to entertain properly. By-the-way, Macleod, I don't think you could have hit on a worse fellow than I to take you about, for I am so little in London that I have become a rank outsider. But I'll tell you what I'll do for you if you will go with me to-night to Lord Beauregard's who is an old friend of mine. I will ask him to introduce you to some people--and his wife gives very good dances--and if any royal or imperial swell comes to town, you'll be sure to run against him there. I forget who it is they are receiving there to-night; but anyhow you'll meet two or three of the fat duchesses whom Dizzy adores; and I shouldn't wonder if that Irish girl were there--the new beauty: Lady Beauregard is very clever at picking people up."

"Will Miss White be there?" Macleod asked, apparently deeply engaged in probing the end of his cigar.

His companion looked up in surprise. Then a new fancy seemed to occur to him, and he smiled very slightly.

"Well, no," said he, slowly, "I don't think she will. In fact, I am almost sure she will be at the Piccadilly Theatre. If you like, we will give up Lady Beauregard, and after dinner go to the Piccadilly Theatre instead. How will that do?"

"I think that will do very well," said Macleod.

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