Miss Kennett, still in process of qualifying herseli for a musician, was at work on Czerny's fifth exercise^ which, like the pons asinorum of an earlier strategist, could present an insuperable problem to an intelligence already painful master of the four preceding To pick up one note with her was, like the clowr with the packages, to drop half a dozen others; tc give its proper value to the right hand was to leave the left struggling in a partial paralysis. Still she persevered, lips counting, eyes glued to the page, pretty fingers sprawling, until a sudden laugh at the open door of the room startled her efforts into a shiver of unexpected harmony. She looked up witr a shake and a smile that suggested somehow to the observer a bird scattering water from its wings ir a sunshiny basin.
' O, Frank !' she exclaimed, and stretched hersel: with glistening easefulness.
'You p-poor goose,' he answered. 'You'll nevei play, you know'.
She jumped up with a cry, and ran to him.
'Do you mean it? Are you sure?'
' Would you mind if I didn't ?' 5 'Not half 0 m-much as I should if you did.'
'But I tried, to please you, you know'.
'But it doesn't please me, you know.'
She looked at him doubtfully. He took her hands, his eyes glowing.
'I love you for trying, you dear,' he said, 'but I shouldn't love you if I let you go on trying-nor, I expect, would any one else.'
' Pig ! ' she exclaimed.
'Audrey,' he said, 'you couldn't play when I fell in love with you, so why should I wish you to now ? It would never be yourself; and that's what I want of all things. Let every one develop the best that's in him, and leave affectation to the donkeys. So you'll just come over to Barton's farm with me, to give me your advice about the loveliest Utter of bull-pups you ever saw.'
He had something to say to her, and when they were on their way he came out with it soberly.
' I wanted just to tell you-he left a full confession; and--and it showed how the Baron had been right in almost every particular'.
She made no answer for a little; but presently she said softly, 'I think I should like to be the one, Frank, to write and tell him so'.
Again the silence fell between them, and again she broke it in the same tone.
'We heard from Hughie this morning-only a short letter. He wrote from Karachi, where they had just landed. They were going straight on to Rawul PinthV
'Now let us talk of something else'.