There he stood in the parlour of the poky littlehouse where she had taken him, waiting for her,while she went upstairs a moment to see a woman.He heard her quick step above; heard her voicecheerful, then low; looked at the mats, tea-caddies,glass shades; waited quite impatiently; lookedforward eagerly to the walk home, determined tocarry her bag; then heard her come out; shuta door; say they must keep the windows openand the doors shut, ask at the house for anythingthey wanted (she must be talking to a child),when, suddenly, in she came, stood for a momentsilent (as if she had been pretending up there,and for a moment let herself be now), stoodquite motionless for a _moment against a pictureof Queen Victoria wearing the blue ribbon of theGarter; and all at once he realised that it wasthis: it was this :—-she was the most beautifulperson he had ever seen.

With stars in her eyes and veils in her hair,with cyclamen and wild violets-watt nonsensewas he thinking? She was fifty at least; she hadeight children. Stepping through fields of flowersand taking to her breast buds that had broken andlambs that had fallen; with the stars in her eyesand the wind in her hair——He took her bag.

‘ Good-bye, Elsie,” she said, and they walkedup the street, she holding her parasol erect and

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