have been welcome to hear it, rather than George Atkinson.

The way home was generally long and weary, but this evening Charles found it light enough: he seemed to tread upon air. His thoughts were filled with Alice, and with the hope he was carrying to her. Never for a moment did he doubt she would be successful. He already saw her in imagination installed at Mrs. Preen's.

Edina went to Bayswater with Alice in the morning. A handsome house, well appointed. Mrs. Preen, interested in what she had heard from her husband, received them graciously. She liked them at first sight. Though very plain in dress, she saw that they were gentlewomen.

"It cannot be that I am speaking to Mrs. Raynor?" she cried, puzzled at Edina's youthful look.

Edina set her right: she was Miss Raynor. "The result of possessing no cards," thought Edina. "I never had

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