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      Astra, meanwhile, stood gazing at the doctor with a most anxious, disturbed expression. She was beginning to understand too well that under many of his seemingly most careless utterances, there lurked a deep significance and design. In the tone of his last speech to her, there had been something which caused her a vague alarm."It is better to have lost it," replied Astra quickly, and with a slight shudder. "One can live in the hope of finding it again."

      "Is this only a polite way of refusing me?" he asked, beginning to be offended, not understanding that this nonsense-talk was a hasty defence against overpowering emotion, that she was not sure of him, and was desperately afraid of betraying herself. "Am I to understand that you don't care a straw for me?"

      Taffy assisted Norman into Taffys own tent, and the doctor was sent for. Esmeralda threw herself down outside the tent while the examination was taking place."Perhaps," interposed Mr. Islay, whose ears had been open for some moments toward this conversation,"perhaps such minds find the proof insufficient only because they have not yet been able to look at it in the right light."

      It had not occurred to him that the fall from the bridge was accidental, inasmuch as Rosa had deemed it her duty to keep inviolate the secret of her young mistress's errand abroad on that night; he was therefore unable to conjecture why Carice should have sought the river-side at so inopportune an hour, except with a purpose of self-destruction. Nor did it give him any comfort to reflect that her mind must have been set all ajar, before she would have resorted to so desperate an expedient; that only lifted the terrible responsibility from her shoulders to lay it more crushingly on his own. It was he, who, without giving her time to recover from the shock of Bergan's apparent infidelity, or the fatigue and anxiety occasioned by his own illness, had urged her into a union with a man for whom she persistently asserted that she neither had, nor would ever be likely to have, any warmer feeling than respect for his intellectual attainments, and admiration for his professional skill and devotion. To be sure, he had done it solely with a view to her happiness,doing evil that good might come, and finding too late that "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap."

      "That would be very short work. We leave in a fortnight. The weather will be growing too hot for you if we linger later."

      "That is to say," returned Doctor Trubie, "that a good commander-in-chief can do nothing without good generals. At all events, Doctor Remy is a wonderfully talented fellow. He seems to keep not only abreast of medical science, but in advance of it. That very suggestion of his, which proved most valuable to us, was mentioned in my last medical review, as the latest discovery at Paris. There is something about his bold, yet scientific mode of reasoning which reminds me strangely of an old fellow-student. But Doctor Remy, I hope, is a better fellow than he was. By the way," he added, turning to Bergan, "I came near forgetting that I have brought you a letter from him, as I judge from the handwriting."


      Not that she suffered very keenly yet. She was too much stunned to realize the extent of her wounds and bruises. She picked herself up, as it were, after the fall and the shock, and walked mechanically homeward. Her strength did not give way until she found herself in her room, shutting her door behind her, and felt what a different being had gone out of it only a little while before."My child," said Godfrey Bergan, after a pause, and there was a perceptible tremor in his voice, "you are very weak and nervous, and these wedding gayeties have been too much for you. Go to rest, and sleep away your fatigues and your fancies together; joy cometh in the morning. The wife of Felix Remy will hear no voices in the air. Good-night."


      Mrs. Bergan was wise enough to be the bearer of her own invitation to Mrs. Lyte; else it would scarcely have been accepted. The latter had lost the taste for society with the habit of it; nothing short of the personal solicitation of her old friend, now asking it as a favor to herself, and now urging it for Astra's sake, would have induced her to give up, even for a few hours, the seclusion that had slowly been transformed, for her as for most invalids, from a grievous necessity into a calm pleasantness.


      Remember, she panted, I am coming back! Im coming back!