And the cold demeanour, the discouraging words, threw a chill upon her heart. What had she done to him, that he should change like this? With a bearing that sought to be proud, but a quivering lip, Margaret turned away.
He caught her eye as she was doing so; caught the expression of her face, and read its bitter disappointment. The next moment he was bending over her, pressing her hand within his.
"Forgive me, Daisy," he whispered, in pleading tones. "Indeed it is not caprice: I—I cannot dance to-night. Go and dance to your heart's content, and let me hide myself here until Miss Raynor is ready to leave you. The kindest thing you can do is to take no further notice of me."
He released her hand as he spoke, and stood back again in his dark corner. Margaret turned away with a sigh. Her pleasure in the evening had flown.